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Through Blind Men's Eyes

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Title: Through Blind Men's Eyes
Author: [info]ladyblahblah 
Fandom: Star Trek
Pairing: Spock/Kirk
Rating: eventual NC-17; PG for now for mild swearing
Disclaimer: You think I own anything?  Have you seen my car?  Nothing is mine but the Noctaens and the plot, but I'm pretty sure no one's gonna fight me on that.
A/N: This was originally conceived of as fluffy, lighthearted crack.  Then it mutated.  Story of my life.  My very first attempt at TOP; apologies for any missteps.  It should be clear by now that I have no idea what the hell I'm doing.  Thoughts (or telepathy) indicated by italics.
Summary: The obligatory Pon Farr story . . . with a bit of a twist.

 

The away mission hadn’t gone according to plan, but then when did it ever?

Kirk was hardly even surprised anymore when the natives turned hostile, and running for his life had become almost second nature.  He was more prepared now, several months into his command, than he had been at the beginning of their five-year mission.  Hand-to-hand skills honed from years of barfights had been supplemented with more formal combat training in various martial arts.  He’d been able to sweet-talk Sulu into giving him fencing lessons after the debacle on Cirrus IV, and he’d attended a good portion of the mandatory phaser target practice that he’d implemented for Security personnel.  All in all, he should have been covered.  Prepared for every eventuality.

Except that he never was.  There was always, always something unexpected.  Sometimes it was something good: men with blue eyes were revered as especially sexually potent, or Kirk’s blunt speaking style was regarded as admirably forthright rather than offensive.  More often, though, the surprise was an unpleasant one.  This was one of those times.

“Shit.  Shit, shit, shit.”  Kirk could tell that Spock was hurt badly when he made no comment about the illogical nature of such expletives from a linguistic standpoint.  Kirk never thought he’d miss the man’s nagging, but at the moment he’d gladly give up sex for a year for just one raised eyebrow and a stoic reproach.

He had half-helped, half-carried Spock to a small shelter in the rock cliff, more of an indentation than a cave but the best they had at the moment.  Spock was heavier than he looked—Vulcan muscle density, McCoy would say—and they’d barely made it there before Kirk’s strength gave out.  They collapsed to the ground together and Kirk immediately lifted himself to examine Spock’s side.  His hands came back green and he cursed again.

“Damn it,” he said softly.  “I’m sorry, Spock, I’m so sorry.  This is all my fault.”

“Illogical.”  The voice was weak, but it was there, and Kirk almost fainted with relief.  “Our sensors did not detect the Orion weapons when we scanned the planet.  There was no way for you to know.”

“You took a shot meant for me.  That’s a bad habit of yours, you know.”

“Then blame for our current predicament most accurately lies with me.  As first officer it is my duty to protect my captain.”  He took a deep breath.  It rattled ominously in his chest.  “I do not regret my actions, but should I survive—”

“Don’t you fucking dare talk like that; you’re pulling through this, understand?”

“—you may write me up as you see fit,” Spock finished as though Kirk hadn’t spoken.

Kirk couldn’t think of a way to respond that, so he kept quiet.  They sat in silence for several minutes before either one of them spoke again.

“They’ll find us soon,” Kirk said with more confidence than he actually felt.  “The others should be heading for the scrambler even now.  As soon as they take it out Scotty will beam us up along with the hostages, and we’ll be off this godforsaken rock and back home.”  There was no response from Spock but another rattling breath, and Kirk’s stomach filled suddenly with lead.  “Spock.  Hey, Spock, come on, talk to me.  You’ve got to stay awake, okay?”

Nothing again for a moment.  Then, so softly that Kirk wasn’t entirely sure he hadn’t imagined it, “I am finding it . . . difficult . . . to maintain my thoughts, Captain.”

“Jim, goddamn it.”  He pressed his hands harder against Spock’s side and tried to ignore how much blood there was, thick and sticky green.  The smell of copper mingled heavily with the dust that choked the air.  “If you can take a bullet for me, you can call me by first goddamned name.”

“Weapons were . . . considerably more advanced than simple . . . projectiles . . . Jim.”

Kirk laughed despite himself, though it sounded closer to a sob.  “It’s a figure of speech, and you’re not fooling me you green-blooded bastard.  You understand more than you ever let on, you just think it’s funny to rile Bones.”  No response at all that time, which sent Kirk into a near panic.  “Hold on, Spock, you just have to hold on.  I don’t have a medkit, so you have to hold on until Bones can get you into sickbay.”  Still nothing, and the hitching movement of Spock’s chest under his hands was slowing.  “No.  Damn it, no, you’re not dying, you’re not, Spock, please—”

His hands were green to the wrists, and Spock’s breathing stopped.

Kirk heaved, emptying his stomach onto the rocks, aware only after some time of warm hands wrapped around his shoulders to hold him steady.  His vision was hazy and dim, and he wanted . . . silence, solitude, oblivion . . .

His sight began to clear, the rocks blurred by his tears melting and merging into a smooth marble floor, splattered now with bile.  The air was no longer filled with dust but cool and clean and scented lightly with incense.  But the hands on his shoulders remained, strong and warm as they helped him to his feet.

“Captain?”  It couldn’t be, Kirk thought in a daze, that Spock was gazing at him, concern clear in his face.  Clear to Kirk, in any case, which was to say still utterly composed by anyone else’s standards.  It couldn’t be, because Spock was—he wouldn’t allow himself to think the word.  “Do you require medical assistance?”

“Spock?”  He still couldn’t believe it; his hands came up to grip strong arms, not caring about Vulcan reticence in the face of so much hope and relief.  The flesh was warm beneath the uniform, solid.  Alive.  Somehow alive after all and oh, Kirk’s head went light with relief.  “What happened?” he asked, his voice rough out of an abused throat.

“Our apologies, Captain.”  The voice was soft, almost nonexistent, but amplified by the smooth marble that formed the cavernous room.  Kirk reluctantly released his First Officer and turned to face the slim figure standing patiently by.

Memories began flooding back.  They were on Lambda Noctae Prime, the newest candidate for membership in the Federation.  Its inhabitants, a subterranean race who communicated primarily through telepathy, had welcomed the Enterprise’s crew with genuine if subdued enthusiasm.  And though Kirk had thoroughly explained that their visit was merely a ceremonial one to open further communication, the Noctaens still looked on him as the man who would deliver them into the Federation’s open arms and had treated him accordingly.

“Your alien physiology has reacted somewhat differently to the procedure than we anticipated.”  The figure—Chancellor Laaen, Kirk remembered—bowed, seeming to flicker in and out of existence in the dim light.  “Again, we apologize.”

“What the hell happened?” Kirk demanded again, his voice hard—not a diplomatic tone, but fear was deserting him and leaving a simmering anger in its place.  “What was that?”

The Noctaens were functionally blind, but large, solid white eyes fixed unerringly on Kirk despite their vestigial nature.  He was reminded suddenly of the briefing he had received prior to their arrival.  Their subterranean nature had caused the Nocteans to evolve flesh that was nearly translucent, with a network of delicate veins shimmering silvery blue beneath the skin.  That, along with their slim builds, had given several other races the impression that the planet and its rich stores of promethium crystals would be an easy conquest.

That the Noctaens had survived for hundreds of years under their own rule provided a warning to those who would underestimate the potency of the telepathic mastery that this race had achieved.  A warning that, if Kirk was reading Spock’s renewed grip on his shoulder correctly, he would be wise to heed.

“We have given what we promised, Captain.  Did you expect less of us?”

It was an effort, but Kirk managed to rein in his sense of outrage.  He was here to play the diplomat, not start an incident.  “Certainly not.  But when you said that you had a gift for me as a representative of the Federation, I was expecting something more along the lines of a fruit basket.” 

The warning pressure of Spock’s suddenly painful grip was more than worth the potential setback in communication that his words may have caused.  Worth it, because Spock was alive, God, the relief was still so strong that Kirk could hardly bear it.  Meanwhile the Noctaen official tilted his head—her head?  The entire race was unsettlingly androgynous, and it had seemed bad form to ask for a clarification—and allowed the thin membranes covering his eyes to flutter rapidly in a signal of confusion.

“It is the greatest gift that we have to bestow,” he breathed.  “The gift of self-awareness.  We have shown you the face of your greatest fear, so that in embracing it you might find its power lessened.  Our people were once fearful of the dark as yours are, and fought at great length to keep it at bay.  Only by immersing ourselves in our fear were we able to evolve and thrive as we have.”  Unseeing eyes turned to lock on Spock.  “Will you accept our gift as your Captain has done?  Would you know your fear, and live inside of it?”

“Unnecessary,” Spock said stiffly, though his hand relaxed slightly on Kirk’s arm.  There would be a ring of bruises there in the morning, but Kirk found he didn’t much mind.  “Vulcan children are taught to confront such things at an early age, in order to achieve mental and emotional control.  I am well aware of what you would call my greatest fear and therefore have no need of assistance.”

“You know what,” the whisper came, “but you do not yet know why.  To obtain full information would only be . . .”  There was a pause as he searched for the correct words, and the fins along the backs of his forearms shivered in a smile.  “Ah, yes.  Logical.”

“Such uninvited intrusion into another’s mind is seen by many in the Federation as a violation,” Spock said, his voice cool.  “I must ask you to cease.”

Kirk felt a shiver run up his spine, and not just from the cool, damp air.  He hadn’t given much thought to the likelihood that the Noctaens would be monitoring his thoughts.  Foolishly, he had assumed that he would feel some sense of them should they attempt to probe his mind—he always had before with Spock.  That he hadn’t noticed a thing made him wonder if perhaps the Noctaen’s telepathic abilities had actually been downplayed rather than exaggerated.

“Again, our apologies,” Laaen said.  “We are unused to others’ presence, and our society is by necessity quite open.  We certainly meant no offense.”

Your pardon please, Captain, Kirk suddenly . . . not heard, exactly, so much as knew.  A voice in his head that was not a voice, but a thought, a presence.  Speaking aloud is quite tiring after a time.  May we converse in this way for a short duration?  Our vocal cords are not accustomed to such strenuous exercise.  You may, of course, speak your reply in your customary way, but if you merely focus on the words I will hear them.

His eyes locked on the ethereal form of the Chancellor, and he nodded.  Yes, by all means, he thought.  They had gone to great lengths to communicate in the way to which he was accustomed; to return the favor now was simple etiquette.  Besides, he discovered that it wasn’t at all unpleasant.  The Chancellor’s thoughts were cool inside his head, like water flowing over stone far from the sun’s heat.  He wondered idly if his thoughts had a feel to them as well and received a wave of amusement in return.

They do indeed.  Your thoughts are rich earth, and sweet green growing things—what a startling color is green!—and the bright sparkle of stars.  And you think quite loudly, Captain, even when you do not intend to.  It is . . . bracing.  Come, will you walk with me?  We have much to discuss.

He began to walk away, gesturing for Kirk to follow.  Spock started forward as well, but Kirk stopped him with a small gesture despite his urge to keep the Vulcan in his sight for a while longer.  Chancellor Laaen clearly wanted to speak—think?—with him in private, and Kirk was willing to accommodate him.  He became aware, as they walked across the chamber, of a faint glow beckoning through the shadows ahead of them.  They moved slowly, the currents that the Noctaens used to navigate without sight less reliable in air than they were in water.  Gradually the glow grew stronger, brighter, until they passed through an archway and Kirk caught his breath at the sight that met them.

We contracted this garden through one of our trading partners, Laaen told him, and Kirk could feel his quiet pride at the Starfleet captain’s response.  In deference to our sighted allies.  Phosphorescent plants and minerals, every one from the caves that we inhabit.  A small tribute to those used to the color and variety of surface life; I am glad that it pleases you.

Pleases doesn’t quite cover it,
Kirk thought back.  Color glowed all around him, blues and greens and reds and yellows laid out like lovely, ghostly flower beds.  He could hear the soft trickle of water, and before he knew it the fear and tension that remained from his vision drained out of him, leaving a wonderful sense of peace.  You’ve made every effort to accommodate us, to make us welcome.  It’s something much appreciated by the Federation, and it will certainly help your petition for membership.

But we still make many mistakes, Laaen thought sadly.  Our gift to you . . . please understand that it was given in good faith, and with only good intentions.  It is distressing to us that it caused you such pain.

An understandable error
, Kirk replied.  The meeting of two cultures is always more difficult than anticipated, no matter how carefully the representatives plan.

Quite true.  And yet I do not believe that our efforts were entirely in vain.  It is important, Captain, that you understand the true nature of what you have been given.  Your fear is an unusual one.  They passed along the edge of the garden and Kirk realized that the walls here were not natural rock or even quarried stone, but acrylic glass that offered a view of the black waters where the Noctaens spent most of their time.  He could just make out faint shapes moving within.  You do not fear death, Captain Kirk; at least, not your own.  Yet this thought is the one that terrifies you most.  To lose him, and to be unable to prevent it.  The powerlessness frightens you almost as much as the loss.

So you saw what I saw, Kirk thought with no small hint of anger.  You hacked into my mind and then just sat back and watched the carnage.

Laaen’s eyelids opened and closed rapidly in distress.  Please understand, such . . . violation, such an ugly idea . . . such violation was not our intent.  Your First Officer has some minor telepathic abilities, and his tracks run through your mind in several places.  We saw these and assumed that our presence would be accepted.  This was our error.

Yes, it . . . Kirk faltered in his thoughts, uncertain how to explain.  Contact between two minds is . . . an intensely personal thing.  To initiate it without consent from one party is one of the strongest taboos in any culture in the Federation.

Confusion trickled through into his mind.  But we could read the traces of your surprise on several occasions when your mind met Mr. Spock.  He has not always asked your consent before joining with you.  The difference, perhaps, lies in your feelings?  The affection that you have for him?

Kirk considered lying for all of a second.  After all, what was the point with so powerful a telepath, especially one who seemed to have little reservations about delving deeper than would generally be accepted as polite.  Yes.  Spock does not need to ask for my consent, because it is always already given.

I understand.  So his entry into your thoughts is . . . welcome, yes, that is the word.  Fascinating, as I believe he would say.  They reached the end of the path that wove through the garden and turned, heading slowly back the way they had come.  As I said, it is upsetting to us that our gift caused you such unintended pain.  We would like to redeem ourselves, if we may.

Really, that’s not necessary, Kirk tried, only to be met with a faint trickle of amusement.

Perhaps not, but I think that you will not argue.  We attempted to give you what we value most; the sort of insular thinking that we must learn to avoid if we hope to acclimate to life as a Federation planet.  The joy of a gift lies not in the giver, but in the gifted.  He stopped to face Kirk, lit by the garden’s glow as if from within.  We offer, then, what we feel that you would value more highly than simple knowledge of your fear: we offer you the means to conquer it.

Kirk’s heart seized in his chest for a split second, and, “What do you mean?” he found himself saying out loud.

Would you stand for him?  Take the opportunity to save him from danger, though it may cost you your own life?

“Yes.”  Yes, I would, Kirk added mentally.  In a heartbeat.  But—

Good.  It is good.  Laaen was vibrating with pleasure.  A gift worth giving, that is valued so highly.  To atone for our mistake, it is offered and accepted.  Now, captain, come!  For your final night we have prepared a celebration.

There was no time for a clarification; Kirk was swept back into the audience chamber where Spock was waiting in well-concealed frustration and concern, then on to the banquet that had been prepared in their honor.  There were hands to shake—a custom that the Noctaens had adapted to remarkably well, though the thick webbing between their fingers remained somewhat disconcerting—and toasts to be drunk and wishes of future prosperity to bestow.  The thousands of tiny details that made up a diplomatic mission and never failed to give Kirk a pounding headache.  There was no chance to speak with Laaen again about what he had said, nor any chance to confer with Spock.

He would do so as soon as they beamed up, he resolved.  After the official debriefing he would pull his First Officer aside and get his reading on all of this.  Perhaps he had been approached while Laaen spoke with him.  They would find out soon enough, he thought, just as soon as they beamed back up and he got Bones to give him a hypo for this damned headache.

The hours of the banquet and celebration felt like days; by the end he was finding it difficult to focus on his duties, his mind slowing to a near-crawl.  Yet none of the Noctaens commented on his fractured mental state, or indeed even seemed to notice.  That should worry him, he thought vaguely as he and Spock took positions to beam up.  He’d talk to Spock about that, too.  Just as soon as they were aboard . . .

. . . a swirl of light, the bows of the Noctaens as the world dissolved around them . . .

. . . “Captain?”  Spock’s voice, as though from far away.  Weak, as well; was Spock having difficulties too?  The transporter room swam around him . . .

. . . strong hands gripped his arms, keeping him from hitting the ground, but he didn’t remember falling, didn’t remember . . .

. . . light was bright in his eyes when he opened them again, and a dark shadow hovered over him.  He blinked once, again, eyes adjusting to the light until he could see Doctor McCoy standing over him.  Sickbay, then, he thought, and a quick glance at his surroundings confirmed it.  Something seemed to be wrong with the environmental controls, however; even with the blanket over him he was shivering.

“Bones,” he groaned, wincing at the sound of his own voice.  It was deeper than usual, and he wondered how long he’d been out.  “What the hell happened?”

“Jim?” McCoy sounded shaken; looked shaken.

“Not expecting me back?” he rasped with a grin.  “Sorry, can’t get rid of me that easy.  So what was it, another allergic reaction?  It was the wine they were serving, wasn’t it?  You know how I can’t handle shellfish, and I’ll bet—”

“No,” McCoy said quickly, “no, not an . . . look, you need . . . rest, and I need to run some more scans on yo—on Spock, so just lie back and—”

“Spock?”  Concern shot through Kirk’s veins in a quicksilver flash.  “What happened, Bones?”

“I’m . . . not sure,” he admitted.  “Look, just let me run a few more tests, and when I know anything new you’ll be the first to know.”

“Not good enough, Doctor.  I need to know now—”  He grabbed McCoy by the wrist, and then several things happened all at once.

The skin beneath his fingers was cooler than it should have been, colder than his body by several degrees.  He could see McCoy’s mouth moving, but the words were lost in the sudden flood of weird, so fucking weird, Jim’s words in his voice, actual expression on that face, never thought I’d see the day, damn it he’s a touch telepath get ahold of your thoughts for—

The fingers at the end of his hand were long and slim.  Elegant.  Hands he was familiar with; hands that were not his own.

Beneath the standard biobed blanket was a uniform the same cool blue as that of the man standing over him.

“Bones.”  His voice.  It was familiar now, as familiar as his own.  A strange thrumming in his side, picking up its pace as realization set in.  His heart.  “Bones,” he said again, his words but Spock’s voice.  “What the hell is going on?”

 

 

Part 2

Chapter Text

Title: Through Blind Men's Eyes
Author: [info]ladyblahblah 
Fandom: Star Trek Reboot
Pairing: Spock/Kirk
Rating: eventual NC-17; Bones and Jim have dirty mouths, so possibly R for language at this point
Disclaimer: You think I own anything?  Have you seen my car?  Nothing is mine but the Noctaens and the plot, but I'm pretty sure no one's gonna fight me on that.
A/N: This was originally conceived of as fluffy, lighthearted crack.  Then it mutated.  Story of my life.  My very first attempt at TOP; apologies for any missteps.  It should be clear by now that I have no idea what the hell I'm doing.  Thoughts (or telepathy) indicated by italics.  The second part of this has been an age and a half coming.  Erm.  Sorry.
Summary: The obligatory Pon Farr story . . . with a bit of a twist.

 

Part 1

 

 

“Now, Jim.” He recognized that tone in Bones’s voice, the soothing ease of it. It was the same as it had been their second year at the Academy when Kirk had come back to their room stinking drunk and McCoy had had to talk him down from chasing the bottle of tequila he’d downed with a handful of mystery pills. Stupid, but he always had hated his birthday. “I need you to stay calm. We have another round of tests to run, so just relax and—”

“Relax? Relax?” Kirk practically shouted, and a distant part of himself was struck by how much more threatening it sounded in Spock’s normally calm voice. “Unless you can assure me that I’m imagining things and that I didn’t somehow wake up stuck in my first officer’s body instead of my own, you can shove you relax right up your—”

“All right, you’re upset, but you will calm the fuck down in my sickbay or so help me I will hypo you into a coma until we get this sorted out,” McCoy snapped.

Perversely, the familiar ill-temper soothed Kirk as much as his friend’s earlier easiness had angered him. He let his head drop back against the pillow and snorted derisively. “All right, so was that more because I’m being an asshole or because you’ve always wanted to do that to Spock anyway?”

“About fifty-fifty,” McCoy grumbled. “Though compared to you he’s a damn model patient. I think waking up as you has freaked him out more than he wants to let on.”

“How surprising,” Kirk said dryly. “Really, Bones, screw med school; you should’ve been a shrink.”

“Oh, shut it.” He jabbed a hypospray into the side of Kirk’s neck—Spock’s neck? All right, that was going to get confusing pretty quickly.

“Ow. Aren’t you going to go through your usual rounds of questions? You know, where does it hurt, how many fingers, who’s Head of Starfleet Command, what happened with that Rigellian ambassador’s aide during the Academy holiday party?”

“If you’re in anything like the state Spock’s in, you’re not in any condition to tell me how you’re feeling. You know he thought I’d slipped him a tranquilizer? I tried to explain he just wasn’t adjusting for his reduced strength as a lowly human, but it took Chapel offering a signed affidavit for him to buy it.” He was using a handheld scanner now to examine the chest clad in science blues. “’Course, if you’ve decided you’d like to finally come clean about that ambassador’s aide . . .”

“Not a chance, Bones,” Jim said with an easy smile.

“Come on! At least tell me if it they were male or female.”

“Neither,” Kirk said, and the startled look on McCoy’s face had him laughing. It was short-lived, however, as startled gave way to outright shocked. “What? What is it?”

McCoy visibly shook himself, and he turned his attention back to the scanner in his hand. “Damn strange, is all,” he said gruffly. “A Vulcan laughing.”

Kirk looked around, but the other beds that he could see around him were all empty. Spock must have been moved out of sight; probably, he realized, to keep Kirk from completely flipping out at the sight of his own body lying there.

“How is he?”

“Physically, he’s fine.” He lowered the scanner with a frustrated scowl. “You both are. Mentally . . . he’s about as wrecked as I’ve ever seen him since the Narada incident. Keeps trying to go into one of his Vulcan healing trances, only of course he can’t because he’s not a damn Vulcan at the moment. He’s stuck in a psi-null body, and it’s my professional medical opinion that if he doesn’t get back to himself soon he’s gonna go crazier than a June bug in May.”

“Be honest, Bones, you just make up half of those old country sayings to build up your rep as a Southern gentleman, don’t you?”

“D’you want another hypo?”

“Sorry. Right, so you said that physically we both check out. Which means that whatever’s done this isn’t physical, it’s . . . mental.” He sat bold upright, the thermal blanket falling to pool in his lap, and he fought back a shiver at the temperature drop. “Mental. Shit.”

“Jim?” Jim barely registered the concerned look on McCoy’s face.

“I have to get back down to the planet.” He threw off the blanket entirely and hopped down from the bed. “Spock and I both do, as soon as possible.”

“Jim, you can’t.” McCoy rushed around to block his path, raising hands still holding the tricorder and scanner. “You know very well how damned particular the Noctaens get about proper visiting hours and protocol and the like. You rush down there now and you might undo the past three days of diplomatic talks. Our entire mission here, Jim,” he urged Kirk to remember.

“We can’t stay like this, Bones.” And yeah, all right, that was stating the obvious, but Jim was in a state right now, damn it. “The Noctaens did this, they must have, and they can damn well undo it.”

“And they will, I’m sure, but . . . in the morning. Okay?” McCoy pocketed the scanner and pressed a tentative hand to Kirk’s shoulder, subtly—in that way of his that was somehow still not subtle at all—trying to guide his friend back to the bed. “It’s not gonna kill you to spend one night as Spock, right?”

Kirk crossed his arms and remained defiantly where he was. “You’re the last person I’d have expected to hear that argument from.”

“Yeah, well.” McCoy snorted, but released his shoulder. “Maybe M’Benga and I swapped bodies, too. Speaking of, I want him to look over the scans we took of you—him—oh, hell,” he groaned, and made a vague gesture at the body in front of him. “That. And since you’re stuck on-ship until tomorrow anyway there are a few more tests—”

“Oh, no. Not a chance.” Kirk backed up a step on pure instinct, in case his oldest and dearest friend has a hypo hidden somewhere on him that was labeled, For When Jim Lets His Guard Down. “You had your chance when I was unconscious. You’ve already pronounced me of sound body—both of me, actually, so you can let Spock go too.”

“He’s already taken off.” McCoy glared at him but stepped out of the way. “He was out of here the second I gave him a clean bill of health. But the both of you are on temporary medical leave, and I don’t want to hear one word about it,” he warned. “I think Spock was headed for his quarters, if you want to talk—well, I guess you do,” was the bemused conclusion aimed at Kirk’s back as he hurried out.

He recognized the wisdom of what McCoy had said, he honestly did. And in another few minutes it was entirely likely that he wouldn’t want to jeopardize their entire mission over something that, while unpleasant and strange and about a hundred other similar adjectives, was unlikely to have severely detrimental effects if left until morning. But it didn’t take knowing him long to know that the pride his first officer held in being a Vulcan was intense. As bizarre and ridiculous and unfathomable as this whole thing was for him, it was going to be ten times harder on Spock. And while Jim wasn’t entirely sure if him showing up in the body that Spock had vacated would be more help or harm, there was no question that he was headed to his first officer’s quarters regardless. If Spock was in trouble, then Jim’s place was by his side. It was as simple as that.

Kirk greeted each of the crewmembers he passed on his way to Spock’s quarters with a habitual nod or smile of acknowledgement. He didn’t know all of their names; with over four hundred souls on board that wasn’t possible. But he was keenly aware that his ship required each and every person on board to continue running smoothly, and he’d be damned if he treated them like spare parts just because of rank. He didn’t remember until the fifth straight person—a tiny little Ensign, worked in Engineering he was pretty sure—stared back at him in flat-out shock that he remembered that he looked like Spock. That as far as they knew, he was Spock. And smiles, friendly nods . . . well, those were about as common on his first officer as a Klingon on a Federation vessel. For as long as they were stuck like this—just until morning, he had to keep believing that or he’d go out of his mind—he was going to have to act a bit more . . . Spock-like. He could do that.

He felt confident in his decision, in his ability to carry it out, right up until he rounded the next corner and saw her. Uhura was paused in the middle of the corridor, attention absorbed by the PADD she was carrying, and the sight of her had every reason why conversation of any sort should be avoided at all costs leaping into his head at once. He sprang back, noticing on some distant level that this body’s reflexes were significantly faster than his own, and ducked into the nearest open doorway. Rec room two, he noted as he flattened himself on the wall next to the door. Fortuitously empty.

Reflexes weren’t the only thing Vulcans had a leg up on, it seemed. If he closed his eyes and concentrated he realized that he could actually hear when she began to walk again, hear the light, even footsteps and the faint click of her heels against the floor. Beyond that, even as far away as she was, he could smell her. Not a perfume; that was against regulations, and Uhura was a stickler for regs. One of the many reasons, Kirk thought wryly, that she and Spock were such a good match. But no, this was something deeper than a simple fragrance; this was something salty and sharp and sweet, with an underlying whisper of musk. An earthy scent, and either he had noticed it himself subconsciously or Spock’s body was as dominant a force as his mind and personality, because Kirk knew immediately that this was her scent. It was as irrevocably tied to the idea of Nyota Uhura as the sight of her face or the sound of her voice. He could, he realized, pick her out of a crowd by scent alone.

Okay, so he could admit that there were some good points to being stuck in his First Officer’s body. That was just freaking cool.

Could he pick out other people in the same way, he wondered? The idea of heading back to Sickbay and sniffing out Bones, now when he wasn’t quite so distracted, flitted quickly through his mind. Then Uhura passed at last—he could actually hear her muttering under her breath as she worked out the translation in front of her, score one more for superior Vulcan senses—and the whim abandoned him as suddenly as it had appeared.

The corridor of the officers’ quarters was thankfully deserted when he finally made it there, and he managed to relax a fraction. His plan was simple: enter through his own quarters and proceed to Spock’s through their shared bathroom, minimizing the amount of time he’d spend lingering in a public area. He hit a snag, however, as soon as he tried to open his door.

“Unlock, authorization Kirk november oscar whiskey eight-three-seven.”

A chirp, and then instead of the soft hiss of the opening doors, the calm, blank voice of the computer. “Access denied. Voiceprint not accepted.”

Kirk softly cursed his own paranoia and McCoy’s inability to knock for engaging the voice lock option. He should’ve anticipated this; would have, he assured himself, if his mind hadn’t currently been in six places at once. But he hadn’t anticipated, and now he was in the unenviable position of being locked out of his own quarters. McCoy could get him in with a medical override, but beyond the significant lack of appeal of either comming or trudging back down to sickbay, a medical override would show up on the official ship’s log. Unrealistic as it may have been, there was a part of Kirk still hoping that they could get through this entire ordeal with no one the wiser.

He could have opened Spock’s door—the first officer was afforded the unusual privacy of a lock as well, but he rarely engaged the vocal registration and Kirk knew Spock’s authorization code. Still, there seemed something almost unseemly about simply barging in unannounced. He had already taken the Vulcan’s body—unintentionally, and through no fault of his own, but that didn’t change facts—and knowing how important it was to him he’d be damned if he’d strip away Spock’s privacy any further than he absolutely had to.

Instead, he knocked.

There was no answer at first, which wasn’t particularly surprising. He didn’t imagine Spock was much in the mood to see anyone. It wasn’t until he called out his friend’s name that the door finally slid open, and Kirk stepped inside.

It was as cold in Spock’s quarters as it was in the rest of the ship, and Kirk only realized then how he had been looking forward to the usual heat to be found there. He chose to ignore it for the moment, focusing his attention instead on looking for . . . himself. And there he was: his body, but not really him, gold command tunic discarded and folded neatly on the desk, leaving only the thin black t-shirt behind. That body rose from the chair and came to a somewhat stiff parade rest. And wasn’t that just the strangest thing he’d ever seen, because it may have been Kirk’s body but there was no way he’d be able to mistake the set of the shoulders, the carefully blank expression, as anyone other than Spock.

“Captain,” he heard his own voice say blandly, and such a sense of vertigo seized him that he nearly stumbled.

“Fuck me, that’s weird,” he muttered. “I think I need to sit down, if you don’t mind.” He didn’t wait for a response, just moved to the small couch and sat heavily.

“Doctor McCoy has released you from Sickbay?” Spock sounded skeptical, and it was enough to gain a smile.

“Yeah.” Kirk ran a hand over his face—not his hand, not his face, fuck, don’t think about it—and took a deep breath. There was incense burning, and he found that the scent of it calmed him. “I checked out, physically, so there was no reason to hold me. You. Us. Damn it. Anyway, you know all of this, because he let you go, too. Told me you’d already left for your quarters.”

“I saw no reason to linger once I had been released, sir.”

“Oh, please.” Kirk leaned back, suddenly weary. “You’re not really going to ‘sir’ me while you’re wearing my skin, are you?”

That eyebrow twitched again. “I’m finding it helpful to remind myself of your true identity, Captain. Conversing with my own body is proving slightly . . . unnerving.”

“Yeah, I know the feeling.” Kirk rubbed at his temple. “I think it’s giving me a headache. But outside of just avoiding each other until the Noctaens can fix this, I don’t figure we have much choice. It’s only for tonight, so we’re both going to have to just suck it up. Which means you using my first name, all right?”

“Very well,” Spock said after a moment. Then, “It would be in our best interests to discuss the situation with the Noctaens before beaming down . . . Jim.”

“Excellent,” Jim beamed, and sprang up from the couch. “Let’s talk in my quarters, though. There’s a replicator in there, and it seems like being shunted into someone else’s body really takes it out of you; I’m starving.”

“That would be agreeable. I believe I will require more food with a human metabolism than I’m accustomed to.”

“Yeah, mine’s pretty damn high,” Kirk said as they headed through the bathroom. “Drives Bones nuts that I can eat all the crap I do and never gain any weight.”

“That is likely to change as you grow older,” Spock cautioned.

“That’s what Bones keeps telling me. The way I see it that’s all the more reason to enjoy it while I’ve got it. Oh, for fuck’s sake.” The door from the head to his quarters was locked, as well, something that hadn’t occurred to him until they refused to open at his approach. He was about to tell Spock he’d have to deal with it when he heard his own voice smoothly reciting the proper code. Looking over at Spock, he raised his eyebrows. “You just used the captain’s override code.”

“The human propensity for verbally observing an event which has just occurred continues to baffle me.”

Kirk crossed his arms, amused despite himself. “You’re not the captain,” he said pointedly.

Spock raised a single eyebrow, and no, that was just unfair because Jim had never been able to manage that himself, and he’d practiced, damn it. “It appears that I am close enough for the computer, in any case. Nevertheless, I apologize for my presumption.”

Kirk just rolled his eyes and took a step back before starting forward again.

The door to his quarters slid open, and the scent assailed him like a wave that nearly knocked him off his feet. Sharp, potent, it filled his head, his awareness, and god, was this what he smelled like to Spock? A rich, deep scent that called to mind salty skin and the musk of arousal and the sluggish pulse of bright red blood. He could barely think through the force of it, through the wholly unexpected desire to simply stand there and breathe deep.

“Wow,” he said when he was sure he could speak without his voice cracking. “No wonder you prefer your own quarters for our chess games when the rec rooms are busy. I had no idea it smelled like this in here. It’s . . . well, it’s not bad, exactly, but . . .” He trailed off, unable to explain.

“Humans as a species smell more strongly than Vulcans,” Spock said easily, “something that I have always found intriguing given their more blunted sense of smell. Your scent is not unpleasant, but the concentration of it in your quarters has indeed proven distracting in the past. At the moment I can’t detect it at all.”

“Huh,” was all Kirk replied. After the first shock had passed he was able to move easily enough into the room. Spock’s words made him wonder, though. How much of his reaction was based on the body he was in, and how much was his mind’s own interpretation? It was possible that Spock had never been tempted, as Kirk was now, to bury his nose in the sheets of the bed where he knew his scent would be the strongest. It was possible that Spock didn’t even much care for the smell. And it was entirely likely that Spock had never had to deal with the surge of arousal that was trying to rise in Kirk at the moment. Inappropriate and unacceptable, and Vulcan control was something else because as soon as he’d thought that he was able to tamp down whatever physiological reaction was beginning.

“I nearly ran into Uhura on my way here,” he remembered suddenly and said apropos of absolutely nothing, and turned in time to see a shadow of surprise and confusion pass across the other man’s face. “Don’t worry,” he assured him, “I managed to avoid her.”

“Vulcans do not worry.” The reply sounded standard, the sort of thing said without conscious thought. “Assuming, of course, that she was the only one you deliberately evaded, is there any reason you felt the need to avoid the lieutenant specifically?”

“Well yeah, I’d say so.” He shifted uneasily. “It probably wouldn’t take her long to realize something was wrong, and I wasn’t really up to explaining exactly why her boyfriend wasn’t being . . . ah, physically demonstrative.”

“I see. While I commend your discretion, I can assure you that even were we still romantically involved, Lieutenant Uhura has never been so foolhardy as to insist on public displays of affection, especially while on duty.”

“Wait a second. Just hold on. You’re telling me the two of you broke up?”

“Among other things, yes, I am. My apologies; I assumed you knew.”

“Of course I didn’t know! You think I’d just . . . what, ignore the fact that one of my best friends just ended a long-term relationship?” He began to pace in agitation. “Damn it, I don’t know anything about Vulcan protocol here. If you were Bones I’d offer to get you drunk.”

“Yet another reason to be thankful that the doctor and I are in fact two different people,” Spock said dryly, and Kirk couldn’t help laughing.

“Okay, so drinking’s out. Look, I know you’re probably going to turn me down here, but . . . well, if you wanted to talk about it . . .”

“Thank you for the offer, Jim.” Was it his imagination or did Spock’s voice seem just a fraction warmer now? “However, Nyota and I ended our relationship several months ago, as soon as I accepted the position of First Officer aboard the Enterprise.”

“You mean to say the two of you haven’t been together this whole time?”

“That is correct. As her commanding officer, it would have been inappropriate for me to allow the relationship to continue. She is a fine Starfleet officer; she understood and accepted my reasoning, and we have retained our friendship as well as a healthy working relationship.”

Kirk felt like an idiot; nothing new, perhaps, but still not a state that he generally aspired to. “I see.” He took a deep breath and decided it was best to just change the subject entirely. “How about that food then? I feel like I could eat an entire cow, even a replicated one.” He checked himself before moving to the replicator, arrested by Spock’s tight-lipped reaction. “What? What is it?”

“Captain,” he said stiffly, and Kirk mentally groaned. If they were back to ranks there was no chance he was going to like whatever Spock was about to say. “I would remind you that I am a vegetarian. Though your tastes may differ, as it is my body you’re currently inhabiting—”

“Right, right. I get it. No steak.” He sighed, disappointed. “Looks like we’re both eating vegetarian, then. Why don’t you pick something out?”

Spock nodded tightly and crossed to the replicator. “Do you have any preference?”

“Nah, just surprise me.” He deposited himself in his desk chair and began to clear off the surface. “I don’t eat that sort of thing often enough to know if I like or dislike anything in particular. Oh. You’ll probably want to keep away from anything with nuts, though. Or tomatoes. Bananas, sesame seeds, Circassian figs, shellfish . . . I think that covers all the basics.” He grinned and shrugged at the blank look Spock was giving him, somehow recognizable even on his face as astonished disbelief. “Lots of food allergies. Well, lots of allergies in general. You probably ought to talk to Bones for the full list before you eat tomorrow.”

Spock blinked once, then inclined his head. “I will do so.”

It took a few moments of thought before Spock punched in a program. He lifted the dish out and set it in front of Kirk, then turned back and programmed another. Kirk couldn’t help the smug grin that spread across his face in the meantime at the confirmation that his body looked just as good from the back as he had always suspected.

“So what do we have?” Kirk asked when Spock settled across from him with his own food.

“Adaptations of two Vulcan recipes; Mr. Scott assisted me in programming them into the mainframe shortly after our departure from Earth.”

“Adaptations?” Kirk picked up a fork and prodded at his food. It smelled good, at least.

“My mother was fond of Terran foods, and would work them into her cooking whenever possible.” Spock picked up his own fork and took a quick, neat bite. “Possibly because they were what I ate as a child and therefore grew accustomed to, I still prefer the dishes prepared this way. As you can not eat customarily eat tomatoes, I thought that you might enjoy the opportunity now. They compose approximately thirty-four point eight three percent of the mixture inside of the stuffed Favinit blossoms.”

Kirk didn’t know what to say. He was touched, remarkably so, at Spock’s thoughtfulness. In the end he settled for a simple, “Thanks,” and dug in. He paused after the first mouthful, surprised. “This is really good.” He took another bite, savoring the mix of flavors on his tongue. “Vulcan-Terran fusion. Like you; no wonder your mom was so fond of it. And I didn’t think I’d really like vegetarian food.”

“That dish was one of my favorites as a child. It is logical that it would still appeal to my senses even with your consciousness experiencing it.”

“Well, whatever the cause, it’s fantastic. I don’t know if it’s just your tastebuds or what, but really, it’s great.” He tucked in, happy to focus on his food.

“Jim,” Spock said when they had nearly finished, and Kirk did his best to ignore the warmth that spread through him at the use of his given name, “we should discuss the Noctaens and what is to be done about them.”

“To be done?” Kirk took another bite, chewing thoughtfully. “They seemed pretty accommodating before; I figured we’d just go down and explain that we need to be . . .” He gestured vaguely with his fork. “Switched back.”

“I am not referring to our more immediate circumstances. They did indeed seem solicitous of our ease and comfort. Rather, it is my concern that a race that has proved itself so willing to invade and manipulate others’ minds without the consent of those minds might not be a wise addition to the Federation.”

“Well now.” Kirk shifted uneasily in his seat. “You don’t think you might be being a little harsh?”

“Not at all. In fact, I believe the sooner Starfleet is notified the better. Beginning with their assault upon your mind—”

“A simple mistake.”

“—and culminating in somehow shuttling our consciousnesses from one body to another, again without our giving consent—”

“See, that’s the thing,” Kirk interrupted again. “I’ve been thinking it over, and I think I . . . might have. Accidentally.”

Spock went very still, and for an absurd moment Kirk wished Bones were there to document the fact that yes, James T. Kirk’s body was capable of such a feat. “You might have . . . what, exactly?”

“Ah. Given consent. When I was walking with Chancellor Laaen. I didn’t know what he was talking about, I swear! I never would have agreed if I’d known this was going to happen.”

“Then what, precisely, was it that you agreed to?”

Kirk hesitated. Spock had turned down the Noctaens’ offer, and Kirk got the distinct impression that it had had less to do with his captain’s spate of nausea and more to do with Vulcan ideas of privacy. He wouldn’t be happy to know that Kirk now had a front-row seat to his worst fear, whatever it may be.

“They said that you were going to be in trouble soon,” he said carefully, “and that I could help. But that you wouldn’t ask.” All true so far. Technically. “They asked if I would want to help you, and of course I said yes, and then, well . . .” He gestured between the two of them. “This.”

“I see.” Kirk hadn’t known that his own face was capable of such blankness. It was more than a little unsettling.

“Look, it’ll all be fine. We’ll beam down to the Noctaens in the morning, explain what went wrong, they’ll fix it and we’ll be on our way with less than a day’s delay.” He nodded, trying his best to project a confidence that he didn’t quite feel. “Piece of c-cake.”

Blankness gave way to sharp attention. “You are cold.”

Kirk thought about denying it, but immediately rejected the idea as . . . well, illogical. He smiled wryly. “Don’t know how you stand it. This entire ship is freezing, even with the double layers.”

“I am usually able to regulate the loss of body heat through channeled mental control. Computer, raise temperature fifteen point three five degrees.” There was a soft chirp of acknowledgement, and almost immediately the room began to warm.

“You didn’t have to do that,” Kirk protested. “I could’ve just bundled up.”

“That would have been inefficient. This is the standard setting I use for my own quarters. Unfortunately, I now find the temperature too warm to be entirely comfortable. As I am also experiencing firsthand how much more quickly human bodies grow fatigued, I believe I will retire.”

“Probably a good idea.” Kirk stood with him and crossed to the small dresser against the wall, pulling out a worn pair of Academy sweatpants and a t-shirt. “Here,” he grinned. “These ought to fit.”

Spock took the clothes with an air of hesitation. “I will wear these if you prefer it. However, it is my habit to sleep in the nude.”

Kirk would possibly have to make a list of all the ways in which being a Vulcan, even temporarily, was hands-down better than being human. He could not begin to categorize all that he had come to feel for his friend in the time they had known each other, but the sharp, powerful lust that had begun it all had not faded in the intervening months. Normally that lust would have combined with the fact that its object had just requested full access to Kirk’s naked body and rendered him weak, mute, and unmistakably hard. His current body, however, responded immediately to his usually futile attempts at control and his voice didn’t so much as waver.

“However you’re comfortable is fine. I’ve been known to sleep that way from time to time myself.” He considered following Spock’s lead for a moment, and came to an unexpected realization. “Huh. You’d think I’d be exhausted, too, but I feel wide awake.”

“Vulcans require less sleep than humans,” Spock reminded him, handing back the bundle of clothes. “You are unlikely to need rest tonight, as I slept for approximately six point four two hours prior to our last visit to the planet.”

“Approximately?” Kirk snorted.

“Yes. More precisely—”

“It’s all right, Spock, I get the idea. Go get some rest.”

He clapped the other man on the shoulder, and the edge of his smallest finger brushed against the exposed skin where the short shirtsleeve ended. Delicious coolness there, soothing and enticing for all of a spit second before what felt like an electric spark sizzled at the point of contact. Kirk jerked his hand back quickly and laughed, slightly unnerved.

“The heat must be drying out the air. Got a bit of a shock there.” He rubbed at his finger and stepped back against every instinct that he possessed, all of which were urging him instead to go closer. “Good night, Spock.”

“Good night, Jim,” the other man nodded, and turned on his heel, the only sound thereafter the quiet hiss of the door opening and closing behind him.

“Fuck,” Kirk groaned under his breath.

He had been counting on sleep to help pass the time until morning. He hated waiting, loathed forced inactivity, but there was nothing that he could do about their situation. Nothing until the planet’s morning, which would come approximately halfway through Alpha shift. And in the meantime he was left with hours to fill in a cabin filled with a scent that made his mouth water, and unfettered access to the body that had been haunting his nights almost since he had seen it.

Kirk wanted to take the opportunity that fate had given him by way of a society of meddling, well-intentioned telepaths. He wanted to strip the uniform away and discover what was underneath. He wanted to examine every inch of flesh while he had the opportunity. He wanted, he wanted, he wanted, he wanted.

But what he wanted was irrelevant. He didn’t have permission to do with Spock’s body what he wished, and the thought of violating his friend’s trust in such a way brought with it an almost physical sense of disgust. He’d been keeping his hands to himself for what felt like ages already; he’d just have to keep exercising that same self-control.

Might as well catch up on some of the reports he’d let pile up while he’d been busy—procrastinating—with the Noctaens. Reasoning that such voluntary productivity called for a reward of some kind, he crossed to the replicator and punched in a familiar code. He had assembled three separate slices of chocolate cake, a peach cobbler and an uttaberry crepe before accepting that there was nothing wrong with the machine. It was him; his new tongue, it seemed, could not detect the taste of sugar.

He sat down with a cup of tea—coffee was too strong a taste to be palatable—and his work with a rueful sigh. Apparently there were down sides to being Vulcan, after all.

 

 

Part 3

Chapter Text

Title: Through Blind Men's Eyes
Author: [info]ladyblahblah 
Fandom: Star Trek Reboot
Pairing: Spock/Kirk
Rating: eventual NC-17; Bones and Jim have dirty mouths, so possibly R for language at this point
Disclaimer: You think I own anything?  Have you seen my car?  Nothing is mine but the Noctaens and the plot, but I'm pretty sure no one's gonna fight me on that.
A/N: Another part so soon?  WTF?  Massive thanks to everyone who's been reading so far.  I swear, the fun stuff is going to start . . . soonish.  Eventually.  Is it mean to look forward to character torture this much?  Eh, whatever.  As always, thoughts (or telepathy) indicated by italics.
Summary: The obligatory Pon Farr story . . . with a bit of a twist.

 

Part 1Part 2

 

 

 

They ate together again in the morning, another set of dishes that Spock selected.  A part of Jim missed the social whirl of the commissary at breakfast—solitude was the entire reason he tended to avoid the officer’s mess like the plague—but he didn’t much relish the thought of dealing with the crew’s reaction to whatever had happened to the two of them.  And he certainly couldn’t fault his company.  Spock had retrieved fresh clothing from Kirk’s room and somehow managed to walk out of the ‘fresher looking every bit as starched and pressed as he usually did in his own body, Kirk’s flyaway hair persistent stubble be damned.

“How’d you sleep?” Kirk asked as they started on their food.

“Soundly, I believe,” Spock said after a moment’s consideration.  “I trust your night was satisfactorily productive.”

“More or less.  Sort of boring, actually.  What do you usually do all night?”

“I have several experiments running in the science labs that require my attention, and I am occasionally scheduled for a Gamma shift rotation.  I also meditate.”

“Huh.  Pretty much all of that is out for me.  I wouldn’t even know how to begin meditating, or what experiments you’re running at the moment, and we’re neither of us cleared for duty yet, obviously.  Honestly, I never thought we’d make it to ship’s morning.”

Spock sipped at his tea.  “Though I realize it may be cold comfort, I confess that I found the amount of sleep that I required to be unsettlingly excessive.  So much time that could otherwise be devoted to more productive pursuits.”

“Just a regular human frailty,” Kirk shrugged.  “I’d take a good night’s sleep over that productivity any day.  Though I did get quite a bit done,” he mused.  “I have a pile of datachips with finished reports I’d like you to look over when you get a chance.  I’d appreciate your input before I sign off on them.”

“Certainly.  I will review them when we return from our trip planetside.”

“All right, good.  Oh, you’ll want to check your message log, too; there’s a bit of a backlog from last night, including a message from your father.  I thought about waking you, but it wasn’t marked as particularly urgent.”

Spock blinked at him once, twice.  “May I ask, Jim, how you managed to intercept a personal communiqué from my father?”

“Not just that one; all of your messages.”  Kirk shrugged.  “I figured we didn’t really want the bridge crew paging down to your quarters and finding me there.  Well, what looked like me, anyway.  So I hacked the comms station and had all messages directed to you rerouted here instead.”  He grinned at the astonishment in Spock’s blue eyes.  “I told you I got bored.  The admin work only took up a couple of hours, and I had to entertain myself somehow.”

“Indeed.”  Spock considered his food thoughtfully.

“I only looked at the subject lines, I didn’t so much as peek at any of the contents,” Kirk assured him.

“I would never have considered that you would,” Spock said with quiet confidence, and Kirk willed down a blush.

“Right.  Well.”  He wiped at his mouth and rose.  “I’m going to take a quick shower.  You can use the console in here if you want to check any of those messages.  Then we should have time for a quick check-in with Bones before we head planetside.”  He nodded and rose without waiting for a response, heading immediately for the bathroom.

He didn’t even realize that he had forgotten to grab a fresh uniform until he saw Spock’s science blues neatly folded by the sink.  He was grateful for his first officer’s foresight, but at the same time he was suddenly aware, as he hadn’t been a moment before, that he was going to have to remove what he was wearing now.  That he would be alone with Spock’s naked body.  Just the thought was almost enough to get him hard, and he gripped the edge of the sink in frustration.  This was ridiculous.  He hadn’t found his sexual impulses this difficult to control since he was sixteen.  He was an adult now, a starship captain, and he wasn’t going to act like a horny teenager just because . . .

He stared into the mirror.  Dark brown eyes stared back from beneath straight black bangs.  Sharp cheekbones, pale skin.  Pointed ears that flushed green at the tips when he let his control slip just the tiniest bit.  He squeezed those eyes closed and breathed deeply.  He could handle this.  He would handle this.  He only had to make it through the next few hours and then it would all be over and he could go back to locking this all away, the attraction and the affection and the need.

Right.  First thing was first—he had to relieve himself.  Refusing to blush, he swiftly undid the front of his trousers.  Nothing embarrassing here, it was all completely natural.  It wasn’t an invasion of privacy to look, it was necessary.  Just as it was necessary to touch, just the barest grip of fingertips on unfamiliar flesh.  If he noticed the size and shape of what he held that could hardly be helped; if the differences between that and his own body registered it was only to be expected.  He kept his mind as blank as possible as he finished and stripped off the rest of his clothes, and pointedly didn’t look down at himself.

Sonics rather than water, as it would eliminate the need for scrubbing or really touching himself at all.  Instead he let the bursts of energy knock the dirt from his skin, his hair, hands braced against the shower wall and eyes tightly closed against anything that he might see.  He finished quickly, dressed just as rapidly.  A comb through his hair was hardly necessary; the strands fell into place almost on their own.  He took a deep breath to shore up his control and stepped back into his quarters.

Spock flicked off the console and rose from his seat at the desk.  Kirk thought that he might be imagining things, but there looked to be a line of tension in his shoulders that hadn’t been there before.

“Everything all right?” he asked, straightening out his cuffs.  “Not bad news from your dad, was it?”

“No.”  His shoulders straightened even farther, something that Kirk hadn’t thought possible.  “He simply expressed a desire for me to visit the new colony if I was able to arrange for leave.  If you’re ready, we can proceed to Sickbay.”

“Yeah, sure, I’m set.”  They set off, strides matched as always.  “You know, if you want to go I can arrange some time for you,” he said a moment later.  “You certainly have it stored up, since you never take full advantage of shore leave.  Just let me know when you make your decision and I’ll work it out.”

“Thank you.  I will consider it further when we return to the Enterprise.”

And that was the end of it.  Kirk recognized that Vulcan tone as one that closed a conversation and had long since stopped taking offense.  They walked the rest of the way in silence, both of them lost in their own thoughts.  Sickbay was quiet when they reached it, and Doctors McCoy and M’Benga were waiting for them.

They ran through the standard protocols for heading planetside and Kirk managed to deflect Bones’s attempts to drag out their stay with more tests.  Their request for an audience with Chancellor Laaen had been received and acknowledged, and all he wanted was to get down there and get things fixed as quickly as possible.  It cost him promising his friend a full hour in Sickbay on their return and at least half a day’s additional medical leave for ‘psychological recovery’, but he managed to extract them in just over twenty minutes.

“So, I have a conundrum, Mr. Spock,” he remembered on their way to the transporter room, and suppressed a smile at the single eyebrow quirked in response.  He really would have to figure out how to do that when this was all over; it looked damn good on him.

“A conundrum, Captain?” Spock asked smoothly.

“Yeah.  See, after you left last night I thought I’d have a little bit of dessert.  Nothing fancy, just cake.  You never told me you couldn’t process the taste of anything sweet, by the way.”

“It never seemed pertinent to the subject at hand.  I presumed you had noticed that I never consumed sweets.  This was your . . . conundrum?”

Kirk laughed.  “No, not exactly.  My conundrum has to do with a sort of an urban legend that circulated around the Academy, about Vulcans and chocolate.”  He glanced at Spock.  “I’m guessing you know the rumor?”

“I assume you are referring to that of chocolate acting as an intoxicant on Vulcan physiology.  If there is another, I confess that I am unaware of it.”

“That’s the one,” Kirk nodded.  “The thing is, I had several bites of chocolate cake—I kept replicating new pieces until I figured out why it wasn’t tasting right—and I didn’t get even the tiniest bit buzzed.  So tell me, is there any truth to the story?”

“Chocolate does indeed act on our bodies in much the same way that alcohol affects humans,” Spock said easily.  “However, it would take more than even several full pieces of the replicator’s chocolate cake to reach a recognizable state of intoxication, just as several swallows of a low-alcohol content drink would inhibit you less than a single swallow of Romulan ale.  Generally speaking, the higher the cocoa content the stronger the chocolate’s effect.”

“Huh.  But how do you even get past the taste?  Without the sugar, chocolate kind of sucks.”

“It is . . . an acquired taste,” Spock admitted.

Jim was silent for a moment as he considered.  Then, “So a bite of really dark chocolate would be like doing a shot?”

“Essentially accurate, yes.”

Kirk couldn’t have possibly helped himself.  Granted, he didn’t try too terribly hard.  He fixed Spock with the raised eyebrow that he had practiced in the mirror and said, “Fascinating.”

He might have imagined the flash of amusement in Spock’s eyes, but he doubted it.  

“It’s settled then.  When this is all over, you and I are celebrating.  We’ve got that mandatory medical leave to look forward to, so it’ll be brandy for me and dark chocolate for you.  We’re not far from a Betazoid outpost; I hear they have stuff so dark that’s it's not even palatable to most humans.”

They reached the transporter room before Spock could respond, and Kirk did his level best to school his face into Spock’s customary blankness.  Ensign Siragher from the Engineering department was at the controls, standing next to a member of Spock’s science team.  Both women saluted as they entered.

“Sirs.”  Siragher moved back to the control panel, her hands flying as she ran a final diagnostic check.  “As per protocol, you’ll be beaming down this time directly into the Chancellor’s audience chamber.”

“The only problem with that,” the other woman—Lieutenant Hood, Kirk thought, but wouldn’t have sworn to it—said, “is that the audience chamber is underwater.  The temperature should be comfortable enough, but you’ll need to wear these.”  She stepped forward and handed over a pair of complicated-looking plastic masks.  “Designed off of a prototype from Deneva.  These will fit around your nose and mouth, here,” she said, pointing to indicate.  “They’re equipped with canisters of argon and other trace elements.  Nitrogen and oxygen will be pulled from the water around you, and the carbon dioxide you produce is captured and recycled here.  Not recommended for indefinite use, but perfectly safe for up to twelve hours.”

“These will take the place of your usual communicators,” Ensign Siragher took over smoothly as the Lieutenant stepped back, handing over a pair that seemed identical to the ones clipped to her commanding officers’ belts.  “As you know, all Starfleet communicators are designed to withstand total immersion.  However, as it will be impossible to verbally request beamup when you’ve finished, these will function as an automatic beacon.  They’re set to an empty frequency that we’ll be monitoring here,” she said with a gesture at the console.  “All you need to do is open a channel and we’ll beam you back aboard.  Your personal communicators will be your failsafe in case something goes wrong with these.  Not that it will,” she amended hastily.  "Sir."  Her face flushed as red as her hair and Lieutenant Hood visibly smothered a grin.

“If you’ll put your masks on, sirs, and get into position?” she prompted.

Kirk had never felt so lucky as he did in that moment, never so grateful for his crew as he did when he realized he was going to be able to get away with nothing more than a single terse nod.  God bless Starfleet efficiency.  He quashed the urge to attempt to communicate the sentiment to his first officer with a look—not a very Spock thing to do, that—and settled his mask into place.

“Energizing,” the ensign said, her fingers flying over the controls, “in three . . . two . . . one . . .”

The last thing Kirk noticed before the world went fuzzy was the undisguised relief on Siragher’s and Hood’s faces that they had managed themselves so well.  He smiled behind his mask.

That smile was blasted from his face the instant they materialized.  Being suddenly immersed in water was a disquieting sensation under the best of circumstances; it was not dissimilar to experiencing zero-g, his body simply floating tranquilly in the mass of pitch-black water.  He couldn’t see a thing, couldn’t sense his first officer’s presence or absence, couldn’t begin to tell if there was anyone there at all or if he was completely and utterly alone.  He couldn’t even tell in which direction the surface lay, or if there was a surface at all.  Under normal conditions he would already have been severely uncomfortable.

This was inarguably, immeasurably worse.

Vulcans, as it turned out, did not like being wet.

The water pressed in all around him, surrounding him, enclosing him.  There was no escape from it, no remedy for the feel of it against his skin, soaking through the fabric of his uniform.  It felt like insects crawling over his entire body, but he couldn’t brush them off, couldn’t rid himself of the horrible creeping slithering sensation no matter how he squirmed and twisted.  Panic began to lick at the edges of his mind, threatening to consume him entirely.

Be easy, Captain.
  The gentle voices spread through him like light, soothing him almost immediately.  The water against his skin no longer bothered him, and the panic died a quiet and uneventful death.  We have blocked the sensation that you find unpleasant, though it has necessitated shallow intrusion into your mind.  As we are aware of your unease with such measures, we will withdraw should you prefer it.

No! Kirk thought immediately.  No, that’s . . . thank you.  Your kindness is acknowledged and appreciated, he added in the traditional phrase.

Lights began to glimmer faintly around him, golden light that filtered softly through the water.  Ripples and currents pushed and tugged at him as Noctaens swam by carrying large chunks of fluorescent and phosphorescent rock.  In moments there were enough to cast dim illumination around the small chamber that they found themselves in.  Spock floated at his right, apparently at his ease, and in front of them was the surprisingly familiar ghostly form of Chancellor Laaen.  He lit up luminously golden as the light filtered softly through translucent flesh.

Again, our apologies.  His eyes fluttered; Kirk could feel the faint vibration from the movement against his face.  We should have been better prepared, but we received your request quite late, and we had been given to understand that your visit yesterday would be your last.  Has there been some problem with your departure?

Kirk didn’t know quite how to respond, his mind too busy racing with the countless ways in which he could answer.  Too many problems for him to count, too many to possibly list, all flooded through him at once.  There were startled motions from the Noctaens all around him.

I see, said Chancellor Laaen.  We seem to have been . . . mmm, speaking at cross-purposes?  What an odd phrase.  But yes . . . yes, I can see the applicability.  You did not expect such a thing as we have done.

Not even remotely.
  Kirk tried to keep his thoughts firm.  He didn’t hear Spock chiming in, and wondered if her were a party to this conversation or not.  From the way his concentration seemed fixed on the Chancellor, Kirk rather thought not.  And we need you to undo whatever it is you’ve—

Apologies, Captain Kirk, Laaen broke in, but the tone of his thoughts was distinctly less conciliatory than it had been before.  I must inquire as to what you did expect, then.  When we offered you the opportunity to stand for the one you esteem so highly, the one that, yes, we can see how you hold him above all others.  When we offered, you accepted.  How did you expect to shield him if not by standing in his place?

It wasn’t easy to shift nervously with one’s entire body suspended in water, but Kirk did his best.  I didn’t really expect anything, he admitted.  It happened too quickly for me to be able to formulate an opinion.

Such is our nature.  Once a decision is reached, action swiftly follows.  Perhaps we should have allowed you time to consider the idea, but time was in somewhat short supply.

Kirk’s stomach dropped.  What do you mean?

Do you recall my words to you, Captain?  You are to stand for him in the face of his worst fear, to keep him from falling to it.  To save him.

I remember.  Unease was settled heavily in his chest.  Don’t suppose his worst fear was getting drenched, was it?

A flicker of sad amusement.  I regret to say that the trial is yet to come, though it approaches swiftly.

You keep saying that.  What do you mean?  What approaches, and when?

I can not tell you, Laaen said with genuine regret.  Such a revelation is not our right.  You must now choose, Captain.  Whether you will hold your ground despite your blindness or allow what is to come.  There is no shame in either choice.  Should you wish it, we will reverse what we have done and allow you to return to yourself.

Damn it, I need more than that!  More than half-baked promises and prophecies.  Can’t you give me anything concrete?

All I may say is that the time approaches when both your fears—yours and your First Officer’s—will come to pass.  Mr. Spock’s life will soon be in danger.  You would take this opportunity, would you not?  He will stand alone in this otherwise, should you decide to—

What kind of danger?  If this is a threat—

No threat, Captain, I assure you.  The danger comes not from us, but from within himself.  In deference to your notions of . . . privacy, yes?  Yes.  In deference to this notion, I can say no more.  How strange, this concept, how limiting to keep so much hidden away.  But again, this is our own view of the universe.  The peril he faces is one in which you would be equipped to aid him, but he will not ask.  Indeed, he will not speak at all until it is too late.  This we have seen.  The signs are there for you to read as well if you would only see them.  So I ask again.  Would you face his fear for him, and stand in his stead?

Dead.  Spock dead.  Could he bear that?  Leave him to mortal danger, his to face alone simply because Kirk couldn’t . . .

I will,
he replied firmly.

Though it means remaining as you are? Laaen pressed.  Though it may well mean your own death?

I’ll risk it.  I’ll risk anything.

Wonder and delight.  You truly would.  It has been an honor to know you, Captain.  Knowledge and peace be yours.

May such blessings find you in turn, Kirk responded automatically, trying to ignore the funereal sound of the ritual words.  He shot a look over at Spock, who nodded his readiness to depart.  Thank you for your assistance.  He paused for a moment.  When whatever’s going to happen happens . . . assuming I’m successful, how will we . . .

If you like, you may return to us here and we will set things right.  However, your First Officer is also capable of reversing the effects of our gift.  It may be well to remember, should the burden prove too great.

Spock can do it?  Kirk frowned.  Then why hasn’t he said so?

He may not be aware.  Or he may find the cost to be higher than he wishes to pay.

Kirk considered that, then with a terse nod flipped open his communicator.  From the corner of his eye he saw Spock do the same, and moments later they found themselves standing on the transporter pad, pulling off their masks as water pooled on the floor beneath their feet.

Bones was waiting for them, his eyes locked on Spock, but a full-body shudder from Kirk had the hopeful smile fading from his face.

“Dismissed, Ensign,” he said sharply to the woman still at the controls.  “I’ll take care of them from here.  And get a maintenance team in here to deal with this water.”

She saluted quickly and hightailed it from the room as fast as dignity allowed.  Kirk couldn’t blame her; the entire crew had been witness to that particular expression on their CMO’s face at one time or another by now, and it never meant anything good.  At the moment, however, the ensign could have stripped naked and danced like an Orion slave girl and Kirk wouldn’t have cared.  The Noctaen presence was gone from his mind, and he was dripping wet.

“Towel,” he gasped as soon as the three of them were alone, snatching at the terrycloth McCoy threw at him in such desperation that he almost missed.  He began scrubbing at himself immediately, desperate to get dry.  “Why the hell didn’t you warn me, Spock?”  He applied the towel to his hair, which was currently dripping unpleasantly down the back of his neck.  “That was the most awful . . . oh, god am I glad I opted for sonics this morning.  Never again.  The feel of it all over like that . . .”  He shuddered violently again.

“What the hell is going on?” McCoy demanded.

“Water, Bones.  An entire freaking cave full of water, and someone’s First Officer neglected to mention a possible negative reaction to being Vulcan and suddenly plunged into a damned underground lake!”

“On the contrary, Captain, we were not plunged, but rather materialized directly inside—”

“However we got there, the fact is you didn’t tell me you hated water so—”

“At the time it did not seem relevant—”

“—the fact that I nearly had a panic attack is really—”

“SHUT UP!”  They both fell silent at McCoy’s bellow.  He was staring furiously back and forth between the two of them.  “I’m not,” he bit off, “talking about the water.  I’m talking about you.  I thought you were going down there to get this fixed.”

“Yeah.”  Kirk shot a glance at Spock.  “There was a bit of a . . . hiccup.”

“A hiccup?” McCoy repeated ominously.

“The Noctaens could not reverse the effects,” Spock replied.

“They couldn’t fucking reverse it?”  McCoy’s shout of outrage kept Spock from noticing the shocked look on his captain’s face.  “Why the hell not?”

“They claim that there is no way; that it must run its natural course.”  Spock’s hands linked behind his back, and his lips thinned, his posture growing even more ramrod straight.  “Attempts to determine what that course might be proved . . . fruitless.”

Kirk’s thoroughly expected surge of guilt was quickly drowned in curious speculation.  “They did mention another possibility,” he said, still trying to soak up the last bits of moisture that clung to his body.  Both other men turned to him, and he raised an inquiring eyebrow.  “According to them, you could reverse the effects yourself, Spock.”

“How?” McCoy asked, looking skeptical.  “Another one of his melds, I assume?”

“Dunno.  Probably.  Which I guess sort of means I’d be the one doing it, but since I normally have the esper rating of a turnip he’d have to help me along.  But I’d bet between the two of us—”

“No.”  For a moment Spock looked as surprised at his interruption as the others, before his face schooled itself back into tranquil blankness.  “As you have said, you are unpracticed in such a field.  I would hesitate to entrust our mutual safety to my ability to guide you through the process as I myself am without a solid base of knowledge and experience.  The attempt is not worth the risk.”

Kirk studied him for a moment.  It was all very sound.  Very logical.  And yet . . . yet.  Unformed suspicions clouded his mind, but he pushed them away.  Time enough for that later.

“So what, we just wait it out?”  McCoy threw up his hands.  “That’s just peachy.  The ship’s two commanding officers are compromised in a way that nothing in the regs even begins to cover, but let’s just hang around and see if it fixes itself!”

“If you are finished with your hysterics, Doctor, there is an alternate solution.”

“We’re all ears,” Kirk said before McCoy could let loose the righteous rant that he could see building.  Spock quirked an eyebrow but didn’t question the phrasing.

“The healers on New Vulcan should have both the experience and the skill to return us to our normal states.  With your permission, I will speak to my father and request that he make arrangements.”

“Hmm.”  Kirk turned the idea over in his head.  While he had no intention of letting anyone reverse anything, it still seemed like a decent enough plan.  If something did happen, if Spock really was in danger, then it certainly wouldn’t hurt to be in close proximity to the people who could best help him.  “It sounds workable.  In any case, the Noctaens were our last hope of keeping Command out of this particular loop.  We’ll have to notify them of the, ah, situation, and get permission to detour to New Vulcan.  I’ll set up a call to Pike; Spock, contact your father and see if he can’t ease our way there a bit.

“Bones,” he said, turning to his friend, “I’ll have to owe you that hour in Sickbay.  I need you to set up a briefing for the senior staff at 1600.  We need to figure out who’s going to be minding the store while Spock and I are indisposed.  Spock, meet me in my quarters in thirty minutes.  I’m going to go change my clothes.”  He couldn’t suppress another shudder when a stray drop of water slid down his side.  “Water,” he muttered in irritation, wincing when his boots squelched as he walked to the corridor.

“I suppose you fared just fine,” he heard McCoy say behind him.

“Indeed.  I found our surroundings to be quite refreshing,” Spock replied calmly.

Kirk scowled, and stalked off to get dry.

 

 

Part 4

Chapter Text

Title: Through Blind Men's Eyes
Author: [info]ladyblahblah 
Fandom: Star Trek Reboot
Pairing: Spock/Kirk
Rating: eventual NC-17; Bones and Jim have dirty mouths, so possibly R for language at this point
Disclaimer: You think I own anything?  Have you seen my car?  Nothing is mine but the Noctaens and the plot, but I'm pretty sure no one's gonna fight me on that.
A/N: I appear to have been bitten by some sort of radioactive productivity bug and plan to ride with it until the fever sets in.  I had a great deal of fun with this part, as Christopher Pike is a BAMF.  True story.  Oh, and BTW, someone who commented on the last section made a pretty good guess.  But I'm not gonna say who it was, mwahahahahaha!  As always, thoughts (or telepathy) indicated by italics.
Summary: The obligatory Pon Farr story . . . with a bit of a twist.

 

Part 1Part 2Part 3

 

 

 

 

Kirk was sitting in front of his console when Spock walked in through their shared bathroom.  He motioned his First Officer over, not looking up until Spock had come to stand at his shoulder.  His entire body, previously tense enough to snap into pieces, seemed to sigh in relief at his friend’s presence.  Degree by slow degree he relaxed, and only when he felt like some semblance of his usual equilibrium had returned did he turn to smile wryly at his own body standing behind him.

“Pike will be contacting us any minute now.  He was in the middle of a meeting when I called.”  He ran a hand over his face.  “Did you manage to contact your dad?”

“I did,” Spock confirmed.  “He was expecting a response to last night’s communiqué.  Though he was unprepared to see me in such a state, he has offered his assistance in getting our orders changed to New Vulcan.  There will be Healers waiting to return us to our usual states upon our arrival.”  He hesitated for a moment, then, “If it would not be inconvenient, I would like to request that the leave time you previously offered to secure be made available then.  I should like to spend some time in . . . recuperation.”

“Yeah, of course, I’ll do what I can.”  He would have to have a good look at the duty roster, he thought, to figure out how best to cover Spock’s absence.  Just the thought of it, and of having to do without his First Officer, was making his head hurt.  “I’m sure Command will understand the need for both of us to have a little bit of time off.”

The console gave a loud, insistent chirp, startling them both.  Kirk swallowed nervously.

“That’ll be Pike.”  He pulled up the call information to confirm in any case.

“So it would seem.”

“Right.”  Vulcan palms apparently didn’t sweat, but Kirk was itching to rub them over his pants in any case.  “Ready?”

“I believe the saying is, ‘as I shall ever be’.”  A hand came to rest lightly, briefly on Kirk’s shoulder.  He allowed himself a single moment to savor the sensation, then reached out and accepted the call.

“Ki—Commander Spock.”  Surprise and confusion were clear on Admiral Pike’s face as he took in the face in front of him.  “I’m sorry, my assistant gave me the impression that the Captain had called,” he said, his eyes flickering to the standing figure.

“Well, she wasn’t wrong,” Kirk said with a weak attempt at his usual grin.  “We have a bit of a situation here, Admiral.”

The next forty minutes were the closest thing Kirk could imagine to Hell at the moment without the entire conversation also being held underwater.  It took half that time for Pike to wrap his mind around so much as the concept of the problem, that the commanding officers of the ‘Fleet’s flagship had suddenly woken up in each other’s bodies.  The second half he spent demanding answers that neither of them were equipped to give.  By the time Spock told him that the Noctaens were apparently unable to reverse the switch—and Kirk still refused to feel guilty about that—the vein in Pike’s forehead was throbbing dangerously.

“Spock, you’re sure your Healers will be able to fix this?” he demanded, his fingers laced so tightly together on the desk that his knuckles had turned white.

“It is, of course, only theoretical,” Spock replied, and Kirk had to restrain the urge to kick him when Pike’s face started turning red.  It was hell trying to convince his Vulcan that honesty was not always the best policy.  “However,” he continued, “as the Noctaens informed Captain Kirk that I had the capability to return us to ourselves, I have every confidence that the trained Healers at the colony will be able to do the same.  Our natural state is to have body and consciousness united; I theorize that it should only require a bridge of sorts between our minds to rectify the situation.”

“But you’re not confident enough in that theory to attempt it yourself,” Pike said shrewdly.  It hadn’t been a question, but Spock inclined his head in any case.

“As I explained to Doctor McCoy, I do not have sufficient experience to ensure the Captain’s safety.  As I am still a Starfleet officer it is a risk that I can not, in good conscience, take.”

“Spock, did anyone ever tell you your flawless logic is a real pain in the ass?”  Kirk burst out laughing, and Pike winced.  “That’s just . . . disturbing.  Try to keep your amusement to yourself, Jim, or at least give me a little bit of warning next time.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Now I—hold on a minute,” he cut himself off when the chirp of an incoming message on his end interrupted.  He glanced away, eyes darting back and forth as he read whatever had appeared on his other monitor.  Wry amusement overtook his face and he turned back to his conversation with the Enterprise.  “Well, gentleman, it seems I’m to pass on your new orders,” he said dryly.  “As luck would have it, Ambassador Sarek has requested an official Federation presence at the new Vulcan colony to officiate the opening of the new Earth Embassy.”

“That sounds like a job almost tailor-made for Starfleet’s flagship, Admiral.”

“Don’t be a smartass, Kirk.”

“Yes, sir.”

“You’ll report to the colony with all due haste.”  He leaned forward.  “You know, this wasn’t necessary.  I’d have pushed through permission for you do what you had to to fix this mess.”

“Yes, sir.”  Kirk sat up straighter in his chair.  “But, with all due respect, there was every chance that one or more of the other admirals in the ‘Fleet might have had objections.  Especially those who might have expressed reservations, in the past, towards the idea of turning control of such an important vessel over to such a relatively young and inexperienced crew.  And as Commander Spock’s father had already commed his son on an unrelated matter, it seemed prudent to take advantage of the opportunity.”

Pike gave a hum of acknowledgement.  “Your ass is covered, don’t worry.  Now, clearly the Ambassador knows about your . . . predicament.  Who else?  Have you informed the crew yet?”

“No, sir.  Only Doctors McCoy and M’Benga are aware of the situation, and it wasn’t so much that we told them as they told us.”  He grinned briefly.  “Tough to say who was more surprised when I woke up in Sickbay, me or Bones.  We have a meeting with the senior staff scheduled at 1600 to fill them in on what’s going on.”

“All right, then.  That gives us—”  He checked his chronometer.  “—thirty minutes to figure out who the hell’s going to be running the ‘Fleet’s pride and joy.”

“I hope to god Bones thought to brief everyone,” Kirk said as they headed for Briefing Room A after Pike had signed off.  “That’s not a conversation I want to have ever, ever again.  We switched bodies; it’s not that difficult a concept to grasp, is it?”

“Jim, the basics of what has happened to us exists so far from the realm of rational thought that I count us fortunate that none of those who have been exposed to the situation have suffered any sort of a mental break.”

Kirk laughed despite himself.  “I suppose you have a point.  Still, once you’ve dealt with time-traveling Romulans and been shunted into an alternate timeline it seems like it would take more than this to phase you.”

He was sure this time that he hadn’t imagined the twitch at the corner of Spock’s mouth.  “Indeed,” was all he said, however, and they slowed as one as they approached the briefing room.

“Right,” Kirk muttered.  “Round two.”

He was grateful to Bones the second they stepped into the room, when they were met by five pairs of eyes staring in a blatant mix of concern and curiosity.  McCoy must have taken care of the worst of it, then.

“I’m guessing you’ve all been caught up to speed,” he said, and took the chair at the head of the table.  Spock seated himself to his right, and Kirk watched the entire bridge crew go ashen.

“Oh god, it’s really true,” Uhura said quietly.  She looked, Kirk thought, as though she were caught somewhere between screaming and laughing.  “I was sort of hoping this was some weird prank McCoy was pulling.”

“Despite his admitted flair for the dramatic,” Spock said, “the likelihood of Doctor McCoy abusing his status as the Chief Medical Officer aboard this vessel is so negligible as to be not worth mentioning.”

They all stared harder at that.  “They . . . the keptin sounds like . . . and Mr. Spock . . .”

“Aye.”  Scotty had apparently gotten some sort of sense from Chekov’s broken sputterings and agreed with him.  “You know, I knew when I signed up that this ship wouldn’t ever be boring.  It’s nice to be proven right.”  He didn’t sound like he believed himself.

“What were you saying about a mental break?” Kirk muttered to his First Officer and reached up to rub at his temple.

“That is so weird,” Sulu said absently, his attention rooted on the visible display of emotion that Kirk was giving him.  “It’s like they—”

“Switched bodies?” Kirk said harshly.  He sat up straighter in his chair and watched his officers do the same.  “Was I wrong in assuming that you had all been briefed on the situation?”

“No, Captain,” came the quiet chorus, and he nodded once, decisively.

“Good.  You all have permission to freak the fuck out as soon as you’re off duty.  For now, though, I need you to behave like the seasoned Starfleet professionals I know are in there somewhere while we figure out how to handle this.”  He sat back again.  “Mr. Spock?”

“Command has ordered our immediate deployment to New Vulcan in a display of goodwill and support,” Spock took over seamlessly.  “At Warp three we should be able to reach our destination in just over two days, barring any unforeseen complications.  Mr. Chekov, the file has been routed to your station.  When our meeting has concluded, you will familiarize yourself and brief the crew at large before you plot a course for the colony.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Prior to discharging our duties, the Captain and I will visit with a group of Vulcan Healers in order to reverse our current condition.  However, as far as the crew is concerned, this is a purely diplomatic mission.  Per Admiral Pike’s orders, that is to remain the official report on record.”

“I want that to be clear as Tallonian crystal,” Kirk said firmly.  “Spock and I will do our best to keep a low profile on the way to New Vulcan, but if anyone starts to circulate rumors it’s your job to quash them.  It’s been made very clear to me, and I’m making it very clear to you, that the only people with the security clearance to know about this situation are in this room right now, with the single exception of Doctor M’Benga.”  He turned to McCoy.  “He’s your responsibility, Bones.  You make damn sure he knows that this is to be kept under wraps.”

“Yeah, I got it, Jim.”

“Now.  Ship’s business.”  He nodded at Spock, and his First took up the reins as though he had never relinquished them.

“Due to some confusion as to which of us is to be legally acknowledged as captain of this ship, we have been taken out of the equation entirely.  Captain Kirk and I will be on mandatory medical leave for the duration of our voyage.  You may tell the crew that we have both contracted a heretofore unknown illness on Lambda Noctae Prime.  This disease does not appear to be contagious, but some amount of caution is advised insofar as avoiding prolonged contact with an infected crewmember.  Mr. Scott, you will be in command of the Enterprise until such time as we are able to resume our duties.”

The engineer swallowed heavily and nodded.  “Aye, sir.”

“Mr. Sulu, this in turn places you as second in line for command of the Enterprise.  As such, you may be required to present yourself for duty at a moment’s notice.  If you do not feel yourself fit or prepared for such responsibility, I would advise you to take the necessary steps to rectify your status.”

Sulu started to turn Vulcan green at that, but he bobbed his head quickly.  “Yes, sir,” he managed.  Kirk saw Chekov nudge his friend in silent congratulations and fought down the urge to smile.

“Lieutenant Uhura.”  She came to rigid attention, her expression as serious as any Kirk had ever seen on Spock’s face.  “It goes without saying that this ship’s security has been endangered.  We will be down our two most senior officers for the two point three seven days that it will take us to reach the colony, thus leaving us extremely vulnerable.  Increased vigilance will be required to provide us with the earliest possible alert of any potential threats.  You will need your very best staff on deck for all shift rotations.”

“I’ll work out a new roster immediately, sir,” she said at once.  Kirk could see the gears already turning in her head, working out which of her people to draft for duty.

“We’re going to be fine, folks,” he said, taking in each somber face in turn.  “We’ll need you all at the top of your game, but I think we all know by now that there’s nothing this crew can’t handle.  Only the best get to serve on the Enterprise.”  He let his pride seep into his voice, pride in his ship, pride in his people, and saw it reflected in the eyes of those around him.  “This might cripple another crew.  Let’s show them how it’s done.  Scotty?”

The other man looked confused for a moment, then started.  “Right!  Yes!  I’m in charge now, aren’t I?  So then . . . dismissed!”

Kirk’s crew all stood, unsettled but determined to perform as admirably as ever.  As they gathered their PADDs and began to file out McCoy moved over to stand between Kirk and Spock.

“Jim,” he said.  “I’d like to get you back into Sickbay for some more tests.”

“I told you, Bones, after I’m back in my own body you can have a diagnostic field day, but I’m really not up to it now.”

“I don’t really care whether or not you think you’re ‘up for it’,” McCoy said, his voice thick with irritation.  Sulu and Chekov, lingering behind, exchanged a glance.  The teenager waved Sulu on ahead of him, nodding in his commanding officers’ direction to indicate a need to talk to one of them.  Meanwhile, McCoy was going on.  “This whole thing is turning out to be considerably longer-term than we’d anticipated, and there’s no way to predict any side effects you might experience.  I’d rather not let either of you die on my watch, if that’s perfectly okay with you.”

“Later,” Kirk said firmly.  He stood and reached for his own PADD.

“Not later,” McCoy insisted.  “Now.”  He grabbed Kirk’s upper arm to keep him from turning away, and Kirk ripped away from the weak grip with such force that it nearly pulled the doctor off his feet.

“I said later, now fucking drop it!” he bellowed.

The room fell suddenly, oppressively silent.  Kirk squeezed his eyes shut and opened them to see McCoy place a reassuring hand on Chekov’s shoulder and guide him gently from the room, speaking to him so softly that even his Vulcan ears couldn’t pick it up.  He braced his hands on the table in front of him and bowed his head, baffled and drained by the sudden burst of anger.

“Well.”  McCoy cleared his throat and Kirk straightened.  “I think you may have scarred Chekov for life.  Wanna tell me what the hell that was about?”

“I’m sorry, Bones,” he said wearily.  “I don’t know . . . there’s no excuse for that, for speaking to you that way.  It’s just this damned headache,” he gritted out.

“Oh, well, now I don’t feel the pressing need to get you to Sickbay,” McCoy said with a roll of his eyes, but his hands were gentle as he tilted Kirk’s head up to peer into his eyes.

“It’s nothing,” Kirk insisted, batting him away.  “It wasn’t so bad last night, but now it’s . . .”  He winced, pressed a hand to his temple.  “It’s just so loud in here,” he said helplessly.

“Doctor,” Spock said, stepping forward calmly.  “There may not be need of a full examination.  I suspect that what Jim is sensing is the collective psychic weight of the rest of the crew.”

“The what?”

“The thoughts and emotions of over four hundred crewmembers.  That presence would have been lessened last night during Gamma shift, when the majority of the ship’s complement was asleep, but now with Alpha and Beta shifts converging it would be considerably more difficult to withstand.”

“None of that psychic business ever gave you any trouble,” McCoy accused, and Spock inclined his head in acknowledgement.

“I have been accustomed to my abilities since birth,” he reminded them.  “Jim has been thrust quite suddenly into a body that is open to psychic input, without the experience necessary to establish the shields that keep Vulcans from suffering similar overload.  However, I believe that I can assist him in accessing them through guided meditation.”

“Sounds like a good idea,” Kirk offered.  He tried a crooked grin on McCoy.  “Worth a shot, anyway, right?”

“What about you, Spock?” the doctor asked instead of answering.  “Any ill effects from being trapped in that claptrap Jim calls a body?”

“None to speak of,” Spock said over Jim’s noise of protest.  “It is simply a matter of . . . adjusting.  I am unaccustomed to experiencing the chemical and hormone reactions of the Human body firsthand, and I am finding it difficult to regulate them as I can my own.”

McCoy snorted and slapped Spock’s shoulder.  “Welcome to the Human race.  All right, fine, you two can try.”  He jabbed a finger at Kirk.  “But if you’re still hearing voices in the morning I’m ordering your ass to Sickbay, and don’t think I won’t send a security detail to fetch you if I have to.”

“Isn’t that insubordination or something?”

“You’re on mandatory medical leave, Jimmy.  Right now you don’t outrank a fruit fly.”  He turned to glare at Spock.  “Take care of him,” he warned, and turned on his heel to march from the room.

“I’m not hearing voices,” Kirk assured Spock on their way back to Deck Five and the quiet of their quarters.  “It’s not like that.  It’s just this . . . this sort of pressure.  Not even that, really.  More the threat of pressure.  Like standing in the middle of a crowd that keeps trying to press closer.”

“An apt description.  This ship’s crew is mostly comprised of Humans,” Spock replied, “who are, for a generally psi-null species, exceptionally forceful in their mental projections.”  Kirk’s laugh earned a raised eyebrow.  “That statement was humorous?”

“Sort of.  Chancellor Laaen told me that I thought loudly.  Guess it’s not just me.”

“It is not,” Spock assured him. 

They reached the door to Kirk’s quarters and he keyed in the access code.  Prepared this time, the scent didn’t hit him as strongly as it had the first time.  He walked inside and tried to ignore the headache still throbbing in his temples.

“So.”  He rubbed his hands together and turned to face his friend.  “How do we do this, exactly?  I have to warn you, I’ve never been great at sitting still.”

That eyebrow again, and Kirk was caught off guard by the strength of his sudden urge to lean up and take a sharp nip at it.  “I confess, I find that fact singularly unsurprising.”

Kirk laughed.  The tension was draining from him again.  “Maybe I’ve inherited enough Vulcan control to manage it this time.”

“There are tools that can enhance your attempt.  I would recommend that you determine where you will be most comfortable while I fetch them from my quarters.”

“Mmm,” Kirk nodded distractedly, already looking around.  He rejected the bed out of hand; no way would he be able to relax with Spock anywhere near it, even if he didn’t look like himself at the moment.  There was an empty space on the floor in front of the desk, however, that he thought might serve well enough.

“Jim.”

The voice startled him, and he whirled to find Spock regarding him quizzically, setting the items he had retrieved on the surface of Kirk’s desk.

“Wow.  That was fast,” Kirk said with an uncertain laugh.

“I was gone for several minutes,” Spock said carefully.  Kirk frowned.

“Huh.  Guess I must’ve been woolgathering.  Lost in thought,” he clarified, and rubbed his hands together again.  “So what’ve we got here?”

“The first and most important step in successful meditation is the comfort of the body to prevent distraction.”  Spock handed over a folded black robe.  “If you will change into this, I will ready the space.”

“Yeah.”  The fabric was enticingly soft against his fingers.  “In front of the desk here is fine.”  He paused, opened his mouth as though to say something else, but forgot what he had been about to say before he spoke.  With a shrug, he turned and stepped into the ‘fresher.

Kirk stripped quickly and methodically, pointedly not thinking again.  Not thinking about how easy it would be to run a hand down his chest, to explore the feeling of soft skin and the ridges of Spock’s ribcage and the intoxicating beat of his heart in his side.  Not thinking about the soft robe that he slipped over his shoulders, about the idea of Spock feeling that same fabric against his bare skin.  Not thinking of how easy it would be to part the folds at the front and reach the naked flesh beneath.

Vulcan discipline or no, it was almost impossible for him to force down the arousal that tried to swamp him at his non-thoughts.  Almost, but not quite.  When he had himself under control again he headed back into his quarters and found Spock on his knees in front of the small firepot he had retrieved, igniting a small pile of incense that was already beginning to perfume the air.

“You will need to take a seat here,” Spock said without looking up, and rose in one fluid motion.  “Assume whatever position you find most comfortable.”

Kirk lowered himself, intending to sit with his legs crossed in front of him, but his body altered its course halfway to the floor, and he ended instead with his legs tucked under him, seated easily on his heels.  Spock nodded in satisfaction and settled across from him, the glow from the firepot bathing Kirk’s familiar features and turning them into something exotic.  Something alien.  Kirk closed his eyes in defense against the sight and inhaled deeply, letting the scent of the incense calm him.

“Focus on the fire in front of you, Jim.”  Spock’s words were spoken lowly, so much so that Kirk almost couldn’t make out the tones of his own voice.  “The flames will be your focus.”

Kirk forced his eyes open and fixed them on the fire.  It flickered bright and warm, bathing the red clay in its light.  He continued to breathe deeply; the incense mixed with the Human scent that lingered in the room and a buzzing sensation began beneath his skin, odd but not unpleasant.

“The controls for a Vulcan’s mental shields are learned in childhood,” Spock intoned, “hardwired into the developing brain as deeply as language.  Deeper, perhaps.  The body is controlled by the mind, but the body remembers.  You must relinquish control, Jim, in order to regain it.”

Normally Kirk would have had something to say about that, some comment on the irony of hearing such a thing from a Vulcan.  But he couldn’t seem to tear his eyes away from the fire in front of him, and his mouth seemed oddly disconnected from the rest of him.  He inhaled.

“Release your mind’s hold.”  The voice seemed to come from all around him, from inside of him, from everywhere and nowhere at once.  “Be of the body, and let it remember.  Let it reveal the shields to you.”

Kirk felt something tickling at the edge of his consciousness, feather-light brushes of something familiar, something welcome.  He followed the sensation and found the mental equivalent of thin silk beneath his touch.  It fell into place like a veil, misty and insubstantial.  Another followed, and another, layer upon layer of whisper-thin cloth—not cloth energy thought need control will—that built until the pulsing pressure in his head had quieted, muffled to near-silence.  He lifted his eyes then, blinking several times to bring himself back to his surroundings.

“I think it worked,” he said.  He concentrated for a moment; the pressure from the other minds on the ship was being absorbed by the layers of his shields, and though the discomfort had eased he could still sense them.  “Definitely better,” he proclaimed.  A muscle jumped in Spock’s jaw and Kirk frowned.  “Are you okay?”

“Yes.  Though it seems that your warning about your predilection for movement was warranted.  I found it problematic to remain in this position after the first fifteen minutes.”

“Fifteen . . . huh.  It didn’t feel nearly that long.”  It was the second time in an hour that he had found himself losing time, and it made him nervous.  “But hey.”  He stood.  “As long as it worked, right?”

“Captain, you should continue your meditation.”  Spock stood along with him, ignoring Kirk’s glare for the moment.  “You will need to practice keeping the shields in place.”

“For fuck’s sake, I’m not your captain right now, Spock.  And I will continue, as soon as I’ve called Pike and briefed him on the meeting.  He’s gonna get twitchy if he doesn’t hear from me soon.”

A smile flickered at the corner of Spock’s mouth.  “Twitchy, Jim?”

“Yes, twitchy, and don’t pull that crap with me.  You understand more than you let on, you just think it’s funny to—”

He cut himself off, a queasy feeling rising in his stomach at how closely his words mirrored what he had said in the vision that the Noctaens had forced on him.  The image of Spock lying dying in his arms suddenly swamped him, and for a moment he thought he felt his hands grow sticky with blood.  Then it was gone, and Spock was there in front of him, alive and whole despite the fact that it was his own blue eyes that Kirk was looking into, and he was lowering a hand that had never quite made its way to Kirk’s shoulder.

“Jim?”  He wasn’t even making an effort to conceal the concern in his voice.  “Are you all right?”

“Yeah.  Yeah, I’m good.”  Kirk rubbed at his eyes and smiled, though the expression felt shaky on his face.  “Just not used to meditation, I think.  But practice makes perfect, right?”

“Presumably, given dedicated and consistent application, one could at least come close,” Spock said seriously, which made Kirk smile for real.  “I will leave the firepot and the incense; I believe that you will benefit more from them than I would at present.”

“Are you sure?”  Kirk didn’t want to protest; the incense was undeniably soothing, and it helped to mask the scent of him in the room.  Still, he felt as though he should at least try.  “You only have a limited supply, I wouldn’t want to use it all.”

“There will be ample opportunity to buy more at the colony,” Spock assured him.  “I would prefer that you make use of what I have now.”

Kirk scolded his mind for trying to read something more into Spock’s words and nodded.  “All right.  Thanks.”

He had to take several minutes after Spock left to calm himself again.  He hadn’t wanted his friend to go, had wanted him to stay for the rest of the day and throughout the night.  The feeling was unsettling, to say the least.  He enjoyed spending time with Spock, of course, but he had always been a man who liked his own space.  This urge to be constantly in Spock’s company was new, and it made him distinctly uncomfortable.

Rather than taking the time to examine the feeling, Kirk seated himself in his chair and initiated a call to Starfleet Command.  It went through almost immediately; Pike must have been sitting at his desk waiting for him.

“Good evening, Admiral.  It is evening there now, isn’t it?”

“Sun just set,” Pike confirmed.  “I’ve got a great view from my office.”

Kirk gave the cocky smirk that Pike always claimed irritated the hell out of him.  “I’ve got a better one.”

“You do at that,” Pike said thoughtfully.  Then, suddenly, “What the hell is going on there?”

He faltered.  “The meeting, you mean?  It went well, I think, or as well as could be expected.  Everyone’s a little freaked out, but that’s only to be—”

“Kirk, playing dumb doesn’t suit you.  You don’t really think I had you place a subspace call to brief me on a meeting I defined the damned parameters for, so let’s cut through the crap.  There’s something else going on there, something you’re not telling me, and I want to know what it is.”

Kirk let his face go blank.  “I don’t know what you mean, sir.”

“Bullshit, you don’t,” Pike shot back.  He leaned forward, towards the monitor.  “I’ve known you a long time, Jim.  I was your advisor for three years at the Academy and kicking your ass at poker for two of them.  You may be wearing a Vulcan’s skin, but your tells are as plain as ever.  You’re holding something back, and I want to know what it is.”

“Is this part of an official inquest, Admiral?”

Pike made a frustrated noise and sat back again.  “I don’t have the faintest idea how I’m even going to begin the paperwork for this one; my job will be hard enough as it is without trying to figure out how to file a gut feeling.  This is just me asking.  But don’t think for one second I won’t turn this official, bureaucracy be damned, if you don’t give me a straight answer here.  I was going through my notes on your last transmission, and I can’t help but notice that an explanation for why the Noctaens switched the two of you is conspicuous in its absence.  Let’s start there.”

Kirk sighed.  “It was a gift,” he said at last.  “A sort of, ‘thanks for all your help, please let us in your Federation’ thing.  They said that Spock’s life was going to be endangered.  I don’t know how they could know that, but based on what I’ve seen of them I didn’t have any reason to doubt them.  And even if I had, I wasn’t willing to take the chance of turning them down when they said they could help me do something about it.  The life of my First Officer was at stake; they were offering to help me save it.”

“And you leapt without thinking about what the consequences might be,” Pike guessed.  Kirk’s smile barely tilted up the corners of his mouth.

“Someone told me once that Starfleet could use more of that sort of thing.”

“That person sounds like a real idiot.”  The Admiral sighed and fixed Kirk with a measuring stare.  “It’s not even close to everything, but I suppose it’ll do for now.  I will be getting a full report from you when this business is concluded, Captain, and I do mean full.  Don’t even think about trying to weasel your way out of it.”

“Starship captains don’t weasel, sir.”

“No, but genius-level adrenaline junkies have been known to try,” Pike said dryly.  “A full report, Kirk.  I’d get to working on it now.”

“I’d love to, sir, but I have to get back to my meditation.”

A disbelieving look and another frustrated noise.  Then the Admiral shook his head on a reluctant laugh.  “Meditation.  Hell.  Pike out.”

Kirk was still grinning to himself when he knelt to relight the firepot and the smell of incense filled the air again.

 

 

Part 5

Chapter Text

Title: Through Blind Men's Eyes
Author: [info]ladyblahblah 
Fandom: Star Trek Reboot
Pairing: Spock/Kirk, others
Rating: methinks we have reached NC-17 territory at last
Disclaimer: You think I own anything?  Have you seen my car?  Nothing is mine but the Noctaens and the plot, but I'm pretty sure no one's gonna fight me on that.
A/N: This part is a bit crap, but hey, at least there are sexytiems!  Erm . . . sort of.  No Spock here, which wasn't planned but just sort of happened.  If this were this story's original cracky incarnation I'd say he was locked in his quarters gorging himself on sweets because OMG he can finally taste sugar and it's fantastic.  As it is he's probably in there Brooding and Having Angsty Thoughts.  Or studying plants.  I give it about 50/50 odds.  Sparkly, rainbow-colored bonus points for anyone who can spot the Buffy quote.
Summary: The obligatory Pon Farr story . . . with a bit of a twist.

 

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4

 

 

 

 

 

The gym was nearly deserted when Kirk made his way there at the end of Gamma shift.  Only a scattered handful of crew had turned up at that hour, most of them occupied with the machines that lined one wall.  The men, he noticed however, seemed rather less concerned with their workouts than with the display that Uhura and Chris Chapel were putting on in the middle of the room.

He’d known Chris at the Academy and found her frankly fantastic.  She blushed like a teenager at the most basic flirting, and he’d pegged her as a sweet, slightly dippy pushover until the first time he saw her browbeat McCoy into cringing submission.  She had a gentle smile that fronted an iron will when it came to her patients; he’d very nearly cheered when he’d seen her name among those assigned to the Enterprise after Nero.  Naturally sweet disposition or not, though, it was something of a running joke between him and McCoy that it was only the calm she obtained through her daily yoga routine that kept her from throttling one or both of them on a regular basis.  He’d watched her at it before a time or two, a sort of knee-jerk lasciviousness that even captaining a starship hadn’t been able to rid him of.  This was the first time he’d ever seen Uhura taking part, though; she was, if not the very last person he would have expected to see engaged in such a tranquil activity, at least in the bottom ten.

They made an arresting combination, to be sure.  The two of them together were a study in opposites.  Uhura, dark and long and slim; Chris, pale skin and gentle curves beneath white-blonde hair.  Kirk stopped and joined the others watching, mentally applauding when Chris straightened and stepped over to correct her friend’s posture, one hand at the small of her back and the other splayed softly just below Uhura’s ribcage.  When her eyes lifted and found him watching her he couldn’t have possibly kept himself from raising a single tilted eyebrow in her direction.  Chris immediately turned bright red and dropped her hands as though they had been burned.

Uhura frowned and relaxed her pose, glancing over at the other woman.  She said something under her breath, the sound of it lost in the renewed clanging of the weight machines.  Chris said something equally quiet in return, and Uhura turned.  Exasperation covered her face as soon as she saw him, and with another soft word to her friend crossed the room in swift, determined strides.

“She’s not still carrying that torch for Spock, is she?” he asked when she was within hearing range.  “She looks like she’s going to burst into flames any second here.”

That seemed to throw her.  “No.”  She cast an unreadable look back over her shoulder, to where Chris was very determinedly not looking in their direction.  “What are you doing here?” she asked rather than provide the explanation Kirk had been hoping for.  “You never hit the gym this early.”

“What makes you so sure of that?”

“Because I always do,” she said with a hint of a smirk.  “Chris is helping me channel my stress from dealing with a cocky captain who can’t stay in his own quarters when he’s supposed to be ‘keeping a low profile’.”

“I had to get out of there.”  Kirk shifted his shoulders restlessly.  “Apparently Spock binged just before we switched; I haven’t been anywhere close to sleep since, and I’ve ended up with more time on my hands than I know what to do with.  I’ve already worked through my entire backlog of reports.  Barring some sort of catastrophic emergency, I’m completely at loose ends until we arrive at the colony.”

Uhura’s frown was more concerned than annoyed now.  “What about Spock?  Couldn’t you keep each other company or something?  I’m sure you could kill at least fifteen minutes letting him trounce you at chess.”

“He’s gotten Sulu to transfer one of the experiments from the botany lab to his quarters,” Kirk said dismissively.  “He’ll stay locked in with it ‘til kingdom come if we let him.” 

He tried not to let on how little he liked that.  He’d spent an entire lifetime keeping his body within sight, and having it away from him now was making him uneasy.  After all, Spock could be exposing it to conditions dangerous to human beings without realizing what he was doing.  He could be doing anything at all to Kirk’s body, and Kirk had to cut that thought off immediately before it embarrassed him.

“Well, don’t you have about a million books in your room?” Uhura pressed.  “Unless they’re all just for show.  They are, aren’t they?  You know, I always sort of suspected you were functionally illiterate.”

“Funny, Lieutenant.”  The emphasis on her rank earned nothing more than a semi-apologetic roll of her eyes, and Kirk was reminded why he had always loved this woman.  “It’s hard to sit still enough to concentrate,” he admitted seriously.  “I need to do something active, move around.  This body has a ridiculous amount of energy.”

Uhura lifted a single eyebrow—damn it, could everyone but Jim do that normally?—and smirked.  “I remember.”

Images swarmed him immediately: Uhura and Spock tangled together, breath mingling, slim dark fingers moving over pale skin.  Nails scoring his back, drawing trails of green as he thrust into her.  It was as vivid as if he were seeing it there, that moment in front of him, and he was completely unprepared for the rage that flooded him and tinged the world an angry green.  She had touched him, and Kirk wanted her bloody, wanted to rend, tear, destroy her for daring

It was there and gone in a moment, boiling fury fading to a low burn at the back of his mind.  Uhura was laughing at what was surely the sucker-punched look on his face.

“I never thought I’d see the day you were rendered speechless.”  Her smile was brilliantly white, her eyes crinkled in laughter.  Kirk fought to keep his hands from forming into fists.

“I, ah.”  He tried to clear his head, to bring himself back from whatever nightmare world he had nearly slipped into.  “I hadn’t heard until recently about the two of you.  That you weren’t . . .”

“Together?”  Uhura’s smile softened, and she shrugged.  “It wasn’t meant to be, I guess.  Which sucks, in a way, ‘cause Spock is a hell of a catch.  And so am I,” she added with a sparkle in her eyes.  “It all looked great on paper, but in practice . . . that spark was just never there, you know?”

The captain in him was relieved to have confirmation that he didn’t have to worry about any suppressed tension or resentment.  The jealous, possessive voice that was beginning to whisper at the back of his head, however, wouldn’t let him leave it there.

“So it was mutual?” he pressed.  “Both of you agreed?”

“Well . . . not at first.”  She crossed her arms over her chest and Kirk was almost—almost—sorry for pushing.  “I was pretty pissed at him for a while.  It was like . . . he wasn’t even willing to try, you know?  But I got over it, and once I did I realized that he was right.”  She moved her head in an odd, abortive turn.  “It’s better for both of us this way.”

He reached out then, because it was what he would normally do and because he had to prove that he could, to prove that he was still himself despite the body he was trapped in.  His fingertips brushed across the bare skin of Uhura’s upper arm and he regretted it immediately.  He had forgotten, somehow forgotten that he needed to be careful.  The touch of his fingers, his mind, only lasted a few seconds, just enough to get the impression of sun-warm thoughts, of affection and contentment and then, when it registered, sharp surprise at his actions.

“Shit.”  He snatched his hand back.  Her skin had been slick with sweat, and he fought the urge to wipe it off.  “Gotta remember not to do that.  Sorry.”

Her eyes were wide for a moment before she laughed uneasily.  “I’m sorry.  I don’t know why I even said all that to you.”  The teasing light was back in her eyes as she looked him over.  “You don’t even make that convincing a Spock.”

“Hey,” he protested.  “I’m totally selling this.”

She shook her head.  “You’re carrying yourself all wrong.  You’re too loose, too . . . well, Kirk.”

He blinked, considering.  Then he tucked his hands behind him and straightened his back in a way that added almost a full inch to his height, shifting effortlessly into a textbook-perfect parade rest.  Uhura had to smother a laugh with her hands and Kirk used every ounce of control he had to keep the smile from his face.  Their brief mental contact might have been unsettling, but something about it had eased whatever brief violent urge had been sparked in him before.  His eyes darted over to where Chris was still waiting, her face tight.

“You’re sure she isn’t still pining over him?” he murmured quietly.  “She doesn’t look thrilled with how long we’ve been talking over here.”  Uhura looked over as well.  As she did Chris ducked her head, her cheeks coloring pink.  “How about I go over there and give her a little thrill?” he teased.  If a few smiles and winks from him flustered her, he could only imagine what would happen if she got the same from Spock.  He was still imagining a Chris-shaped puddle forming on the floor when Uhura whirled back to him, her eyes narrowed in warning.

“Don’t you dare,” she said, jabbing a finger at his chest.  “You’d give her a heart attack, and besides, there’s no way you could make her think you’re really Spock once you opened your mouth.”

“That’s not . . . entirely untrue, yeah,” he had to admit.  “I feel bad for her, anyway,” he said softly.  “I’ve never seen Spock so much as look twice in her direction; I wouldn’t wish that sort of unrequited love on anyone.”

Uhura dropped her hand and fixed him with a look that was half-disgusted, half-pitying.  “Are you sure you’re supposed to be a genius?  Because you’re kind of like a moron.”

She walked away without a backwards glance, leaving Kirk to stare after her, baffled and insulted.  She rejoined her friend and reached out, linking their hands.  Blue eyes lifted, soft and searching, and Chris reached out in turn to brush her fingers over Uhura’s arm where Kirk had touched her.  Her lips tilted in a smile when Uhura tucked a loose strand of pale blonde hair back behind her ear.  Then Uhura leaned forward to whisper something in her ear, and Chris’s smile turned wicked.  Their fingers still tangled together, the two women hurried from the room.

And okay, yes, sometimes Kirk was a little slow on the uptake.

That pleasant distraction didn’t last long, however, as the smell of the place closed in on him almost immediately.  It was no wonder Spock hardly ever made an appearance here, if it was this kind of sensory overload every time.  The salty stench of sweat, tinged with endorphins and a heavy dose of testosterone, threatened to overwhelm him.  He felt himself tensing with every glimpse of the other men there; he didn’t want to share space with them, didn’t want to be breathing the same air.  It was ridiculous; these were his crew, his people, and Kirk had always been ridiculously social.  He craved company the same way he craved his next breath.  Nevertheless, the sight and sound and smell of these men set him on edge, and he was forced to abandon his planned workout before he snapped.

The need to move, to be active was still eating at him.  He thought of making use of one of the private exercise rooms, but there was no equipment there to help him to vent the buzzing that was building beneath his skin.  Those rooms were typically used by pairs or small groups for one-on-one exercises; Sulu had a standing reservation once per week, he knows, to practice his fencing.  There would be little for him to do on his own beyond simple calisthenics, the idea of which didn’t appeal, and asking someone else to join him would be unthinkable even if any of the senior officers were available.  He didn’t like the idea of contact with anyone at the moment; well, anyone but—

Kirk cut that thought off before it could fully form and strode off.  A walk around the ship would have to suffice.  He’d burn off some of this excess energy and by the time he was through maybe he’d have his head back under control.

He walked until halfway through Beta shift, and only stopped then because he had to admit that it wasn’t really working at all.  It seemed, in fact, to be doing more damage than good.  Lost in his own thoughts, he had quite literally bumped into no fewer than seven other members of the crew.  Four of those collisions had resulted in direct skin contact, and with each unanticipated connection the layers of his shields became a bit more tattered.  The rest of the ship was pressing in again, threatening what was left of his control.  He needed to go back to his quarters, he decided, and try to meditate again.

McCoy was waiting outside his door, leaning against the wall in a pose far too casual to be genuine.  Kirk slowed as he approached, surprised at the irritation that rose in him when he caught sight of his friend.  Being stuck in Spock’s body was clearly beginning to take its toll on him.  He reminded himself wearily that he only had a day left to go before they reached the colony; if the universe had any mercy at all whatever was coming for Spock would manifest before then, or at least very soon after.  In the meantime he forcibly set aside his frustration and tilted his head at his friend.

“Doctor,” he said calmly, and was rewarded by McCoy’s dramatic wince.

“Oh, now don’t start doing that, it’s creepy.”

Kirk let them both inside before letting himself smile.  “Sorry.  What’s up?  You don’t usually make house calls unless it’s dire.”  He cast a look in his direction and tried to ignore how McCoy’s scent in his quarters set his teeth on edge.  “It’s not dire, is it?”

“No, nothing like that.  I just wanted to check in.  Lord, it’s an oven in here.”  He pulled his shirt away from his skin and regarded Kirk thoughtfully.  “Word was that Commander Spock was on a tear, storming his way through all the decks.  I think my favorite description was ‘personified Vulcan wrath’.  Which, near as I could tell, meant looking particularly fierce without actually making any sort of expression.  You’re getting pretty good at that stone-faced thing he does.”

“Thanks.”  Kirk moved over to his desk, ignoring McCoy’s implied question in the interest of pretending to search through the stacks of data chips that littered the surface.  He heard his friend sigh.

“Are you actually gonna make me ask you what has you stomping around the ship, terrifying half the crew?”

“Maybe,” Kirk said flippantly.  He sighed himself, then, and ran a hand over his face.  “I’m just in a mood, Bones.  I wasn’t actively trying to terrorize anyone, I promise.  But hell, you know most people see Spock as judge, jury and executioner here.  He freaks them out without even trying.”

“That’s because you almost always make him the heavy,” McCoy pointed out, and Kirk shrugged unrepentantly.

“That’s what being an XO is all about.  You get all the crap jobs the captain can reasonably foist off.”

McCoy made a hmming noise.  His gaze was disturbingly shrewd as he considered the man in front of him.  “How’s the head?” he asked suddenly, and Kirk nearly grinned.  He knew they’d get around to it eventually.

“Better,” he said easily, which was accurate if not exactly the whole truth.  He rested his hip against the edge of the desk.  “The meditation really helped.  The shields Spock talked about are all there,” he said, tapping the side of his head.  “Took a bit of a beating today, though, so I probably ought to try shoring them up.”

“How’s everything else?”  It was McCoy’s turn to ignore Kirk’s less than subtle hint.  “Any other problems to report?”

“Bones,” he said warningly, his already shaky patience wearing thin, “if I didn’t know better I’d say this was turning into an impromptu check-up.  I thought I’d made my thoughts on that pretty clear.”

“You’ve gotta work with me here,” McCoy said, spreading his hands in supplication.  “As far as I can tell from every record I can pull up, nothing like this has ever happened before.  We’re flying blind already, and your refusal to submit to medical tests is hobbling us, too.  And your First Officer’s no better.  Don’t you see how odd that is?”

“Not really.”  Kirk curled his hands around the edge of the desk as though trying to ground his impatience.  “Spock’s always been ridiculously private, and you know he hates mandatory medical exams as much as I do.”

“Under ordinary circumstances I’d say you’re right.  But Jim, more than anything else the man is a scientist.  What we have here is an unprecedented opportunity to study the connection between body and mind, to investigate the consequences of separating the two, and he doesn’t seem to care.  He’s perfectly content to just sit by without studying, without documenting.  It’s not right; it goes against every damned thing I know about the man.”

“Maybe you just don’t know him as well as you think.”

“I know him exactly well enough to know that there’s something screwy going on.”

“Leave him alone,” Kirk said sharply.  “You can’t do anything for him that the Vulcan Healers won’t be able to manage, anyway, so let him keep his privacy, whatever his reasons for it are.  It’s pretty much all he’s got left right now.”

McCoy deflated at that.  “Hell, Jim.  That’s not fair.”

“Desperate times.”  His friend’s helpless expression pricked at his conscience, though, and he offered the best peace offering he had.  “Speaking of not fair, I hope you realize that I’m never going to forgive you if you knew Chris and Uhura were getting it on and didn’t tell me.”

The doctor’s eyes nearly fell out of his head.  “They what?” he demanded.  “How . . . when?  What do you mean, getting it on?”

“Well, I didn’t see anything explicit, so I can’t say for sure,” Kirk said with a grin.  “But there’s definitely something going on there.  No idea when it happened, but they sure seemed cozy enough together.”

“I don’t . . .”  He stood there just blinking for a moment.  “I just can’t imagine the two of them together.”

“Really?” Kirk leered.  “I sure as hell can.”

“Hell, Jim,” McCoy groaned.  “I have to work with Chris Chapel every day, damn it.”

“And I have to work with Uhura.  Doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate something as hot as the thought of those two together.”

“You never did progress mentally past the age of twelve,” his friend muttered, a telltale flush coloring the tips of his ears and darkening his face.

“And you never gave up hope that your ‘Southern gentleman’ act would start working one day,” Jim shot back.  “It’s just us here, Bones; you don’t have to keep it up.”  He was surprised to see a smile spread slowly over McCoy’s face at that.

“It’s no act, Jim, and it’s working just fine, thanks.”  Still smiling he crossed over to the replicator, effectively distracting Kirk from questioning that statement.

“What are you doing?” he asked, his earlier irritation building again.

“You haven’t accessed a single replicator all day,” McCoy answered, already punching in a code.  “You need to eat something.”

“You’re monitoring my eating habits?”

“Damn right I am.  Someone has to, and you don’t seem too concerned with the job.”

“I haven’t been hungry.”

“You might not have felt hungry, but even a Vulcan body can’t last indefinitely without fuel.  Did you stop to think that your short temper might have something to do with the fact that you haven’t eaten a bite all day?”  His smirk at Kirk’s silence was smugly triumphant.  The replicator finished, the door opened, and he pulled out a bowl of some sort of bright purple liquid.  “Here,” he said, setting it on the desk with a sharp click.  “Plomeek soup, just like mama used to make.  If mama was a replicator.  Tuck in, Jimmy boy.”

Kirk’s jaw set.  “It’s not your job to take care of me, Bones.”

That earned him a snort.  “I’m your CMO.  I’d like to know what the hell you think my job is, if not taking care of you.  Eat.”  He shoved a spoon at Kirk’s chest.  “I have an appointment to get to; can I trust you to be an adult and actually eat that?”

“You’re off duty; what appointment?”

McCoy smiled again, looking like a cat let loose in a creamery.  “Eat your soup, Jim.  I’ll see you in the morning.”

Kirk knew that smile, he thought bitterly; that was McCoy’s ‘I’m getting some’ smile.  He tried to remember if he had seen the doctor hanging around anyone in particular more often than usual.  Asking McCoy straight out wasn’t an option.  Trying to get him to talk about it before he brought it up himself would be useless, as Kirk knew through long and frustrating experience; he never was never willing to talk about his relationships until they looked like they might be getting serious.  Of course, for a man like McCoy, sex was getting pretty damned close to serious.  He wasn’t one for casual, which was a shame since Kirk was of the opinion that he was far easier to deal with when he was getting sex on a regular basis.

Irritated and curious, Kirk was left to wonder if everyone on the Enterprise was getting laid except for him.

He sat at last and glared at the bowl of soup.  He really wasn’t hungry.  Maybe he could get away with dumping it in the ‘fresher.  After all, what kind of soup was purple?  He dipped a finger into the bowl and watched in fascination as the soup clung to his skin.  What was a ‘plomeek’, he wondered?  The scent was vaguely reminiscent of onions, and he slipped his finger into his mouth to taste.

A bolt of pleasure speared through him and he jerked his hand hastily away.  His heart was hammering in his side and his breathing was erratic.  To his astonishment, he realized that he was half-hard and already aching.

Kirk shot out of the chair and paced to the far side of the room, then back, trying to ignore the way his index finger was still tingling.  He knew Vulcan hands were sensitive.  Impossible not to, after today especially.  But somehow he’d never imagined them to be erogenous zones in their own right, never even considered . . .

He stared down at graceful hands with long, thin fingers.  He was considering it now.  Kirk was used to thinking of Spock’s hands as erotic; now, though, they seemed positively pornographic.  The sight of his index finger still slick from his mouth sent a fresh rush of blood to his groin and he bit back a groan.

The tip of one finger was slipping past his lips before he had made the conscious decision to move.  His mouth was deliciously warm, his tongue unexpectedly rough.  Sliding it against his sensitized skin had pleasure exploding in tiny bursts down the length of his spine.  There was a voice in his mind that was muttering about privacy and boundaries and ethics, but then his teeth scraped over a knuckle and the roar of his blood drowned out everything else.

Kirk slid his middle finger in as well and began to suck, and his legs gave out with no warning.  He managed to stumble his way to the bed, hardly even registering how his shins slammed against the frame.  All that mattered was the pressure and wet heat around his fingers, the way he could feel every tug there echoed in his cock, swollen now to full hardness.  He moaned and sank back on the bed.

Through the pleasure fogging his brain he managed to imagine how he must look, sprawled on his back across the bed, fingers buried in his mouth muffling his near-constant moans.  Spock’s body, Spock’s fingers, Spock’s trousers that he was tearing open now, desperate to reach the flesh beneath.

His free hand wrapped around his erection, and the combination of his touch there and the rasp of his tongue between his fingers was nearly too much to bear.  All of the reasons he wasn’t going to do this were lost in heat and fierce, blinding need.  He could imagine doing this to Spock in his own body, wrapping his lips around those fingers and watching Spock’s eyes go cloudy with need.  Pressure was building, irresistible, and the idea that he was, in a way, about to make Spock come sent him rocketing over the edge.

Kirk lay there, his hands wet with saliva and the evidence of his release, his body still trembling in the aftermath of orgasm.  But rather than the boneless satiation he was accustomed to, he was still every bit as tense as he had been before.  The fire in his veins was still burning and the temptation to touch, to keep touching until he had learned every inch of this body, was almost painful.

He needed.  He burned.

 

 

 

Part 6

Chapter Text

Title: Through Blind Men's Eyes
Author: [info]ladyblahblah 
Fandom: Star Trek Reboot
Pairing: Spock/Kirk, others
Rating: Aaaaaaaaaand, we're back to a good solid 'R' for language and . . . um, violence
Disclaimer: You think I own anything?  Have you seen my car?  Nothing is mine but the Noctaens and the plot, but I'm pretty sure no one's gonna fight me on that.
A/N: Anyone who doesn't understand/agree with how I'm timing things, go watch "Amok Time" again.  I know, I know, it's a hardship.  I ask so much of you.  But remember: we're still talking pon farr, not the plak tow.  Don't worry, we'll get there eventually.  In the meantime, this shit just got real.
Summary: The obligatory Pon Farr story . . . with a bit of a twist.

 

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5

 

 

 

 

No one talked about a starship’s morgue.

Starfleet Command preferred the general public to imagine deaths in space as neat, tidy affairs, bodies vaporized into atoms by enemy weapons or scattered through space by the transporter.  Good in theory, but the truth of the matter was that things were rarely quite that easy.  While some crewmembers had signed the waiver to allow for economical disposal of their remains, the majority had invoked the right to have their bodies returned to their families for burial.  Then, too, there were the times when death had not come easy or swift at all, when the medical team needed to study the ravaged corpse in order to prevent a greater loss of life.  Storage of the dead became an unsettling necessity on a ship posted to deep space for any significant length of time.

Command would be happy for it to remain largely forgotten—bad for morale, was the official idea—and the crew, for the most part, was happy to comply.  No one tended to go anywhere near the morgue without a damned good reason.  It was too bare, too cold, and heavy with the weight of dead friends.

Kirk barely looked up from his pacing when the doors hissed open and McCoy stormed in.  The other man drew up short when he caught sight of him and heaved an irritated sigh.

“Damn it, Jim, are you trying to give Spock even more of a reputation as our resident gargoyle?”  There was relief buried beneath the grumble of the doctor’s voice.  He took another step into the room, enough for the door to slide closed behind him.  “Do you have any idea the trouble you’ve caused?  You’ve been AWOL for nearly six hours now.”

“Five hours, fifty-two minutes and sixteen point three four seconds, if you’re counting from when I left my quarters to when you walked in here.”  He glanced over to see McCoy’s uncertain look.  “I seem to have inherited that Vulcan time sense, too.”  He thought of blank spaces in his memory, of suddenly finding himself in another part of his quarters with no knowledge of how he had gotten there.  “Though it seems to come and go.”

“And what, your instinctive reaction is to seek out the highest concentration of corpses?  What the hell are you doing in here?”

“It’s the only place on this entire damned ship that’s quiet.  They’re quiet,” he said, gesturing to the storage chambers that lined the walls.

“You’re getting psychic feedback again?”  McCoy’s previous relief vanished so thoroughly that Kirk might have imagined it.  “Why the hell didn’t you tell me?  And what happened to those shields Spock helped you with?”

“They’re . . .”  Tattered and torn, they fluttered teasingly at the edges of Kirk’s consciousness.  His steps stuttered to a halt.  “. . . compromised,” he said at last.

“Compromised,” McCoy repeated blankly.

“Yeah.”  The laugh that Kirk let out was shaky at best.  He shoved a hand through his hair and looked at his friend fully for the first time since he had walked in.  Cornflower blue eyes tracked the movement; Kirk waited for the inevitable question.

“Jim.”  Confusion was etched clearly on McCoy’s features now.  “What’s going on?”

Kirk gazed down at his hands, at the soft black leather gloves that covered them.  “I dug these out before I left my quarters.  They were a present from the Tellarite Ambassador, you remember him?  I had them stashed at the back of a drawer.”

“Jim—”

“You know, Bones,” Kirk said, his voice easier than he felt, “you could’ve told me that a Vulcan’s hands are erogenous zones.  It would’ve saved me a lot of trouble.”  He flexed his fingers slowly, watching them form into tight fists before he relaxed them again, just as slowly.

“Tell me you didn’t,” McCoy groaned, and Kirk snorted.

“Please.  You can’t tell me that if you suddenly discovered you could give yourself a blowjob you wouldn’t take advantage of it.”

“That is so more information than I ever wanted about this.”  Indeed, the doctor looked vaguely queasy.

“I didn’t mean to.  I told myself that I wouldn’t; that I wouldn’t abuse Spock’s trust, that I’d keep my damned hands to myself.  But I couldn’t stop.  Even after the first time, I just kept wanting . . .”  He winced at the weakness in his voice.  “I’d probably still be doing it if I hadn’t forced myself into the shower.  Cold showers are universal when it comes to smothering an overactive libido, apparently.  Most awful thing I’ve ever experienced.”  He shuddered and squeezed his eyes closed at the memory of icy water, slick and horrible, raining down over his body.  “But I still can’t look at my hands.  His hands.”  His fingers twitched.  “Anyway, after that, my shields . . . I couldn’t maintain them.  It takes too much effort to keep calm; I don’t have enough left to hold onto them.”

His eyes opened to find McCoy staring back at him in mingled astonishment and concern.  “My control’s never been this bad before.  Hell, even as a kid I wasn’t this desperate all the time.”  He began to pace again, unable to keep still.  “Isn’t Vulcan control supposed to be legendary?  Why the hell is this happening?”

His fist crashed into the metal door that fronted one of the storage chambers, and it bent with a protesting screech.  Kirk stared blankly at the dented metal, then down at his hand.  The glove had ripped along his knuckles, revealing pale skin where green bruises were already blooming. 

“That should hurt.”  He flexed his hand thoughtfully.  “Doesn’t.”

“Okay, Jim.”  McCoy strode over, his face stern.  “Hypospray phobia or not, it’s time to get you checked out.  I’ll make it an order if I have to, but you’re going to Sickbay right freakin’ now.”

His hand wrapped firmly around Kirk’s upper arm, ready to haul him out.  There was no conscious thought behind Jim’s reaction, no plan, just instinct.  Almost as soon as the doctor touched him Kirk had him slammed against the wall, one hand at his throat to hold him dangling several inches off of the floor.

“Keep your nose out of my business and your hands off me or I’ll break your fucking neck,” he snarled.  “You have no right . . .”

His hand tightened, undeterred by McCoy’s futile attempts to loosen his grip.  He could hear the doctor’s heels kicking helplessly against the wall as his face turned red, then purple, and vivid trails of green appeared on Kirk’s arm from McCoy’s short, neat nails clawing desperately at his skin.  Human eyes bulged dangerously, and Kirk . . .

Jim.”

It was barely a whisper, rasped out with the last of his friend’s air.  His friend.  Kirk came back to himself in a sudden rush and jerked his hand away, stumbling back several steps.  McCoy fell to the floor, crumpled like a rag doll and coughing violently as he tried to suck air back into his lungs.  Kirk stared, wide-eyed and horrified until finally—oh thank god, finally—McCoy hauled himself to his feet, still breathing heavily and regarding Kirk with the same wary stare that one might give a wild animal.

“Bones.”  Kirk looked down at his hands again; they were shaking.  He lifted his eyes to McCoy’s.  “I don’t know . . .”  He took a deep, unsteady breath.  “Something’s really wrong with me.”

That would be, under normal circumstances, McCoy’s cue to provide a sharp retort.  Something along the lines of his surprise that it’s taken Kirk so long to realize that about himself, or possibly just a roll of his eyes and a snipe about how the choking thing had kind of tipped him off.  He’d snark, and Jim would laugh, and they’d do what they had to do to fix things.  Under normal circumstances.

They’d left normal several light years back.

“All right, Jim.”  McCoy’s voice was raspy, and guilt roared in Kirk’s head.  “I’m gonna step over to the intercom here,” he said calmly.  “And I’m gonna make a call.  Okay?”

Kirk gave it a moment’s thought, weighing his own response to the idea before he nodded.

The doctor straightened and, keeping his movements slow and careful, lifted one hand to activate the intercom.  “McCoy to Engineering.”

“Scotty here.  No sign of him yet, Doctor.”

“I’ve got him here with me.  You can tell the others to call off looking.”  His eyes stayed locked on Kirk, carefully measuring his reactions.  “Where’s Spock?  I don’t suppose there’s any chance he actually stayed in his quarters like I advised.”

“Last I heard he was headed for the shuttlebays.”  McCoy cursed softly, and the sound of Scotty clearing his throat echoed tinnily through the speaker.  “Are you all right, Doc?  You sound a bit—”

“I’m fine.”  His voice might have sounded like gravel, but it hadn’t lost any of its authority.  “I’m going to get the Captain here to Sickbay; we’ll keep you apprised of any new developments.”

He terminated the signal and sighed heavily.  Kirk didn’t like the rattle he could hear in the other man’s throat when he did so.  “All right.  We’re gonna have to head to Sickbay.”  He sent a measuring glance Kirk’s way.  “No one in Security has the clearance to know anything about this, but I’ll call for a team if I have to.  Do I have to?”

Again, Kirk took the time to evaluate.  “We should be fine,” he said at last.  “But don’t touch me again.”

McCoy huffed, a hint of his usual gruffness returning.  “It’s gonna be a little hard to give you a medical exam without touching you, y’know.”

“I think if I know it’s coming I should be able to control myself.”  He leveled a serious look at his friend and watched the older man shift uneasily under its weight.  “But I don’t want to test that until you can restrain me if you need to.”

“All right,” McCoy said, nodding slowly.  His eyes dropped briefly to Kirk’s hands.  “I’m going to reach for my communicator.”  His voice was soft again, soothing, non-threatening.  “I’m not going for a weapon, and I’m not going to hurt you.”  He moved almost in slow motion to pluck the small metal box from where it was clipped to his belt.  It chirped agreeably when he opened it and they both winced at the sound.  “McCoy to Spock.  Are you there?  Goddamn it, you’d better have your communicator on you,” he muttered, “idiot Vulcan wandering off against medical advice—”

“Doctor McCoy.”  Kirk squeezed his eyes closed again at the sound of his own voice coming from the device.  “I have, indeed, remembered to carry my communicator.  It would be highly illogical to render oneself unreachable during a search and rescue mission.”

“Right.”  McCoy pinched at the bridge of his nose.  “Except it was never really a rescue mission, it was . . . nevermind.  I found him, and I need you to get your ass to Sickbay.”

The pause that followed stretched for so long that Kirk began to wonder if Spock had cut off communication entirely.  Then his voice, tight and strained, demanded, “Is the Captain injured?”

McCoy’s eyes met Kirk’s.  “That’s . . . a bit complicated.  Just meet us there.  McCoy out.”

The trip to Sickbay wasn’t as bad as it could have been.  The corridors were, for the most part, blessedly empty, and if anyone thought that there was anything odd about the First Officer and the CMO wandering the ship halfway through Gamma shift they were wise enough not to say anything.  Their good fortune, however, was all but lost on Kirk.  He didn’t feel comfortable out in the open, public areas of the ship.  There were too many people, leaving scents that lingered long after they had gone and pressed in on him as surely as their minds did.  He had to use every scrap of willpower to keep from bolting back to his quarters, or perhaps back to the morgue and its lovely quiet dead.

When they arrived, Sickbay was empty except for Spock, Chapel and—to Kirk’s mild surprise—Ensign Chekov.  The teenager hopped down from the stool where he had been perched, his movements as light and easy as ever, but Kirk didn’t miss the hand that hovered casually near his phaser.

“Mr. Scott commed me after you spoke to him.  He suggested I might come to help.”  He caught sight of the bruises ringing the doctor’s throat and his eyes went wide before they flew up to meet McCoy’s.  “Leo—”

“It’s fine.”  He held the young man’s gaze for a moment before he turned to Chris.  “Chris, we’re going to need M’Benga.”

“I called him as soon as Chekov told me Spock was headed up here.”  She licked her lips nervously, barely chancing more than a split-second glance at Kirk.  “We’ve cleared out Sickbay, as well.  Nothing more than a few minor complaints, anyway.”

“Good.  Now the two of you clear out yourselves.  That’s an order, Lieutenant,” he said sharply when it looked like Chris was about to argue.  Her jaw set stubbornly, but she marched from the room without argument.  “You too, Ensign.  We’ll handle it,” he added softly.  Chekov looked as though he might say something; after a moment, however, he simply nodded and followed Nurse Chapel.

“Is he injured?” Spock asked immediately, lifting his foot in an abortive step forward.

“Not in the usual Kirk way, no.”  McCoy eyed the nearest biobed.  “Do I need to restrain you?”

“I don’t know,” Kirk said tightly.  “Which probably means you should.”

“Doctor.”  Spock seized McCoy’s elbow, forcing the older man to turn to face him.  “What is going on?”

“Well, that’s sort of the question of the moment, isn’t it?”  He shook off Spock’s grasp, ignoring the way bright blue eyes lingered on his throat.  “Jim’s acting like a fucking loon, and I’d be willing to bet every credit I have that it has something to do with finding himself stuck in that Vulcan suit.  So how about it, Mr. Spock?  Care to shed a little light on the situation?”

“He was responsible for your injuries?”

McCoy scowled.  “Yeah, he was, and quit trying to change the subject.  Do you have any idea what’s wrong with him?”

Spock took one careful step back, then another, before tucking his hands neatly behind his back.  Kirk felt tension he hadn’t even been aware of carrying drain from his body at the sight.  He hadn’t liked seeing the two of them standing so close together; you never knew when McCoy was going to whip out another hypo, and he wasn’t keen to see his body suffering any of that abuse.

“I do not have sufficient information to speculate at this time, and will not until you have run your tests.  You may proceed, Doctor.”

McCoy’s face grew even more thunderous.  “Well thank you very much for permission to do my goddamned job.  If you don’t have anything useful to contribute then get the hell out and stop cluttering up my Sickbay.”

“Don’t,” Kirk said unnecessarily, as Spock didn’t look at all inclined to move.  “It’s better,” he said quietly to McCoy, “with him here.  I don’t know why, but it is.”

In demonstration of his newfound calm he climbed onto the biobed and lay down, settling his arms and legs in place for the straps to be attached.  McCoy glanced back and forth between him and Spock for a moment before giving in with his customary bad grace.  Grumbling under his breath, he loaded up a hypo and tossed it in Spock’s direction.  It was caught with remarkable ease.

“Doctor?” Spock asked, regarding the hypo in his hand with a raised eyebrow.

“I don’t really care for the idea of getting asphyxiated again,” he snapped.  “So if I can’t get these straps on our boy here, I want you standing by to knock him the hell out.”  He looked nervous, but his hands were steady as he reached for the straps.  “Right,” he muttered.  “Here we go.”

He was careful to avoid touching Kirk as much as possible as he strapped him down.  Kirk closed his eyes, concentrating on sublimating that part of him that was intensely, violently opposed to having the other man anywhere near him.  When he did that, he discovered, he could focus on the scent of his body standing nearby, as calming as the Doctor’s was grating.  McCoy was tightening the last of the restraints when M’Benga hurried in, all rumpled uniform and dark circles beneath his eyes.

The tests seemed interminable.  It was a constant struggle for Kirk to control himself, to remain passive and quiescent on the biobed.  With months of long practice behind him he steadfastly ignored the voice that echoed up from the raw animal part of his brain, the one that whispered ideas of breaking free, of tackling Spock and joining the two of them in a sweaty tangle of bodies.  He recited warp equations in his head, translated the Starfleet oath from Standard to Andorian to Klingon and back to Standard again.  Anything to distract himself from the conflicting needs that roiled through his body; anything to remind himself of who he was.

His time sense failed him again after the first hour, and he had no idea how long it had been by the time the doctors stepped back to pore over the results they had compiled.  Spock stepped closer to the bed, approaching Kirk for the first time since his arrival in Sickbay.  Kirk closed his eyes for a moment and absorbed the scent of him, the relief from the turmoil of his thoughts that his presence brought.  The hum of his blood was nothing new, the urge to move closer long familiar.

“Jim.”  It could have been his imagination, but Kirk thought that his face held a hint of worry as Spock scrutinized him.  “Why did you attack Dr. McCoy?” he asked quietly.  The question was the last thing Kirk had expected, and he could only blink for a moment before answering.

“He grabbed my arm.”  Some instinct had him lowering his voice to match Spock’s near-whisper.  “I don’t know, I just sort of snapped, I guess.”

“You objected to being manhandled?” Spock attempted to clarify, and Kirk shook his head.

“It wasn’t that.  It was just the feel of his hand on me.  It felt . . . wrong.  Just wrong.”  He snorted and dropped his head back against the bed.  “That sounds crazy.”

“Yes,” Spock said after a moment.  “It does.”

Before Kirk could question that, they both started at McCoy’s shouted, “Are you a Vulcan specialist or not?  Make it make sense!”

He shoved himself away from the computer and stalked over to where the other two were waiting.  Spock stepped back as he approached, moving until the bed stood between them.  McCoy’s face was drawn, and the look he gave Kirk wasn’t one that inspired confidence.

“So how bad is it, Bones?  Not dying, am I?” he quipped, but a solid sense of dread was settling in his stomach. The doctor’s poorly concealed wince didn’t help to dispel the feeling at all.

“Jim,” he said helplessly.  Then his jaw firmed, his back straightened, and he was Kirk’s CMO again instead of his best friend.  “Your hormone levels are off the charts.  Testosterone levels are spiking, and your system is getting pumped full of adrenaline.  Well, the Vulcan equivalent.  Your neural readings are going haywire.  Jim.”  He shook his head once, sharply.  “Your body can’t take this indefinitely.  If we can’t fix it, the side effects are just going to keep getting worse, and eventually things are going to start breaking down.”

“Could’ve just said yes,” Kirk muttered.  He took a deep breath.  “How long?”

“There’s no way to say for certain, things could—”

“Bones.”

The older man sighed.  “Days,” he said.  “Maybe a week at the outside.”

This was it then, Kirk thought, fighting back a wave of panic.  Mr. Spock’s life will soon be in danger. Would you face his fear for him, and stand in his stead?  He remembered the words as clearly as if they had just been spoken, and there was no doubt in his mind now that this must be what the Noctaens had seen coming.  Kirk’s resolution hadn’t wavered; if this was what it took to save Spock, there was nothing that he wouldn’t give.  Even it meant his own life.

“Okay.”  He took a deep breath.  “I’m guessing from your little outburst over there that the ‘fixing it’ part of things is going to be a problem.”

“Even after everything that happened with Nero and the influx of Vulcan cadets at the Academy, we still hardly have anything on them in our medical banks,” McCoy said bitterly.  “None of it matches your current symptoms.  Which brings us back to our resident expert.”  He crossed his arms over his chest.  “Care to weigh in here, Spock?”

“Indeed, I would be more than willing to examine your findings, should you care to share them with me.”  His words had McCoy’s teeth grinding—Kirk could actually hear it—and earned him a terse jerk of the doctor’s head towards the station where M’Benga was still hunched over the monitor.

“We’re gonna figure this out, Jim,” McCoy assured him as Spock stepped over to see what he could make of the scans.  “You’re too damned lucky to die, and I’m too damned stubborn to let you.”

Kirk laughed weakly.  “Glad to hear it.”  He glanced over at the familiar body, odd to see now without his usual Command gold.  “What do you think will happen if we’re not quite good enough, though?  Will he be stuck in my body for the rest of my life, or what?”

“If you wanna talk like that I’m knocking you out.  Don’t think that I won’t.”

“I know you will, you freakin’ sadist.  Well, Spock?”  He turned his attention to the figure that was slowly approaching again.  “How’s it look?  Spock?”  His heart began to thrum dangerously fast in his side.  Despite his best efforts at control, the horror in Spock’s eyes was unmistakable.

“You know what’s wrong?” McCoy demanded.  “For heaven’s sake, man, tell us what it is so we can stop it!”

Spock opened his mouth, seemed to think better of what he had been about to say, and closed it again.  “I can not.”

The look McCoy turned on Spock was dark, and very nearly dangerous.  He jabbed a finger at Kirk where he lay strapped down on the bed.  “This is your captain. Your friend, you fucking automaton, and he’s dying.  Your body is dying, doesn’t that at least mean anything to you?”

“It means a great deal, Doctor,” Spock said sharply.  “But I can not help you.  He is suffering from a Vulcan affliction, one that is hardly spoken of even amongst our own ranks.  It is never discussed with outlanders.  Never.” 

“You mean to tell me that you’re gonna let him die to preserve some sort of Vulcan hoodoo secret?”  Kirk had never seen McCoy look so thoroughly disgusted.  “And if this was a danger why the fuck doesn’t your medical file reflect it?”

“The precaution was deemed unnecessary.”  Spock’s eyes drifted back to Kirk, and his entire face was set into a brutally emotionless mask.  “It was hoped that I might escape it.  My mixed heritage . . .”  He inhaled sharply.  “Kaiidth.  The specifics are a moot point, in any case.  You are unequipped to aid him in this.”

“We can try,” McCoy gritted out.  “That’s what human beings do, Spock.  It doesn’t matter if you think our chances of success are nonexistent; there’s no power in this universe that’s going to stop me from trying to help him.”

Spock’s gaze flickered over to him, then back to Kirk.  “Your loyalty is commendable, Doctor,” he murmured, “but unnecessary in this case.  I will remind you that we are on our way even now to speak with a team of Vulcan Healers.  They will see to his recovery.”

“And if they can’t?” McCoy demanded.  “If they can’t fix whatever the hell this ‘affliction’ is?”

“Then he is beyond anyone’s assistance,” Spock said flatly.  “But his readings are not yet dire enough for that to be a significant possibility.  The captain will not die.”  His eyes were bright, fiercely blue in their determination.  “I will not allow it.”

“Great to know everyone’s got my back,” Kirk broke in before McCoy could respond; this argument had gone on more than long enough.  “How long until we reach the colony?”

“Arrival is scheduled for 1100.”  Spock glanced at a nearby chronometer.  “Approximately five more hours.”

“Good.”  Kirk gave his restraints a testing tug.  “I think I’d rather wait it out in my quarters, if you don’t mind.  I need to try to rebuild those shields.”

McCoy looked hesitant, but nodded.  “All right.”  He threw a heated look Spock’s way.  “Much as it galls me to admit it, your presence seems to have some sort of a soothing effect on him.  Logical my ass,” he muttered.  “Think you can get him there without incident?”

“It is, as I believe the saying goes, the least I can do.”

“Damned right it is.  All right, Jim, I’m gonna loosen these straps now.  Try not to choke me again, okay?”

“I’ll do my best.”  The words didn’t come out as lightly as Kirk had intended, and the doctor couldn’t quite conceal his nerves as he worked.

“I’ll meet you in your quarters when we arrive,” he said, watching Kirk climb down from the bed.  “Not negotiable, understood?”

“I read you, Bones.”

“And eat something before you try any sort of meditation.”

Kirk waved a hand in the doctor’s direction as he and Spock headed off.  He already knew he wouldn’t.

Walking with Spock was an exercise in frustration.  Familiar and foreign, soothing and tantalizing all at once.  It felt as though his customary awareness of the other man had been amplified, his desire for him enhanced to a nearly unbearable degree.  By the time they reached his quarters Kirk’s shoulders ached with tension as he battled his conflicting emotions.

“I will prepare the firepot for you again,” Spock said, moving immediately to do so.  “Would you care to change into the pelal?”

Kirk spared a glance at the long black robe that lay neatly folded atop his desk.  “No.”  He was a Starfleet officer; he couldn’t afford to let himself forget that.  The uniform he was wearing would help, whether it was rightfully his or not.

Spock simply nodded, standing and stepping back when the incense began to curl into fragrant smoke.  Kirk took his place, settling himself in front of the flame.

“Captain.  Jim.”  Spock’s voice was as hesitant as Kirk had ever heard it.  “The illness you are suffering . . . I would not have had you subjected to such a thing.  I regret . . . profoundly regret . . .”

“Hey.”  Kirk glanced up, trying a smile.  “Not your fault, right?  We’ll get it all sorted out, so don’t worry.  Or whatever it is that Vulcans do when they’re busy not worrying.”

Spock nodded his acknowledgement and Kirk turned back to the fire in front of him.  “I will leave you to your meditation,” he heard, and his hand shot out before he thought better of it.  The glove that still covered his hand kept him from contact with the bare skin of Spock’s forearm, something that he tried to be glad of.

“Stay,” he said roughly, not trusting himself to look up at his friend again.  “I feel better with my own body nearby, I think.”  His fingers tightened slightly, a silent demand.  “Please.”

A slight pause, then, “Very well, Jim.  I will stay.”  Spock gently extracted his arm and settled himself on the other side of the firepot, hovering at the edge of Kirk’s sight.  “Now concentrate,” he said.  “The body is controlled by the mind.  Focus.”

Kirk breathed deeply and obeyed.

 

 

 

Part 7

Chapter Text

Title: Through Blind Men's Eyes
Author: [info]ladyblahblah 
Fandom: Star Trek Reboot
Pairing: Spock/Kirk, others
Rating: R, again for language and violence.  This is gonna be a theme.
Disclaimer: You think I own anything?  Have you seen my car?  Nothing is mine but the Noctaens and the plot, but I'm pretty sure no one's gonna fight me on that.
A/N: More was supposed to happen in this part, but then . . . well, it didn't.  This also ended up sort of scattered, but this time it was intentional!  Honestly!  That said, I don't know if it will make sense to anyone who's not me.  No idea if my Vulcan is right here, either, grammatically speaking, but it's the best I could piece together.  This time I'm awarding points to anyone who can spot the Kim Possible quote!  Anyone?  Anyone at all?
Summary: The obligatory Pon Farr story . . . with a bit of a twist.

 

 

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6

 

 

 

 

 

“You’ve really never had a problem with this psychic noise business?”

“Never, Captain.”

“Jim.  It’s Jim.  Why is it so difficult for you to call me that?”

“You are my captain.  It is appropriate for me to address you as such.  Why do you prefer your given name?”

“I don’t know.  I just do.  Maybe because I want to be more than just your captain.”

“More?”

“We’re friends, aren’t we?”

“Yes, Jim.  We are.”

“Good.  That’s good.  What were we talking about?”

“Psychic noise.”

“That’s right.  Even with my shields up I can still feel it, closing in around me.  That doesn’t freak you out?”

“On the contrary.  You forget that I was raised as part of a telepathic species.  Though communication with them is largely impossible, I nevertheless find the presence of the other minds on this ship to be a comfort.”

“Oh.  That makes sense, I guess.  . . . Spock?”

“Yes?”

“It burns.”

“Jim?”

“Only a short time now.  It will soon be eased.”

“I need . . .”

“Yes.”

“Jim.”

Kirk opened eyes he didn’t remember closing.  Incense smoke hung heavy in the air; Spock must have lit more at some point.  The lights were down to thirty percent, and between the dimness and the smoke everything seemed somehow fuzzy and slow.  There was a rustling sound to his right, and he looked over to see Spock rise from the bed looking rumpled and sleepy.  Something inside of Kirk seemed to sigh and settle contentedly at the sight.  He wasn’t sure when he had stopped seeing Spock-in-Kirk’s-body and begun to simply see Spock, and he had the feeling that something about that should have worried him, but his mind was as foggy as the air and he let the thought go.

“My apologies.”  Spock’s voice carried that newly-woken roughness that Kirk was so familiar with.  He liked the sound of it; he liked it very much.  “I had not intended to fall asleep.”

“That’s pesky human biology for you,” a clipped voice to Kirk’s left said, and he turned his head again to see McCoy standing just inside the door.

That, Kirk did not like.  McCoy had entered uninvited, unasked for.  Spock was standing next to Kirk’s bed, and Kirk was entertaining fuzzy, dim thoughts about pushing him back down onto it.  The doctor was not welcome. He had to leave, had to be made to leave if necessary, because McCoy could not have what was his, damn it—

“Captain.”  Spock was standing next to him then, offering a hand to help Kirk to his feet.  He took it, managing to ignore the sharp stab of disappointment at continued lack of skin-to-skin contact by virtue of the fact that Spock was ignoring McCoy entirely.  “I believe we have arrived.”

Kirk couldn’t process the words at first; arrived where?  He tried to remember, and as he did the fog lifted slightly.  They had arrived at New Vulcan.  He was only a beam-down away from his own body, and fixing whatever was wrong with Spock’s.

“Jim?”  McCoy’s voice again, obviously concerned, and Kirk realized that he hadn’t actually said a word yet.  “How are you feeling?”

Too much.

“Sorry, Bones.”  He made a concentrated effort to gather himself.  He was Jim Kirk, a starship captain, a civilized man whose friends were concerned for him.  “I’m just a little muddled.”  His voice sounded hoarse, as though he hadn’t spoken in quite some time, and he frowned.  “How long was I . . .?”  He gestured vaguely at the carpet in front of the smoldering firepot.

“You appeared to enter a light trance approximately two hours after you began mediation,” Spock answered.  “It was most impressive for one unaccustomed to such endeavors.”

“Didn’t know you had it in you, Jim.”  McCoy nodded his head towards the door.  “They’re ready to beam you down.  Let’s go get you fixed up.”

“Right.”  Why couldn’t he get himself to focus?  “Do they know?  About whatever’s wrong with me, I mean.”

“I placed a call to my father while you were indisposed.  The Healers will know what to expect.”

“Good.  Okay, yeah, that’s good,” he said vaguely.

“You will need to beam down shortly ahead of me,” Spock continued, and pressed on before Kirk could protest.  “It is necessary with your . . . condition.  Preparations will have to be made before they can return us to our proper bodies.”

“But—”

“Jim.”  McCoy again, gentle but insistent.  “Let’s get you beamed down so we can put this whole mess behind us.  You’ll be able to go back on duty,” he said with the air of one offering a small child a particularly favored treat in return for good behavior.  “Doesn’t that sound good?”

Duty.  He had been off-duty for days now, unable to command his ship.  That was important.  Why was it important again?  Damn it, he was never meditating again if this was the result.

“I will wait here while you go with Dr. McCoy,” Spock said, and yes, that was good.  Spock would stay here in Kirk’s room, where it was safe.  Kirk had to go down alone; he had to do this for him.  It was life or death, and he wouldn’t let Spock die, wouldn’t let anything take him away, wouldn’t . . .  “Captain?”

“Why is it so difficult . . .”  He blinked, trying to ground himself.  Had that conversation been real, or had it only been in his head?  He couldn’t be sure anymore, and it terrified him.  “You’re supposed to call me Jim,” he murmured.  Spock inclined his head.

“Jim.”  There was a pause, none of the three of them moving.  “You will have to release me, Jim,” Spock said at last.

Kirk looked down, only then realizing that he had never let go of Spock’s hand when the other man had helped him up.  The shock of that revelation was second only to his surprise at how little he wanted to let go.  His fingers tightened almost convulsively, as though his body—not his body, Spock’s body, it was difficult but he had to remember that—refused to give up the contact.  It took a concentrated effort to release Spock’s hand, but he managed it.

“His condition is deteriorating,” Spock quietly told the doctor.  “He should get to the planet’s surface as quickly as possible.”

“You think so?” McCoy growled.  “What do you think I’ve been trying to get him to do for the past ten minutes?”  Then, more calmly, “C’mon, Jim, let’s go.”  He shot an undecipherable look in Spock’s direction.  “The sooner you beam down the sooner Spock can follow you.”

“That’s . . . yeah, that’s a good point.”  He rubbed a hand across his face.  “I’m sorry, Bones, I just can’t seem to focus.  I think I need some fresh air.  Let’s go.”

McCoy’s relief was nearly tangible as he led Kirk from the room, careful not to touch him in any way.  “I want to run a quick scan on you before you beam down, okay?  No need to detour to Sickbay,” he said soothingly, both hands lifted in a peaceful gesture.  “I have my tricorder right here with me; that’ll be enough for a quick diagnostic.  We can do it while the coordinates get fed in.”

“Okay.”  The lights in the corrider seemed too bright, difficult to adjust to after the dimness of his quarters.  His head had begun to clear as soon as they had left the haze of smoke, but now everything seemed too clear, sharp and overexposed.  “I can’t get a handle on myself, Bones,” he admitted quietly.  “God, no wonder the thought of this scared the shit out of Spock.”

“What do you mean?  He seemed calm enough to me when he refused to tell us what the Sam Hill is going on.”

That provoked a smile.  “D’you know you get more Southern when you’re irritated?”

“Yeah?  Then I must be sprouting Georgia peaches outta my ass right about now.”  He set his jaw and took a sharp breath in through his nose.  “Gettin’ upset isn’t gonna help anything.  But once the two of you are back to normal I’m gonna read him the riot act, you see if I don’t.”

Something tried to stir in Kirk at those words, something dark and animal and dangerous, but he pushed it back down.  “When everything’s back to normal all three of us are taking an extended shore leave, even if I have to stage a coup in Command headquarters to manage it.  We’ve all earned it.”

“We’re not the only ones.  This has been hard on the entire crew.”  He shot Kirk a reluctantly fond look.  “They miss their captain.  Their first officer, too,” he admitted grudgingly.

“Yeah?” Kirk grinned.

“Yeah, well, I’m recommending psych evals for everyone who misses the hobgoblin,” McCoy grumbled. 

They reached the transporter room and were greeted by the sight of Ensign Chekov standing by the controls.  “Keptin,” he nodded.  “Dr. McCoy.  We have received the coordinates from the Vulcans, whenever you are ready, sir.”

“What are you doing here, Chekov?  Don’t you have bridge duty?”

“I have rerouted helm control to this station.  I wanted . . .”  He struggled for an explanation and finally shrugged helplessly.  “I wanted to help.”

Kirk hesitated, then nodded his consent.  “Thank you, Ensign.  Now let’s get this show on the road,” he muttered.  Chekov took a seat to begin entering the necessary information, and McCoy took out his tricorder and began his scans.  “How’s it looking?” Kirk asked superfluously; the doctor’s drawn face told him all he needed to know.

“Well.”  McCoy took a deep breath and tried to smile.  “Looks like we got you here just in time.  Don’t worry, I’m sure they’ll have you right as rain in no time.”

“Of course they will,” Kirk said confidently.  “Chekov, we all set?”

“Yes, Keptin.  On your orders.”

Kirk took a moment to attempt to settle himself.  At least he knew that the Healers would take care of this illness before they switched him out.  Once everything was clear Spock could have his body back, and not one minute before.  “Here goes nothing,” he said, and stepped up onto the transporter pad.  “Energize.”

The familiar swirl of light enveloped him, and the brief weightlessness that always made his head spin set in.  Then the world reformed around him into a room that was all shades of red and orange, two serene-looking Vulcans waiting patiently next to the door, and—

No.  No, this was wrong.  This place, this planet, it wasn’t—he couldn’t—he wasn’t supposed to be here, he was supposed to be—

—in his quarters.

Kirk blinked his eyes, waiting for his vision to clear, but the familiar surroundings remained.  He was in his quarters, lying on his bed, and his entire body ached.  The pain was familiar somehow, but he couldn’t place it.  It was difficult to move his limbs, so he simply lay there for a moment and listened to voices across the room as they traded hushed whispers back and forth.  He recognized McCoy’s voice first.

“—dangerous, so cut your damned Vulcan secrecy and tell me what the fuck is going on with him.”

“Losing your temper will not help the situation, Doctor.”  Spock, sounding noticeably unsettled.  “In fact, it is likely to make things significantly worse.  You are correct; he is dangerous right now, and it is imperative that you maintain your composure.”

“And why is that?  What will he do if I don’t?  Hell, Spock, even if you don’t think I deserve to know what’s happening, you know you owe it to Jim to tell him.  See, I’ve been thinking it over.  This mystical Vulcan flu or whatever it is coincided pretty damned perfectly with the two of you switching bodies, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence.  Not anymore.  And y’know what else I think?  I think he knew, somehow, that this was coming.  That this was something that scared the pants off of you and he jumped in to take the hit instead.”

“Pretty rude to talk about a guy like he’s not even in the room,” Kirk said roughly.  All other sounds in the room stilled as he slowly hauled himself into a sitting position.  “What the hell happened?  Why aren’t we down on the surface?”  He groaned.  “And why do I feel like I’ve been hit by a shuttlecraft?”  He looked up to find both of the other men staring at him like he was insane.  “What?”

“You do not recall?” Spock asked carefully as he took a measured step back from McCoy.  Jim shook his head.

“Last thing I remember is beaming down.  There was a room . . .”  The details escaped him, and he shrugged.  “That’s it.  But something happened, didn’t it?”  He looked back and forth between the two of them.  “You said I’m dangerous.”  The lingering soreness made sudden sense.  “And I’ve been stunned.  So again, what the hell happened?”

“We were sort of hoping you could tell us,” McCoy said cautiously.  “You really don’t remember anything?”

“I just said I don’t, didn’t I?” Kirk snapped.  He buried his head in his hands.  “Sorry.  I’m sorry.  I keep losing my grip, and I don’t know why.  Just tell me what happened, please.”

“It might be more expedient to show you,” Spock said, and for one dizzying moment Kirk thought that he was talking about a meld.  Then he looked up again and saw that Spock had moved to the computer.  “I have called up the security feed.  Can you stand?”

“Yeah,” Kirk said, though he wasn’t entirely sure.  He struggled to his feet, too distracted by the protests of his body to realize that neither man made a move to help him.  The pain began to clear as he half-stumbled across the room, something that he couldn’t help but be incredibly grateful for.  Spock began the feed and stepped back a careful distance.  Kirk looked down at the monitor in time to see two figures enter the transporter room.  “See, there I am with Bones.  I remember this part.”

The audio feed had been recording, as well, and he listened as they played out their conversation again.  He watched himself climb onto the transporter pad, watched it beam him away.  McCoy lowered his tricorder and turned to Chekov, still seated at the controls.

“I’m gonna make sure Spock’s ready for . . . whatever the hell it is they’re gonna do down there.  We’ll be back in about ten minutes; he said that should be enough time.”

“Yes sir.”  Even on the security feed the line of Chekov’s shoulders looked painfully tense.  McCoy must have seen it, too, because he paused before he left.

“They’re gonna be okay, kid,” he assured him, and Chekov nodded.

“Yes, Doctor,” he said again, clearly not believing the words any more than McCoy had.  It seemed for a moment as though the older man might say something more, but he turned and left without another word.

The chirp of an incoming communication came less than a minute later, and Chekov sat up straighter in his seat.

“Transporter Room 3,” he said when he answered the hail, and Kirk was baffled to hear Spock’s voice answer.

“Chekov, this is the captain.  This is the wrong location; beam me back up.”

“But Keptin—”

“That’s an order, Ensign,” he barked.  “Beam me up now.”

“Yes sir,” Chekov said as he scrambled to obey.  “Locking on to your signal.  Energizing.”

Spock’s body materialized a moment later, and Kirk watched, baffled, as he strode immediately to the controls.  He muscled Chekov out of the way, pushing the stunned teenager out of his chair as long fingers flew across the screen.  Chekov, peering over his shoulder as best he could, looked more confused than ever.

“Sir, what are you doing?”

“I’m plotting a new course.”  Kirk didn’t even pause, simply continued to key in information at a breakneck pace.

“You are—but why?”  He took a step back from the controls, then forward again.  “Keptin, you can not!  Our orders—”

“Are changing, as of now.”

Chekov stepped back again, clearly unsure.  Then he squared his shoulders and stepped over to the wall intercom.  There was a whistle of activation before he said, “Security, we need a team in—”

Watching, Kirk knew it was a mistake even before he saw himself turn with a growl to haul the skinny Ensign off of his feet.  He lifted him as though he were a bag of feathers, and then he threw him, turning away before Chekov had time to hit the wall with a sickening crunch of bone.  He fell to the floor and lay there, presumably unconscious, while Kirk ripped the panel off of the door controls.  One hand shot in, and a moment later the innards were ripped from their casing in a shower of sparks.  He returned to the station, then, and continued with what he had been doing before.

It took nearly five minutes for the security team to open the door that Kirk had sabotaged.  When they finally made it inside, the first two officers tried to rush him.  He swatted them aside like flies, entirely unconcerned with their presence.  Only when the others tried to hold him did he truly begin to rage, and the crack of snapping bones echoed from the monitor.

Yon-tor nash-veh,” he growled, trying to push past them to the door. 

One of the security team pulled a phaser, and the sound of a stunning blast filled the air as he scored a direct hit to Kirk’s back.  There was no effect.  Not until three blasts hit him simultaneously did he finally drop, and Kirk staggered back from the monitor.

“I guess that explains why I feel like I just went ten rounds with a Klingon warlord,” he said, and covered his eyes briefly with a shaking hand.  “Chekov?” he asked at last, looking up at McCoy with dread in his eyes.  The doctor’s mouth had thinned, but he nodded tersely.

“Got a concussion and a few broken ribs, but he’ll be all right.”

“Thank god.”  Relief made Kirk’s legs go so weak that he had to grip the edge of the desk for support.  Reassured on that one point, the rest of what he had seen came back in a rush.  “I tried to reroute the ship.  What were the coordinates?  Where was I going?”

There was a pause as the other two men exchanged a look, and that dark something stirred in Kirk again.  “We are not certain, Captain,” Spock said carefully.  Kirk frowned and turned back to the computer.  A few swift keystrokes called up the information.

“This doesn’t make any sense.  This is in the middle of nowhere.  Doesn’t make any sense,” he muttered again, and gave a sharp shake of his head.  “We can try to figure it out after we beam back up.”

“That may be problematic, Captain?”

Irritation flared, both at the delay and at Spock’s use of his title.  “Why?”

“We couldn’t turn the ship around.”  McCoy didn’t only look angry now; he looked afraid.  “You did something to the controls, locked them somehow.  We’ve got Scotty and Chekov looking at it right now, but so far they haven’t had any luck.”

“You’re saying that we’re nowhere near the Vulcan colony right now.”

“In a nutshell, yeah.”

“And if we can’t manage to turn the ship around, there’s really no chance of getting back in time to . . . in time.”

The helpless look on McCoy’s face was more than answer enough.  Kirk had to sit before he fell, and he dropped heavily into his desk chair.  No way back, unless his team could pull off a miracle.  He was under no illusions that it would take anything less; if Scotty and Chekov working together hadn’t managed to fix whatever he’d done so far, it wasn’t likely that they’d be able to manage it later.

“Perhaps you should take a look yourself,” Spock suggested, easily reading Kirk’s despair.

“Might as well.”  Kirk pulled up the diagnostics that their teams run, scanning lines of code with a growing sense of hopelessness.  There were layers built upon layers, interwoven and buried amongst each other.  “I don’t even . . . I didn’t lock it, I scrambled it.  But this doesn’t look like anything . . . I don’t know how to fix it.  I don’t even know what I did.  It’s just a massive tangle; it’s the Gordian fucking Knot of code, which would be really cool if it wasn’t going to kill us.”  He sat back, numb.  “It’s going to take days to sort it all out, and that’s if we have our best people on it around the clock.  There isn’t time.”

“You know, Jim, sometimes you being a genius is massively fucking inconvenient.”

Kirk’s laugh sounded hysterical.  The pain in his body was almost completely gone, and in its place was rising heat.  “I said something before they knocked me out.  What was that?”

“It was Vulcan.”

“But how?”  Kirk looked up, confused.  “I don’t speak Vulcan.  Hell, I didn’t even understand whatever it was I said.”

“I believe that your own consciousness was sublimated, and that you were acting on instinct,” Spock said.  “In that state you might have accessed the language as it was hardwired into my brain.  What you said would seem to confirm that hypothesis.”

Kirk’s heart was hammering in his side.  “What did I say?”

Spock’s eyes held his.  “‘I burn.’”

“Only a short time now.  It will soon be eased.”

“I need . . .”

“Yes.”

“Spock.”  McCoy’s voice was all barely restrained fury.  “It’s time for you to let us in on whatever’s looking like it might kill our captain.  And so help me, if you try to evade again—”

“You are correct, Doctor,” Spock interrupted.  “He, especially, has the right to know . . . everything.”  He glanced over at Kirk.  “However, I believe that it might be in our best interests if you left us alone for the duration of my explanation.”

Yes, hissed a greedy little voice in Kirk’s head, yes, alone, yes yes yes yes.

“Not a chance.  In our best interests?  You mean yours, don’t you?” McCoy asked, his temper finally snapping.  Kirk was surprised, actually, that it had lasted this long.  “You haven’t been up front with either of us once since this entire mess began, and I’ll be honest with you, Spock, right now I don’t trust you as far as I could throw you.  Like hell am I leaving you alone with him right now.”

“With respect, Doctor,” Spock said coolly, “it was not precisely a request.”

“Listen here, you arrogant bastard,” McCoy ground out, one fist snagging the front of Spock’s shirt.  He got no further than that before Kirk was on him.

He didn’t remember leaving his seat, had no idea if he had rounded the desk or simply vaulted over it.  All he knew was the blinding rage that had set in at the sight of McCoy’s hand on Spock, the furious need to protect, to eliminate any threat, any challenge.  He struck out with full force and felt his fist connect with the side of the doctor’s head.  The strength of the blow ripped the other man’s hand away from Spock’s shirt and sent him stumbling into the wall.  Kirk started after him, not nearly finished.  He wouldn’t be, couldn’t be until he had McCoy’s blood on his hands, until he could paint the walls with it.

Familiar blue eyes appeared in front of him, holding him in place.  His rage faltered, dimmed.  Spock was standing between him and McCoy, blocking his path.

“Jim,” he said softly, so softly that Kirk had to strain to hear.  Doing so had more of his anger draining away.  “You must endeavor to remain calm.  Do you understand?  Do not give in.”

Kirk faltered, and he squeezed his eyes shut.  Dimly, he heard Spock speak again.

“Leave now, before his restraint fades.  Go.”

There was the sound of the door hissing open and shut, and McCoy’s scent gradually faded.  Kirk crumpled to the ground, suddenly exhausted.

“What’s happening to me, Spock?” he pleaded.  “That’s the second time I’ve nearly killed him.  He’s one of my best friends, and half the time I see him I want to break him in half.”

“Jim.  My friend.”  Spock’s voice was as weak as he had ever heard it.  “I would have given anything to have you spared from this.”

Kirk looked up then.  The genuine pain in his friend’s eyes hurt him worse than the flames that were overtaking his blood.  “Just tell me.”

Spock knelt across from Kirk and schooled his features into stillness once more.

“It is the pon farr.  It is a thing no out-worlder may know—”  He regarded Kirk solemnly.  “—except those very few who have been involved.”

 

 

Part 8

Chapter Text

Title: Through Blind Men's Eyes
Author: [info]ladyblahblah 
Fandom: Star Trek Reboot
Pairing: Spock/Kirk, others
Rating: R, for language
Disclaimer: You think I own anything?  Have you seen my car?  Nothing is mine but the Noctaens and the plot, but I'm pretty sure no one's gonna fight me on that.
A/N: First order of business: OMIGOD YOU GUYS LOOK AT MY NEW ICON! XD  Appropriate icon is appropriate. -_-  Mad thanks again to [info]anoncomment7  for making it and [info]ninjaboots  for providing the sentiment.  EPIC WIN, PEOPLE.
Second order of business: Yaaaaaaaay, congratulations to [info]yuuzaiden for spotting the Kim Possible quote last time!  Here, have a random macro.  (For the record, that was really funny in my head, and then when it came out it seemed sort of depressing and sad.  Eh, what're ya gonna do?)
Third order of business, this one actually fic-related: I made up more Vulcan words!  Again, no idea if these came out even close to right, but I did my best.  There should be two more parts after this, and then possibly random porn an epilogue.  OMG I can see the end from here!
Summary: The obligatory Pon Farr story . . . with a bit of a twist.

 

 

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7

 

 

 

“It is . . . a Vulcan matter.  Our biologists, our anthropologists, all of our top scientific minds have studied it.  It was thought that if we could find the origin then perhaps it could be cured.  An attempt to understand, and so to prevent.  But there is no point in all our history that speaks of a time before.  It has always been so for us.  And so, I fear, it always be. 

“I’m sorry, Jim.  This is, even now, difficult to speak of.”  Spock closed his eyes briefly, and Kirk’s gaze was drawn to the fluttering pulse in his neck.

“The prevailing popular theory holds that it began in a time when our planet was divided by warring factions, each one intent on destroying the others.  It is contended that without the fires of pon farr our species would have died out entirely.  Some of our ancient poets even revere it as life triumphing over death.

“For most of us, however, it is . . . shameful.  Terrifying.”  Even in his current state Kirk could see what that admission cost Spock, and he made a concentrated effort to wrestle his attention back to the topic at hand.  “It is the time of mating.  Every seven years the cycle hits.  The male reaches his Time and craves sexual union until it becomes a kind of madness.  He must return home, to mate or die.”  His eyes caught Kirk’s for a moment before they slipped away.  “That is what is happening to my body now.  That is what is happening to you.”

“I don’t understand.”  Probably the greatest understatement since the dawn of Human language, that, and Kirk struggled to find a place to start.  “You . . . every seven years.  If you knew this was coming, why didn’t you do anything?  Say anything?  You’re not—I’m not safe to be around anymore; the crap with Bones has proven that.  You’ve endangered this ship and it’s just . . . not like you.”

Spock still refused to meet his eyes, choosing instead to focus on a spot somewhere above Kirk’s right shoulder.  “I have not undergone pon farr before now.  As I said, I had hoped I would be spared.  It was unclear, given my mixed genetic heritage, whether that particular trait had been passed on, especially as our biologists have been unable to isolate any particular genetic cause.  They theorized that if I escaped this affliction, then my genetic structure might be studied.  I was my people’s best hope for a cure; it is the primary reason that my conception was sanctioned as it was.  Then, too, there was my mental state after Vulcan’s destruction.  I was considered to be almost unnaturally healthy, especially given the state of most of those who lost their koon’ul-veh.”

“Still don’t speak Vulcan,” Kirk reminded him wearily.  “What’s a koon’ul-veh?”

“It is . . .”  Spock hesitated, as though he were searching for the right word.  He shook his head once, sharply.  “It does not translate properly.  A fiancée, but more.  And yet less than a wife.  Betrothed, affianced, but still bonded.  Still connected.  During pon farr the male is drawn to her, first as koon’ul-veh and then as telsu—his bondmate.  He burns for her, and the bond pulls him to her regardless of time or distance.

“My koon’ul-veh, T’Pring, did not survive Nero’s attack.  Had we been fully bonded it would have been different; her katra would have joined with mine and I would have been functional, though in some considerable amount of pain.  Without that stabilizing influence, however, I should have been . . . crippled.  All evidence from the remaining survivors said that I should have been damaged from the sudden severance.  But my mental state remained relatively stable. Further evidence, then, that the madness would not touch me.”

“But it did.”

“Yes.  For a time after our planet’s destruction the Vulcan people were ungrounded, in the most literal sense of the word.  Only recently has the new colony become settled enough to truly be considered our new home.  The communiqué I received from my father was to inform me of widespread reports of pon farr beginning in those whose Time should not have come yet.  Presumably this was a response to our species’s near-extinction, activated once a permanent settlement had been achieved.  He requested that I return to the colony for a time in the hopes that they could learn why I remained unaffected.”  He paused for a brief moment.  “It would appear, however that such investigations would be fruitless.”

“Okay.”  Kirk squeezed his eyes closed for a moment, trying to marshal his thoughts.  “Let me see if I’m following along so far.  Basically, what it seems to boil down to is that I’m being affected by a Vulcan mating drive that’s going to end up killing me if I don’t get laid.”  He paused to let the words sink in.  “You know, I’d never believe that if I weren’t actually going through it.  Hell, I am going through it and I hardly believe it.”  He opened his eyes to find Spock watching him warily.  “There’s more, isn’t there?  You lost your . . . mate, I guess.  You were supposed to be drawn to her during all of this; what happens now that she’s gone?”

Spock’s eyes clouded.  “I am not entirely certain,” he hedged.  “Vulcan children are bonded at the age of seven for precisely this reason.”

“Seven?”  The word refused to process.  “You pick your wife out when you’re seven?”

“The children’s parents arrange the match.  They look for a compatibility of minds and base their choice from that.  I was tied to T’Pring for the majority of my life, but there was never a true connection between us as Humans would understand it.  When our bond was severed I found, perhaps due to my mother’s influence, that I was not content to make another match simply for expediency’s sake, especially as it seemed as though I would not have to weigh an impending mating drive into my considerations after all.  Instead I had hoped for something more . . . Human.  But it seems that I waited too long, and now . . .

“The bond is meant to focus the male’s attentions.  Without it, the instinct to mate remains but exists uncontrolled.   Any female will be seen as a viable mate, while any male will present as a challenge.  That is why you have been experiencing such hostility towards Dr. McCoy; you are not seeing him as your friend, but as another male encroaching on your territory.”

Kirk took in blue eyes and golden-tipped hair, looked thoughtfully at how close Spock was to him.  “I’m not viewing you as a potential threat,” he pointed out.

“No,” Spock acknowledged, “you are not.  I believe that the Human survival instinct will not permit you to.  I theorize that, seeing your own body, you do not perceive me as a challenge.”

“Right.  That’s logical.”

And it was; given the information that Spock had, it was an entirely reasonable argument, and really the only one that even began to make sense.  If it didn’t take into account Kirk’s urge to pin him down and take what his blood was burning for, that was hardly Spock’s fault.  Kirk certainly wasn’t going to bring it to his attention.

“So all I need is a woman, huh?”  He closed his eyes.  “Any suggestions?”

There was a pause long enough to have Kirk opening his eyes again.  Spock looked hesitant, and unease curled tight in Kirk’s stomach.  “I’m afraid that . . .”  His jaw worked, a visible sign of his distress that he would normally never have allowed himself.  “I told you that the fires of pon farr bring a kind of madness.  It is a complete loss of control in every way, and the coupling is frequently quite violent.  Human bodies are much more fragile than Vulcans’; my mother only survived my father’s Time by virtue of the bond they shared.  Without that . . .”

Unease turned to sudden sickening horror.  “Without a bond, you’ll probably kill a Human partner.  I will.”  He stared for a moment before staggering to his feet.  “You need to go,” he said hoarsely.  “I have to think, and with you here it’s . . .”  Impossible.  Want you need you crave you yon-tor nash-veh ashayam soft and cool and mine.  “. . . difficult,” he managed to finish.  “Tell Bones.  He’ll need to know.  And get Scotty and Chekov working on a lock for my quarters I won’t be able to override or hack.  I’m not going to allow myself to be a danger to my crew.”

Hesitation again, but then Spock rose as well.  “Understood.”  He headed for the door, but paused after only a few steps.  “Though I had hoped it would not be necessary, I did take precautions against this occurring while I was aboard this ship.  I have an assembled medkit in my quarters that contains a variety of tranquilizers and suppressants; if you wish it, I will leave it for you.”

“Yes.”  Kirk couldn’t look at him any longer, couldn’t begin to resolve or even absorb the mix of horror, terror, lust and anger that was roiling through him.  “Thanks, I think that’ll be helpful.”

“Jim.”  There was an emotion in Spock’s voice that Kirk couldn’t define, but it was real and strong and Kirk had to bite his cheek until he tasted blood to keep from reaching out in response.  “I would not have had you touched by this, but I will do everything in my power to see you through alive and well.  We will find a solution; I swear it.”

The door hissed open, then closed again, and Kirk was left alone.

“I will do everything in my power . . .”

The irony hit him all at once, and he laughed like a madman.

He began to lose himself after that, in slow degrees.  At one end of his quarters one moment and the other end the next; pacing the floor when the last thing he remembered was reclining on the bed; standing in the ‘fresher in front of the door to Spock’s quarters, hand raised as though to knock, or pound, or tear his way through.  He gave in, then, and took the kit that Spock had promised from where it rested on the sink.

Kirk was sitting on the floor, in the dimness of his quarters, his back resting against the bulkhead when the door slid open and McCoy stepped in.

“Do you have some sort of a death wish?” Kirk asked roughly, and watched in mingled regret and satisfaction as the doctor jumped.  It took a few moments of scanning the room for McCoy to find him, and the tension in his shoulders didn’t ease even then.

“What the hell are you doing sitting around in the dark?” he muttered.  “Lights to—”

Don’t.”  McCoy flinched at the tone, but didn’t move to leave.  “I can’t handle anything too bright without feeling sick.  Don’t know if that’s a usual side-effect or not; I didn’t think to ask Spock about it.  He talk to you?”

“Yeah.”  Kirk hadn’t moved since McCoy had showed up, and the doctor took another cautious step into the room.  “You still feeling homicidal?”

“At the moment I’m not feeling much of anything.”  Kirk blinked at him slowly.  “Probably because I’m pretty fuckin’ high right now.”

“What?”  His earlier reticence forgotten, McCoy moved forward to frown down at him.  Kirk lifted his head slowly to regard him.  “What do you mean, you’re high?”

“Spock had a goodie bag ready in case he turned into a ravening beast.  I tranked myself up.”

McCoy cursed and knelt in front of him.  “What did you take?”

Kirk shrugged, his movements elaborate and exaggerated.  “No idea.  Whatever was in the hypo he’d prepped.  Pretty sure it wasn’t poison.”  He paused, considered.  “Pretty sure it wasn’t deadly poison,” he amended.

“You’re telling me you shot yourself up with a hypo without even knowing what was in it?”

“Two, actually, but pretty much, yeah.  Tranquilizers and suppressants, he said.  Not sure what kind.”  McCoy pulled out a penlight and shone it into his eyes; Kirk hissed and jerked his head away.  “Fuck, Bones, what did I tell you about light?”

“This can’t be right,” McCoy muttered, standing again.  “Your pupils are dilated and non-reactive.  If you’d pumped your system full of downers they should’ve contracted.”

“Not strong enough.”  The pain was fading from Kirk’s eyes and he blinked up at his friend.  “Whatever this is, whatever’s behind it, it’s stronger than anything we can throw at it.  It’s stronger than me.”

“It’s not,” McCoy said harshly.  “Since when does Jim Kirk believe in no-win scenarios?”

“This isn’t.  It’s. . . not.”  Ordering his thoughts was getting increasingly difficult, but he had to try.  This would probably be the last chance he had.  “I used to think that, you know, about the Kelvin.  About my dad.  Pike told me it hadn’t been a no-win for him, and I laughed, because what the hell, you can’t win if you die.  Screw the other guy over, maybe, but you’re still dead so you still lose.  I laughed, and I never really stopped, even when I thought I got it.

“But I do, now.  I get that there are some things that are worth the sacrifice.  That you go into knowing you’re gonna die, no matter what you do, and it’s okay.  It’s still a win, because there are some things that are worth more than your life.”

McCoy was shaking his head.  “Even if that weren’t a load of horseshit, you didn’t know going into this.”

“Yeah.  That’s the thing, though.” Kirk laughed.  “I sort of did,” he said, and watched the doctor’s face go suddenly very still.

“What are you talking about?”

“The Noctaens.  The switch.  It was because of me; because my worst fear was . . .”  He licked at his dry, chapped lips.  “They told me they could help.  That Spock’s life would be in danger, and I could stop it.  Whatever was going to happen.  That they would help me stop it.  But I’d have to stand in his place, they said.  I didn’t understand . . . but we beamed back down, and they explained, and I couldn’t let them switch us back.”  His eyes met McCoy’s.  It was important, vitally important that he understand.  “Spock wouldn’t have said anything.  They told me that much; he wouldn’t have said anything until it was too damned late, and he would have died.  Because he thought this wouldn’t happen to him, and he’d have been too damned stubborn to recognize it for what it was until . . . so I had to.  I had to take this one for him, Bones.”

“I don’t understand any of this.”  McCoy took a few steps back, then forward again.  “This defeatist attitude isn’t like you.  And it’s not like him, either, so don’t you dare try to feed me that excuse.”  Apparently unable to keep still, he began to pace; Kirk watched him without moving.  “To hear Spock tell it you just need to find someone to fuck.  Hell, that can’t be hard; half the crew’s been lusting after you since the start of the mission, and most of those who haven’t have their eyes on Spock.  You’re not exactly hard-up here.”

“Is that so?”  Kirk’s eyes narrowed.  “And just who would you suggest?  Bones, you’re my best friend and the drugs in my system are all that’s stopping me from snapping your neck just for being here.  I can’t stand the sight of other people right now, and even if I could I . . .”  He tried to swallow, but his throat had long since gone dry.  “Spock says it’s violent.  That his mother probably only survived because of her bond with Sarek.  So go on, tell me who you’d toss in here with me.  Christine?  Uhura?  Yeoman Barrows?”

Even in the dim light McCoy’s face looked pale and drawn, but his determined expression didn’t fade.  “Not human, then; someone stronger.”  He ran a hand through his hair.  Kirk watched him scanning the ship’s roster in his head, trying to think of a woman, any woman, who could withstand a Vulcan’s full strength.  He saw the exact moment when defeat entered the doctor’s eyes, but it didn’t last long.  “Maybe if we kept you drugged.  Keep you tranked up like this.”

“Won’t last,” Kirk said.  He let his head fall back against the bulkhead.  “It’s only working now because we’re not quite there yet.  I figured out where we’re going, did I tell you?”

“No,” McCoy said, “but I don’t see what—”

“It was something Spock said.  About how pon farr pulls them home.  New home now, new pull.  Gotta repopulate.”  His thoughts tried to slip away again and he tightened his grip on them.  “All the others are being drawn to the new colony; but not me.  I felt . . . wrong there.  Like just having my feet on the ground made me sick.  And I knew when I saw them that those coordinates seemed familiar, but it wasn’t until a few hours ago that it hit me.  I remembered.”  He gazed up at McCoy.  “You know them, too.  Everyone learns them these days, drilled into your head along with First Contact and the signing of the UFP charter.”

McCoy frowned for an instant before realization dawned.  “The Kelvin?”

“Got it in one,” Kirk chuckled.  “It’s like salmon; gotta swim back home to spawn.”  He took a deep, ragged breath.  “It’s been getting worse the closer we get.  When we’re there, that’s when it’ll be really bad,” he said, his voice ringing with certainty.  “That’s when I’ll break.”

“I’m not gonna let that happen,” McCoy growled.

“No choice, Bones.  And I’m sorry about all of this, I really am.  But we’re out of options.”

“Like hell we are.”  He was back to pacing.  “You can’t stand the sight of other people,” he said, almost to himself, and a moment later he stopped dead.  “That’s not entirely true, though, is it?  I’m an idiot, I should’ve thought of this right away.”  He turned back to Kirk, hope dawning on his face.  “There’s Spock.  You’ve been almost docile around him this whole time; you could—”

“No.”

“What the hell do you mean, ‘no’?”  He moved to tower over Kirk, anger radiating from him like heat.  “Would you forget your goddamned pride for a minute here?  This is your life we’re talking about!  Spock said that for whatever reason you’re not seeing him as a threat.”

“Yeah.  He seems to think it’s because my Human survival instinct is stronger than the pon farr.”

“You don’t agree?”

Kirk stared down at his hands, dangling between his knees.  He had rid himself of the gloves hours back; somewhere along the way the skin there had grown hyper-sensitive, the way a nail bed felt when you cut too close to the quick.  Just brushing against something was enough to get him hard, nearly enough to make him come all on its own.

“Nothing is stronger than this,” he said quietly.

McCoy sighed.  “Look, the reason doesn’t matter.  The point is that Spock can get near you without having to fear for his life.  And much as I hate to admit it, your body’s fully capable of taking a few knocks.  I’m not saying it wouldn’t be weird; this left ‘weird’ in the dust a long time ago.  But I figure you’re just narcissistic enough to get off on fucking yourself.”  He ran a hand over his forehead.  “Maybe it’s even for the best; hell, maybe between that and knowing that it’s Spock—”

“Bones.”  Kirk squeezed his eyes closed.  “That is the opposite of helpful.”

There was a pause, and Kirk would swear he could feel his friend’s shock.  “You want him.”  It wasn’t a question, despite the surprise that colored McCoy’s voice.  “Hell, Jim, being in that body really has made you go screwy.”

Kirk laughed weakly.  “The wanting isn’t exactly new,” he admitted.

“It’s . . . well.”  McCoy huffed out a breath.  “That’s why you . . . right.  All right, Jim, I gotta tell you, fucked-up as this whole thing seems to me, it sounds like we’ve just solved our problem.  You’ve apparently got your mate all picked out, so all we need to do is get Spock in here and—”

No,” Kirk snarled.  “You keep him the fuck away, do you understand?”

Jim.”  His friend’s face fell, confusion written plain in every line.  “This isn’t just your best shot; it’s your only shot.  If you’re worried about Spock, you shouldn’t be.  You know he’d do this for you, if not for himself.”

“Yeah, I know he would.”

“Then what in the name of God is the problem?”

“Touch telepathy, Bones,” Kirk reminded him, and shook his head.  “He’d agree in a heartbeat; how many times has he reminded me that it’s his duty as First Officer to keep me safe?  But touching him, and knowing the whole time that he’s just tolerating it . . . that he doesn’t feel anything at all, that duty is all that’s motivating him . . . I can’t.  Not like that.  I wouldn’t survive it; I don’t think either of us would.”

“Damn it, what the hell does it matter?” McCoy demanded, angry and desperate.  “No offense, Jim, but we both know you’re hardly a stranger to meaningless sex.  What’s the difference . . .”  he trailed off, realization and horror blooming across his face.  Kirk’s head dropped, and he heard McCoy slide down the wall to sit next to him.  “Ah, shit, Jim.”

“Yeah.”  Kirk’s laugh held no real amusement.

“You never told me.”

Kirk lifted one shoulder in a graceless shrug.  “Nothing to tell.  I love him; I can’t have him.  Not that way.  But I had his friendship, and that was good.  That was enough.”  He lifted his head again, though he kept his eyes focused straight ahead.  “This is enough.  To be able to spare him this . . . it’s enough for me.”

He took another deep breath.  “It’s getting harder to think, so I need you to listen.  The drugs won’t last much longer; you’ve gotta go before they wear off.  You can’t let Spock in here, do you understand?  If I touch him, if I stop seeing him as a potential mate, I’ll kill him.  We’ll both die, and I won’t accept that.  I can’t.  Move him to different quarters, and don’t tell me where. 

“You can set up the ship’s scanners to monitor my condition.  I don’t know how long I’ll last; Spock might have an idea, or the Elders back on the colony.  Get in touch with them if you can.  When I’ve dehydrated enough not to pose a threat, I want you to move me to Sickbay.  Not one second before.  If I get out of this room with any strength in me I’ll go after him.  As soon as I go . . .” 

He was hot, he burned, where was Spock?  He needed him, wanted him, he would burn to ash without him, psthan nash-veh, koon’ul-veh.  Sweat broke out over Kirk’s brow as he tried to think clearly. 

“When I go, you need to use the cryonics system to freeze his body.  Take it back to the colony, or maybe to the Noctaens if the Vulcans can’t do anything.  Put him back where he belongs; you said it yourself, he’ll go crazy if he’s stuck in a psi-null body for the rest of his life.”

“You can’t ask this of me.”  McCoy’s voice sounded suspiciously thick.  “Jim, you just can’t—”

“I can, and I am.  I’m not going through all of this just to have him die on me anyway.  C’mon, Bones.  You’re not really going to deny me my last request, are you?”

Kirk closed his eyes, and when he opened them again McCoy was gone.  He wasn’t sure how long he had been alone, but he thought it might have been a while.  They were almost there; he knew that much.  He could feel it in the marrow of his bones, in the dark vastness of space that called to him.  His blood was screaming, demanding that he find Spock, find his mate and sate himself, lose himself in his body and his mind.  The drugs had burned away, and the tattered shreds of his control were fast behind them.  Not long now, he knew.

Over soon.  Over soon, and Spock safe.  Before that, it would be bad.

But it would be worth it.

When the door to his quarters opened he couldn’t, at first, comprehend it.  The light spilling in from the corridor seemed almost to come from another world entirely.  Even as his mind faltered, however, his body was rising and walking towards this new exit, pulled as if by some strange new gravity as the screaming in his blood quieted to a low, dangerous hum.

Then Spock stepped in, and the door closed behind him, and the world began to end.

 

 

 

Part 9

Chapter Text

Title: Through Blind Men's Eyes
Author: [info]ladyblahblah 
Fandom: Star Trek Reboot
Pairing: Spock/Kirk, others
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: You think I own anything?  Have you seen my car?  Nothing is mine but the Noctaens and the plot, but I'm pretty sure no one's gonna fight me on that.
A/N: All right, guys.  We all know you've been waiting for this.  Not a lot to say this time, mostly just a lot of blushing and hiding under a blanket.  I'ma dedicate this to [info]missyousofaar[info]xlcatloveress , and [info]ninjaboots for providing much-appreciated prodding and ego-stroking, as well as to [info]margarks , in honor of her birthday tomorrow. ^_^  Happy Valentine's Day, guys.  All right.  It's piña colada time. B)
Summary: The obligatory Pon Farr story . . . with a bit of a twist.

 

 

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8

 

 

 

“Spock.”  Kirk stopped dead, gathering up the last shreds of his willpower in order to do so.  He took in the sight of the man before him, wrapped in long black Vulcan robes and regarding him out of calm blue eyes.  “Get out.”

“I’m afraid that is not possible.”

“Bullshit.  Turn around.  Go.”

“It is nearly time.”  Spock took a step forward and Kirk stumbled back.  He could smell himself on that body, clinging to the robes, merging Vulcan and Human scents together and making him painfully, unbearably hard.  “We will arrive at the coordinates you programmed in less than an hour.”

Time.  It was nearly time.  Nearly Time.  “Please leave.”  He turned his back.  If he didn’t look . . . if he just didn’t look . . .  “Leave, you have to leave.  I’m going to hurt you if you stay.”

“That seems likely.  However, as I said, it is not possible for me to leave.  The door has been locked behind me, and as per your instructions Ensign Chekov and Commander Scott have designed a lock that would take me at least five hours to break.”

Kirk turned to face him again, his blood burning as what was left of his mind reeled.  “They locked you in here?”

“Yes.”  Spock took another step forward, and as Kirk retreated he found himself coming up against the bulkhead.  Trapped.  “As I asked them to.”

“What?”  The words wouldn’t process, and Kirk shook his head in denial.  “You’re not supposed to be here.  It’s not safe.”

“Jim,” Spock chided gently.  “You were willing to risk your life for mine.  Did you think that I would do any less?”

“I thought . . .”  Had he?  Hadn’t he thought before?  Hadn’t he used to be a person?

“You are in need,” Spock said, pulling him back to the present, to the reality of the ache that seemed to start all the way down in his bones.

“Yeah,” Kirk said.  “Dealing with this.  It’s . . . hard.”  Hard, it was hard, he was hard, he needed Spock, needed his mate, he needed he needed he needed he needed.  “I can’t . . . I don’t know how much longer I can fight this.”

“Then do not try.  Jim.  T’hy’la.  Let go.”

Kirk made a strangled noise, a scream or a moan that caught at the back of his throat.  “I can’t.”  He shook his head and managed, somehow, to stumble away.  “I shouldn’t.  It would be . . .”

“Unwise?” Spock guessed, and Kirk gave an unsteady laugh.

“To say the least.  Unwise, yes.”  What would be unwise?  He forgot.

“I was once told that what is necessary is never unwise.  You are in need,” he said again.

“Need.  Yes.”

His voice was rough, unsteady.  Spock was moving towards him again, and Kirk had to move away.  Why?  He didn’t know.  Couldn’t let Spock touch him . . . why not?  He couldn’t remember.  The reasoning had burned away with everything else, but he retained this one thing.  One certainty, all that was left of himself: mustn’t let Spock touch him.  He clung to it, his last defense against this desperate, consuming desire.

“I spoke with Dr. McCoy,” Spock was saying.  “He informed me that my previous theory regarding your tolerance of my presence was erroneous.”

“Erroneous?”

An eyebrow quirked, and Kirk’s cock jumped.  “I believe the exact phrase he used was ‘a pile of bull’.  It seems that I had not previously been possessed of all the facts.”  He moved closer, patient when Kirk evaded again.  “You want me.”

“Yes.”  No point in denying it now.  “Maybe . . . bathroom.  Lock yourself in there, call security.  Knock me out.”  His hands were clenched into fists at his sides, trembling as he restrained the urge to touch.

“I do not believe that doing so would solve the problem that you currently face.”

“One of them.”  What were they even talking about?  “I’ll kill you.  Don’t let me.”

“You will not.  I can feel you burning, t’hy’la.  Let me ease you.”

T’hy’la.  That was the second time Spock had called him that.  Another Vulcan word, and Kirk didn’t understand.  But something deeper, something that ran beneath and behind and between what he was, something that was beyond him and yet was him in his entirety responded to it.  It was a word he knew without understanding, a word he felt in a part of him that language couldn’t touch.

“You can’t feel me,” he said without quite knowing where the words had come from.  “We’re not bonded.  I’ll kill you.”  If he repeated it often enough Spock would understand.  Had to understand.

“I believe you’re wrong about that,” Spock said.  He seemed closer, though Kirk couldn’t remember seeing him move.  “Our minds could not operate and thrive as they have without some tie to our bodies; I believe that the Noctaens were required to form a link between us to avoid a complete severance, and that it is serving a very similar function to a traditional Vulcan bond.”  He was definitely closer now.  “You are unaccustomed to the presence of others’ thoughts, so you have not been able to pick mine out.  But I can feel you, can sense some portion of your thoughts.  The heat of them.”  He took a breath that didn’t seem entirely steady.  “Yon-tor’du.”

What was left of Kirk’s mind was reeling.  He couldn’t even begin to understand, to process, not when Spock was so close and they were almost there, almost to the empty stretch of space that was calling him.  But Spock was reaching for him, and that last shred of consciousness, the last spark of Jim Kirk panicked.  He was still far from convinced by Spock’s explanation, still sure on some basic level that to suffer his touch would be disastrous.  So he did what he could to stop it before Spock’s hand could reach his face, and his own hand shot up to seize his wrist.

His hand had barely closed around Spock’s bare wrist when he realized his mistake.  The gloves that had protected him before were gone.  There were no barriers between them, just cool skin beneath his fingers.

The flames that were burning in his blood erupted into sudden inferno, and he was lost.

He pulled Spock to him with a growl, feeling the fragile human body crash into his.  In one quick twist Kirk had him pinned to the bulkhead, trapped between the solid wall and his own desperate, pressing need.  There was one bright fraction of a second where his world became blue eyes and flushed pink skin, and then his lips found Spock’s with a demanding groan.

His tongue plunged into a cool wet mouth, sweeping inside and plundering, claiming.  A soft, answering touch had him plastering his body against Spock’s, one hand gripped hard at his waist and the other still clamped, vise-like, around his wrist.  He was rutting helplessly against Spock’s hip when gentle fingertips managed to twist, brushing against the backs of his knuckles, and then Kirk was coming harder than he ever had in his life, hips thrusting into Spock’s hipbone in a series of short, brutal spasms.

There was no feeling of release, no blissful euphoria.  The flames only seemed to roar higher, and he was still hard.

Small pieces of awareness began to filter through to him.  Spock was kissing him back, heedless of the sharp metallic tang of blood that mingled on their tongues.  His free hand was fisted in Kirk’s shirt, as if to keep him in place.  He was hard against Kirk’s stomach, and his mind was blank beyond a formless depth of encouragement and desire.  Kirk broke the kiss to bite at his lip, realizing as fresh blood began to flow that he must have done so at least once already.  Spock, far from objecting, simply moaned and arched against him as best he could.

And yet . . . and yet his heartbeat was still sluggish, his skin still cool.  If Kirk had been in his right mind he might have realized that he was well within normal parameters for Human arousal, that the needy excitement he could sense beneath his touch echoed his own.  His only thought, however, was that his mate was in his arms and providing only a lukewarm response.

It wasn’t enough.  Whether it was a Vulcan or a Human reaction, he didn’t know.  He only knew that the body alone was not enough.  Spock had to lose himself to him, had to offer himself of his own will and beg for Kirk to take what he wanted.  His need for it, for submission of that fierce intellect and fiercer will, was as strong as his craving for physical completion.

“Give yourself to me,” he panted against Spock’s open mouth before he moved to bite rough kisses along his jaw.  “Yon-tor na’nash-veh, t’hy’la.”  The words spilled out without conscious thought, breathed into cool skin, branding themselves there.

“Yes,” Spock groaned, and tilted his head to one side in frank invitation.  “Jim.  I feel . . .”

“Not yet.”  He loosened his grip and shuddered once, hard, as their fingers intertwined.  His tongue swiped over the hard, slow pulse that beat beneath the delicate skin at his throat.  “But you will.”

The body beneath his hands, his mouth, the body he craved so badly, had been his home for the past twenty-six years.  He knew with unparalleled intimacy how it would react, the ways in which it best responded, and he put that knowledge to use with single-minded efficiency.  Each weak spot and sensitivity was ruthlessly exploited. 

The way his legs would go weak at the press of a tongue behind his left ear.  The shivers that would wrack his body when fingers stroked and tugged at the short hairs at the nape of his neck.  The way his cock jumped when his nipples were pinched or scratched, and how he’d never been able to keep quiet when hips rolled just so against his.

He could feel Spock start to fracture, sense the trembling in his mind as surely as in his body.  Every trick that had ever had that body panting, gasping, coming was leveled against it now.  Past lovers guided his hands, reminding him to press just there, telling him where to stroke and when to plunder even as a rage of jealousy against those phantoms swept through him.  He increased his efforts.  He was all too aware of how many others had been in this position before, how many others had touched and tasted and taken this body, and he couldn’t bear it, it was unacceptable, because it was his.  He would erase all of those former touches, blot them out until all that was left was him and all others had been burned away.

Spock had gone boneless, and Kirk’s body still pinning him to the wall was all that was keeping him upright.  Blue eyes were clouded over.  His lips, violently red and swollen, hung open on harsh, panting breaths.  His mind was falling to pieces beneath Kirk’s attack, a jumbled mess of lust and need and desperation.  But there was some part of him holding on, holding back, struggling to retain some tenuous grip on himself.  Unwilling to relinquish the delicious press and pull of Spock’s fingers still tangled with his, Kirk reached down to grasp a hard Human cock.  Spock made a desperate noise, thrust once, twice, and with a shuddering gasp spilled his release into Kirk’s hand as his head slammed back against the wall.

The ecstasy that flooded his mind, coupled with the feel of warm semen pulsing out to coat his fingers, sent Kirk tumbling over the edge after him.  He kissed Spock again, and when he pulled back lifted his hand to his mouth to lap at the thick white fluid that coated it.  The feel of his tongue tracing his over-sensitive skin made him cry out, thrusting hard against Spock again.  The other man was watching him out of wide blue eyes, as though the sight of himself doing something so debauched had stolen all power of thought away from him.

Then he leaned forward, eyes drifting closed, and stole a drop away with a quick flick of his tongue.

A fresh wave of lust crashed over him, and Kirk seized that mouth again with a hungry growl.  He yanked himself back a moment later and spun Spock around to face the wall, realizing in a kind of daze that the Vulcan robes had disappeared and not quite remembering when or how that had happened.  Then his eyes snagged on the smooth lines of the back before him, the strong shoulders and slim hips and firm ass, and he reached out to fill his hands again, to fill his mind.

Unable to wait, he pressed himself against Spock’s back as he tore at his own clothes.  The nape of his neck, the slant of his shoulder proved too tempting for him to resist, and he went to work with lips and teeth and tongue as the sound of rending fabric echoed dimly in his ears.  Bruises formed beneath his mouth, beautiful blues and blacks and purples tinged at the edges with faint green, bright reds where he scored the skin in his enthusiasm.  It made him shake, made him squeeze his eyes closed in defense against the sight of his mate’s body marked, claimed, his.

Kirk ran his hands over every inch of skin that he could reach, drinking in the noises that Spock couldn’t seem to hold back.  His tongue traced the edge of one rounded ear as he skimmed over smooth muscles, found soft hair that scraped pleasantly against his fingertips, reveling in the riot of sensation that came from such simple touch. 

Skin slick with sweat, Spock ground back against him so that Kirk’s cock slid along the crack of his ass.  Then he reached up and back and oh, fuck, Vulcan ears were just as sensitive as Kirk had always hoped, and Spock was taking full advantage of that fact.  Kirk found his fingers at Spock’s mouth before he knew what he was doing, and broken lips parted eagerly to take him in.  He saw stars for the full two seconds that he could bear the feeling, before he was ripping his hand away to slide two fingers into Spock’s body.

The feel of him, cool and tight and already slick had Kirk coming again against his back even as black rage swamped his mind.

He let out a growl and slammed his other hand flat against the wall, teeth sinking hard into the stretch of muscle between Spock’s shoulder and neck.  Still, his fingers kept moving, unable to fight the urge as slick pressure gripped him.

“Who?” he snarled against Spock’s skin, and bit him again.  His teeth made deep impressions on the side of his neck, something that filled him with a savage kind of satisfaction.  He twisted his fingers and Spock cried out, thrusting his hips against the wall.  “Bones?”  Kirk would kill him.  He would take his mate, and then he would find the doctor and tear out his throat for daring.

Then Spock’s hand slid up to cover his.  He pressed his forehead to the wall and managed to send Kirk an image of him lying naked on his bed in the dark of his quarters, an open bottle of lubricant lying next to him and his fingers buried deep inside himself.  Preparing himself, readying his body to be offered up for Kirk’s ease.

“No one else, ashayam,” he breathed out, pushing back against him as best he could.  “Never again.”

Kirk could barely breathe.  He removed his fingers with a phenomenal force of will and guided his cock to his entrance in their place.  He wanted to ease his way in, wanted to take his time and make it as painless as possible.  But as soon as he slipped past that first tight ring of muscle his control snapped, and with a single sharp thrust he was buried as deep inside of Spock as he could go.

He couldn’t stop himself then, couldn’t manage to do anything but continue to thrust, driving himself into Spock’s body again and again, into tight slick coolness that was better than anything he had ever felt, anything he had ever even imagined.  His hands gripped slim hips and pulled them out from the wall, holding them there so that Spock stood, half-bent over with his arms braced against the wall.  Kirk draped himself over his back, his forehead buried in the back of Spock’s neck and his tongue darting out occasionally to catch the beads of sweat that collected on his skin.

His head was flooded with a torrent of good/pain/need/heat/more, and he could no longer tell what he was feeling himself and what was bleeding through from the contact with Spock’s skin.  And then Spock clenched around him, and thrust back, and it no longer mattered.  It was him/Spock/them/us and all that mattered was more, more skin and more pressure and more more more.

Kirk fitted himself more firmly against Spock’s back and slid one hand around to take hold of his cock.  It reduced him to short, shallow thrusts, but it didn’t matter.  Because this was just a slightly different take on the countless times he had gotten himself off to just this thought, of Spock buried deep inside of him with his breath panting over the back of his neck.  It was familiar, and he knew just how to move his hand, when to flick his wrist, and he could feel the excitement and the faint hint of fear that was building up in Spock, because it was too good, too much, and it would drive him mad.

Mad together, then, he thought, and drove him over the edge again.

He didn’t know how they got to the bed, only knew that he was stretched out over Spock, mouths fitted together and hands linked, kissing and kissing and kissing.  He was pushing Spock’s legs up, darkly delighted at the surprise in those blue eyes as his mate discovered how flexible this body was.  Then he was inside again, sliding in with a groan as his forehead rested against Spock’s.  As he began to thrust he leaned up, a strange sort of vertigo seizing him when he stared down at his own face.  But his eyes, Spock’s eyes, their eyes were closed, and a low rumbling growl escaped him.

“Spock.”  He thrust sharply.  “Look at me.”  He felt desperate, like he very well might die if Spock didn’t obey.  “Please,” he rasped, “please, I need you to look at me.”

Spock’s eyes fluttered open and promptly closed again on a groan.  “I am finding it . . . difficult,” he panted out, voice breaking on the last word.  “To look at my own eyes as we . . . Jim . . .”

Kirk had fisted a hand in his hair and yanked his head back to savage his throat.  “Not my eyes,” he ground out.  “Don’t look at this body; look at me.”

Blue eyes opened again.  Their gazes locked, and Kirk was shaking with the force of the need that was raging through him.  They had to be like this, just like this, never apart again, never so much as an inch of space between them.  Nails dug hard into his back, sharp points of violence spurring him on, and that was good.  He could stay there forever, he thought, surrounded by the feel and taste and scent of Spock, breathing in air tinged with musk and salt.  Salt in his sweat, salt in his blood.  Salt in his seed, the taste of it still hazing his brain.

He came again, and still he was hard, still he burned, and something . . . something was wrong.

“Not enough,” he said, the words hardly recognizable.  He braced his weight on his knees and wrapped his hands around Spock’s shoulders, pulling him down to meet his hips.  “More.”

He could barely see anymore, his vision a haze of green edged in black.  The only clear thing was Spock’s gaze, dazed blue eyes still locked on his.  He drove himself deeper, and deeper still, but he only needed more.  It was like using water to douse a grease fire, and with every thrust the flames just blazed higher.

“I need . . .” 

He didn’t know.  And what a fucking joke, that after all of this he would still burn, still die in a blaze of unfulfilled desire.  He couldn’t look at Spock any longer, and he buried his face in his neck as he shook, and needed, and burned.

But his hand was being peeled away from its grip on Spock’s shoulder, and brought to his face, fingers arrayed in a pattern that was familiar and strange at once.  A mental nudge, and then the words were in his head, and on his tongue, and the ritual phrases were ringing in his ears.

“My mind to your mind . . . my thoughts—”

—to your thoughts.

T’hy’la.  Take your ease in me.

His mind thrusts into Spock’s, sinking deep, and there is indeed ease, and comfort, and cool, sheltering welcome.  Shelter from the flames that threaten them both.  He wraps himself in it, feels it spread through him until there is no him to feel, only them, only us, there is JimandSpock and t’hy’la and so good, so right to be together like this.  To be touching, yet beyond touch.  To be one.

Parted from me and never parted.  Never and always . . .

. . . touching . . .

. . . yes.

 

Part 10

Chapter Text

Title: Through Blind Men's Eyes
Author: [info]ladyblahblah 
Fandom: Star Trek Reboot
Pairing: Spock/Kirk, others
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: You think I own anything?  Have you seen my car?  Nothing is mine but the Noctaens and the plot, but I'm pretty sure no one's gonna fight me on that.
A/N: OMGYG IT'S THE FINAL PART!  (And cotton candy has nothin' on this.  Don't say I didn't warn you about the excess of sugary fluff.)  I just want to take a moment to say thank you so, so much for everyone who's read and commented and encouraged and pestered up through now.   Your attention and your enthusiasm have been so very, very appreciated.  You have no idea.  I hope this last part doesn't disappoint . . . buy hey, I gave you pon farr sex already, so don't say I never did anything for you. XD  I felt bad for using Bones as a convenient punching bag all through this fic, so he finally gets a bit of a moment here.  And . . . I think that's it . . . here we go!  (I have finally finished something that's not a one-off!  Landmark moment!)
Summary: The obligatory Pon Farr story . . . with a bit of a twist.

 

 

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9

 

 

 

The first thing Kirk was aware of, when he came back to himself, was that his entire body ached.  He was sore in places he hadn’t even known existed, and he wasn’t entirely sure that he could move.  Luckily, he didn’t feel terribly inclined to try.  There were hands moving over him, warm fingers tracing gentle patterns on his skin.  No, not warm, hot, and as that realization hit another came swiftly on its heels and he opened his eyes to see—

Spock.

Spock, pointy ears, green-flushed skin and all.  Which meant . . .

“How?”  Kirk’s voice sounded like gravel, and his heart thudded—in his chest again, damn that felt strange now—as Spock’s fingers tightened briefly on his hip.

“I believe the meld we shared served as the Noctaens implied it would.  When a link was created between us our minds were able to use it to return us to our own bodies.”

Kirk thought that over for a moment.  “You sound like you’re handling things pretty well.  I was pretty much at the fire bad, sex good stage when I was in you.”  The words and their multiple implications made his face flush.  Spock’s hand came up to chase the color across his cheekbone.

“I believe the worst of the fever has passed.  Though I am finding it . . . difficult . . . to stop touching you.”

“So don’t try,” Kirk said, seizing Spock’s wrist in a loose grasp and brushing a feather-light kiss across his fingertips.  “You don’t have to stop.  In fact, I’d rather you didn’t.”

Spock’s eyes were locked on Kirk’s lips, tracing their shape as they curled against his fingers.  “It would be wise for both of us to rest for a time.”

“Yeah.”  Kirk flicked his tongue out and watched Spock’s pupils widen, felt the flare of his desire hot in his own blood, edging out his body’s ache.  “Are we going to take the wise course of action?”

“In the time that I have known you, we rarely have,” Spock breathed out.  He rolled suddenly until his weight was pressing Kirk farther into the mattress.  “I see no reason to deviate from form.”

They came up for air some time later, and this time Spock was insistent Kirk refrain from provoking him at least long enough to get some sort of food and drink.  Since his mouth had completely dried out and his stomach was rumbling constantly in protest, Kirk agreed.  He let Spock program something into the replicator for him while he sat at his desk, drinking his third glass of water and taking stock of his physical state.

“We should probably comm Bones,” he said, prodding at a series of bite marks that ran from his stomach to his hipbone.  Had he done that?  He couldn’t remember.  “He’s probably going apoplectic not knowing whether we’re alive or dead in here.”

“I am sure that Dr. McCoy has been monitoring us using the ship’s life support system,” Spock said without turning around.  “He will be aware of our continued health.”

“Since when has something like that ever stopped him from worrying?” Kirk laughed.  “He’ll feel better if he can see for himself that we’re both still all in one piece.”

“Jim.”  Spock turned, holding a plate piled high with a thick steak, potatoes and a small mountain of steamed vegetables.    He set it in front of Kirk and took a moment, visibly composing himself.  “I must apologize.  I am still rather . . .”  His eyes swept over Kirk’s body, and he set his teeth against a new wave of lust that threatened to swamp him.  “If you are to speak with the doctor, I must insist that you reclothe yourself first.  I do not care for the idea of him seeing you in such a state.”

“‘Such a state’?”  Kirk couldn’t wait a second longer, and began cutting eagerly into his steak.  “Do you mean naked, or covered in your marks?”  He loaded up his fork.  “Or both?” 

Spock made a low sound at the back of his throat and took an aborted step forward.  “This is not a wise time to bait me, Jim.”

“Sorry.”  Kirk swallowed heavily, a slippery ball of need forming in his stomach at the dangerous undertones in Spock’s voice.  “I’ll finish eating and put on some clothes, and then we’ll check in.  Just long enough to keep him from bursting in here to check on us, how does that sound?”

Spock took a deep breath through his nose and nodded sharply.  “Satisfactory.”

Kirk tore into his food with relish.  It felt as though he hadn’t eaten in days.  Actually, once he thought of it, he realized that he wasn’t entirely sure how long they had even been in this room together.  Time had seemed to liquefy and run at some point, and for all he knew the two of them could indeed have spent days inside of each other.  He was fairly sure that wasn’t the case, if only because they hadn’t had to deal with McCoy’s panicked interference, but the fact that he didn’t know for sure was somewhat unsettling.

He opted to slip the Vulcan robe back on, slightly tattered though it had become, rather than going to the trouble of donning a uniform.  It was comfortable, airy and light even in the sweltering heat of his quarters.  The possessive thrill that sparked in Spock’s eyes upon seeing him in it was just a delightful bonus.

To Kirk’s complete lack of surprise, McCoy answered the hail to his office almost immediately.  “Hey, Bones,” Kirk said with a grin, trying to fend of the guilt that wanted to rise at the sight of his friend’s haggard face.  “Man, you look like hell.”

“Jim?” McCoy croaked out, his eyes going so wide that Kirk was briefly afraid that they might simply fall right out of his head.  “You’re . . .?”

“Alive?” Kirk guessed.  “Me?  Right on both counts.”  He felt Spock move to stand behind him.  “We just wanted to let you know that there’s no need to send in the cavalry.”

“I was about to, if I hadn’t heard from you in another hour.”  McCoy ran a hand over his face and glared, but his color was beginning to return.  “You’ve been scaring the ever-holy hell out of me, you know.  I want the both of you in here for a comprehensive examination, and I’m not taking no for an answer.”

“Understood, Doctor,” Spock said before Kirk could respond.  “We will report to Sickbay as soon as my fever has fully run its course.”

“As soon as—you mean to tell me it’s still going on?”  McCoy stared.  “You’ve been in there practically twenty-four hours!”

“Indeed.  Pon farr lasts, on average, three point oh five seven Earth Standard days.”  He reached forward as though to cut off the communication, but McCoy’s voice stopped him.

“Hold it right there, you . . . all right.”  He rubbed a hand over his brow.  “Okay, fine, you have your little hedonistic Vulcan honeymoon, but you’re both in my Sickbay the second it’s over.  I mean it.  You don’t so much as sneeze before you head down here.”  He grabbed a PADD and started scribbling something on it.  “I’m putting together a kit,” he muttered.  “Painkillers, muscle relaxants.  Don’t worry,” he said with a wry look, “all screened for acceptance by the Jim Kirk Immune System.  I’m gonna leave it in your—in Spock’s quarters.  Use it.  I’ll know if you haven’t.”

“All right, Bones.”  Heat was building at the back of Kirk’s mind again, and he was more than ready to end the call.  “Will do.”

“Try not to take any more stupid risks, either,” McCoy snapped.

“We won’t.”

“And get plenty of fluids.”

Kirk had to grin at that.  “Way ahead of you, Bones,” he leered, and snapped off the screen.  “Well,” he said, sitting back with a sigh, “I think that went—HEY!”

Spock carried his squirming captain back to the bed and threw him onto it, knocking the breath from his lungs in a sudden rush.  A moment later he was there, doing his best to divest them both of their clothing without breaking their mouths apart.

“I did not like,” he growled against Kirk’s jaw, “the way he spoke to you.”

“Like I was a crazy person?” Kirk panted, trying to shove Spock’s pants off of his hips.

“As though you were his to look after.”  Spock was having better luck with Kirk’s clothes, and his hands were already sweeping over bare skin.  “You are mine.”

The only response that Kirk could manage for a moment was an eager whimper.  “So tell me,” he gasped when Spock paused to bat Kirk’s hands away and shed his own clothes, “this possessive, jealous thing you’ve got going on right now.  Is that strictly a pon farr thing?”

“I am usually able to control these urges.  However, I am finding that at the moment,” he said, leaning down to indulge in a hot, breathless kiss, “I do not care to try.”

“Well.”  Kirk arched up and wrapped his legs around Spock’s waist.  “Guess I’ll just have to enjoy it while it lasts, then.”

Quite a while later Kirk was flying high on the hypos Bones had delivered and the slow, rhythmic strokes of Spock’s hands over his back.  It seemed that he could actually feel the cuts and bruises mending as the ointment soaked into his skin.  Kirk couldn’t remember the last time he had felt so quietly content; he didn’t know that he ever had.  Spock’s fever was abating, settled to a low, simmering warmth now.  It felt comforting.  Reassuring.

“So, Spock.”  Kirk’s words came out half-slurred, and he couldn’t help but laugh a little at the sound.  He was just so damned relaxed.  He stretched languidly as Spock’s hands moved down to his waist.  “What aren’t you telling me?”

Spock’s touch stuttered for a moment before it resumed its languid strokes.  “Many things, I would presume.  I must ask you to specify.”

“You know what I’m talking about,” Kirk chided, but didn’t try to move out from under Spock’s hands.  “I thought at first that it was just the aftermath of the switch, but it’s not, is it?  I’m still getting an echo of how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking.  Like right now.  You’re really nervous all of a sudden.”  He groaned when Spock dug his fingers in on either side of his spine, working out the lingering tension there.  “You know what’s going on.  I can feel it.  Did something go wrong?”

“Not . . . as such,” Spock said hesitantly.  He leaned closer, and a moment later Kirk felt warm lips skating over the back of his neck.

“Mmm.  That’s not fair,” he protested.  “I’m trying to have a . . . a serious conversation here.”

Spock’s hand moved lower, and soon a single slick finger was pressing inside of the Human beneath him.  “This might not be the best time for this discussion.”

“Humor me,” Kirk breathed out.  “But don’t stop doing that.  Why can I feel you . . . in my, um . . .”  Spock added a second finger, his movements still unbearably slow and gentle.  “In my head,” Kirk finally managed to finish.  “It’s because of what happened that first time we melded, isn’t it?”

Spock pulled his hand away, and Kirk’s dismay was short-lived before he felt Spock pressing inside, thick and heavy and oh, so hot.  “You were inexperienced in the process of joining two minds.”  He began to move, slow deep thrusts that had Kirk’s thoughts splintering.  “And I could not exert enough control to help you.”

“Show me,” Kirk heard himself beg.  He reached down and peeled one of Spock’s hands away from where it was gripping his hip, brought it up to his face.  “Please.”

Yes,” Spock gasped, and then his fingers were moving into place, and Kirk shivered at the now-familiar feeling of Spock’s mind sliding into his.

For long moments there is simply joy, the comfort of returning to this, this place this feeling so goodperfectright.  His mind their mind onetogetherwarmhome.  Whole again after being fragmented, never want to leave, stay like this always and forever.

Then gentle pressure, guiding, leading towards the Spockpart, deep down past memories and knowledge, faces facts figures words.  Into the core, where the sense of him is strongest, almost Spock instead of us

Rubble here, like a city that’s been carpet bombed, almost everything destroyed.  A few remain, so very few.  And there, in the very center, like a circle of ash, emptiness where it’s most vital to be whole.

A sense of calm logic, cool beauty and cooler dismissal.  Gone now.  Irretrievable.

T’Pring.

But there, in the midst of the rubbleashemptiness, something bright and new.  Like green leaves and sunlight and bright fresh new life.  Tender and young and fragile, but growing still, growing stronger, and it resonates with Spock and Kirk and us and it’s beautiful.

I did this?

and

Yes.

Wanthopedoubtconfusionapprehensionlovelovelovelove.

Kirk took an unsteady breath and let his sense of himself filter back as Spock’s fingers lifted away.  The sheets beneath him were wet with his release; his body was languid, boneless.  Spock’s breath was warm on the back of his neck, his body heavy where it lay over him.  Kirk felt him tremble once, and then that weight rolled away, leaving Spock sprawled on the bed next to him.  With the last of his strength Kirk managed to turn his head to see that Spock had one arm draped across his eyes, blocking out the world.

“It is over,” he breathed out.  “It is done.”

Kirk could feel the truth of that.  The fire had died out, the constant sense of lust and need given way to satiation and exhaustion.

“Well.”  His voice was rough and slow, and Spock lowered his arm to look at him.  “I guess we have some decisions to make.”

But entirely too much had happened to be sorted in one discussion when they were both on the edge of collapse, and they both knew it.  Instead they slept, and though they did manage to talk briefly before reporting to Sickbay as ordered, very little had actually been settled by the time Kirk was seated on an exam table, casting a wary eye at the hypo McCoy was brandishing.

“Man up,” the doctor said with a good-natured sneer.  “It’s just a little prick; I’m sure you’ve been dealing with worse the past few days.”

“Yeah, well, the day one of your hypos makes me come so hard I pass out I’ll officially stop complaining.”  Kirk winced as he rubbed at his neck, but he couldn’t help but laugh at the pained look on McCoy’s face.

“Now that’s just plain more information than I need,” he complained.

“Says the man who just had his finger up my ass.”

“There’s a world of difference between a medical examination and a three-day sex marathon, and don’t pretend you don’t know it.”  McCoy started another scan.  Kirk had lost track of how many he’d run sometime after they’d reached double digits.

“We didn’t just have sex, you know.”

“Really?”  Kirk wondered if McCoy knew that he had picked up Spock’s habit of raising his eyebrow like that.  “What, you two paused in the middle of a biological mating imperative to have a deep philosophical discussion?”

“No.”  Kirk leaned back on his hands while his friend examined the computer’s readouts.  “We did sort of get married, though.”

Later in like, Kirk was sure, he would regret not saving that piece of information until McCoy was in the middle of a drink; he’d always wanted to inspire a genuine spit-take, and if the bug-eyed stare he was receiving was any indication, that would’ve been a prime opportunity.

“You . . . I’m sorry, Jim, my ears must be going.  It sounds like you just said you got married.”

“Sorry we didn’t invite you,” Kirk grinned.  “It was a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing.”

“How the hell did you—”

“We bonded.  Sort of . . . accidentally.”  He hopped down from the table and started to pace around the room.  “So now we have to decide what we’re going to do about it.  It can be broken, apparently; it’s new enough that Spock thinks it would still be possible.  We’d have to go back to New Vulcan for that, get help from a Healer.”

McCoy regarded him quietly for a moment.  “Is that what you’re going to do?” he asked at last.  “Unbond, or whatever?”

“I don’t know.”  Kirk picked up a scanner, set it down again.  “I know what I want.  And I’m pretty damn sure I know what Spock wants.  But there are other things to consider.”

“Like what?” McCoy demanded, throwing his hands into the air.  “Like the fact that you love each other enough to do something as damn fool stupid as die for each other?  Like the fact that if it weren’t for that you’d probably both be dead right now?”

Kirk glared at him.  “Like Starfleet.  There are regulations against this sort of thing, you know.  Can you think of a single ship that has a pair of married officers in the same chain of command?  Hell, it’s why he and Uhura broke it off; it’s breaking about six different regs just to date someone who reports to you!  Not to mention . . .”

“Not to mention what?”

“I know he loves me now,” Kirk said quietly, not looking at his friend.  “I’ve felt it, and it’s real.  But I don’t know if he would’ve.  Without pon farr, without all this mess . . . I need to know he wants this even when it’s not necessary.”

“Uh huh.”  McCoy crossed his arms.  “And what’s he thinking about this little train of thought?”

“I don’t know.  I had him block us off from each other.  Give both of us some time to ourselves, time to think.”

“Well, that’s mighty noble of you, Jim,” McCoy drawled.  “But you know what I think?  I think you’re a coward, and a goddamned fool.”

Kirk’s gaze snapped up.  “Watch it,” he said coolly.  “I’m still your commanding officer.”

“Yeah, you are.”  McCoy stepped closer, edging into Kirk’s space.  “And you probably wouldn’t be, if not for all that shit with Nero.  Does that make you any less of a captain?  Does it make your dedication to your ship, to your crew, any less?”

Kirk set his jaw.  “It’s not the same thing.”

“No, you’re right, it’s not.  Because you were brave enough to take this chance.  You had the guts to jump into this job without a fraction of the training and experience that most people have by the time they take the center seat.  But when it comes to anything to do with your heart you’re scared shitless.  Always have been.  Why the hell else didn’t you just tell Spock how you felt as soon as you knew?  Hell, Jim, I don’t know what’s holding you back; I’m not a mind reader.  But you know someone who is, and god help us all, he loves you anyway.”

“And what if it’s not enough?” Kirk shouted, surprising them both.  He sagged against the wall, defeated.  “I never told him because . . . Bones, his race is nearly extinct.  Do you really think he should be wasting himself on me?  Ignoring his people, the obligations he has to them?  I love him, Bones, I love him so much, but . . . what if it’s just not enough?  What if I’m not enough?”

McCoy sighed and slung an arm around his friend.  “Jim.  You are ten pounds of issues in a five-pound sack.  And I’m giving you a clean bill of health, so go talk to your Vulcan before I infect you with something nasty.  Go on,” he said with a little shove, “quit cluttering up my Sickbay.  I have real sick people to treat.”

Well-versed in the benefits of a strategic retreat, Kirk left, muttering about Southern optimism and hopeless romantics. 

Halfway through Gamma shift the corridors were more or less deserted, and he didn’t meet a single other soul on the way to his quarters.  His yeoman had been in to clean, and things were as neat and tidy as ever, the sheets on the bed drawn up tight, all hospital corners and straight lines.  He was still getting reacquainted with his Human senses, and it seemed strange that he couldn’t smell her, couldn’t tell where she might have lingered or what shampoo she had used that morning.  He could smell Spock, though, his scent still lingering as though it had worked its way into the walls.  It was comforting and electrifying all at once, twin forces that were pulling him in opposite directions.

Damn Bones for calling him on his bullshit, anyway; Kirk fucking hated it when he did that.

Kirk didn’t register the door chime until the third time it rang.  Even when he had, however, he simply stared at it, unable to understand what it meant until he heard the voice.

“Jim?”  A pause.  “Captain?  Are you well?”

Kirk swallowed the sudden knot in his throat and nodded, realized how stupid that was and squeezed his eyes shut.  “Yeah,” he called out, his voice barely audible.  “Come in.”

The doors slid open and Spock stepped inside, as neat and immaculate as ever, and as the doors closed behind him Kirk's heart simply turned over.

“Okay, look,” he said before Spock could speak.  “I know we said that we were going to take some time to think this over.  I know there are a million reasons this isn’t a good idea.”

“I do not believe that the number—”

“Hyperbole, Spock, just go with it.  The point is that we said all of that, and it may be valid, but when everything’s said and done, none of it matters.  Not to me.  It’s been, what, two hours since you blocked off our bond?  And I don’t feel like a whole person.  I don’t think I can anymore without you.  Maybe they’ll take the ship away, and maybe I ought to just let you go so you can have dozens of Vulcan babies, but I’m a selfish bastard and you’re . . . you’re worth more than a ship.  More than anything.  So I thought you should know that before—”

Kirk broke off, his words stumbling to a halt as Spock reached out to take his hand and a flood of lovewarmthrelief washed through him.  Their fingers locked together and Kirk tried to remember how to breathe properly.

“Do you recall what Chancellor Laaen told me when I declined his offer?”  Spock asked as he stepped closer, and Kirk closed his eyes to relish the heat from Spock’s body.

“That, ah . . . you knew what your greatest fear was, but not why.”  Kirk opened his eyes again.  “You were afraid of pon farr, I know that much now.  Can’t say I really blame you.”

“I did fear it.  But I need not any longer, because of you.”  His fingers were running softly over Kirk’s, nearly hypnotic in the patterns they were tracing.  “I was . . . less than honest with you earlier.  The Noctaens did form a link between our minds, but they were only able to do so because the foundation for such a connection had already been laid.  Because our minds were already attuned to each other.”  His eyes dropped to their joined hands.  “Unless I had taken a new bondmate I would have been drawn to you during my Time, and I had already calculated a ninety-two point seven three percent chance that you would not return my . . .”

“Your feelings?” Kirk guessed with a crooked smile that only grew as he watched a faint green flush spread over Spock’s cheeks.  “We both have genius-level IQs, you know.  So how the hell are we so stupid?”

Spock cleared his throat.  “‘We are all fools in love.’  Is there not an old Earth quote to that effect?”

“You’ve got me there.  So.”  Kirk tightened his grip on Spock’s hand.  “There are still all those problems.”

“Though it seems crass to capitalize on the destruction of Vulcan,” Spock said slowly, “I would venture to say that Starfleet might be reluctant to reprimand the sole member of an endangered species currently enlisted in its ranks.  I also believe that my counterpart would be willing to lend us his support should we request it.”

“Okay,” Kirk nodded.  “That all sounds reasonable.  But as far as that whole ‘endangered species’ thing goes—”

“I need not take a Vulcan bondmate in order to contribute to the genetic pool,” Spock assured him.  “I will contact my father and make the necessary arrangements to send a viable sample.”

“‘Viable sample’, huh?”  Kirk couldn’t have stopped his wicked grin if he’d had weights attached to his mouth.  “Can I watch?”  Spock sent a gentle mental chiding across their bond, and Kirk laughed.  “You’re sure your father will be all right with this?” he asked, growing serious again.  “With us?”

“I am,” Spock said, and Kirk could indeed feel his bone-deep certainty.  “The bond we share is one that most believe it to mythical in nature, or at the very least long-since extinct, but it still garners a great deal of respect.”

T’hy’la,” Kirk said softly, delighting in the mental thrill that ran through Spock when he said the word.  “You know, I still don’t know what that means.”

“Yes, Jim.  You do,” Spock said, locking their gazes together.

“Yeah,” Kirk smiled as he stared back into Spock’s eyes, felt the comforting touch of his bondmate’s thoughts in his.  “I guess I really do.”