Title: A Level Course and True
Warning: Spoilers for the movie
Author’s notes: Big beta thanks to jaune_chat and redandglenda, who caught be best typo ever: James T. Kink. So, here goes. *Kicks tires of established canon.* Uh huh. *Checks the oil.* Yep, all seems to be in order. *Takes it out for a spin.* I’ll try not to drive it off a cliff…
Summary: Spock is experiencing an unsettling emotional response in the wake recent events, but the very last thing that could possibly improve the situation is a late-night confrontation with James T. Kirk.
Spock couldn’t sleep.
Meditation didn’t help. The grief—the shame of his failure—seeped in under the wall of calm that usually protected his mind. The feeling soaked through every cell of him, every dark corner of his consciousness, and wouldn’t let him rest. So he walked.
Through the empty, echoing halls of the Academy he walked. No wandering ramble, this. He moved with purpose, as if he could outpace the emotions that threatened to choke him. Far from soothing him, each step seemed to fan the flames of his discomfort. He was failing to calm himself, as he had failed to save his mother and his home world. As his future self had failed to save Romulus and brought revenge down on all their heads. Twice over his failure. Twice over his fault.
Spock had nearly thrown away their chance for victory when he’d marooned Kirk on Delta Vega. Out of pique. He’d acted in anger. He’d endangered the Enterprise’s victory by indulging petty passion. And again, on the ship, in front of the crew, Spock had given in to his emotions. He’d allowed Kirk—that reckless, crude child—to goad him into losing control. And if his control was that easily broken, he did not deserve the name of Vulcan. True, in the end Spock had marshaled himself sufficiently to do what had to be done, but it had been Kirk who had ultimately won the day. He was the true leader, the man with a workable solution.
Since then, Spock had been feeling off-balance. Un-centered. Hardly like himself at all: spiraling off somewhere unfamiliar and only grasping at the appearance of composure. Uhura’s repeated tender offers hadn’t helped at all. Her soothing touches had unleashed feeling in him for which he had no outlet. Spock needed something, yes, but it was nothing she could supply. And now here he was again, slave to the basest parts of himself, running from his fear like an animal in the dark.
So lost was Spock in his thoughts that he didn’t realize an obstacle blocked his path until he was a bare two feet away. He pulled up short and found himself face-to-face with James T. Kirk.
“You were coming down the hall like a freight train.” Kirk looked amused. “Commander.”
Spock bit back his automatic criticism of the flawed analogy. “Captain,” he said tightly. He stepped to the side, but Kirk moved to block him.
“You’re breathing like you just ran a damn marathon.”
He was right. Spock fought to relax, to regain control of a body taken hostage by his feelings. He should not have allowed himself to get this worked up. He’d thought the Academy halls were empty, but that was no excuse for letting down his guard. Emotions were slippery things. In Spock’s experience, giving free rein to one emotion only created opportunity for similar lapses in the future. He should not have been skulking through the building, indulging an emotional whim.
“Spock?” Kirk leaned in closer, squinting in the dim light. “Are you all right?”
“I am fine.” Spock took care to modulate his voice so the statement came out flat and neutral.
“Fine,” Kirk echoed. There was an edge in his voice that Spock thought might be sarcasm.
“If you’ll excuse me, Captain.” Spock side-stepped again, and once more Kirk blocked him.
“You could at least call me Jim,” Kirk said. “Haven’t I earned that?”
“Very well. Jim.” Spock tried not to let the familiarity needle him. Kirk didn’t seem to be acting difficult on purpose. It was only that Spock had allowed himself to fall into a mental state in which his emotions ran too close to the surface of his thoughts. He had expected to pass the evening alone, and now every word of Kirk’s, no matter how innocuous, felt like a goad. “I was about to retire.” Spock stepped past him again, but this time Kirk turned and fell into step with him.
“I’ll share a cup of tea with you before you turn in.”
Spock stopped in the middle of the hallways, and Kirk stopped beside him. “I do not wish to drink tea with you.” Spock was surprised at the edge in his tone, and he noticed the widening of Kirk’s eyes that meant he’d caught it too.
“Andorian ale, then,” Kirk declared, and began walking again.
Kirk looked out of place in the well-ordered austerity of Spock’s quarters. Spock could feel his shoulders knotting with tension just at the way Kirk glanced around the place. It was almost a relief when Kirk moved out of his line of sight.
Spock had thought he’d feel calm again, in control again once he was back on familiar ground, but he felt nothing of the kind. Instead, his muscles grew tenser as he listened to Kirk rattling around in the small kitchen. There was no telling what he was up to in there.
“You have any ale at all?” Kirk called.
“No.” Spock sank into a stiff-backed chair by the door. He was suddenly very weary.
Kirk emerged from the kitchen with a metal teapot in one hand and two china cups dangling precariously from his fingers. Spock saw one slip just in time and leapt forward to catch it before it hit the floor.
When he straightened, his face was only inches from Kirk’s, which displayed a ready smile. “Good hands,” Kirk said.
Spock was acutely aware of little things: the cool, smooth surface of the cup against his fingers, the faint rattle of the ventilation system.
“What’s going on with you?” Kirk asked.
“I do not know to what you are referring.”
“Fine then.” Kirk didn’t move. “Tea?”
With a muffled crunch, the cup shattered in Spock’s hand. He looked down in shocked fascination.
“Hey.” Kirk quickly set down the teapot and remaining cup on the nearest table. “Watch it.” He grabbed Spock’s hand, which had a sliver of china lodged in it. Spock could easily have pulled away, but for some reason, he let Kirk keep hold of his hand and pull out the sliver, leaving a thin line of green blood.
“Why do you have real teacups, anyway?” Kirk asked as he held up the offending shard.
“They were a gift.”
Kirk hadn’t let go of his hand. He was still looking down at the wound. “From your mother.”
Now Spock did pull his hand away. “Yes,” he said stiffly. He got down on the floor and began to pick up the broken pieces. To his surprise, Kirk also slid to his knees. He did not help, but rather sat watching Spock work.
“My mother was human too,” Kirk said.
Spock did not understand Kirk’s point. “So I had surmised,” he said. He went back to gathering the broken shards.
“I mean, I know it’s not easy to… It’s not easy.”
Spock looked up sharply. Whatever he had expected to see on Kirk’s face, it wasn’t sympathy. Spock got to his feet, turned away, and opened his hand to drop the pieces of the ruined teacup into the disposal. He could see his mother falling, sliding away from him. He could see his hand reaching out, unable to catch her.
“Spock.” Kirk touched him on the shoulder.
Spock spun around, grabbed Kirk’s arm, twisted it up behind his back, and shoved him face-first into the wall in one smooth sequence. His hand grasped the back of Kirk’s neck, not carefully positioned to render him unconscious, but simply holding him immobile.
“Spock.” Kirk sounded remarkably calm. “What is this?”
An excellent question. He’d touched Kirk. That must surely be the problem: some accidental telepathic transference, an unanticipated side-effect of Spock’s affinity for mind-melding. Certainly these impulsive spikes of emotion could not have come from Spock himself.
And something else was wrong. Pressed against Kirk as he was, he became aware of his insistent erection straining against the confines of his uniform.
He quickly let go of Kirk and stepped away, breaking any connection between them. His body’s response was unexpected and confusing. There was no reason his body should become aroused by proximity to Kirk. Spock had learned that stress and the release of adrenaline could cause sexual arousal in humans, but he’d never experienced the problem himself. However, as Spock’s mind raced, analyzing variables from the events of past days, he had to admit that he’d not had a moment alone with Kirk that provided the opportunity for such a reaction.
Kirk turned around slowly. He was looking up at Spock from under long, dark eyelashes.
Spock couldn’t bring himself to lower his eyes from Kirk’s face. He very much wanted to know if Kirk had had a similar reaction to their proximity, but he felt he had taken enough advantage for one day.
“So,” Kirk said slowly.
Spock straightened his spine to attention and took one step back. “My apologies, Captain. I seem to be experiencing unanticipated after-effects of recent events.”
“Yeah, grief’s a bitch,” Kirk said. He stepped up and grabbed hold of Spock’s arms where they hung at his sides. “You’d better deal with these after-effects if you expect to get back to the insufferable bastard we all know and love.”
Kirk shifted his weight forward so gradually that Spock didn’t realize what was happening until Kirk was far too close, so close that Spock saw his face only as abstract pieces: the soft curve of his lip, faint stubble along the line of his jaw, a flaw on the otherwise fair skin of his cheek—doubtless the souvenir of a fight.
Then Kirk was kissing him, pressing his lips to Spock’s and searching with his tongue in a way that surprised Spock with its gentleness. He opened up to Kirk even before he realized he’d made the decision to do so. Kirk’s hands braceleting his wrists held him down like an anchor, and the world, which had been tilting out of control, leveled back to true.
After a moment, Kirk stopped moving, and came to rest with his forehead pressed against Spock’s. “Someone mentioned to me there might be these… aftereffects,” he said.
Perhaps something about the kissing had distracted Spock, because he couldn’t quite work out Kirk’s meaning. “Someone?” he inquired.
Kirk continued as if Spock had not spoken. “That if you had to acknowledge how emotionally compromised you were, it might open the door to, uh, complications.”
“I told you this,” Spock guessed. It had to have been his older self. He took a moment to experience a sensation of affront that this man, this self who he would never become, had provided Kirk with deeply personal information. However, Spock found it difficult to resent his methods when the results were far from objectionable.
“Yeah.” Kirk reluctantly let go of Spock’s wrists. “Actually… There was a thing.”
Spock drew back, just far enough so that he could meet Kirk’s glance, and raised an eyebrow. “A thing?”
“Yeah.” Kirk picked up Spock’s hand and guided it to his face, clumsily forming it into the prescribed position for a mind meld.
“You melded with him,” Spock said. The sensation of resentment had returned.
“With you,” Kirk corrected him. “I want you to see what he showed me.”
“That is not my concern.” Spock pulled his hand away. Kirk tried to pull it back, but Spock was easily stronger. He broke Kirk’s grip and pulled away.
“You showed me your father,” Kirk called after him.
Spock turned and saw the stubborn glint in Kirk’s eyes that meant he was bracing for a fight.
“When you were a boy. He said that emotions ran deep in Vulcans. Even deeper than in humans. Is that true?”
“What do you think?” Spock had meant the query to be neutral, or perhaps ironic. Instead, he sounded bitter.
Kirk nodded slowly. “If it is true, I suppose that explains a lot about what you’re going through.”
“I’ll ask you to refrain from making assumptions about my state of mind, Captain,” Spock said, but he couldn’t muster as much bite behind the words as he’d intended.
“Here’s the problem.” Kirk stepped up to him again. Spock refused to give ground, so they ended up nose to nose. “You don’t have all the facts. Are you scared of what you’ll find?”
They stood together for one breath, two, and on the third Spock brought his hand up to Kirk’s face to initiate the meld.
Every meld was different, but bonding with Jim felt like nothing so much as sliding into a warm pool of water. He felt he’d done this before. The footprints that went before him were surely his own, but he had no memory of this place. Ahead, or above, perhaps--it was difficult to ascertain direction with any certainty--Spock could see the reflections of memories in Jim’s mind as clearly as if Jim had displayed them for his benefit. Maybe he had, somehow:
A dark night, the silent, starry blur of space, him pressed against Jim, skin to skin. Together on the bridge of the Enterprise, a shared, mischievous look meaning later, I have something for you. Jim’s voice calling him up out of a haze of pain. Kissing in the rain beneath the canopy of an alien jungle. His hand on Jim’s skin, holding together torn flesh and whispering soothing words. The constant vibration of the ship under their feet, felt as they stood palm to palm. Jim’s ready laugh against his neck. The solid, warm weight of Jim at his back. Fighting at Jim’s side, bleeding for him, prepared to die for him, touched to realize that Jim felt the same. In the dark, moving inside Jim. A lifetime of loving and being loved.
When Spock surfaced from the meld, he experienced mild disorientation. Somehow, they’d ended up on the floor. Jim was pinned under him, chest heaving and the hard, warm line of his cock pressing into Spock’s thigh. Their clothes were gone, tossed haphazardly about the usually immaculate quarters.
Spock wanted to speak, but found himself curiously short of breath.
“Wow.” Jim slid a hand down Spock’s naked back.
Despite the residual emotional transference, of Jim’s feelings and feelings that held a curious echo of his own mind, Spock felt calmer than he had since the incident on Vulcan. Jim’s skin on his felt very warm, and his presence was solid. Holding him was not an unpleasant sensation.
“I thought that might change your mind,” Jim said mildly.
“The memories have not altered my intentions,” Spock informed him. “They merely provided additional evidence to support a previous conclusion.”
“Resistance to an inevitable force is unwise.”
Jim broke into a sly smile. “I’m an inevitable force?”
“That is not--,” he checked himself. It would be illogical to provide an object lesson of the principle he was claiming to have mastered. “Yes, Jim. You are an inevitable force.”
With a throaty chuckle, Jim rocked against him. His cock bumped against Spock’s, and they each drew in a sharp breath.
“Please,” Jim choked out. Coming from him, such politeness was unexpected. It deserved a response. Spock rocked down against Jim, sliding their cocks together and eliciting another gasp.
Jim parted his legs, sliding his knee up to Spock’s hip and arching his back. His left hand flew out to the side and clawed at the floor until he caught hold of his discarded uniform trousers. He fumbled for a moment while Spock watched, and came out with a small cylinder. Then Jim grabbed Spock’s hand and squeezed the container he’d retrieved, coating Spock’s fingers with something cool and slick.
Spock experienced a brief moment of confusion before Jim grabbed Spock’s wrist and guided his hand between their bodies. He spread his knees further and pushed his hips up. “Now,” he growled.
Spock slid two slick fingers into him. He watched in fascination when Jim’s cock twitched against his belly even as his body clenched around Spock’s fingers.
Jim didn’t let go of Spock’s wrist. Instead, he pulled it closer, using Spock’s hand as a tool to prepare himself. “More,” Jim demanded.
Spock was in full agreement. His own cock was leaking at the tip. His skin felt too tight, and warm as well, as with a fever. He had pulled his fingers free and positioned himself to penetrate Jim when a thought held him back. “Jim, the meld…” He struggled to find the words. “The feelings we are experiencing… They are not…”
“Don’t you dare say they’re not real.” Jim’s voice held a dangerous edge. His hand snapped up and clamped onto Spock’s shoulder. “This was meant to be. Will be. Even if we’d never seen those memories. Don’t tell me you haven’t felt it.”
Spock nodded, a quick jerk of his chin.
“We’re just… skipping ahead,” Jim said.
“That’s cheating,” Spock said weakly.
“Well.” Jim moved suddenly, flipping Spock over on his back and rolling over to straddle him. “I’m comfortable with that. You?”
Spock had made his decision. “Yes.”
Jim lifted up for an instant and then he began to slide down, impaling himself on Spock. He threw his head back; his throat was a long, pale line leading to an open mouth robbed, for once, of words. Spock wanted to reach up and touch him there, perhaps slide fingers into his mouth, but his hands were clenched around Jim’s hips, and he couldn’t seem to let go.
Then Jim began to move, and any thought Spock had of mastering the situation fell apart. Jim was hot and tight around him. He’d lift his body up, far enough so that Spock was only barely inside of him, and then come crashing down, slamming their bodies together and crying out as he landed.
He leaned over Spock, rolling his hips shallowly so he could get close enough to press kisses up the center of Spock’s chest and up his neck. Jim licked a line up to the delicate point of one ear. Spock let out a breath that was not a moan. He reached up to grab Jim by the back of the neck and turned his head to pull their mouths together. They kissed with a clash of teeth, and Jim kept rocking into Spock, taking in every last bit of him.
When Jim sat up again, it was with a new look of challenge in his eyes. Spock grabbed Jim’s wrists and pinned them to his thighs, restraining them. There, Jim had the leverage to keep pushing up, riding Spock at a punishing pace. When Spock was sure Jim’s hands would stay where he put them, he turned his attention to Jim’s cock, which was bouncing stiff and heavy between his legs.
Jim faltered when Spock wrapped his hands around the swollen flesh. Spock raises an eyebrow at him, and that was enough to spur Jim back into motion. As he moved, Spock stroked Jim, alternating long, hard pulls with short, teasingly light jerks. Jim had his head thrown back again, and his face was flushed pink, his pupils blown wide, his mouth open to take in harsh gulps of air.
Spock drank in the sight of the captain—James T. Kirk—Jim—writhing on top of him, panting out his ecstasy and clinging to Spock as if he feared to fly apart. He wanted Jim to feel what he was feeling, to understand the pleasure that threatened to burst out of him at any moment. He reached a hand up and, as if he’d heard Spock’s intentions, Jim leaned down.
Spock’s fingers touched Jim’s face, and then they were falling together, spinning and tumbling in mutual release as their bodies obeyed the melding of their minds
After, Jim was slumped on top of Spock. He was heavy, but his body was a pleasant weight. In any case, Spock found he did not wish to move. His breathing and heartbeat were slowly returning to within normal parameters, and all the tension that he’d been carrying in his muscles while pacing the corridors earlier had disappeared: expended in his exertions with the mischievous man now wrapped around him like a living blanket.
“Floor must be hard,” Jim muttered. His voice was muffled in Spock’s shoulder. “Come on.” Jim stumbled to his feet, heedless of his nudity and his disheveled, sticky state, as unselfconscious as an puppy. He pulled Spock to his feet.
Spock stood still, gathering the facts in his mind. Jim had done something for him: something Spock would have lacked the understanding to begin on his own. Jim had given him a gift. How many years of animosity and separation, how many misunderstandings, how many nights of pacing miserably through the halls of buildings or ships had Jim’s audacity spared them?
Jim returned from the washroom—when had he left?—with a damp cloth, and with it nonchalantly wiped Spock’s now-soft cock before cleaning himself. “You’ll be able to sleep now, I bet,” he said conversationally.
“Yes.” Spock felt something hard twist inside of him when his friend reached for his clothes. “Jim.”
Jim turned and looked. He didn’t seem expectant. Hopeful, perhaps. Spock resolved to learn to read him better.
“I believe it is customary on such an occasion…” he began. “That is…I would like it very much if you would stay with me. In my bed.”
Jim’s mouth turned up at the corner. “Of course.”
Less than a minute later they were in Spock’s bed, together, as they had seen themselves before, and would again.