Author: by CatalenaMara
Relationship status: First Time
Word count: 13,474
Summary: Inspired by and a sequel to the novel "Ishmael". Originally published in 2009 in the print fanzine Legends # 5. My thanks to my betas – Debbie Cummins and Greywolf the Wanderer.
Kirk grinned at him through the interstices of the chess pieces and made an outrageous opening move. They had set up the chess board in Kirk’s quarters this evening. The scent of Spock’s favorite Vulcan tea filled the room; that, along with the cool Human climate and, mostly importantly, the presence of Kirk himself gave Spock a sensation he could only describe as ‘home’. A home that was hybrid, like himself, made from different components, and yet achieving a particular whole.
“The illogic of your approach to chess…” Spock spent some time contemplating the ramifications of Kirk’s move, considered and discarded several logical moves, and chose one that he was certain Kirk would have contemplated himself.
Kirk laughed, despite the fact he was now at a tactical disadvantage. “Well done. But the game’s not over yet…”
A ferocious half hour followed, at the end of which Kirk tipped his queen in defeat. He didn’t seem in the least bit bothered by his failure to win the game, Spock noted, pleased by Kirk’s aura of relaxation, the sense of joy he knew Kirk felt in his presence.
Kirk poured them both tea, and settled back in his chair. His eyes were filled with a complex mix of emotion. “How was your meeting with Trae?”
“His knowledge of Karsid history is most extensive,” Spock replied.
“So the meeting went well?”
“He gave me much to consider.”
Kirk leaned forward. “He was rude to you in the mess hall.”
“Indeed. He was.”
Kirk looked startled at hearing those words; Spock felt equally startled, knowing he had uttered them.
“You seem more… relaxed tonight,” Kirk observed. “I was concerned…”
Spock dipped his head. “I am quite well.”
“Did he behave professionally today?”
“He was very correct in his manner to me.”
“In other words, he was rude.”
“Yes.” He noted the anger in Kirk’s eyes, and continued, “You were correct in your advice to me last night. Even without knowing who I was, I did not lose myself. I did not become a barbarian.” A deeply held concern - no, fear, he acknowledged the emotion by name - could now be set aside. “Nevertheless, Trae gave me much to consider. Had I stayed on Vulcan, had I followed the path my father had planned for me, my life would have been quite different. Trae caused me to contemplate the choices I have made in my life. I would not have had to make those choices had I remained on Vulcan. Indeed, there would have been few instances in which I would have been required to make any personal choices at all.”
“And yet you chose to follow your own destiny.”
“I did. Mr. Stemple told me that it didn’t matter if I ever remembered my identity. That I would simply live a different life than the one I had lived before. His words allowed me to consider possibilities that were difficult for me to conceive at that time. It seemed impossible for me to do what he insisted must be done: to live as a Human among Humans.”
“I’m grateful he was the one who found you.”
“As am I. On considering Aaron’s words now, I acknowledge there have been many possibilities in my life, and that choosing Starfleet has brought consequences I have attempted to deny.”
He noted the flare of alarm in Kirk’s eyes. “I have contemplated the choices I have made. Choices I need to make. Choices I desire to make.”
“Spock…” Kirk began, then settled back, waiting for him to continue.
“I have told you of the wager Mr. Stemple made with the Bolt brothers. Of how they brought 30 women from the eastern portion of the North American continent as intended wives for the lumber workers.”
“Yes, you did.” Kirk’s expressive face revealed both surprise and impatience with this seeming non sequitur.
“It is ironic. When Aaron told me of how this wager came about, I was outraged on the behalf of these women; that they should be treated as commodities. Ironic,” he repeated. “I do acknowledge that, even without my memory, I retained much of who I am. Which now causes me to question myself.”
Kirk looked at him questioningly.
“My response to the actions of the Bolt brothers regarding those women was illogical. The men needed wives; the women needed husbands. It was their choice to make the journey; to become wives to men they did not know, just as it was the original intention of Eve McHuron, Magda Kovacs, and Ruth Bonaventure to journey to Ophiuchus 3 to become wives for the settlers there.”
Kirk was watching him intently. “Since you said these women had made their choices of their own free will why were you…” Kirk hesitated before repeating Spock’s emotionally-charged word, “outraged?”
“I did not question my reaction then. I understand it now. I was outraged on their behalf because I had thought initially they had no choice in the matter. Just as I myself had no choice in the selection of my mate. In one way, at least, I followed the path my father had chosen for me. It is logical for parents to select mates for their children. They have the wisdom and experience to choose correctly, to make good alliances, to have everything prepared well in advance for the male’s first Time. It is too dangerous to leave the choice of mate to random chance. It is not logical that I was - angry - on behalf of those women. They made their choices. My choice was made for me by my father, and un-made for me by T’Pring.” Spock’s lips tightened as he uttered that name. “I now am in the position where I must make my own choice. I acknowledge that I cannot leave my life hostage to random chance. T’Pau has sent me information on suitable wives. Every woman she has put forward as a candidate is highly qualified and would bring honor to our Clan. And yet I have postponed making any choice.”
Kirk’s eyes were alive with concern and hope. “It is your choice, this time.”
“Yes, it is. I have wanted that choice.” He stood, Kirk did as well, the table a barely-seen barrier between them. “When my memory returned, my choice was to dissociate myself from Human concerns and reactions. My conversation with Trae has caused me to acknowledge the obvious: I made that choice long ago. I live among Humans. I learned a great deal in the past. I learned who I was, and that I do not need to fear loss of control, for I was there without any awareness of my Vulcan heritage, and I still did not indulge in unseemly displays. I also learned it is possible to not only study Humans from outside their community, but to participate in that community. Here, on Enterprise, it is the same. It is only logical now, to take the next step.”
Kirk was smiling at him, one of Kirk’s many smiles that had always tempted Spock to throw logic aside and indulge in emotion. “What step is that, Spock?”
“To move beyond being an observer to become a participant. Jim… during the past few months I could have chosen a mate among those women. I overheard comments and speculation as to why I chose to remain apart. I had thought my lack of desire was a logical choice: that I was too different from them; that they were alien; that it was too dangerous a risk to take. If I had chosen a mate, she would have found out who - what I was. I also understood this: I did not desire any of them. But that does not mean I do not understand desire. Jim…”
He stepped around the table to stand in front of Kirk; he clasped his hands behind his back. “I once told you I was ashamed when I felt friendship for you. I no longer feel shame. I am proud to call you my friend.” He left his next words unspoken: I would be proud to call you more.
Kirk’s eyes widened and Spock was suddenly certain that Kirk had been as aware of his unspoken words as surely as if he had heard them. There was no trace in his face of the depth of his physical desire for Spock, and yet Spock was well aware it was there, simmering beneath the surface. He indulged in speculation - would Jim speak of his desire? If Jim did not speak of his desire, he concluded that it would be necessary to speak of it himself. The language of emotion remained foreign to him, and yet he was beginning to understand that he had already fulfilled an apprenticeship; that he already knew more than he’d ever been willing to acknowledge.
His body was filled with odd, hitherto impermissible fragments of feeling. These needs demanded attention, and he felt fear at their strength; a fear he had always mastered after making use of it to defeat those other, more alien emotions. Mingled with the fear was exhilaration, anticipation. Such a complicated amalgam of emotion; did he have the courage to take the next step?
“I am very proud to have you as my friend, Spock,” Kirk said. Odd, there was a note in his voice, a roughness, that Spock could not recall having heard before.
They stood for a moment in silence, Spock casting about for and rejecting numerous ways of asking what he most desired to ask.
Kirk smiled tentatively. “I have the feeling you want to ask me something. Is that true?”
Kirk drew in his breath at those words, and something in his eyes crystallized. “In Sickbay, after I first got you back…” Kirk hesitated, cleared his throat, and there was that roughness again. “You were leaning against me, asleep. I was thinking - certain thoughts about you - and you said… Well, what you just said.”
“Yes, Jim,” Spock said, and reached out and gently drew two fingers against the side of Kirk’s face. “I must apologize for my inadvertent mental intrusion - ”
“You were half asleep,” Kirk said gently. He covered Spock’s hand with his own.
“And thus I was able to acknowledge a truth I otherwise might have denied.”
Spock turned his hand within Kirk’s grasp and their fingers intertwined. “It was illogical to have these thoughts concerning you, and therefore I have not permitted myself to have them.”
“I have them, Spock. Oh yes, I have them.”
Kirk’s scent had changed; Spock inhaled the strong sexual musk and his own need raged to life.
“I do admit I have had to reinforce this determination on numerous occasions.” His voice, he realized, had become uneven.
Kirk reached around him, pulled him close, and the shock of Kirk’s hardness meeting his own sent waves of pleasure through his body. He gasped, found that he’d closed his eyes, opened them again to find Kirk’s face an inch from his own.
“Humans kiss…” Spock lowered his head, and Kirk brushed his mouth against Spock’s lips. Spock reached out, pulled him closer, and allowed himself to cease thinking, to be overcome by pure physical sensation, to simply be….
…Spock had closed his eyes again, and Kirk marveled at the look of naked trust and desire on Spock’s face. “Beloved,” Kirk whispered, and gently laid trails of kisses along Spock’s face. “Beloved,” he repeated, and placed a feather-light kiss against Spock’s mouth.
Spock parted his lips and looked at Kirk out of half-slitted eyes. Kirk met Spock’s mouth with his own. He had always kissed well; he took pride in that, and Spock’s mouth opened willingly beneath his, tongue eager - ready - for what Kirk could teach him. God, this was Spock’s mouth that he was kissing; he had wanted this bare moments after first meeting him; had lusted for Spock immediately, and recognized love much later.
His face flushed green; heat poured off his body in waves. Kirk pulled him closer, gasped as they rubbed together, and was suddenly desperate for more. He slid his hands beneath Spock’s shirts, his hands shaking. He needed more than he had ever needed anyone in his life, but yet he still found the strength to pull back.
“Spock... Are you sure? Do you want this? We don’t have to go this fast.”
Spock stared at him with passionate eyes. Steel-strong arms crushed him close; their mouths met, hard and hot and fast. There was no need to think; Kirk needed Spock now; nothing else mattered. From the ferocious heat in Spock’s eyes, the desperate way Spock’s hands were grasping at his clothing, the frantic way he was rubbing against him, Kirk found it impossible to guess whose need was the greater, or if there was any separation in their desire anymore.
They were on the bed. Naked. Kirk settled Spock on his back, careful of Spock’s damaged leg, a factor which didn’t seem to concern Spock at all. Kirk pressed his body full length against Spock’s fevered skin, groaned as the heated aching hardness of his cock met and matched Spock’s penis, steel for steel; felt the incredible, tempered strength of Spock’s hands as he fitted them to Kirk’s back and buttocks, holding him precisely in place. Spock’s face was lost in passion, head thrown back, mouth open, abandoned.
Kirk’s balls tightened; the sudden rush toward orgasm seized him; now, having what he so desperately needed – Not yet.
Gasping for breath, he pulled away. Spock moaned and heaved beneath him. “Not so fast,” Kirk said. Spock’s breathing calmed and his lips curved into a tiny smile as he reached to touch Kirk’s face.
He covered that long hand with his own, pressed it against his skin, cherished the feel of the strong fingers, the fineness of the skin, the complexity of the bone structure. Curling his fingers about the other’s hand, he pulled it slightly away from his face, then chose an angle and took Spock’s index and middle finger into his mouth, sucking strongly.
Spock shuddered, the dark eyes squeezing shut, his face naked with need, his cock, rigid, weeping with desire. I can do this for you, Kirk thought, tonguing the fingers, glorying in the restless shifting of Spock’s body on the bed.
“I love your hands,” he whispered, and Spock’s eyes opened, abandoned with passion, and - yes - love, and suddenly an unacknowledged fear vanished utterly. This can work for us. This will work for us. You will not choose one of T’Pau’s well-qualified brides. You are mine.
Spock’s eyes showed he understood Kirk’s thoughts; showed that he reveled in them. “Jim.” The depth of that voice. He could come, just at the sound of that voice speaking his name with such need. “I make my choice.”
Spock moved suddenly, clutching at him, rolling him over until he was on top, pressing his body hard against Kirk’s, taking an extra second to find balance for his damaged leg. Kirk looked up into the fire in the dark eyes, urgent desire printed on the angular features and testified to by the hardness that met his, the flush that filled the long, hard body. His cock strained, excited by that consuming power, at the ease at which Spock had moved him, at the naked desire marking the angular face.
Spock moved his head until he could reach Kirk’s ears with his lips. His hot, wet tongue explored whorls and contours; licked the roundness of Kirk’s ears. Intensity of feeling sparked everywhere in Kirk. Impossible to wait; that fevered cock rubbing against his, already leaping; he felt heat, liquid, fire, power - frantic - desperate -
He found himself collapsing into aftermath with no clear memory of how he had gotten there. For an instant - transcendent - he had been wholly other, locked into a mental embrace that had welcomed and accepted all he was. An instant only, and then back in his body, welcoming oblivion, welcoming the weight of the body now sprawled over his.
Kirk didn’t know how long he was out, only that he became aware of wellbeing in every part of his body, that he was being watched, that a fevered body was lying, skin-to-skin, against his left side, and there was the smell of sex in the air, an alien intoxicating musk that left him already ravenous for more.
“23.5 minutes.” He turned his head to find dark eyes contemplating him. Spock’s face was as relaxed as he’d ever seen it.
“What?” Great, Kirk, sound like an intelligent life form, why don’t you? “You mean, that’s how long I was asleep? Are you reading my mind?” Of course he was; skin to skin like this, how could he not? He wondered how he felt about that. He could not detect Spock’s presence in his mind now; he was almost certain they hadn’t melded, and yet - there had been that one instant of transposition where he suddenly felt he was seeing through Spock’s eyes. Seeing himself, his own face alight with the ecstasy of orgasm. A peculiar sense of selfconsciousness intruded on his mind. I wanted to see you as you came…
Spock was silently contemplating all the places where their naked bodies touched. At last he shifted his gaze back to Kirk’s face. “I do not wish to shield, with you. Not at this time.” His voice was at its deepest register. “But I shall, if you prefer it.”
“No, Spock. I do not prefer it.” Kirk looked down at his deflated cock ruefully. “My reputation is ruined.”
An eyebrow quirked. “Reputation? For what, precisely?”
“For being a careful considerate lover.” He smiled apologetically, aware that this was his best ‘little boy’ expression. “With you - I couldn’t wait.”
Spock considered. “Nor could I. Though I do acknowledge your superior experience in such matters.”
Kirk laughed. What would have been an insult, or backhanded compliment from some, was delightful from Spock. Delightful - yes, it was wholly delightful to be lying here naked in bed, talking about sex - with Spock.
“I would suggest,” Spock said, propping himself up on one elbow and giving Kirk’s body a frank and comprehensive scrutiny, “that we continue such actitivies at our earliest convenience.”
Kirk saw Spock was hard again. Spock’s gaze had returned to his face. Kirk looked into the dark eyes regarding him. Spock’s face was in its accustomed lines of calm; but his eyes were uncensored, raw with wonder and need.
“Shower, later.” A long hand reached out and settled itself around one of Kirk’s thighs, fingers leisurely exploring. A look of intense concentration was on Spock’s face, as he molded his hand to the hard muscles, moving up by inches. Kirk’s deflated penis suddenly took new life.
“In the shower, then?” Kirk gasped.
Spock shuddered and focused on Kirk’s face. “I presume you mean in water? That was the most uncomfortable aspect of living in the past, bathing in water. I have no desire to repeat that unnecessary experience.”
“Come on, Spock, what about all those times when we had to get clean in mountain streams or primitive plumbing on missions?”
“That was necessary. This is not.” Spock’s hand clasped Kirk’s rapidly hardening cock and he lost all interest in the conversation. Spock fit his body against Kirk’s. “Perhaps you can acquaint me with that human perversion some other time.”
Kirk laughed. His flesh ached with wanting, sharp need was centered in his cock, but permeated every cell in his body. Every part of him wanted to possess every part of Spock.
He rolled onto his side in order to face Spock. Grazing his fingers along Spock’s face, he encountered a rough patch of skin along his temples. The dim light revealed, when he brushed the black hair away from Spock’s forehead, other scars there as well. Something inside clenched on itself at this evidence of the pain Spock had suffered.
Spock was watching his face. He said carefully, “I will have McCoy remove these traces. I do not wish you to be disturbed by them.”
With his bangs pushed to the side, Spock looked different, vulnerable, almost a stranger, the full expanse of his face emphasizing the alien cast of the sharp bone structure. Kirk pressed his lips to the hard bone of Spock’s forehead and tongued the squares of rough skin on his forehead and temples. Spock surged against him; he could feel Spock’s breath on his throat, and then a hot tongue contacted his skin and explored, line of pulse, line of throat.
He moved Spock’s head to one side, and remembering Spock’s fascination with his own ears, imagined it could not possibly be equal to his interest in Spock’s ears. He drew his tongue in a wet line from lobe to delicate tip. Hearing Spock’s gasped intake of breath filled him with a sense of power, I can make you feel this.
He gently guided Spock until he was lying on his back. He knelt over him, already hungry at the prospect of taking that long straining cock into his mouth. Spock reached up to touch his face. Remembering how Spock had reacted when he’d sucked on his fingers, he clasped Spock’s hand, ready to do the same. The light revealed the tracery of scars encircling his wrist. At that evidence of pain, a complex knot of emotion rose in him. Incapable of analysis, he bent his head and kissed the scars, gently nuzzling along the discolored lines and ridges.
When he pulled back he saw Spock watching him with puzzlement, and realized Spock had lost his erection. As had he.
He couldn’t untangle sorrow from love, desire from anger. Spock flinched.
He pulled back to lie next to Spock, who rolled to face him. “The way you feel - what I feel. Are you going to be able to deal with this?”
Kirk sighed. “I don’t want to hurt you.”
“There is no pain, now, Jim. I do not understand - ”
Can’t you feel what I’m feeling? But why ask you to understand, when I don’t understand it myself? “I didn’t mean physical pain.”
“It does not disturb me.” The words were clipped; short.
But it did. The loss of Spock’s erection was evident. “I meant my emotions.”
“You have great sorrow…” Spock contemplated. “And anger.” Spock bent his head, focused his attention on the damaged skin around his wrists. “I had thought that I would not move… or respond to their questioning in any way. It became clear I could not maintain this resolve.” Spock looked somewhere to Kirk’s left, vision focused on something unseen. “My only priority was not to speak, not to tell them what they wished to know.” One hand crumpled an edge of one sheet and made an abortive move to pull it toward his body. The hand stilled, relaxed; long fingers released the fabric.
“Spock, do you want to talk about it?”
“It is unimportant. It is over. Jim. We do not need to discuss this.”
Kirk was silent for a moment, trying to calm the turmoil inside. He felt Spock mentally retreat from him, begin to raise his barriers, and the pain he felt at being shut out was so sharp, so exquisite, he almost gasped aloud.
Then suddenly Spock was open to him, next to him, embracing him, and Kirk was embracing him as well, holding him as tightly as he could; holding him as if he never intended to let him go. “I’d given you up for dead,” he gasped. He hadn’t cried then. He didn’t cry now. But he held Spock for endless moments as tremors shuddered through his body.
“I’ve never grieved for anyone as much as I grieved for you.” Spock began rubbing comforting circles on his back. “And then when Uhura took the readings for alien life forms and told me that they were Vulcan…” He stopped speaking; he couldn’t go on.
“I am here, Jim.” Spock brushed a kiss against his forehead.
“I don’t know who I’d be without you.” Kirk whispered the confession, remembering the nights without sleep; his physical need to fill his days so completely with activity there was no time for thought, no time to remember his loss.
Spock’s calm voice belied the fierce passion in his eyes. “You would be the captain of the Enterprise.”
“I’m not just the captain of the Enterprise, Spock.”
Spock caught his hand. “You are never less than that.”
Kirk clasped one of Spock’s hand in his, seeing the scars again. The sacrifices they had made were written on their flesh and etched within their souls.
“It was my choice to go on that mission.”
“It was my choice to let you go.”
“It was necessary.”
“And if the choice came again?” When the choice came again?
“We will both do what is necessary.”
Spock closed his eyes and settled into Kirk’s arms. Spock’s skin had chilled; Kirk drew the blankets up around them. He relaxed against Spock and felt Spock snake one arm around his back and pull him fractionally closer.
And if the choice comes again... -?
He knew the answer. Knew the hard cold place inside him, the part that could go on, despite everything. He could send Spock out again, to face certain death. Just as he could face it himself.
This was what they had chosen. This was who they were.
And perhaps they would beat the odds. They always had. He had yet to find a no-win situation.
The sacrifices that would be made. The lives they had both chosen. The paths they had yet to take, stretching out into infinity; all that could be perceived - the unknowable tomorrow, waiting.
For now… For now, he had everything he ever wanted. He’d deal with the future when it came.
Spock was watching him intently. He smiled, and Spock’s lips curved into a smile as well. Spock closed the distance between them and touched Kirk’s lips with his own. Kirk held him closely. Spock returned the embrace. “Beloved,” Spock said, using Kirk’s word. “You are that to me, and more.”
They settled into sleep together.