Special thanks go to T'Aaneli, my
hard working beta.
"Oh, sorry Spock. I didn't know you were in here."
Kirk stopped in his tracks, looking awkwardly at Spock who was leaning over the counter brushing his teeth. "I'll leave you to your business."
"Captain, wait." Spock said through a mouthful of toothpaste. He turned and unceremoniously spit into the sink, reaching for the cup to rinse his mouth.
Kirk looked down, away from that image, which was one he had never associated with his tall elegant science officer, now first officer. He focused his eyes on the gray Starfleet issue bathmat, laughing at himself. You'd think he'd never seen another person brush their teeth before.
"Captain, I must apologize. I was not aware you would be needing these facilities at this time."
"Nonsense, Spock. It's your bathroom too." Kirk looked up into those unreadable brown eyes. "There's no need to apologize. You got here first. I'll just have to wait, that's all. Knock on the door when you're done."
Spock tilted his head to one side, holding Kirk's gaze. Kirk suddenly realized Spock had no shirt on, only his uniform pants. Kirk felt warmth flush his cheeks and turned to leave.
"Yes, Spock." Kirk paused half way out.
"When do you rise?"
"When will you need the bathroom in the morning? I do not wish to compromise your schedule."
Kirk smiled at him, wondering what he was going to do with this too polite Vulcan. "I generally get up around 06:00. You?"
"I shall rise before then. Thank you, Captain."
"Don't mention it." Kirk turned away quickly, but not before catching a glimpse of Spock unfastening his pants.
Spock entered his shared bathroom and stopped at the entrance. His captain stood before him, unclothed and damp, with his hair wet and curling. Steam from the open shower stall permeated the air making it difficult to breathe.
"Captain, pardon me."
Kirk looked up from toweling his legs dry with a look of surprise and a small measure of embarrassment.
"I thought you were still in sickbay." Spock looked into his captain's eyes.
Kirk straightened and smiled, wrapping his towel modestly around his waist. "I made Bones release me. The Metron managed to heal the more serious injuries; there were just a few bruises left. McCoy won't use the regenerator on those anyway so I didn't see the point." Kirk moved to the sink and cleared a patch of condensation off of mirror. "Do you need the bathroom? I'll be out of here in just a few."
From this view, Spock saw an angry bruise the size of a large hand across Kirk's back. It was a deep purple mixed with green and had yellow along the edges. He noticed several other bruises of varying sizes on Kirk's arms, shoulders, and legs. A memory of his Captain running, limping, his face wet with perspiration and dark with grime, came unbidden.
"Was there something else, Spock?"
Spock lifted his eyes quickly, meeting Kirk's through the reflection in the mirror. Kirk still faced the mirror, but his eyes stared intently.
Spock moved closer, moving his eyes back to the bruise on Kirk's back. His right hand went up to touch it, but stopped just before contact and hovered there for a moment, hesitating. Then he layed the flat of his hand over the bruise, lightly. The skin felt warm; warm for a human. He looked up, meeting Kirk's eyes, which he noticed had darkened to a warm brown.
"You have not finished healing." It was not a question.
"No, I guess I haven't."
"You should not have been released from sickbay."
"Now don't get mad at McCoy. He wanted me to stay there for at least one night. I insisted I be released. They look worse then they are, honest."
Spock gave him a doubting look, gently turning Kirk with his hands, inspecting for himself. He missed the slightly amused look on Kirk's face who stoically let himself be examined. Spock kept his touch feather light, skimming over Kirk's skin.
He looked carefully, but found no other bruise as severe as the one on Kirk's back, which, he admitted, was healing. The yellow along the edges of the bruise indicated as much. He estimated it would take approximately 5.4 days for the blood to be absorbed back into the bloodstream.
"Do I pass inspection?"
Spock looked up. Kirk's eyes were still darker then normal, but now they smiled at him. Kirk looked down at his left arm, which was being held at the wrist and elbow by Spock, and moved his hand slightly taking Spock's hand in his. He grasped it tightly.
Spock suddenly found it hard to breathe, the moisture and wet heat making it difficult to inhale oxygen. He forced his lungs to expand and breathed in. The smell of Kirk's shampoo filled his nostrils, a peppermint odor. Peppermint and clean warm human skin.
"Yes." He let go of Kirk's arm, but his hand remained encased in Kirk's. "Excuse me, Captain."
Kirk nodded and let go of Spock's hand.
Spock broke eye contact and nodded his head slightly at Kirk, moving back towards the door to his quarters. He activated the door sensor and a rush of cooler dry air flowed in.
Lifting his eyes back up to meet Kirk's, Spock paused in the open doorway. "Yes, Captain."
"We're off duty. In our shared bathroom. And I'm wearing nothing but a damp towel. I think you can call me Jim." His eyes smiled at him.
Kirk entered Spock's quarters tentatively, hesitating for a moment in the doorway. "Spock? You in here?"
Light from the corridor flooded into the darkened quarters. He walked in cautiously, looking around for his first officer. "Computer, lights at full."
There were signs of Spock everywhere: a rumpled bed, a tray of food, a crushed computer console. Kirk stared at the console for a moment, then walked over to the tray, noticing that the bowl of soup was empty. Good, he'd eaten.
He called out again, "Spock?" The answering silence seemed to beat into his eardrums. Of course there was no answer. There was no where for Spock to hide.
But if he wasn't here, then where was he?
Then a sound came from the bathroom -- the sound of something hitting the floor with a dull thump.
"Spock?" Kirk walked quickly over to the bathroom door and activated the door sensor.
The lights were dimmed, but Kirk could make out Spock, leaning over the sink with his hands on the counter and his head hung low. There was a beard suppresser lying on the floor. A soft rasping sound filled the air and Kirk realized it was Spock, breathing.
He was at Spock's side in an instant, thinking the Vulcan was going to be sick. "Spock." He placed his hands lightly on Spock's lower back.
The Vulcan erupted underneath his touch. With a rough screech, Spock jumped, as if Kirk's hands had branded him, accidentally knocking Kirk forcefully against the bulkhead.
"Leave me ALONE!"
Stunned into silence, the wind knocked out of him, Kirk picked himself up. Slowly, he shook his head, trying to clear it and bring in much needed air. "Spock, I..." He gasped out, rising from the ground.
"No, NO!" In a sudden fury, Spock grabbed Kirk and slammed him back against the bulkhead, pinning him against the wall with his body, Kirk's wrists encased in his hands.
"No." He bit the word out, breathing heavily, his voice rough and low and no longer yelling.
Kirk suddenly knew what Spock's ancestors must have looked, a millennia ago. Spock's eyes were feverish and heat rolled off of him in waves, palpable waves that beat against Kirk's body. The skin of Kirk's wrists burned where Spock gripped them, holding them above Kirk's head. And there was a sickly sweet smell that suddenly filled Kirk's nostrils, like burned sugar.
Kirk could feel the source of Spock's heat pressing into his hipbone, hard and insistent, and panic began to build in his stomach. He forced his heart to stop racing and his breath to even out. All the time, his eyes held Spock's. Perspiration beaded across the bridge of Spock's nose and on his forehead. Kirk realized he had never seen Spock sweat before.
"Spock, let me go." His voice was quiet. Almost a whisper.
"Jim." Spock pressed even closer and gripped even tighter. Kirk swallowed.
"Yes, Spock. It's me, Jim. Release me." Kirk watched Spock's face register his words.
"We've almost arrived at Vulcan. That's what I came to tell you. You're home, Spock."
"Vulcan?" The Vulcan's voice rubbed like sandpaper across Kirk's spine.
"Yes, Spock. Vulcan." Uncertainty clouded Spock's eyes. Then they focused and clarity sliced through them. Spock lifted his hands away from Kirk's and stepped away. With the sudden loss of heat from the Vulcan, the sweat he had not known was there chilled against Kirk's skin. He rubbed his wrists absently, eyeing Spock warily.
Lowering his eyes away from Kirk's, Spock took another step back, his hands held out in front of him, and a look of horror in his eyes.
Light flooded in as a door opened and McCoy walked in, interrupting him. Kirk inwardly grimaced at McCoy's timing.
"What are you two doing in here? Uhura's been trying to raise you on the intercom Jim. We're just about in orbit and Vulcan Space Central is asking for Spock." McCoy looked from one to the other and frowned. Neither looked his way. He stepped closer to Kirk as he glanced over at Spock.
"Mind letting me in on the joke, Jim?"
Kirk looked quickly at McCoy then stepped past him and approached Spock, slowly.
"Spock, look at me." He waited patiently for Spock to raise his eyes, knowing he would, given time.
Their eyes met.
And Kirk smiled, with his face and with his eyes.
"It's alright, Spock. Really. Come on, Vulcan waits."
Kirk signaled for McCoy to leave, then he followed the doctor. They stood in Spock's quarters for a tense moment and waited for Spock, just outside the bathroom door. Kirk quelled McCoy's questioning look with a slight shake of his head, effectively saying, "Not now, Bones."
Half a minute later, Spock walked out, looking much as he always did. Without a word, Kirk turned and headed for the door knowing Spock and McCoy followed.
Unmistakable sounds emanated from behind his bathroom door. Spock sat by his bed with his lyre in his lap, strumming absently. He could not focus, distracted by the sounds that came from the bathroom.
He should go. He should have gone when the sounds first started. And yet, he remained sitting, as if the lyre in his lap had suddenly increased in weight, holding him prisoner, forcing him to listen.
A not-so-soft plea.
An elbow hitting a wall.
Enough. Spock rose and carefully placed the small Vulcan lyre on it's stand next to his bed. He would not sit here and listen any longer; it was a violation of his captain's privacy and an invasion of his own. He moved to leave, walking towards the door.
"Spread you legs for me. That's it. Wider. Now look into my eyes. Who do you see?"
"Ow. You're hurting me."
"Answer the question!" Heavy breathing.
"Oh God..." Panting.
"Look into my eyes dammit. Who do you see?"
"I see you, James Kirk."
"And who's James Kirk?"
"God, this is crazy." More panting. The sounds of skin hitting skin.
"Captain of the starship Enterprise. Oh God..."
Spock realized that his fingernails were cutting into the fleshy part of his palm. He forced his hands to relax. Then forced himself to breathe.
He should leave. He should walk out of his quarters and go anywhere else: the science labs, the bridge, engineering, anywhere but here. But instead of the corridor, he found himself in front of his bathroom door a step before the proximity sensor.
The conversation had ceased. They were back to grunts and pants.
Spock felt an overwhelming desire to open the door, to look at what was on the other side. It was as if an unseen force was drawing him forward, pulling him against his wishes. He was compelled to activate the door sensor.
He clasped his hands tightly behind his back.
come. give in. enter
He stepped forward and the door opened.
There was moisture in the air, consistent with recent shower use. Clothing was scattered on the floor in disarray and wet towels. The smell of human musk permeated throughout the small room, wafting towards Spock and the cooler air he brought.
The captain was on the floor, right side facing Spock. Yeoman Daniels lay in front of him, legs splayed, head thrown back in abandon. Her eyes were closed. He was pumping into her, aggressively. Her hands kept moving-- on his shoulders, on her breasts tweaking a nipple, down to the crux of her legs, over her head to the shower stall behind her. His hands on her hips. His thrusts were even and steady. The muscles in his buttocks clenched each time he plunged into her. He lowered and captured one of her breasts in his mouth. She let out a small scream.
"God...oh God ohgodohgod, I'm going to come."
The words were gasped out, in time with Kirk's movements.
The captain lifted his head and turned to Spock's, his face distorted in a grimace. With a snarl in his eyes and on his lips, he trapped Spock in his gaze.
"That's right, baby, come for me. Come for me. Say my name."
Kirk was speaking to him. He knew Spock was there, watching. He knew it and he didn't care.
"Oh God! I'm coming! I'm coming! Captain!"
In fact, he seemed to expect it. He was goading Spock, taunting him.
"Yes. Come for me."
Spock could not look away as the captain roared his climax, spasming the last of his ejaculation into the yeoman as she continued to scream, his eyes holding the Vulcan. Spock realized that his breathing matched Kirk's, that his hands were clenched painfully at his side, that he was...disturbed by this spectacle before him.
The comm signaled. Spock heard it, but was slow to respond, held captive by his captain who was not his captain, by his own lack of control. It signaled again, the shrill sound cutting through the thick air.
Kirk closed his eyes, breaking the connection between them. Spock stepped backward, letting the door close, and walked to his console.
"This is Spock." Did his voice sound different?
"Mr. Spock, Ms. Lester has requested your presence in sickbay. She says it's urgent."
"On my way." This matter would have to wait. Some part of him, that he could not, would not acknowledge, felt relieved that the inevitable confrontation between himself and his captain would be postponed. Perhaps he would seek McCoy's counsel. Kirk's behavior was becoming more and more aberrant.
With only one look towards the bathroom, Spock left his quarters.
He had two hours to pack. There wasn't a deadline; he wasn't under orders to vacate quarters, he just needed to do it as soon as possible.
Admiral James T. Kirk.
He mouthed it, silently, staring blankly at the mesh wall behind his desk. He was an Admiral now. It had all happened so fast, one minute he's attending a briefing with Nogura and Komack and the next his life had been ripped apart at the seams.
No. He couldn't stay here any longer. There wasn't any point in dragging this out for months, even though technically the Enterprise wasn't going anywhere until the refit was done. Make a clean cut and cauterize the wound. It was better that way.
Two hours. He'd be out of here in two hours, tops.
He moved towards the bathroom, taking a storage container with him. That's where he'd start. The bathroom was safe -- neutral territory.
Quickly, and in no particular order, Kirk emptied his side of the bathroom starting with the cupboard. Soon, the storage container was full and it was necessary to get another one. He sealed it and carried it back out to his quarters, grabbing a new one.
When he walked back into the bathroom, Spock was there, standing off to the side with his hands held behind him. He looked unlike himself, dressed in dark Vulcan attire. The clothing seemed to accentuate his alienness, especially in contrast to the Starfleet decor.
Kirk stopped when he saw Spock, smiling suddenly. They looked at each other for a moment, and then Kirk moved casually over to the counter and leaned on it with one hip, placing the empty container on the surface.
An awkward silence fell. Kirk noticed the tension held in the Vulcan's shoulders.
"It's not Captain anymore."
"Then you've accepted?"
"Yes. Hadn't you heard? As of 09:00 hours this morning, to be exact." Kirk attempted to keep his voice neutral. Moving way from the counter as he spoke, he hid his eyes from Spock and started opening and emptying drawers. It was amazing how much one acquires in five years.
Forcing a smile, he flashed it quickly at Spock, "Thank you, Mr. Spock," then he went back to the drawers.
Slamming one drawer shut, he opened another one. Damn, where had all this junk come from? There wasn't time to sift through it now; there'd be plenty of time for that later. Removing the second drawer from its track with some difficulty -- they weren't designed to be removed -- he dumped it's contents into the container.
The drawer wouldn't go back in. He pushed and shoved, banging the edge against the counter attempting to get it back onto it's track.
He had an overwhelming urge to kick something. Instead, he just dropped it, letting it fall to the floor as he gripped the edge of the counter and leaned into it, his weight resting on his hands. "Shit."
He stood like that for a while, maybe a full minute, and then he felt a warm hand on his back.
Kirk stood up, regaining his usual composure. Spock withdrew his hand, returning it to where it was before, behind his back. Kirk didn't miss the look of relief that quickly passed over the Vulcan's features before returning to his usual facade.
"Sorry, Spock. I'm all right, really. It's just going to take some getting used to, that's all."
"If you did not desire this, then why did you accept?"
Kirk started to laugh, causing Spock to look even more confused then before. "That's a good question, Spock. Wish I had an answer for you." He continued to laugh, shaking slightly, but his eyes betrayed him. He leaned back against the bulkhead, bending one knee against the wall with one arm across his stomach.
"So to what do I owe this pleasure to anyway, Spock? I had half assumed you'd left this morning." Kirk stared back at Spock, meeting those dark eyes that still looked at him quizzically.
"My transport leaves in one hour."
"God, Spock." Kirk looked away, bringing one hand up to the bridge of his nose, pinching. The headache came suddenly, pressing behind his eyes. Spock remained silent. Kirk took a deep breath.
"And you're going back to Vulcan?"
"Yes. I've decided to go to Gol, to the Kolinaru."
"Not precisely, but it is an adequate description."
Kirk couldn't control the chuckle. "Dear God, Spock, but I'm going to miss you." Spock said nothing. "I don't understand why you're going. I know I can't stop you. I wish --" Don't go, Spock. Don't go. Don't.
Spock's eyes barely registered his words. Kirk could feel Spock pull back from him. What it must be like for him, all these years surrounded by irrational humans. Was that why he was leaving?
Don't go, Spock. Don't go. Stay.
Kirk sighed, releasing some of his tension. Then he looked up, at Spock, raised his right hand and saluted him in the traditional Vulcan way. "Live long and prosper, Spock."
"May you find fortune in your new position."
"Thank you." It was barely a whisper. Spock nodded slightly and turned to leave.
Spock stopped at the door. Kirk walked to him slowly and held out his hand. Spock hesitated. Kirk could see a moment of conflict flicker behind the Vulcan's eyes, and then he extended his hand to meet Kirk's.
Kirk took Spock's hand in his, holding it. It was a simple feeling, the weight of someone else's hand in yours. Simple and unique, as unique as the charge of electricity shooting up his arm; he would never feel this again.
Then, Spock left and Kirk was left standing alone.