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Vitiation: Chapter 4
More than you think you are
annenburg
Title: Vitiation
Rating: R
Chapter: One Two Three Four Five Epilogue
Characters: Jim Kirk, Spock, Bones, Carol Marcus, Amanda Grayson
Warnings: Violence, language, references to drug and alcohol abuse
Summary: Hello, criminal underworld. Jim Kirk is here to fuck your shit up.


It’s over a questionably legal police scanner that Jim gets the news. Victim is female, mid-forties. Identification on the body identifies her as Amanda Grayson. Shit, this is Ambassador Sarek’s wife. What are we supposed to—

He won’t listen to anything beyond that. He runs to the location indicated on the radio. It couldn’t possibly be true, he thinks. Ms. Grayson is so strong and kind. For her to be gone would be a cardinal sin. It would be a crime against the world itself to destroy someone as beautiful as her.

But there she is, laying in the middle of the street. There is little question that she is dead; her limbs are positioned in a way that cannot be natural, and there is a pool of blood extending from her neck to a meter out from the top of her head. Her umbrella sits broken on the side of the road, the police officers barely making an effort to avoid contaminating the scene. One of them notices him, and he makes his way towards the young man.

“I’m sorry, Sir; I’m going to have to ask you to vacate this site,” he says. “I cannot allow anyone to be—”

“That’s Amanda Grayson,” he whispers. The man freezes, then nods. “Who did this to her?”

It’s clear the officer recognizes him. He pulls him aside. “I’m glad you’re here, Kirk,” the man whispers. “The men who did this were just your average low-level enforcers. They ran towards Fifth Street as soon as the first sirens sounded. But between you and me, I’m more worried about their safety than the more innocent folks on the street. A certain spark-plug of a Vulcan ran off after them. He looked worse than usual.”

“Fuck,” Jim mutters. He scrubs a hand over his eyes. This really isn’t the time for him to be getting all emotional, but he can’t help it. “Okay. You guys deal with this. She was a great woman, though, so do it respectfully. I’m gonna take care of him.”

The officer nods again, and Jim turns, running in the direction of Fifth Street. It doesn’t take long to find Spock; he knows the second the air starts crackling that he’s getting close, and he’s nearly taken off his feet by a bolt of electricity at the mouth of an alley. His hair stands on end, and he’s not sure his heart will ever beat at a normal rhythm again.

The scene isn’t pretty. Jim’s never seen Spock like this – he’s never seen anybody like this. He’s directly in the center of the alley, swathed in that crackling blue lightning he’s always using. But if Jim had to guess, he’d say Spock’s not even trying to control it anymore. Standing bolts are coming off of him like limbs, waving, flashing, and sparking.

There are men on the ground, curled in on themselves. Three men total, he counts. They jerk when the electricity gets close to them, and as Jim steps forward, he can smell burning flesh and hair.

Spock is killing them. The man who told him he would not take lives.

“Stop it!” Jim shouts, breaking into a sprint. A bolt of lightning strikes just over his shoulder, and he finds himself shaking. It’s not just static electricity. Spock could easily kill him and have enough power left over to roast him like a peking duck. “Spock, stop! You’re not a fucking murderer!”

He finally catches a glimpse of the Vulcan’s face, and there’s no recognition in it. Spock has lost control of everything. Jim would be surprised if he was even conscious of what he was doing. He brings his arms up over his head as another bolt strikes just past him. If he draws his guns, Spock will probably take him out. He reaches for them anyway.

As predicted, he has not had it out for more than a second when he’s blasted back against the brick of the alley wall. The gun’s still in his hand, but he can barely move. So this is what it feels like to be electrocuted, he thinks. He rather dislikes it. He forces himself to his feet, charging Spock again.

He’s blasted back again, and he’s pretty sure his left arm is broken with the force of it. He sits up against the wall, watching with a detached sense of wonder as the other man stands, silent and still, and unleashes a power that could easily level an army.

Fine, then. No weapons. He can deal with that.

He charges this time, flinging his guns on either side of him. The shocks Spock sends his way divert, following the metal, and at last Jim tackles the man, slamming him to the ground and using his one tranquilizer hypo on him. Spock is Vulcan, though, and he can’t be sure this will work. But it might be his only option, and he takes it for all it’s worth. Spock’s hands catch his shoulders, sending a surge of electricity straight down his spine – and then, it’s over. The air calms, and the Vulcan’s hands fall.

Shit.

Jim’s not sure why he’s done this. He knows the men Spock was attacking deserved it. Hell, if he’d gotten there first…well, he can’t be sure whether he would’ve reacted any differently. He’s completely drained. If anyone were to attack him now, he wouldn’t be able to fight them.

He pulls the other man close, wincing as he brings his damaged arm around Spock to activate his communicator. “Bones,” he manages, and he sounds about as terrible as he feels. “Two. Beam in.”

The feeling of dematerializing is, for once, a relief. He lets his eyes close.

<><><><><><><><><><><><>

Jim awakens to Bones’s grumbling, and he can’t help but grin. “Electrical burns, two compound fractures, and a concussion weren’t bad enough. No, he had to bring a god damned hobgoblin in spandex back to base,” the man mutters from somewhere near Jim’s broken arm. “I’m killing you just as soon as I’ve got you back in one piece.”

“Seems counterproductive,” Jim rasps. He winces as Bones squeezes his forearm. “Ouch. Bedside manner, Bones. You might want to think about your bedside manner.”

He tries to sit up, but his chest is heavy. Bones places a hand on his shoulder. “Don’t even think about it,” he says sharply. Jim hasn’t heard him sound so deathly serious before. He forces his eyes open, and the lights are bright enough that he would recoil, if he could. Bones’s stubble has grown out more than usual, and there’s something mildly crazy in his eyes. “I haven’t fixed everything yet.”

Jim would respond, but the door is flung open before he can, and he can feel Carol’s disapproval. He lies as still as possible, pleading with his eyes for Bones to promise to fix whatever else ends up broken after Carol’s through with him. Bones turns to face their friend.

“He’s barely in one piece,” he warns her. “Be gentle.”

And then he’s gone, and Jim could curse him out. Not fair. He’s practically on his deathbed now. Carol’s heels clack as she crosses the room ominously, and he clutches the bed sheets in his hands. Bad idea – his arm’s still broken. Ow.

The bed depresses on his side, and he forces himself to be as lax as possible. One of Carol’s hands cups his chin, gently turning his face towards hers. But she doesn’t look angry. She looks confused and contemplative. And, he realizes with some degree of shock, there is concern in her brow. He wishes he could take a picture.

“What happened?” she asks quietly. Two words, and they’ve said it all. It all comes back to him at once, and he feels himself shake. One of her hands reaches down to hold his. She lets him breathe through it.

“Amanda Grayson,” he explains, voice still all but gone. Carol’s thumb strokes over his, and he swallows something thick in his throat. “Can you check to see if funeral arrangements have been made?”

“Oh, Jim,” Carol whispers pityingly. He closes his eyes, not willing to see that expression on her face. “I’ll let you know as soon as I find out.”

She squeezes his hand once, and then she pulls away. The bed goes back to its original shape. He keeps his eyes closed until she leaves, and even after it. He’s not sure how, but he knows he’ll need his strength later. All of it.

<><><><><><><><><>

The next time he wakes, it’s worse than the first. His injuries feel better, sure – but there’s something wrong. The air is dry and hot, and he’s not alone anymore. There’s no one near his bed. Carol’s perfume doesn’t kiss his nose, and Bones’s constant grumbling is absent. But someone is there, and he’s honestly a little afraid to open his eyes.

And then, the air crackles again.

Fuck.

He flings the covers off himself and leaps to his feet. He’s unsteady for a moment, and then all he can see is Spock. The Vulcan is stripped down to what appear to be boxers, and his eyes are still dangerous. His skin itself sparks, and even though his posture isn’t as straight as always, he’s still regal. Still elegant.

If he didn’t feel so murderous, Jim would think he was beautiful.

A lick of electricity swipes Jim’s ankle, and he can’t stay still too long. That’s the mistake he made last time. He rears back, grits his teeth, and rushes Spock.

“You’re gonna kill me like you were gonna kill those guys in the alley?!” he shouts, even as he aims a kick at Spock’s stomach. Something registers in the Vulcan’s eyes, and Jim seizes it. He’s pushed back by a bolt of lightning, and he tries to stand his ground. He stops moving only three inches back. “Come on. Look at me. I couldn’t protect her either. Come at me!”

Another strike of electricity contacts Jim, and he grounds himself as best he can. But then a fist connects with his cheek – a fist crackling with current, no less – and he’s thrown to the ground again. His eyes fix on Spock, who looks even more animalistic than before. Jim forces himself back to his feet.

“Come on, Spock,” he growls. He doesn’t have any weapons but his fists. Spock could beat him easily with the electricity he emits alone. If he can get him into a hand-to-hand fight, though…he steels himself. “Come on. Your mother’s dead. Who are you gonna blame? Punks who were just trying to make enough money to score? Or the guy who swore he’d keep her safe?”

He’s thrown back against the dresser in the corner. He stumbles away from it, walking slowly towards Spock. Spock’s lips are turned down in a dangerous frown, and Jim swallows hard. “She’s dead,” he repeats, and his chest feels like it’s imploding with every syllable. Spock takes a abortive move towards him. “She’s dead. I couldn’t protect her.”

He hears the door open, and his best friend is shouting. But he can’t pay attention right now. Carol will keep him reeled in, he trusts. So he keeps walking towards the Vulcan in the middle of the room.

A blast of electricity nearly takes him off his feet, but he rides it out. He can feel the hairs on his arms and legs burning, and his ears ring eerily. The electrical equipment in the room sparks along with Spock. “I couldn’t protect her,” he says. “Come at me, Spock. It’s all my fault.”

And, at last, Spock is charging him. Jim can see the electricity building in his hands; it’s an eerie sort of light, beautiful and terrifying. He knows he’s only going to get one chance, and he charges back.

He’s able to tackle Spock to the ground, but Spock’s hands go to his shoulder blades, sending pulses of electricity through his entire body. He writhes with it, feeling it course up his spine. He could end up paralyzed from this, he thinks. Maybe even brain dead, if he lets it continue. But all he can do is grasp Spock’s shoulders – wider than he realized – and bury his face in his chest.

It’s true. “I’m sorry,” he gasps out. It’s not exhaustion, he realizes – it’s a sob. He can’t stop, either. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. It’s all my fault. I couldn’t protect her.”

It’s not the most manly way to go, Jim thinks. He’s crying desperately into the chest of the man who’s six volts away from killing him. It’s messy and undignified, chest hair poking into his eyes and brushing his lips. All he can say is “I’m sorry,” over and over, as he waits for the final jolt.

It never comes.

The air calms around them, and the hands on his shoulder blades relax. Then abruptly, Spock’s arms wrap him in a short, tight hug, and then he’s being pushed off him lightly. Spock doesn’t say a word; he just walks out of the room. Bones rushes in the second he’s left, hauling Jim onto the bed and fumbling in the wreckage of the dresser for a medi-scanner.

The room is silent again.

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