Rating: R (...ish?)
Summary: Kirk needs to get married for political reasons. Spock offers himself as the logical choice. Written for the st_xi_kink meme. Enjoy!
Another two weeks passed before anything worthy of mention occurred. The Enterprise was to undergo routine repair at a Starfleet base just off the Sirius system and receive a few new graduates. This would ordinarily be of no consequence, but from the very beginning a Miss Hart brought out the nerves in the Vulcan.
Jim was making his way down the line of new recruits, introducing himself personally and asking them about themselves. Hardly an unusual occurrence; the man was becoming known through Starfleet for knowing each of his crewmates personally. He listened to their favorite sports, their family, hobbies, and all other sorts of things. But when he reached Miss Gillian Hart, Spock found himself overcome by some strange sense of aggravation.
“I’m James Kirk,” he extended his hand to her. She took it, holding it firmly.
“Gillian Hart,” she purred – no mistaking it this time. It seemed humans were capable of purring. “Call me Jill, Mr. Captain.”
Jim thankfully ignored her request. “Where do you come from, Ensign Hart?”
“Earth. United States. Alabama,” she said, voice growing breathier with each word. “You’re a stateside boy yourself, aren’t you, Mr. Captain? Ohio? Montana?”
“Iowa,” he corrected. Spock remained where he was. Once Jim finished the introductions, they were going to an antique bookstore. There would be paper and leather and old ink, and there would be no pretty young ensigns attempting to seduce his husband. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Ensign Hart.”
Spock allowed himself to notice that he spent the least time speaking with Ensign Hart. However, the second Jim dismissed the new crewmembers, the shapely woman was approaching him again.
“Mr. Captain, I’ve never been to Iowa before,” she breathed, puffing out her ample chest. Spock tried to subdue his irritation. “Maybe we can stop by a café here and you can tell me about it.”
Jim had a sly smile on his face, and Spock didn’t know whether to trust it. The ensign was obviously after a sexual rendezvous, and Spock knew how long it had been since Jim had engaged in sexual activity. But the man shook his head. “That’d be inappropriate, Ensign Hart,” he theatrically sighed. “I promised my husband I’d go on a date with him today. And it can’t be proper for a married man like me to just hop off to a café with a young lady.”
Ensign Hart didn’t react beyond a raised eyebrow. “You’re married?”
The captain turned away from her. “Mr. Spock,” he called over. Spock obediently walked to his side, stopping as soon as he reached their customary distance – one foot, two inches. Jim turned his head to the Ensign again. “Ensign Hart, I’d like you to meet First Officer Spock. He’s my second in command, our Science Officer, and my husband. Spock, this is Ensign Hart. Graduated from the academy with a degree in astrophysics.”
“Impressive,” Spock acknowledged. “It is a pleasure to meet you.”
She did not respond immediately, eyes widening in a way Spock knew signaled shock. She slowly accepted his hand, shaking it ever so lightly before retracting it with a certain measure of disgust evident on her face. “It’s a pleasure to meet you,” she reiterated, shoulders stiff.
A barking laugh almost too familiar to the Vulcan cracked the tension in the air. He displayed no outward show of surprise, only a quirked eyebrow as he turned to the gate and saw, of all people, Admiral Pike, seated comfortably on his hoverchair.
“Admiral,” he nodded, and the man glided towards them. “I was not aware you were at this particular station.”
“I’m here for reassignment,” the admiral said, grinning at Jim as he did so. “Remember how Komack wanted to send someone aboard to prove you two were faking it? He did.”
Jim blinked, and then his lips curled into a smirk. “Is that so?” he asked lowly, mirth in his voice. “And he decided to send you, Admiral? I thought Starfleet was not permitted to send handicapped officers on missions. No offense.”
“None taken,” Pike acknowledged. Logical. The man was handicapped, and to take offense to a statement of fact would be irrational. “And I’m supposed to go onto the Enterprise for relocation. You’re going to be going through the Centaria System in a month, correct? It seems all the other ships going through that system have inexplicably had their transport certification misplaced. But don’t worry; I’m pretty sure they’ll be finding those certifications soon enough.”
Jim extended a hand. “It’ll be a pleasure having you on board again, Admiral,” he stated, an easy smile on his lips. Pike accepted it. Jim glanced up at Spock, who understood the subtle prompting well enough.
“Indeed, it will be beneficial to the crew to have you among us once more,” Spock agreed. Pike turned his chair to face the Vulcan.
“Good to see you too, Mr. Spock,” he said. “You look great. And what’s this I hear about you and Jim having a date today? Dinner and a movie? An art exhibition?”
“Antique bookstore,” Jim answered. Pike raised an eyebrow.
“You have a chance to go on an honest to God date, and you want to go antique shopping?” the man asked. “Why?”
Spock let his hands fall to his side, extending paired fingers for Jim to brush against. Jim did so, sending a shock up Spock’s spine, as always. Pike probably didn’t know what to look for, probably wouldn’t recognize a Vulcan kiss, but he had to assume he did. He was here to confirm that they were romantically involved, after all. “Jim and I share an affinity towards carbon and ink books,” he explained as their fingers remained in contact, an almost constant stream of stimulation flooding his body. “We have been planning this excursion since we received word that we would be at this particular station. It is a rare opportunity.”
“In other words,” Jim clarified, “we’ve been looking forward to this all week. We can go out to eat and watch movies at any station. But we can’t buy antique books at just any station. You know?”
Pike shook his head, but Spock was relatively sure that it wasn’t to signal ignorance. “I never imagined Jim Kirk would be so domestic,” he said in a tone that signaled disbelief. “You have a chance to be all romantic or sexual, and you decide you want to go book shopping? Never thought you’d forgo a chance to have sex in a new place.”
Jim shrugged, and Spock felt a need to preemptively drag him from the situation, but before he could act on it the man was already speaking. “Well, you know. It may be my motto to ‘boldly go where no man has gone before’, but something tells me we’ll be at this station again someday,” he pointed out. “And besides, uh—hey, Spock, does sex in the ship while it’s docked count as sex in the place itself?”
Spock felt his ears warming. “We are yet undecided on that,” he avoided any confirmation or denial, though he was fairly certain the words came out somewhat strained. “And I am fairly certain it is not appropriate to discuss such things in front of our direct superior.”
Jim raised an eyebrow. “Spock, is there anyone who doesn’t know we fuck?”
“Engage in coitus,” Spock corrected, glancing at Pike. “I apologize, Admiral. He is not usually so open.”
Pike shrugged. “It’s my job to tell Komack whether you’re actually involved or not,” he pointed out. “You two being open makes my job easier.”
Spock considered it for a moment, considered the responses he could possibly give for this. All he could come up with was, “I am most uncomfortable with exhibitionism.”
Jim was at once laughing almost hysterically, fingers slipping away from Spock’s. The Vulcan flexed his own as if perplexed by the sudden lack of contact, already missing the coolness of his husband’s skin. “Jesus, Spock,” Jim choked out. “He didn’t mean it like that. He meant we can be affectionate or talk about our relationship around him.”
“Oh,” Spock realized his error, an unwanted feeling of embarrassment flooding his being. “I apologize.”
“No need, Commander,” Pike assured him. “Shall I make myself at home?”
Jim nodded. “Of course. You know where the guest quarters are,” he said simply, propping his hands on his hips. “If you’ll be okay on your own, there’s a bookstore waiting for us.”
“By all means, go ahead with your date,” Pike agreed, smiling resignedly. “Book shopping. Really. You know how to live it up.”
Jim nodded, grinning widely. “I’ll see you later, then, Admiral.”
And then, it was all Spock could do to keep up with his husband’s brisk walk, that smile still plastered fetchingly on the human’s lips, and the lack of his fingers on Spock’s still ringing through the Vulcan’s entire being.
It was two weeks before Spock was confronted by Admiral Pike, and while he had the time to prepare for the accusations the man may have for him, the actual confrontation was anything but what he had expected. Pike had come to his shared quarters while Jim was on-planet. It was an ordinary, routine mission, one that hardly required Spock at his command desk while off duty, and on Jim’s guidance he’d gone down to relax with one of the books they had purchased at the station.
The admiral’s shoulders were stiff, even as Spock offered to turn down the environmental controls – a happy medium between Vulcan and human norms – to better suit his superior. And then, the conversation began.
“I don’t have any evidence to either conclusion,” Pike said simply, voice like a child’s. Spock raised an eyebrow. “Spock. I know it’s not your nature to show your emotions, but make an effort. If I tell Komack what I know now, he’ll have you both court-martialed for fraud. You never display any intimacy. If I didn’t know you were married, I’d think you were tolerating each other sometimes.”
There was concern in the man’s voice. Spock fought not to feel guilty. “We are frequently and publicly affectionate, Admiral Pike,” he said, some part of his heart suddenly filled with fear. Loss. But there was no stimulus for it. Spock could not explain its presence. He was silent perhaps a moment too long, hands traveling to his abdomen, where the feeling had started, and to his head, where it migrated. “I am certain we have displayed intimacy before you.”
Pike’s brow furrowed. “I assure you, Mr. Spock, that I have seen no intimacy between you,” he informed him. A pause, and then, “is something wrong?”
Spock didn’t know immediately how to respond. Something was certainly wrong, that he knew. But he could not identify its source or reason – or even what it was. Something was empty within him, something terrifying. He had never felt fear like this before. But he merely shook his head, taking a deep (and oddly shaky) breath.
“No, Admiral, I am…fine,” he settled on the word with some hesitation. The variable definitions of the term suited the situation. “What have you witnessed between us?”
Pike watched him, eyes displaying some alarm. “I—okay. You are always together, but that’s normal for a captain and first officer,” he stated. He glanced about the room. “You share your quarters, and I’ll admit it seems appropriate for both of you. But you never touch. The most you ever do is brush your fingers, and even then it seems not to affect either of you. Are you sure you’re all right?”
That fear was definitely growing, and Spock’s mind spun with reasons. The confrontation? His own concerns about their relationship? The marriage bond—
His heart stopped altogether.
The ceremony. He had almost forgotten that part of the Vulcan tradition. By ‘completing the union’ as they had, Spock and Jim had forged a bond. To most already bonded couples, the marriage bond would have been the final piece to strengthen what they had. In their case, it was the only bond they had, tenuous and small and nearly unnoticeable.
Jim was close to death. He knew it instantly. He felt it in him, almost a tangiable loss. His breath came shorter and shorter, fear racing in his veins, and then—
Spock stood abruptly, the admiral looking to him with some alarm on his face. “I apologize, Admiral; I must cut this conversation short,” he rushed to get the words out of his mouth. “We—we may continue later—“
And before he could help it, he was dashing from his chambers. Jim was back onboard. Spock was certain of that. He was vaguely aware of the hum of Pike’s chair following him, more aware when they boarded the turbolift together, heart beating in his ears, drowning out any sound the admiral might have made from that point. The lift stopped at the medical bay, and with the fear inside him increasing exponentially, he started through the door before it had even finished opening.
He could not even begin to tell himself to control himself. Nurse Chapel looked startled to see him, the rest of the landing party staring. But that didn’t matter. Jim was stretched out on a biobed, red blood staining his skin in all sorts of places. He was definitely unconscious, chest hardly moving with breath, Dr. McCoy frantically working—oh, God, working on a hole in Jim’s abdomen, right above his liver.
“Jim,” he managed, passing the protesting nurses with no effort, immediately at the man’s side. He intertwined their fingers abruptly, drawing all the contact he could from it. McCoy ignored him, hands wrist deep in—oh, this couldn’t be. Jim should never be hurt so badly, should never be so close to death.
He was human. He was human and so, so fragile.
Never before had Spock honestly hated anything before that moment. But now, the hate was flowing freely, mixing with the fear and the premature grief and the torrents of worry flowing through his veins.
At once, he hated whatever it was that had done this to Jim. He hated Starfleet for assuring them this mission would be routine, that there would be no danger. He hated the human race itself for being so fragile, and—
For a moment, he even hated Jim, who was about to leave him.
He was somewhat aware that he was whispering, though he was not entirely cognizant of what he was saying. It was Vulcan, Standard, and Jim, Jim, Jim, please, not like this.
He hated this man, could not touch him enough, why did it have to be like this, so delicate, so broken, fight, cool skin, labored breathing, the bond, should have been there with him on that routine mission, should never have been away from him, time was gone, infinite and gone, and he hated Jim so, so much—
“Jim,” he heard himself whisper hoarsely, not sure how long he’d been there, what anyone had said, not even caring. “Jim. Please. T’hy’la.”
Taluhk nash-veh k'dular.
Spock came to awareness a time later, though he did not know when. He was seated beside a biobed, but he was certain he had not set himself in a chair when he arrived. A hollow fear lingered for a moment as he glanced up to the bed, and it was replaced instantly with relief. Jim, obviously unconscious or asleep, was breathing. Healing.
His fingers were still wound about Spock’s.
On the other side of the bed, McCoy was running a tricorder over Jim, eyes watching the rise and fall of his chest. The man had dark circles under his eyes, and once he seemed satisfied with whatever the tricorder told him, he let his glance turn to the Vulcan. Their eyes met.
“His condition?” Spock asked, not at all surprised to hear his voice slightly raspier than usual. McCoy cocked his head.
“He’s stable,” he murmured. “It wasn’t a sure thing that he’d make it, and he was pretty touch and go for eighteen hours following the attack, but Jim’s a stubborn bastard. In case you were wondering, I relieved you of this shift and your next one. Least I can do after you almost lose your husband and stay up with him twenty-two hours straight.”
Twenty-two hours, then. He cast his gaze over Jim again, flexing his fingertips against his. He knew McCoy was watching, but he couldn’t help what he was doing. “When do you estimate he will awaken?”
“He’s got another couple hours before the sedative wears off,” McCoy answered, voice uncharacteristically soft. “Recovery time is going to be three days. I could pull out another cot for you, if you’d like to get some rest.”
Spock shook his head. “Unnecessary,” he murmured, watching Jim’s chest rise and fall. The easy rhythm it held now was so much different than it was earlier, less labored and infinitely more calming. Spock had to keep himself from laying a hand on that human chest. “I require far less sleep than a human. I will remain here.”
McCoy didn’t respond vocally, instead patting the bed and making his way out of the room. Spock simply watched Jim sleep for a time, counted his breaths and kept an eye on his vitals. He didn’t keep track of how much time passed, and when the door opened behind him again he didn’t bother turning around.
“McCoy says he’ll be okay,” Pike’s voice came from the doorway, followed by the hum of his chair. Spock didn’t reply, not immediately. Pike was at his side soon enough, quiet for a few long moments. “He also explained Vulcan displays of affection to me. I didn’t realize what you were doing was kissing.”
Spock flexed his fingers against Jim’s again. “You had no way of knowing,” he murmured, still not looking away from his husband. “It was nothing I had ever discussed with you.”
Jim’s monitor beeped rhythmically, his pulse searing against Spock’s fingers. How long had they been connected this way?
“I shouldn’t have doubted your relationship,” Pike continued a moment later, unmistakeable guilt in his voice. Spock felt it echoed in his being, but he suppressed it. “I honestly thought you married Jim to keep him aboard. I wasn’t going to report you or anything – but it never occurred to me that you two were actually…well, you may not like hearing it put this way, but I never imagined you were actually in love. I was wrong, apparently. I’m sorry.”
Spock shook his head. “No need to apologize.”
“No, I need to,” Pike implored. “I didn’t realize you had such a deep bond. I made light of it. When you took off like that, I couldn’t figure out what was going on. And then you led me straight here and it was like the rest of the world didn’t matter anymore. I’ve never seen you like that before.”
“I apologize for my lack of control,” he replied. “I will endeavor to prevent it from occurring again.”
Pike chuckled to his side. “You don’t need to apologize either, Spock,” he said pointedly. “It’s natural to rush to the side of the person you care most about when they need you.”
His voice came out of its own volition, and Spock couldn’t bring himself to deny it or attempt to stop it.
“The person you love, Admiral,” he heard himself whisper. “The person you love most in the world.”
It couldn’t have been more than fifteen minutes after Pike left when Jim began to awaken. Spock watched it happen – the change in his breathing, the shifting of his limbs, his eyes clenching – and to his relief, Jim looked first at him.
“Spock,” he rasped, flinching slightly. His hand went to his stomach. “Thought that…was you.”
Spock nodded, still touching Jim’s fingertips on his other hand. “Who else would I have been?”
Jim started to chuckle, but it was cut off when the pain in his abdomen apparently flared up. He took an extra moment to recover, and then he met Spock’s eyes. “Sorry I made you worry so much. I didn’t know that would happen.”
“Do not apologize,” Spock told him firmly, but then his gaze faltered. He found he could no longer look at Jim’s blue eyes. “I am the one who needs apologize. When I came here and found you in the condition you were, I fell out of control. I do not recall what I said or did, but I do know that I found myself thinking that I hated you. I do not know how I could have ever thought such a thing. I was mistaken in doing so.”
Jim let out a breath. “Don’t worry,” he assured him. “I know you love me.”
And Spock froze, eyes lighting on Jim’s again. There was no joke there – only some degree of emotion Spock was not familiar with. He forced himself to pull his fingers away from Jim’s, all capability of speech temporarily failing him.
“I could hear everything when you were talking to Pike,” Jim murmured. “And before that, I could feel it. I don’t know how – I just knew you were here. It was this rush of emotion – not a mind meld, but a strong enough connection. You’re in love with me. Have been for a long while.”
Spock regained control. “I am sorry,” he whispered.
Jim didn’t respond with words. He simply reached out his hand and found Spock’s again, stroking paired fingers firmly. He twined their hands together after a moment, bringing Spock’s to rest on his chest – on his heart. Spock could not respond immediately. And then, only then, did Jim speak again.
“Kiss me the human way, you overloyal sonofabitch,” he demanded, and Spock could not help but oblige.
As their lips met, Spock contemplated what this would mean. The steps he would have to take to ensure this would not leave him heartbroken as he had known before it would. The move from faking an emotional and mental bond to creating and nurturing one. He thought of bonding them, of melding and joining their minds in all possible ways, of the ramifications of their shared bed and the physical need they shared.
“Stop thinking,” Jim murmured.
And for once, Spock did.
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