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Into Darkness; but Gayer

Chapter Text

It’s a rush of adrenaline. Constant hammering of the heart against the ribs while sharp screams rip through throats. Jim had stolen something. Something of worship. Something that the local population worshiped.

 

They were supposed to be explorers. At least until it came to ethics and the weakening of humans and Vulcan alike.

 

A volatile volcano. A village smack dab below. Observe do not interact.

 

Of course to Jim and Spock that meant. Involvement and being sappy idiots.

 

Being sappy lead to Jim being chased by locals and Spock off being an idiot with a volcano. Leonard’s big stupid idiots. Leonard swore he was going to have grey hairs after this.

 

They removed the scarves that covered their faces.

 

“DAMMIT JIM!” shouted Leonard as his lovely partner stunned the gentle creature that stood tall. “That was our ride, HONEY .” He put his hands on his hips for a small moment.



Jim gave him a lopsided grin that did not make Leonard’s mind swirl with ways to knock it off his face.“Whoops,” shouted Jim as he panted slightly. “My bad, Bones.”

 

There was no living in the moment as Jim grabbed Leonard’s arm and started off into a sprint.

 

Leonard was going to kill him if the locals didn't do it first. “What the HELL did you take from them, BUTTERNUT ?” McCoy shouted at his loving partner as he praised Starfleet mandatory physical training.  

 

“I just know they were bowing to it, SOUR WHISKEY ,” shouted Kirk a moment later he was quickly talking into his communicator. “Hey POLLYWOG .”

 

McCoy cracked a laugh at the nickname they rarely used for their green blooded companion.

 

“I fail to see why you are shouting about…” there was a small pause. Probably Mister Pointy finding the word. “Tadpoles, Ji- Kir- Captain.” Smooth Spock.

 

McCoy rolled his eyes and smirked. “Pollywog,” snickered Leonard with a roll of his eyes. “I still like Hobgoblin.”

 

Jim snickered and had to calm his tone of voice, “Or uh. Kirk to shuttle one. The local population is out of the kill zone.” Jim stumbled slightly and McCoy moved closer to make sure Jim didn't fall. “I repeat you're clear to neutralize that volcano.”

 

Jim squealed slightly as the volcano gave off a sputtering quake. McCoy’s arm reached out and he furrowed his brow. “Don't worry about me, Bones,” muttered Jim with a sly grin.

 

This close McCoy could hear every beat of Spock’s voice, “Ji-Captain, did the indigenous life forms see you?”

 

“Nope!” Jim jumped over some tree roots. “They did not, Mister Spock.”

 

McCoy rolled his eyes. “Just once I’d like to beam down to a planet and shout, Behold I am the archangel, Gabriel.”

 

“That is quite illogical, Leonar-Doctor, The Prime Directive clearly states there can be no interference with the internal developments of alien civilisations.” Was Spock sassing him?

 

“You’re just jealous, ‘cause with your pointy ears you'd never pass as an angel.” McCoy grinned wide as he leaped over some roots.

 

“Bones,” hissed Jim, “I know prime directive, Spock, we took the same oath.”

 

“We’re running through a jungle in disguises, Spock,” shouted McCoy.

Jim took in a deep breath. “Just get your icemaker down there and we can get out of here.” There was a long pause as Jim screeched again this time because a spear whizzed by his head.

 

Spock made a cut off noise, “Jim.”

 

“Uh, Kirk and McCoy out,” shouted Jim.

 

McCoy squealed and ducked down as more Spears whizzed by their heads. “They're gonna kill us.” he turned his head to Jim and screamed, “They are going to kill us, Jim.”

 

“Keep running, Bones,” shouted Jim.

 

They just didn’t need this moment. He wasn't for the idea of letting a volcano explode all over the unsuspecting population of growing life, but he'd much rather be curled up in bed with Jim and Spock where the worst thing that could happen is Jim putting his freezing feet on his back.

 

“Captain, we need to abandon the shuttle, you and the doctor will have to find your own way back to the ship,” crackled Sulu’s voice from the communicator.

 

What about Spock? Was he out of the Volcano? Something chewed at his gut as he dodged another spear. “That is just wonderful,” said Jim.

 

There were two likely places they could reach the Enterprise, where they had parked it under a tall cliff side, or the beach.

 

Please go toward the beach, please go toward the beach, Leonard pleaded in his head taking in a deep breath.

 

Jim ran the other way.

 

Dammit Jim. “The beach is the other way, HONEY ,” growled McCoy.

 

The movement of Jim reaching up to place the scroll on a branch makes Leonard’s stomach roll. “We aren’t going to the beach, Bones.”

 

Trees faded into thin lines of tall grass, clothes were abandoned, and an even taller drop slipped its way into Leonard’s vision. He closed his eyes and inhaled sharply. “Jim, no, no, no please,” pleaded Leonard. He felt Jim’s hand slip into his, his eyes snapped open to see the fire burning in Jim’s molten eyes. God he wanted to smack and kiss that gorgeous face. “I hate this.” McCoy gripped Jim’s hand tight. They didn’t slow their momentum. They would need it to not land on any sharp solid objects that would break their bodies-

 

Jim’s voice broke him out of that long rant of how they could die. “I know, Bones.”

 

Those words hung in the air as the ground ran out beneath their feet. Leonard inhaled a sharp breath and clutched onto Jim as they hit the water below. McCoy let go of Jim knowing there was no use in it as their wetsuit boots engaged.

 

They made their way to the submerged Enterprise and scrambled into the airlock which drained fairly quick.

 

Leonard heard Jim gasp for air at the same time he had. It was followed by sputtered off coughs and panting. “Fuck,” gasped Jim.

 

McCoy growled and shook his head. Fuck was right.

 

Scotty opened the doors to the airlock and gave them both a look. A look that would lead into some long winded rant about how all this salt water would ruin the ship, “Do you understand how much this salt water is going to ruin-” Leonard called it.

 

Jim pushed past the engineer, frowned ,and looked around. “Where’s Spock?” asked Jim.

 

McCoy looked around while an ice ball settled into his stomach.

 

Scotty opened his mouth then shut it. “Still in the Volcano, Sir.”

 

McCoy couldn’t stop Jim from sprinting to the bridge. He followed just as fast despite the protests his legs wanted to put up.

 

Before they enter the bridge Jim squeezed Leonard’s hand.

 

Leonard gives the younger a squeeze. “I’ll kill him. I’ll drag him out by his pointy ears and kill ‘im.”

 

That didn’t fail to bring a small smile to Jim’s face. McCoy’s heart fluttered. A happy Jim was a wonderful Jim.

 

The doors open and they enter onto the bridge. Chekov raised his head and shouted, “Keptain on the bridge.”

 

Jim nodded at him, but Leonard knew to go straight for Uhura who was worrying at her lower lip near the comms. “He is a pain in the ass, Captain,” mumbled the lieutenant.

 

Jim slid next to her and bend himself over slightly. “Do we have an open channel to…” Leonard heard him take in a sharp inhale, “Mister Spock?”

 

Leonard placed a hand on the small of Jim’s back and rubbed the still wet suit. He thought about how this could have all been avoided if they had just observed like they should have. He still wasn’t one to let this race of aliens die.

 

Uhura placed a hand on Jim’s shoulder. “We still have contact,” Leonard felt her pause, “but the heat is frying his comms.”

 

“Spock,” Jim’s voice twisted McCoy’s gut. He wanted to crawl into bed. Wanted to hold Jim tight. Wanted to smack Spock across the face.

 

Spock’s broken words filtered through the speakers, “I have activated the device, Captain.” Jim’s back went stiff under McCoy’s hand, “When the countdown is complete, the reaction should render the volcano inert.”

 

“It’ll render you inert you…” growled McCoy fingers fisted against Jim’s suit. His knuckles turned white and he trembled slightly. He pulled his hands back to himself and took in a deep breath. He was upset that this was happening. Upset that Jim allowed this in the first place.

 

Jim turned his head back, pressed his lips together, and faced the comms again. “Do we have use of transporters?”

 

Sulu heaved a sigh and turned in his chair. “We don’t.”

 

Chekov curled in on himself and rubbed his neck. “Not with the magnetic fields, Sir.”

 

McCoy observed Jim as he leaned further over the station. His knuckles curled against the edge. “I need to beam Spock back to the ship,” mumbled Jim. McCoy noted he was chewing the dry skin off of his lips, drawing blood, and reddening the skin.

 

McCoy felt Mister Scott put a hand on his shoulder as he pushed by. “Captain-”

 

Jim turned away from the station and addressed everyone on the bridge. “Give me one way to do it.”

 

Uhura crossed her arms and let out a sigh. She shifted her weight and said, “We could probably get line of sight.”

 

Chekov whined a little. “I was going to say that.”

 

Scotty held a hand in front of Uhura and raised an eyebrow. “Hang on just a minute, you're talking about an active volcano,” he shifted his body back against McCoy who hissed and inched closer to Jim. Scotty turned to them, but mostly addressed Jim. “Sir, if that thing erupts, I cannae guarantee we can withstand the heat.”

 

Jim slid his hand into McCoy’s to squeeze it tightly.

 

With a sigh Leonard rubbed his thumb gently against the back of his hand. He knew he wouldn’t be upset with Jim for long, nor would he be upset with Spock for long.

 

Sulu straightened his back, “I can’t guarantee we will even be able to keep the altitude.”

 

Spock’s voice filtered over the comm, “Our shuttle was concealed by the ash cloud,” Jim squeezed Leonard’s hand harder, “but the Enterprise is too large. If utilised in a rescue effort, it would be revealed to the indigenous species.” there was no more dry skin to chew off so Jim had moved onto running his tongue along the raw skin.

 

Jim gave a sharp laugh, “Spock, nobody knows rules better than you,” he shifted his hips and shook his head, “but there has to be an acception.”

 

The comms picked up on Spock’s slight swallow, and a foreign sound of emotion to his voice. “None,” McCoy had to squeeze Jim’s hand back just as hard, felt something prick at his eyes, “That would go against the prime directive.” He would not cry here.

 

McCoy growled, “We’re trying to save your life, Spock.” He could tell neither Jim nor him would be able to hold back the blunt edge of their emotional states for long.

 

Spock’s words broke the last straw, “The needs of the many outway the needs of the few.”

 

Jim shouted raw and wet, “We are talking about your life, Spock.” He had thrown his head back against Leonard.

 

Spock’s voice filtered in once again, “The rule cannot be brok-”

 

The signal broke and so did Jim, he released himself from Leonard’s hold and started to frantically move his hands against the station. “Spock? SPOCK!”

 

McCoy felt his heart squeeze in his chest.

 

Jim whipped around and gripped at Uhura. “Try to get him back online,” pleaded the Captain. So much more Jim than their Captain.

 

“Jim,” said McCoy.

 

Jim turned to him and took a deep breath. Stood there looking much older than he should look with his shoulders squared and a stern look on his face.  “What would he do Bones?”

 

Leonard bit his lower lip. What would Spock do? What even would Spock do if it was Jim in that volcano? Let him die? No. Spock loved Jim. The stupid hobgoblin wouldn’t be functional. What would Spock do if it was Jim who was missing? He recalled a conversation he had with Spock. Recalled the way Spock’s hands curled into fists as he tried to hone in his emotions. “Fuck, Jim, He’d search all of space for you.”

 

Jim gave McCoy a smile. “Mister Sulu. Take us out of here and get line of sight with Spock.”

 

“Yes, Sir.”

 

The bridge quaked slightly with the pressure of the sea releasing. “Bones, Down to transporters,” said Jim, he grabbed McCoy’s hand, and pulled him into the turbo lift.

 

McCoy knew it would be a swift ride down to the transporter room and leaned against the wall of the lift. He glanced over at Jim and pulled him into a hug.

 

Jim let whatever was holding him together drop and buried his head into Leonard’s neck. His body shook and the breath he released was wet.

 

Leonard swallowed and ran his fingers in Jim’s wet hair. He imagined not getting to the volcano in time. Imagined crawling into bed without that impossible warmth pressed against them. Those thoughts wouldn’t make Jim feel better. “You know we won’t be able to touch that suit of his when he comes out of the volcano.” If Spock came out of the volcano.

 

That just made Jim sob and squeeze him tighter. The lift halted and they pulled back from one and other. McCoy thought Jim was lucky he was still soaked. It made the tears blend in.

 

Leonard mentally beat himself up over that thought. “We will get him out.”

 

They didn’t waste time and ran to the transporter room just as something was being beamed aboard.

 

McCoy raised a brow at the parallels of religious figures that played in his memory at the sight of Spock’s outstretched arms.

 

Spock slid one eye open, lowered his arms, glanced around, before he focused his drawn down gaze onto McCoy and Jim.

 

Jim who stood with his fists clenched and his teeth grinding together. Jim who had tears streaming down his face.

Chapter Text

Spock mouthed something, that looked a lot like the word ‘Jim’, but they were on duty. Spock then raised his voice to a tone that was a little above casual. “Captain, You let them see the ship.”

Jim knew he could not control his voice. Could not and would not be able to stop his shaking frame. He thought he’d be able to handle seeing Spock get beamed aboard. Could handle not being able to embrace him and give him a good tongue lashing. Though Jim wasn’t good at tongue lashings. Those were Bones’s territory. Bones was fabulous at speaking his mind.

“Are you crazy?” asked Bones as he wrapped an arm around Jim. It was possible that he had noticed Jim was weak in the knees.

Jim inhaled sharply and let out a wet sound. More prickled warmth fell down his face.

“Bridge to Captain Kirk,” it was Uhura’s voice filtering in from the panel on the wall.

Jim felt McCoy move and he couldn’t have that. He needed to be held needed to hold. He shot his hand up and fisted it in the skin tight suit.

Bones stiffened and sighed. “Jim, you have to answer her.”

“You violated the Prime Directive,” said Spock still standing on the PADD with a set frown and wide brown eyes.

Jim threw caution to the wind, he opened his mouth for something high pitched to escape, and he clung onto Bones harder. Bones was safe Bones wouldn’t let him fall onto his knees and cry. “B-b-b-” he couldn’t get one symbol out without taking in sharp breaths and releasing sobs. “‘Ones.” He shut his eyes, felt droplets fall, and then let out a breath. He took enough time to collect himself mostly. “T-tell Uhura, Spock is aboard and to get out of here, Going to my quarters.” at least he hoped Bones could understand that.

He pulled back from Leonard and exited the transporter room just as he heard McCoy turn on Spock. “Congratulations, Spock.”

Jim felt the time that traveled between his trip from the transporter room to his quarters had taken too long. It might had been shorter if he hadn’t found himself outside of Spock’s door first, given that their quarters were connected by the restroom it wouldn’t have been much of a chore to just walk the few feet toward his door, but he just stood there for a moment. Thought about how he wanted to bury his face into Spock’s bed. He wasn’t angry with his first officer, with his partner, he was just… upset, his brain felt fuzzy at the corners, and he just wanted to lay face down. Let emotion overcome him.

Spock’s door was locked.

So Jim trudged his feet the remaining few steps to his door and entered his own quarters. He didn’t make it to the bed and fell onto his knees beside the door. The fuzziness in his mind grew and grew until it was oozing out of every stitch of his frame, until he was aware of what was happening, but didn’t find any fiber of control to stop the slip of his mind.

Jim’s body rose from the floor and exited the room. He recalled someone talking to him in a feminine voice, a mostly stern voice, and he might’ve yelled at her. He wasn’t quite sure.

A voice pushed him back into his body, hours from when the dissociative episode took hold of his flesh, and it said, “I thought you were going to your quarters.”

Jim blinked up at Bones who was in his black undershirt with his arms crossed. “I did… go… to….” he blinked again, looked around, he became aware he was still in his wetsuit, curled up under McCoy’s desk, hugging that stupid stuffed lizard, his body protesting in every shape and form. A sharp pain against his right eye. Kinks in his back. Pain shooted up from his tailbone.

Bones put on a small smile that softened his eyes, the older kneeled, and reached a hand out to Jim. “I’d say we’ve been looking for you for hours, but Nurse Chapel informed me that you were here.”

Jim remembered screaming at her to leave him alone and he frowned. His body popped and cracked when he shuffled from under the desk. He set the Lizard aside in Bones’s desk chair.

“Darlin’,” started Bones again as he gently helped Jim by rubbing his limbs so he wouldn’t hurt himself when he stood up. “You gonna talk to Spock?”

Jim stiffened. “I’m not upset with…” he couldn’t get past the McCoy eyebrow raise and eye narrow. He swore the more they were around Spock the more they adopted that eyebrow raise.

“You can say you aren’t upset with him all you want, but I’ve already had my feelings conversation with our Vulcan,” growled McCoy.

Jim shut his eyes, sighed, and gently rubbed above his eye.

“How’s your head?” asked Bones as he slipped his fingers below Jim’s to gently prod the area.

Jim shifted his back. It cracked and popped loudly. He groaned softly and frowned. “Hurts.”

With a sigh Bones helped him to rise from his position, it made Jim’s body release more noise, and sharp pains.

Jim whimpered slightly and frowned. “Bones,” whispered Jim.

“Taking you to your quarters,” McCoy kicked his chair out of the way and helped Jim get out of medical bay, “You’re a pain in the ass too. Coulda stayed in the transporter room, coulda just let yourself cry. Coulda let yourself be frustrated, You’re as bad as Spock when it comes to emotions,” grumbled Bones all the way to Jim’s quarters, “Stubborn. Irritatin’.”

Jim didn’t bother responding. If he didn’t talk about it it’d get dropped eventually. No that never worked with Spock and Bones. They were just as stubborn as him.

The doors made a whooshing noise, Jim noted two things about the room, the sun was dimmer, it was two degrees warmer in the room, and Spock was curled up on the bed. Three things.

Spock was chewing his hand. Four things. Scraping his nails against against his hairline. Five.

Jim frowned and despite his body protests hobbled over to Spock and layed on top of him. “Dammit Jim! I said out of the wetsuit-” McCoy’s protests died when Jim grabbed a hold of Spock’s wrist, not enough to hurt him, but enough to coax the Vulcan’s hand to his face.

“Spock,” said Jim. His voice quaked and he gently ran his fingers along Spock’s wrist. “You’re lucky I don’t call your mother and tell her what you did.” Not what he had wanted to say, but he just couldn’t get the words out of his mouth. Jim pressed a kiss to the palm of Spock’s hand.

Spock’s eyes shot up and he stared directly into Jim’s. He opened his mouth then closed it into a thin line.

“Granted, knowing Amanda she’d probably be somewhat proud that we saved an alien race,” Jim didn’t have to turn around to know Bones had rolled his eyes. Jim kept gently rubbing Spock’s wrist and sighed heavily. “Spock, please. Just talk to me?”

Jim knew Spock understood how Jim wanted to talk, it was the only way when either of them were like this, Jim too stubborn to admit the things in his head, and Spock too lost in himself to speak. They learned how to work around it.

Spock’s fingers twitched gently against Jim’s face, against his melding points, and Jim slid his eyes closed and took in a deep breath. It was always different when things were like this. There was no hiding-

He gasped.

Frustration. Abandonment. Spock’s willingness to die.
Jim. Jim. Jim. Leonard. Leonard. Leonard.
Sorrow. Joy of seeing Jim. Frustration that he could not hold Jim. Frustration that he could not comfort Jim. Frustration that he could not call Jim by his name.

Shame in upsetting his partners.
Self hate. The mantra that Jim had forgotten was playing in his head. Find Bones. Find Bones. Need Bones. Can’t be upset with Spock forever. Made Spock upset. Idiotic. Constant fear of either of them dying.
I saved you because you are my friend. You are my boyfriend. You mean so much to me.

It was hard to tell whose thoughts were who’s. Who was supplying what.

He gasped again and rested his head against Spock’s. Both of them breathing hard with tears flowing freely down their faces. “Jim,” a broken sob ripped through Spock’s voice and they held each other tight for a few moments. “I would not want to lose you or Leonard, I’m sorry.”

Jim held Spock tight and breathed in his sent deeply. He’d say he knew what smells even were but there was just a touch of volcanic ash that just didn’t belong and the overwhelming sent of Spock’s body wash. “I’m sorry instead of dealing with the situation I walked away from it. I’m sorry I went against the directive. I’m sorry I didn’t listen.”

“Good, good,” said Bones who lowered himself onto the bed. Jim and Spock both reached out to him. “Before we get too much into this cuddle pile…” Bones eyed Jim up and down. “You’re going to take that off.”

Jim sniffled and rubbed his eyes a little. “Make me.”

Spock shifted a little bit but Bones put a hand between them. “What are we going to write as a report? And what are you going to put in your logs?” asked McCoy with a raised brow.

“We can… talk about it after you make me get out of this?” Jim thought he was being cute about it by adding on a sly smile.

Thought it wasn’t working until Bones growled lowly, “Dammit, Jim.”
____

Uhura held the PADD in her hands and raised a brow. “You two look…” She found a smile on her face to see Spock was not in his usual colors, “Yellow doesn’t do you justice, Mister Spock.”

Jim blushed bright red as Uhura slid her eyes over him.

“And I do think that shirt is a little small on you, Captain. Though medical blue does bring out the green in your eyes.” she let out a sigh and handed Jim the PADD. It was good to see that these disasters were able to sort through their emotions. “Would you like to look over the report?”

Jim shrugged. “We talked about what to put down last night and I would say it’s all in order. Just send it to Pike first.”

Uhura worried at her lower lip and glanced over to Spock who’s fingers twitched to his hair. “Alright, Captain.”

Chapter Text

Spock always woke up before them. Always found himself in the kitchen brewing tea for himself and coffee for his partners.

Maybe he should wake them and ask what they would like for breakfast? No. He knew better than to rouse either of his partners from their slumber. Not to say that they would cause him harm if he awoke them, but they would both be extremely grumpy. A sleep deprived Jim was often a nightmare to work with, even though constant touches, and back rubs seemed to quell most irritants in the commanding officer. While a sleep deprived Leonard was a category on its own.

Thoughts on his partners aside today they didn’t need to be roused early. They were not on the Enterprise. They were in their house. This was supposed to be some time off from their last mission. A mission that ate at Spock’s heart as he placed their respective mugs on the counter.

He smiled down at Jim’s mug, an orange and black pumpkin shape that had ‘Happy Halloween’ scrawled against the lip of the mug. Spock recalled Leonard had gotten it last October as a gift, he hadn’t liked it, and was going to throw it out when Jim squealed loudly that he wanted it.

He turned to Leonard’s mug. Mostly Plain, with a silver painted handle, silver words that said, “best dad ever”, and the same blue as his medical uniform. Spock had gotten it for the Doctor when Jojo had visited and saw the state of her Father’s original mug. Leonard had cried.

As he was picking up his own mug; a pink creation with white scrawled words that read, ‘Hot Stuff’. Jim rushed out of the bedroom in nothing but his boxer briefs which had Spock flushed green. “Spock! Spock! Spock!” This cheerfulness was abnormal as was Jim’s rushed foot falls as he embraced the Vulcan. This early in the day? Without coffee? Abnormal, yet fascinating.

Spock blinked down at Jim and raised a brow. “Jim, you are vibrating are you well?” Leonard must be extremely upset to be roused like this, but the doctor had not crawled out of bed just groaned loudly from the ground floor bedroom.

“The communicator went off, Spock!”

That had Spock frowning. They were not due for a mission. They were not due for a new mission. “Who was it?”

Jim vibrated on his toes and grinned from ear to ear. “Piiike.”

Spock swallowed hard. “Was it?”

“He wants to see us in his office.” Jim nuzzled himself into Spock’s chest. He began running calculations in his head to when the human would ‘crash’ from this moment of alertness. “Why are you always so warm?”

Spock cleared his throat and wrapped his arms around Jim. “Jim, who does he want to see?”

Jim hummed and Spock could see the captain’s eyes drooping. “Warm.”

Spock gave a slight smile before making his face neutral once more. “Perhaps you require a little more rest.”

Jim squeezed hard. “No, need coffee.”

There was some grumbling and crashing from one of the other bedrooms that had them both turn their heads. “Who… stayed here last night, Jim?” asked Spock with a raised brow.

Jim swallowed heavily. “... Everyone.”

Spock furrowed his brows. Everyone? How much of everyone? He recalled Chekov and Kevin had crawled onto the couch together. Uhura and Christine probably took one of the upstairs bedrooms… Had Mister Scott stayed over??? He then eyed Jim. Slowly raked his eyes up the barely dressed Captain. “I suggest you aquire a shirt-”

Spock was too late to inquire about Jim becoming decent as Scotty walked into the kitchen, paused in the doorway, and squinted his eyes.

Jim swallowed and waved at the chief engineer.

Scotty pressed his lips together before he slowly backed out of the kitchen. “I’ll be back later,” called the Scotsman.

“I’m gonna go pull on a shirt and some pants,” said Jim as he patted Spock’s shoulders and gave him a quick kiss before rushing back into the closest bedroom.

Spock raised a brow when he caught the shout of Leonard, he simply turned back to the mugs, and took a deep breath. Did they have enough food to make breakfast for everyone?

“I’m sure it’s about deep space.” Spock could admit some feelings. The way his heart swelled with Jim’s excitement for space. He would never say those things aloud, but he enjoyed the gleam in his partner’s eyes. “Hey, We have to be professional here. You’re looking at me like you wanna take off my pants.” Jim laughed.

Spock’s face heated up and he straightened himself and fixed his shields. “I apologize I did not have the time for meditation.”

Jim elbowed him and slapped his hands against Spock’s arm. “I’ve got a strong feeling, Spock.”

The logics were throwing themselves against Spock’s brain, he pressed his lips together, and sorted through them quickly. “Your feelings aside, Captain, It is a new program.” That flash of disappointment across Jim’s face squeezed Spock’s insides. “And it is highly unlikely that we would be selected.”

Jim’s patting ceased their intensity, and the younger leaned against Spock’s shoulder. “Why else would Pike want to see us?”

Many others passed them, Jim pouted his lips slightly, and Spock sighed.

Jim very unprofessionally snuggled against Spock’s shoulder and asked, “Who else would they send out?”

Spock took a deep breath and looked down at Jim. “I can think of numerous possibilities.”

His heart swelled again when Jim pushed away the pouty face and grinned. “Common a five year mission, Spock.” Some women passed them slowly and Jim waved at them in a friendly manner. “Ladies.”

It had taken a while to get use to Jim’s friendly manner, but Spock finally knew the difference between serious flirting, and harmless interactions. At least he thinks he does. Jim can be quite confusing.

He was pulled from his mind when Jim slapped his chest with a childish glee. “Deep space. Uncharted star systems, That’s uncharted territory, Spock-” Jim raised a brow at him and smirked. “You’re doing the thing again. Staring.”

Spock raised a brow and cleared his throat. “It is only logical to admire you, Captain.”

“I’d kiss you if there weren’t people around,” said Jim with a big grin.

Spock held up two fingers. “You still can.”

Jim smirked that stupid smirk of his. “Well, Mister Spock. How forward of you.” He touched his two fingers to Spock’s quickly before pulling back.

A knot pulled at Spock’s guts as time and space crawled closer to their meeting with Pike. They got to the lift, Jim smiled wide, and when the doors closed Spock opened his mouth. “I told the truth in the report.”

Out in the corner of his eyes he noticed Jim stiffen, eyes wide, and a frown set on his face. “How much of the truth?”

Spock shut his eyes tight and took in a deep breath. “Everything.”

“Fuck.” He couldn’t look toward Jim afraid of what he would see, he felt the human’s hand grip his wrist, but it wasn’t rough. “... Thank you for telling me, but I would have liked to know earlier.”

There was a long pause. Spock was about to break it.

Jim beat him to it. “I have a plan.”

Spock pressed his lips together and opened his eyes. He looked at Jim and inhaled sharply. “I’m listening.”

Chapter Text

Jim stood tall and took a deep breath. Pike’s office was much smaller than he remembered. Yet, it was still so open. It somewhat helped to have Spock there, even though Jim now understood that Spock had gone against what they had discussed, and was honest in the report.

On the other hand he was happy that Spock had been honest. He hadn't wanted the Vulcan to lie.

“Uneventful,” said Pike.

It broke Jim off of his train of thought. “Hm?”

Pike tilted his head at them and narrowed his eyes. “Uneventful was how you described your last mission to Nibiru in your Captain’s logs.”

Jim looked over at Spock and pressed his lips together. “Yes, I didn’t want to bore you with any details.”

Pike made a noise and shifted to rest against his desk. “Tell me about this Volcano,” said Pike with a blank expression. “Data says it was highly volatile. If it were to erupt, it would wipe out the planet.”

Jim went silent.

“In fact I don’t think it ever will erupt,” said Pike with a scoff. “Not after Mister Spock detonated a cold fusion device inside it right after a civilisation that's barely invented the wheel happened to see a starship rising out of their ocean.”

Jim glanced over at Spock. “This is from the report we discussed?”

Spock nodded.

Pike paused. “You discussed this report beforehand?”

Spock raised his head. “I was under the impression Captain Kirk would have been honest in his logs like we had discussed.”

Jim narrowed his eyes. Spock was having too much fun with this plan. “I would have been honest, but I had to save your life.”

Spock turned to Jim and tilted his head. Jim could see something dancing behind that cold Vulcan stare. “I am immeasurably grateful, and the reason I felt it necessary to take responsibility for the actions that-”

Jim let out a laugh, “Take responsibility, yeah,” he frowned suddenly. Take responsibility. He pressed his lips together.

Spock was waiting for the next que into the planned conversation.

Jim wasn’t going to give it. He looked to Pike and stood tall. “He shouldn’t have been in the volcano to begin with.”

Jim saw Spock shift and turn to Pike.

“Gentlemen. Starfleet's mandate is to explore and observe, not to interfere,” said Pike with a heavy sigh.

Spock shifted forward. “If the mission had gone as planned,” Spock glanced over at Jim and then back to Pike.

Jim smiled a little. “Admiral.”

Spock opened his mouth then closed it and hid his surprise well to Jim reminding him this was a Starfleet matter and not a casual dinner at Pike’s. “The indigenous species would never have been aware of our interference, Admiral.”

Pike pressed his hands together and sighed. “That is a technicality.”

“I’m Vulcan.” Spock’s tone carried around the room. Jim noted the amusement and other layered emotions in his partner’s voice, “Vulcans embrace technicalities.”

Pike also seemed to notice, “Are you giving me attitude, Spock?”

Jim tried to not smile or laugh. Tried to contain himself. “I’m expressing multiple attitudes simultaneously, sir,” Spock was going to get himself kicked out if he kept this up and then Jim would be left alone with Pike. “To which are you referring?”

Pike didn’t seem as amused as Jim felt. He narrowed his eyes at Spock and hissed lowly, “Out.”

Spock blinked as Pike stood up. Jim could just see the emotion and annoyance zap themselves back into the cracks beneath Spock’s skin.

Pike leaned heavily on his cane and pointed to the door. “You are dismissed, Commander.”

Jim stared after Spock as he left the small office. Anxiety ate away at his stomach.

“Do you know how much of a pain in the ass you are?” Pike grumbled and pulled Jim’s attention back to him.

Jim pressed his lips together and smirked a little. “I’m aware, Sir.”

Pike sighed heavily and rolled his head back. “Tell me what you learned. What is the lesson here? What did you do wrong?”

Jim took in a deep breath. There were many things he could say. Many things that were answers. Rude. Snide. Not so rude. Smart. Answers. What would be the correct one? If there was a correct one.

“I put my team in danger,” said Jim. He looked at Pike. “I didn’t listen to my helmsman when he said the shuttlecraft couldn’t withstand the heat. I didn’t listen. I didn’t abide by the rules, I never seem to. I lied. I lied and lied and lied on an official report and now I’m in your office and that means there is no likelihood that you were able to get me out of the shit hole I dug for myself.” Jim trembled and took in a deep breath. “Did I hit any nails on the head, Pike? I don’t listen and I don’t follow rules.” He hasn’t followed the rules since Sam left.

Pike bit his lower lip and raised his eyebrows. “No pretty much hit them all.”

Jim took a deep breath and exhaled. They were going to take his ship. They were going to take the enterprise. His crew.

“I didn’t expect you to take responsibility,” said Pike. He wouldn’t see Spock or Bones. Chekov. Uhura. Kevin. Scotty. Sulu.

Jim stared down and inhaled. “I’m trying to be a better person. I’m learning.” They’d be gone on missions and he’d be alone.

Pike blinked and stared past Jim. “... They are willing to give you a second chance.”

Jim raised his head and blinked. “What?”

Pike released a sigh and tilted his head. “They are giving you a second chance to prove yourself.”

“What is the catch?” asked Jim as he leaned forward on his toes.

Pike frowned and stared past Jim again. “You’ve been demoted to my first officer, and I’m taking the Enterprise from you.”

Jim blinked quickly and felt his gut cramp. “What about Spock?” That wasn’t fair. Spock didn’t do anything. It was Jim’s fault. Jim was the one who didn’t follow orders or follow rules.

Pike inhaled sharply. “He's been transferred. USS Bradbury.”

His fault. Jim felt his nails dig into the palms of his hands and his thoughts ate away at his insides.

He had to sit down and he threw his head into his hands.

Chapter Text

“You can’t be serious,” shouted the abnormally high pitched voices. Abnormal because it came from Chekov and Kevin at the same time.

Leonard groaned, “We fucked up, kids.” It wasn’t fair or all that great and Leonard just sank into the warmth of his partners.

They were squished on the couch, Jim and Spock both leaning against Leonard like they were trying to fuse together. “I fucked up, Bones, they shouldn’t do that to Spock.” This was said against Leonard’s left shoulder, muffled, and dripping with unspoken guilt.

The Vulcan was being stoic in front of Chekov and Kevin, but Leonard felt the Vulcan’s short sharp breaths against his right shoulder. “I am surprised our punishment was not more severe.” Spock pressed his face into the bend of Leonard’s collar.

“Not our punishment, my punishment, it’s my fault,” sniffed Jim, shaking and squeezing his body as close as possible.

Leonard wanted to scream. He wanted to push away all of Jim’s self loathing and insecurities. Push them away and never have to see them surface again, because this was some time for that self loathing to creep back up on them. Jim would just be so happy if they were to admit it was his fault, but they all had equal parts to play in this. They all didn’t want to sit by and watch a volcano destroy a planet. Destroy a civilisation. Even if there was such things in place as the prime directive.

“It was not my intentions to have them take…” Spock couldn’t even finish as he held tighter onto Jim and Leonard. Too tight that it made Jim wheeze for air.

Leonard made a high pitched noise at being crushed between them. “Spock, Honey, Vulcan, squishy human body.”

Spock lessened his squeeze, but didn’t speak.

Jim, gulped back in some air, but was also not speaking anymore.

Leonard could just tell the younger was going to start retreating back into himself. They had worked so hard to get Jim to remotely express himself and his thoughts, but it was still a normal occurrence that he would retreat. That was recovery after all.

Chekov was curled up in the red loveseat on the other edge of the living area, pouting like his parents were breaking up, and cuddling up into Kevin. It was probably for emotional support, but Kevin was in no state to give emotional support. Both of the young teens, eighteen is young in Leonard’s eyes, were pouty.

It wasn’t like Leonard, Jim, and Spock were their parents. Leonard wasn’t married to them they weren’t even bonded- at least he didn’t think so. Leonard rolled his eyes and sighed. “God dammit. I’m in a house with pouty children.”

That only made Jim and Spock squeeze him tighter in a mock attempt at comfort. It worked because Leonard wrapped his arms around them, and sank into their warmth.

Scotty chose that moment to walk in and sat down heavily on Jim’s other side.

Leonard eyed the engineer. “What’s your problem?” he asked Scotty.

“I have no one to go out to the pub with,” whined the scotsman.

Leonard felt Jim stir and begin to pull away. “Jim, no. You and Spock have that…” Leonard wasn’t even supposed to know about it. He sighed and pulled at Jim. “That conference tonight.”

Spock even made a sound in protest of Jim getting up.

Jim slid from Leonard’s and Spock’s holds and smiled down at them as he rose from the couch. “I’ll have my communicator.” Jim’s voice was slow and he sighed. To Leonard he said, “Plus I could use a drink if I’m going to have to be in…”

Leonard caught the flash in Jim’s eyes and the drawn down eyebrows. Those turning gears of a mental train. “If I wanted to attack starfleet…” Jim shook his head and looked to Scotty. “Common, Scotty.”

Jim was inconsolable at this stage in stubborn town. McCoy would talk about it later with him. “Don’t drink too much.”

Jim nodded, gave Leonard a quick peck on the cheek, gently stroked Spock’s index and pointer finger, and turned to leave.

Leonard watched with a frown and narrowed eyes as Jim and Scotty left. The front door clicking in place behind them and locking.

Spock squeezed Leonard once.

Leonard turned his attention to the Vulcan and sighed Might as well enjoy the company of Spock while Jim is off.

“Do you have work tonight?” asked Spock against Leonard’s shoulder.

With a slow blink Leonard moved his fingers into Spock’s hair. “Yeah.” he gently stroked back the bowl cut, down past Spock’s ears, and asked, “You expecting something to happen?”

Spock swallowed. “I do not know, Leonard.”

Leonard sighed and continued to stroke his fingers through Spock’s hair. “Are you worried about Jim?”

“I’m Vulcan,” whispered Spock as he nuzzled into Leonard’s hold, a deep rumbling started in his chest, and Leonard chuckled. “I do not worry.”

Leonard rolled his eyes again and was about to say something.

Kevin rose from the loveseat and walked over to where Jim had been sitting.

Chekov soon joined, but sat on the other side of Spock.

“What?” Leonard asked with a raised brow.

Kevin heaved a sigh and said, “You don’t always have to be strong, Doctor McCoy.”

“And we all know Mister Spock has emotions,” said Chekov with that big grin of his.

Leonard narrowed his eyes at Kevin, then at Chekov, and then he looked at Spock as if asking for permission.

Spock released a sigh. With an eye motion as acknowledgment to Leonard.

Leonard nodded and sighed heavily. “Okay, kids, do your worst.”

Kevin and Chekov both smiled wide and gave Leonard and Spock a big hug.

It lasted a few sweet moments of silence.

Then Kevin started to hum a tune that made Leonard want to scream.

Chapter Text

Jim smiled at Spock as Abbot had left the elevator. Spock could smell the alcohol on his partner even if no one else could. It made his gut squirm in an unpleasant way. “You were talking earlier before you left…”

Jim nodded. “That if I were attacking Starfleet…” It was good to see Jim was not too inebriated for words. It just meant his partner had consumed one or two small drinks. Possibly to the point of pleasantly sleepy and small speech errors.

Spock looked over at his partner and frowned momentarily. “Are you going to attempt to get a word in during the meeting?”

Jim took in a deep breath and nodded. “Hopefully before it's too late.”

They filed into a circular room this feeling of uneasiness gnawed at Spock’s insides. It was quelled when he made eye contact with Jim from across the table.

Then Marcus started the conference. He droned on and on about Commander John Harrison. Showed files and images of this dark skinned man on the holo device.

Spock wondered how Jim was going to get a word in edgewise. He felt a flutter of amusement when Jim started to whisper to Pike. “What is in the briefcase?” followed by “Why attack an archive?”

Then Marcus asked what it was and Jim got straight to the point. “Theoretically, If I wanted to attack Starfleet, an archive would be the beginning, second wouldn’t it be great to get all the big higher ups in one small confined room with only one opening and exit?”

“It is curious Harrison would commandeer a jumpship without warp capabilities,” said Spock, bored, and trying to keep his amusement out of his tone as he looked over at Jim.

They were both stood and looked at one another with somewhat amusement; however, Spock would never show his human side in front of the other captains and first officers.

“Exactly!” shouted Jim as he pointed at Spock. “Like he wanted us all to get together in…” There was one difficulty to Jim’s emotionalism, it was easy to read from the drawn down features of his face, and the way his eyes darted around. “...This room.”

A blinding white light entered the dark room.

Spock inhaled sharply. Jim suddenly shouted, “Everyone get out!” the windows blew out behind Jim.

Spock felt that feeling in his gut again as everyone scrambled to hide or duck behind things. He tried to pinpoint the feeling, tired to find the expression, and then he heard Jim make a pained noise. That feeling grew. He still was uncomfortable with emotionalism.

He caught Marcus’s voice above all the phaserfire. “We need an air defence team. Daystrom conference room.”

Spock clenched his fists together and breathed heavily. Anxiety. What had the doctor told him would help him calm anxiety? He heard Jim’s foot falls above all else. They were leaving the room. Good Jim would be somewhat safe from the death trap. That helped. Spock peeked around from his spot, rose to his feet, and began to help those injured to safety. He noted Pike on the floor. He could grab the Admiral if he ran fast enough. If he thought too much on it it would not get done and there was a likelihood that Pike could perish or become even more injured than he was.

What was it that Kirk would say? Fuck it. He bolted upright from where he was kneeling, dodged some of the beams that whizzed in the air, he kneeled next to Pike as a beam shot past his head, “Admiral if you stay here you are likely to get injured further,” Spock was certain Pike looked at him with confusion, but that didn’t matter. He grabbed onto Pike, took the same precautions to dodge the phaser fire from the shuttle, and then set Pike down where it was relatively safe. “Are you injured?” The more Spock thought about that question the more illogical it sounded, because of course injury was to happen in a room being fired upon. If not from phaser fire from the many Captains and First Officers trying to rush to safety.

Pike looked like he was thinking it through though and Spock was certain there was blood covering the Admiral’s front. “Yes.”

Spock frowned and looked the human over. The shooting halted, a loud noise like metal grinding against metal, and Spock looked up and blinked. “Jim will be pleased you have not perish-” he looked down at Pike once more. The older was passed out. More probably due to physical injuries and less to do with actual death or blood loss.

Jim came running in, passed by everyone else, went over to Spock, and gripped his face. “You okay?” asked Jim pulling their faces close together so that their noses were touching.

“I am pleasant,” said Spock. He blinked slowly and stared at Jim’s lips before he looked up into his eyes. Jim was a mess, some minor injuries to his face, and Spock raised a brow at him. “What did you do?”

Jim pulled back that expressive face going from panicked and wide eyed to wide eyed and opened mouthed. Like a fish before he pressed his lips together and drew his brows down. “Oh well I saw that the phaser rifle wasn’t doing much to the haul of his ship, I also noticed the way he was staying in the air was his engine intake, I broke into the wall, tied the rifle to a fire hose, and it just got sucked right up into that- You’re doing the thing again.” Jim smirked with his lips and a pause of his hands that were talking with him. “I had to help out how I could, Spock.” He frowned suddenly and leaned his head against Spock’s. “I don’t know what I’d do if you or Pike had died.”

Spock frowned at the look on Jim’s face.

Jim pulled back his eyes downcasted as he looked at Pike and then around the room. He pierced his lower lip with his teeth and quietly said, “He got away.” When Jim looked back up at Spock his eyes hardened.

Spock took in a sharp breath, he had only seen that look many times when they had been on the Enterprise. Spock moved his lips to speak, but no sound came up or out. No. No. No. Jim. No.

Fire burned in those beautiful eyes as Jim said, “Let’s get Scotty down here to find out where he went.”

Chapter Text

Jim laid face down in bed, he knew he was there in bed, knew the soft sheets were below him, and tried to hold onto the concept of being in bed after the night’s affairs. Tried to ground himself. Wondered where Herrison had beamed to. Obsessed over wringing his neck for everything that he has done, will do, he was out there, he had killed a lot of people in that conference room, and injured many others severely.

Bones would have been fussing over Jim to get out of bed, put on a change of clothes, shower, and eat something. That is if Bones hadn’t had the influx of people into the hospital.

Honestly? It was only a matter of time before Spock came into the room to check on him. Gently tracing Jim’s ankle and up to his shoulders. “Ji-Commander, Mister Scott has found something in the wreckage of Harrison's ship. He has asked to see us right away.” Professional.

Jim didn’t want Professional Spock. He grunted and slowly sat up and crawled off the bed. He didn’t bother with changing his clothes. He wasn’t going to bother now either as he grabbed some coffee, a cracker with gross processed cheese wiz on top,shoved that in his mouth, then shoved his shoes onto his feet. He ran a hand through his hair, downed a small pill to stay awake, and trudged out of the house to meet up with Scotty at headquarters.

Spock didn’t say a word.

Jim wondered if Scotty always had that effect on people. Make them want to be cheerful just because he was cheerful. Especially when he found gadgets like the one he was holding. “I found this in the jump ship wreckage.” A hefty black cylinder as tall as a human child. “It’s how he got away.”

If Jim had known bringing back the knowledge of Alternate Scotty’s mathematical equation for transwarp would lead to this... He would have never done it. Would have stayed on that iceball of death with Prime and died.

He pressed his lips together, but then earth would have been destroyed. Nero would still be here and he never would have gotten together with Spock and Bones. Jim tilted his head a little. A genius idea. “Portable transwarp.” He leaned in close to look over the object.

“Aye,” Scotty grinned and handed it over. It weighed Jim’s arms down.

“Fascinating,” Jim heard Spock say.

Jim nodded and moved the thing around in his arms. “You find where he went with it?” Jim looked up at Scotty and handed it back to the frowning engineer.

“Yer not going to like it, sir.”

Jim inhaled deeply. “Where did he go?”

Scotty shook his head. “Where we can’t go.” Scotty showed him the coordinates.

Jim frowned.

Jim didn’t care much to find Marcus in a meeting. Heard Spock say they should come back later, but this was important. That son of a bitch ran from earth and hid on the one place they could not reach. Klingon space.

“Admiral, sir, he's not on Earth.” Jim placed his hands down at his sides and felt Spock close on his heels. It was a way to interrupt a meeting. “He's on Qo’noS, sir.” It was a way to have the Admiral’s eyes on him. It was a way to go after a man who thought he was being smart. “I request my command be reinstated and your permission to go after him.”

Nothing about the way Admiral Marcus looked at Spock then to Jim was right. It made Jim’s skin crawl and he wondered if he was doing the right thing. “Give us a minute,” said Marcus to the table.

The meeting disbanded.

Spock and Jim were ushered to the side where models of ships lined a table. Jim spotted the USS Kelvin among them, but decided to focus on what the Admiral was saying.

“Qo’noS, huh?” The Admiral trailed his fingers along the display of starships.

Jim stood tall with Spock falling into step next to him. “Yes, sir.”

“Harrison's gone to the Klingon homeworld.” Marcus turned to them. “ls he defecting?”

Jim furrowed his brows. He wasn’t so sure Harrison was working with the Klingons. That just didn’t sound right in any sense. A noise crawled from his throat before he cleared it and said, “We’re not sure.”

Spock’s voice actually startled Jim, “He has taken refuge in the Ketha Province, a region uninhabited for decades.”

Jim looked at Spock momentarily and felt his heart swell and sink. What would he have done if Spock had been hurt last night? “He has to be hiding there, Sir,” shouted Jim his attention turned to Marcus.

Marcus had his back turned to Jim and Spock.

Rude, thought Jim as he furrowed his brows and inhaled a sharp breath. “He knows if we even go near Klingon space, it'd be all-out war.”

Marcus’s head picked up at the mentions of war.

Something that made Jim’s brain whirl. “Starfleet can't go after him, but I can,” said Jim. He shifted his shoulders. “Please, sir.”

Marcus moved to stand behind his desk. He eyed Jim and Spock before he tilted his head, “All-out war with the Klingons is inevitable, Mister Kirk.”

Jim swallowed thickly and he managed a glance at Spock.

Spock looked as stoic as ever but something flashed in his eyes for a moment.

“If you ask me, it's already begun.”

Jim didn’t ask him. Didn’t think war was any answer. It reminded him of Kodos. The memory of Kodos made his gut cramp with phantom pains of hunger. Or maybe he was actually hungary. He had only eaten a cracker and some coffee.

“Since we first learned of their existence.” Kodos giving long winded speeches while he slaughtered civilians. “The Klingon Empire has conquered and occupied two planets that we know of and fired on our ships half a dozen times. They are coming our way.”

Jim had to shove those comparisons away.

“London was not an archive. it was a top-secret branch of Starfleet designated Section 31. They were developing defence technology and training our officers to gather intelligence on the Klingons and any other potential enemy who means to do us harm. Harrison was one of our top agents.”

Jim swallowed, Spock was standing closer to Jim, and Jim said, “Well, now he's a fugitive and I want to take him out.” For Pike, who he should really check on, for those captains and officers who had died, and for those who could die.

“Mister Spock, you said the province where Harrison is hiding is uninhabited?” asked Marcus.

Spock jolted and fluffed up around the edges, “Affirmative, sir.”

Marcus nodded and pulled up a few things onto his desk. “As part of our defensive strategy, 31 developed a new photon torpedo.”

The torpedo that showed did not look like any normal torpedo. Jim bit his lower lip and focused on the hologram. It resembled an escape pod more than a torpedo.

“Long range and untraceable, it would be invisible to Klingon sensors. I don't want you hurt, but I want to take him out. You park on the edge of the Neutral Zone, you lock onto Harrison's position, you fire, you kill him and you haul ass.”

Jim took in a deep breath and looked at Spock. “Permission to reinstate Mister Spock as my First Officer.”

 

“Granted.”

Chapter Text

Leonard was upset when Jim didn’t show up for a medical exam. Upset when Jim went out drinking. Upset when he saw his partner after getting sent out to board a shuttle to get to work on an obsessive Jim mission. “It’s that space cloud all over again,” grumbled McCoy to himself as he rushed up to Jim and slapped him on the back.

Jim squealed and looked at Leonard with a glare. “Where were you, Jim?” asked Leonard with a raised brow.

Jim flushed pink for a few moments before he looked away. “For what?”

Leonard leaned in close and narrowed his own eyes. “For your medical exam, Jim.” He patted Jim on the shoulder, “Ten hours ago, you were in a damn firefight. Now it's my duty as ship's-”

Jim pulled back quickly and turned on Leonard with molten eyes. “Bones, I’m fine.” Jim’s stomach betrayed him and growled.

Leonard narrowed his eyes and saw Jim visibly deflate. “The hell you are.”

Jim’s body relaxed slowly and his voice lowered to a whisper, “I’m fine.”

Leonard glared at the back of Jim’s head while they made their way onto a shuttlecraft. Had Jim gotten any sleep? Was he shoving those illegal stimulants into his body again? He would have to do some tests on the shuttle. He should also make sure Jim eats something.

Spock was already seated on one end of the row of seats and Jim sat into the other and placed a binder down in the middle seat before Leonard could sit down. It earned him a glare from Leonard who quickly went behind Jim and sat down.

Pain in the ass.

If Jim was going to be like this he was going to have to show Jim just how much of an ass he was being. He pulled out his tricorder and examined it for a short while and listened to Spock and Jim talk. “Status report, Mister Spock?”

“The Enterprise should be ready for launch by the time we arrive,” said Spock in his professional voice.

Leonard could almost tell instantly that Jim was upset with Spock in one form or another. Weather it was the professional tone or something else.

Jim nodded and tapped his fingers on the arm rests. “Good, Good.”

Spock was silent for some time and McCoy glanced up. Jim and Spock were making eye contact. “Captain. Thank you for requesting my reinstatement,” there was nothing professional in Spock’s voice as he reached across the empty seat.

Leonard watched as Jim stared straight ahead and nodded, “You're welcome.”

McCoy leaned forward and started a medical examination. Eyes widening slightly at the levels.

Professional Spock was back as Jim ignored the Vulcan’s hand. “As I am again your First Officer, it is now my duty to strongly object to our mission parameters.”

Jim’s heart spiked and his brain activity skyrocketed. “Of course it is,” irritation was thick in his words.

Spock inhaled sharply, “There is no Starfleet regulation that condemns a man to die without a trial, something Admiral Marcus is forgetting. Also, preemptively firing torpedoes at the Klingon homeworld goes against-” Torpedoes?

Another spike in the readings. “You said it was uninhabited, Spock.”

Leonard glanced over at Spock who glanced back at him and made an eye movement to express his distaste without alerting Jim. “We're firing torpedoes at the Klingons?” asked McCoy leaning in closer to Jim’s face. More spikes.

“Regulations aside, this action is morally wrong,” said Spock, he even crossed his arms and looked away from Jim and McCoy.

Jim looked to Spock with a frown. “You think I don’t know that?” he whispered. His heart rate was spiking more rapidly.

McCoy continued his scan. “Jim calm down-”

Jim whipped around to look at Leonard. “I don’t need an ethics lesson from, Pointy over here.” Even though McCoy knew that wasn’t the issue.

Spock looked back over and offered his hand again with a frown that he covered up quickly. No doubt trying to convince himself that he is in control of his emotions. “Reverting to name-calling suggests that you are defensive and therefore find my opinion valid.”

Jim puffed up his cheeks and glared. “Of course you’re valid, Spock.”

Leonard placed the tricorder closer to Jim’s head. Maybe it was another one of Jim’s chronic headaches or perhaps he was abusing the stimulants again.

Jim hissed at it. “Bones, get that off my face.”

Leonard scowled and pulled the tricorder back.

“Captain, our mission could start a war with the Klingons and it is, by its very definition, immoral,” Spock pulled his hand back and almost looked like he was pouting.

Jim groaned. “I’m saying I agre-”

“Captain Kirk?” Leonard looked to the blonde woman who entered the craft and extended her hand to Jim. “Science Officer Wallace. I've been assigned to the Enterprise by Admiral Marcus. These are my transfer orders.”

Jim’s heart rate picked up again. Oh no he was going to play this game. “You requested an additional science officer, Captain?” Spock must’ve noticed the shift in Jim’s posture or maybe he had that smirk on his face.

“I wish I had.” Jim pushed the tone just enough that the Vulcan gripped the arm rests. Jim scrolled through the PADD the woman had given him. “Lieutenant Carol Wallace. Doctorate in applied physics specialising in advanced weaponry.” Leonard took in Jim’s nods of approval.

Spock’s voice sounded far from profesional, “Impressive Credentials.”

Carol smiled at Spock, “Thank you.”

Leonard didn’t miss how Spock’s eyes narrowed and he shifted in his chair. “But redundant now that I am back aboard the Enterprise.” Leonard shut his eyes and smirked. Spock wasn’t use to this game.

“And yet, the more the merrier.” Leonard slid his eyes open just in time to see Jim remove the binder from the chair. “Have a seat, Doctor.”

It was McCoy’s turn to grip tightly onto something. It was going to be a long trip and an even longer time trying to get that stubborn ass to open up. “Thank you,” said Carol as she sat between Spock and Jim.

Their pilot came over the speakers and said they were about to take off.

Leonard strapped himself in with a heavy sigh.

Jim’s stomach growled loudly in the silence that fell.

Leonard furrowed his brows then dug through his bag.

“Stop staring, Spock,” said Jim.

Leonard pulled a sandwich out. It was wrapped in plastic wrap and Leonard tossed it over the back of Jim’s chair. “Eat that.”

“Thank you, Bones.”

Chapter Text

Jim was being rude. He was being rude to his partners and he just knew it. He shouldn’t be doing this should direct himself away from this long term argument. He was being obsessive, like always, and should not be pursuing this mission.

He should really just communicate with his crew. Communicate a new plan.

Yet, here he stood in the payload docks Scotty looked anything, but pleased as he spouted off his frustrations to a young man holding a PADD out to him, “I’m not signing anything.” his shoulders were squared and his nostrils flared. “Now, get these bloody things off my ship,” Scotty’s eyes focused on Jim. “Captain.”

Jim took in a deep breath and shoved every rambling thought down. “Is there a problem, Mister Scott?” Professional. Show them that you can abide by rules. Some rules. Something other than gut feelings.

Spock slid up behind him followed by Bones. Jim shut his eyes slightly and inhaled deeply.

Scotty gasped and put his hand over his heart. “Aye, sir,” Scotty threw his arms toward the man with the PADD, “I was just explaining to this gentleman that I cannae authorise any weapons on board this ship without knowing what's inside them.” The scotsman stomped his foot and growled a little.

Jim didn’t like the torpedos either, he’d have to think of a way to not use them, and work around them.

Spock was up his ass again with moral compases. “Mister Scott raises yet another point that th-”

Jim whirled around and gave Spock his sweetest smile. “Report to the bridge, that is an order.”

Spock straightened and seemed to fluff up like an angry cat. Adorable really. “Captain,” grumbled the Vulcan before disbanding on the order.

Jim took a deep breath and turned to Scotty. “I understand your concerns, Mister Scott, but we need these torpedoes on board.”

Scotty’s face grew red. “All due respect, Sir, I cannae detect the type of fuel that's in the compartments on these torpedoes because it's shielded. These are not photon torpedos!” he glared at the man in charge of the torpedos. “When I asked what they run on this man said-”

“That it is classified.” Jim wasn’t feeling to good about using them either. He wanted to tell Scotty that he was going to try to work around it, wanted to tell him that he had a plan, wanted to tell him something, but fear ate at his gut. He had to show that he could follow the rules.

“Classified!” Scotty threw his hands up in the air and then put them on his hips. “No specs, no signature.”

Jim opened his mouth to respond when someone tapped his shoulder, it was Sulu, and Jim blinked at him. “Flight check is complete, Captain. We are good to go.”

Jim nodded at him and furrowed his brows. “Thank you, Mister Sulu.”

Sulu stared at Jim for a long moment before removing his hand and nodding. “No problem, Captain.” Sulu then turned on his heels and Jim assumed he was going up top.

How could he tell Scotty to just sign off on the stupid torpedos?

Scotty’s voice breaks him out of thought. “If you’ll excuse me, Captain, I’ve got a warp core to prime.”

Jim curled his fists up and felt his heart rate pick up and his breathing come short.

“Jim your vitals are way off,” said Bones from his shoulder.

Jim snapped his head to his partner and turned that same sickly sweet smile on him. “Report to medical bay, Mister McCoy.” he then turned to where Scotty was retreating with his alien companion, Keenser. “Scotty!”

He jogged to catch up with the engineer. He walked with the engineer and elbowed him lightly, they walked in silence for a long while, it seemed everywhere they turned was someone who wanted to get the torpedos on board or was not a member of the starship.

When in engineering Jim leaned against the wall and ran a hand in his hair. “Scotty, I need you to sign those forms and approve of the weapons,” said Jim with a frown. He groaned when Scotty pulled him over to the warp core.

Scotty glared and shook his head. The engineer pointed to the warp core. “Do you know what this is, Captain?”

“A lead in to a lecture that I don’t have the time for, Scotty.” Jim rubbed his face.

Scotty slapped him lightly on the face. “Do you know what this is?” he said louder with his hands on his hips.

Jim sighed heavily and felt the beginnings of a headache press itself against his right eye. “The warp core.” Jim knew Scotty was about to get into a very long winded very accent heavy speech. He rubbed his face harder. “Scotty-”

“It's a radioactive catastrophe waiting to happen.” The engineer threw his arms up in the air and cocked his hip. “A subtle shift in magnetic output from,” he circled his wrist and rolled his neck, “Say, firing one or more of six dozen torpedoes with an unknown payload,” very specific as he turned his attention to Jim. “Could set off a chain reaction which would kill every living thing on this ship.” Jim took in a deep breath as Scotty leaned into him. “Letting those torpedoes on board the Enterprise is the last straw.”

Jim raised one brow and quirked his lips. “Last straw? What were the first ones?” he rolled his shoulders slightly and tilted his head.

Scotty deflated a little bit and Jim imagined he was searching for the many things Starfleet has done to him. Maybe abandoning him on Delta Vega? “Confiscating my transwarp equation and now some loonatic used it to hop halfway across the galaxy!”

Technically they had confiscated it from Ambassador Spock, but Scotty was right that they didn’t have the right to take that.

Not that he could agree with Scotty without going against the orders of Marcus. “We have our orders, Scotty,” said Jim with a frown.

Scotty visibly tightened every muscle in his body, “I thought were were explorers, Captain, not military!”

Jim stood up tall and took in a deep breath, he glanced around, and curled his hands into fists.

Scotty seemed to deflate and raised a brow. “You have a plan don’t you?”

Jim glanced at Scotty and smirked a little. He couldn’t say he had one. He didn’t, and yet he did. “Just sign for the torpedos, Scotty, that is an order.”

Scotty frowned and raised a brow. “I cannot do that, Sir, and if you continue to ask I will have no choice but to resign my duties.”

Jim took in a deep breath. “Scotty, common.” Jim put his hands on his hips and blew out a puff of air.

Scotty raised a brow and leaned in closer to Jim. “You do have a plan?” he whispered.

Jim merely blinked once. How can he appear to still be irritated? He crossed his arms and cocked his hip a little.

Scotty pulled back and huffed. “You aren’t giving me much of a choice, sir.”

“You’re not giving me a choice,” hissed Jim as he drew his eyebrows together and narrowed his eyes. “Can’t you make an exception? Sign for them?”

Scotty inhaled sharply. “Do you accept my resignation or not?”

Jim narrowed his eyes more, “I do,” shouted Jim.

Scotty gasped, Jim could tell it was the act of gasping, possibly, or maybe Scotty didn’t realize Jim was forming a plan.

“You are relieved, Mister Scott,” he shouted and held his hand out.

Scotty reluctantly handed over his PADD. “For the love of God, Jim, don’t use those torpedos.”

Jim made eye contact with Scotty for a moment and hoped he was conveying enough of what he wanted to say in his eyes. Keenser also handed over the PADD with a few grunts.

They leave together and Jim frowned and sighed heavily as a computerized voice said, “Attention. Warp core anti-matter containment check in three minutes.”

Crap Scotty didn’t check the thing before he left. Jim bit his lower lip and walked out with his head down.

It was either chance or she had tracked him down, but he ran into Uhura in the hall. He pressed his lips together and waved at her. “Hey.”

Uhura gave him a small smile and said, “I’m sorry to hear about Pike.”

Jim blinked. “Oh yeah, He was really injured, but I’m sure he will be okay,” said Jim as they entered the turbo lift.

“Wanna talk about… anything?” asked Uhura with a raised brow.

Jim straightened himself out and bit his lower lip. The doors closed to the lift and Uhura stopped it from rising.

“We’re friends right, Jim?”

He turned his head at her and inhaled sharply. “Yeah of course we are.”

“It could just be me,” she shifted her body and leaned against the lift wall.

Jim inhaled sharply, “It’s not you, it’s me,” he sank to the floor of the lift and curled around himself. “I’m trying so hard to not lose the ship, Nytoa.” he laughed a little.

He felt her kneel next to him and put a hand on his back. “What is going on, Jim?”

Jim inhaled a deep breath. “Mister Scott resigned.” he looked at her and frowned. “Maybe Spock is right that this is… I don’t know. It’s a deathwish?”

“Are you fighting?” Nytoa tilted her head and frowned. Jim could just sit here and focus on her rubbing his back.

He sighed. “Yeah. I’m fighting with Spock and Bones.”

“How is that going?” she raised her brow.

Jim shrugged and shook his head. “Terrible. It really is me, I’m getting that out there, It’s me. I’m being an idiot and an ass.”

Nytoa nodded and laughed a little. “You are. Couldn’t you just talk to them?”

“I can’t right now, not with all the cameras around the ship,” hissed Jim as he slowly rose to his feet again. “I have a plan though. Somewhat.”

“Oh good is it like that plan you had on the last mission?”

Jim blushed and coughed. “I’m going to think longer on this one.”

Uhura rose from her spot on the floor and pressed the lift button to start it up once again.

Jim glanced at her uniform and frowned. “They should really add longer sleeves on the female uniforms,” he commented with a roll of his shoulders.

Uhura stared down at the lack of rank on her wrists. “Tell me about it.”

“I’m going to write a complaint,” said Jim with a grin. Now all he had to do was replace Scotty.

They were plunged into silence for a long moment on their ride up, Jim scrunched his face up. “How are things with Christine?”

Uhura cleared her throat, “They are good.”

The doors opened to the bridge. “Keptain on the bridge,” chirped an excited Chekov. The young eighteen year old sat at the helm and bounced in his seat.

Chekov had worked with Scotty. Jim smiled a little as they walked onto the bridge. His head turned to Sulu who sat at attention, “Captain.”

Jim nodded at him then looked to Chekov and bit his lower lip. “Mister Chekov…”

“Aye, Keptain?” Chekov smiled wide.

With a shift of his feet and a squeeze of his hands Jim asked, “You are familiar with the engineering section of the ship from shadowing Mister Scott right?”

Chekov nodded quickly and tilted his head. “Affirmative,” shouted the ensin.

Jim nodded and grinned. “Good, you’ll be the new chief of engineering,” he strolled over to the Captain’s chair, everyone stared at him for a moment, “Go put on a red shirt.”

Jim felt Spock’s eyes on him the most and Jim had to swallow a thick lump that formed in his throat. “Aye, Keptain,” said Chekov with a sharp inhale and gulped.

Before Chekov embarked on his journey below Jim opened his mouth, “And Mister Chekov?”

Chekov’s footsteps paused as Jim turned in the Captain’s chair. “Yes, Sir?”

Jim raised a brow at him. “We’ve talked about wearing your chest binder on missions.”

The Russian colored slightly and laughed. “Of course, Keptain.”

Jim waved him off and Chekov scrambled off the bridge. “Lieutenant Riley take Mister Chekov’s post.” He turned in his chair and looked to Kevin who quickly moved to sit at the helm. He then looked to Sulu. “Mister Sulu!”

Sulu raised his head. “Yes, sir?”

Jim smiled and leaned into his hand. “Retract all moorings.”

Sulu nodded.

Jim glanced over at Spock’s station to find the Vulcan sitting up right and turned away from Jim. He frowned slightly. He leaned back in his chair and raised his arms to crack his back a little.

“All moorings retracted,” said Sulu with a small smile.

Jim crossed one of his legs over the other and nodded, “Good.” He turned his chair to face Uhura’s station. “Lieutenant Uhura, open a shipwide channel.”

Uhura glanced over and smiled at him. “Right away, Captain.”

Jim nodded and pressed a button, “Chekov, how are things down in engineering?”

Chekov’s voice filtered over the speaker for a moment, “All things- systems are normal, Keptain.” Jim had to smile a little. “Warp is available at your command.”

“Thank you, Chekov.” Jim slowly squeezed his hand and started to rub a small circle into his index finger. “Mister Sulu, let’s get her going.”

Sulu nodded, “Yes, sir.” He brings the Enterprise into warp.

Jim sighed softly and shut his eyes. What was the plan? He needed to focus.

“Ship wide channel is open, Captain,” said Uhura.

He needed to focus fast. “Thank you, Lieutenant.” He sat up right, opened his eyes, and pressed a button on the chair. “Attention, crew of the Enterprise,” he began and glanced over at Spock. “As you know Starfleet HQ was attacked, there were many casualties, and many others injured. One of those people was Christopher Pike, to clarify he was injured and is not dead,” Jim had to take in a deep breath and shift in his seat, “A dear friend to the crew of this ship.” He glanced away from Spock and spinned in the chair once. “The man who attacked our fellow officers has fled our system, and is hiding on a planet in Klingon space. On the Klingon homeworld.” He put his head into his hands to squeeze at the pain radiating there. “Normally we would not travel to Klingon space. Which is why he is hiding there. He believes it is somewhere we are unwilling to travel due to the high tension between the Federation and the Klingons.”

Between his fingers he saw Spock glance over at him before he turned away quickly when they made eye contact.

Jim took in a deep breath. “We are on our way there. Per Admiral Marcus’s request it is essential that our presence go undetected.” he pressed his lips together. “Any provocation could lead to an all-out war.” Don’t use the torpedos. “I will be sending down a landing party to the abandoned city that I will be personally leading. We will capture the fugitive, John Harrison, and bring him back to earth to face judgment for his actions.”

Jim looked to Spock and smiled a little bit. “Let’s get this asshole, Kirk out.” He ended the shipwide call to see Spock raise from his seat and stroll over to the Captain’s chair.

“Mister Spock,” Jim raised a brow and grinned wider.

Spock stood tall, and Jim frowned. “You’ve made the right decision, Captain.” Spock ever so slightly lifted his hand up and graced Jim’s lips with a flick of his thumb. Spock had told him once that it was similar to that of a Human holding hands.

Jim smiled.

Spock pulled his hand back before anyone could turn their heads. “If I may recommend a landing party-”

“It can’t be large, three people at max, with two guards,” Jim stood slowly from the chair and stared at Spock with a relaxed face. “If you are recommending yourself, I have already taken into account that you should come.” Because I need you by my side, he didn’t say.

Spock’s eyes danced under the light of the bridge. “I’d be delighted to accompany you on Qo'nos.”

Jim smirked his voice almost a purr, “Delighted, Mister Spock?”

He didn’t miss the way Spock’s cheeks flushed green.

Chapter Text

“Excuse me, Captain, there is something I need to check,” Spock took in a deep breath and rose from his station to glance over at Jim.

His partner furrowed his brows, Spock was still relatively upset with Jim, but he could get past it. Why was he upset? It was Jim’s own annoying nature. Where he was unsure whether he wanted to kiss the human or choke him over the consol.

Jim responded simply with an, “Okay, Mister Spock.”

Spock left the bridge with his back straightened and his arms behind his back. Jim was doing a good thing though he’d have to push away that annoying upset feeling. Why was he upset? What did he have to be upset over? So Jim was… acting off. Acting very off. Off since the meeting with Pike. Off since the attack hours ago. Off flirting with a woman he barely knew. Jim wasn’t himself and that made Spock’s guts bubble with feeling and his head swim with thoughts.

Lost in the turmoil of slapping duct tape over the cracks of his shielded mind Spock found himself in the payload bay. Odd he hadn’t been aware he’d end up there. He was shooting for the Medical bay to talk with Leonard about Jim’s troubling attitude. “All personnel, prepare for the closing of payload bay doors.” He blinked and spotted a blonde bob of hair that somehow had his blood boiling. Logically he shouldn’t feel jealousy toward her. Logically he should not approach her. Logically Miss Carol Wallace shouldn’t be on board. She was not Carol Wallace. She had not been appointed to the Enterprise and Jim was logically being friendly to the female.

Spock stood behind her and cleared his throat.

She turned, screamed, and clutched her chest where the human heart would be. “Mister Spock!” She relieved the tension in her body with a laugh. “You scared me, I didn’t hear you come up.”

Spock narrowed his eyes at her. Logically Jim had been trying to elicit an emotional response from Spock and the Doctor earlier. Logically Miss Carol Wallace could have been assigned to watch over their Captain. To find his weaknesses. To use him like Lanore had done on their earlier travels. Logically Spock should not be thinking about Lanore, nor should he be trying to elicit a response from Carol. “What are you doing, Doctor?” asked the Vulcan calmly while thoughts trickled out through the patch work in his brain.

Carol gave a short laugh and blinked. “I’m verifying the torpedo-”

“I am fully aware of what you are doing with the torpedoes,” Spock took in a deep breath to calm his thoughts. “I was referring to what are you doing aboard the Enterprise?” Skipping meditation had not been the brightest of ideas. He would have to take some time later to properly collect his thoughts and reign in his stronger emotions.

Carol paused and gave him a small smile. “I was assi-”

“There is no record of a Carol Wallace being assigned to the Enterprise.” Spock felt some form of satisfaction as she stumbled for the right words. “In fact, Wallace is your mother’s name, Doctor Marcus.”

She stilled and breathed in sharply. “Mister Spock,” she began.

Spock held a hand up. “You have lied to gain access to this ship.”

Carol bit her lower lip and frowned. “Mister Spock, please. Do not tell my father I am aboard this ship.”

Spock tilted his head and released a breath. “So you are not here to compromise the Captain as a spy for Admiral Marcus?”

“No no no,” Carol shook her head. “Granted he is attractive.” Yes, Jim is very attractive especially with his fingers clutching the sheets at home with his scars on full display or when he is giving Leonard gentle little kisses. Those thoughts would have to be pushed away at this time may Spock fear losing control.

Spock cleared his throat and was about to say something when the ship jerked and the loss in momentum threw him off.

“What was that?” asked Carol as she braced against a railing.

Spock took in a deep breath and straightened himself. “I am unsure.” he quickly collected his barings. “Excuse me.” He sprinted to get back to the bridge with the thought of eventually talking to Jim and Leonard.

Chapter Text

Leonard had come up to the bridge in hopes of having a civil conversation with his partner, possibly to also find out what the hell is going on around this ship, but nonetheless Leonard didn’t like being upset with Jim. He dislikes it even more when Jim cut himself off from talking about certain situations. Like how Leonard was pretty certain Jim was still upset with the entire Pike situation. If he knew Jim well enough.

“Mister Chekov, did you break my ship?” Came Jim’s authority voice. A voice often not used by the young Captain. Maybe the last time Leonard heard the voice was when Kevin and Sulu had been struck with a case of the loonies.

The epidemic that had plagued the ship’s crew was shoved down into the back of his mind as he strolled over to Jim’s chair to observe with crossed arms. “I’m sorry Keptain,” shouted Chekov’s voice from over the speaker.

Jim sighed heavily, glanced at Leonard, and gave him a small wave. “It’s okay Chekov, just find out what happened.” Jim cut the channel and looked over to Sulu. “Mister Sulu how much longer to our destination?”

“Twenty minutes,” said Sulu. “It’s time we didn’t plan on being here, Sir.”

Jim nodded and released a sigh. “We’d better hop to it huh?”

Leonard noted that Jim had been chewing the skin off of his lips again as Jim looked around the bridge, “Where is Mister Spock?”

The bridge doors opened. “Here, Captain.”

Jim’s face lit up slowly as he glanced at the Vulcan, but the light was gone quickly as professionalism took over.

Leonard glanced over as Spock strolled onto the bridge looking tousled. McCoy pulled his lips back and narrowed his eyes. Both of his partners looked like they had been tossed about in the air lock. “Spock,” greeted Leonard sliding over to be closer to the Vulcan. Just because they were upset with Jim didn’t mean they had to be upset with one and other.

“Doctor,” greeted Spock.

Jim cleared his throat which dragged their attention to him. “You still delighted to accompany Uhura and I to Qo'noS?”

Leonard’s heart squeezed. The ship was not working, they were floating suspended without knowing what the issue was. Leonard would never understand Jim’s pull to danger. Would never understand how danger found Jim. “Of course, Captain,” said Spock with a not smile. “Uhura is joining us?”

Uhura stood off to the side with her head cocked, she was observing them, just as Leonard was observing Jim. “I speak Klingon,” said Uhura.

“Of course,” said Spock.

Leonard put his hand on Spock’s arm, the Vulcan looked down, allowing Leonard to slowly stroke the issued science blues, they were not as soft as the sweater issued uniforms, but enough to calm Leonard down.

It didn’t calm down the glare he gave Jim though.

Jim visibly tightened. “I don’t like that look, Bones.”

“Yeah well I don’t like you throwing yourself in a shuttle, Jim,” shouted Leonard with a glare, “You don’t rob a bank when the getaway car has a flat tire!” he threw his arm out and flared his nostrils before returning his hand to stroke Spock’s arm.

There was a shift in Jim’s posture, he shrank, and narrowed his eyes. “I’ll meet you in the shuttlebay,” said Jim motioning to Uhura.

“Yes, Sir.” Uhura left the bridge.

“You’re not going down there, Jim,” hissed McCoy.

Spock placed a hand on Leonard’s shoulder. It made Leonard stiffen. This was not a comforting gesture. “Spock,” warned McCoy.

“I will be accompanying Jim, Leonard. I will make sure nothing harms him,” There was something in the Vulcan’s voice that had Leonard more calm, but he’d prefer if neither of his partners threw themselves into danger.

Leonard looked at Jim and glared.

Jim shrank further before he slowly put up his head and inhaled. “If it makes you feel any better we can talk about it later? Look I don’t like you guys being upset with me and I just have so much shit on my plate right now, can we please talk later?” It was always going to be later with this kid.

Leonard was about to protest when Jim pressed the intercom button and engineering popped up on screen. “Hey can we get this ship working by the time we get back?” asked Jim.

McCoy jumped slightly when Chekov’s head popped up. “I will try my best, Sir!”

Jim nodded and glanced past McCoy. “Mister Sulu,” McCoy stiffened he had forgotten Sulu was even there, “You have the conn.” Jim proceeded to tell Sulu what he wanted the helmsman to do.

Sulu made a strangled noise.

“Is that a problem?” asked Jim with a raised brow.

McCoy made a noise that came up from his chest and settled in his throat. “Hang on Jim, you can’t just play this like a high stakes poker game-”

“Poker?” asked Spock from beside Leonard.

Leonard looked over at his partner. “I’ll teach you later, it’s a real fun game.”

“Funner when you strip and forget about it all together,” said Jim offhand before clearing his throat. “Anyways Sulu you’re going to do great, I believe in you.”

Jim walked over and slapped Spock’s shoulder. “Common we need to get changed.”

As they were walking out Leonard glanced at Sulu who was gingerly sitting in the chair like he was going to break it. “Jim, Sulu is a good guy, but can he really be a captain?” He looked over to Sulu and held a hand up. “No offense.”

“It’s two hours, You’ll be fine.” Jim had dragged Spock into the lift and waved.

Leonard huffed and crossed his arms as the lift doors closed.

Sulu made a choked off noise.

Leonard looked over to him and glared. “Don’t act like you’ve never had a disagreement with your partner, Mister Sulu.”

Sulu covered his mouth and turned away from McCoy. “Acting Captain Sulu to shuttle bay two.”

“That’s what I thought,” hissed McCoy as he cocked his hip to the side.

“Please have the trade ship we confiscated during the Mudd incident last month fuelled and flight ready. Captain Kirk is en route to you now.”
___

 

Jim had to roll his eyes, the Mudd incident, that had been a fun incident, full sarcasm, Mudd was slimy, and he’d hope to never see the sleeze again. Uhura stood at attention at the doors to the trade ship, two guards in red shirts standing next to her. “Ready to deploy, Captain,” said Uhura with a grin as she fixed the non issue outfit.

Jim eyed the guards and raised a brow. “You two, lose the redshirts,” said Jim as he glanced over at Spock and made a hand motion.

Spock handed Jim two dark bundles of clothes, Jim swallowed as he eyed Spock up and down not so subtly. “Black is a good color on you, Mister Spock.”

Spock almost grinned as he pushed past Jim and into the small ship. “Sir?” the guards tilted their heads and quirked their brows.

Jim sighed heavily and handed them the bundles. “We can’t have anything tying us to Starfleet incase things go south okay? We don’t want to start a war.”

The guards nodded and Jim entered the ship with Uhura on his tail.

Chapter Text

Uhura didn’t know how long she could take this silence that enveloped them since they departed the Enterprise. Until Spock opened his mouth and said in a monotone manner, “I’ve detected a life sign in the Ketha Province.”

Uhura glanced over at him and smiled. “It’s probably John  Harrison,” she said and glanced over at Jim. “Considering Mister Scott’s data.”

She saw Jim nod, he had been uncharacteristically quiet for the ride, and Uhura saw him take the moment to understand they couldn’t hear a nod, “I’ll contact Mister Sulu,” said Jim, soon he was contacting Sulu to give the order.

Sulu’s voice filtered in through the ship. “Aye, Sir.”

Uhura kept her eyes on Jim as Spock said, “We should arrive in three minutes.”

“What is the likelihood he is going to attack us, Spock?” asked Uhura with a tilt of her head in his direction.

Spock didn’t respond for a short time. His voice was monotone when he said, “Ninety one point six percent.”

Uhura waited for Jim to respond, he didn’t, so she sighed and said, “So any last words?”

“Good thing you don’t care about dying,” said Jim suddenly.

Uhura snapped her head at him with wide eyes. She had assumed they had talked this over already. Maybe it was Jim’s brain working in overdrive. Only God knows what goes through his head.

There was silence for a few moments and Uhura took in a breath.

“Jim, have I upset you in some way?” asked Spock, monotone.

Jim paused before he said, “I didn’t say anything.”

“Jim, I’d be delighted to have this conversation with you if you would actually talk to me,” Uhura caught the tail end of annoyance in Spock’s voice. “Instead of talk through me like you have done Leonard.”

One of them was breathing heavier, it was possibly Jim, Uhura took in a deep breath. “Boys-”

Jim swallowed and said, “Later, Spock.”

Spock’s voice was filled with annoyance, “It’s always later with you, later Spock, later Bones, later I’ll talk about what is bothering me, Later never comes, Jimmothy .”

Jim suddenly snapped, “You’re one to talk, Spock!”

“Boys, are we really doing this now?” Uhura groaned and rolled her eyes. She would have stayed on the ship if she knew this was going to become a lover’s quarrel, but she understood how frustrating Jim could be. How thick headed and reckless Jim could be and how thick headed Spock could be in turn.

She could almost feel Spock shaking or maybe both of them were shaking. “Nyota,” said Spock and Jim in unison.

Uhura took in a deep breath, “Spock, Jim, do not drag me into this, it doesn’t involve me. It involves you two and Leonard.”

“He will not talk with Leonard and I, he will not let me touch his hands or offer comfort, and it is frustrat-”

Jim suddenly let out a scream, “Ikap'uh t'du ru'lut!” Shut your mouth.

Uhura’s eyes widened for a short moment and she turned as far as she could in her chair to stare at at Jim with an open mouth.

That drew them into silence once again.

She turned back around and shook her head.

“Jim, please, Ashayam, Tell me what is troubling you.” There was sudden tenderness in Spock’s voice.

Silence.

Then Jim let off a choked noise. “Spock,” whispered Jim, “I...”

Uhura took in a deep breath and sighed when there was suddenly a loud booming noise. “What the hell was that?” she asked whipping her head around.

Spock fumbled around on his side of the vessel. “It is a D-4 class Klingon vessel,” Spock took in a harsh breath, “They are pursuing us.”

Jim took in some deep breaths. “I thought this sector was abandoned, Spock!”

Uhura straightened her back. “It must be a random patrol,” she turned to look at Jim who was fumbling with the controls.

“I need you guys to hang on and trust me on this,” said Jim, His hands shook, and Uhura could do nothing but inhale.

“This vessel does not have offensive capabilities,” said Spock. Uhura noticed he reached his hand over to Jim.

Uhura shut her eyes and released a breath.

“Give me all six fuel cells, Spock. This clunker has us, and It’ll have to do.”

“Of course, Jim,” said Spock.

Uhura swore she heard Jim mutter a thank you as she slid her eyes open.

Chapter Text

Jim gave a soft kiss to Spock’s hand and frowned, He was sorry to be acting this way, the hot and cold. The unanswered questions that lingered in the air. Unspoken feelings. “Thank you,” he whispered and released Spock’s hand. Trust me, he thought.

He had to focus on driving this thing and avoiding the fire from the Klingons. He groaned heavily. “Fuck,” he grumbled and glanced around.

“Bearing two eight five, Captain,” said Uhura from her seat.

Jim pointed at a narrow opening in the structures of the city. “There.” he tapped it on the view screen. “We can lose them there.”

He could feel Spock throw eyes onto him. “Jim,” began Spock with a heavy puff of air, “You are suggesting that we utilise the passage between the approaching structures?”

Jim nodded fast and grinned. “I can make this ship fit,” he glanced over at Spock to find the Vulcan staring at him like he is unwell.

“We will not fit, Jim,” said Spock with a small green blush.

Jim’s eyes danced with defiance. “We will.”

“No. We will not.”

“One hundred credits says we will,” hissed Jim with a big grin.

Uhura shouted, “Stop making innuendos and go!”

The trade ship shook and scraped against the inner workings of the gap and Jim hissed slightly. “Told you.”

Jim hears Spock scoff, “I am unsure if that qualified as fitting.”

Jim stuck his tongue out at Spock and smiled at him.

Spock flushed green and looked to Uhura. “Any sign of them?”

“I think they are jamming our scanners,” said Uhura. That wasn’t good.

Jim cocked his head and smiled a little. “Maybe we lost them?”

“JIM!” shouted Spock.

It had Jim squealing and he slammed to stop the ship as they were surrounded by klingon ships that started barking orders. “Uhuraaaaa,” whined Jim.

“They are ordering us to land,” Uhura’s voice was calm, steady, and her chair creaked. “Land, Jim.”

Jim took in a deep breath and landed the craft. “What do we do?”

“Thought you had a plan,” he could hear the grin in Uhura’s voice. “They’ll wonder what we are doing here, Captain.”

Jim took in a deep breath.

“They’ll question us, torture us, and kill us,” said Uhura, Jim looked over at her, and narrowed his eyes.

“Thanks for the words of encouragement, Leonard McCoy,” he smirked and released a sigh.

Uhura stood and put her hand on his shoulder. “Let me speak to them, Captain.”

Jim looked up at her and pressed his lips together and nodded. “Do your thing, but if something goes down.” Jim stood from his seat and grabbed a phaser from their objects. “I’m shooting.”

He sees her inhale a deep breath and she nodded. “I understand.” She slid her way out of the ship.

Jim and Spock huddle near the drawn shut window. “You were saying something earlier,” said Spock, “before we got attacked.”

Jim inhaled sharply and focused on Uhura’s movements toward the Klingons. “Just that… I’m sorry.”

Jim felt Spock’s hand lower to his shoulder and gently dig his fingers into the clothes. Jim looked up at him and frowned a little. They didn’t speak as Jim rose and handed another phaser to the two guards and Spock.

They sat there for a few moments Jim kept his eyes on Uhura with a growing feeling gnawing at his insides and a growing fuzziness in his brain. He felt Spock’s gentle touch along the back of his neck and tried to focus on that while still watching Uhura through their viewing window.

Uhura looked like she was doing a good job, even though Jim couldn’t understand Klingon.

Then she got picked up by her neck.

Jim couldn’t stand it, he shot up from his spot, stormed out of the ship, and shot his phaser at the Klingons. “PUT HER DOWN!” shouted Jim with his phaser still up.

The warrior faltered and Uhura grabbed his knife and stabbed him in the arm.

Jim ran forward and started shooting more of them, he wasn’t paying much attention to everyone else until he was dragged up by his shirt, and thrown onto the ground. He cried out as pain bloomed in every part of his body and a boot was pressed down on his chest making him wheeze.

“JIM!” Blood was rushed to his ears, they were ringing as he stared up at the Klingon who held his knife above his head ready to stab it into Jim, and before he could sink the weapon into Jim red phaser fire made the Klingon drop dead. Someone dragged him away from the fight, back closer to the ship, and he let out a wheezing breath.

Long fingers wound their way into his hair, the nails were too long to be Spock’s, he blinked, and inhaled sharply. “Stand down!” shouted Spock’s voice. There was more firing noises. And it all went silent for a moment.

“How many torpedos?” said a smooth yet rough voice.

“I said stand down.” Jim smiled at Spock’s voice. A single shot made him frown, he slowly sat up, much to Uhura protesting that he shouldn’t rise, and glared toward the man who was standing there with open arms.

“The torpedos. How many?” frantic and wanting information the familiar stranger advanced on Spock. “The torpedos in your message.”

Jim the fuzziness he had been fighting engulfed his brain while blood pumped in his ears. He found rose from his spot on the ground, broke away from Uhura. He inhaled sharply. It hurt to breathe. It hurt to move, but he wanted this man to hurt. White hot emotion thrummed deep beneath his skin.

Spock wasn’t aware that Jim had stood from his position and said, “Seventy two.” Spock kept his eyes on the man.

Jim grew closer.

The man stood tall and eyed them all. “I surrender.” This was Harrison. He threw his weapon aside which Spock picked up.

Jim stood tall next to Spock which made the Vulcan jump and frown. “I accept your surrender,” Jim’s voice sounded foreign to his mind. The fuzziness grew into a deep oozing energy. Suddenly he lunged at Harrison and punched him with a scream that ripped through his throat. He didn’t know how many times he punched, or kicked, or even hit the guy, but they never dropped.

The energy just kept oozing even as Jim was being torn off of Harrison by impossibly strong hands. “Captain!”

Jim fought against the hold of whoever it was. He just wanted to beat the shit out of Harrison for hurting Pike.

Harrison seemed to laugh. “Captain?” he looked almost delighted with a stupid smug smile on his face.

Jim screamed again and jolted in the strong hold to try to get another punch in. Maybe ten. “Ashayam.”

Air flowed back into Jim’s lungs and he shook. “Cuff him,” whispered Jim, shaky, and stiff. “Cuff him and take him back to the ship.”

Jim wasn’t sure how he was going to handle being in Mudd’s ship with Harrison. Wasn’t sure how he was going to be able to drive the craft. Jim realized Spock was still holding him, he focused on the vulcan tight grip that tethered him to the ground, he was being lead back to Mudd’s ship, and the security duo with Uhura were taking care of Harrison.

“I don’t think I’m going to be able to drive this thing, Spock,” came Jim’s voice as they walked into the small ship.

Back in the ship Spock sat down and held Jim close in his lap. “Uhura and I will drive, Ashaya.” Spock even placed a delicate kiss against Jim’s cheek with a purr. “You work on grounding.”

Jim nodded and nuzzled into Spock. He rubbed his fingers against Spock’s outfit for stimulation to keep him there and took in a deep breath. He told himself it’d be better on the Enterprise.

At least he hoped it would be.

Chapter Text

Spock never wanted to see Jim this hurt ever again. “Leonard, Meet Jim and I in the brig.” He looked over at Jim who was beaten somewhat badly, Spock had tried to not make any wounds worse by holding onto his partner, but it did little to calm the oozing chaotic energy.

“Uhura call Starfleet and tell them we have Harrison in custody and will be on our way once the warp core is repaired,” said Jim to Uhura.

She nodded and gave Jim’s head a soft pat before going off.

Jim and Spock made their way down to the brig in silence, it was empty per usual aside from guards here and there. Jim clung to Spock like the Vulcan was the only thing keeping him grounded. Spock released a breath. He probably was the only thing keeping Jim planted in his body. “You are troubled, Ashayam.”

“I feel somewhat better actually,” said Jim with a small frown. Spock gave the human’s arm a squeeze.

Leonard met them in the brig and eyed them both. “Y’all look like you’ve been thrown in a blender.”

Jim and Spock grunted in unison as they focused on Harrison.

Spock noted Leonard taking in a deep breath. “Why’d he surrender?”

Jim reached a hand out and lightly touched Leonard. Spock still having a hold on Jim’s hip. “I don’t know, but he took out a bunch of Klingons and doesn’t have a scratch on him.”

“A superman?” McCoy raised a brow and scoffed.

Spock focused on glaring at Harrison while Jim and Leonard had a conversation back and forth, until Leonard grabbed a circular object from over to the side and widened it. “I need to take a blood sample. Put your arm through this hole.”

Harrison compiled and stuck his arm into the hole, then turned his dark eyes onto Jim, and gave an impossibly white toothed smile. “Why aren't we moving, Captain? An unexpected malfunction?”

Spock narrowed his eyes at the man and squeezed Jim closer.

“Perhaps in your warp core. Conveniently stranding you on the edge of Klingon space?”

This man had Spock spiking up like a fluffy cat, the way he eyed both the doctor and Jim was unsettling and off putting. “How do you know about that?” asked Leonard with a scowl.

Jim nudged Leonard and shook his head, “‘ones.” It was a soft attempt at an age old nickname. Spock categorized it long ago as Jim requiring rest. Physical. Mental. Emotional. Rest.

Or Spock could inch his way into his beloved’s mind and send soothing thoughts, but he would never cross that line unless Jim asked. Spock blinked. There had been a conversation going on that he had missed. “We good?” asked Jim to Leonard.

Leonard’s eyes softened and he gave a squeeze to Jim’s shoulder. “Yeah.” There were unspoken words between them.

Jim swallowed and smiled, “Let me know what you get.”

Harrison chimed in before Leonard and Jim pulled apart, “Ignore me and you will get everyone on this ship killed.”

Leonard left with narrowed eyes.

Spock straightened his back as Jim’s grip on him tightened. “Ashayam, I believe he will only attempt to manipulate you.” He pulled Jim close to him and narrowed his eyes at Harrison. “I would not recommend engaging the prisoner furthe-”

“Hey, Spock, can you give me a moment here?”

Spock looked down at Jim and frowned. He swallowed and removed himself from his partner. “I will be in meditation,” mumbled the Vulcan as he turned and exited the brig.

Leonard stood outside the brig with his arms crossed and a hypo of Harrison’s blood in his hand. “Walk me to medbay?” asked Leonard with a raised brow.

Spock raised an eyebrow and crossed his arms behind his back. “Why of course, Leonard.”

Leonard hooked his arm with Spock’s. “Are we still upset with him?” asked Leonard as they walked to one of the turbo lifts.

Spock held his head up and pressed his lips together. “I am still upset with the situation.”

Leonard pressed against Spock’s side and sighed. "Same."

Chapter Text

Jim drew his shoulders up and cracked his back. He rolled his neck and rubbed it. He looked at Harrison with dead eyes. “You’re here because you are a criminal,” he said to Harrison with a voice so void of his usual emotions, “I watched you murder innocent people,” he gave a hollow laugh. “I was told to kill you.” He shifted on his feet and chewed on his lower lip. “The only reason you are still alive is because of me.”

“I could say the same to you, Captain.” Harrison’s grin made Jim’s blood boil and his body shake. “You going to punch me again? Over and Over. Until your arm weakens?” His dark eyes slid over all of Jim’s frame and he smirked, “Clearly you still want to.”

Jim took in a deep breath and released it slowly.

Harrison’s stare made him feel small and insignificant. “Tell me why you are allowing me to live?”

Jim took in another deep breath. “Because no matter how hard I want to punch you. I still have a conscience and you make me curious.”

Harrison’s eyes lit up, his voice was a purr, “If you didn’t have a conscience, Mister Kirk, then it would be impossible for me to convince you of the truth.” That smile was making Jim sick, “Something of interest? Twenty three, seventeen, forty six, and eleven. Coordinates not far from Earth. If you want to know why I did what I did, go and take a look.”

Jim stretched his back as it cracked and popped. He should really see Bones about a medical check in. Eventually. “Give me a reason.”

Harrison’s grin grew even wider on his dark face as he ran his fingers through his darker hair. “I can give you seventy two and they have been waiting for so long on your ship, Captain.” There is a pause. “Open one up.”

The torpedos. Jim almost smirked as he slid away from Harrison's cell. Now was the time to see if Scotty could do something for him. He hissed as he rounded the corner of the brig and clutched at his aching body. Maybe after a visit to Bones, just to make some of this pain stop, then… then he could talk with Scotty.

Jim hissed again as he entered the turbo lift and made his way to medbay.

Bones wasn’t in the larger section of the medbay when Jim entered, in fact Christine lifted her head up from checking over Uhura, and said, “He is in his office.” Before she returned to fretting over Uhura.

Uhura who held the blonde’s face and laughed softly. “I’m fine,” breathed Uhura.

Jim looked away and quickly made his way to Bones’s office as Christine placed soft pecks along Uhura’s face.

Bones had his feet up on his desk, his head bent backwards, and the wall mount lizard across his chest.

“Bones,” said Jim as he leaned against the door frame of the office.

Bones lifted his head up and raked his eyes slowly up Jim’s frame.

Jim pressed his lips together. “Everything hurts.”

Bones slowly put his feet down, rose from the chair, placed the lizard on the wall, and then strolled over to Jim. He stopped inches from the Captain and asked, “Are you going to let me help you, Jim?”

Jim stared at Bones with half lidded eyes. “Bones.” He didn't want this to turn into a Pike issue.

“Let me help, Jim,” said Bones, gruff, and deep.

Jim slid into Bones and released a breath against the Doctor’s neck. “Just fix up my physical injuries, Bones, I gotta comm Scotty, and then I want to see you on the bridge when I’m done.”

Bones’s arms wrapped around Jim and a sigh was released against his shoulder. “Dammit, Jim.”

Chapter Text

Busy earth bars, some would call them home, and when home was too barren? They were Scotty’s home. He crossed his arms and sighed heavily. The time that passed had been lonely. Even with Keenser for some form of socialization it was just lonely. Quiet. Bars were loud and packed. He’d simply shoved the loneliness down with drinks. “What is his plan?” He turned his gaze to Keenser as if his longtime alien companion would give him an answer. It made Scotty run a hand over his face. “You’re just gonna sit there. It’s like talking to an oyster.”

Keenser tilted his head and made some form of protest with a gruff noise.

“Aye, Aye, A damn fool.” He leaned back into his chair and took back his scotch. His communicator pinged which made him sputter and cough on the burn of alcohol. “What?” coughed the scotsman as he answered the call.

Jim’s voice filtered over the speaker. “Uh Scotty, hey, It’s Kirk.” There was something foreign in Jim’s voice, or maybe he sounded like he was stuffed in a small room. Possibly a broom closet on the ship?

“If it isn’t James Tiberius Perfect Hair,” chimed Scotty with a laugh. “I called him Perfect Hair.” He leaned closer to Keenser and laughed again.

Keenser released a noise that sounded like a heavy sigh which made Scotty pout.

“Yer no fun,” he leaned back and held the communicator to his ear. “Aye what do you want?”

Jim was silent for some time and when he spoke again it was hesitant and quiet, “Where are you?”

Scotty glanced around and rolled the empty glass in his palm. “Drinking,” said the Scotsman with a grin. “Where are you?”

Jim paused again. “You’re drunk aren’t you?”

Scotty pulled his neck back and muttered, “Only slightly.”

Jim was silent again. “Slightly?”

“Only slightly.” Scotty grinned and leaned back in his chair. “What do you want, Jim?”

Jim cleared his throat, Scotty could almost imagine Jim stuffed in a broom closet holding a secret conversation away from prying eyes, and somehow Spock and McCoy filtered into that image and he had to gag mentally. He was not one to think that way about his friends.

“I need you to go somewhere,” said Jim’s quiet voice.

Scotty sat up straight and cleared his throat motioning for Keenser to hand him a napkin.

Keenser made a noise like a huff and handed over the napkin and did one better and handed Scotty a pen. Good to see these things never went out of style.

Scotty grinned wide and tested the pen on the napkin. “Beautiful, I appreciate you, Keenser.”

“Scotty,” said Kirk quicker, like he was antsy, and needing to be somewhere fast. Probably needed to be back on the bridge giving orders and staring at Spock’s butt.

Scotty sat up and cleared his throat. “Okay to go, Captain, I’m ready.”

“Coordinates twenty three,” said Jim without skipping a beat.

Scotty scrawled it down and added a dash. “Next.”

“Seventeen.” Another dash.

“Aye.” Scotty leaned forward over the napkin and stuck out his tongue.

“Forty six.” Another dash.

Scotty nodded before understanding that Jim could not see that. “Last one?”

“Eleven,” said Jim with a sigh. “I don’t know exactly what is there.” Some shuffling of the Communicator on Jim’s end. “You’ll know when you see it, and I want to say…”

Scotty let out a breath, “You don’t have to say anything, Jim.”

“If it makes you feel any better by my word as the Captain of this ship you will have your old Job back?” It was something in Jim’s voice that made Scotty think of it as a question or something that was unsure.

Scotty paused and pressed his lips together. “Why are you like this?” he laughed and pocketed the napkin. “I’ll do this for you.”

Jim’s voice filtered over the speaker, “I love you, Scotty.”

“Don’t say that too loud, Jim,” said Scotty with a laugh, “The good Doctor is sure to rip my head off and if he doesn’t do it? Spock sure as hell will.”

They share a laugh before Scotty said he had to go. He hung up and released a huff of breath. “Well. Time to find a ship.”

Keenser made a noise that sounded like a cough.

“Aye, Aye, I love you too.”

Chapter Text

“Are you out of your corn-fed mind?” Jim released a breath as he rubbed the back of his neck, stuffing himself in that closet hadn’t done him any favors, as a mop head had dug into his spine throughout his conversation with Scotty.

“You’re the doctor, Bones, you tell me,” Jim slid his eyes over to the seething Doctor. Jim hadn’t been doing him any favors.

Bones scooted closer to Spock and let out a huff of air. “I’m a surgeon not a psychologist,” said Bones with a finger poking Jim in the chest. “But you’re outta yer mind if yer listenin’ to that hogwash.”

Jim sighed, he couldn’t stay upset with Bones when the southerner’s drawl went from non existent to heavy tongued.

“And now? Now yer gonna pop open a torpedo just because he dared you to.” Another poke to the chest and Jim hoped his gaze held enough softness to calm Bones down.

Until Spock chimed in and Jim could see the hardness set on Leonard’s face. “I agree with the doctor.”

God forbid Bones show any affection for the Vulcan in public, “I take it back, If that hobgoblin is going to agree with me I take it back.” Bones pulled away from Spock, took a few steps, and ran a hand over his face. He then turned back to them and pointed at Spock. “It’s very uncomfortable to have you agree with me.”

Jim did his best to stifle a laugh as Spock tilted his head and focused amused filled eyes on Bones. “Perhaps you should learn to govern your emotions, Doctor, as this situations dictates logic.”

“I’m sick of your logic,” hissed Bones without any bite.

Uhura cleared her throat and strolled over, “Leave it for the bedroom,” said the communications officer.

Jim found it amusing when both Spock and Bones blushed brightly.

Then Uhura was focused on Jim and shoved him slightly. “That man is trying to get you to open a torpedo, likely blow up the entire Enterprise, and you’re letting these two talk like it’s date night?”

Jim blushed and cleared his throat. “I don’t know what to tell you, but I don’t think he wants us to blow up the ship.”

Uhura cocked her hip and placed her hand on it. “Then what?”

Jim took in a deep breath and glanced over at Bones and Spock who were still quite red and green in the face. “We’re just going to have to open a torpedo.” He looked to Uhura with a frown. “The question is how.” He threw his arms up in the air and shrugged.

Bones poked Jim’s chest again, seeming to have calmed down enough to use his voice, “Without Scotty on board?”

Jim frowned and rubbed the back of his neck again.

“Who even has the qualifications to open one of those up?” asked Bones with a scowl.

Jim heard Spock take in some deep breaths before his voice broke the falling silence. “The admiral's daughter appeared to be interested.”

Jim turned his eyes to the Vulcan. Admiral’s daughter?

Spock blinked and stared. “She is a weapons specialist and could perhaps be of some use.”

Jim furrowed his brows and shook his head. “What Admiral’s daughter?”

Spock tilted his head and Jim could tell the moment the Vulcan had gone stiff. “Carol Marcus, your new science officer. She concealed her identity to board the ship.”

Jim frowned and leaned into Spock. “When were you going to tell me this?” hissed Jim with a tilt of his head.

Spock’s gaze flickered slightly. “It just became relevant.”

Jim frowned and slumped over himself. “So if it hadn’t become relevant…” he pulled back from Spock and furrowed his brows and looked to Spock with some hurt. “...You wouldn’t have told me?”

Bones cleared his throat and Jim glanced over at him. “You were flirting with her, Jimbo.”

Jim blushed, straightened up, and put a hand over his heart. “I was not flirting with her.”

“You weren’t exactly conversing with us, and you did give her the seat you covered from Doctor McCoy,” came Spock’s monotone voice.

Jim looked over at him and frowned. “Spock, I wasn’t. I mean sure yeah I was a little grouchy and upset…”

“So you flirted with her to let us know you were upset with us?” asked Bones.

Jim turned to the Doctor and grabbed Bones’s shoulders. “I’m not upset with you.” he turned to Spock and released one hand from Bones to grip Spock’s shoulder. “Or you. I’m… Upset, but not with you two… I thought you were upset with me…”

“I am upset with you,” said Bones with a huff as he pulled away from Jim.

Jim frowned at this. “Bones,” said Jim softly with a drawn down expression.

Spock cleared his throat and Jim turned his gaze to the Vulcan. “I am Vulcan, Captain.” Being Vulcan didn’t mean Spock wasn’t upset with him, and that made Jim frown more.

Spock’s hand was placed on Jim’s jaw in a gentle yet firm way and Jim had no choice but to look up. “I’m Vulcan, and was upset, but I meditated.”

Jim frowned still, but it was hard when Spock’s hand squished Jim’s face gently.

“While I agree with the Doctor and Uhura on the matter of Harrison,” began Spock moving back to stroke Jim’s jawline. “I can look past your unexplained behaviors and trust you have a plan.”

Jim gave Spock a smile and leaned into his touch with a sigh. “Thank you, Spock.”

Jim didn’t have to look over at Bones, but the Doctor let out a scoff that sounded like, “Suck up.”

Jim did look over at Bones though and pulled him close. “Bones.” He tried to pour as much feeling into the nickname as he could.

Bones went stiff in Jim’s hold, but grumbled out a, “dammit Jim.” Which made Jim smile.

“Bonding aside, gentlemen and McCoy,” said Uhura with a roll of her eyes. “Should I call Miss Marcus?”

Jim blinked and pulled away from Bones. “Tell her to meet with me,” said Jim.

Chapter Text

“Are the torpedoes in the weapons bay?” asked Carol as she walked ahead of Jim.

Jim sighed and tried to keep up with her, this must be how Bones and Spock feel when Jim so energetically runs ahead.

“Captain?” asked Carol again, she had stalled, and Jim found he was just standing there gazing through her. Thinking about Bones and Spock.

Thinking about their last date night when their house was barren and Jim so energetically ran to the living area and plopped on the couch to watch cheesy science fiction shows from the nineteen sixties. Spock and Bones had had other plans but after they had come out of the bedroom with hickies and shower hair they joined Jim on the couch with popcorn, hot chocolate, and tea. It had been a sex repulsed night.

They had cuddled and laughed at the costumes and special effects of the day. It was great that Jim didn’t feel like he had to sexually please them to remotely feel loved. Plus it was fun to tease them after they did the deed.

Jim cleared his throat and shook his head with a small blush. He loved Spock and Bones to no end. “Right, torpedoes, they are.” A pause. “They are in the weapons bay that is.”

They continued their walk down the corridor to the weapons bay.

“What are they?” asked Jim.

Carol looked to him and shrugged, “I don’t know.” That was helpful. “That’s why I forged my way onto your ship.” She paused, stopped walking, and turned to Jim.

By the time he registered she had stopped he had already run into her.

“I’m sorry about that by the way. If I caused you any problems.” She had her hands up against his chest and a tilt to her head.

Jim stared at her and raised an eyebrow. “No problems,” said Jim with a soft smile.

Carol inhaled and smiled at him. “Carol Marcus.”

Jim gave her a sweet smile. “I’m still James Kirk.”

Carol held her hands together. “Torpedos.” She turned right back around and walked ahead.

Again he thought of Spock and felt his heart swell knowing his partner trusted his judgment.

They hurried the rest of the way to the weapons bay. Rushed down narrow stairwells of the engineering section, all the while Carol talked about her father, about the torpedos, and about how they disappeared from record.

“Then he gave them to me,” said Jim catching up with Carol with a jolt of energy to find out more about these torpedos. They weren’t as exciting as space or getting an emotional response from Spock, but Jim was still fascinated.

Carol looked at Jim with raised brows and wide eyes. “You’re much more clever than your reputation makes you out to be.”

Jim rolled his eyes as they walked into a shuttle craft. “I’m more than just a pretty face, Carol.” he paused though and turned to her as she switched on the lights to the craft. “What reputation?”

At the same time Carol was asking him if the Shuttle was prepared for flying. “Yeah it’s prepared, now what about my reputation?”

Carol blinked at him, walked past him in favor of going over to a cargo box, and she pulled out a bundle of clothes. “Well just that you sleep around a lot.”

Jim drew his eyebrows down and walked over to her and leaned against the wall. “I sleep around a lot?” The thought of sleeping around with anyone usually disgusted him. Of course unless those people were Bones and Spock, but he rarely had any sex positive thought when it came down to it. Unless he was in a sex positive mood and then again sex was fun and his labido definetly wasn’t part of his sexuality. That was often a misconcept-

“Turn around,” snapped Carol interrupting Jim’s train of thought on his feelings of sex.

Jim blinked and raised a brow. “What?”

Carol waved her hands at him. “Turn around, Please.”

Jim blinked and nodded. He turned around and let out a sigh, “I’m turned around,” said Jim with as little sass as possible. “I’m sure its nothing I haven’t seen before.” He winced a little at that comment and bit his lower lip. Those comments were not going to help his reputation.

Carol let out a noise between a scoff and a groan. “Anyways, It's too dangerous to try and open one of these torpedoes on the Enterprise, but there is a nearby planetoid. I can open one up there, but I will need some help.”

Jim’s thoughts wondered to Bones being able to help her, he turned around to tell her, and his mouth fell open. He shut it quickly. It really wasn’t anything he hadn’t seen before God knows the uncomfortable nature of having to undress in front of other people let alone the six years of having to undress in locker rooms.

Really women in their underwear wasn’t new to him, but it was just the fact that Carol was glaring at him. Glaring at him like he was just looking at her to sneak a peek. When that wasn’t his intention at all.

“I’m sorry I should turn around and I should turn around now,” and so he did with a small part of him still thinking about when Bones and his excellent hands. “I have someone in mind he has excellent hands.”

They went into silence.

“Excellent hands for the torpedo I mean,” he sputtered keeping his head turned. “But I mean he really has excellent hands.” Hands that felt so good on Jim’s thighs or bicep or back or carding gently through his hair- even on sex repulsed nights.

When Jim turned back around she was dressed with her hip cocked. “About this man with excellent hands?”

Chapter Text

“Thanks for helping Doctor Marcus, Bones.” Jim’s voice filtered in through the communicator, “I told her I knew a man who has excellent hands.”

McCoy smirked and thought about flirting with Jim. Thought about it, but knew a better way to make the blond man extra affectionate. “You know when I dreamt about being on a deserted planet alone with a beautiful blond,” he began making his voice go low and thick, “there was no torpedo involved.”

Jim’s voice went quiet for a moment of pure bliss to Leonard’s ears. Then the annoying buzz comes back, “You’re not there to flirt, Doctor McCoy.” Jim’s voice held some traces of… well McCoy hoped it was jealousy.

Carol was kneeling next to the torpedo, she opened a panel, while Leonard strolled over and set down their tool box, “How can these legendary hands help you, Doctor Marcus?”

Leonard grinned wide with the little hiss from the communicator, “ Bones .”

Carol even laughed a little before looking over to McCoy. “Okay. To understand how powerful these weapons are.”

Leonard crouched near the opened panel.

“We need to open the warhead.” She looked to him with her lips in a thin line.

Leonard nodded. “Yeah.”

Carol breathed and looked back to the torpedo, “To do that, we need to access the fuel compartment.” She looked at him again. “Unfortunately for us, the warheads on these
weapons are live.”

McCoy raised a brow. “No shit Sherlock, look, I once performed an emergency C-section on a pregnant Gorn.” He raised his hands up. Mannerisms he has somehow adopted from Jim. “Octuplets. And let me tell you, those little bastards bite.” He smiled sweetly with a roll of his eyes, “I’m pretty sure I can work with your missile here.”

Carol narrowed her eyes at him and let out a small chuckle. “Doctor McCoy,” said Carol.

It was in a tone that reminded him of Spock. More precisely when Spock use to think he needed to dumb something down for the Country Doctor. Spock of course knew better by now.

Carol holds that same tone. “There's a bundle of fibre optic cables against the inner casing.”

McCoy nodded preparing himself and listening close.

“You'll need to cut the twenty third wire down.” said Carol with a high head, “Whatever you do, do not touch anything else.”

McCoy nodded again and raised a brow. What happened if he touched something else? Oh god he was going to blow up. They were going to blow up weren't they? He should have stayed on earth. He should have never come into the hell that was space, but if he hadn’t gone to space then he wouldn’t have known Jim. or Spock probably. Not that he would admit out loud that Spock par-

“Do you understand?” asked Carol.

Leonard scoffed. “Of course.” He gulped. “The thought hadn’t even crossed my mind.”

Carol nodded and turned her attention to the torpedo. “On my word.” she began. “I'm rerouting the detonation processor.” She pressed a few buttons and looked up at him. “Are you ready?”

Leonard rolled his eyes and rolled up his sleeves. “Raring to go,” said McCoy with a smirk and his pretty blue eyes.

Carol nodded, “Good luck.”

McCoy reached in trying to be careful with his movements. He tried to convince himself that he’d be fine. Even as his chest squeezed and his finger bent back too far, against his will, and grazed a wire he wasn’t supposed to touch. He let out a yelp and a few curses as the pod closed on his arm. “FUCK FUCK FUCK,” wheezed McCoy as he tugged and pushed. He glared at his arm.

Should have taken that hypo that keeps my bones in their homes , he mentally mused. It was something Jim had made up and Leonard didn't have the heart to not name the hypo that. He looked to Carol who was blank faced and frozen. “Carol, I can’t get my arm out.”

It shook her and came back when Kirk shouted her name. “Can you disarm it?” God if McCoy was going to die he wanted the last voice he heard to be Jim’s. Annoying. Irritating. Jim.

Carol had begun frantically trying to disarm the torpedo. “I’m trying.”

McCoy frowned. She didn’t need to die. The timer was pinging down. “Jim, get her out of here,” said Leonard with a frown.

“If you beam me back he dies,” said Carol quickly, “Let me do this.”

Leonard sucked in a deep breath. “Ten.” He could hear Sulu. “Nine.” Jim had grown silent. “Eight.” Leonard assumed Jim wasn’t going to let him die. “Seven.”

“Please stop counting,” said Carol.

McCoy narrowed his eyes at her. “Four,” said Leonard in defiance. The thought of Spock crossed his mind. “Three.”

They both crossed his mind and he was certain Jim would beam up Doctor Marcus. “Shit,” exclaimed Carol. She soon pulled out the entire mechanism.

Leonard let out a breath and was able to pull his arm back to himself. The torpedo opened.

“Doctor McCoy-”

“Leonard-”

Spock’s and Jim’s voices were muffled noise to him as he slid up and examined the torpedo. There was a human corpse in it.

“Bones,” shouted Jim.

Leonard realized he couldn’t ignore them for long and spokeup. “Jim. You’re going to want to see this.”

...

“Holy shit,” It was refreshing to hear Jim swear and see his face. Watch the gears turn behind those hazel eyes. “Cryotubes.” Jim breathed in.

McCoy didn’t like the way Carol was looking at Jim. He could tell Spock didn’t like it either. Like Jim was supposed to be a stupid jock, or a delinquent who shouldn’t know anything smart.

It made Jim’s face change to one of aloofness. “I mean I don’t know what those are or anything about them.”

“Can it, Darlin’,” said Leonard with a jab into Jim’s side. “Yer smart, now stop that.”

Spock even so much as wrapped himself around Jim, not using his vulcan strength of course because they didn’t need to break anything again.

Carol cleared her throat. “I apologize.”

Jim looked to McCoy with a raised brow. “Okay so what do we got here? Can we wake him up?”

“Not without killing him,” said Carol.

Jim glanced at her and raised a brow, “Understandable.”

Leonard gently put a hand on Jim’s shoulder to have his attention. “He is three hundred years old, Jim.”

“Spock?” said Jim.

Spock rumbled from his position of being draped over Jim, “Yes?”

“Come with me to the brig?” It was in Jim’s tone that made it sound more like a question and less like a command.

“Of course, Captain,” said Spock.

McCoy released a sigh. “Well not like I almost die-”

Jim so easily broke from Spock’s hold and surged forward and dragged Leonard up by his shirt giving him a kiss. Which was more of a smooch and less of a kiss. The difference? Far too much saliva.

McCoy slid his eyes closed, fisted Jim’s hair, kissed back, and then pulled Jim off of him. “On duty? Man you really missed me,” smirked McCoy resting his forehead with Jim’s.

Jim was colored red and Leonard could see the sting of tears in his eyes. “We almost lost you, Bones,” whimpered Jim. He then lightly smacked Leonard. “Fuck EDS, you almost gave me a heart attack!”

"I forgot to take my medicine,” Leonard frowned and slowly stroked Jim’s hair back. “I’ll live until I’m ancient and grey, probably with Spock, or confined to a bed,” said Leonard with a thick swallow. He then looked to Spock and raised a brow.

“Miss Marcus is still here,” said Spock, bluntly.

McCoy looked at her. A red face. “As you were, Miss Marcus.”

Chapter Text

It must be something to see Jim’s rumpled kiss faced… well face and messy hair standing in front of Harrison. Good thing Spock was here or Jim would feel somewhat afraid and anxious to confront this man about the torpedos. “Why are there people in these torpedos?” asked Jim.

Harrison tilted his head as if questioning Jim’s use of the word ‘people’. Instead of saying ‘Men’ or ‘Women’. Jim expected it from him. He is three hundred years old after all. “People?” asked Harrison with a smirk. “Has humanity evolved that much?”

“Why are there people in the torpedos?” asked Jim again with a blank face. He curled a fist though.

Harrison’s face relaxed. “I put them there,” said Harrison with a tilt of his head.

Jim stared at him and straightened his back. “And who are you?” He tried to not curl his toes or fidget in any way, but he found himself peeling a small bit of dry skin off his lower lip.

Harrison looked somewhat taken aback before shrugging his shoulders a little with a smirk. “A relic. Genetically engineered t-”

“Your name. Not your villainous monologue because you like to hear yourself talk,” said Jim with a wave of his arms.

Harrison stood tall and raised a brow like he was displeased with Jim. “Can I finish? Have manners gone out of fashion too?”

“I looked up John Harrison,” said Jim with a tilt of his head. “He didn’t exist up until a year ago.”

Harrison sighed heavily. “My name is Khan. Admiral Marcus made the name John Harrison up.”

Jim narrowed his eyes and waited.

“Your Admiral woke me up when he came across my spaceship, I was recruited to help him advance his cause.”

Jim shifted on his feet and looked over to Spock then back to Khan. “Why would a Starfleet Admiral ask a three hundred year old man for help?”

Khan seemed to growl as he drew closer to the invisible barrier, “Because I’m better.”

Jim walked forward and inhaled a breath. “Better with what?”

“Everything,” said Khan with a sharp grin. “Alexander Marcus needed to respond to an uncivilised threat in a civilised time, and for that he needed a warrior's mind, my mind, to design weapons and warships.”

Spock spoke before Jim could, in fact his voice nearly made Jim jump, “You are suggesting the Admiral violated every regulation he vowed to uphold simply because he wanted to exploit your intellect?”

Khan’s nostrils flared. “Savagery. My Savagery. Intellect only gets you so far, Mister Spock. Intellect is no use in a fight.” He laughed at Spock. “You, You’re Vulcan, what do you know about breaking a bone? About breaking rules? About any feeling?”

Jim straightened his back and narrowed his eyes. “Shut up,” growled Jim surging forward closer to the barrier.

Khan looked at Jim and grinned wide. “Did I hit a nerve?”

Jim took a step back taking in a deep breath.

“Savagery.” Khan grinned. “Where was I? Marcus used me to design weapons, to help him realize his vision of a militarized Starfleet. He sent you to use those weapons. To fire my torpedoes on an unsuspecting planet. And then he purposely crippled your ship in enemy space, leading to one inevitable outcome. The Klingons would come searching for whomever was responsible, and you would have no chance of escape. Marcus would finally have the war he talked about. The war he always wanted.”

Jim took in a deep breath feeling his heart hammer in his chest. The scary thing was he was believing the man, but just because he believed him doesn’t mean he trusted the guy. Doesn’t mean this man wasn’t a murder. “You murdered innocent people,” said Jim. “In cold blood.”

Khan waved his hand in the air. “Marcus took my crew from me.”

“That doesn’t give you the right to murder people,” shouted Jim. “You’re a murderer.”

Khan made a noise, a chuckle, or a scoff. “He used my friends to control me. I hid them in the torpedos to save them,” said Khan soon he became very serious, even looked at Jim with sorrowful eyes, “He took them. My crew. My family.” Khan’s appearance became cold. “I responded in turn.”

Jim shook his head and curled his hands again.

Khan’s gaze flicker to Spock, and than to Jim again. “Is there nothing you wouldn’t do for your Family, Kirk?”

Jim felt a stab in his chest and he inhaled sharply, about to respond when Sulu’s voice filtered in, “Proximity alert, sir. There's a ship at warp heading right for us.”

Jim inhaled sharply and turned to Spock. “Klingons?” Spock asked Sulu.

“We all know who it is,” came Khan’s amused voice.

Jim looked back at Khan and narrowed his eyes. Jim grabs Spock’s arm and motions for him to follow, when they exit Jim turns to the security guard, “Move Khan to medbay. I want six officers on him. That is an order.”

The red shirt nodded. “Yes sir.”

Chapter Text

Spock walked behind Jim on their way to the lift.

Jim was running a hand in his hair, and kept his gaze turned down.

The lift doors opened and they entered.

When the doors slid shut Spock found himself with an arm full- and face full of Jim.

Jim who gripped tightly onto Spock’s shirt as he pulled the Vulcan down for a human kiss that involved far too much teeth grazing lips, but Spock made sure to melt that down into soft tender presses.

“His words did not hurt me, Ashayam,” said Spock into the kiss.

Jim pulled back with softened eyes and a frown. “You’d never admit it if he did,” said Jim. The human nuzzled into Spock.

Spock’s heart swelled as Jim hugged him tighter. “Captain?”

Jim made a soft noise and looked up. “Yes?”

“The…” Spock blushed green and glanced at the open Lift doors. “The doors are open.”

In fact Sulu stood in the open doorway.

Jim pulled back with a small noise that sounded like, “Not like we haven’t walked in on Ben and him kissing.”

“Captain on the bridge,” said Sulu once Jim walked out of the lift and stood near the chair.

Sulu returned to his post after clearing his throat. His face red.

“Shields up. ETA of the ship?” asked Jim as he put on his professional face.

Spock strolled onto the bridge and stood near Uhura. “So are we allowed to kiss our loved ones on the bridge now?” asked the communication’s officer with a grin up at Spock.

“You’ve kissed Christine on the bridge multiple times,” said Spock calmly watching Jim’s actions. “Once when her old lover cloned Jim.”

A large starship dropped out of warp ahead of them.

Spock straightened his posture and pressed his lips together. He felt his fingers twitch.

Uhura didn’t say anything until she lifted her head up and turned toward Jim. “They’re trying to hail us, Captain.”

Jim stood tall and took a breath. “On screen,” he turned to Uhura and held up a finger. “Broadcast it shipwide.” Jim turned back to the view screen. “For the record.”

Uhura simply nodded and pressed a few buttons until Admiral Marcus was on screen with a smiling face. “Captain Kirk.”

Kirk put on a big smile. “Admiral Marcus,” fake joy dripped out of Jim’s vocal cords, it made Spock’s stomach squirm in an unpleasant way. “We weren’t expecting you. Hell of a ship you got there.”

Marcus crinkled his eyes. “I wasn’t expecting to hear word about you capturing Harrison.” a pause. “A violation of your orders.”

Jim still bore that sickeningly sweet smile. “Well that wasn’t planned on. Our warp core malfunctioned you see, quite unexpectedly I must add.” That smile fell from Jim’s face and his eyes bored into the viewscreen. “But you knew about that, didn’t you, sir?”

Marcus faltered all it took was a split second of his smile dropping for Spock to know. Though he had assumed from the beginning that this was a ploy. A ploy for war. He felt rage spike up for a brief moment before he took in a deep breath. It was replaced with sorrow for Jim. Jim who had been used most of his life and was still being used by people higher than him. “I don’t under…”

“Aren’t you here to assist with repairs?” Came Jim’s voice, aloof, and expecting in the same breath, “What else would the head of Starfleet  be doing at the edge of the neutral zone?”

Sulu’s head shot up from the helm. “Captain, they are scanning our ship.”

Jim rocked forward on his feet and tilted his head. “Something I can help you find, sir?” Jim put on a sweet smile once again.

“Where is your prisoner, Kirk?”

Spock realized why Jim had told them to move Khan to sickbay. It was quite smart of Jim. Spock would have to file that away. Jim was dazzling when showing off his intellect. It happened so rarely. He imagined alternate Jim was different from his, from what he has seen from his alternate self, that Jim was different, and Spock decided he’d muse about that later.

“Starfleet regulation states that he is to stand trial, and I intend to transport Khan back to earth,” Jim shifted and curled his fingers.

Marcus opened and closed his mouth before leaning back in his chair. “Well, Shit.” Marcus laughed a little and shifted on the screen. “You talked to him.”

Spock put his hands behind his back and slid his eyes to Jim. Remembering the words he said in the brig. He cracked a smile for a small moment. Villainous monologues just to hear themselves talk. Spock blinked and Focused again in time to hear Marcus’s long winded speech end. He was adopting too many of Jim’s tendencies to drown out unwanted noise.

“I'm asking you, give him to me so that I can end what I started.”

Jim scratched his neck a little bit and tilted his head. “What do you want me to do with his crew?” He shifted on his feet and held his arms out. “Fire them at the Klingons? End seventy two lives? Start a war in the process?”

Spock mentally buckled himself in for another long winded set of words from the Admiral. “He put those people in those torpedoes. And I simply didn't want to burden you with knowing what was inside of them. You saw what this man can do all by himself. Can you imagine what would happen if we woke up the rest of his crew? What else did he tell you? That he's a peacekeeper? He's playing you, son, don't you see that? Khan and his crew were condemned to death as war criminals. And now it is our duty to carry out that sentence before anybody else dies because of him. Now, I'm going to ask you again. One last time, son. Lower your shields. Tell me where he is.”

Spock eyed Jim and flexed his fingers as Jim’s body drooped. “He is in engineering.” Jim held his head up. “I’ll transport him over.”

“I’ll take it from here, Captain Kirk.” The transmission ended.

Jim scowled and looked to Sulu. “Don’t drop a fucking thing. Keep shields up.”

Spock walked over to Jim and placed a hand at the small of his back. “May I ask your plan, Captain?”

Jim glanced at Spock. “We’re taking a fugitive back to earth.”

Spock furrowed his brows.

Jim pressed a few buttons on his chair. “Chekov, can we warp?”

Chekov’s voice filtered over the speaker as Spock blinked and stared at Jim. “Sir, if we go to warp, we run the risk of seriously damaging the core.”

“I do not advise this, Jim,” said Spock.

Jim looked at Spock and frowned. “I asked can we, Chekov.”

Chekov squealed, “Yes, but I do not adwise it.”

“Noted,” said Jim with an inhale of breath and he whipped himself around to face Sulu. “Mister Sulu, set a course for earth.”

Sulu swallowed stiffly. “Yes, Sir.”

Spock flet a rock sink into his stomach. “Jim.”

Jim looked at him with sad eyes and pressed his lips together. “Punch it.”

The Enterprise started to move and Spock frowned. “Jim.”

Jim looked at Spock again with his lips pressed together and his eyes wide. “Spock.”

“You’re an idiot,” said Spock simply.

Jim ran a hand through his hair. “Yeah, I am, All of this is on me, Spock, everything that happens.”

Spock surged forward and gave Jim a soft kiss before pulling back.

“Lieutenant Uhura, contact Starfleet. Tell them we were pursued into the Neutral Zone by an unmarked Federation ship,” said a very red Jim.

Chapter Text

Uhura threw her ear piece on the consol. “Comms are down, Jim.”

Jim picked his head up when the lift doors opened to Carol Marcus who stood in the doorway expectantly. “Permission to come aboard.” Jim felt Spock creep closer.

A glance to the vulcan confirmed his theory that Spock was leering at Carol. “Down,” he said to Spock then turned to Carol. “You’re free to speak here, Carol.”

Carol came down and stood feet from Jim with her hands clasped. “He is going to catch up. You have to let me talk to him. I can be the only thing you have that will save your ship.”

Jim raised a brow at her. “How will he catch up?”

Carol inhaled sharply. “He's been developing a ship that has advanced warp capabilities.” That didn’t sound good.

Jim stared at her. Well fuck.

“Captain, I'm getting a reading I don't understand.”

“FUCK.” screamed Jim as the Enterprise shook with phaser fire.

They dropped out of warp.

“Fuck,” said Jim as Spock had him slung over his shoulder to keep him from falling. “Spock, I’m safe to put down. Please lower me.”

“Yes, Captain,” said Spock as he lowered Jim back to the floor.

Jim dusted himself off and walked over to Sulu. “Where are we? What’s the damage?”

Sulu looked up at Jim and sighed. “We're two hundred thirty seven thousand kilometres from Earth, our weapons are down, “ Sulu inhaled and stared ahead. “Our shields are dropping.”

Darwin rose from the floor where she had been thrown and said, “We’re defenceless, Sir.”

Kevin groaned as he rose from the floor, “We have major damage, Sir. A breach in our bulkheads.”

Jim rubbed his face and took in a deep breath. “Where is the damage?”

The android said, “Major hull damage, Captain.”

Jim took in a deep breath and felt his body sink. The ship shook again and Jim ran a hand in his hair. “Evasive maneuvers get us to earth,” said Jim to Sulu.

Carol released a shrill noise and grabbed a hold of Jim’s shoulder. “Captain, You have to let me talk to him, I could stop this, I know I can.”

Jim took in a few deep breaths. Something in his gut told him no. He held himself up and clenched his hand into a fist. “Fine.” Jim looked over at Uhura. He scowled. “Hail him.”

Uhura nodded and flipped some switches.

Carol gave Jim a smile and turned. “Sir, it’s me. It’s Carol.”

Jim stood tall and took in some deep breaths his mind was reeling. He curled his toes in his shoes and took in another deep breath.

Marcus showed up on the screen his eyebrows drown down and mouth slightly open. He swallowed. “What are you doing on that ship?”

Jim inhaled a breath.

Carol inhaled deeply. “I heard what you said.” she swallowed. “That you made a mistake…”

Made a mistake my ass, thought Jim.

“...and now you're doing everything you can to fix it.” Carol’s voice shook and she looked at the screen. “But Dad, I-I don't believe that the man who raised me is capable of destroying a ship full of innocent people. And, if I'm wrong about that, then you're gonna have to do it with me on board.” she swallowed again, thickly.

Marcus stared at her. “Actually, Carol, I won’t.”

Tendrils of light from a transporter curled around her.

She turned to Jim with wide eyes and parted lips, “Jim-”

Jim’s stomach sank. “Can we intercept the transport signal?”

“No, sir,” said an ensign in red.

Carol screamed and ran as she was being transported.

Jim looked to Spock. “Captain Kirk, without authorisation,” began Marcus.

He could fix this.

Spock looked at Jim. “And in league with the fugitive John Harrison.”

It’s his fault.

Jim inhaled sharply. “You went rogue in enemy territory, leaving me no choice but to hunt you down and destroy you.” Jim looked to Marcus. “Lock phasers.”

“WAIT!” Jim ran forward. “Wait. Wait. Sir. Please-” His orders.

“I'll make this quick. Target all aft torpedoes on the Enterprise brid-”

“THEY were following my orders,” Jim hated the way his voice sounded, the way he was forcing words out of a tight throat, “I take full responsibility for my actions. They were mine and they were mine alone.” The way Marcus was looking at him. “If I transmit Khan's location to you now, all that I ask is that you spare them.” The way he knew Spock was looking at him. “Please, sir. I'll do anything you want. Just let them live.” Begging for his crew’s lives.

Rules never meant anything. The last time rules actually meant anything to Jim was when he smiled up at his older brother. “That's a hell of an apology. But if it's any consolation, I was never going to spare your crew. Fire when-” the transmission cut out.

Rules still meant nothing in the thick of it all. He already knew that. Everything in his body felt like lead. “I’m sorry,” he said to the bridge. He turned slowly and looked at Spock, looked to Uhura, and looked to Sulu. “I ever tell you guys that I love you?” He gave a smile that didn’t reach his eyes.

Spock walked forward and wrapped his arms around Jim, Uhura also rose from her station and wrapped Jim in a hug. Sulu stayed at his station, Jim closed his eyes and breathed in Spock deeply. He smelled like Bones’ stupid soap. Yeah he could die like thi-

“Their weapons aren’t firing,” said Sulu’s voice and Jim automatically pulled back from the hug.

“Excuse me what?” of course… He’ll die alone. The Universe would do that to him.

“Oh thank the lord. I was not ready to die,” said Uhura with her arms up in the air. “No offence.” she gave a pointed stare directly at Spock.

“None taken.”

Sulu smiled and laughed. “Their weapons are powered down.”

Jim grinned. He was about to speak when a voice filtered in over the speakers.

“Hello? Enterprise,” Jim was so happy to hear his voice, “Can ye hear me?”

Jim laughed, “Scotty!”

“Guess what I found behind Jupiter? It’s a big ship. That’s what I found.”

Jim laughed. “Have I told you I love you, Scotty?”

“Aye,” crackled Scotty’s voice. “Now seeing as I snuck onto a federation ship and committed an act of treason on a Starfleet Admiral; I’d really like to get beamed out now.”

Jim swallowed. “We can’t do that right now, Scotty.”

Scotty was quiet for some time. “What did they do to my ship, Captain?”

“We’re low on power-”

Chapter Text

“-Call you back, I got a wee problem.” and Scotty’s line went dead.

Spock released a breath and ran a hand in his hair.

“Scotty!” shouted Jim.

With a heavy sigh Jim turned to Spock with a soft gaze, and asked, “Spock, How’s the ship holding up?”

Spock tilted his head slightly and felt his nails dig into his scalp before he pulled his hand back and held them behind his back. “Our options are limited, Ashayam.” He did not care in this moment if he appeared professional. At any moment they could die, and Spock needed- and wanted to show Jim affection. “We cannot fire and we cannot flee.” He extended his two fingers to the Human. It looked to be a no win scenario, and he knew how Jim felt about those.

“There is one option.” Jim stared at the extended digits before meeting it in a Vulcan kiss.

Jim’s head then turned to Uhura. “Uhura, when you get Scotty back, patch him through.”

Uhura nodded and replied with, “Yes, Captain.”

Spock felt his stomach twisted as Jim turned his gaze back to Spock. “Spock?” The only way now was to take the ship from the inside. To save the Enterprise. To save their crew.

“Yes?” asked Spock, his face unmoving while his mind threw thoughts around.

Jim smiled at him, a smile that didn’t reach his eyes, and Spock’s guts tightened. “You have the conn.”

Their fingers pulled back and Jim headed to the lift.

Spock followed after Jim. Once behind the doors of the lift Spock said, “I strongly object.”

He felt Jim shift closer and their fingers intertwined. “I haven’t said anything,” said Jim with a calm low tone.

Spock wanted to say Jim did not need to. He curled his fingers around Jim’s in a tight, not vulcan tight, squeeze. “Since we cannot take the ship from the outside, the only way we can take it is from within.” He felt Jim stiffen and the human rested his head on Spock’s shoulder. “A large boarding party would be detected, it is optimal for you to take as few members of the crew as possible.”

The doors opened.

Jim began untangling their hands, but they walked in stride. Perfect unison like they had done many times before.

Jim was silent as Spock continued, “You will meet resistance, requiring personnel with advanced combat abilities and innate knowledge of that ship.” Jim was thinking of taking Khan, a man Spock was not so trusting of, He didn’t think Jim was all that trusting of Khan either, “This indicates that you plan to align with Khan, the very man we were sent here to destroy.”

Jim’s steps faltered and Spock turned his head and looked into Jim’s eyes, there was a fire there, “I'm using him. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Spock raised his brow and felt Jim’s fingers graze his knuckles. “An Arabic proverb attributed to a prince who was betrayed and decapitated by his own subjects.” It made Spock want to kiss Jim. Which nothing was stopping him from doing it so why couldn’t he just push Jim against the corridor and give him a kiss?

“It's a hell of a quote,” said Jim, who had turned his head away from Spock. “You’re giving me that look again, I won’t object to it, but we are on a time crunch here.”

Spock looked forward once again. “I wish to go with you.”

They continued their walk to medical bay.

“That I’m objecting to.” a pause from Jim. “I need you on the bridge.”

Spock frowned visibly and lowered his brows, “It is my function aboard this ship to advise you on making the wisest decisions possible, something I firmly believe you are incapable of doing in this moment.”

Jim spun around and pushed Spock into the bulkhead. Something Spock allowed.

Spock gasped and stared down at Jim with furrowed brows.

Jim looked up at him with his lips pressed together. “You're right, Spock,” said the human, “What I'm about to do,” It wasn’t any pressure being pushed into the bulkhead, Jim lowered his eyes and inhaled before looking back up, “Doesn't make any sense, it's not logical.”

Spock stroked his fingers over Jim’s jawline.

Jim inhaled sharply and his eyes softened. “It is a gut feeling. I have no idea what I'm supposed to do, Spock.” Something wavered in Jim’s voice and Spock wanted to comfort his partner, “I only know what I can do.” Jim rested his head in Spock’s chest. “The Enterprise and her crew need someone in that chair that knows what he's doing. It's not me. It's you, Spock.” Jim had lifted his chin up.

Spock closed the gap between them with a soft human kiss. “I’ll do what I can, Ashayam.”

Jim smiled at him before he pulled back.

“Don’t die,” said Spock before he made the motions to return to the bridge.

"I'll try not to!" Spock heard Jim shout as the lift doors closed.

Chapter Text

Leonard was not surprised to have Jim whoosh into the medical bay with a demanding tone, “Tell me everything you know about that ship.”

This was to Khan of course who was seated on a biobed while Leonard unearthed a tribble. He needed to test Khan’s regenerative blood, it was a medical miracle to say the least, and that was the least of it. Leonard could just imagine Spock’s furrowed brow saying ‘Fascinating’. Either way, Khan and Jim became background noise in favor of some medical research.

“Bones, what are you doing with that tribble?” asked Jim as Leonard suddenly realized Jim was standing over him.

Leonard looked up and found that Jim had his lips parted slightly and a raised brow. “The tribble is dead,” said Leonard, which made Jim raise his eyebrow higher, “I'm injecting Khan's platelets into the deceased tissue of a necrotic host.” he turned back to the tribble. “Khan's cells regenerate like nothing I've ever seen, and I want to know why.”

Jim’s hand ran along Leonard’s shoulder, and Leonard looked up once again with a small frown.

“You’re going out there aren’t you.” Leonard didn’t say it as a question. Didn’t want an answer knowing Jim would be thrusting himself into danger. Putting himself in danger.

Jim didn’t say anything in return just gave Leonard a soft kiss that held far too much passion to be a simple goodbye. “Something to look forward to,” whispered Jim.

Louder to Khan he said, “You coming with me or not?”

They exited the medical bay doors, and Leonard felt his heart squeeze in his chest. It was suffocating. So he did what he knew best. Threw himself down into his work and injected the tribble with Khan’s blood.

Chapter Text

Spock’s heart squeezed against his side. He should make sure Leonard was going to be okay, He should comfort the Doctor, and tell him he wouldn’t let Jim die. Instead Spock found himself on the bridge in an open communication with Jim, Khan, and Scotty. Scotty sounded like he was having a difficult time on the other ship.

Spock turned to Uhura. “Lieutenant, from our current position, is it possible to establish contact with New Vulcan?” Spock wanted to run this by his older self, though logically his older-self would not give him much insight to the situation at hand, Prime had logically declined a lot of universe sharing, but was forthcoming with stories of the older McCoy and Older Jim. Often with sadness and tears in his aged eyes.

“I’ll do my best,” said Uhura.

Spock blinked and looked over at her with a nod. “Thank you.”

She smiled at him.

Spock sat in the Captain’s chair and turned his head to Mister Sulu. “Mister Sulu, what is the status of the other ship?”

Sulu raised his head from the conn. “Their systems are still offline. I'm aligning our ship now.”

Uhura was sure to keep the comms open, Spock could hear Jim’s voice talking to Scotty. It did little to calm any slurry of cramping in his stomach.

“Commander,” Spock snapped his head toward Sulu, “Our trash exhaust is aimed at access port one oh one A of the other ship.”

Spock made a noise between acknowledging Sulu and brushing him off. Spock spoke into the open channel, “The ships are aligned, Jim.”

There was a cough from Uhura and a small pitch change from Jim, “Copy that.” It was followed by some more talking.

“Did you find the manual override?” asked Spock.

He could imagine Jim flicked up his head like an animal who had just been caught stealing food as he said, “The manual override, Scotty.”

“Jim, before you launch, you should be aware there is a considerable debris field between our ships,” said Spock.

He could hear Jim groan, “Not now Spock.” followed by a “Scotty, you good?”

The lift doors opened.

Spock glanced back only to have Leonard crowd the Captain’s chair and put his hand over Spock’s. “Tell me this is going to work,” said the Doctor, just above a whisper.

Spock did not know what to tell Leonard. Just moved their hands to squeeze the rougher ones. “ I have neither the information nor the confidence to do so, Ashaya.”

Spock could tell Leonard had narrowed his eyes at him while Scotty said, “Okay, Captain, stand by.”

“Boy, you're a real comfort,” grumbled Leonard, but it didn't matter what Leonard said. In that moment the Doctor was squeezing Spock’s hands tightly and Spock could feel Leonard was comforted just by Spock being there.

Scotty’s voice crackled over the speaker, “Okay, okay! I'm set to open the door.”

It was followed by the quieter voices of Jim and Khan. Then Jim said, “Spock, pull the trigger.”

It caused Leonard to let go of Spock’s hands. The Doctor crouched on the floor and ran his hands in his hair. “Yes, Jim. Launching activation sequence on.” Spock took in a deep breath.

“Three.” He heard Leonard inhaled sharply.

“Two.” Leonard let out a wet noise.

“One.” Leonard was curled up tighter and Jim was rocketing through space.

“Sir, Kirk is headed for collision at point four three two.”

Spock gripped the edge of the captain’s chair.

Chapter Text

“Jim, there is debris directly ahead.” crackled Spock’s voice.

It was worse than Spock telling Jim ‘I told you so’, but Jim simply replied, “Copy that.” As he swerved around the obstruction and the thrusters just pulled him too far from where he was meant to be going.

Bones’s honey whiskey voice filtered in over the comm, “You’re way off course.”

Jim pressed his lips together and inhaled. “I know, Bones, I can see that.”

Sulu and Bones spoke at the same time but Sulu’s voice was louder as he said, “Use your display compass, Captain. You must correct precisely thirty seven point two four three degrees.”

Jim sighed and the display lit up showing him where to go. “Got it. Making my way back on track.” He began maneuvering his way way back. “Scotty you going to be ready?”

There was no reply.

“Mister Scott?” asked Jim.

Uhura’s voice filtered over the comm, “I’ll work on getting you back to him, he doesn’t seem to be able to hear you.”

“Thank-” he jumped in his skin when something hit his face plate and it fractured slightly. “Fuck.”

Spock almost sounded frantic- or maybe it was Bones trying to shove Spock off the comms, either way frantic vulcan, “What happened, Jim?”

Jim sighed, “My helmet was hit,” he heard Bones release a strangled noise, this was probably not helping the Doctor with his fear of space. “Uhura have you gotten Scotty back?”

Uhura groaned, “No. Not yet I’m still working on the signal.”

Jim released a breath the small cracks becoming larger. Ah yes this was more of the universe’s way of saying, You’ll die alone. In space.

“His communicator is working. l don't know why he isn't responding,” said Uhura.

Jim grunted and listened to Spock and Sulu talk to Khan. Jim wasn’t trusting the popsicle. He’d definitely think of a way to make sure they have an upper hand on him. “Mister Sulu, did we lose Khan?” asked Spock’s voice.

Jim blinked.

“I don't know, Commander. I'm having trouble tracking him in all this debris,” said Sulu.

Jim furrowed his brows and glanced around inside the helmet. “Was Khan hit?”

Spock’s voice filtered in, “We are trying to find him now.”

Jim nodded his head a little and bit his lower lip. The cracks were growing larger. “Captain, you need to adjust your target destination to one eight three by four seven three degrees,” said Sulu.

Jim opened his mouth then shut it, the cracks glitched his display, “Well fuck,” whispered the Captain.

“Jim, don’t ‘well fuck’ us,” came Bones’s voice.

“Spock, I lost the display,” Jim swallowed and glanced around. “I’m flying blind.”

Spock was silent for some time before he said, “Jim, without your display compass, hitting your target destination is mathematically impossible.”

Jim scoffed, “Spock, if I get back, we really need to talk about your bedside manner.”

“You have never complained before about my ‘bedside’ manner, Ashayam.” Spock almost sounded amused and Jim blushed.
Jim chuckled somewhat amused, “Not in front of the crew, Spock.” Not in front of the murderer, Spock. Went unsaid.

Khan’s voice filtered in over the comms, “My display is still functioning. I see you, Kirk. You're two hundred metres ahead of me at my one o'clock. Come to your left a few degrees and follow me.”

Jim nodded and followed Khan. His guts churned and squeezed as he inhaled deeply. “Scotty, we're getting close. We need a warm welcome.”

No answer.

“Do you copy?”

No answer.

“Scotty?” asked Jim in a whisper.

Spock’s voice filtered in, “If you can hear us, Mister Scott, open the door in ten, nine-”

The door grew closer and closer and Jim inhaled. “Scotty,” he shouted.

“Eight.” Jim felt his breathing grow short.

“Seven.”

Jim’s heart rate spiked. “Scotty?”

“Six, Five.” He couldn’t hear. His ears buzzed loudly.

“Scotty, Where the fuck are you?” he shouted.

“Three.”

“SCOTTY OPEN THE FUCKING DOOR!”

“Two.”

“MISTER SCOTT OPEN THE DOOR-”

Jim shut his eyes and felt his body impact with the floor. He opened his eyes and shakily stood up. “Welcome aboard,” said Scotty’s smiling face.

Again it had that calming effect to Jim and all the fear melted away as he embraced the engineer in a hug. “Great to see you, Scotty.”

Scotty stiffened and pointed toward Khan. “Who’s that?”

Jim inhaled and turned to look at the man.

Khan looked about ready to go into his long speech when Jim glared and said, “Khan.” He pulled back from Scotty. “This is Mister Scott.”

Khan raised a brow, “You finished?” and the man complained about Jim’s manners. “They'll know we're here. I know the best way to the bridge.”

 

Jim scowled and began to strip of the suit.

“Captain!” shouted Scotty shielding his eyes.

“It’s nothing you haven’t seen, Scotty,” grumbled Jim as Khan changed clothes as well.

Once done Jim handed Khan a phaser, “It’s locked on stun.”

“Theirs won’t,” said Khan.

Jim got into his face and smirked then. “Try not to get shot then.”

Chapter Text

Spock would say he wasn’t chewing on his finger nails, nor was he running a hand through his hair, not that anyone was commenting on it.

Uhura placed a hand on Spock’s shoulder causing the vulcan to jump and put his hands in his lap. “Commander, I have that transmission as requested.”

Spock looked up at her and nodded. “Put it on screen, please.”

Uhura nodded and walked over to her station. “Stand by.”

An elderly Vulcan man appeared on screen, he raised his head slightly, and almost seemed to smile with his eyes. “Mister Spock.”

Spock swallowed and greeted the elder, “Mister Spock.” He remembered when he had last seen the elder. Apparently he had his relationship later in life with the two humans. Which means they must had done something... different.

“How are Leonard and Jim?” asked Prime.

“I cannot lie. They are a mess.” Spock inhaled deeply. “I’ll make this brief,” he shifted in the captain’s chair and watched Prime’s wise eyes follow his movements, “In your travels, did you ever encounter a man named Khan?”

Prime’s eyes widened and he stiffened in his chair. He pressed his lips together briefly and released a breath, “As you know, I have made a vow never to give you information that could potentially alter your destiny. Your path is yours to walk, and yours alone.”

Spock felt his stomach cramp, he bit his lower lip, and casted his eyes down to the side. “I-”

“That being said,” began Prime again with his wrinkled eyes filling with brief sadness, “Khan Noonien Singh is the most dangerous adversary the Enterprise ever faced.” The cramped feeling grew tighter. “He is brilliant, ruthless, and he will not hesitate to kill every single one of you.”

Spock sat up straight and tilted his head, “Did you defeat him?”

Prime’s eyes went unfocused for a moment as if in remembrance, then he once again focused on Spock, “At great cost. Yes.”

Spock drew his brows down and curled his fingers. “How?”
___

Leonard furrowed his brows, “You want me to do what?” he asked Spock with squinted eyes. Leonard watched as Spock lofted a brow.

“Did you not hear me prior?” asked Spock.

God he’d be upset with Spock if there wasn’t a chance of helping Jim in all of this, “You want me to trigger the torpedoes?”

Spock nodded and rubbed the back of his neck.

“I’m a doctor, not a torpedo technician, Spock,” said Leonard with a frown.

Spock pressed his lips together, “The fact you are a doctor is why I need you, listen closely.”

Chapter Text

Jim took a sharp inhale and looked over to Scotty. “Where is he?” asked Scotty with a wave of the phaser.

Jim rubbed the back of his neck and groaned, “Shit.” They would lose Khan.

“This way,” came Khan’s voice which made Jim jump. Khan was behind them going into the direction he pointed.

Scotty was about to follow when Jim held out an arm. Scotty looked over at Jim with a raised brow.

“When we get to the bridge,” began Jim in a hushed tone, “Drop him.”

Scotty sputtered and raised both his eyebrows. “Stun Khan? I thought he was helping us?”

Jim stared off in the direction Khan went. “I’m pretty sure we’re helping him.” He lowered his arm and they continued to follow Khan.

The dark skinned man stood expectantly at a door with a raised brow.

“After you,” said Jim with an extension of his arm.

Khan grinned and opened the door- “Aye, Sir,” said the voice of one of the helm before he was stunned by the three entering the room.

Scotty stunned Khan and stood over the man with a thick swallow.

Carol moved out of the way quickly.

“Keep him down,” said Jim as he stepped further onto the bridge and faced Marcus. “Admiral Marcus, you're under arrest.” Jim stood tall and released a breath.

Marcus looked at Jim with a tilted head. “You aren’t actually doing this, are you?”

Jim put his hands on his hips. “Admiral, get out of the chair.”

Marcus visibly swallowed. “You'd better stop and think about what you're doing, Kirk.” A pause. “You'd better think about what you did on Qo'noS. You made an incursion onto an enemy planet. You killed a Klingon patrol. Even if you got away without a trace, war is coming. And who is going to lead us? You? If I'm not in charge, our entire way of life is decimated! So if you want me off this ship, you better kill me.”

Jim raised a brow and tilted his head back. “I’m not going to kill you, Sir.” he paused and looked over to Carol and gave her a smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes, he then looked to Marcus again, “I could stun your ass and drag you out of that chair. I'd rather not do that.”

He glanced to Carol then back to Marcus. “Well, not in front of your daughter.” He’d definitely drop Marcus in front of his daughter, but he actually liked Carol... He smiled a little at her. “You okay over there?”

Carol nodded before her eyes went wide. “JIM!”

Jim turned his head to see Khan had sprang to life. Jim definitely did not jump and scream slightly as Khan pushed him to the ground and started to punch him. Fuck did it hurt.

Payback's a bitch. Khan punched him again and again. He ripped Jim up by his hair.

Jim grabbed the other man’s elbow and grunted in pain.

Khan kneed him in the groin, which honestly hurt like a son of a bitch, and threw Jim to the ground. Everything became loud, it became a buzzing in his ears, and pain blooming in his body from ever spot that hit the ground and got hit. He heard Carol scream. Heard the snapping of bone. Felt nausea hit him when he looked up, saw, heard, he wanted to throw up, Carol screamed louder, and Khan stood with blood on his hands.

It brought Tarsus to the forefront of his brain. His breath picked up and his heart hammered in his chest. He took a deep breath to will the images away. Had to remember that Kodos was dead. Really fucking dead. Died on the Enterprise.

Khan walked over and stood above Jim.

Jim whimpered and gritted his teeth. “Fuck you,” hissed out Jim.

Khan scoffed and pulled Jim up by his neck.

Jim was suddenly aware that he was staring at the view screen, and Khan pushed him. Jim made a noise and Khan grabbed the back of his hair and held a phaser to the back of his neck.

Jim took in a deep breath.

“I'm going to make this very simple for you,” hissed Khan’s slimy voice.

Jim could hear Spock. Could see Spock’s face and his wide brown eyes. “Captain.” Jim slid his eyes shut. The Vulcan would call him Captain in a time like this. With a phaser plastered to the back of his neck, it was probably set to kill too.

“Your crew,” said Khan lowering the gun ever so slightly to Jim’s shoulder blades, “For my crew.”

Honestly Jim wanted to roll his eyes or even laugh as Spock said in the bluntest way, “You betrayed us.”

Yeah Spock. It’s what bad guys do, mused Kirk mentally. Honestly this was the only thought keeping him mostly away from thinking about Tarsus. Seeing Spock’s face. Spock shouldn’t give Khan back his crew though.

“Oh you are smart, Mister Spock,” said Khan.

Jim didn’t hear his voice didn’t think about saying anything, but he hissed out, “Spock, don’t-” and then even Spock’s face went black as pain bloomed in the back of his skull and he met the floor once again.

Chapter Text

Spock did not feel rage and he did not flinch forward when Jim had fallen, Okay he had flinched forward and he felt rage, but only a small bit. Rage that Khan had hurt his Ashayam. Rage, sorrow, determination for this to work. “Give me my people, Mister Spock.”

In order for this to work he couldn’t just hand them over right away, he needed to play logically, and play it well. “What will you do when you get them?” asked Spock, bluntly.

Khan seemed to inhale for a moment and pause for a beat. “Continue the work we were doing before we were banished.”

Spock tilted his head back slightly. “Which, as I understand it, involves the mass genocide of any being you find to be less than superior.” he even shook his head a small bit.

Khan’s dark eyes bore deeply into Spock’s very being. He felt no compassion in that stare, That stare held nothing of value. “Shall I destroy you, Mister Spock?” Khan barely paused, “Or will you give me what I want?”

Spock’s throat bobbed with a swallow. He opened his mouth and said, “We have no transporter capabilities.” Spock’s hands were curled into fists behind his back, he could feel them shaking, but he kept his facial expressions in check.

Khan’s expression didn’t change, “Fortunately mine are perfectly functional.” his forehead wrinkled as he growled, “Drop your shields.”

Spock inhaled slowly. “If I do so,” he swallowed a little, “I have no guarantee that you will not destroy the Enterprise.”

Spock now knew the joys Jim got out of getting an emotional response as Khan’s eyebrow and facial muscles twitched. Maybe joy wasn’t the right word in this situation. “Well, let's play this out logically then, Mister Spock.”

Spock felt his stomach tighten. It twisted and turned with every word from Khan’s mouth.

“Firstly, I will kill your boyfriend to demonstrate my resolve.” Spock’s heart squeezed it felt like it was almost too hard to breathe, so he sectioned off the thoughts, and feelings with duct tape walls. Things that would not hold, but they would do for now. “Then if yours holds, I will have no choice but to kill you and your entire crew.”

Spock didn’t waver, “If you destroy our ship, you will also destroy your own people.”

Khan narrowed his eyes, “Your crew requires oxygen to survive, mine does not. I will target your life support systems located behind the aft nacelle. And after every single person aboard your ship suffocates, I will walk over your cold corpses to recover my people. Now, shall we begin?”

Spock inhaled and pressed his lips together. Then turned his head down to Sulu. “Lower shields.”

In the same breath that it took Khan to say, “A wise choice, Mister Spock.” He heard Jim gasp, grunt, sputter, and cough. Khan moved in the ship. “I see your seventy two torpedoes are still in their tubes. If they are not mine, Commander, I will know it.”

Spock smirked a little to himself as he said, “Vulcans do not lie.” He of course had to as Leonard would say ‘rein’ in the smile. “The torpedos are yours.”

After a few seconds Khan smiled and said, “Thank you, Mister Spock.”

Spock stood tall and looked at Khan. “I have fulfilled your terms. Now fulfil mine.”

He heard Jim cough and spit. As the line went dead.

Chapter Text

Jim’s head swam as he found himself spitting blood onto the pristine white floor of the holding cells. He heard Scotty kick on the barrier and shout, “LET US OUT OF HERE!” As red alert sounded and the Enterprise quaked.

They were released.

Jim found himself on his feet, helping Carol to her feet, Scotty helped as well, and they tried to make their way out of the brig.

They turned down a corridor and Jim inhaled a deep breath as Spock’s command voice filtered in over the ship, “Crew of the Enterprise , prepare for imminent proximity detonation.”

Jim’s mind swam with what Spock meant by that and recalled the torpedos. A slow grin spread across his lips.

“What's he talking about? What detonation?” asked Scotty over all the noise.

Jim stumbled along the hall with them. “The torpedoes,” said Jim almost breathless. “ He armed the damn torpedoes .”

“Can we leave the bedroom voice in the bedroom?” asked Carol with an eye roll and a gasp in pain.

Jim laughed. “Sorry, Sorry.”

Jim didn’t know where they were heading to until they ended up in medical bay. “BONES!” shouted Jim as Carol screamed. “BONES!”

He saw Bones look up from a patient and the first thing the doctor even said was, “Nurse Chapel!” and the blonde nurse came running taking Carol from Jim and Scotty’s hold.

“Hello, Christine,” said Carol, she sounded breathless, Jim wouldn’t doubt it was from all the pain of having your leg basically snapped in half by a power hungry very old man.

“Carol,” said Christine with a soft smile.

Christine looked off into the medical bay and called out, “Nyota, I need assistance.”

Uhura rushed over and helped Christine. Jim saw the communications officer glance over at Scotty and she gave him a smile.

Jim pretended to not see Scotty watch Uhura with a look Jim knew all too well. God, couldn’t they both get the hints? Jim crossed his arms and nudged Scotty’s rib.

“Good to see you Jim,” that sweet southern drawl drew Jim’s attention over to Bones. Who Jim thought looked absolutely sweaty and gorgeous under these medical bay lights. The red alert lights really highlighted that gorgeous facial structure.

Jim bit his lower lip and drew closer to the Doctor. “Bones,” Jim didn’t think about it he wrapped his arms around the doctor. “You helped him with those torpedoes didn’t you?” he asked without letting go of the hug.

Bones didn’t reply quickly, he pushed back from him, and placed a hand on Jim’s face. “Damn right I did.”

Jim suddenly frowned and furrowed his brows as Bones traced his lower lip with a thumb. “He killed Khan’s crew.”

Bones shook his head and gave Jim a soft kiss.

Jim slid his eyes closed and fisted his hands in that shiny medical shirt. He returned the affections without a pause.

Scotty had cleared his throat loudly and Jim could just imagine Bones was flipping off the engineer, because Bones just deepened the kiss with a swipe of his tongue and a grip to the hair on the back of Jim’s head.

That Jim all to easily allowed this from Bones and even moved to grip onto the other’s arm.

Uhura cleared her throat and the two pulled back immediately.

“Oh, so Nyota does it and you stop. I do it, you toss me the bird, and shove your tongue in his mouth,” complained Scotty.

Jim watched as Uhura gave Scotty’s shoulder a squeeze.

Scotty looked at the hand like it was going to burn if it left, and Uhura gave him a longing stare.

Jim cleared his throat and they didn’t stop.

Then Bones coughed and the two pulled back quickly. “Anyways, Spock’s not that cold, Jim. I’ve got Khan’s crew.” Jim followed Bones’s eyes and opened his mouth. “Seventy-two human popsicles safe and sound in their cryo tubes.”

Jim grinned and turned to Bones giving him one more kiss. “Fuck, you’re amazing,” rasped out Jim.

Bones colored red and cleared his throat. Then something dawned on Jim. Something that Khan had said. Malfunction in the warp core .

Jim jumped and looked to Scotty. “Warp core.” No explanations just blurted the word and grabbed Scotty’s shoulders.

Scotty jumped at the contact and blinked. “Aye common!”

Jim looked to Bones and gave him a final kiss holding his face. Before he followed Scotty out. “STAY SAFE, LEONARD!” he shouted as he left the Medical bay.

They enter the corridor and are pressed against the wall Scotty screamed, “One bloody day I’m off this ship. ONE BLOODY DAY .”

Jim laughed as he slid down the corridor. It wasn’t fun for long as gravity failed and he tried to find a finger grip on the corridor. Then there was having to grip tightly onto the landing. He shut his eyes and inhaled sharply. Someone screamed and whizzed past his head.

The computer’s voice filtered over them, “Attention, all decks. Evacuation protocols initiated. Proceed to exit bays and report to your assigned shuttle.”

He could hear Scotty’s voice over it all, “There won't be time for evacuation if we don't get power to stabilise the damn ship.”

Jim already knew this. “We have to get to the warp core to restore power,” he shouted. The ship righted itself and Jim stood up with panting breaths. He started toward engineering.  

Scotty called his name and Jim looked over to find the engineer staring up with wide eyes. “Scotty, common.”

They ran. They ran on the floor until that became the wall. As another corridor became a drop. “You’re going to have to jump, Scotty,” called Jim over the noise of the crumbling ship and screams.

“EXCUSE ME?” came Scotty’s voice.

Jim screamed, “ JUMP JUMP .” Jim cleared the jump and kept running.

“Oh God.”

He only knew Scotty made it because he could hear the man’s foot falls behind him.

They made it to the engineering section and Jim was reminded of when they had run the narrow supports back when Nero had been their biggest issue. He didn’t have time to reminisce. Didn’t have time to do much of anything as the Enterprise lurched once more and they were holding on for dear life.

“Jim?” it was something in the engineer's voice that made Jim turn his head.

Jim swallowed thickly. “Hold on.”

Scotty shook his head and bit his lower lip. “I can’t.” Scotty began to drop and Jim grabbed the Scotsman's arm.

Scotty gripped onto Jim.

Jim feels his hand start to sweat, he tried to pull them up, and his fingers just slipped. He braced for an impact that didn’t come as two hands squeezed tight around his arm.

Jim looked up and grinned. “Chekov!”

The young boy gave a lopsided grin. “I’ve got you, Keptian,” said the grinning ensin.

Scotty shouted, “Don’t let go.”

Jim laughed at the thought of a classic movie. Chekov was able to pull them up and the Enterprise righted itself again. Jim took in a deep breath and followed Scotty and Chekov through the winding engineering section.

“Even if we get the warp core online, we've still got to redirect the power,” shouted Scotty back at Jim.

Chekov nodded in agreement and said, “He eez right, Keptain.”

Jim raised a brow and pulled his lips back, scowling. “What are you talking about?” Not that he didn’t take an engineering class at the Academy, but Scotty and Chekov didn’t need to know that. Only Bones knew that and to some extension Spock knew, because Jim had also taken a few science classes.

Scotty called over his shoulder, “Someone has to hit the manual override. Laddie, there's a switch. It’s-”

“-Behind the deflector dish,” shouted Chekov with a grin, “I’ll flip eet!”

They stopped running for a moment and breathed looking at one and other. Kirk grinned at Chekov. “Let’s get going.”

They split off, Jim followed Scotty. Hyper focused on getting this shit done.

The computer sported some flashing lights and repeated in monotone, “Core misaligned. Danger.”

Scotty released a series of ‘no’ and leaned into the display.

Jim took deep breaths and placed his hands on his knees. “What is it?” he asked. It couldn’t be good. Then again nothing was good in this moment.

Scotty threw his arms this way and that way as he spoke, “The housings are misaligned.”

Jim furrowed his brows and straightened his back.

“There's no way we can redirect the power,” said Scotty as he turned to Jim.

Jim’s mind drew a blank. There was a moment when nothing was running through it.

“The ship's dead, sir.”

What would you do to save your crew? Came the thought.

“She’s gone.”

To save your family?

I’d die , thought Jim with a frown as he looked back to the warp core and then to Scotty. He gave a smile that didn’t reach his eyes and said, “No, she's not.” He sprinted his way through the sharp corners.

Scotty followed. “Wait, Jim! If we go in there, we'll die!” he called.

Jim didn’t answer just turned a corner.

“Do you hear me? The radiation will kill us!” shouted Scotty.

Jim made it to the door.

“Will you listen to me?” asked Scotty.

Jim barely looked up and started pressing the buttons.

“What are you doing?” asked Scotty.

Jim looked back at Scotty with what he hoped would be soft eyes. “I’m opening the door.”

Scotty stood with an open maw.

“I’m going in,” said Jim.

Scotty threw his hands up. “That door is there to stop us from getting irradiated!”

They wouldn’t be going together.

Jim held his thumb down on the access panel.

“We'd be dead before we made the climb!”

Jim looked to Scotty and pulled his hand back from the panel. “You're not making the climb,” muttered Jim just a little below a whisper as he turned and punched Scotty in the face. “I’m sorry,” said Jim as he buckled Scotty into the chair and returned to open the doors.

He took a deep breath and casted his eyes down. He thought about Spock. How he didn’t kiss the Vulcan goodbye. How Spock would have punched his lights out for even thinking about going in, or well at least nerve pinched him. He turned the lock and opened the door. “I’m sorry, Spock,” he muttered as he entered the small room. He thought about how much of an idiot he was. How Leonard would scream ‘DAMMIT JIM!’ and plead for him not to be such a baby about this. “I’m sorry, Bones,” he said out loud as he opened up the Jefferies tube.

Tears stung his face as the radiation soaked into his skin. It wasn’t instantaneous, just felt like it was a leech slowly zapping away at his body’s functions. He crawled through the tube and thought about Spock and Leonard. He thought about having them be safe and alive without him. How they would sure as hell be sad and angry with him. They’d get over it right? Have a funeral of their young captain. Grieve. Do something with their lives. Live happy with each other.

The tube led into a much larger room that glowed and sparked. He had to climb up to find the issue. The missalined core.

Jim didn’t want to die. He had Bones and Spock. There was no more Tarsus. No more Kodos. No more Asshole Frank.

He thought that as he climbed the object and gripped onto the top with his hands. There was no thought of having to live another day without food. It could just be Bones, Spock, and Jim.

Like the universe always seemed to draw Jim to Spock and Jim to Leonard. How they were meant for eachother. He shut his eyes and took in a deep inhale. He pulled back his legs and swinged backwards, extending his legs, and dug them into the base of the warp core.

He thought about Bones. How he’d met him on that shuttlecraft in Riverside. Anyone could have sat next to him and it was Bones who had. Beautiful blue eyed Bones with alcohol on his breath and scruffy hair protruding his face. Bones who by all means should have been put with another Medical track cadet and he was put with Jim. His feet met the base of the core again.

Then there was Spock. Beautiful, graceful, stupid hot faced Spock, who had done so much for Jim in the past, and Jim loved him. Loved his stupid face even as it almost died for the twenty first time in a god damn active volcano. Spock would have done this, he thought as his feet contacted with the base again, and again. He still had to tell Spock and Bones about Tarsus...

God. Spock and Bones both would have sacrificed themselves if it meant saving Jim.

This time? This time Jim was saving them. He released a wet broken noise, a sob that ripped through his throat, He loved his crew, He loved his family, He loved his partners the most, and his feet made contact for a final time. The warp core glowed brightly and threw him back against the wall.

He didn’t want to die, and he was so scared.

Because he was dying.

And he had many things to live for.

Chapter Text

The duct tape bowed and peeled back in layers. “It’s a miracle.”  

You almost make me believe in miracles, Mister Spock , It was a memory of Jim’s voice bursting through the tape. “There is no such thing,” said Spock, his voice sounded wet and raspy as the belt released him from the captain’s chair.

He would not have done it , thought Spock.

Scotty’s voice filtered over the line that Spock had not remembered pressing, “Scotty to Bridge, Mister Spock.”

Tell me he did not , came another thought as the duct tape holding his feelings bowed again.

“Sir, you'd better get down here. Better hurry.”

Spock raised from the captain’s chair quickly as the tape blew away all at once.

No . He thought at he ran.

Please . Tears welled in his eyes as he sprinted down the halls with no care or thought to anyone else.

Please no , he pleaded as he entered the section.

“Jim-” His voice cracked and he found Scotty standing there.

Scotty with tears flowing down his face. Scotty who couldn’t bare to look up as Spock looked toward the sealed door to the warp core. Scotty who attempted to not allow Spock to see. To not see the damage Khan’s existence caused.

Spock walked over to the door and stared down. He felt the tears that had welled in his eyes fall. He shook his head. NO . He turned his head to Scotty and pleaded, “Open it,” his voice was broken emotion something that made the Vulcan in him want to hide, but couldn’t.

Scotty just shook his head and covered his mouth as he let out a broken sound. “I can’t,” Spock didn’t want to hear that. “The decontamination process is not complete.” More tears poured out of Scotty’s eyes. “It’ll flood the entire compartment.”

Spock stared at Scotty, the tears trickled down slowly, He felt rage, and sadness. Most of all he knew this is what Jim had felt when Spock was inside of an active volcano.

“The door stays locked, Sir.”

Tears flowed faster and Spock looked down. He would have never once described Jim’s presence in his mind as weak. It was always vibrant, glowing with energy, and thought. Bright yellow like the command colors, like the sunlight on a blistering terran summer day, Jim’s mind was lively and chaotic...

This presence was dulled and burning out. Hanging on and simultaneously withering.

Jim weakly lifted his arm, head pressed against the glass, and Spock kneeled. “Ashayam,” whispered his broken voice.

Jim released a breath and was able to hit the panel to make the door to the tubes close. A weak attempt at his usual loving smile played on Jim’s lips. Lips Spock could not kiss with hands he could not touch. “How’s our ship?” asked Jim, breathless as radiation sinked into his bones and stole the brightest of lights from Spock’s mind.

“You ask about our ship?” asked Spock with tears streaming freely down his face. Feeling hurt. Loss hurt. Separation hurt. The crew would live. Love their families. Return to their homes with knowledge that they almost died and their Captain saved them.  “Our ship is safe. Our crew is safe.”

Jim smiled dumbly with squinted hazel eyes. “You…” he rasped. “You’re fucking amazing. You used what he wanted against him.” Jim took in a raspy breath and whimpered as he shifted his weakening body. “That's a nice move. Really sexy.”

Spock swallowed thickly and rubbed his hands against his eyes trying to put the ruined duct tape wall back into place. “It is what you would have done,” he said through the snot running out of his nose.

“Hey, Hey,” came Jim’s soft voice. Spock removed his hands from his face and stared at Jim. Smiling weak Jim. “And this is what you would have done. It was,” Jim swallowed and rolled his head back for a small moment, “ Logical .” He then rolled his head back against the glass and looked up at Spock.

Spock inhaled a shaky breath. Jim was dying.

“I’m scared, Spock,” Jim’s eyes were wet and dark. Spock felt more tears fall down his face. “I’m scared.” Jim closed his eyes and Spock inhaled a small breath. “How do you do it? You. Fucking. Sexy Vulcan. Help. Me.” Jim opened his eyes again, pleading, and full of unprofessional stares. “How do you choose to not to feel?” asked Jim weakly. “No…” he slid his eyes closed and shook his head. “Don’t answer that. Just…” A raspy breath was taken in. “Don't leave me,” said Jim quickly and he held up his hand, pressed it against the glass and looked at Spock. “I don’t want to die, Spock.”

Spock placed his hand against the glass over Jim’s. A vulcan salute. “And I do not want you to die.”

Jim smiled weakly and moved his fingers to mimic the salute. “Spock?” said Jim’s weak voice. “I…” Jim paused and looked everywhere but into Spock’s eyes. When he did look up he smiled. “Don’t die. Look after our ship. Look after Bones.”

Spock rubbed at his eye with his free hand and released a shaky breath. “Taluhk nash-veh k'dular.” I cherish thee .

“Ba...ck at yo...u.” Jim coughed then took in a raspy breath that shook his entire body. Spasms twitched through Jim’s nerves and his hand slid down the glass. This warm brightness in the back of Spock’s mind was now shattered. Dull. Quiet... Gone.

Spock rested his forehead against the glass and released a sob. “Jim, T’hy’la …” This was because of Khan. He’d have to tell Leonard. He’d have to… A hand was put on his shoulder. When had Leonard gotten here? How long had the doctor stood there?  Spock released a sob into the Doctor’s medical uniform. When he was done crying and they were taking Jim’s body away? Rage ripped his throat and he screamed that man’s name that had started all of this, “KHAN!”  

Leonard held him close, even as Spock raised to his feet shakily, and let out a wet noise. “Leonard, allow me to go after him,” said Spock in a crackled voice. Leonard’s eyes were red when Spock turned to look at him and the Doctor’s nose was running. “Allow me to go after this man.”

“And do what, Spock?” Leonard’s drawl was thick and broken. “What are you going to do? It’s not like it’ll bring Ji-” Leonard stopped talking.

Spock released a breath and rubbed his own eyes to stop the tears from coming.

“If I can get more of Khan’s blood we might be able to save, Jim,” said Leonard as he grabbed Spock’s face. “We can get Jim back.”

Spock sniffed and let the tears flow freely. “Please, allow me.”

Leonard looked at Spock and pulled him in close for a kiss. “Kick his ass,” hissed Leonard against Spock’s lips.

Chapter Text

Leonard wished he could see Spock off on his mission, but there were more pressing matters that he needed to attend.

He bit his lower lip, fingers twitching as the body bag was unzipped, Jim looked peaceful, and all too still. He couldn’t accept Jim’s death, wouldn’t accept it, even if it meant there would be a shit ton of legal issues.

The bridge crew gathered around the body, tears were being shed, and all Leonard could think about was how he really hoped it’d work. He hadn’t even checked on the tribble.

Scotty held Uhura close.

Leonard folded Jim’s all too still and cold hands before he said, “I need a cryotube fast.”

They didn’t question him. Except for Chekov who leaned over Jim’s body and looked at Leonard. “How do you know eet will work?”

Leonard inhaled a sharp breath and swallowed. “I actually don’t know,” said Leonard his heart hammered in his chest, “I actually might be a little manic right now.” He looked down at Jim’s face, though it was like every other dead body he had seen.

Chekov stared at him and blinked. “Did you test eet?”

Leonard looked up and looked over to his desk. “You could say that…”

Chekov blinked and visibly flinched backwards. “You tested eet on a tribble?”

Leonard gave a shrug. “I’m a doctor, I know what I’m doing.”
___

 

Spock felt his blood boil as he rubbed his eyes hard and chased after Khan in the streets of San Francisco. With one thought; Help Leonard revive Jim.

Jim who lied on a slab unmoving. Cold. Dead. Spock swallowed thickly. He would get Jim back. He had to get Jim.

Blood rushed in his ears as he passed people and vehicles alike. He would capture this man and make him pay. Pay for what? Spock wasn’t quite sure.

He was lead by determination, led by the thought of being able to see Jim’s smiling face again, lead by the thought of being able to kiss Jim’s parted lips, and sleep in the same bed sandwiched between his two drooling humans. Have Jim’s impossibly cold feet pressed against Spock’s legs and push his toes into Spock to fall asleep.

Comfort Jim after night terrors.

Get lost in those deep eyes.

Hear him ramble about stars and the vastness of space just to fall asleep when talking.

Watch terrible science fiction shows from the sixties and eat popcorn.

Khan had indirectly taken that all away.

Now Khan was going to bring it all back.

Spock climbed up the garbage scow Khan had just gotten on top of.

Of course he was met with a boot to the face, that left him somewhat dazed, and without a phaser. Khan slammed him into the wing of the scow, and then to the roof.

Spock rose with a shout and threw punches at Khan.

Khan dodged some but got hit with others and threw his own punches at Spock.

Which the vulcan dodged.

Khan spun around leaving his neck open.

Spock pinched the nerve of Khan’s neck.

With a pained scream the man got out of the vulcan neck pinch by simply ripping Spock’s hand away from him.

More punches were thrown and dodged.

Khan pulled Spock up by his neck and tossed him.

Spock landed on his back and coughed he looked up at Khan.

Khan grabbed a hold of Spock’s skull and started squeezing.

Spock screamed and swiped his hand at Khan’s face. He pulled his fingers along the melding points and Khan screamed and let go.

Before Spock could grab him Khan jumped down to another garbage scow. “Well that is unfavorable,” muttered Spock under his breath as he watched the scow. He took a deep breath and ran across the top of the scow before he jumped off.

Spock landed with all the grace of a garbage bag, a full garbage bag, full of concrete, onto his back, then he rolled, and nearly fell off. A hand hold was all that saved him from a fall below.

Khan ripped him up by his hair and tossed him like a rag doll.

These metaphors were getting out of hand, but thinking about the Doctor had its positives. In fact he found all of this fighting quite refreshing. Perhaps he should take up sparing more often.

This really wasn’t the time to run thoughts about the future and what he should do as Khan punched him over and over. Spock was almost certain he’d die.

Maybe he had died because suddenly it was Uhura who was standing over him and lifting him up. “The doctor wanted to give you some credit for handling this on your own,” no he was definitely still alive and Uhura was definitely here to come to his rescue. “But if we are all honest with ourselves you needed the help.”

Khan was stunned on the ground and Spock felt his blood boiling once again. “Would it be wrong to punch him a few more times?”

“I won’t tell if you don’t,” said Uhura with narrowed eyes. “As long as he is alive.”

That was all Spock needed as he punched Khan a few more times.

When they were beamed back aboard Spock was smiling and wasn’t bothering to cover it up.

He was greeted by Leonard. “You look chipper,” said the Doctor.

“It was oddly therapeutic,” said Spock with an inhale, “You should try it sometime, Leonard.”

Chapter Text

Jim didn’t like reliving his life. He didn’t like the images of his first few years. His Birth. The doctor exclaimed with delight what sex Jim had been born. Uncle Frank. Sam leaving. Tarsus. Living threw those first twenty one years.

“Never join Starfleet,” said Winona up at the glittering stars.

“I have two boys!” shouted a memory of his mother.

“I dare you to do better,” memory Pike leaned in from beyond the table.

“I’m going to Starfleet,” memory Jim screamed into his pillow.

The Academy. Those were fun memories. Bones’ face. Spock’s test. Dinners with Pike and calls to his worrying mother. Weekend drinks and pizza with Uhura.

Morning coffee with Bones.

Sleeping in bed with Bones and later Spock.

Introducing Spock to the most illogical podcast and watching his brow furrow.

Getting a house with three bedrooms so everyone from the crew could have a place to crash.

Reprimanding Pavel for wearing his binder when he shouldn’t.

Bones playing parent when Chekov started dating Kevin.

Spock undressing in front of Jim and Bones for the first time. Light green scars against his chest. “I wouldn’t say I’m a man,” said memory Spock’s voice. “Partly a man? Is there a human word for that?”

“Demi-boy,” memory Kirk whispered from under Bones’s chest.

Memory Spock tilted his head. “I was unaware that I could be classified as Demi-boy.”

Was death even really like this?

Then there was light and pain. He was certain he must be dead. Except was death really this warm? Did death smell like spiced shampoo? Feel like warm skin? Itch and sting like someone had shoved an IV into your arm?

He groaned loudly, “Bones, you put an IV in me?” His voice was weak, his throat felt dry, and yet there was that imposible warmth and sweet pressure of another body on top of his.

“Oh, don't be so melodramatic.” His eyes fluttered open and he was greeted with Bones in a blinding white medical uniform. In a blinding medical room of Starfleet General. He wanted to shut his eyes it hurt his head so much, but there was Bones. Beautiful blue eyed Bones standing over his hospital bed. “It was the transfusion that really took its toll.” Who had given him blood? “You were out cold for two weeks.”

It explained why he felt groggy and weak. Two weeks of not using your limbs? God, getting out of here was going to be a treat and a half. “Is Spock sleeping on me?” He felt the tickle of hair against his neck.

“I am not sleeping,” said Spock’s voice, Jim was so happy to hear it that he felt tears pricked his face. “I was simply closing my eyes because Leonard is blinding me with his outfit.” Light sensitivity club party of two.

Jim groaned and rolled his head to the side. “Yeah it’s bright in here, and Bones is blinding.”

Bones made a noise, but when Jim looked over at him the Doctor held them in a soft gaze.

That left the question in his head. Who’s blood? Who could revive a man from death with his blood alone? What had Leonard gotten himself into? What had happened those moments he was dead? What…

Bones testing Khan’s blood on a dead tribble. Had the tribble come back to life? Did Khan’s blood work? “Did you put Khan’s blood in me?” asked Jim with a furrowed brow and a tight clench of his jaw.

Bones frowned and Spock shifted slightly. “Your cells were heavily irradiated. We had no choice,” said Bones’s southern drawl. “Once we caught him, I synthesised a serum from his superblood.” There was a pause and Bones reached out raking Jim’s longer hair from his face. “You feeling homicidal? Power mad? Despotic?”

Jim had a shallow laugh at that. It hurt. “No… How’d you catch him?”

Jim watched as Bones looked to Spock. “Spock did it.”

“It was a pleasure,” purred Spock as he snuggled into Jim. “Nyota did most of it.”

Jim swallowed and looked around the room seeing take out boxes and blankets thrown about the space. “Have you guys left in two weeks?” asked Jim with a raised brow.

“To shower and Meditate, Pavel, Montgomery, Hikaru, and Nyota have also spent the night a few times,” mumbled Spock. “Kevin has visited, but is mostly at the house. He brings us coffee occasionally.”

Jim swallowed and felt his heart swell. “Oh my god. That is so sweet.”

Bones shrugged his shoulders, “Pike even visited and talked to you a little.”

He had the best friends in the universe.

“Spock Prime also came,” muttered Spock, his eyes still closed. “He did not stay long. The nurses wanted to kick us all out.”

Jim chuckled. He could imagine the entire bridge crew causing problems for the nursing staff and Bones having to go into doctor mode and kick everyone out for a few hours… While Jim had laid in a coma.

Both Bones and Spock raised their heads for a moment. “I’m forgettin’ somethin’,” said Bones.

Spock and Bones shared a look before they both leaned in and gave Jim a kiss on his cheeks. “You are a fuckin’ idiot what were you thinkin’?”

Jim laughed so hard his stomach hurt, he was sure he must’ve cracked something, and he started to cry. “Were you waiting two weeks for that?”

“YES!” shouted both Spock and Bones.

He smiled at them and his head fell back against the pillow again. A sudden wave a fatigue hit him and Jim struggled to keep his eyes open. His ribs hurt. He was certain getting back on his feet was going to be just as bad and hard as after Tarsus.

He wasn’t ready to tell them the details. He’d probably never be ready to disclose Tarsus.

“Don't work yourself too hard,” said Bones’s voice as the Doctor’s rough fingers stoked against Jim’s face. “Rest.”

“I don't wanna rest. Wanna get out.” He felt Spock pushed him down.

“Do not attempt to rise, Ashayam,” said Spock’s voice.

Jim slid his eyes shut and nodded. “Okay, Spock,” whispered Jim as he fell back asleep.

 

...

 

The next few days went like that. Someone was there when Jim woke up. He’d talk to them, Eat something-or try to choke down something only to throw it up later- then get too tired to continue.

It was fun when Prime visited him, because the elder Vulcan somewhat understood Jim’s predicament. He’d get too tired to continue talking, but Prime would be understanding. He’d also bring up something vague and back track like he hadn’t said that thing.

Jim caught the tail end of Prime muttering about Klingons and someone named David, but he backtracked.  

Told stories about James Tiberius Kirk and the moment they-Prime and James-had fallen in love, but James hadn't given up on flirting with women on the side.

Which honestly Jim could understand. Flirting was fun.

Prime and James had involved Leonard in their relationship years after starfleet. Prime was selective with his storytelling.

It was one of Prime’s visits that Jim asked, “What did we do differently?”

Jim wanted to go outside and talk. Bones had been reluctant, but gave in if Jim agreed to wear a mask and warm clothes.

Bones accompanied them.

Jim had fallen under his own weight the first few steps out of the bed..

Bones had been stuck carrying Jim all the way outside, but he didn’t complain as Jim and Prime talked.

It was such a nice afternoon the sun was warm, seeped into the warmth of the sweater Bones had put Jim in, but it was really bright. Jim could feel one of his cluster headaches coming. Why couldn’t those have gone away with Khan’s superblood?

“I haven't the slightest idea,” said Prime as he sat on one of the benches, his wrinkled hands rested in his lap.

Bones pressed his lips together and swallowed. “I,” the doctor stuttered, “I might have a small idea,” said Bones which made Jim lift up his head.

“What'd you do, Bones?” Jim asked with furrowed brows.

The doctor rubbed the back of his neck and cleared his throat.

Jim looked to Prime and could see the elder had a raised brow.

Bones took in a deep breath. “Okay so… remember Finnigan?” asked Bones with his hand rested on Jim’s knee.

Jim rolled his eyes and stuck out his tongue. “Ugh. Finnigan.” He had been a thorn in Jim’s side ever since he slept once with the guy and was very disgusted with it. Finnigan had become a gross stalker during his second year at the Academy, would beat Jim senseless some days, and there was that first year where Gary had watched as Finnigan shoved Jim into some rose bushes. Jim furrowed his brows at the memory.

“It was after the Pizza incident,” said Bones as he inhaled sharply. “That I confronted Finnigan to leave you the fuck alone.” He glanced at Prime and cleared his throat. “Spock was already threatening him to leave you alone, so we ganged up on him.”

The Pizza incident had occurred after their-Spock’s and Bones’s- second date with Jim. Jim smiled fondly. “Aweeee, Bones,” said Jim.

Bones then rushed out, “Also I'm pretty sure that Vulcan who kept helping you out when you were too drunk to function was Spock.”

Prime arched his brow again. “Fascinating.”

Jim buried his face in his hands. “Wait, shit, you mean Spock saw me face down drunk in a rose bush?” He looked up to Bones.

Bones nodded.

Jim furrowed his brows and Spock still wanted to date him after seeing that??? “And screaming and throwing stuff at a Tarsus hologram?”

Bones nodded again. “Nyota said he took you to the library and didn't leave your drunk ass for a second.”

Prime was slightly green when Jim glanced over at him.

“Let me guess, fascinating?” asked Bones.

Prime nodded.

Jim yawned and tried to cover up the noise with a stretch of his back.

Bones decided that that was enough for the day and carried Jim back to his room. Prime had said goodbye as he had to leave and go back to New Vulcan.

Jim fell asleep.

Chapter Text

Recovery was fun. It almost felt like he was back at the Academy running through PT drills and coursing through hell week. He’d get tired, but the nurses and doctors would always have some new hurdal for him. Some new goal in mind. A new injection for Bones to use that would have Jim trembling and facing his PSTD. Sometimes it’d get bad and he would be in the hospital again.

Like tonight. Back in the hospital with a goal of going to the bathroom by himself.

Which would be easy, Jim hoped.

Easier if Spock and Bones weren’t spread on top of him in the small medical bed. Easier if he wasn’t so weak when it came to his partners. Easier if he wasn’t weak in general.

They were awake, or what Jim assumed was awake as they were staring at Jim with half lidded eyes. “You two should get some sleep,” said Jim, quietly. Quietly because they were not the only ears in the room.

It seemed almost everyone who shared their house was crammed into the room huddled in sleeping bags or hunched over in chairs tapping away on a PADD. “Chekov,” hissed Bones.

The light turned off with a quiet squeal and an even quieter, “Sorry.”

Jim heaved a sigh. “Go to bed. That’s an order.”
__

A year later there was a ceremony to honor the dead and to break in a new Enterprise.

Jim rubbed his knuckles and released a heavy sigh.

Pike clapped a hand on Jim’s back and smirked a little. “Good to see you on your feet.”

“We visited you last week, you’ve seen me on my feet.” Jim gave a half smile that didn’t reach his eyes. “Do I really have to do this?”

“I want you too, Son,” said Pike.

Which somehow that fluttered around in Jim’s core. It felt good. “This is a lot of people,” said Jim as he squeezed his hands together. A lot of people unknown and known faces.

Pike raised a brow. “You’ve done it before.”

He had. When accepting the Enterprise for the first time. Jim took in a deep breath and sighed. He’d always been anxious with crowds. Always was anxious with lots of people. Loved quiet nights cuddled between Spock and Bones so much better than events like this. He could play extrovert, but he was a complete introvert.

This was a happy moment though. Even though it was the anniversary of his death and the deaths of many others. It was a happy moment. Should have been a happy moment.

Everything chewed at his stomach.

Pike released a sigh. “Try finding a friendly face in the crowd.”

“Pike?” asked Jim.

“Yes?”

Jim looked at him. “Before I forget. Can we please change the women’s uniforms to have longer sleeves? Where are there ranks????”

“I’ll work on that one,” said Pike with an eye squinting smile.

Jim took in a deep breath and let it out. Then he faced the situation at hand.

When Jim stepped up to the podium he searched for the faces of his friends. “There will always be those who mean to do us harm. To stop them, we risk awakening the same evil within ourselves.” He saw Spock first and smiled. “Our first instinct is to seek revenge when those we love are taken from us.” He swore he could see Spock turn green from here. “That's not who we are.” Uhura stood tall next to him an unreadable look on her face. “We are here today to rechristen the USS Enterprise, and to honour those who lost their lives nearly one year ago.” Scotty was next to Uhura, Christine was next to Scotty, and Carol Marcus was standing tall next to Christine. He saw his crew standing there. Bones was late.

He felt his heart swell, and looked over to Pike. “When Christopher Pike first gave me his ship he had me recite the Captain's Oath,” he turned back to the large audience and laughed a little. “Words I didn't appreciate at the time.” He smiled and pressed his lips together. “Now I see them as a call for us to remember who we once were, and who we must be again.”

Bones had slid next to Spock and slapped the Vulcan on the arm. Jim smiled more.

“Those words?” Jim inhaled sharply. “Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Her five year mission, to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.”

Chapter Text

Leonard could hardly believe it had been a year.

A year he and Spock fretted over Jim. Until Jim consumed Jim sized meals again and went on mile long jogs without dropping.

“I think I could climb a mountain!” Jim had said with a big grin.

“Don’t you dare.” Leonard had said.

A few months since something felt incomplete between them all.

Leonard couldn’t help but recall their Hanukkah at Winona Kirk’s Iowa home.

Iowa had been fucking freezing. Much colder than Georgia, San Francisco, and a hell of a lot colder than New Vulcan, Which they had visited a week earlier as a compromise to Amanda and Sarek, for going to Iowa for the holiday.

It was a treat to say the least, but Leonard had behaved during the visit to Iowa by staying under a plush blanket and sapping warmth from the Vulcan he was cuddling.

“For Christmas we are going to Georgia. My ex wife be damned,” said Leonard, loudly.

What he got in return had been a heavy sigh from Jim. Jim who dragged his sock covered feet across the floor, plopped his ass onto the couch, and snuggled his blue and white sweatered self between Leonard and Spock.

They were quiet for sometime before Jim said, “I don’t feel right.”

Leonard could understand. “Elaborate,” said Spock’s gruff voice.

Jim snuggled deeper between the two of them. “I haven’t felt right ever since I came back.”

Leonard knew Jim hadn’t meant coming back to Iowa. Frank, the piece of shit, was long gone and Winona had done everything in her power to make the farmhouse void of his presence.

Yeah, it wasn’t Iowa, and it wasn’t just Jim. “Like there is a void,” said Leonard. He had pressed himself closer to Jim.

Spock had stilled, Leonard could feel it through Jim, and Jim had shifted to accommodate Spock’s stiffness.

“Spock?” asked Leonard and Jim above a whisper.

Leonard had glanced at the Vulcan. Spock had chewed on his lower lip and looked anywhere but at them. “When Jim…” said the Vulcan finally, cracked and broken.

Jim had climbed up into the Vulcan’s lap and held his face. “Hey, Hey. It’s okay Spock. What is it?”

Leonard’s heart squeezed and he scooted closer to them both with a frown.

Spock’s brown eyes had looked far away and the vulcan had pulled them both in. “When…”

Leonard had grabbed one of Spock’s hands and squeezed it. “Take your time, Darlin’.”

Spock had taken his sweet time. Winona had returned from her trip to the store, but didn’t disturb the grown men on her couch. She worked around them.

It was before dinner was ready when Spock had said, “When Jim died our bond broke.”

It had caused Jim and Leonard to share a confused look before they stared back at Spock. “We were bonded?” asked both of them in almost perfect unison.

It had lead into a awkward conversation about how Jim and Leonard wanted to bond eventually, but in a field where they could die at any moment?

It had to wait.

Now there was a five year mission and it was going to have to wait a hell of a lot longer.

God, Leonard was on a ship again. A God damn Ship, but it wasn’t all bad.

“I swear they made the beds bigger,” said Jim, nearly breathless, flat on his back with Leonard on top of him, and Jim’s clothed legs secured around Leonard’s weist.

Leonard who growled against Jim’s throat as he kissed up to Jim’s jaw. “You said it yourself, can only be professional for so long.” It had only been minutes since they got on the ship. Minutes since Jim’s damn speech. “God, look at you,” hissed Leonard lowly before he sucked a mark just above where the new uniforms would cover.

Jim’s high needy whine almost covered up the door whooshing open.

Spock’s voice piped up from the doorway, “And five years is a long time to remain Professional, Doctor.”

Leonard lifted his head from Jim’s neck and smirked at Spock. “Care to join in our unprofessionalism, Hobgoblin?”

Spock raised a brow and Leonard grumbled as he slid off of Jim. “Jim, I do believe you are needed on the bridge,” said Spock as he eyed Jim’s panting shirtless form.

“Are you wearing eye-shadow?” came Jim’s breathless voice.

Leonard got up and looked closer at Spock. He was wearing blue eyeshadow.

“Because that’s hot,” said Jim.

Chapter Text

Jim grinned and nudged Spock as they made their way up onto the bridge. Five years in space with his partners and crew? He was bouncing on his toes just with the thought of going out into the black and being so much closer to the stars.

They turned down a corridor and entered the turbolift. “So we going to start wearing blue eyeshadow?” asked Jim with a big grin. It was a good look and a look he could get use to seeing on his XO.

“Are we going to start pretending you didn’t change into Leonard’s uniform on purpose?” asked Spock with his raised brow.

Jim grinned smugly and wriggled. “Brings out the green in my eyes,” purred Jim.

Spock gave the rarest hint of a smile. “Of course it does, Captain.”

The bridge doors opened.

“Keptain on the bridge,” laughed Chekov from his station.

Jim was happy to see that Kevin was holding the Russian’s hands with a high blush and a beaming smile. Perhaps Chekov had been muttering about ‘Russian Inwentions’ it was after all what had gotten the two together in the first place. Or maybe it had been the ten hour game of Tetris.

Jim felt almost protective over Kevin as Chekov muttered something in russian and Jim walked out of the lift with Spock.

Laughter made Jim’s head turn to Uhura. Who held a hand over her mouth and wiped a tear away from her eye. “Captain, Medical blue is such a nice look on you.”

Jim blushed even though it had been intentional to wear Bones’ uniform and have the fresh marks peek above the collar. “Mister Sulu,” coughed Jim as he turned his head to Sulu who grinned wide from the Captain’s chair. “Hard to leave once you get a taste of it, huh?”

“Captain just has such a nice ring to it,” said Sulu as he rose from the seat, gave Jim a high five, and then returned to the helm.

Bones strolled onto the bridge in Jim’s command golds and took off the golden shirt to trade with Jim. “Wrong shirt,” grumbled Bones.

Jim laughed, beamed at Bones, gave him back his medical blues, and commed Scotty. “How’s our warp core, Scotty?” Jim pretended he didn’t feel the fresh wave of anxiety even though he had gone through the medical check… he still never wanted to end up in there again.

Scotty’s voice filtered over the comm and said, “Purring like Mister Spock after you scratch his chin just right.”

Spock in turn had flushed bright green and cleared his throat.

Bones crossed his arms and rolled his eyes. “Five years in space. God help me.”

Jim walked over to Bones and grinned. He leaned into Bones and whispered, “Five years in space with bigger beds and more opportunities to scream.”

Jim swore Bones turned five shades of red before he screamed, “God, help me!”

“Captain,” said Spock with a tilt of his head.

Jim looked up to find Spock closer than before. Jim grinned wide at Spock and wriggled. “Spock.”

Carol cleared her throat as she stood to attention.

“Doctor Marcus. I'm glad you could be a part of the family,” said Jim with a smile.

Carol released a heavy sigh and smiled. “It’s glad to have a family.”

Spock looked at Jim and nudged him. “Where to Captain?”

Jim grinned and vibrated. “There is so much out there, Spock,” said Jim as he pulled Spock and Bones closer. He welcomed their warmth and bounced when they curled closer. “Where do you guys think we should go?”

Bones groaned and said, “Back to bed.”

Jim’s grin widened along with his eyes and Bones just looked at him. “We can always go back to bed, Bonesyyyy.”

Bones scowled. “Dammit, Jim.”

Spock said, “As a mission of this duration has never been attempted, I defer to your good judgement, Captain.”

Jim grinned ear to ear and gave both of them a kiss before releasing them in favor of the captain’s chair. “Mister Sulu! Take us out of here.”

Sulu looked up and grinned, “Aye, Captain.”

END