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“Commander Frazier to Captain Kirk.” The comm sounded in Jim’s quarters as he was tossing a second uniform into a duffel bag.

“Kirk here,” he answered.

“We’ve achieved orbit around New Vulcan, sir,” his First Officer reported.

“Acknowledged. We should be finished in two days. Let Dr. McCoy know we’re ready to beam down. Don’t expect any problems, but you know how these things go.” Jim smirked. Unexpected events seemed to follow him like his shadow.

“Aye, sir,” Frazier’s voice held the same amusement. The notion of a simple away mission had become a bit of a joke on the Enterprise.

“Kirk out.” Jim grinned as he tossed his bag over his shoulder and strode out of his quarters and towards the transporter. Frazier had turned out to be a fine First Officer and despite Jim’s preference for Spock in that role, he was satisfied with the way things had turned out.

A few minutes later, Jim arrived in the transporter room and Spock was already waiting, a matching Starfleet duffel over his shoulder.

“Captain,” he said, nodding with his usual placid expression.

“Commander,” Jim said, searching Spock’s face for signs of stress. This was their first visit to New Vulcan and Spock had been unusually quiet since his father, Sarek, requested their presence on the planet four days ago.

“You okay?” Jim asked in a low voice, glancing at the crewman across the room. They’d been having a secret affair for two months and Jim was doing his best to keep it that way.

“Performing adequately, Captain,” Spock responded with a slight downturn in his mouth.

“Let me know if you need anything, okay?” Jim said, lowering his voice even further and resisting the urge to squeeze Spock’s hand.

“Noted, Captain,” Spock answered, staring straight ahead. Jim frowned. “Also, Doctor McCoy is late.”

“No, I’m not!” McCoy said, loping into the transporter room and hopping onto the pad to join them.

“You’re in a good mood,” Jim said to McCoy with a raised eyebrow.

“Haven’t been off this goddamn ship for a month,” he snapped. “Gonna to get a case of Saturnian space sickness and you really don’t want to see me ripping off my own fingernails.”

“Doctor, if I am not mistaken, Saturnian space sickness was a myth created by the opponents of the first Terran long-range space expedition,” Spock said.

“Well, you’ll know it’s real when my blood’s dripping on the floor.”

Jim chuckled and spoke to the technician. “Energize, Lieutenant.”

~*~

Jim’s first impression of New Vulcan was that it was hot. Really hot. Within minutes, his uniform was sticking to his back and thighs and he squirmed as they strode out of the transportation hub and across a wide courtyard towards the surprisingly complete medical pavilion. It was a squat reddish building nestled against the base of the Kel-Tor mountains. Jim and Spock had been getting updates about the rapid progress of New Vulcan construction over the past four months, but he was amazed at the results.

“So, what do you think, Spock? Is it like Vulcan? I mean hot?” Jim pulled at the neck of his uniform, and glanced at Bones who seemed not to notice. Damn Southern blood.

“Affirmative, Captain, although it is nineteen percent more humid than Vulcan. I have been informed that the humidity will decrease in approximately six weeks to match the climate of Vulcan prior to its destruction.”

Jim felt a twinge of sickness in his gut when he thought about the planet’s loss, about Spock’s face when he realized that his mother had not been saved. It was still unimaginable. He stole a glance at Spock as they walked, knowing he would see nothing, but looking anyway. He didn’t really understand how he could push it all away so effectively.

As they approached the medical pavilion, the doors slid open and the three entered. The building was considerably cooler, but still stifling and Jim pushed up the arms of his uniform. He was starting to feel slightly less enthusiastic about this trip than he had been before.

“Commander Spock,” a female voice sounded from their left.

A tall Vulcan woman approached, her pale grey robes flowing around her feet as she moved. Her hair was pulled into a severe bun that accentuated her high cheekbones and sharp points of her ears. The woman raised her hand in the Vulcan salute and nodded. “Welcome to New Vulcan. I am T’Vin.”

“Greetings, T’Vin,” Spock said, stepping forward and raising his hand in return. “This is Captain Kirk and Doctor McCoy.”

Jim nodded but did not attempt the salute. “Pleased to meet you, T’Vin.”

Bones nodded and smiled. “Ma’am.”

“Shall we proceed to the treatment room?” T’Vin gestured and turned to lead them along a narrow passageway.

“How is Anash-Tirak?” Spock asked as he moved ahead of Jim and McCoy to walk alongside T’Vin.

“She is quite ill and your arrival is well-timed,” she said and led them around a corner into another part of the medical building with a more familiar antiseptic smell. Jim moved closer behind them to hear their conversation.

“It is unexpected that another human-Vulcan hybrid exists. How was she discovered?” Spock asked.

“She introduced herself to Sarek on Earth and she chose to assist in the rebuilding of New Vulcan. Once she arrived, she revealed that she had been ill for some time but our medical experts have not been able to diagnose the condition.”

“And that is why you require Dr. McCoy’s expertise?” Spock glanced back toward Bones as he spoke. The four of them were walked closely together as they arrived into a small open space with several half-moon shaped desks lined up against a clean white wall. Half a dozen Vulcans milled around, dressed in the similar grey robes of their host T’Vin.

“Correct. He is the only physician familiar with your combined … species.”

Jim felt a spark of annoyance at her tone, but Spock answered in his usual nonplussed fashion, “Quite logical.”

T’Vin gestured towards a room with a solid door and a window at the end of the open space. “Captain Kirk and Commander Spock, if you will wait. I require Doctor McCoy to examine the patient.”

Spock nodded. “Of course, T’Vin. We shall wait.”

Jim shrugged and watched the Vulcan woman and McCoy don gowns and masks and move into the patient’s room.

“What was that all about?” Jim said, turning to Spock.

“What was what all about, Captain?” Spock sat on a dark wooden bench along the wall.

“Her attitude towards you? That comment about your ‘species’?” Jim huffed, feeling defensive of his lover.

“It is a logical assessment. I am the combined result of two species. While I am not a separate species, her statement was not without merit.”

“Spock, you know what I’m talking about. You told me yourself that you weren’t treated well by your classmates. You’d think Vulcans wouldn’t be so rude to someone who’s come light years to save a life.”

“Vulcans are not rude, Jim,” Spock said, giving him a stern expression.

“Bullshit,” Jim said and slumped onto the bench. “I just don’t like it. I think of you as a little kid and, believe me, I bet even Vulcan kids are little assholes when they want to be.” He shook his head. “I don’t like it and I don’t like her.” He crossed his arms over his chest and put on pretty good pout.

“Your concern is unwarranted,” Spock said. When Jim flashed him a look of frustration, he continued, “But not unwelcome.” Spock brushed his fingertips against Jim’s wrist.

Jim sucked in air and his eyes widened. Spock’s touches while on duty were so rare that they still caught him by surprise.

“I’ll try to be polite,” Jim said, letting his posture loosen. “But she’d better be polite, too.”

He glanced at Spock and thought he saw his mouth twitch in amusement.

When McCoy and T’Vin emerged a few minutes later, Spock and Jim stood to hear the doctor’s assessment.

“I’ve examined the patient and it’s like I thought. It’s not identical, but it seems that Anash-Tirak is suffering something similar to a human disease called hemochromatosis. It’s a disorder that causes iron to build up in the liver and other organs. I need to do more tests, but it would be a good idea to start trying to remove the excess iron from her bloodstream before it can do more damage.”

“How will you accomplish the removal of iron, Doctor?” Spock asked.

“Well, if she were fully human, the standard treatment would be to remove a half a litre of blood each week until the iron levels decrease. But because she’s quite weak and her heart’s been affected, removing that much blood could endanger her life. Instead, Spock, we’ll need you to start giving blood right away. We’ll still take hers, but will replace it with yours. Since you’re both hybrids with similar genetics, it should be fine. Should only take a couple of days to collect enough to stabilize her. I’ll check your iron levels first, but as far as I recall, you’re fine.”

“Very well, Doctor. I am ready to begin.”

~*~

Jim sat next to Spock as he lay in the hospital bed, his dark hair starkly contrasted against white sheets. “You feeling okay?” He reached out to touch his fingers lightly.

“There is no discomfort, Jim. You do not need to worry.”

“Well, that’s my job. I’m supposed to worry about you. I know it’s not a big deal, giving blood. It’s just, you know. We’re back with Vulcans, but it’s all different, right?” He felt himself dancing around the real issue.

“If you are referring to the destruction of Vulcan and the rebuilding of our race on another planet, I can assure you that I find it a suitable replacement.” Spock shifted his hand away from Jim’s.

“And that’s it? I mean isn’t it weird?”

“It is logical.”

“Yeah, I get that, but this isn’t exactly home. I mean it’s nice, well, except for the heat and the humidity, and well, that Vulcan lady, but …” He rambled until his voice trailed off.

“I assure you, Jim, that I am fine,” Spock said, using a human phrase – something he often did when Jim pressed him.

“Okay, okay. I’ll stop. I’m just antsy.” Jim sat back in his chair and rubbed his thighs and glanced around the plain white room. The only color was the bright green of Spock’s blood in the bag and the orange curtain. Jim hated hospitals.

“Perhaps you would care to explore other areas of the city? I expect to remain here for two hours and fourteen minutes more.”

“Nah. I’m fine, but I’m going to go find some water. You want anything?” Jim stood up.

“Water would be acceptable,” Spock answered and raised his two fingers towards Jim.

Jim grinned and pressed his two fingers against Spock’s in a Vulcan kiss. Then he leaned over and kissed him softly on the lips. “Be right back.”

With a swish of curtains, Jim walked out into the short corridor and took a random left towards a brighter area down the hall. He walked for a few minutes until he found a young Vulcan sitting at a half-moon desk.

“Excuse me,” Jim said and smiled wide. “Could you tell me where I could find a cup of water?”

The Vulcan glanced up at him, eyes blinking twice in surprise. “There is a small kitchen facility at the end of the hall.” He pointed behind him and Jim turned to see the room in question.

“Great thanks!” He turned on his heel, grinning as hard as he could just because it was fun to see the Vulcans’ reactions.

With two cups of water in hand, he approached Spock’s room and paused, hearing hushed voices. He parted the curtain and stepped in. Abruptly he stopped, stepping back as Sarek moved towards him. “Damn!” he said as water spilled down his arm and into his sleeve.

“Captain,” Sarek said, stopping as well, but not meeting Jim’s eyes. “Forgive my intrusion. I was just leaving.”

“Uh, okay,” Jim said, holding the water out in front of him as Sarek skirted around him and passed out through the curtain.

“What was that all about?” Jim said, swinging his gaze back to Spock. His face was a shade of darker green, brows drawn down tight. “Spock? What happened?” Jim rushed forward and set the cups onto the small bedside table.

Jim watched as Spock swallowed and eased his face into something calm. “Anash-Tirak is …” Uncharacteristically, he fumbled over the words. “…my father’s new bondmate.”

“His what? What do you mean? Like his wife?” It took Jim a minute to understand what Spock was saying.

“Yes, in the human vernacular, he has remarried.” Spock’s voice was thin and Jim grabbed his hand and squeezed.

“Oh, my god. I’m sorry Spock. When did that happen? Why didn’t they tell you?” Jim stroked Spock’s fingers and then Spock pulled away.

“I do not want sexual congress with you right now, Jim,” he said sharply.

“What? Sexual…what are you talking about?” Jim gaped at him.

“You were rubbing my fingers in an attempt to distract me.” Spock’s expression was flat and Jim blinked.

“What? Shit. No. I—it’s just so normal for a human to touch hands with another human to offer comfort. That’s not what I meant. Sorry, Spock.” Jim reached up and laid his hand on Spock’s chest instead, letting the heat of his hand seep through the black of Spock’s uniform undershirt.

“I understand,” Spock answered and looked past Jim towards the curtain, eyes blank.

Jim didn’t know what to say, just rubbed small circles against the fabric over Spock’s ribs and radiated warmth and comfort. On a personal level, he kinda got what Spock was going through. His mom had married Frank when Jim was nine and he’d hated him instantly. But this, so soon after his mother’s death. That just sucked.

“What did he say?” Jim asked when the silence became too much.

“He informed me of their bonding and indicated that he planned to have children with her to repopulate the Vulcan race. It is logical.”

“Logic schmogic, Spock. That burns. It’s too soon.”

“It is not logical to wait. The length of time between the destruction of Vulcan and my father’s bonding will not change the fact that my mother is dead.”

Jim just blinked, tears suddenly stinging his eyes. Sometimes the stark plainness of Spock’s words made it worse.

“I’m sorry, Spock.” Jim swiped at his eyes, remembering the things he’d said to Spock all those months ago about his mother, how he hadn’t loved her. He hadn’t meant any of them and he’d already apologized a million times. He just wished he could erase them from existence.

“You did what you had to do, Jim,” Spock said, his gaze steady on Jim’s face.

“What?” Jim blinked at him.

“I can sense your regret. I know what it means. You did not mean what you said to me. I have told you this before. I was, as I am now, emotionally compromised.”

“Still…” Jim touched Spock’s face, stroking a finger down his smooth cheek. “I love you, Spock.” The words spilled out of his mouth before he could stop them. He looked away, face burning. It was too soon.

“And I you, Jim.” Jim watched as Spock pulled Jim’s fingers to his lips. ”Ashayam,”he whispered.

Blinking back tears, Jim leaned over and kissed Spock, letting his lips linger against the heated skin of his mouth. It shouldn’t be possible to feel so connected to someone else.

~*~

“Well, isn’t this cozy,” McCoy said from just inside the curtain of Spock’s room.

With a startled jerk, Jim popped up from where he’d been sleeping against Spock’s chest. “Shit, Bones.” His mouth worked but no other sound emerged.

“Relax, Jim. It’s not like I didn’t know. You’re the worst at keeping secrets.” His friend rolled his eyes as he stepped towards the Spock’s bed.

Jim’s blush grew deeper, but he reached over and gripped Spock’s hand anyway. His back twinged from napping hunched over Spock from the bedside chair.

“Doctor, how is the procedure progressing?” Spock squeezed his hand back and sat up straighter against the pillow.

“Anash-Tirak is tired, but her body seems to be accepting your blood. How are you feeling?” McCoy stepped over and checked the receiving bag, nearly full.

“I am adequate,” Spock responded.

“Good. I think this bag is full enough. Why don’t you and Jim get some rest. And I mean rest,” he stared pointedly at Jim who gaped innocently at him.

“Thank you, Doctor. I assume twenty-four hours will be sufficient to regenerate my blood levels? I shall endeavor to meditate to enhance the process.”

“You’ll have to be the judge of that, Spock. You Vulcans have some uncanny ability to know exactly what your bodies are doing. Anash-Tirak’s Vulcan side appears to be less dominant than yours, if you can believe it. She said she is not able to get into that healing trance thing.”

“I have been trained in the Vulcan ways since I was a child. It is my understanding that Anash-Tirak was raised as human.”

“That’s right. None of that Vulcan voodoo you are all so proud of.” Bones pressed a sterile pad against the thin tube inserted in Spock’s arm and pulled it out. “Hold this there for a minute.”

Spock held it for a few seconds and released. “That is sufficient.” He moved to swing his legs off the biobed.

“Hold on there, Spock. Go slow. You might feel okay now, but I’d rather not have to treat a head wound from you falling on your face because you went too fast. Jim, I’m putting you in charge of this one. Make him take it easy.”

“Yes, sir,” Jim said with a grin. He put his arm around Spock’s waist and helped him off the bed.

“Your assistance is not required, Captain,” Spock said, moving away from him.

“Yeah, but I like it. C’mon, Spock,” Jim grinned at his lover and situated himself under Spock’s shoulder. “Not too often that I get to do this for you.”

“As you wish, Jim,” he finally answered, relaxing slightly against Jim’s arm.

~*~

Jim awoke in their temporary quarters, the New Vulcan sun searing into his eyes. Spock was still lying in their bed, eyes closed and breathing slow and calm. Jim eased out of the bed and Spock did not move. Still in his trance, Jim supposed, and hopped into the shower. Even sleeping, he was sure he’d sweated out half his body weight overnight.

The sonic shower was efficient, if not exactly what he wanted. Water here, as on Vulcan, was only slightly more available on the desert planet of New Vulcan. The founders of this new world had gone to great lengths to settle the planet in the areas most like Vulcan had been, arid, dry, and mountainous. And hot.

When Jim emerged, Spock was sitting up, his face still sleepy. “Morning, Spock. How’re you feeling?” He padded across the room in his bare feet and kissed the top of Spock’s head.

“Well rested and ready to donate more blood to assist the hybrid.”

“The hybrid?” Jim asked, eyebrows shooting up. “Is that what you’re calling her now?”

“It is accurate.” Spock shifted and placed his feet on the floor.

“Accurate, sure, but maybe a little, oh I don’t know, emotional?” Jim teased. He loved anything Spock did that reminded him of his half-human side.

“I am unaware of your meaning, Jim,” Spock said, and stood, plucking his clean uniform off the chair where it was neatly folded. “I intend to shower and eat a small breakfast. Do you find that agreeable?”

“Yeah, sounds good.” Jim nodded, grinning at Spock’s super-formal speech. He noticed that it his language increased in preciseness when he was accused of being emotional. Jim thought it might be one of his favorite things ever.

Now dressed in a clean uniform, Jim tossed his stinky old uniform into the refresher along with the sleeping clothes Spock had discarded outside the shower (folded properly, of course). Moments later, Spock emerged, completely dressed and not a hair out of place.

“I am ready to depart, Jim,” he said and walked towards the door.

“Hey, wait,” Jim said, rushing forward to stop Spock with a hand on his shoulder. Spock turned with a raised eyebrow. “You forgot something,” he said, and pulled Spock into an embrace. Spock put his arms around Jim’s shoulders and kissed him lightly before pulling away again.

“That’s it?” Jim cried with mock outrage.

“One does not have to be a touch telepath to understand your desires, Captain.”

Jim grinned and swatted Spock’s ass as they went through the door.

~*~

Late into the day, McCoy showed up once more at the curtain to Spock’s room.

“How’re you feeling Spock? Anash-Tirak’s blood levels are already looking better, and she seems to have a little more energy. T’Vin and I think this will be your last donation.”

McCoy pulled the tube like the day before and cleaned up the area.

“Tomorrow, you can resume light duty, Spock. That is if everything goes well tonight and Jim leaves you alone.”

“Hey! That was uncalled for,” Jim said, glaring at Bones. “I was a perfect gentleman last night.”

“Hmmfph,” Bones said, rolling his eyes.

“It is true, Doctor. The Captain allowed my healing trance with a forty-three percent reduction in vocal utterances. It was quite effective.” Spock’s tone held a note of humor.

“Remind me why I like either one of you,” Jim huffed.

“Because we put up with you,” Bones said, and took the bag of blood down from its rack.

“You can go back to the Enterprise now, if you want, but you’re off duty until tomorrow morning.”

“I understand,” Spock said and rolled his sleeve back down.

McCoy paused just before sliding the curtain open. He glanced back to Spock. “By the way, Anash-Tirak would like to thank you, so maybe stop by after you’ve had a chance to rest. She’s still in an isolation room at the end of the hall. Just ask the nurse and she’ll take you there.”

“Thanks are not necessary, Doctor.” Spock slid his legs off the bed and prepared to stand.

“Okay, Bones. Thanks.” Jim tucked himself under Spock’s shoulder again and guided him away from the bed.

They walked together out of his room and made their way slowly back to their temporary quarters. Spock lay on the bed and Jim sat next to him.

“You want to stay here for a while or go up to the ship?” Jim rubbed Spock’s shoulder as he spoke. His lover had been quiet for the entire walk.

“It would be prudent to rest first,” Spock said, and closed his eyes.

“Okay. I’m going to grab some dinner. Should I get you anything?”

“That will not be necessary, Jim. Thank you.” Spock’s voice was so soft that Jim almost missed the final words.

“All right, see you later.” He gave Spock a quick kiss on the lips and left.

~*~

Jim headed back to the medical pavilion to find Bones. He was pretty sure that Spock would never visit Anash-Tirak, but Jim wanted him to.

“Bones, what’s happening? How’s our patient?” He clapped his friend on the back.

“Better. How’s your boyfriend?” McCoy tapped info into a PADD and smirked.

“Very funny. You know, you could have said you knew about us.” Jim stood in front of the PADD and waited for McCoy to look up.

“Why didn’t you tell me yourself?”

“It’s awkward enough, you know? And you don’t like him.” Jim bristled, and crossed his arms over his chest.

“I never said I didn’t like him. Just don’t get Vulcans, that’s all. You sure about this? Admiralty isn’t going to like it. Not sure I like it.” McCoy finally looked at him and Jim saw genuine concern from his friend.

“Yeah, I’m sure. I have—I mean. He’s really important to me.” Jim avoided McCoy’s eyes. They’d been through a string of disastrous relationships between them. Jim’s one-night-stands and Bones’ failed marriage. He wasn’t ready to tell Bones how he really felt. Wasn’t even sure he was okay with Spock knowing he was in love with him. Made his stomach do weird things. And it scared him. Jim Kirk shouldn’t be scared.

“Yeah, I get that. Just be careful. Those Vulcans bond for life. I mean, like, forever.”

“Did you know that Anash-Tirak was Sarek’s new bondmate? When he sent the medical files?”

“Yeah, I saw it, Jim. Seemed soon, but who am I to judge. Never lost a planet and my wife left me in the middle of the night.” Bones shrugged and put the PADD on the desk he was leaning on.

“Spock’s having a hard time with it. He won’t admit it, but he is.” Jim twisted his hands together, not sure what to do about it.

“I bet.”

“How is she? Anash-Tirak? I mean, you think she’ll be hurt if Spock doesn’t come?” Jim already knew the answer, but he had to ask.

“She was dying, now she won’t. What do you think? Spock needs to get his head out of his ass and be gracious.”

“He’s stubborn.”

“Yeah. I noticed.” Bones snorted a rueful laugh.

“I’ll talk to him.” Jim shrugged and listened to his stomach rumble loudly. “I’m starving. You want to get food?”

“Sure. Give me two minutes.” McCoy turned and walked away to speak with T’Vin at the end of the hall. When he returned, they went off in search of dinner.

~*~

When Jim awoke the next morning, Spock’s legs were twined around him, his arm a heavy possessive drape across his chest. Jim loved it. He pressed back against Spock, tilting his hips and wiggling against Spock’s groin. He felt a huff of hot air against his neck as Spock awoke, pulling him tighter against his chest.

“Good morning,” Jim said, feeling content and ignoring how much he had to pee.

“Good morning, Jim. You rested well?” Spock slid his hand along Jim’s hip down to his thigh and back.

“Mmm, yeah. You?” Jim shivered at his touch.

“Adequately.” Spock pressed a wet kiss on the back of Jim’s neck.

Jim groaned and pulled away. “I’ll be right back.” He rushed into the bathroom to relieve himself and brush his teeth. When he stepped away from the mirror, Spock was there, looming in the doorway, looking deliciously disheveled. My god, did he love this man.

“I am considering a shower, Jim. Would you be amenable to joining me?”

“Whatever you want, Spock,” Jim’s voice was husky with desire.

“You,” Spock said darkly, and pushed Jim back against the sink and turned him to face their reflection. He scraped his fingers against Jim’s chest, tweaking his nipples as Jim watched in fascination. Spock mouthed Jim’s shoulder and neck, the wet heat inciting Jim’s desire.

“God, I’ve missed you. Not being able to touch you like I want.” Jim arched back into Spock, raising his arms to thread his fingers through his hair.

“I have missed touching you, Jim.” Spock whispered, tugging on Jim’s ear with his teeth. Jim shivered again, and pressed his ass against Spock’s erection.

Spock rubbed himself against Jim’s ass and let his hands flutter down touch his dick, stroking lightly. Jim groaned at the feeling and at the sight of Spock’s long fingers wrapped around him. They’d never fucked in front of a mirror and Jim though he might come undone just imagining it.

“Just fuck me, Spock. I need you inside me.” Jim’s skin was on fire, urgent desire flooding his body and limbs. He’d never felt such passion for someone else. It was like everything about them complimented, reflected, and joined together into something greater.

“Ashayam,” Spock said and slid his finger against Jim’s hole.

Jim fumbled with his toiletry bag on the sink and pulled out lube. “Here. Don’t make me wait.” His voice was nearly a whine.

A moment later, Jim felt the cool press of Spock’s slick finger and moaned. Spock pushed one finger in, moving slowly and scraping his teeth over Jim’s shoulder. Jim watched with rapt attention, unable to stop staring at them making love.

Spock pressed another finger inside, twisting and moving both until Jim was pressing himself harder, wanting more. “Spock,” Jim gasped. He was so turned on he could barely keep his eyes open, but God he wanted to see Spock inside him.

“Soon, Jim.” Spock said, and pulled his fingers out. Jim reached behind him to touch Spock’s ass and thighs. His fingers scrabbled over taut muscles and then Spock’s wet hand stroking himself with lube. Spock intertwined his fingers with Jim’s for a long second, before leading Jim’s hand around to touch himself. “I want to see you pleasure yourself, Jim,” Spock said and Jim couldn’t breathe anymore.

Jim felt the blunt thickness of Spock’s dick against his hole and maneuvered their bodies sideways, so he could see more. When Spock pushed inside, Jim gasped, feeling a long deep shudder pass through him. “Move, Spock. Oh, god, just fuck me. Please.” Jim impaled himself back onto Spock. He wasn’t sure he’d ever been this turned on.

With a powerful stroke, Spock slammed into him, jarring his knee against the sink bottom. Jim cried out, and Spock thrust in again. In the mirror, muscles played under Spock’s skin as he fucked him, long deep strokes that Jim followed with his hand on his own dick. He watched Spock, beautiful and powerful, driving into him over and over again, striking his prostate, sending electric pulses deep into his groin.

When the rhythm changed, Jim was dizzy with passion, barely able to stand for the waves of pleasure rolling through him and he clutched the edge of the sink. In the mirror, he could see Spock’s brow furrow, teeth bared as he fucked him, fingers digging tight against Jim’s hips.

“Spock, Spock, I’m coming. Fuck me, oh god, please.” Jim stroked himself fast and hard, strokes growing erratic as Spock pounded into him. With a deep shuddering gasp, orgasm swept through him balls to bones, blazing through his mind like a white hot explosion.

He forced his eyes open, desperate for Spock to come. Spock’s breathing was in shallow pants, finger digging ever more forcefully into Jim’s flesh. When his lover gasped, Jim watched, saw the passion blanking out Spock’s face, slacking into bliss as he buried himself deep in Jim’s ass. Seconds later, Spock slumped over Jim’s shoulder, breathing hard.

“Ashayam,” Spock breathed, and Jim felt his body shudder.

Jim moved his hips forward and felt Spock slip out of him before he turned and drew Spock into his arms, kissing his neck and jaw and finally his mouth. Their panting breaths mingled, tongues sloppy and listless. “I love you, Spock. You make me so happy.”

“Yes, Jim,” Spock answered, arms loose around Jim’s waist. “As you do for me.”

~*~

Later, they were back in their bed, mostly dressed and draped casually around each other. Neither had spoken for a long time and Jim was loathe to break the sweet mood. It was necessary, though.

“Spock… I think you should visit Anash-Tirak before we go.” He felt Spock’s body immediately tighten.

“Jim—” he started to reply.

“No, Spock, wait. Hear me out.” Jim turned to face him and touched him with both hands. “You told me that your father loved your mother. That he married her because he loved her, right?”

“Yes,” came Spock’s terse reply.

“You also said that when a Vulcan bond is broken, it is intensely painful. That only another bond can ease the pain. Not fully, but some.”

“Yes, Jim. I fail to see—”

“Would you wait, please? Come on.” Jim raised his eyebrows at Spock and Spock closed his mouth.

“Your father has bonded with Anash-Tirak. Bonded with her and she almost died. Can you imagine how frightened he must have been?”

“Vulcans do not experience fear,” Spock said and Jim wanted to punch him.

“Bullshit.” Jim glared at him.

“Your expletive is unnecessary.” Spock refused to look away from Jim’s harsh stare.

“Spock, whether you want to believe it or not, you saved not only Anash-Tirak, but you also saved your father. Could he have survived another broken bond? After everything?”

Spock dropped his eyes, his face growing pensive.

“I’m sure his decision to get bonded again wasn’t easy. And I’m sure that asking you to save her life was even worse. You both loved your mother, Spock.”

Spock’s voice was low and grave when he finally answered. “It is logical that he should re-bond, but I find myself unable to calm my thoughts about it. I feel anger towards Anash-Tirak. It is not logical.”

“No, it’s not. But it is human, Spock. And so is Anash-Tirak, well at least half-human. No matter what you feel, she didn’t deserve to die. Neither did your father. Let her thank you. She’s your family now, Spock.”

With that, Spock growled and pushed Jim away. “I must meditate.” He removed himself from the bed and strode across the room to the meditation mat.

Jim watched, without speaking, as Spock assumed his meditation pose and closed his eyes. He hoped he had not pushed him too hard. He felt a sinking feeling inside his chest and buried his face in the pillow.

~*~

Almost two hours later, Jim woke to his duffel neatly packed and waiting by the door. “Spock?” he glanced around. “Are you still here?” Spock’s things were gone.

Jim picked up his communicator from the table. “Kirk to Enterprise.”

“Sulu here, Captain.”

“Did Commander Spock beam up to the Enterprise?”

“Not that I am aware of, Captain. One moment.” There was silence on the line for a long second, then the line clicked back on. “No, Captain. No one has beamed back to the Enterprise from Vulcan since yesterday.”

“Thanks, Sulu. Kirk out.” Jim snapped the communicator closed. He dressed quickly and left the quarters.

By the time he reached the medical pavilion he was sweating again. He found McCoy near the isolation room. “Bones. Have you seen Spock?”

“Why? You two have a tiff?”

“Fuck you, Bones. Have you seen him or not?” Jim glanced around, squinting to see through the windows of Anash-Tirak’s room.

“No, Jim. And fuck you, too. I told you to be careful. How’d you screw it up this time?”

“Bones!” Jim said, hurt.

“Hey, calm down. I was just kidding.” McCoy put an arm loosely around Jim’s shoulders.

“I was trying to convince him to see Anash-Tirak and I went too far. I think I really fucked up. His mother, Bones. Every time I mention her, I blow it. I should learn to keep my mouth shut.”

“Jim, calm down. Spock’s crazy about you, right? So, he’s a little mad. He forgave you before, right?” McCoy moved away and looked at his friend.

“Yeah, I don’t know. Look I just don’t want to screw it up. That’s me, though, right? Putting my fucking foot in it. I need a muzzle,” Jim said miserably and sat on a bench. “I thought I was helping.”

“Look, you said he was stubborn. Maybe he’s off meditating or something? Give him some space. Got to be hard for him to have his father remarry like that.”

“Yeah, that’s the point. I should’ve taken his side.” Jim raked a hand across his face. “Why do I always have to be right?”

McCoy sighed. “Boy, Jim. You really are head over heels aren’t you?” Bones sat next to him and patted his thigh. “You’re in love with him.”

“Yes, I fucking love him, okay. God, I swear if you’re gloating, I’m going to beam you into an asteroid.”

To that, Bones stayed silent and Jim squirmed. He rubbed Jim’s back, like he had a hundred times before and Jim tried to calm down. He took a deep breath and tried to control the panic in his heart. This was why he didn’t get too close. It fucking terrified him.

“Jim! Look, there he is.” Bones said suddenly and stood up.

Jim glanced around and saw Spock coming towards them with Sarek. “Oh, my god. He’s with his father!” Jim stood, took a breath, and wiped his face.

As Spock and Sarek approached, Spock’s face changed as he took in Jim’s expression. “Sarek, please excuse us for a moment. I must speak to the Captain alone.”

“Of course, Spock. Doctor, would you accompany me to Anash-Tirak’s room?”

“Yeah, sure.” McCoy looked over at Jim. “You okay?” he asked and Jim nodded.

“You are distressed,” Spock said right away, crowding him.

“You left, Spock.” Jim hated how his voice sounded. He was the most pathetic captain in Starfleet.

“I did not realize that my leaving would upset you,” Spock said, touching Jim’s shoulder.

“We had a fight and you growled at me and then when I woke up you were gone. Your bag was gone.” Jim took a deep breath and tried to calm his heart. Why did he get worked up so much about this shit?

“Ashayam,” Spock said, touching Jim’s face. When Jim finally looked, Spock’s eyes were warm and concerned.

Jim blinked at him, feeling humiliated. “I overreacted. It’s not a big deal.” He tried to move away and Spock’s powerful fingers wrapped around his bicep, stopping him.

“I hurt you. I am sorry.” Spock’s voice was low and pained.

“No, I just…” Jim looked around, feeling exposed, but … fuck it. “I’ve never done this, you know? Loved someone. I’m just not good at it. I push and fuck up. Spock, I just don’t know what I’d do if you left me.” Jim rubbed his face, trying to press calm into his eye sockets.

“I will never leave you, Jim. I thought you understood this about my race. You indicated so yourself, Jim. Vulcans love forever.”

“But … you love me that way?” He didn’t believe it.

“Is there another way?” Spock asked as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.

Swallowing down the knot in his throat, Jim finally smiled, letting the tension loosen from his chest. He stepped forward and kissed Spock quickly on the lips before stepping back. To his surprise, Spock pulled him into a firm embrace.

When he released him, Jim was chuckling. “Okay, that I understand. Thank you, Spock. I’ll try not to freak out the next time we have a fight.”

“That would be wise, Jim,” Spock said and brushed their fingers together.

“So, what next? Ready to go back upstairs?” Jim asked, pointing skyward to the Enterprise.

Spock tilted his head. “There is someone I must speak to first.”

Jim watched as Spock joined his father in Anash-Tirak’s room. A moment later Bones appeared.

“Everything okay with you two now? You’re looking less like a lost puppy.”

“Yeah, we’re good.” Jim grinned and elbowed his best friend in the ribs.

And they would be for a long time to come.