I stare out of the picture window, watching the slate gray fog tumble in across the bay. I can't help a furtive glance up at the approximate position of the space dock. Even knowing that my new Enterprise is safe and undergoing every conceivable repair does nothing to ease the yearning ache that hammers in my chest. I take a deep breath, so deep I think I can hear my ribs crack. But it doesn't help; nothing helps.
I tug down my sweater against an imagined chill and begin pacing yet again. My quiet apartment, my sanctuary, my haven has suddenly become my cage.
"Is something wrong, Jim?" you ask.
Hell, yes, I want to shout -- but I'll be damned if I know what is, so I say, "Cabin fever, I guess. Too long in port." You seem surprised.
You leave the warmth of the crackling fire and come to stand beside me, gazing at the dense night fog.
"Do you know how beautiful your Earth 'fog' is?" you ask. "On Vulcan, we have no such phenomenon."
"Phenomenon?" I repeat, chuckling. "Only you could find the beauty in a San Francisco fog." I turn my gaze from your face and watch the fog performing its slow-motion gymnastics against my window. It is indeed beautiful. "You're right, of course -- sometimes I just need you to remind me."
I touch your shoulder, squeeze lightly, then begin pacing again. I thought I had laid my ghosts to rest, but perhaps I was wrong. The restlessness that drives me is without face or form. I know I could explain it to you, and you would then quite logically explain it to me, but you've seemed so at peace lately, I won't trouble you with my ghosts and goblins.
I stop pacing for a moment. You take the opportunity to prepare to leave. You move toward the closet, take out your heavy Star Fleet jacket and start to slip it on. That restlessness, that urgency seems to swell until my head rings with it. What is the matter with me?
"Stay?" I ask a against the ache in my throat. It's late, I know, and I should apologize and let you be on your way...but I can't say the words.
You raise you brows in question, then take off your jacket and neatly hang it in the closet. I expect you to return to the fire, but instead you come to me.
"Jim, what is troubling you?"
When I can't answer, I see the concerned hurt in your eyes. The few times in my life I've shut you out has cost us both dearly.
I shrug. "I honestly can't say, Spock. I feel as if...I'm dying." I immediately regret the words, and hate myself for saying them. I can see how they frighten you.
You move so close to me I can feel the Vulcan warmth radiate from your body. You place both hands on my shoulders, forcing me to look at you. "You are not dying," you command. Oh, the hurt in your eyes ...
"I'm sorry," I stumble around, trying to look away. "I don't know why I said that." I start to turn away, but you won't let me.
"I don't much feel like being along tonight. Stay with me?" I ask, amazed at my selfishness.
You look at me and I can feel the strength in your hands upon my shoulders. My very life has telescoped down to this single moment. Slowly, your hands move from my shoulders, to my temples and I can feel your gentlest of touches in my mind. You hesitate, then smile.
"Tonight...or forever?" you ask.
And suddenly I know what that restlessness has been, that terrible aching in my heart.
"Forever," I breathe, tears coming to my eyes.
Your hands move from my temples, to my chin, turning my face up to you. I close my eyes and feel the feather-light touch of your lips.
I love you, Spock.
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