Summary: a story of miscommunication with a sappy ending.
Notes: The quote attributed to Surak in this story, and the title, are actually from
"Spiritual Friendship" by Aelred, a twelfth century monk, who was writing about intense friendship;
t'hy'la by another name.
Rating: PG for a kiss and the use of the word 'damn'.
Warning: This story has a turbolift in it, which I realise is a cliché...at least nothing
untoward happens in there.
Also, this story contains m/m affection and if that bothers you greatly then this isn't going to
be your cup of tea. Maybe you should try a different tea house.
Feedback: yes please! Any wisdom from those who are more experienced and wise would be greatly
appreciated, as would commiseration from my fellow beginners who are neither.
On the mornings where they did not dine together, Commander Spock and Captain Kirk often exited their quarters simultaneously. It, among others, was a phenomenon that had been noticed by the crew. And, while some reasoned that it was merely co-incidence bought about by the habits of two very punctual men with parallel duty shifts, others thought it was a strong indicator of something more between the command team. The latter group, which included the vast majority of crewman and almost all of the ships officers, thought it was sound evidence that Captain James T. Kirk and Commander Spock of Vulcan were lovers. It was news that Captain Kirk would have found very heartening, had he known.
K/S by Serendipity
Serendipity5367 @ hotmail.com
On this particular morning, Captain Kirk walked into the corridor and fell easily into step with his first officer. Smiling warmly at him, Kirk began with, "Good morning, Mr Spock."
"Captain." The other replied, with a nod of the head that Kirk liked to think of as the Vulcan equivalent of a hearty handshake.
"How are the Science department evaluations going?" Kirk asked. Though they had spent time in the rec room together last night, he didn't doubt progress had been made since then, in the time where his human physiology demanded sleep.
"I completed those concerning the biology and chemical engineering personnel last night, after our game of chess, but I do not anticipate concluding the task for two days yet." Kirk nodded in understanding. Crew evaluations for the Senior Staff loomed large in his own schedule. Focusing on more pleasant things he asked lightly,
"Perhaps after our shift you might consider a rematch?" Spock nodded in acquiescence as they reached the turbolift, and waited in companionable silence.
The lift arrived and they entered together, turning simultaneously to face to doors. Kirk cast as surreptitious look at his perfectly groomed friend. Having spent much time developing a keen aesthetic appreciation for the Vulcan, he felt qualified to think that Spock looked particularly handsome under the more muted turbolift lighting. Even as he followed the train of thought he attempted to quash it. No matter how many times he'd done it before, it was still wrong to look at Spock like that. He knew, were Spock to discover his thoughts, he would most probably find them deeply disturbing.
Vulcans were a private people, none more so than Mr Spock. He had attempted to discern Vulcan's stance on homosexuality. No literature was available on the topic; the Vulcan Science Institute had produced volumes of work on any subject not related to their own cultural practices. His conversations with Spock had yielded little information. His attempts at logic had produced contradictory results: was sexual intercourse for purposes other than procreation illogical, or was it illogical to deny one's natures and needs. His eventual conclusion was that if Vulcan's could deny they had emotion at all, then they could most certainly deny sexual desire-- even love.
Purposefully, he turned his gaze back upon the turbolift doors. And yet, he found his thoughts returning to the man who stood next to him: the comforting presence at his side. Despite his own warning to himself, he revelled in the feeling, and a smile sprung to his lips. Glancing back to Spock he felt compelled to place his hand lightly on the Vulcan's arm.
"Captain?" Questioned Mr. Spock politely, only to see the smile vanish from Kirk's face. For a moment his hand remained where he had rested it. As the human withdrew his hand, clasping it firmly behind his back, Spock felt a strange mental impression at the end of Kirk's normal transmission of affection.
*damn damn damn--mustn't show--stop right now--mustn't show--mustn't tell Spock I--damn*
Kirk shuffled his feet slightly, creating distance between their bodies, as Spock tried to collect his thoughts and determine the source of the captain's pain. Recognition dawned on him as the turbolift doors opened to reveal the bridge of the Enterprise. Spock fought the urge to pull the captain back into the lift and explain in any way possible what he feared was a very grave misunderstanding.
Kirk, however, was too quick. Four steps in and almost at the Captain's chair, Kirk turned back to him with an almost composed expression on his face. Mustering the appearance of mild amusement he asked
"Will you be joining us, Mr. Spock?" Spock swallowed and walked purposefully to his station.
"Naturally, captain." Once he had gained his seat however, he did not immediately move to begin work. Instead he found that now he was aware of it, he could feel the captain's near unbearable disquiet through their tenuous link. He watched as Kirk made small talk with a Yeoman and signed a fuel consumption report. Just a whisper now but he could still hear
*damn damn damndamndamn.*
Their stilted entrance onto the bridge had not gone unnoticed. For a couple who normally kept pace with one another as if they had done it all their lives, it seemed almost tantamount to a public slanging match. From her place at the communications station, Uhura cast the occasional worried glance at Mr Spock, and became increasingly alarmed when she realised that he had yet to begin working. When Captain Kirk left the bridge two hours before the conclusion of the shift, she saw what could only be described as consternation on the face of the normally stoic first officer.
Four hours into their off-duty time, Spock stood outside the Captain's quarters.
"Such reticence is illogical in this instance," he said softly to himself, before stepping close enough to set off the sensor and alert the captain to his presence.
"Come," called the familiar voice, indicating that Kirk was not, as he had secretly hoped, asleep.
Spock entered the room hesitantly, and stood before his captain, tension evident in his stance.
"Spock?" prompted Kirk, and then seeking to put the Vulcan at ease asked
"Can I get you something to drink? I have some C'The tea."
Spock remained standing and replied,
"I will decline your offer, although I thank you for your consideration." Kirk was at a loss as to how to continue. Despite his feelings for Spock, he had until now be perfectly able to function around him, and there had certainly been no discomfort between them. He felt apprehension at the thought that Spock may have found him out, and that his worst fear--of his unwanted attraction coming between them--had been realised.
Spock swallowed once, and eventually spoke.
"I have come to apologise, Jim."
"Apologise, Spock? For what?" Now his friend had revealed a little of what troubled him, the mournful slant of his features became more apparent.
"I have erred in my conduct with you, and in doing so I have caused you distress."
"I assure you Mr. Spock--" Kirk began, recalling the incident in the turbolift and too hasty to deny any feeling at all.
"Captain, please allow me to finish." Kirk sat down quietly. He found himself stunned into silence by Spock's interruption.
Finally his first officer moved to sit across from him, brow furrowed in concentration.
"I have been aware of your affection for me since its inception." Kirk drew in a sharp breath, but did not speak. His viciously quashed his desire to control the situation, realising it was vital that he allowed Spock to speak. The Vulcan continued in an almost meditative tone.
"Jim, I am a touch telepath, and you touch me...frequently." Kirk blushed, realising that he did, and at the same time cursing himself for forgetting something as simple as the Vulcan's telepathy.
"Surak wrote extensively about t'hy'la--the Vulcan concept of more-than-friend-and-lover,
...not all whom we love should be received into t'hy'la, for not all are worthy of it. For since your t'hy'la is the companion of your soul - you wish to become one instead of two - you should surely choose one who is considered fitted for all this. Then he is to be tried, and so finally admitted.
Once I realised the depth of your affection, I meditated extensively and found an equivalent sentiment within myself." Spock paused, looking at his captain for a response.
Kirk's heart soared for a moment before remembering the passage Spock had quoted. Fears of inadequacy he had never before associated with his suitability as a lover bubbled to the surface of his thoughts. More than ever he wanted to speak, to ask if he was worthy, but felt compelled to remain silent.
"I thought the logical course was to wait and further examine what was between us, and in doing so determine if we were t'hy'la to one another. Over the subsequent months circumstances tried you again and again, yet I felt no urgency to admit you. I undertook this path with the assumption that you were aware to some extent of what was transpiring between us. Yesterday I realised that you did not, and that your ignorance in this respect was causing you untold distress." Kirk noted that Spock's frown had deepened at his self-censure, and from habit reached out a hand to comfort.
Before he could draw it away as he had the day before, Spock reached out to meet it with his own.
"Captain, Jim...I apologise for not explaining this then. I realise you have been acutely unhappy for the last twelve point zero three hours, and that it was within my power to alleviate your pain. I am sorry." Kirk's other hand touched the Vulcan's cheek lightly, and comfort flooded through him.
"During that period, meditation revealed a further reason for my reticence." Spock found he could only continue to speak with the human's hand clasped between his own.
"I find I am experiencing an almost prohibitively strong reaction to the course of action I wish to undertake with you--I believe I am fearful."
For a moment there was silence between the two as they became acutely aware that sat with knees touching, fingers intertwined. Spock awaited Kirk's judgement, only to see a smile begin upon the human's face.
"Spock, I'm glad you didn't tell me this yesterday in the turbolift."
Spock's eyebrows shot up, as he tried to fathom the Captain's declaration. His lively curiosity resurfaced, and he asked
"Jim, I do not see the logic of your statement."
Kirk's smile had evolved into a wide grin, and he replied, "Because I understand that you are a very private man, t'hy'la, and I don't believe you would have wanted me to do this on the bridge." Before Spock could ask for further clarification of what 'this' was, Captain James T. Kirk kissed him.