Naked Time Remembered
pre-K/S by Saavik
Begins immediately following the end of Naked Time.
saavik13 (at) yahoo dot com
With the course laid in, Captain James T. Kirk let himself relax. He could have sworn he felt Spock
let out a similar held breath behind him. He felt more than heard Bones shuffled his feet a bit
before making a cheeky comment about how he thought Vulcan's didn't sweat, so how could Spock have
been infected. Jim didn't hear Spock's reply. He really didn't have the energy to listen to this all
over again. It was always the same with those two. Normally, he found the banter amusing, and he'd
jump right in with them. Playing one off the other. But right now, he couldn't summon enough
enthusiasm to even pay attention.
What a three days. Seeing his crew slowly going mad and not being able to stop it. That damn singing
echoing in the halls of his ship...his ship. For a moment Jim felt the emptiness again. He closed
his eyes for a second before he felt a hand come to rest on his right shoulder. Spock. At least one
person understood him. Jim opened his eyes and looked up at his friend, the words 'you have the
bridge' on the tip of his tongue. He stopped himself just in time. The Vulcan's eyes were tired. Not
that Spock would ever say anything, but Jim could see his exhaustion written there plain as his
pointed ears. Fighting the virus had taken its toll on both of them.
"Sulu, you have the bridge. Spock, Doctor, I believe we could all use a well deserved break." Jim
slowly stood up and started for the turbo-lift, Spock two steps behind him.
"You go on, Jim. I've got some tests to run down in Sickbay. I need to be doubly sure everyone
infected got the vaccine. If not, we could be going through this all over again." Bones pulled out
his hypo-spray and waggled it at the Captain.
Jim flinched slightly and grimaced, rubbing his shoulder. "There are days I think you enjoy your job
to much, Doctor." The answering smirk was practically blinding. Jim refrained from rising to the
bait and with a dismissive wave, he got into the lift and let the doors whish shut behind him. It
took him a moment to realize that Spock was still next to him. In all honesty, he'd expected the
Vulcan to put up a fight and argue to stay on the bridge. After all, right after such an emergency
it was unusual to leave junior members of the crew in charge. He turned a weary eye to his first
officer and noticed the alien could not seem to make eye contact.
"Yes, Captain?" Spock's voice seemed distant, yet he wasn't appearing to be avoiding company.
Jim took in the stiff stance of his fellow officer and took a long shot. "Spock, care to stop by my
quarters for a drink? I think we both deserve one."
It took several seconds for the other man to answer; he seemed to be waging an internal battle of
some kind. "That would be most kind, Captain."
Spock paused, "Jim."
Kirk smiled. You always had to remind Spock to call you something other than your rank when the
Vulcan was nervous. Of course, Spock would never admit to being nervous. Hell no. But Jim could
tell. So could McCoy at times. But Jim somehow just knew what his first officer was feeling. Even if
the pointy eared sourpuss didn't. Right now, the man was mortified of his behavior in the conference
room. He saw his emotional breakdown as a personal deficiency. 'When I feel friendship for you, I am
ashamed.' The words echoed in Jim's mind. Spock was ashamed of being his friend. Ashamed of half of
himself, his human half. That simply would not do.
They made it down the corridor to his quarters without meeting anyone. Both men completely silent.
Kirk took out a bottle of scotch he'd gotten at the last Starbase and set it down on the small
table. Neither man reached for it. The silence was getting heavy.
"Captain, I must apologize for my behavior during this crisis. My, emotions, were inappropriate and
my physical assault on you in response to your words are deserving of formal reprimand..." Spock
trailed off, his dark eyes staring unseeing at the gray wall over Kirk's head.
"Spock," Jim shook his head and cleared his throat. "Spock, your emotions were not 'inappropriate'.
They simply were. At least you weren't fondling the bulk heads." Jim smiled but Spock didn't even
lift an eyebrow. Jim ran a hand through his hair in frustration and stood up to put on a shirt that
didn't have a giant tear in it. Maybe he should have put this off until they both had some rest.
To late now.
"Look Spock, we all have issues with things. Maybe you should try and meet yours head on instead of
repressing it." The last was muffled by the golden cloth as he pulled the new uniform shirt down.
Spock slowly met his eyes. "Vulcan's do not discuss their emotions, Jim."
Kirk sighed in relief. He'd called him Jim. That meant they could keep this next part as friend to
friend and not captain to officer. "That doesn't mean they don't have them. Ignoring a part of
yourself isn't going to make it go away. And would you really want it to? Ask yourself that, Spock.
Would you really want to be completely without emotions? Would you want to go everyday feeling
nothing at all? No friendship, no camaraderie, no happiness?"
"It is what is expected." Spock's voice was hard, almost mechanical.
Jim pounded a fist into the wall next to him. "Damn it, Spock! It is not what's expected! Name one
Vulcan, one lousy Vulcan, that's that cold. Name one. You can't! They don't exist. The ideal you
work so hard to achieve is impossible." Kirk looked back at his friend and took in his startled
expression – revealed only in the dark inky depths of his eyes. "Tell me honestly, at any time did
Surak ever say you should not have emotions? He argued for control, Spock. Control, not elimination.
You're trying to be more Vulcan than Vulcan. It's not fair to yourself. And I'll be damned if it's
The L word seemed to shake loose something in the tall man. He leaned forward and let his head rest
on his arms at the table, like he had done in the conference room. His voice came out shaky and
muffled. "You don't understand, Jim. I can't be anything less. Every Vulcan looks at me twice as
hard as they do others. They are hovering right next to me waiting for a mistake. Waiting to prove
I'm not worthy of them. I've worked so hard...and it's never enough. Nothing is ever enough."
Jim crossed the short distance and risked a hand on his friend's shoulder. Spock was almost
vibrating with some contained emotion and Kirk lowered himself to kneel next to the chair. His hand
wasn't shaken off and he let it rest there. The higher body temperature under his hand made him
painfully aware that this wasn't any normal crewmember with a problem. This wasn't a junior
lieutenant on their first space flight, hovering on the edge of some kind of a break down. This was
Spock. His Spock. His annoying, almost always right, inflatable, Spock. This side of the Vulcan was
something he'd never thought he'd see. Damn the virus. Spock was never supposed to be vulnerable.
It just wasn't right.
The Vulcan went on in a quiet voice. "I don't understand how she has lived there for so long. A
human among us pointy eared hobgoblins, as the doctor loves to refer to us. How does she not feel
isolated? How can she stand never receiving a kind word from anyone outside of her husband and from
him only in private? How can she take his unending demands and lack of all empathy? How does she
Kirk rubbed a small circle on Spock's tense back. "Maybe she doesn't." Spock sat up quickly,
knocking Jim's hand away and looked him in the eye. Caught in the gaze, Jim took a deep breath.
"Maybe your father's not as emotionless as you think he is."
Spock would have snorted if he had been human. "You have never met my father." He turned away again
and seemed to pull whatever shields he normally had around his emotions back into place with some
difficulty. The residual effects of the virus were still making it difficult for him to maintain
even a semblance of control.
Jim laughed. "Trust me, you're not the first Vulcan I've ever met, Spock. Your father can't be that
different from the rest of your people. And I have yet to meet one that didn't have emotions.
Usually complete disdain for the upstart human, or anger at something Star Fleet was doing, but they
had emotion all right. Usually a large helping of something negative too."
Spock looked skeptical, and his eyebrow was almost lost in his hairline.
"Have some faith, Spock. You're not odd. And your human half isn't making you any less Vulcan.
Spock forced his eyebrow back to its normal slant and made a gallant effort to hide his still
present doubt. "I am sorry, Jim."
"Don't go apologizing for being less than an inanimate object. And maybe you should write your
mother while you're at it. I'm not telling you to start spouting your love for her, which if she's
human she already knows, but she'd most likely be ecstatic to hear from you."
Spock shook his head in the negative. "Father and I have not spoken since I joined Star Fleet
against his wishes."
Jim rolled his eyes. "Write your mother not your father. I'm sure she can get letters, right?"
Spock turned slowly to make eye contact. "She is capable of the act, but she would insist on reading
the letter to father to try and make us 'get along'." The Vulcan's eyes hardened. "That is not
Jim felt a moment of pure sadness cross him. What had this man's father done to him to make him
so... Jim shook the thought off. Spock wasn't the first person in history to have a lousy demanding
father. Hell, according to his ex-wife, Jim himself wasn't even worthy of visitation rights.
Spock's voice cut into his thoughts, "But that is not what I was apologizing for, Jim." The Vulcan
again paused, as if working up the courage. "I am sorry you found out about my inner conflict with
regards to our friendship."
Jim smiled and moved to sit back down in his own chair. "Hey, I was just happy to know you do
consider me a friend. And Bones would say you should feel ashamed of me, I'm not all that
respectable in most circles. Heaven knows why they gave me a Star Ship, let alone Enterprise."
Spock shook his head. "No Jim, it is not you who I am ashamed off. It is myself. Vulcan's should not
feel friendship. It is an emotion that is alien to us."
Kirk picked up the scotch and poured two glasses. "I think you're wrong about that, Spock. But just
incase you're not, here's to being half-human." He raised his glass and waited for Spock to do so as
well. When he didn't, Jim downed his own in a single shot and set it back down. "Someday, Spock, I
know you are going to come to understand that you don't have to be one or the other. You're both at
the same time. And that's why we like you." Jim leaned back in his chair. "None of us meet the exact
stereotype of our race. Life doesn't work that way. The true goal of existence is to be yourself. If
that means you start wearing purple feathers off duty, I wouldn't think less of you. I'd be
concerned and order a psych exam, but you'd still be my friend. If your father can't give you the
same kind of acceptance, than he's not worth your time. No one is if they can't take you as you are.
You're Spock. End of story. Now all you need to do is figure out what that means."
"Sometimes, Jim, you surprise me. The warrior poet in you is also a councilor." Spock stood up to
leave and Jim felt almost reluctant to be alone. Spock seemed to sense it and paused just next to
the door. "Jim, your beach may be made of metal and not sand, you may not have beautiful blond women
in your arms, but you are not alone. You have your… friends." The last word seemed almost pained,
and Spock didn't wait for a reply, but stepped out into the corridor with a whish.
Jim sat there for a moment and let the conversation play back in his mind. He really wasn't alone,
was he? The Enterprise might take up most of his time and energy, but was it the ship or the crew
that mattered to him the most? Would he feel the same way for these corridors if Spock and Bones
weren't here? Would it feel the same if Scotty wasn't manning the engines and Uhura's voice didn't
play over the ship's intercom? Kirk reached over the table and picked up Spock's untouched glass.
No, it wasn't the metal that made the Enterprise, it was the people. And that beach he wanted, like
Spock's search for the perfect recipe for being Vulcan, it was not really that important. And not
really what he wanted. At least not now. Now he had a new mission, making Spock understand that to
be himself, he could never forget about his birth. Spock was half-human. Kirk vowed to make sure
the pointy eared, green blooded, science officer never again tried to forget that. And never again
felt shame for something as wonderful and vital as having a friend. Space is cold. They could all
use all the warmth they could get.