Ragdoll (ragdoll987) wrote,
Ragdoll
ragdoll987

Breaking Points - Chapter Nine

Title: Breaking Points
Author: Ragdoll
Pairing: Kirk/Spock Pre-slash (slash), mentions of Spock/Uhura
Rating: Mature
Disclaimer: Not mine, more's the pity.

Summary: When the Enterprise is asked to transport Vulcan colonists to their new home, Spock Prime comes with them. His presence changes everything – and leads to life-altering revelations for Jim and Spock. A story about growth, self-discovery, and new beginnings.

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight

Breaking Points
Chapter Nine

By: Ragdoll / Keshka

Summary: Conflagration.


The next morning proved to be as bad as Jim had feared it might.

Spock was a wall of ice at his station, unfortunately positioned behind the command seat (leaving the captain feeling as though he ought to hunch his shoulders to avoid an incoming attack), and he was as correct and remote as any Vulcan while being twice as demanding. He gave no indication that he was angry with Jim particularly, but that might have had more to do with the fact that he barely looked at him twice the entire shift. And who knew Vulcans could be so successfully passive aggressive?

He tried a few times to engage his First in conversation, even just conversation between a captain and his first officer, but the other man was so rigidly correct and succinct that any opportunity for more was quickly snuffed out. His attempts went something like:

“Mr. Spock, are all departments ready to begin disembarking our passengers upon arrival?”

“Yes, sir.”

“All supply lists and passenger manifests accounted for?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Have we received orders for our next mission assignment?”

“Yes, sir.”

He considered continuing in that vein, something along the lines of, was it Colonel Mustard, in the library, with the candlestick… just to see if the ‘yes, sir’ was an involuntary response when he was busy playing super-Vulcan, or if he was being irritating on purpose.

He thought better of it at the last minute, figuring that the last thing he needed was another blowout on the bridge with his second in command.

He told a joke or two to lighten up the atmosphere, but his sense of humor, misplaced even at the best of times, fell more than flat today. He managed to cajole Sulu into a conversation about the merits of fencing versus a good old-fashioned fistfight, but that gambit died a natural death in short order.

Jim was almost desperate enough to com Bones for a quick chat, but that had the potential to go very, very right, or disastrously wrong, depending on the doctor’s mood and what Jim had done to piss him off lately. Remembering their conversation yesterday afternoon, he thought he might have done plenty.

“Mr. Sulu, what’s our estimated arrival time for the colony?”

“2100 ship’s time, sir.”

“Thank you.”

God, this shift was interminable. Would it never end? Not that he didn’t have work he could be doing, but there were only so many times he could listen to the tiny acknowledgements of a datapad in the oppressive silence and not start to feel like he was stuck in a padded cell somewhere. Restlessness was the silent killer – for Jim anyway.

The other half of his agitation was less easily explained than an uncomfortable bridge shift. Jim hadn’t always felt that Starfleet was the right niche to try and fit into, but once there, he knew that command was the only way for him. He’d been born with the ability to make snap judgments, judgments that usually managed to land him on his feet (if a bit bruised and bloody). What he was discovering was that other parts of command – paperwork, the difficulties of formality, having to actually follow regs. instead of flying in the face of them – were not as easily reconciled to his new position as the rest of it. In particular, he was finding that the idea of a mission coming to an end, a mission he’d spent every minute enjoying and reaping the benefits of, did not sit at all well with him.

He found that as they drew closer to their passenger’s destination, the less and less eager he was to actually reach it, as it would mean giving up one of those very passengers, a man who had touched Jim’s life in a unforgettable and extraordinary way. Goodbyes were never fun, but this one would be harder than most. It wouldn’t be forever, and he’d come through it with the same dogged determination that made him command material, but it would be difficult and it would be – bleak.

And that line of thinking was depressing, and probably not helping him get through the day. Resolved not to borrow trouble, he sought out something randomly amusing to cheer him up.

“Chekov, when’s your birthday?” Jim asked, apropos of nothing.

“I – my, my birthday, sir?” The ensign gave him a look of bewildered consternation at being asked a question he clearly didn’t have the answer to on the tip of his tongue. Math equations and scientific techno-babble the kid could do – he was a prodigy, after all – but in the give and take of regular Human conversation, he rivaled Spock for ineptitude.

“Yeah, your birthday. That day of the year we sometimes use to celebrate someone getting older, which I will be providing alcohol at, even though you might not be old enough to drink. Don’t tell Starfleet command or they’ll get angry with me.”

“It is not for several months yet, sir.”

“Dammit. Sulu, when’s yours?”

“Had mine six weeks ago, Captain.”

“For love of – Uhura, what about –“ she gave him a look bordering on mutinous, and he quickly shifted gears. “I mean, Spock. Er. Do you even celebrate birthdays?”

“No, sir.”

“Something we’ll have to fix at the earliest possible convenience,” Jim muttered, and wasn’t surprised that there was no response. At least he’d proved that super-Vulcans had more than one response in their verbal arsenal.

All right, he thought, enough of this. I’m the only person allowed to sulk on the bridge of the Enterprise, and I don’t appreciate some moody Vulcan horning in on my territory.

He waited until ten minutes to shift end, a feat he thought he deserved a medal for as he might have given himself an ulcer sitting still for that entire time. Then he waited five more minutes, to make sure that everyone seemed to be packing it in for the day, his First included. Then he stood up decisively, stepped up to Spock’s station, and said, in a very quiet, but precise voice, “Mr. Spock, come with me please.”

He didn’t wait to see the look the Vulcan leveled at his back, but he could feel the point in the middle of his shoulder blades where it landed. He might have lost a little skin there. Angry? Spock? Not a chance.

“Mr. Sulu, you have the conn; turn it over to beta shift at your convenience.”

Sulu hesitated only a moment before calling an acknowledgement after him, but Jim was already through the briefing room doors, with Spock just a step behind him. Maybe the bridge was a bad place for a blowout, and maybe the room right next to the bridge wasn’t much better (though it was soundproofed, the better for Spock to murder him with no one the wiser) but Jim fully intended to see this resolved. He gave the Ambassador’s advice about waiting some cursory consideration, then scrapped it. He just didn’t have a lot of patience in him when it came to his personal affairs. The man should know better than to suggest a plan that required copious amounts of it.

The doors swished shut behind them, and the quality of the momentary absence of ambient sound gave Jim the impression of being stalked by an irate hunting cat. Deadly predators, Vulcans.

“Computer, privacy lock briefing room doors, Captain’s Authorization Code four-eight-alpha-seven-two.”

The mandatory beep-beep of acknowledgement seemed particularly loud in the silence.

“All right, that’s it,” he said firmly, rounding on the Vulcan at his back. Spock stared at him with such a look of unimpressed disdain that Jim could actually feel his blood pressure, already unnaturally high, soar higher. “I’m not spending another day like that on the bridge. Obviously you and I have some unresolved issues here. So go on; out with it.”

“Do you have an official complaint about my behavior during shift today, Captain?”

“Of course not. The day you renege of your duties is the day I eat my hat. And no, I don’t actually own a hat, so don’t even go there. Shift’s as good as over Spock, so I’m not talking to my first officer here; I’m talking to my friend. You do remember that we were working on being friends, don’t you? Well, friends tell other friends what they’ve done to piss each other off, so that amends can be made. Oftentimes over vast quantities of alcohol.”

“Your preoccupation with alcohol is unseemly. And Vulcans do not hold to the same concept of friendship as Humans.”

“No shit, really? I never would have guessed that after being given a telepathic play-by-play on Vulcan relationships from our mutual acquaintance –“

“I have no interest in hearing of your forays into Vulcan telepathic practices,” Spock interrupted coldly. “If that was your purpose in requesting my presence, I will take my leave now.”

“Oh no you don’t. You’re not leaving this room until we’ve worked this out – whatever the hell this is.”

“Is that an order, sir?”

“It’s an order if that’s what it takes to make you sit your irritating ass down and talk to me, dammit!”

Spock sat, looking sullen in a stoic, disinterested sort of way. Jim wondered how he managed to pull that off. It was a neat trick, appearing at once annoyed and then as though he didn’t care enough to actually be annoyed.

“Do all Vulcans get training in how to be insanely exasperating, or is that just particular to you? To both of you.”

Rightly identifying this as a rhetorical question, Spock didn’t deign to answer.

“Spock, would you stop being so – so stubborn for one minute and just talk to me? It can’t be that hard. Tell me what happened last night that bothered you so much.”

“I do not experience ‘bother’ in the way that you imply. I have no opinion of any kind on the events of last night.”

“I thought Vulcans weren’t allowed to lie.”

“I believe my counterpart has more than disproved the notion of Vulcan innate truthfulness.”

Ignoring the implications of that snide statement, Jim pressed, “so you admit that you’re lying!”

“I admit to nothing. I merely offer proven information that invalidates your statement.”

“Spock, it’s too damned late in the day for a gigantic discussion on circular logic. Obviously something’s pissed you off, something that changed between yesterday and today. There are only so many hours between bridge shifts, so I’m willing to bet this change is pretty much a direct result of what you saw on the observation deck. Which brings us back to last night and what you got an inadvertent earful of. I don’t get all the dynamics, but I understand I’ve overstepped some line here, that I’ve somehow seriously offended you. Tell me how to fix it, and I will.”

“Captain,” Spock began, then paused, and Jim could see that strict Vulcan rigidity soften just slightly, the perfect control relax a fraction. He took that for the major victory it was. “Jim. Your conclusions are eminently logical, given your observation of the given situation. And while your concern is appreciated, I am afraid this is not an issue I can accept your assistance with. I believe only personal reflection can give me the answers that I am searching for.”

“And in the meantime we get to work bridge shifts in sub zero temperature? I don’t think so. I never thought I’d say this, but talking it out seems like our best option. You’re not allowed to repeat that, by the way; Bones would have kittens. So, anyway, hit me with it. Talk.”

“It is not as simple to explain as you imply. It is a deeply personal thing, a singularly Vulcan issue, and a concept no Human could fully understand. I am asking you to accept that answer.”

“I can’t, Spock,” Jim admitted tiredly, running a distracted hand through his hair. “Today was the worst day of my command I’ve experienced so far, and you know why? Because I couldn’t stand the fact that you and I were at odds. How screwed up is that? And it took pretty much running my mouth non-stop here, just for me to say that, so… if you value this open and emotionally present Jim Kirk, don’t shut me out now, or I might have to box him up and throw away the key.”

“Thank you for your efforts on my behalf Jim, but they are unnecessary. My distance today has obviously been of no benefit to either of us. I will desist in future.”

“Not good enough. Humans don’t work like Vulcans; I can’t just shut off the part of my brain that’s worrying about what I did to offend you. I know you weren’t happy with what the Ambassador had to say, but I don’t see where that’s my problem. Maybe protestations of innocence are a little misplaced here, but believe me when I say, I was an innocent bystander at the side of the road when the two of you collided.”

Spock looked as though he understood this colorful metaphor – which impressed Jim, because all teasing aside, he could never really tell when Spock got Human colloquial terms and when he didn’t.

“You will not accept that my problem is not in any way connected to you?” Spock asked.

“I would accept that if it were the truth, but it isn’t.”

Spock regarded him with grave consideration, thinking. Jim left him to it, willing to wait him out now that he felt like they were getting somewhere. They were light years beyond where they’d been just five minutes ago with Spock sniping and Jim struggling to hang onto his temper.

“My difficulties with my counterpart are a different matter,” Spock said at last, appearing to come to a decision. “The issue between us is not related to what he said, but what you said.”

“What I said?”

“Yes.”

“Enlighten me.”

“You called him T’hy’la,” Spock said, less of a statement and more of an accusation.

Jim stared at him incredulously, and his mouth continued in automatic denial before the rest of his brain kicked in. “I did not. When?”

But no, he did remember. He remembered repeating the word that had stretched into his mind, out loud, with remarkably pure intonation. But it had been a question only; he hadn’t been addressing anyone with it. Actually, the Ambassador had been addressing him with it.

He wondered if Spock had ever heard the Human admonishment about eavesdroppers hearing nothing that they actually wanted to.

“Okay, you’re right, I did say that, but not in the way you're thinking.  You’re laboring under a misconception here. I didn’t even know what the word meant, how could I call him by it?”

“That was not what was implied,” Spock said lowly, and looking down, Jim could see his hands were loose, loose in the way that T’Sai had kept hers very deliberately loose – as though any second they would curl involuntarily into fists and hammer out in some involuntary expression of emotion. “To impart knowledge of T’hy’la, to teach another of its meaning, requires more than just words, more than merely information. It is an understanding that he could not convey to you without some degree of – intimacy.”

Jim didn’t know what to say to that. There had been intimacy, a great deal of it, in fact, but not of the nature Spock was implying. It was a subtle difference, but it was there, it was – it was the difference between being intelligent and being wise, between fate and coincidence. A difference that almost wasn’t a difference. Except for the fact that it was.

“Okay, so it wasn’t exactly an impartial lesson,” Jim admitted quietly. “But it’s nothing like what you’re implying. He’s been a friend, an amazing friend; I won’t deny that. He’s shown me things I could never have imagined, things that have changed me, opened my eyes to the person I could be. The person I want to be. But I’m not standing with him right now, Spock; I’m standing with you. I’m not beating my head against a wall trying to convince him to listen to me; I’m trying to convince you. Doesn’t that tell you something?”

“It tells me only that the difficulties between us seem far greater than those you would encounter should you turn your efforts to him instead of me.”

“I don’t want to ‘turn my efforts’ to him, Spock, why can’t you wrap your logical Vulcan brain around that?" He glared at the man, fisting his hands on his hips aggressively. “Last night you looked about ready to kill me for playing mental tag with him and now you’re – what? Giving up on me? Throwing me to the wolves?”

“You did not seem to object to your treatment at the hand of the ‘wolf’,” Spock said coldly, somehow infusing disdain into a voice that had zero inflection in it. Frustrated beyond words, Jim threw up his hands, a harsh breath of exasperation bursting from him.

“What do you want from me? I don’t understand what the problem is. I know the mind meld is a private Vulcan practice, you said so yourself, but obviously the Ambassador doesn’t feel the same way about it that you do. If you’re that pissed about the fact that we shared our thoughts then what the hell are you waiting for? Get over here and I’ll show you exactly what he’s taught me about T’hy’la.”

Some part of Jim, some deeply hidden, buried part, was quietly cheerleading this suggestion, willing to toss aside their obvious issues and potential problems in light of experiencing another instance of shattering connection. It was the part that had insisted that one token protest to the Ambassador about telepathic safety was enough to satisfy reasonable self-interest, the part that had been so glad the second time they’d melded to abdicate responsibility, be buoyed up by someone else’s strength.

But that part was really quite small, and very neatly hidden. Jim knew this, because he almost never made impulsive decisions that had a tendency to get him into trouble. Almost. Never.

Spock was staring at him, and the silence was heavy and complete. Jim gave him time to process the words, time to see the honesty underlying the offer, then pressed, “Come on. You can’t tell me you’re not tempted, and it would answer all your questions in an irrefutable way. It’s a little hard to lie in a meld.”

“The fact that you have experienced enough of them to be aware of that is, in itself, disturbing,” Spock told him, remaining as still as a statue. Jim got the feeling that he’d truly managed to shock him. Certainly he’d managed to blow apart whatever snide fit of temper had grabbed hold of his First for most of today’s bridge shift.

“You’re stalling,” Jim informed him, letting the slightest hint of impatience leak through. “It was a straightforward offer. Are you going to or aren’t you?”

“I am not.”

Why? C’mon Spock, you can’t have it both ways! You won’t believe me when I tell you that your interpretation of events isn’t accurate, but you also won’t let me utilize the only tool at my disposal that could prove I’m telling you the truth, unequivocally!”

“You have no concept of what it is you ask,” Spock growled, low, resonant voice vibrating through the air between them. Jim could feel the restraints on his temper beginning to fray a little in the face of such stolid, unrelenting stubbornness.

“Three melds since Nero made an appearance in all our lives – I think I have a better concept than most. This kind of accusatory reasoning isn’t like you, Spock. What’s your real objection here?”

“I need not explain myself to you,” Spock said. “I am within my rights to refuse melding with any subject I deem unsuitable.”

Unsuitable?

The anger, which Jim had so far managed to suppress beneath the weight of his concern, broke through his defenses precipitously. He felt himself chill, the blaze of feeling condensing into righteous fury. Spock thought he had no idea what he was talking about? Spock had no idea what he was talking about. Jim had come to him openly, had been willing to meet him halfway on a solution here, but for his trouble all he was getting were snide comments and verbal disparagement – and Jim had always been at his most vicious when he felt wronged.

“Is that your way of telling me I’m not good enough, Mr. Spock?” he asked, and all of the playful banter, all of the cajoling had drained away from his voice, leeching out into coldness and rough disdain. “The other you didn’t seem to think so.”

“I implied no such thing,” the Vulcan insisted coolly. “My hesitation is a reflection of my own views about the meld. I find the casual nature of the Ambassador’s telepathic overtures to you unreasonably nonchalant –“

“Whereas I find them delightful. I was right there with him, you know, one hundred percent. You just don’t like the fact that I let him put his psychic fingers in my head.”

“My concern is with his indiscriminate use of the meld, not your own… acquiescence.”

“That’s bullshit, and I don’t need to be a telepath to tell you that. I’ve practically got frostbite from the ice on the bridge today. Maybe you’re more pissed at him, but you weren’t even remotely accepting of my part in things last night.” The accusations were coming fast and hard, and in the midst of them, something tumbled out that Jim hadn’t consciously acknowledged, even to himself. “You were so jealous you were practically flushing green.”

Anger and rage lit up those dark eyes like coals, and the Vulcan coiled to his feet with the even, sinuous glide of a python. Jim thrilled to see it, because that was exactly what he’d been waiting for. Pushing forward aggressively, he stepped up into Spock’s personal space, two long strides, until they were nearly close enough to touch. Some simmering part of his brain insisted that this was a bad plan, a very bad plan, but he couldn’t be bothered to listen.

“You know nothing of what you speak,” the Vulcan hissed contemptuously.

“Don’t I?” Jim purred, a small, sick smile of sarcasm stretching his mouth with incongruous gentleness. “You think I don’t recognize possessiveness when I see it?” He hadn’t, actually, but it would be a tactical error to tell Spock that, and he was too pissed off to give credence to the tiny voice of caution screaming in the back of his head. “Give me some credit, at least, though I have to admit, you’re the last person I would have labeled territorial.”

“Be silent.”

“Make me,” Jim whispered, and he didn’t know if the tension pounding through his veins was fear or anger or something else. Adrenaline spiked through him hard, the rush of a fight, bloodlust like fine caviar.

“You are attempting to provoke me,” Spock noted, only the bare tremble of his voice giving away his investment in this conversation.

“Yes, I am,” Jim admitted, remembering another time when that had been true, another time he’d found himself up in the other’s personal space, baiting him, practically taunting him with his own feelings.

“Are you afraid, or aren’t you, Spock?” he asked, pulling them both back into the moment, that peak of emotion. “What’s it like not to feel anger?”

“I cannot do this,” Spock breathed, exhaling hard and turning away so sharply that he displaced Jim, who was standing so close he was almost on top of him. He headed for the door with a determined stride, and like any predator sensing weakness, the captain leapt forward at this opening, whipping the other man around until they stood toe to toe again, with nowhere to look but at each other.

“What’s it like to stop at nothing to hide your feelings –“

“Enough!”

“- even from yourself!”

“Please,” the Vulcan whispered. Eyes that were dilated to almost pure black slid closed, blocking the Human out. One hand came up, followed by the other, long fingers curling into claws and pressing hard into both his temples. His struggle for control was evident, and Jim, brought sharply back to reality, realized with a pang that he had, in the midst of being attacked, responded in the way most familiar to him – by attacking in turn. Guilt immediately waylaid him.

“Sorry,” he said helplessly. “Shit. I didn’t mean any of that. I was frustrated that you wouldn’t talk to me, but I should know better than to open my big mouth. It just makes more room for my foot.”

Spock didn’t answer, but his fingers pressed so hard into his face that the skin leeched of color. A wavering note of involuntarily projected confusion snagged at Jim, bleeding across the space between them like an open wound. At a loss for anything else to do, Jim reached out, clutching at those hurtful hands, tugging until it became clear that they wouldn’t be budged by brute strength alone.

“Spock,” he implored, willing the Vulcan to hear him, give in to him. The other didn’t answer, lost in some shameful internal world. Jim pulled harder, determined, but those digging hands would not be moved. He waited to see if Spock would come back, but he didn’t, and they stood in silence for several minutes, while Jim looked helplessly on.

Bereft of options, he let himself drift forward until his forehead impacted gently against his friend’s.

“Spock, don’t do this.”

When the other still didn’t move, he lifted his head, gazing in agonized indecision at his First. He didn’t know what to do. He’d done this to the Vulcan, broken his perfect control in his need to hurt as he was hurting, and now he had no one but himself to blame for his state.

At a loss, he tilted his face up and brushed a careful, almost involuntary kiss over the back of Spock’s left hand.

Something loosened, minutely, to be sure, but perceptibly. Thrilled, Jim pressed his mouth to a white knuckle, then the one next to it. The painful tension waned, just a little. Growing bolder, Jim found himself daring to press another kiss to the side of his thumb.

“Please.”

The claws relaxed, the painful confusion fading out between them. Unwilling to lose the contact that had won him this reprieve, Jim continued to brush his open mouth over the whole expanse of those sensitive hands, lightly, peeling them away in a manner that required all of his Human strength and all of this rather unusual persuasion. When at last Spock was free of the punishing grip of his own hands, Jim clutched them tightly in his, hoping, somehow, to prevent it from happening again.

He cradled them between them, next to his heart, and rested their foreheads together once more. It was too close to see anything in that face, so he closed his eyes.

“I’m sorry,” he murmured. “I’m an idiot, and I have no control over my rotten temper. You are who you are – I wouldn’t change you even if I could. You don’t have to answer to me about anything you feel. But you should know you have nothing to be envious over. You and him – there’s no comparison. What I’ll have with him is easy to define. Lifelong friendship. Trust. Family. What we’ll have between us, I don’t know, but this intensity we have, this way of getting under each other’s skin, this push – it wasn’t like that between me and him.”

“Was it not?” Spock asked, and the underlying urgency in his question made Jim pull back just a little to regard him, look at him from enough of a distance to see his face. There was almost a plea in those dark eyes.

“When you shared thoughts with my other self, it was not – you did not feel like this?”

“You must be joking,” Jim said.

“I am not.”

“No. No, I can see that you aren’t,” Jim accepted quietly. “Spock, believe me when I tell you, I haven’t felt this wound up in circles in a long time. Ever, maybe. When I said he and I were easy, well – we are. You and me, we’re not easy, and that’s not a bad thing. The best things need to be worked at, built on and built up with time and effort.”

“My mother said something similar to me once. That I must make my own choices and to let nothing stand in my way. She quoted a historical figure of your Earth, citing that anything worth having is worth fighting for.”

“Thomas Jefferson.”

Spock looked at him askance, a small not-smile curving the very edge of his mouth. Mesmerized, Jim felt his eyes fix completely on that tiny smirk.

“Indeed,” Spock said. “I find that your habit of representing yourself in jest is an excellent camouflage of your intellectual aptitude. Why do you do this?”

“Never hurts to have people underestimate me,” Jim muttered, licking his lips absentmindedly. “It’s worked several times on you, and you’re a genius. Imagine how Komack must feel.”

Spock, having caught the direction of his captain’s gaze, froze into stillness. Jim expected him to pull away, as he had that night at dinner, even though the current of tension was strung taut between them once again. But he didn’t. And Jim, buoyed by this unexpected hesitance, drifted closer.

“You are a particularly shrewd Human,” Spock murmured, watching him. “You continually circumvent my efforts at categorizing you.”

“Shrewd is pretty kind of you, Spock,” Jim rasped, so close that they were almost sharing breath. “I’ve been called the devil incarnate before, but in far more - personal circumstances.”

“You are once more attempting to provoke me,” Spock whispered, unmoving.

“Yes.” The tension ratcheted up one more screaming notch. “Is it working?”

“Yes,” Spock said.

“Good.” And he swayed forward, drawn by something outside his control, and kissed him.

It was tentative, at first. Feather light and teasing. If there was one thing James Kirk could be called a master of, it was seduction. He took his time seducing Spock into responding and the Vulcan more than returned his interest. The first tentative touch of a tongue didn’t venture from his mouth, but from the other’s. With a faint sigh of acceptance, he opened the kiss, deepening it almost against his will.

The heat of Spock’s mouth was scorching and wet. He tasted of spice. They exchanged careful, generous, toe curling kisses for some time, the press of their mouths obscenely erotic. Jim could feel himself harden so fast it was like blood dropped from his brain to fill his cock. Maybe it had. He certainly felt lightheaded enough. He teased at the rough top of Spock’s mouth, and the moan that rumbled between them wasn’t his. Thrilled, he did it again, and then a third time.

Spock touched him with his right hand, a hot alien thumb trailing down his right cheek, drifting to the collar of his shirt and slipping just below the neckline with a rough, demanding tug. Jim twitched, and something, some instinct from another life, pounded at him too loudly to be ignored. He gave into the insistent whisper of direction, taking that sensitive hand in his own and tangling their fingers so deeply together that the heat from the Vulcan’s skin almost burned him. Spock shuddered, an all over tremble that began in his chest and rippled outward, and Jim rubbed the tips of his fingers against one of his First’s, feeling as though all the awareness in his body centered there. A mind not his own hovered hungrily at the edge of his perception, and he gasped to feel it, yearning for it, wanting it in a maddening, crushing way.

He slid forward, so the press of their bodies moved them back into the wall. Gone were the reasons they couldn’t do this, gone was the notion of propriety, or decency, or conscience. This was heat and tension rolled into the touch of skin on skin, the rough rasp of stubble burning against his face, and he’d never have taken Spock for facial hair, not that smooth, milky white skin, which had always looked soft and flawless. Releasing those tempting lips, he panted, brushing the full length of their cheeks together, the sweat cloying between them. He lipped a rough kiss against the side of the Vulcan’s throat, felt the corresponding rumble of a throaty response, not quite a gasp or growl, but a soundless, helpless huff of air.

Mindlessly seeking, Jim slid a thigh between Spock’s legs, grinding up in a slow roll, pressing into the other’s hard, flat body. He felt like he was struggling to hold himself up under the onslaught of lust that was crashing down on them. There was a hint of resistance from the Vulcan, a minute attempt to prevent being splayed so terribly open, and Jim crooned a wordless reassurance. Then he ruined the effect by dragging their clasped right hands above both their heads and trapping Spock’s wrist against the wall with weighted, heavy pressure. The Vulcan made an inarticulate sound, like glass breaking, but he didn’t pull away, clutching at the grip in spite of himself. Jim rewarded him by sinking his teeth into the long, graceful neck, reveling in the rising musk around them, breathing it in like honeyed wine.

He was so hard it hurt, the excitement pouring into his veins like liquid fire. He set them on a slow, rippling pace, rocking into each other gradually. A brand of heat pressed into his thigh, and he rubbed up against it, hearing the stutter of air next to his ear, the involuntary push of hips bruising his. He trailed another bite into that salty skin, licking delicately at the sweat peppering them both. The taste was different – inhuman. Jim liked it.

“Oh,” he rasped, the first word he’d managed to get out since giving into desire, and reared back up to press their mouths together in a fierce, wanton kiss. He explored the other’s mouth fervently, pressing behind his teeth and mimicking the slow thrusts of their hips with his tongue. He disengaged just long enough to gasp, “Spock –“

And the Vulcan wrenched away from him, stepping to the side and disengaging their hands with a brutal jerk of his fingers. Pain spiked through Jim, and he knew that wrist was going to be trouble later. It gave him a chance to focus though, and the haze retreated just enough for Jim to see what that bid for safety and sanity had cost Spock. The look on his face suggested that he might have easier disemboweled himself than step away.

“What the hell? Get your ass back over here.” He reached for him again, and his First took two unsteady steps backward, shying away from him wildly.

“Do not,” Spock commanded, but weakly, his voice a mere ghost between them. Jim cursed, and smacked his head hard into the wall in frustration. His cock ached and he had to take a moment to adjust, hearing the gasp that the Vulcan was unable to mask while he watched. Jim shook his head, leaning his temple against the wall and regarding the other with weary, drained curiosity.

“Why?”

“There are – things still to discuss, issues that must be laid to rest –“

“There will always be reasons why this isn’t a good idea. Give me one that’s good enough to stop us right now, right this moment. Tell me you’re not fighting yourself just to be standing two feet away from me.”

“I –“

“Tell me truthfully.”

Spock floundered, at a loss. “Jim...”

“God,” the Human groaned, straining, holding himself back only by the greatest effort of will. “I want you. I want you. I have a terminal case of lust with my Vulcan first officer. How screwed up is this? I’m going to kill that bastard for ever putting this idea in my head. This is crazy.”

“I am sorry,” Spock said. “I will not lie to you. Your desire is not one-sided. But I cannot do this with you now. Yet. I still have… obligations I must see to first.”

“Uhura,” Jim guessed.

“Among other things.”

“You’re standing there with a hard-on that I’ll bet is just as uncomfortable as mine, while I’m giving you the best bedroom eyes in my arsenal, and you’re talking to me about other obligations?”

“It appears so.”

Jim stretched out with a sigh against the wall, pretty certain he wasn’t going to be getting any tonight. He took a moment to appreciate the way Spock’s eyes trailed over the length of him, taking in his insistent arousal with hungry, coveting eyes.

“You’re a goddamned cock tease, you know that Spock?”

The Vulcan’s gaze shot up to his, widening in shock. “I beg your pardon –“

“Okay, that might actually be an idiom you’re unfamiliar with,” Jim muttered. “Needless to say, I find your reticence… irritating.”

“I am also dissatisfied with the necessity, but I have only recently acknowledged that I am – drawn to you. Last night was particularly efficacious in bringing the nature of my desires to my attention. And I hold Lieutenant Uhura in too high an esteem to discount her feelings in this matter.”

“Yeah,” Jim said. “That sounds about right.” He was a little relieved, actually. Well, the part of him that wasn’t screaming at being denied was relieved, anyway. It would have been murderously awkward to finish what they’d started here and then have to face Uhura in the upcoming weeks. Not to mention the guilt that probably would have eaten him alive. Jim had been known to do a lot of things for sex, but he usually had a hard and fast rule about home wrecking. On the other hand, that didn’t mean he had any intention of getting involved in Spock’s resolution of this matter. Spock was the one with the problem; he could deal with it.

And Jim took great comfort in that involuntary slip of the tongue (don’t think about his tongue, he scolded himself), that: I cannot do this with you… yet.

“I can’t believe I’m being stiffed – quite literally, in fact – by my second in command. You realize you’re going to make this up to me in about fifty different ways?” Fifty different positions, he thought.

“I will attempt to settle my personal matters accordingly, so that I might begin – repayment.”

Huh. Jim hadn’t thought he was projecting that little innuendo, but then, he was pretty new at not thinking things around telepaths he was ‘in-tune’ with. Or maybe Spock was just being cheeky. Either way, Jim figured he could safely up the number to sixty.

“Well, in that case, I think I’m going to turn in for a quick shower and then see to our passengers. We reach the colony in about four hours.”

“I am aware.”

“I hope you’re also aware that shower is a euphemism for masturbation. Because that’s pretty much what I’m going to be doing the second I hit my cabin. Just thought you should know.”

“Oh,” Spock said weakly, staring at him. Jim took vicious satisfaction in noting that they were both still hard, and from the way the Vulcan twitched, might stay that way for a while longer.

“Right,” Jim said. “Thanks for the scintillating conversation, Spock. I think we’re finally on the same page, wouldn’t you agree?”

“Yes. Quite.” The volume of the Vulcan’s voice hadn’t risen one iota. Jim hoped he had serious trouble regaining it.

“Computer, disengage privacy lock.” He rattled off the authorization code, making no effort to hide the state of his body as he strode casually to the door.

“I’ll think of you fondly, and in copious amounts,” Jim said over his shoulder as he exited, turning smartly and heading for the nearest turbolift that would lead him past the least amount of crewmembers. He was going to have to report Starfleet uniforms as being unusually inconvenient on a number of matters. Failure to hide evidence of an erection, for one.

Left behind, Spock stared after his captain for far longer than was strictly necessary, especially seeing as the doors had cut him from view approximately 2.4 seconds after his exit.

“Oh,” he repeated, and considered that for a life-altering conversation, less than half of which had actually consisted of debatable argument, the amount of resolution it had provided him with was completely – illogical. But then, he was beginning to suspect that logic would not always serve him best, or even well, when it came to relations with the man who would be his T’hy’la.

Time is up, he thought.

End Chapter Nine.

A/N: If anyone missed my LJ note, I apologized for my indecisiveness there, but this is obviously way beyond the original eight parts I planned, lol.  I've decided instead of a full blown sequel, I'm going to write another chapter or two in this story, and finish it with an epilogue.    I have more plot bunnies to burn in this fandom and definitely not enough time. XD

Chapter Ten

Tags: breaking points, fanfic, star trek
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