Title: Something Resembling Serenity
Author: [personal profile] blucola
Category: slash
Characters: K/S
Rating: PG-13
Description: Who do you turn to when you've lost nearly everything?
Disclaimer: I didn't create this world, but don't sue me for wanting to play in it!
Warnings: Nothing significant, just a wee bit of angst. The real warning is that I'm a slow writer, so warp factor crawl on any follow ups.



Life resumes on the starship Enterprise. The newly promoted former cadets start to settle in with confidence, now that they’ve all been tested to a degree none could have possibly experienced before. Even their captain is brand new, but that’s okay, his first day on the job saw him saving the entire planet Earth, not bad for a kid who drove his first ride off a cliff. And except for the occasional nightmare, his reckless life has rewarded him, finally.



He can’t help but wonder, in that cynical part of his brain that finds it hard to accept good fortune, just how long it can last. He and what has now become his crew saved their home, but first saw Earth’s biggest ally reduced to space debris. Ripples of the effect of Vulcan’s fate are still working through the Federation. And wary eyes look to the direction of what could be their greatest enemy, now that the Vulcan race has been castastrophically weakened as a power.



The Enterprise’s mission of exploration has expanded. Once envisioned as purely scientific and peaceful, her journey must now include investigation of possible threats. So, before she can set forth into the great unknown, she must escort an armada of patrol vessels to the Romulan neutral zone. It doesn’t matter that the vessel that destroyed Vulcan and its captain, was from the future. There are many who doubt the possibility of time travel since record of all previous time journeys have been kept strictly secret.



All Jim Kirk knows about it is what he was exposed to in the mind of an old and venerable half Vulcan and even that was jumble of events and emotion. Pain and loss; mixed with love and a friendship that went far beyond brotherhood into that place where mate and friend intertwine. It’s a lot to take. And if he finds himself watching his first officer with more than mere duty on his mind, he’s not going to fault himself for something he has no intention of pursuing.

***

Spock sits alone on his bunk, his hand resting on the harp he is unable to bring himself to play. He’s in contemplation of the guilt, however illogical, he feels regarding the fact that they were unable to arrive in time to save Vulcan. Although what they could have done given the time constraint and the fact that every Federation vessel in the vicinity had been obliterated by Nero’s ship is nearly impossible to say. Faced with an overwhelming foe their best defense was one of which they hadn’t and couldn’t have been aware, Spock’s other selves history with Nero. Ironic that what led to the destruction of his homeworld resulted in the continued preservation of his own life. Nero had wanted the satisfaction of his death but was ultimately denied the pleasure.



His fingers tighten on the strings as he silently strives to obliterate the mean spike of ugliness that spears a near joy through him whenever ponders Nero's failure. It is disturbing and threatens erode the control he has spent a lifetime cultivating. And there is no Vulcan, save through subspace transmission, with whom he can converse about this crisis of conscience. He fears that if he is unable to find relief, he may render himself unfit for duty. The prospect is distressing and unacceptable. It occurs to him, but only briefly, that Nyota would wish to strive to fill whatever capacity he needs. Alarmingly though, the sense is emerging that whatever that might be, it's filled with deeply with rage and violence. He's already experienced that recently and ended up almost crushing the throat of his future captain. It is a part of himself that should never touch her, sullying what they have.



A finger curls on the harp, neatly snapping a string on the delicate instrument. He looks down at it and doesn't for a moment try to convince himself that he didn't mean to do that. It was...satisfying. He closes his eyes.



***



Jim lays on his bunk, an arm draped across his face, trying to fool his body into sleep by pretending to nap. Therefore the lights are up and he has music playing. The problem is that he left the choice to the discretion of the ship's computer and apparently the computer has bad taste, playing him something odd and discordant. Almost like a fusion of jazz and Klingon death cries. Definitely not sleep music. Thankfully his door pings. He sits up, swinging his legs over the side of of his bunk and rubs his eyes, yawning. "Yes?"



"Captain, it is Spock, may we converse?" his first officer says, sounding implacable as always, but there's something there...



"Sure," Kirk says, nodding and waving a hand at the door as if Spock can see. "C'mon in." He stands and runs a hand through his hair, rendering it wilder than before. He tugs on his shirt as Spock steps into the room, perhaps moving a touch more quickly than his usual style. "What can I do for you Mr Spock?" he asks, looking his first officer over curiously.



Spock clasps his hands in front of him, eyes lowered, then raises them, revealing for a split second a depth of emotion that that is quickly veiled. Kirk nearly reaches out to him, body leaning forward, motivated by the echo of a level of friendship that they haven't exactly achieved yet. Damn mind meld, he thinks, exasperated with himself as he pulls back.



"It is difficult for me to talk of such things," Spock says slowly, having either not seen Kirk's near mistake, or choosing to ignore it, "but I believe I am in need of assistance," his voice rasps and he stops speaking so that he can swallow carefully as he seeks control.



"Assistance?" Kirk repeats, head cocked to the side, a look of patience on his face that he most assuredly does not feel. "What kind of assistance?"



"I would like-" Spock starts, straightening his spine to rigidness, arms vertical to his body and his tone steadying to his normal steeliness. "I would ask, if it is permitted for you and I to spar."



Jim's brows pull together into a confused knot. "Spar. You and I? Why?"



Spock raises a brow. "Why not?"



Jim grits his teeth. "That's not an answer and you know it. Come on, out with it."



Spock's expression smooths into one of innocent confusion. "Is not exercise one of our duties as Starfleet officers?"



Jim regards Spock, gaze narrowed, then nods. "Fine, meet on deck 9 at 0700 hours," he says abruptly, waving a hand toward the door. "Now if you don't mind, I'm going to try to get some more sleep."



Spock nods in acknowledgement and turns toward the door. Stepping forward he palms it open and steps through, briskly setting off down the corridor without so much as a thank you or a look back.



Amused, Kirk lets the door shut and shakes his head. "Oh yeah, that's forever friends, all right."



He turns back to his bed and settles onto it a half smile curving his lips. This time, without much more than a mere fluttering closed of his lashes, he's asleep.



And wonder of wonders, he actually stays that way for at least six hours. Astonishing.



***



Kirk is a full five minutes early, but Spock is already waiting for him. He's standing in the middle of a mat, hands held up, fingers splayed and touching, forming a triangle. He appears to be staring through them, face an impassive mask. He appears just as alien as Jim has ever seen, like there's a distance between them that mere physicality could never bridge. Then the hands drop and Spock's gaze shifts to Kirk.



"You are early," he observes blandly.



Kirk shrugs. "Thought I might warm up a bit first."



Spock nods. "A wise decision, I would hate to hurt you due to a lack of preparation."



"Who says you're going to get the chance?" Jim laughs, as if he's never been shoved against a console by this man, fingers tightened hard enough to bruise his larynx.



Spock simply raises a brow.



"Right." Jim waves a hand. "Continue whatever it was you were doing, I'll be over there for a few minutes," he says nodding toward a corner, swinging his arms as he walks. He keeps an eye on Spock as he stretches his muscles, but the other man never moves, just stands quietly in the same position. After a few minutes he returns, wiping away a fine sheen of sweat from his upper lip. "Ready?"



Spock inclines his head in assent.



"So how-" Jim starts to speak, but in a split second finds himself flat on his ass, blinking and shaking his head. "The fuck?"



"Are you injured?" Spock inquires mildly.



"No," Kirk answers, brows drawn together in a frown. "But are we going to fight, or are you going to power shove me all across the floor?"



"I apologize, it was mere impulse," Spock explains.



"Uh yeah?" Kirk asks, disbelieving. "Your impulse is to stick your arm out and push me away?"



"Yes," Spock tells him, giving another one of those irritating nods.



"Well, cut it out. You're the one who asked me here, after all," Kirk says, taking half a step back and balling his fists, eyes sharply on his Vulcan officer's movements. He won't be caught out a second time. Spock adopts a similar pose and begins to circle his captain. He cuts out with a jab, which is easily avoided by Kirk who attempts a punch to the left which is neatly side-stepped by Spock.



They continue dancing around each other, occasionally attempting to make contact, but only managing a few glancing blows. It's annoying as all fuck. Especially in that Kirk can sense something brewing behind that stern expression. And then he gets an idea, and probably not a smart one.



"How is Nyota?" he asks conversationally, practically feeling Spock's sigh of exasperation.



"My preference is to spar, not to discuss personal matters."



"And doing pretty piss poor job of that," Jim mocks cheerfully.



Spock takes a step in, tightening their circle. "I know what you are attempting."



Jim grins. "Oh yeah? Enlighten me," he says, shuffling his feet and popping out a jab straight at Spock's nose. That it never makes contact is kind of galling.



"It is a tactic in which I'm well versed; you are attempting to elicit an emotional response," Spock says, sounding a bit less bland than before.



"And it worked, if you'll recall," Kirk jeers. The fact that it nearly got him killed is beside the point. He has no intention of angering Spock to such an extent. There's no need. At least not one of which he's aware.



"Not today," Spock assures Kirk, reaching in to grab his shoulder and neatly flip him onto his back.



Jim lays on the mat, stunned. Spock had moved faster than he'd thought possible, like a pointy-eared blur. He narrows his eyes and is up in a flash, regarding his first officer with new wariness and respect. Maybe this was a good idea after all. Who knew he had these kind of moves? He knew he was strong, but still... He studies Spock as they circle each other, looking for a weakness. "I should put you in charge of hand-to-hand training with the crew for a few sessions," he threatens, figuring the last thing his science officer would want is something that takes him away from his post, and his girlfriend. The thought of Uhura makes him redouble his efforts to strike a blow against the other man. He spins around, ducks under Spock's upraised hand, and darts around him, laying a hefty smack against his ass in the process. He bounces on his heels in front of Spock, grinning.



Spock raises a brow. "That was most unexpected," he comments dryly. "And I would be pleased to train the crew, if that is your wish, Captain," he says mildly, feinting left only to box Kirk's ear as he moves to the right.



"Ow! Hey," Kirk grumbles, laughing a little. He moves as Spock nearly smiles and uppercuts a solid blow to Spock's chin.



Spock shakes his head, and then it's finally on. They fight cleanly, blow for blow, fists smacking solidly against flesh. Jim watches Spock closely, on the eye out for any more sneaky moves. He soon finds that he can read intent on the other man's face in subtle shifts of expression. So when Spock once again tries to lay his captain out on the padded floor, Kirk wrenches himself back and ducks in behind Spock, sliding his arm underneath to hold him in a half nelson. He presses his hand tight against Spock's neck, discouraging any attempts to pull himself free, and chuckles right in Spock's ear. "Gotcha."



Spock attempts to reach back with the other hand, but Kirk slaps it away. He then steps back and Kirk steps forward, pushing a knee between Spock's legs. "I said, gotcha," he growls.



Spock sucks in a breath and his heartbeat speeds up. "What is your desire?" he rasps, sounding completely unlike himself. His eyelids flutter shut and he feels himself giving in. It's nearly terrifying, but mostly it exhilarates him. He only can hope that Kirk doesn't pick up on his heightened state of emotion.



"Desire?" Jim echoes, wondering at the tension in the body held tightly against his. Spock's breathing sounds ragged, as if it's being dragged into his chest by mere force of will. Or perhaps...He sweeps the palm of his hand down Spock's chest, over his belly, hand pausing.



Spock stops breathing, eyes screwed shut as he struggles with himself. He lifts his foot, nearly ready to grind the heel onto the top of Kirk's foot. "What do you want?" he grits.



Jim balls his hand, as if to stop it from giving in to a temptation of which he's not quite certain. "Do you concede?"



Spock gently lowers his heel. "I do," he says, sounding considerably more in control of himself than he did mere seconds ago.



Kirk lets him go and steps back. "We'll call that one for the good guys," he jokes lamely.



Spock straightens and even from behind, Kirk can see the man's dignity being gathered around him like armour. After a moment he turns to face Jim, face as impassive as ever. "But I didn't win," he quips calmly, eyebrow raised.



Jim chuckles, feeling relieved. "Yep." He raises a hand, clapping Spock on the shoulder, a little frisson of something utterly confusing passing through him at the contact.



Spock manages to not pull away, but he can't help the confused want that steals a little of his will and he finds himself turning away. "I believe I am needed elsewhere," he declares nonsensically as he strides to the door. At the last moment he remembers protocol and turns back to his captain. "May I take your leave?"



Jim nods, waving a hand. "Set a plan for the training; I'd like to start that as soon as possible. There's a lot of nasty out there in the galaxy." He watches as his first officer nods and soundlessly steps out the door as if he can't wait to be as far away from him as possible. "Always full of surprises," he muses as he leaves the room, heading for his own quarters and a few minutes in the sonic shower.



"Not so sure how I feel about that," he mutters to himself, catching a glimpse of Spock as he enters the turbolift, then once again disappears from his sight.
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