during the year between stid and the five year mission, spock stays with jim in iowa.  they’re not quite in a definite relationship yet, but there’s something there, and spock has nowhere else to go.  they spend the year in a quiet, domestic comfort, and jim does his best to keep the house at a suitable temperature for a vulcan.  when winter hits, it brings several feet of snow and freezing temperatures. though spock doesn’t complain, jim notices him shivering one evening, despite the heavy blanket wrapped around his shoulders.  “hey,” jim says, “I’ll show you how we kept warm when I was a kid."  he brings in some firewood, a process that spock watches with a lifted eyebrow, and then goes about starting a fire.  "this seems needlessly dangerous, captain,” spock tells him, but jim waves him closer.  spock hesitantly approaches and sits down next to jim in front of the fire, close enough for jim to loop an arm around his shoulders.  it takes a while, but spock’s shivering subsides, and he relaxes into jim’s side.  something about their relationship changes that night, and they spend the night in the living room, wrapped around each other in the glow of the fireplace.   

“What, Spock, you don’t feel? Because in my book that’s not an option.” Jim holds his fist against the Vulcan’s chest as if placing a blow. “That tightening right there when things go to shit,” movies his fist to Spock’s abdomen, “that release here when everything goes according to plan,” flattens his hand on his hip, moves the other to cradle the back of Spock’s neck, “that ache here when you can’t figure out a problem, a puzzle,” stepping closer, the breaths almost shared, “a feeling? That’s emotion, Spock. Admit it and I will walk away.


A smirk. “Thought as much,” and takes the last breath before closing the distance.

Jim thought he knew what to expect.  The emotional transference from his brief meld with the older Spock had left him reeling, shaky and speechless – in the middle of the night, when all is quiet and he’s on the verge of sleep, he can still feel the grief, the regret. 

He’s expecting something similar with the younger Spock – his Spock – and he braces himself for the onslaught of emotions that aren’t his own.  It would be quick, he remembers that much; the meld with the older Spock seemed to last an eternity, but the side effects didn’t take long to subside.  He’s ready for this, his mind open and willing, and he guides Spock’s hand to his face, holds it there tenderly. 

Spock lifts an eyebrow.  His face is half-shadowed in the darkness of the room, but Jim can still clearly see the hesitation. 

“I’m sure,” he says again; he’s said it so many times since Spock entered his quarters.  “Trust me, I’ve done this with you already.”  

Keep reading