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Title: A Second Chance, Part 1(b)/4
Author: ayesakara aka [livejournal.com profile] laylafic
Universe/Series: Star Trek Reboot
Pairing: Kirk/Spock
Rating: NC-17
Relationship status: First time
Word count: 44,905 (total), 6,141 (this part)
Genre: Angst, action/adventure, drama, h/c
Tropes: Accidental bonding, breakup, mission, grief, jealousy, mindmeld, telepathy
Warnings: Heavy angst, violence/torture, trauma
Additional Pairings: Spock/Uhura, Kirk/OC
Summary: ‘An incident during a shore leave gone disastrous leaves Spock with a link he never expected with his captain—a bond he needs but which he suspects Jim never wanted. The consequences of how he deals with that ‘belief’ change everything for them.’

Continued from A Second Chance, Part 1(a)/4



A Second Chance, Part 1(b)/4




Jim steps out of the shower and grabs a towel from the rack, wrapping it around his waist. Although he spent the night planet-side, he felt an unprecedented eagerness to return to the ship as soon as he woke up.

Shelma and Quelma, the Antaren twins, were a great distraction. However, as eager as he was to bed them last night, this morning, a strange, dull moodiness had befallen him. As if being with them was the last thing he wanted. Which was strange considering they were both exotically beautiful and he usually had no qualms about getting it on with exotic beautiful women—the stranger the better. Nonetheless, he could not get away from them fast enough. He was polite and charming as he made his excuses, of course, but when they offered him a morning round, he really had to decline. And he absolutely had to say no to breakfast in the Sikaren restaurant which supposedly specialized in cuisine from across the quadrant. They looked genuinely disappointed but he would not be deterred.

He’s had a good night’s sleep, so he’s refreshed. The sex was satisfactory too which really says a lot about his mental disposition that he was calling a hot acrobatic threesome satisfactory—but yeah, he really wanted to come back to his quarters to freshen up. He’s also starving now but he wants to log in a few miles at the gym before he heads out to the commissary.

He dresses quickly in his gym shorts, shoes and plain white t-shirt, grabs the gym bag with the change of clothes and heads out. He’s caught up in his thoughts, his mind going a mile a minute, planning the rest of his day between ship-based chores and planet-side hours as he walks through the gym doors, only to stop short at the sight in front of him.

Spock and Sulu are fencing. A small crowd of crewmen has gathered around them to watch as they are wont to whenever either of his bridge mates are engaged in one of their combat training drills.

Jim climbs a runner and switches it on and, as he begins to jog, keeps his eyes on the match. Sulu, he knows, is an expert fencer. A surprisingly aggressive fighter, he employs a unique combative style that Jim sometimes laughingly refers to as mutt fencing, due to his propensity to add in different techniques from a number of marshal arts forms in his fighting program. But that’s where the funny stuff ends and Jim knows it. Having had a go at Sulu in friendly practice a number of times, Jim personally knows the fencing is no laughing matter to him. He’s quick and agile and forceful in his drills, attempting to take charge of the fights from the start.

However, it is the half-Vulcan that Jim finds himself watching more closely lately. Spock, with his tall, lean, deceivingly strong build—with a balance and swiftness that is almost languid in its elegance. With a feline grace, Jim watches Spock fence with the helmsman, his eyes following the Vulcan’s every move, as Spock moves forward and sideways and back on his nimble feet, his every muscle taut with the readiness to pounce. Spock is all sharp angles and hard muscular tension. He often finds himself watching Spock in movement, watching Spock’s hands in motion, with their gentle, strong, long fingers, and those perfectly manicured nails. The hands he knows the strength of from personal experience. He has felt them wrapped around his throat in less than ideal circumstances after all. Damn, he now knows never to piss the half-Vulcan off again. He also knows that the past few months have helped him cultivate a friendship and loyalty with his First Officer that will ensure Spock will always watch his back in a fight, and that would be a fight they would always win.

Spock usually plays a defensive game and with Sulu’s usual aggressive stance, they make perfect sparring partners. But today, Spock appears to be employing a more offensive strategy. Jim watches as Spock tackles Sulu three times, prodding first his chest, then his midsection, then his groin, one after the other, as Sulu attempts to foil his moves by stepping aside and then quickly moving forward in an attempt to throw Spock off. But either Sulu is still a little hung-over from last night or there really is no stopping Spock in his current disposition. He wonders what is up with Spock this morning.

Jim watches as the computer beeps the warning signal, as Spock comes forward to attack fast and furiously over and over. Sulu steps forward, his foil thrust at Spock’s prime, but Spock successfully blocks him and jabs at Sulu’s with a quick movement of wrist and elbow, once, twice thrice. And suddenly Sulu staggers back, almost falling as he puts out a hand in defeat, his chest heaving, and Jim hears the computer beep the signal to stop the fight. Spock stops abruptly, straightening up, as Sulu drops his foil on the floor.

"Oh hey, hello!" Sulu heaves in a staggering breath as he looks up at the First Officer from his position where he is bent at the waist, his hands on his knees. "What’s up, Spock? You feeling okay today?"

Jim feels himself frown as Spock takes long, deep breaths to calm himself as he stares at the helmsman for a few long moments. After a moment, the half-Vulcan visibly sighs. "I apologize. I will attempt to play a more defensive game in the future. If you wish to terminate today’s session..."

"Hey, no." Sulu picks up the foil and straightens up. "I like it. I was just not expecting this after the night we had. My head is still kind of buzzing from all that Antaren brandy we had. The sparring should actually clear it up real nicely." He looked at Spock warily. "Just warn a guy next time you’re in the mood for an out and about aggressive combat set, okay, Commander?"

"Affirmative." Spock inclines his head and they begin again, this time going back to their usual aggressive/defensive styles.

Jim watches them for a while longer, waiting for any sign that things are not back to normal. But the drill is uneventful after that, and Jim increases the speed on his runner as he concentrates on finishing up his exercise. After a while, he watches both Sulu and Spock finish up and leave, with a wave from Sulu and a tilt of head from Spock thrown his way in acknowledgement.

After he’s done, he washes up in the showers and changes. By the time he’s out of the gym, he’s absolutely famished, and is almost jogging into the commissary, determined to feed himself with something hearty and filling. He grabs a food tray and fills it with a large muffin, a thermos of coffee and two servings of eggs and bacon, finds an empty table and settles down.

He’s only just dug in when he hears someone approach him.

"Captain."

He looks up to find his First Officer standing in front of him, now dressed in his uniform, with a tray of his own in his hands. Jim smiles widely. "Mr. Spock, join me?"

Spock nods as he takes the seat from across him and sets his tray down. "Thank you."

Jim watches Spock begin to eat a bowl of cereal with a variety of fruits and milk added, and a mug of tea and goes back to his own food. They eat in silence together for a while and then Jim looks up at him.

"That was an impressive session with Sulu," he says conversationally. "You’ve really improved greatly since I last I saw you two fence. Not that you were ever bad at any combat sports to begin with," he smiles. "But yeah, that was pretty aggressive."

Spock gazes at him, a strange look in his eyes. "It would appear to have been too aggressive" He sounds almost contrite.

Jim once again wonders what could be bothering his First Officer. He hopes everything is all right between him and Uhura. Then he remembers last night and how they looked more than fine together and feels his jaw tighten. He feels a frown forming on his forehead and shakes his head, instead chuckling to lighten the mood. "Yeah well, Sulu did have a little too much to drink last night." He smiles at Spock. "Don’t worry about it. He loves a challenge and is a pretty good study. As are you, in fact."

Spock nods. "Mr. Sulu has taken time out of his schedule to assist me with regular lessons. As he employs the skill sets from various different classes of combat training, I find his technique to be most efficacious in assembling a very potent martial arts program."

Jim pours himself some coffee. "I’m sure you have taught him a few things too. He’s making some moves I hadn’t seen from him before."

"As would any skilled fencer." Spock inclines his head. He puts down his spoon and picks up his tea. He sips delicately from the cup for a few moments and looks at Jim almost expectantly.

Jim stares at him. "Was there something on your mind, Commander?"

Spock puts down his teacup and takes a deep breath. "Yes, Captain. I wished to inform you of a conversation I had with the Rigelen Minister last evening that had me somewhat discomfited."

Jim looks at him curiously. "What happened?"

Spock gives him the account of his whole conversation with Minister Utan, and the subsequent discussion he had with the Antaren authorities and Jim is glad he had already finished most of his breakfast, because he suddenly loses his appetite.

"This is not good." He grits his teeth. "In fact, this totally sucks. This is what I was telling Pike about when he thrust this festival on us in the guise of a so-called shore leave. The potential for contamination when it comes to unsupervised technological exchanges, especially if it concerns weapons, with non-Federation members is fucking huge. But the Starfleet bureaucracy simply doesn’t listen to us, do they?"

Spock inclines his head. "You will however need to inform them of this development."

"Oh I will," Jim nods. "As soon as I get out of here." Something suddenly occurs to him. He looks at Spock. "But I was wondering something."

Spock looks at him. "Yes, Captain?"

"You had this conversation with the Minister when, last evening?"

Spock leans back a fraction. "Affirmative."

Jim stares at his face. "Why didn’t you tell me this right then?"

Spock looks suddenly uncomfortable. "I... meant to," he begins, looks down at the table and then back up at his face, "but... I realized you were otherwise occupied." His face becomes impassive. "I did not wish to disturb you in your free time."

Which is the strangest fucking thing he’s ever heard come out of Spock’s mouth. His First Officer has never been known to beat around the bush. Or to hesitate to come and see him if there is a problem. "Spock, this is more important than my free time." Jim knows he sounds incredulous. "You know that. You should have told me immediately."

Spock presses his lips together. "You are of course correct, Captain." He straightens up in his seat. "I apologize for my misjudgment in handling the issue. It will not happen again."

It really must not. Ship’s business comes first. It really, truly does. "See that it doesn’t, Commander," Jim says firmly. He stares at his First Officer, who still looks uncomfortable for some reason. What the hell is going on with Spock? He can’t imagine why Spock would hesitate to approach him just because he was with a bunch of women at a bar. Or would he? Jim can feel the slight tension in the air, so he softens his tone as he nods at his First Officer. "Want to join me for my vid conference with Admiral Pike as we inform him of this situation?"

Spock looks into his eyes, something unreadable lurking there. He slowly inclines his head. "Of course, Captain."

**

"But how could such a contraption even work?"

Ensign Beemer is sitting with his elbows on the table in the rec room, his chin propped up on his folded hands, as he looks between Chekov and Engineer Scott for illumination.

But it is Sulu who leans forward to answer. "Well technically speaking, telepathy is like finding the right frequency on your old fashioned radio, right?" he says. "So if you can somehow figure out a way to do that telepathically, it’s just like listening to your favorite jazz station, or if you go a little further, just like broadcasting your own signal if you have a booster attached."

Engineer Scott speaks up: "So, what ye are saying is... if there were to be a device... which could generate a frequency that matched the psionic signals of a psi-null species..."

"This is, of course, considering psi-null species even have psionic signals," Sulu interrupts.

"They do, of course." Chekov nods enthusiastically. "Ask any telepath." And just as he says it, he looks up to see Mr. Spock walk into the room with Dr. McCoy in tow. They appear to be having a heated discussion about shore leave schedules and someone or other getting sick on the planet. As Chekov looks closely, he can see that Mr. Spock looks utterly disinclined to continue whatever they are talking about, so he decides to rescue him. "Hey, look, there’s Commander Spock. Commander Spock!" He calls out, "Commander!"

Both Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy approach the table.

"What the devil are you all up to?" The doctor has the usual scowl on his face.

But Mr. Spock ignores the admonition and looks at Chekov. "What is it, Ensign?"

"Commander, do psi-null species have psionic signals?" Chekov looks up at the First Office expectantly.

Sulu snorts as the doctor curses while the commander raises an eyebrow at Chekov. "I beg your pardon."

"What Pavel is trying to ask is..." Sulu chuckles. "...can psi-null species be affected by psychic probing, for example by telepathic aliens or... perhaps through some technological device that is programmed to emit a psychic... field for instance. The answer, of course, is.... yes."

"Indeed." The commander inclines his head. "Any species, regardless of their psi-rating, could be affected by the presence of psionic probing, whether by a telepathic alien, or... via a device, were it to exist, that used some method of a psychic interference to detect or influence ones thoughts. However, it would depend on several factors, such as how deep the probing is, and whether or not the telepathic influence is being attempted at a frequency which matches the species’ mental wavelength."

Dr. McCoy mutters. "That’s the way to get your brain scrambled, by having someone poking around in their thoughts with fucking telepathy!"

"See? That’s what Mr. Scott said." Chekov says. "If the psionic signals match the frequency of the mental wavelength."

"No, actually..." Sulu shakes his head. "Scotty said it the other way around."

"Shut your mouth, lad." Mr. Scott scowls at Sulu, and then looks at the commander. "What we’re askin’ here is... if they generated a field that projected, say, on a wide band of psionic wavelengths, it could possibly tune into the psychic signals of a large number of alien species, can it not?"

"Possibly yes." Spock looks at him and then he looks around the table. "Might I ask, what has prompted this discussion?"

Sulu looks at Spock, then at Chekov, who suddenly feels uncertain at the scrutiny he is receiving from his superior officers, before sighing. "Someone down on the planet just told Pavel about.... one of the alien visitors bringing in a... ‘Psychic Field Generator’."

There is silence at the table for a moment, as Dr. McCoy curses again and Commander Spock looks at Chekov in what can only be termed as the Vulcan expression for astonishment—even if he only looks slightly more grave than usual. "For technological exchange," he says.

Chekov ducks his head. "Yeah."

"So we were just discussing how such a device could possibly work." Sulu looks rueful. "Of course, it would be illegal, wouldn’t it?"

Spock turns to Chekov. "Who was this individual who told you about this device?"

Chekov straightens up, his heartbeat suddenly faster. "He was an Antaren, Commander. I don’t know his name."

"When did this discussion take place?"

"Less than an hour ago," Chekov replies, "when I was at the café on the beach."

Spock looks at him. "Would you be able to recognize this person if you saw him again?"

Chekov nods. "Yes, I think so."

The commander takes out his communicator and punches a button. "Spock to the Bridge."

"Uhura here."

"Lieutenant, has the captain returned from his meeting with Minister Utan?"

"Negative."

"Can you contact him?"

"Hold on a second." There is a pause for a few moments before they hear her voice. "He’s not responding. He’s in the Diplomatic Enclave right now, they turn off all communication devices down there."

Spock turns to the group at the table. "Who accompanied the captain to the surface?"

"Ensign Molaris," Sulu replies. "I was supposed to join him later."

"To what purpose?"

Sulu shrugs. "A tour of their botanical labs, Commander. It is supposed to be shore leave, after all."

Spock stares at him. "Lieutenant, I suggest you beam down immediately, find the captain and inform him of this situation. The botanical labs can come later."

"Yes sir." Sulu hurries out.

"Ensign, I need you on the bridge." Mr. Spock nods to Chekov as they move out of the rec room together.

"Aye Commander."

**

"Lieutenant, raise the Antaren governor on priority channel," Spock orders as they walk onto the bridge.

"Aye Commander." Uhura replies as she fiddles with her controls. After a while she looks up. "I can’t get through. There is some kind of interference in the...."

Spock interrupts. "Raise Lt. Sulu on the comm."

There is a short pause before she replies, "I’ve got him."

"Lieutenant, can you find the captain?"

"I am unable to reach him, Commander," comes Sulu’s reply over the comm. "There’s something going on down here."

Spock feels his brows furrow. "Explain."

"I don’t know what it is. But it is definitely something..."

Suddenly the comm signal breaks as they hear a loud crackle of static fill the bridge. Spock turns to Uhura questioningly but she only shakes her head.

And then, Chekov cries out. "Commander, there’s been an explosion in the Diplomatic Enclave building."

Spock whirls around to face the viewscreen. "Lt. Sulu, report!"

More static sounds on the channel before comes Sulu’s reply, "Commander, I’m attempting to.. there’s no.... coming back... find help..... ahhh." They hear Sulu cry out over the channel and the line goes silent.

Spock attempts again. "Lieutenant, what is going on down there?" But there’s no response.

He presses his comm. panel on the chair. "Spock to Sickbay."

"McCoy here."

"Doctor, there’s been an explosion down on the planet. Prepare for emergency evacuation and treatment of possible casualties."

"Affirmative."

Spock turns to Uhura. "Lieutenant, get me Ensign Molaris!"

"I can’t get through to him. Can’t get through to either of them," she replies. "There’s no response."

He looks at the Comm. Officer. "Get me someone from the Antaren council on screen."

"I’m trying."

He steps up to the Navigation console. "Ensign, I want status."

Chekov’s fingers fly on his controls. "There is a jamming signal in the planet’s atmosphere originating from the north-western block of the Diplomatic Enclave, and it is interfering with our sensors."

Uhura calls out, "I have Governor Lispah’n on the screen."

The wizened face of the Antaren Governor appears on the viewscreen. But the picture is unclear, the signal breaking and reappearing haphazardly.

"Governor," Spock addresses the bureaucrat, "What is going on at the Diplomatic Enclave? Our sensors registered an explosion."

The picture distorts, breaks up and then comes back. But as it clears up, everyone on the bridge can see the Antaren Governor is in pain. "It is too loud," the man moans. "There are too many voices. Too many sounds." He sobs. "Oh, you must stop them, Federation. Please, goddess, stop them. Please, you must..."

And with that the signals drops. Spock turns to face Uhura, his face grave, and sees her shake her head.

"Commander," Chekov says, "there is an interference around a three hundred and fifty meters circumference of the Diplomatic Enclave building that is blocking our sensors."

"The Psychic Field Generator." Spock presses his lips together. He calls sickbay once more. "Doctor, when was the last time you spoke with the captain?"

"Two hours ago, just as he was going into his meeting with Minister Utan," McCoy answers. "What the hell is going on?"

But Spock has no time to answer. He turns and moves towards the turbolift. "Bridge to Mr. Scott. Report to Transporter Room 2 immediately."

"Aye Commander."

Spock waves at the Navigation Officer. "Mr. Chekov, you’re with me."

They arrive in the transporter room to find not only Mr. Scott but also Dr. McCoy waiting for them.

"Spock, where’s Jim?" The doctor asks, his voice agitated.

"He has not been located since the explosion," Spock replies. "We have reason to believe the psionic device has been activated on the planet. Two of our officers who had accompanied the captain are compromised."

The doctor looks at him. "Where the hell do you think you’re going?"

Spock turns to face him. "Down on the planet."

The doctor has a scowl on his face. "Spock, that Psychic Field crap, even you as a telepath would be susceptible to its effects."

Spock stares at him. "Understood. However, my first duty is to make sure the captain is safe. As I am the only one on board with telepathic shields in place, I find myself to be the most qualified to make the rescue attempt."

The doctor looks at him gravely. "Then, I’m coming with you."

"Negative." Spock shakes his head. "You will not be able to repel the effects of a psychic field. You must wait here for me to bring the captain back to the ship, so that you can treat him for any possible injuries." He turns to Scott and Chekov. "It is imperative that you not only find the source of this interference and get rid of it, but that you also locate that generator and disable it."

"Aye Sir."

Spock arms himself with a phaser and gets up on the transporter pad. "Mr. Scott, transport me to a point close to the Diplomatic Enclave."

Mr. Scott frowns. "The interference is messing up with my sensors, Commander. I cannot guarantee I can find you a safe spot near that building even outside the circumference of the signal."

Spock stares at him. "Then find me an unsafe spot and beam me down there."

"But Mr. Spock."

"Do it now."

The first thing he notices as he rematerializes on the surface is the chaos.

Everywhere he looks, he sees smoke coming out of damaged buildings, and bodies either strewn haphazardly, or writhing on the ground. Those who do not appear to be injured are stumbling about in a daze, clutching their heads, their fingers shoved into their ears as if they are trying to block out a cacophony of noise. Every face he looks at is contorted in pain, the sounds of painful cries and moans reverberate in the chilled night.

He takes out his tricorder and checks the surroundings. The readings are going haywire, the interference too strong, but he can just make out the circumference of the jamming signal and he is standing right at the edge of it. He can almost feel the thrum of the psychic presence here. It’s a palpable, tangible thing, its energy pulsing at the edges of his consciousness, but here, outside the circumference, it is not strong enough to affect him.

As he takes a step forward, he notices Sulu and Molaris sitting a little further away against a wall, looking dazed but mostly undamaged. They apparently had enough foresight to make it out of the signal’s range before they collapsed. He moves forward to seize Sulu’s shoulder and asks him about the captain’s last known location. The helmsman weakly points in the direction of a hallway about two hundred meters into the building. Spock instructs him to contact the ship and liaise with Scott and Chekov to find the generator.

Leaving his two crewmates to fend for themselves, Spock rushes through the entrance, the smoke inside thicker, as he climbs over overturned articles of furniture and even more bodies—some of them merely unconscious though he could not be sure—but has only moved a few dozen paces when it hits him. Thousands of voices whispering, sniggering, hissing in his mind, poking at his thoughts, filling his ears, his senses, his head with their prodding, pricking, puncturing malevolence. The psychic energy throbs around him, beating at his mental shields. He staggers back a step, and closes his eyes as he takes a deep breath to steady himself. He calls upon his Vulcan training, shoring up his defenses and reasserting his mental shields one by one until they are all back in place, until he is once again feeling in control, and then opens his eyes. He takes stock of his situation once more, remembers the direction Sulu had pointed out earlier and moves.

In the second room, he finds the Rigelen Minister on the floor in a pool of magenta blood, a shard of broken window glass sticking out of his chest. Spock doesn’t have to check his pulse to know he is dead. He leaves him there. It is as he is crossing the threshold between the third and the fourth room, that he catches a glimpse of gold in the periphery of his vision.

It is the captain, lying on his back stuck under an upturned table. Spock runs to him, reaching down to assess the damage, and notices the shards of the splintered wood that have breached his shoulder—thick red blood seeping out of the wound. But he can see the captain’s chest rising and falling and that sends a rush of relief through him.

"Jim," he says gently, reaching out to check his pulse, and the moment his fingers touch the captain’s skin, Spock hears a blood curdling scream reverberate through his skull as the captain’s body convulses, his face contorting in pain. Spock pulls back with a gasp as if shocked at the touch, his eyes widening at the misery he sees on the human’s face. He sees the captains’ mouth open in a silent scream as his body thrashes back in the throes of a seizure, a choked sob falling from the slack mouth. No, no, no, no, no, no, he hears crackling against the mental link—its as if the presence of the psychic field has heightened his senses, the tips of his fingers acting as a psychic conduit even though they are no longer touching the human’s bare skin.

"Jim," he says again. "Captain!" he urges.

But there is no reply, only an answering shudder as the captain’s body writhes in pain, his face a picture of absolute torture. The captain’s mind is trapped in the psychic field. Spock must reach him before any more damage is done to his friend. He must rescue both his body and mind.

Determined, Spock reaches out to hold his captain’s shoulders firmly. He spares a glance at the tortured features, takes a deep breath, and holds up both his hands over the captain’s face above the psi-points. Then with his fingers splayed in the traditional melding position, he makes contact.

He feels the moment the link is formed, because he’s suddenly plunging inside the pulsing, throbbing, choking depths of the human’s fear-filled mind. No, no, no, no, no, please no, no, no, no, he hears the painful howl and yet pushes his way into the clamoring confusion. Everything is so cold and black and angry inside this place. He can feel the malevolence thick like a cloud of suffocating, burning smoke, can hear the laughing, hissing, sibilating whispers buzzing in his ears. No, please no, no, no. He can feel the waves of pain and fear coursing through this mind. This fragile human mind. Lost in a thick black fog, the stench of what smells like burning flesh suddenly stings Spock’s nose, and he feels himself gag.

Jim, he calls out, breathing heavily as he blinks into the morass. Jim, you must let me find you.

No, he hears, stay away, stay the fuck away.

Jim, no, it is I, Spock. Your friend. Captain, let me help you.

No, no, please.

Here the whispers are louder, their power more potent than ever. And beneath it, Spock can hear a persistent throb. It is a sound he has heard before. The thump of a human heart beating, slowed and slowing still, as the pain engulfs the mental landscape around them. In Jim’s mind, in his current physical state, the natural protective shields of his mind are almost nonexistent. He has been weakened tremendously due to his injuries and cannot cope with that physical pain and the onslaught of the psychic attack at the same time. He has to be stabilized or it will be too late.

So Spock reaches out to extend his own shields to protect the human. He has never done this before and the only instances he is aware of involved other Vulcans, but he believes it can be done. Itmust be done. The connection is already made, all he needs to do is grab the safety net his mental shields provide and extend them through the meld into the human’s mind and wrap his shields around Jim’s mental self. It is the only way he can save the captain’s mind.

Jim, he calls out, please, you must let me in. I am here to help you.

Please, comes the choked whisper. Don’t.

Jim. Let me in.

I can’t.

Yes, you can. You can trust me.

Please.

Jim.

Slowly, he senses a shift in the mental landscape. Jim, where are you? he asks. You must resist the pull of the attack, Captain. Block them. You can do that. Let me help you.

A pinprick of light appears on his horizon and suddenly the darkness recedes a fraction. Spock begins to see shapes in the pitch black darkness.

Jim, push the voices away, push them out of your mind. They do no exist. They are only artificially created. Listen to my voice. I am the only one here, Jim.

And there finally, he sees it. That pinprick revealing itself as a pulsing, throbbing source of light: his captain’s psychic self. It’s like an unfettered length of rope, waving in a vacuum, in a space of absolute blankness. And it is injured. It has taken a beating at the hands of the malevolent attack of the psychic field. Spock reaches out with his mental hands and sends a wave of safety, security, protectiveness towards the blinking, pulsing, source of energy, towards his captain. And suddenly, the pain drops, the darkness recedes and he watches in amazement as a sudden, bright, sparkling light fills the landscape around him.

He watches that point of light shimmering with the positive burst of energy he has sent towards it. He focuses on his shields, targeting them through the link, to extend them around his captain’s psychic presence. But before he can, suddenly, that single pulsing thread of energy pours out of that tiny pinprick, splintering into strands of luminous, glowing strings that drape themselves around him. They fill his senses, and he’s suddenly drenched in waves of wonderment, affection, gratitude, loyalty, adoration, sympathy, respect. It takes him a moment of utter bewilderment before he realizes the emotions belong not to him, but to the captain. And he does not know how to control these sensations flowing through him. He feels that pulse of energy, that source of Jim Kirk’s psychic self, pouring out all this potent emotion into the mental link, feels it reaching out to the deepest core of him, to a part of him that no one else has ever seen. No one else but the bondmate that is lost, that no longer exists. He hears himself cry out as the connection is made between this bright, pulsing source of energy that is Jim Kirk, and his bond —his broken, injured bond that throbs and bleeds and hurts inside him.

He tries to pull back, as if shocked, tries to rein in his control, but he has not realized until now that his attempts to meld with Nyota have brought down his defenses, have left him compromised. His shields are not in their optimal condition, they are weaker... and the psychic presence battering at this defenses... is making them weaker still. And that... bright, burning source of light that is Jim, that positive, rejuvenating energy calls to him, like a source of life-affirming illumination in the thickness of choking darkness filled with malevolent energy, and he cannot help but reach for that source of goodness with his mind’s hands. Please, no, he cries. He must stop this, he must pull back, he must resist the lure of that incandescent mind. But with a choice between vengeful, evil, baleful thoughts and that lone, bright, burning essence of goodness, he cannot stop himself. He cannot stop his bleeding, aching, hurting bond reaching out and answering that siren call by enveloping itself around that welcoming heat.

He feels that pinprick expand and infuse him with a cacophony of emotion, pouring out a glut of affection, caring, protectiveness, tenderness, and love. Love as he has never felt before. But he must stop it. He must stop this right now. He needs to stop it from wrapping him in all this sensation, in this sea of catastrophic emotion. He has to stop it because this is not what he is here for, this is not his, does not belong to him. But he is greedy. He cannot have this but he also must have this. He wants to drink it all in, keep it inside him and never let it go. He has been thirsty, oh so thirsty for this touch, for any touch. It is wrong, so wrong, but he cannot stop the two pulsing sources of energy from meeting and wrapping themselves around each other. For as they join, he feels their energies merging together to soothe all the pain and ache and hurt he has endured. All the pain he has suffered as he laid down each night and felt the wound inside him bleed from the broken bond. And it soothes all the pain Jim has endured. He can feel the healing energy like a balm on all their combined wounds inflicted, both old and new. Until all he can see is a warm, bright, burning light, a light that fills his whole being, a light that envelopes and saturates him with sensation, inundates his senses with a giddy happiness he has never felt in his life. A happiness that he knows does not belong to him, and yet it fills him and washes him clean with all its healing, loving power.

And in the middle of it all, stands a tall, lean figure, his golden hair as bright as the burning sun, his sky-colored eyes beautiful and filled with an insightful, knowing acceptance.

"Spock," he hears his name called out...

...and is suddenly, rudely pulled out of the meld. He finds himself lying on the transporter platform on the Enterprise. His hands are on the captain’s face, hovering over the psi-points. His captain lies unconscious and injured, his shoulder bleeding onto the transporter platform. But the human’s face is free of all discomfort and as Spock looks at the slack features, he feels a familiar hum crackle at the back of his mind.

"Spock," he hears his name called out and looks up into the concerned eyes of Dr. McCoy. Lt. Sulu and Ensign Chekov are hovering at one side of the transporter room. He sees Mr. Scott at the transporter controls.

"Get the stretchers," he hears the doctor bark to someone. He watches as two nurses haul the captain from the floor and load him onto the stretcher.

"Spock." He hears someone say his name but his eyes are already closing, his whole being suddenly filling with a strange, incomprehensible lethargy. The last thing he sees is the sight of Jim being carried from the transporter room on an antigrav stretcher.

And then he loses consciousness.

**
End Part 1

Go to Part 2
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December 2010

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