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Title: A Second Chance, Part 4(a)/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: ~44,900 (total), 3,944 (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 3/4


A Second Chance, Part 4(a)/4



Leonard feels as if he should be angry at Spock for the stupid stunt he pulled. For the secrets he kept. For all the trouble he gave Jim.

But all he has to do is take one look at him lying on that biobed, and remember the state he was in when they brought him back to the ship, and the anger dwindles. He’d been missing for close to eighteen hours, during which those fucking bastards really had done a number on him. As far as physical injuries go, Leonard has seen far worse even on Spock himself on previous occasions. However, the duration between the point of injury and the moment of rescue was longer and more grueling on this occasion. The overall state he was found in simply far more troubling.

The physical wounds have been taken care of now. The stab wounds on his back, the incisions along his arms, his shoulders, the deep slash in his chest, where he had bled and lost almost two point three pints of blood—all signs of a physical struggle. The bruises on his face from the metal mask that the rescue team had removed and brought back to the ship for study are also gone now. The Healer had seemed particularly troubled to see that injury. That and his hands, most specifically his fingertips, where the aliens had inserted some kind of needles that had severely damaged the nerve endings. Sonok explained the importance of Vulcan hands to him. They are one of the most sensitive parts of their bodies, even more than their facial psi-points. Fingertips are the point through which a Vulcan initiates a mindmeld, to form a mental connection with another being. To have an injured hand, to have one’s fingertips with their millions of sensitive nerve endings compromised, even temporarily, is like having your hands chopped off.

Leonard had to place Spock’s hands in a regenerative chamber over the biobed to accelerate that repair. While he knew there wasn’t going to be any permanent damage, he realized that even after the restorative surgery he’d performed, the complete healing process was going to at least take days, if not weeks.

Not that this particular Vulcan is aware of much anything at the moment. He is out cold, in a Vulcan Healing Trance, according to Sonok. He knew about them, but having the Healer’s word that this is a Vulcan body’s natural defense mechanism in the face of a traumatic injury, and would aid in the healing process better than any therapy is reassuring. Still it is disquieting to see him like this, his heartbeat so slow, his blood pressure even lower than he would have expected. But Sonok assures him that the trance would help Spock heal both from physical wounds as well as those inflicted on his mind.

Leonard has no cause to doubt Sonok, who is the expert in this case. Spock’s brain scans show the ravage those aliens caused on his mental state, with the prolonged barrage of psionic energy and the other insidious, malicious ways they chose to torture him physically. Sonok performed a mindmeld on him immediately after he was rescued and says he had to do it to retain the integrity of his telepathic shields. He says they were shaken during the assault but are intact, though they too will require time to heal completely.

He still doesn’t know what Spock was thinking when he decided not to disclose the nature of the mindmeld he’d performed on Jim and the resultant bond that had formed between them. It was clearly an accident, and there should not have been any problems disclosing it. But Sonok alludes to the possibility that their First Officer may not have been acting rationally in the wake of the Antara incident. Also the fact that he did arrange to have the Healer arrive possibly means he was finally ready to do something about it.

As for Jim, he’s not saying much. He has spent time with Spock in the sickbay but he’s also been busy dealing with Starfleet brass after the whole Arkon III fiasco. Still, Leonard finds him sitting by the First Officer’s side from time to time, before he’s called out again. The look on his face is always perplexed.

Leonard figures only Spock can answer the questions he has.

**

They’d arrested seventeen aliens alive from the underground cell where Spock had been held. Five were killed in the encounter and three bodies were found awaiting burial when they first broke into the facility. Apparently, Spock had given them trouble of his own. There were no casualties on the Starfleet side.

Everything had happened so fast once they’d arrived back at Merak II. They’d run resonance scans of the entire planet, searching for any presence of the psionic signal, and it had taken them a while before they’d detected something at a location in the northern hemisphere, forty-five thousand kilometers northeast of the Meraki central government offices they’d visited earlier. The fact that the cell was buried under a thick layer of rock added to the difficulty of the detection.

As for the aliens, it is not a species anyone in the Federation has ever encountered before. They call themselves the Kalahans, a xenophobic race that originates from a planet near the Corian Nebula in sector 342, and which supposedly has been a victim of hundreds of years of carnage at the hands of a telepathic species called the Yintis. From this arises their hatred of all telepathic races, irrational as it is. They created the psionic device in conjunction with some of their mercenary contacts and Antara was their first live experiment of the device’s effectiveness.

All the while the Enterprise and the Potomac crew had been following the trail of the P-9 component, the Kalahans had been following the Enterprise’s trail—having set their sights on Spock, who had apparently caught their attention for having survived the psionic device’s effects on Antara.

When Jim thinks of everything Spock went through while he was missing, what those aliens did to him, he wants to take a phase rifle and start vaporizing them one after the other.

He is also restless. He cannot feel the bond at the moment, cannot feel Spock’s presence. The feeling is unlike the depression he’d felt when Spock had blocked the bond before. This time, he feels a vacuum. Sonok says it is because Vulcan mental shields go up during a healing trance, in order to heal any damage caused and reestablish the telepathic controls, if compromised. In Spock’s situation, the damage has gone on for so long, that his controls will obviously take some time to get back to normal. He says Spock would likely stay in a trance at least for the next two days.

Logically, he knows why Spock did what he did with the bond. Why he’s been acting so irrationally these past few days, why he blocked the bond from Jim. Spock has been suffering from a delayed PTSD. From the loss of Vulcan, from the loss of his mother, and the severing of his betrothal link. This was months ago, and Spock has been in mental pain all this time.

However, Jim cannot help but feel his heart squeezing at the thought that this was just an accident to Spock. An accident in which Jim became a casualty along with him. Spock never really wanted the bond. He never really wanted Jim. He cannot help but feel a strange, misplaced sense of hurt and betrayal at this. At being shut out of Spock’s mind. He did not have it easy while Spock was being tortured. He went through hell himself trying to get through to him via the bond. And every time he tried to find a way in, he faced a wall. A blockage. A closed door.

He needs to get to the bottom of this.

**

He comes to awareness slowly.

The first realization to register in his conscious mind is of the lack of pain. No part of his body or mind hurts. No malevolent presence lurks beneath his thoughts. No one is touching him, probing him, scouring his body. He can feel his telepathic shields in place. He takes in a deep breath, and attempts to assess their integrity and knows they are intact, their control nearly complete. He opens his eyes and knows he is in sickbay, lying on a biobed. The lights are dimmed where he is and a complete and utter silence surrounds him.

He detects a movement at the periphery of his vision and recognizes Nurse Chapel noticing his current awake status, and what appears to be surprise mingled with relief shows on her face.

Then Dr. McCoy appears and stands over him, his eyes concerned, and asks him a question but his hearing does not seem to be working yet. He has a pen flashlight in his hand, which he switches on and directs into Spock’s eyes to check for autonomic response of his pupils. Nurse Chapel appears by the doctor’s side with a tray in hand and the doctor picks up a hypospray and presses it to Spock’s neck. He does not hear the hiss but feels as the contents are released into his skin, and suddenly his ears pop and his hearing returns.

"......you feeling?" the doctor is asking him.

Spock tries to tell him he is well, but his throat is too dry and what comes out is no more than a rasp. Another hypo appears and its contents released into his bloodstream and Nurse Chapel brings a glass of water which she helps him sip with the help of a straw.

McCoy looks at him closely. "Do you know where you are?"

Spock wets his dry lips and replies, "I am in sickbay."

McCoy nods and then narrows his eyes. "Can you state your name and designation for me?"

Spock exhales. "I am Spock, son of Sarek, First Officer, USS Enterprise." He looks at the doctor. "I assure you, Doctor, I am in no way suffering from a memory loss."

McCoy looks at him appraisingly. "Then you remember what happened?"

He looks at the doctor closely and then feels his eyes close as he lets himself recall the hazy memories of his incarceration. It all comes back slowly. The voices, the pain, the misery. The metal protrusions touching his psi-points, sending a hot, nauseating wave of agony into his brain. And then it comes to him: Jim.

His eyes fly open as he looks at the doctor. "The captain...is he...?"

"He’s fine," McCoy interrupts him, as his expression suddenly seems to close off. Spock feels a strange fluttering at his side. He wishes to know about his bondmate but the doctor is looking at him with an expression Spock cannot recognize. "He’s busy, but I’m sure you’ll see him soon," McCoy’s voice is sharp.

He then continues in a softer tone, effectively changing the subject, "Well, the good news is, your readings are mostly back to normal. Your heart rate is 238 bps, which is close to normal, your body temperature is almost back to 91F, which is again good." The doctor’s focus is on the monitor. "What concerns me is that... your electrolyte levels are still severely down. You lost close to two point three pints of blood, most of which we replenished intravenously. However, it is not anything that a nice long rest and a few days of regular good meals cannot help."

However, there is a peculiar blankness filling Spock’s mind, a void that he should be grateful for, for its lack of feeling and emotion. But it reminds him of that haze, of the fog that had confounded him during his captivity.

McCoy asks him if he can get up and when Spock nods, the doctor presses something on the panel above the biobed and Spock realizes his hands had been held in some kind of a chamber. The doctor expertly pulls open the cover, and removes Spock’s hands from it, and then carefully helps him get up and sit upright. He is saying something about regenerative surgery and nerve endings being damaged and healing time required but all Spock can do is stare at his hands with their bruised fingertips.

He notices the Elder’s presence in the room, remembers he had felt his presence in his mind soon after his rescue as well, but at the moment he cannot bring himself to focus on him. The Elder comes to stand in front of him, but Spock can only look at his hands. The Elder says something to him about meditation and Spock murmurs something about his shields working adequately. That is correct, the Elder says, but he will still need to meditate, to work on letting his control become absolute once more.

But his fingers are hurt and he cannot even... Spock refrains from closing his eyes, from letting what he is feeling appear on his face.

He will do as the Elder says. He will make his control absolute.

He lets the blankness pervade him.

**

Nyota nods to Lieutenant Seltzer as she hands over her station and walks out of the bridge.

The last few days have literally felt like a whirlwind. Members from Starfleet Intelligence arrived two days ago and are currently working with the Meraki authorities to question the aliens captured as well as the crew of the Vallentian vessel seized by the Potomac right at the edge of Federation border, all now being held planetside in a detention facility, to get to the bottom of the Kalahan conspiracy.

In all this time, with the constant barrage of communications from Starfleet and meetings being set up between the captain and the various fleet brass arriving every few hours, Nyota has barely had the chance to go check up on Spock more than that one time when there was a lull in the activity. And now he’s back to his quarters, but no one but the Healer has seen him for the past one day.

She wonders how the captain is faring after all that he went through.

She knows now that something happened on Antara, something which caused a bond to accidentally form between the captain and Spock. Christine was being tightlipped about what she’d witnessed between the captain and the Healer when they were in sickbay, but when Nyota told her she knew about the bond—which was a lie, she’d only suspected until then—Christine did not deny it. So now she knows. Why Spock decided to hide that link, she doesn’t know. All she remembers is how Kirk was when Spock had gotten abducted, how agonized he appeared. She also remembers how he’d led the team down to the planet to get Spock out of that horrible place, how he’d held him in his arms when they’d been beamed back.

Then she recalls what Sulu had said about how tense Spock had seemed when he’d brought back the captain from Antara.

She thinks she may have her answer.

She just needs time to process this.

**

On the second day, when the Elder attempts a mindmeld with him, Spock nearly gets physically ill.

It is the memory of those metal protrusions digging into his psi-points, sending a fire of agony into his brain, that keeps haunting him. He was already in emotional pain, but now he has also been physically damaged. He cannot use his fingertips to meld and just the thought of lifting his shields makes him feel nauseous, throwing him in that pain-memory circle that tells him his bondmate will come to harm if he allows the aliens access to his mind.

Logically, he knows it is over, knows no harm will come either to Jim or himself. But he cannot help but feel crippled, as if he’s still in that fog-filled place where there was no tether.

"I apologize, Elder, for losing control," Spock says to the Elder.

Sonok looks at him calmly. "Control can be found again, Spock. You must remember that I have already melded with you once while you were unconscious. The pain no longer exists. Your psi-points were not permanently damaged. Your hands too will heal and then you will once again be able to perform a meld on your own. But you must let me assess the integrity of your mental shields after being in a healing trance."

"I understand." Spock tilts his head. "I will attempt again."

The second time, the meld is successful and the Elder enters his mind with relative ease. But the moment he feels a mental prod at his shields, he feels a panic inundate his senses, a memory of sniggering whispers pushing their hateful, sickening presence into his mind. His mind struck in that memory, of the whispers that wanted to hurt his bondmate, Spock pushes the Healer’s conscience away from his mental place, abruptly falling out of the meld.

He watches the Elder look at him gravely. He is still crippled. Still unable to concentrate.

"You are still living in the memory of that pain," Sonok says. "But it would not hurt if you let it heal." The Elder looks at him. "You must let the strength of the bond heal your mind."

Spock feels his fingers digging into his thighs. "No," he replies.

The Healer stares at him impassively for a few moments, and then says, "Your shields are adequate, Spock. But you must lift them to assess the condition of the bond. You have not been able to successfully meditate since you came out of the trance, and that is something you cannot avoid any longer."

Spock stares at him. "I do not wish to assess the condition of the bond."

The Elder stares at him. "You must!"

"The bond is damaging to him," Spock tells him. "It has caused him pain."

"You are mistaken," The Elder says. "The bond has a soothing presence. It heals. Once the bond has been stabilized, it will not hurt."

"It was formed without his knowledge," Spock says. "Without his permission."

"That was an accident. He knows of its existence now," the Healer states.

"Yes, it was an accident," Spock says. "And thus it must be dissolved."

Sonok stares at him solemnly. "That is a decision you cannot make alone. Your bondmate must be conferred."

Spock looks at him, his throat convulsing, and replies, "He will be."

**

Jim has just finished a meeting with the Meraki officials on the surface when an officer with Starfleet Intelligence requests to speak with him.

"One of the aliens is asking to speak with you, Captain." the officer, a Lieutenant Marcus tells him, looking perplexed. "He’s one of the Kalahan underground leaders that your team captured from the cell. We’ve been questioning him for the past two days, but he specifically asked for you, saying he had something to tell you."

Jim looks at him in surprise. "Why me?"

"We have no idea, Sir," Marcus answers. "We’ve been putting him off but he’s insisting he has a message for you."

"Where is he?"

Marcus gestures to a passage. "In the detention facility, right this way."

Jim follows the officer through the pathways of various corridors and passages, passing Starfleet Intelligence representatives and Meraki officials moving about, armed guards standing at attention, the security tight in the wake of the severity of the situation. After a few minutes walk, they arrive at the detention facility. All aliens captured are being held in separate cells and Jim is led to a chamber at the end of the passage, where he sees the Kalahan sitting on a bench affixed into the wall, his silver white hair shining in the overhead light.

The pink gaze turns to him as he stops in front of the forcefield. "Captain James T. Kirk," the Kalahan says, a strange smile appearing on his face, "we finally meet."

Jim stares at him. "What do you want?"

"What?" The alien looks innocently at him. "Aren’t you going to exchange pleasantries first? My name is Molta."

Jim takes a deep breath. "Look, if you have something to say to me, then do it. I don’t have time to waste."

"Oh, how rude of you." The browless eyes blink at him. "Your First Officer seemed to think so very highly of you. But you have no manners."

Jim feels his lips press closer. "What the hell do you want?"

"I just wanted to see the man who had such an impact on the telepath we captured," Molta says. "He got into a little trouble while he was in our custody, you see. I was concerned he hadn’t survived our hospitality."

Jim feels the stirring of that anger that always hits him whenever he thinks of these aliens and what they did to Spock. "You are not going to get away with this crime," he tells the alien. "You will pay for everything you did."

"It does not matter," the alien sneers. "Our experiment has been a success beyond anything we could’ve expected. Our technology works not only on non-telepathic minds, it actually renders telepaths absolutely helpless against the barrage of our controlled psionic energy." The smile turns ugly. "What we reduced your half-breed to is a testament to that claim."

Jim feels himself freeze. "You failed with him. He did not break. He fought back."

"Did he?" Molta laughs, his tone derisive. "Oh, but I seem to distinctly remember how pathetic he became, how weak he was, how absolutely despicable in his attempts to fight back." The alien looks into Jim’s eyes. "All we had to do was take one name: yours, and there he would light up like a Polwari firecracker, lashing, screaming, crying in pain."

Jim feels his heart pounding as he turns to leave. "I don’t have time for this shit."

"Why, Captain..." the alien calls out to him, "he found it so overwhelming, he even tried to kill himself."

Jim freezes. He turns to look at the alien. "What?"

"Oh, don’t tell me he didn’t tell you," the alien jeers. "He was so wretched, so pathetic. Did you really think he was trying to get away from us? Did you really think he could fight us?"

Jim growls, "He did fight you. Three of your people were killed."

Molta laughs. "It was a suicide attempt, Captain. He wanted to die."

"You’re lying."

"He was so desperate, so pathetic, so weak," Molta mocks. "At the absolute end of his rope."

"You’re lying."

"Am I?" the alien looks at him. "Why don’t you ask him yourself then?"



Jim turns around and walks out of the detention facility, his thoughts caught in a tempest. It is a lie, a fucking lie. The alien was just trying to rile him up. Give him a mindfuck. Spock could not have tried to kill himself. He is not suicidal. He has been upset, going through a trauma, but he is not suicidal. He may not have wanted the bond with Jim, but he could not have tried to kill himself. No.

Jim hears a beep on the padd he’s carrying in his hand. He looks at the screen. It is a message indicator, telling him he has a priority message on his personal console in his office. He sees the sender. It is Spock. Feeling his brows come together, Jim punches in the code to access the message remotely. With a beep, the console retrieves his inbox list with the waiting message. Jim looks at the subject line.

Request for Resignation from Starfleet

And curses.

**
End Part 4(a)/4

Go to Part 4(b)/4

Date: 2010-10-02 09:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zephyr-macabee.livejournal.com
Molta and company need to die a lingering unpleasant death. And Spock need a quick smack upside the head.

Date: 2010-10-04 09:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] laylafic.livejournal.com
Haha, yes they do. And that he does.

Date: 2010-10-03 05:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] margarks.livejournal.com
Spock! Oh, boys. They are both so stubborn!

Date: 2010-10-04 09:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] laylafic.livejournal.com
They really need to have a serious heart to heart! :)

Date: 2010-10-03 11:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rakina.livejournal.com
ZOMG I love your Zach icon!!!
Just saying...
Am saving this fic for later.
x

Date: 2010-10-04 09:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] laylafic.livejournal.com
Oooh, thanks. It's by [livejournal.com profile] punk4life1315

Date: 2010-10-08 06:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mardigrasmaven.livejournal.com
I was blazing through this and then realized I didn't comment on parts 2 or 3 because I was just like GET TO THE NEXT PART NOW!! I apologize.

But omfg Spock was so intent that they not get to Jim! He went on a rampage, he blocked the bond, he begged Jim not to try. He did all that to save him and was willing to die while killing them ALL in order for them not to touch Jim. So intense.

And then there's poor Jim, trying his hardest to find Spock through it all. And now Spock wants to resign?! Oh hell naw. *goes to 4(b)*

Date: 2010-10-09 07:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] laylafic.livejournal.com
I'm so thrilled about how much these scenes touched you. Thank you for letting me know which parts affected you the most. :)

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