This series of flashes for Wednesdays in November are my TOS guys from What Now and a TOS Flash. I thought you might be able to figure out which one but I have changed my mind and added the link in case. It was the departure after the mission. Anyway, they are all related to each other. So, thus the November Wednesday Flashes Begin. When the flashes are finished for the month I will be putting them together to be my TOS OMS story posted on AO3. It’s called “Try to Remember” (after the song)

It was hard to believe for Kirk that Spock was back, after all this time. If he was back. Obviously, he’d come to help the Enterprise and spoke of his inability to complete Kolinahr. He’d known, somehow, as he’d always known, seemingly, that Kirk needed him, and he’d come.

But all that didn’t mean he was back for Kirk. For Kirk. There was a difference between being back for and being back because and though the difference might be subtle to some, it was not to Kirk.

And all of that talk about “this simple feeling” didn’t necessarily mean what Kirk desperately wanted it to mean.

They’d both been hurt and by each other.

Kirk had hurt Spock with his…marriage and fathering a child with Miramanee. And even though he’d had memory trouble at the time, even after it, Kirk had felt so much for her, for the loss of her and their child.  He’d admitted he didn’t know if what he felt for Spock was enough for him. If he could be…monogamous. It had been a lot for Spock to accept. Too much and it had ended them.

And then there was Reyna, perhaps not Kirk’s finest of moments or decisions, he didn’t know exactly what he’d been thinking, except that she had reminded him in so many ways of Spock, of who he could no longer have, Spock had made that clear, and before Kirk had even known it or could rationalize it, he was falling in love with a…a robot. A machine. And she could not be Spock. Ever.

At the end of the mission, Spock had walked away, predictably. Part of Kirk had told himself even if he hadn’t wrecked everything with Miramanee and that whole aftermath, Spock would have left him. What had he really to offer Spock? He couldn’t even agree to commit fully to Spock when it counted, and it had made him lose Spock.

The night before the mission ended, Kirk had gone to Spock, and had, admittedly, and without shame, seduced the Vulcan. He’d known then Spock would walk away and he’d wanted one last time.

And yet as they said goodbye, it had seemed so final and so…stilted and cold.

Jim nodded. “Okay. So.”

“So,” Spock repeated, tonelessly.

Jim looked behind him at the crowd bustling past them in the shuttle bay. Going about their business without thought to anyone else. Certainly not an idiot Human and an awkward Vulcan.

“Guess.” He cleared his throat. “Guess I should let you be on your way. Don’t want you to miss your shuttle.”

“Yes.” Spock moved to turn around.

“Goodbye, Spock. Good luck with everything.”

Spock looked back at Jim. “And you as well, Captain.”

Jim smiled faintly. “Jim. You’re not even in Starfleet anymore.”

“That is true,” Spock acknowledged. “Jim.”

“Give my best to your parents.”

“And to yours.”

“Will do.”

And that had been the end of them. Of him and Spock. Until V’Ger.

They were headed back to Earth now, and whatever awaited them, as a crew, and them, as a couple. Kirk was…hopeful. Guardedly. But he believed he’d learned a lot in the time they had been separated and he very much hoped Spock would give him a chance.

As it happened, they made it back to Earth, to San Francisco, in record time, and Kirk hadn’t had any alone time with Spock. He refused to believe Spock intentionally avoided him as Bones had implied.

Bones had just left his apartment, after they’d had a quiet dinner, just the two of them, and though Bones had tried to have a real conversation, Kirk found himself far too distracted by thoughts of Spock.

His doorbell rang just after Bones had departed, so soon after, he’d gone to the door with a ready smile and a, “What you forget, Bones?”

It was not Bones.

“Spock.”

Kirk was aware of a million different emotions in that one name that filled him and made him feel unsteady on his feet. But gripping the door, he stood back to let Spock inside.

The Vulcan was dressed in simple brown slacks and a wheat colored sweater, but even in such simple, plain attire, he looked stunning to Kirk.

“Can I get you anything? Tea? Or?”

“Not at present.” Spock glanced around. “I would like to speak with you, Cap…Jim.”

He nodded and brought Spock into his living room, by the windows that looked out over San Francisco. He wanted to sit close to Spock, beside him, but he didn’t have a sofa for such purposes, only chairs. It had never mattered before.

He gestured to a chair for Spock and then sat in the other that was opposite.

“What’s on your mind, Spock?”

“You.”

He should have guessed Spock wouldn’t beat around the bush. When had he ever?

“Me,” he repeated.

“And your expectations.”

“I see.” Kirk found himself nodding again. And he felt vaguely like one of those old-fashioned bobble-headed dolls he’d seen in ancient pictures. “I don’t…really have any.” He looked down at his nails, which he’d been biting much too often these days, and so he winced. “With respect to the Enterprise or…?”

“It was my understanding you might not get the Enterprise again.”

Kirk made a face. “Er. Yeah. That’s plain enough. I’m still an admiral in their eyes and admirals don’t command starships. No matter how decorated.” He paused. Looked at Spock. “Have they offered her to you then?”

“They did not, however, had they done so I would have refused. I have no desire to captain a ship.”

“But they did promote you.”

Spock nodded. “Indeed. But command of a ship is not a destiny I sought. I have been asked to instruct cadets.”

“Cadets?”

“In the taking of the Kobayashi Maru, more specifically.”

Kirk smiled faintly. “So you’ll be here in San Francisco.”

“Yes. For now. Which is the point of my coming here. If you are not in command of the Enterprise, will you be here as well?”

“Looks that way. Are you sure I can’t get you a drink?” And was more to have something to say then and desire to move away to see to it.

“I am sure. A lot has happened since-since we made our mutual departures.”

Kirk wasn’t sure it was mutual, actually. He hadn’t wanted things to end the way they had and yet…what had he done to stop it? And he certainly had contributed to it.

“The Kolinahr?”

“A small part. But important, I suppose. I did wish to purge the hurt and pain associated with our relationship,” Spock said softly. “But also the more positive emotions as well.”

“Understandable,” Kirk murmured. But he wasn’t really sure he meant it. He decided Spock was being far too vague and he was beginning to lose patience. He needed to know why Spock was here, what it meant for them, if anything. “Spock, what’s on your mind?” he asked again.

“I know that given our last night together after the mission ended, you might have had different expectations as to our future.”

“You mean, did I think we were getting back together after we made love that night?”

Spock moved his head downward, almost a nod, but not quite.

Kirk shook his head. “You gave me no indication that was the case.”

“The act of making love…”

“No,” he interrupted quickly. “I knew it was a-a goodbye. A way to end things between us tenderly. I had no expectations you meant anything but farewell.”

Spock stared down at his hands which were clenched in his lap. “And now? After V’Ger?”

“Do you remember our first night together? After T’Pring and everything.”

“I have an eidetic memory.”

Kirk sighed. Nodded. “Yes. But…do you remember? Not that way. How we felt. How you felt.”

Spock did not answer at first but then said, “Yes. And my feelings have not changed.” He looked up, meeting Kirk’s gaze. “And yours?”

He swallowed heavily. “Never. They’ve never changed, Spock, and they never will. I know I haven’t always been worthy of your trust and affections. Miramanee…”

“I did not fault you for actions that occurred while you were not yourself.”

“No. But…after. When I…I didn’t know what I wanted anymore. I couldn’t get past her death and the death of our child and I pushed you away…I’m sorry, Spock.”

“That was not our time, perhaps. It was difficult maintaining the secrecy of a relationship during such trying times aboard the ship.”

“I should have…”

“Jim. We can spend hours upon hours, maybe an eternity even, going over what we should have done, should have said, what actions we could have taken, how we could have avoided hurting each other, and in the end, none of that matters now. What does is this. Have your feelings changed, your expectations, or do you want what I want?”

“And what is that?” Kirk asked, carefully, perhaps foolishly. “Because I know what I want, Spock. What I’ve always wanted and what I threw away as the coward I must have been.”

Spock rose then and moved the few steps over to Kirk’s chair, and knelt down in front of it. “What I want is our time, T’hy’la. To fully embrace what we are, what we should be, have always been, with whatever time each of us has left.”

Kirk was suddenly aware there was wetness on his face, and he wasn’t even sure when he’d started crying, but Spock lifted a hand to wipe at a tear of Kirk’s cheek.

“Yes, Spock. I want the same. I want it all. With you.”

He fell to his knees beside Spock, cradled his beloved Vulcan’s face in his hands and kissed him.

Kirk didn’t know much, but he knew he would never let Spock out of his life again. He would fight for him, fight for Spock, and them, through anything.