Spock didn’t know how it had gotten to this point. How it went so horribly wrong. He should know. He should. But his ability to analyze, to think, was compromised. He hoped not irreparably.
Somewhere in his pain-wracked mind, he could recall that only the prior night, he and Jim had finally ‘stopped dancing around each other’ as Nyota had put it. They’d been…intimate. And Jim had been so gentle and loving with him.
He’d allowed himself the ill-conceived emotion of hope. Which now, under these circumstances, felt particularly foolish.
“You’re going to be okay,” came the broken whisper and it was not at all convincing. Spock tried to come up with a reassuring response of his own, but he found he lacked the energy to form even words, let alone complete sentences.
He heard in the distance, or it seemed so very far away, the call for beam up from the Enterprise. It went unanswered and Spock knew from the desperation in the voice, he was out of time.
He had to say something. Had to get the words out, before it really was too late. No matter how much energy it might cost him.
“Get to safety,” he rasped. “Leave me.”
The palm of the hand touching his face was warm and callused. Even before the word was spoken, he knew what it would be.
He tried to shake his head, but thought he failed. He had no will left, only pain he could no longer control, and even that was fading, though he knew that could not be good.
His head was lifted with utmost care, then lowered into a lap. Arms came around to hold him. He was comforted that in this, his end, the one he loved was there, with him.
“Spock…I love you.”
“He’s coming around.”
Spock blinked, slowly, his eyelids feeling absurdly heavy. A hand on his face, warm, callused again.
The face leaning over him blurred, then came into focus, blue eyes like an oasis he’d been seeking in the desert.
“Jim,” he croaked.
A smile that lit up the room. “Yes, Spock. Yes.”