Photo by Johannes Plenio on

“My ankle is killing me. I need to rest.” Jim panted and slunk down on the nearest rock. It felt like maybe his ankle had shattered. It was excruciating.

Spock, though, was giving him that sort of almost frown. “Captain, we should keep on moving.”

“I know that, Spock. I need a moment.”

They had been running for a couple of hours on this stupid planet. The inhabitants had not been friendly but they hadn’t been aware of them for a while. Jim was pretty sure they had lost them. But they’d also got lost themselves.

They had to meet up with the rest of the party at the beam up point. Spock had been trying to keep them both moving.

Five minutes passed.


Jim gritted his teeth and stood. “Okay.”

He made it another mile but then he fell onto his knees, crying out in pain.


Jim groaned. “I can’t do it, Spock. You’re going to have to keep going.”

Spock had crouched down beside Jim. “And leave you?”

“Yeah. I can’t walk like this. I can’t move. I can’t even put weight on it anymore.” Jim shook his head. “You’re going to have to go to the beam up point.”

“There is absolutely no way that I am going to abandon you here.”

“You have to, Spock. It’s ridiculous for both of us to be stuck here. You go on and they’ll have to send a medical team for me.” Jim only hoped their unfriendly hosts didn’t find him there.

Spock shook his head. “There is no scenario that includes me leaving you behind.”

“Spock, your duty—”

“Is to you,” Spock responded. “The Enterprise will survive without us. I will not survive without you.”

Jim blinked at Spock, his jaw dropping open.

Spock’s nostrils flared.

“Is there something maybe you’d like to declare, Spock?” Jim asked, trying to keep his tone neutral.

“This is hardly the place or time.”

“True. So then—”

“I will be carrying you.”

“Carrying me? Spock, you can’t—”

“I can.”

“That’s pretty humiliating,” Jim groused.

Spock gave him a look, Jim stopped arguing, and allowed his first officer to swoop him up into his arms. Their gazes met.

Jim smiled. “Same, by the way.”

Spock shook his head. “You are impossible.”

“Yep. All right, Mister Spock. Get us out of here.”