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Spirk (with a small dose of Pinto)

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Flash Fic, October 22, 2021

Another continuation (and there might be one or two more in the coming months)

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“Go fish.”

Chris stared at Zach like he’d never seen him before. Zach sighed and put down the cards.

“You asked if I had any sevens, I don’t, I said pound pavement, that’s the way the game works, Pine.”

Chris yawned then, so big and loud that his eyes watered and his jaw popped. “Sorry. I, uh, I lost track of the game.”

“Because it’s time for little boys to go to bed.”

“But—”

“Chris.”

Chris averted his gaze and Zach wondered what that was about. But he didn’t say anything, so Zach stood, grabbed Chris’ arm and hauled him to his feet.

“Come on. Off to bed with you.”

Zach knew where Chris’ room was, so he pulled the younger man through the house and to the bedroom. There were items there that belonged to her, but Zach decided not to focus on that.

They were always at cross purposes, weren’t they? Jonathan, Olivia, Iris, Miles, and now…yeah, her. The one he’d seemed to be with the longest. Though still not as long as Miles, if it came to that.

A fool for love was still a fool.

He gently pushed Chris down onto the mattress.

“I’ll bet you can manage to get yourself undressed.”

“Yeah,” Chris agreed. Out came that tongue to trace over his lips and Zach fisted his hands. “Only…”

“Only what, Pine?”

“Can you stay here with me tonight?”

Zach laughed. “What? Why would I?”

“Uh.” Chris was blushing now.

“You’re not still thinking of that spider, yeah? Come on. It’s not going to come in here and eat you.”

“It might have had babies.”

“Maybe.” Zach smirked.

“And, uh, the slashers.”

“What about them?”

“We watched a lot of slasher films, Zach. I’m kinda freaked out.”

He sighed again. Ran his fingers through his hair. It felt greasy and he should have a shower, but he felt far too lazy and apatetic to bother.

“You’re a grown man, Chris.”

“I know, but—”

“This isn’t a good idea,” he said in a low voice. But those blue eyes rose to his and they almost looked watery like Chris would cry if he refused. And he just wasn’t. Even if it was the mother of all bad ideas.

“Zach.”

“Okay,” he replied. “Fine. Let me go get my stuff and we’ll go to bed together. To sleep, Christopher. Nothing else.”

“All right.”

Zach left the room and went to get his small bag. He took maybe extra long and it paid off because when he returned, Chris had taken off his clothes and put on low slung pajama pants and a thread-barren T-shirt.

He didn’t say anything when Zach returned, just stood there looking at the empty bed, so Zach went into the bathroom, got into his shorts and tank, and brushed his teeth.

“Do you have to go?”

Zach was surprised by the question when he came out of the bathroom.

“Go?”

“You know, back to New York.”

“Yeah, I do. It’s home.”

“LA’s home too, isn’t it?”

“Sometimes yeah and sometimes no. Right now, home is more New York for me. California’s…complicated.” Zach shrugged. “Anyway, you’re living the good life here. What are you worried about?”

Chris shook his head. “I’m not worried. I just miss you. A lot.”

Zach decided not to address that. “Get in bed, Christopher.”

And he did, too. Zach turned off the overheard light and then walked over to the side of the bed he supposed she normally occupied. For some perverse reason he wanted to smear his scent and greasyish hair all over her pillow.

Zach was here, Bitch

She wasn’t really one, except because of the obvious reasons.

He got in bed and turned off the lamp next to the bed.

“Next time your friends suggest slasher movies, maybe say no?”

A few heartbeats of silence.

“Yeah.”

Zach said nothing for a while and then he heard heavier breathing and knew Chris had fallen asleep. He was glad. Because they couldn’t go there. Not again. Not now as it was between them if they were to remain friends. And that was what Zach wanted. Not to lose Chris. Even if all it ever was, was this.

He almost got back out of the bed and went to the guest room, but no. He said he’d stay and he was a man of his word.

Took him a long time to fall asleep though. But there were no spiders or slashers. He’d slayed them.   

Flash Fic, October 15, 2021

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“Fortunes told.” Bones read the sign and then glanced at Jim. “You up for it, Jim?”

Jim scoffed. “Are you kidding? These fortune tellers are hokey as hell.”

He crossed his arms and stared at the sign. They were at a Harvest Festival. In Georgia of all places. Yes, thanks to Bones.

They had a two week leave on Earth and somehow, he let the doctor talk him into going to Georgia with him.

Sure, it was true, Jim had no where in particular to go. His mom wasn’t at home in Riverside, and he had no real desire to hang out in the empty farmhouse. Spock planned on attending some science symposium in San Francisco and made no particular overtures that Jim’s presence would be welcome.  Which okay, they weren’t “together-together” but Jim thought maybe they’d been working their way in that direction.

Still—

“Maybe I should go with you, Spock.”

Spock had stared at Jim for a good minute without blinking. Amazing really.

“I am afraid you would be quite bored, Captain.”

And that was Jim’s clue that that illogical human captains were not included in the plans.

If he didn’t know that Uhura was going to Scotland with Scotty, he’d be worried they were reconciling despite Spock telling him that he was romantically interested in Jim.  

And he got dragged to the festival by Bones and his young daughter. There were pumpkins and hay. Definitely lots of that. And apples and cider and all things fallish.

“You sure, Jim?” Bones asked. “You seem interested.”

“Nah. I—”

“Please, Uncle Jim. It’d be cool!” Joanna exclaimed.

Jim looked down at the pint-sized McCoy. “Fine.”

“Yay!”

Jim gave Bones a look who grinned back and then he lifted the flap and went inside.

The fortune teller was shrouded in veils so he couldn’t even see her face, but she indicated he should sit on the stool in front of her table. He did and she grabbed his hand.

“Oh you’re a man of some importance.”

“Right.”

“You’re going to meet a tall, dark haired man who will sweep you off your feet!”

Jim laughed. “Already did, lady.”

“See my fortunes are true.”

Jim smiled. “Uh-huh.”

“In fact…” She paused dramatically. “He’s waiting for you outside.”

Since Bones was the only dark haired man waiting for him outside, he laughed again. “Yeah, I don’t think so.”

“Go and see. That’ll be five credits.”

“What? That’s it? Geez.” He stood, reached into the pocket of his jeans and tossed credits on the table. What he did for kids.

He stepped out of the tent, shielded his eyes from the sun, and then-

“Spock?”

Spock stepped toward him. “I grew bored at the symposium and missed you. I contacted the doctor and he provided your location.”

Jim embraced him. “Then this whole fortune teller thing was a setup.”

Bones chuckled. “‘Fraid so, Jim. That was Joanna’s mom, my ex.”

“I’ll get you later,” Jim promised. “I’m so glad you’re here.”

Spock’s lips quirked slightly just before Jim kissed him.

“I’ve missed you too.”

Flash Fic, October 08, 2021

You are in luck! This one is not scary!

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Leonard stopped his hover car in front of the Kirk farmhouse.

It was mid-October and the house was decorated for Autumn and Halloween with pumpkins, ghosts, black cats, leaves and witches. It made Leonard smile.

No matter what everyone thought of Jim, he could be entirely sentimental about such things.

The Enterprise crew was on an extended leave after the end of the five-year mission. Most had signed up for a second one, very few had not. Though Leonard had been dubious about going on another, Jim had wheedled him into with a…

“Bones, I need you.”

He’d already spent a month visiting with his daughter and he intended to go back once this task was over. He didn’t really know how he’d got roped into it, actually.

He got out and went up the steps to the front door. Along each step, Jim had placed pumpkins. At the top was a white one.

Leonard knocked and as it took a really long time for the door to be answered, he realized he had stupidly not let Jim know he was coming. Maybe Jim wasn’t even there.

But then finally the door opened and a bleary-eyed Jim stared out at him.

“Bones?”

“Jim! You look like hell. You been sick?”

“What? No. Come in.” He held the door wide and Leonard noticed that save for the kitchen, there were no lights on in the house.

He looked fully at Jim for the first time.

Jim wore only a pair of pajama bottoms. His hair was askew. He had dark circles under his eyes and what looked like bite marks on his chest and neck.

“I’ve interrupted something, have I?” Leonard asked with a smirk.

Jim just gave him a look. “Coffee?”

“I don’t want to be any trouble.” He glanced at the stairs. “Is she up there? Let me guess. Orion.”

Jim snorted. “You’re always trouble. Coffee or not?”

He was already making a pot, so Leonard agreed.

“So…Orion?”

“No. And he’s sleeping.”

“Wore him out, huh?”

“Something like that.”

Jim bent down and reached into the fridge. He took out half and half and a plastic box. “Pumpkin donuts.”

“You went all out.”

“Mm. These are a couple of days old, but they should still be good. I’m starving.”

Jim brought them to the table, poured two mugs of coffee and then sat down. Leonard joined him.

“Thought you were in Georgia.”

“I am.”

“I have something to tell you, Bones. This is Iowa.”

“Hardy har har. Think I want to be here? Bothering you on your leave? I was with Joanna.”

“Then…?”

“M’Benga and Starfleet contacted me. The Vulcans are looking for Spock.”

Jim frowned. “Spock? Why? What’s wrong?”

“Guess there’s something going on with a lot of the surviving Vulcans. Many of the younger ones have been going into pre-mature…uh…there’s this thing. Called—”

“Pon Farr.”

“You know about it?”

“Spock mentioned it to me some time ago. At that time, he expected if he went through it, it would be with Uhura. He wasn’t sure as he’s only half Vulcan.”

“Right. So I guess they haven’t been able to reach him to find out if he’s having some of the symptoms. Because I’m CMO of the Enterprise they asked me to try to find him. He’s not on New Vulcan and Uhura hasn’t heard from him.”

Jim took a bite of a donut. “They’re not together.”

“I know. But I thought if he was desperate and he had no one else he might seek her out. Hasn’t though. I tried contacting you for the last few days but you haven’t been answering, so that’s why I came here.”

Jim winced. “Sorry, Bones. I’ve been, uh, busy.”

Leonard smirked. “So I know now. Some of the younger ones facing it have been having trouble mating and that’s why they want to check on Spock. See if he’s experiencing any of this.”

“Trouble mating? Like what?”

Leonard shrugged. “The urge is there but the equipment’s not working. They have medical personnel and healers working on it to save them. I doubt there’s—”

He stopped as he heard footsteps on the stairs.

“Jim? I woke and you were not—”

Leonard felt his eyes were about to pop out of their sockets.

Standing at the bottom step of the stairs was a naked Spock. He looked a bit dazed and flushed.

“Uh, yeah. Sorry, sweetheart. Bones arrived looking for you.”

Spock blinked in Jim’s direction, but he said nothing.

“I needed some food too. I’ll be right back. Go up to bed and I’ll be there in no time.”

“Jim.”

“I promise, Spock. I’ll be right after you.”

Spock barely glanced at Leonard, but he nodded, gaze a little lovesick as he looked at Jim, but then he turned on his heels and went back up the stairs.

“You could have said he was here,” Leonard said sharply.

“I was protecting his privacy,” Jim murmured, sipping his coffee. “He’s, uh, in Pon Farr right now.”

“So I gathered. You and—”

“Yep. We’re bonded. And I gotta say, he’s had no trouble with his equipment.” Jim finished his coffee and donut and stood. “I really need to get back up there as it’s not over.”

“Clearly.”

“You can stay if you want, but I gotta warn you it might get loud.”

Leonard pinched the bridge of his nose. “I’m torn. Part of me thinks I should stick around for it to be over so I can check you two lovebirds medically, but the other part of me can’t wait to get out of here. Either way, I’ll notify M’Benga and Starfleet and Vulcans that Spock’s fine.”

“Thanks.” Jim headed for the stairs. “If you decide to stay, there’s a room down here to the left of the stairs.”

“How much longer has he got?”

“Hell if I know. This is the end of day three. See you, Bones. Soon or not.” Jim chuckled and then made his way up the stairs, favoring one cheek as he did so.

Leonard sighed. He probably needed to get his medical bag out of his hover car and stay a few days.

Idiots.

Flash Fic, October 01, 2021

And so begins October flashes and a new theme

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

It’s October and getting close to Halloween and Chris doesn’t know whose bright idea it was to watch horror movies. He’s not fond of them even though he was sort of in one if you counted Carriers.

Zach is here in LA for a very short time before he heads back to NYC and Chris can’t help but wish he’d move back to LA full-time. He understands the allure of New York to Zach, and Zach did grow up in the East, but still Chris prefers him living close.

After the last slasher film, one of three chosen by someone other than him, the others left. His buddies. He loves his friends. Everyone of them is precious to him. But he’s glad nevertheless it’s only him and Zach now.

Normally Zach rents a place from friends of his, a place with great views and an even greater pool, but he’s only in LA to film an hour guest appearance on a talk show, so this time he didn’t bother as he’s not staying, and though Zach had intended to get a hotel room, Chris talked him into staying here.

Chris goes into the kitchen to pour himself another glass of cabernet and he almost offers Zach some but remembers Zach stopped drinking. He’s been indulging himself all night, probably because all the films kind of terrified him. He briefly wonders if it’s wrong to drink in front of Zach, but Zach didn’t protest earlier, so he pours himself about three fingers worth.

“What are you doing?” Zach asks from Chris’ living room.

“Getting more wine.”

“Well, hurry up, will ya? Thought we were playing cards.”

At Chris’ suggestion they were going to play the silly game, Go Fish. He’s exhausted, honestly, but he also doesn’t want to go to bed because that would shorten his final hours with Zach, who’s flight is supposed to leave the next evening.

Chris did wonder why Zach didn’t protest more to the suggestion, but he wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth.

He stifled a yawn and was about to turn to leave the kitchen when something caught his gaze through the window. He jumped back, startled, spilling wine from his glass as he did so.

“Jesus!”

“What are you going on about, Pine?”

“There’s…there’s something outside.”

“Funny.”

“Zach, I’m not—”

Zach steps into the kitchen, looking cool, breezy and gorgeous. Somehow despite the fact Zach is wearing sweats and a t-shirt just like Chris is, Chris feels schluppy next to him.

“What’s the drama?”

Chris points and moves toward Zach until his back is plastered against Zach’s chest. Surprisingly, Zach makes no move to put any distance between them.

Zach squints. He’s wearing glasses, but squints anyway. He’d recently complained that getting old meant no matter whether he wore contacts or glasses, it was still hard to see.

“What?”

Chris points again, his hand shaking.

As Zach moves closer to the window, Chris shifts so that he is behind the other man, and well protected. His heart slams in his chest as he holds onto his friend.

Who bursts out laughing.

“The spider?”

“Y-Yeah. Biggest damn spider you ever seen.”

“Get real,” Zach chuckles. “That spider is tiny. I’ll give you that her web is kinda big. Want me to go out and get rid of it?”

“Would you?” Chris pleaded. “I mean what if that thing gets in the house?”

Zach smirks. “What if it does?”

“You’ve seen Arachnophobia, haven’t you?”

“I have though I’m pretty surprised you have given your fear of spiders.”

“An old girlfriend made me watch it,” he mutters.

“What we do for love.”

“Or sex,” they both say at the same time.

And Chris wants to smile, he does. But not before Zach takes care of the monster outside his window. He somewhat forcefully pushes Zach toward the back door.

Zach gives him one of his trademark sardonic looks and grabs the broom.

Chris holds his breath as Zach makes his way outside into the backyard outside the kitchen window. He covers his face with both hands, unable to look.

Zach screams, “It got me, it got me! Help!”

Eyes opening wide, Chris bolts to the door to save his friend, when he seems Zach simply standing in his backyard smirking at him, broom gripped in his left hand.

“You asshole!”

Zach laughs. “I’ve slayed the dragon, Pine.”

“Web and everything?”

“Yes. She’s a goner.” Zach comes back into the house and returns the broom from whence it came. After all he was a slayer.

“Thanks,” Chris whispers, feeling shy somehow.

“You’re welcome.” Zach’s teasing glint is gone from his eyes and he’s moved closer to Chris. “Need a hug?”

Chris simply nods and Zach’s arms come up and around him, pulling him close. Chris allows his nose to land right in Zach’s neck. He smells like strawberries and Chris has no idea why. He closes his eyes.

“You need a shave, Pine.”

He laughs, somewhat wetly. “Yeah.”

He pulls away but not out of Zach’s arms, and instead finds himself staring into Zach’s dark chocolate eyes.

“Do you have to go back to New York just yet?” he asks out of the blue. He can see Zach is surprised the question.

“Uh. Need me around to take care of more spiders?”

He nods again and this time Zach smiles a genuine smile, and it’s gorgeous and Chris’ heart flutters.

“Okay, sure. I can stay a little longer. Go Fish?”

And Chris knows it’s to break the intense mood between them. Part of him is relieved but another part, secreted, is disappointed. He pulls out of Zach’s arms and grabs up his wine glass.

“Sure, get ready to lose, Quinto.”

“You wish.”

And as they turn to leave the kitchen to return to the living room, Chris glances toward the window. The spider is gone.

My hero, he thinks. And takes Zach’s hand.

Flash Fic, September 24, 2021

This is a mishmosh of two ideas

“Spock? Spock, are you in here?”

Spock froze from his position under the desk in the corner of the study room.

Only an hour ago, he had come across Cadet Kirk in this very room.

“Hi.” Kirk had given him a sunny, though clearly confused smile. “Uh. I booked this room to study here for two hours.”

“I am afraid there must be some mistake,” Spock replied. “I reserved this space for a small group of science students.”

“Shoot.” Kirk had taken out his PADD and swiped his thumb across the screen with startling speed. “That’s so strange because it does say I booked it. Today.”

Spock opened his mouth to say he supposed it was possible to have his group meet elsewhere when Kirk gave him that sunny smile again.

“You know what? Forget it. I don’t really need it. I can go study in my dorm. I’ll just put my earphones on and ignore my roommate.”

“If you are certain…”

“Sure, no worries. See you later, Spock.”

During that last hour, disaster had struck at the Academy. Word had come through that there was an active maniac, as Pike had called him, roaming the campus firing his phaser and calling for Spock.

He knew the maniac. It was a student named Marius whom Spock had failed. Spock had always suspected Marius was unstable and now he knew that to be the case.

Spock hadn’t had time to evacuate so he had hunkered down here. With the door closed and locked. But somehow…

“Cadet Kirk! What are you doing? You were advised to evacuate.”

“I came for you.”

Kirk crouched down next to Spock, phaser raised protectively, as he placed himself directly in front of Spock under the desk.

“Cadet Kirk—

“Shh. We’re supposed to be quiet, Spock. We don’t want to alert him to where we are.”

Spock almost pointed out that Kirk had been the one shouting his name upon entering, but he closed his mouth. He was still startled speechless anyway that Kirk had placed himself directly in firing range should Marius make his way into the room.

Spock didn’t know how long they stayed that way. Hours, he thought. Though he was certainly rattled because his brain would not compute the time. His heart thumped in his side, not just from fear, though there was an element of that, but from the nearness of Spock’s crush.

Up until the moment Kirk had come flying in to protect him, Spock had not guessed that his feelings were in any way returned. Now he knew better.

Spock’s communicator chirped into the sudden silence and to their credit, neither one of them jumped. He saw it was Captain Pike.

“All clear, Spock. Marius has been apprehended.”

“That is good to hear, Captain.”

“Where are you?”

“Study Room 23. I advised my students who were to meet me here to evacuate instead.” Spock glanced at Kirk. “Cadet Kirk is with me.”

“Jim? What’s he doing there?”

Kirk smiled at Spock. Spock stared at him.

“Spock?”

“We have a date, Captain.”

“A date? You and Kirk?”

Spock leaned in close to capture Kirk’s lips with his, just as Kirk moved closer to him. He closed his eyes as Kirk’s warm lips slanted over his.

“Spock? Jim?”

Kirk shook his head, took the communicator from Spock and said, “Spock’s safe and sound, sir. Kirk out.” He closed it. Moved closer to Spock until he was almost in his lap, even squished as they were under the desk. “Where were we?” Spock put his hand on the back of Jim’s neck as he drew him back into a kiss. “Right here.”

Flash Fic, September 17, 2021

You can perhaps view this as the beginning for one of the other prior flashes from earlier this month…

Spock woke staring at the ceiling. He had been lying in his back, which was not his usual position for sleeping. He immediately realized why. He was holding onto a Human male who was using Spock’s chest as his pillow.

It had been unlike Spock to go to a drinking establishment at all let alone to “pick up” an individual. A stranger. A stranger no more, obviously.

   It was definitely unlike him but then this Human was unlike anyone Spock had ever known.

As Spock stared down at the male resting against him, the man’s eyes, brilliant blue, slowly opened and stared up at Spock.

“Hi.” His voice was rough and tired sounding. But he smiled.

“Hello, Jim.”

“Good morning, Spock.”

“Would you like breakfast?”

Jim’s smile widened. “Got any coffee? I’d kill for some.”

“No need to commit murder, I can get you coffee.”

Jim laughed. “Good.” He yawned. “But let’s not move quite yet. Unless you have somewhere to be?”

“I do not. It being Saturday, I have no Academy business.”

“Me either. Good. Then,” and here Jim took Spock’s hand, “stay here a while longer then?”

Spock tightened his hold on Jim by way of answer and Jim sighed, contentedly and closed his eyes. Spock did the same.   

Flash Fic, September 10, 2021

Spock opened the door of his apartment to the persistent knock. Standing there was a smiling Nyota. He could see she held a paper bag in her hand.

“Good morning,” she called out cheerfully.

“Did we have plans to meet?” Spock asked.

“No, no. But I was going by that bakery that sells those pastries you like and I just couldn’t resist getting them and coming over. I thought you could make us a pot of tea with them.”

Spock glanced toward the bedroom.

Nyota’s smile widened and before Spock could stop her, she pushed her way inside the apartment.

He opened his mouth.

“Hey Spock, I can’t find any towels. Where…”

Jim had just come out of the bedroom, wearing Spock’s bathrobe. His hair was standing on end and there were clearly marks on the exposed areas of his chest. His lips looked still swollen from Spock’s abundant kisses.

Jim blinked. “Uh, sorry, didn’t mean to—”

“The bath towels are in the cabinet in the bedroom closet,” Spock murmured.

He smiled a little. “Thanks.” He went back into the bedroom.

Nyota stood beside Spock, arms now folded across her chest, one hand dangling the paper bag. “Well.”

“Nyota, I do…apologize. As you can see, I will be unable to make breakfast.”

She bit her lip. “Was I wrong? I thought we were seeing each other.”

“You were not wrong, entirely, no. But my…interests have changed. I am sorry. It was my intention to see you soon to advise you of the change in my relationship with Cadet Kirk.”

“I see. So, uh, things are serious between you?”

“Yes. I am sorry, Nyota. It was not my intention to mislead you or hurt you. I have enjoyed our interactions, and think of you fondly as a friend. My romantic interest, however, lies with Jim.”

She made a face, but then sighed. “Okay. I mean, to be honest, when we first met I thought maybe you were gay.” She thrust the bag at him. “I got these for you so you may as well have them.”

“Nyota—”

“I know. We’ll talk soon, Spock. In the meantime, I think I need to go lick my wounds a bit.” She leaned over and kissed his cheek. “Bye, Spock.”

And then she was letting herself out of the door of his apartment.

When Spock turned back, Jim stood in the door of Spock’s bedroom, still wearing the bathrobe and holding a towel.

“Everything okay?”

“Everything is fine, Jim.”

Jim smiled a bit quizzically. “What was that about?”

“I am afraid Nyota thought the two of us were more than just friends.”

“You and me or you and her?”

Spock’s lips quirked. “Me and her. I think she is now well aware that you and I are more than friends.”

“I didn’t come out like that on purpose. Honest.”

Spock went to him and pulled him close, wrapping his arms around him. “It does not matter in the end, Jim. She is aware now.” He kissed Jim. “As am I.”

Jim grinned. “Want to share the shower with me, Professor?”

And so Spock said the words that started this. “I am amenable.”  

Flash Fic, September 03, 2021

“Listen.”

As a beginning it wasn’t his smoothest line.

But Spock, staring at him with those dark chocolate eyes, replied, “I’m listening.”

Jim looked out at the hallway, there was no one else there on this floor of the apartment building, but he still didn’t want to do this out here. Where Spock could slam the door in his stupid face.

“Can I come in?” He saw the hesitation there, briefly, on Spock’s face. “Please.”

Spock stepped back without a word and let Jim in. Jim was relieved when the door closed with him on the inside.

He could beat around the bush and ramble on about shit that didn’t matter. But he wasn’t going to do that. Not this time.

“I love you. I know I’ve never said it and I know I’ve done…all kinds of things that make you doubt me, make you doubt us, I get it. But I’ve never loved anyone until I met you. You make me a better person, because I want to be…for you. You inspire me. You know everything there is to know about me, even the bad things, and still…Spock. I love you. And I never want to be without you. Ever.”

He’d gotten it all out, he thought. He’d rehearsed it, but it hadn’t come out quite like he wanted it to. He hoped it would be enough anyway. That it wasn’t too late and he hadn’t screwed it all up.

“I…”

“Give me another chance.”

He stepped close to Spock, his eyes pleading.

Spock exhaled. “Very well.” He reached for Jim’s hand and held it, threading their fingers together. “Stay with me.”

Jim smiled, softly. “I’m definitely not going anywhere.”

Flash Fic, August 27, 2021

“State your name,” the admiral said.

“You know my name.”

“This is for the official record.”

“Jim Kirk.”

Silence.

”Full name, please.”

Jim looked away from the screen and collected himself. “James Tiberius Kirk.”

“Rank and ship.”

“Captain of the USS Enterprise.”

“In your own words, please give an official account of the incident that cost the lives of Lieutenants Graves, Mastrantonio and Richardson.”

Jim straightened behind his desk. Fidgeting a little. He’d already gone through this with two other admirals. This was supposed to be the final one. It hadn’t gotten any easier from the first two.

“We were exploring the planet, Cosar Three, after a distress signal. We’d received a distress signal from the scientists stationed there, but when we arrived there were no life signs and no…bodies of the scientists.”

He’d known one of the scientists.  They’d been friends once and then lovers. And then nothing.

When he paused for too long, the admiral prodded, “Go on.”

“I chose a landing party consisting of myself, chief medical officer, Leonard McCoy, Commander Spock, and Lieutenants Graves, Mastrantonio, and Richardson. Graves was a science officer reporting to Commander Spock. Mastrantonio, and Richardson were security officers. The three of them had exited the empty laboratory and were preparing to continue their exploration of the surrounding area where they were abruptly attached by a gaseous entity.”

“You personally witnessed this attack?”

Jim swallowed and nodded. “They had screamed as they were set upon and myself, Doctor McCoy, and Mr. Spock exited the lab, phasers drawn and at the ready. While we watched, the creature consumed the entire bodies of the three officers. After that, it moved off in another direction and away from the remaining members of the landing party. We returned at once to the Enterprise.”

“And you had no prior readings of this gaseous entity before it attacked your officers?”

“None. Mere seconds before their screams, Spock got a strange reading on his tricorder. That was the first indication we had that there was any other life form there. We can only assume that the scientists from Cosar Three were set upon by the same creature.”

“And what has happened to the entity since your first encounter with it?”

“Through research and trial and error, Lieutenant Commander Scott and Commander Spock were able to discover the way to eliminate it and its threat. The creature was destroyed.”

“You’re sure?”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“And there were no additional casualties save for Graves, Mastrantonio, and Richardson.”

“Correct.”

“All right. That’s the end of the office record.” The admiral sat back. “Jim. You did everything right. You bare no responsibility.”

“Tell that to the guilt that’s eating at me, Mom.”

She smiled gently at him. “Every admiral who has questioned you and the others have exonerated you and your crew from blame. In fact, you saved other planets and other humanoids from becoming victims of this same entity.”

Jim shook his head. “Maybe. I can’t help wonder if there are more of them out there.”

“If there are, you and your crew discovered how to take care of them. That’s something too.”

He nodded.

“I’ve taken care of informing their families of their loss. They’ll get full lifetime benefits provided by Starfleet.”

“I know.”

“It’s not easy, I know.” She sighed and leaned back. “Besides your dad, I lost many friends that day on the Kelvin and on many missions since. I’m grateful to still have you.”

“Thanks, Mom. I just…it doesn’t seem to get easier.”

“No, it never does. Where’s Spock?”

“On the bridge, I think. Should be back soon.”

“Let him take care of your for a while. He can ease your burden.”

“I will. And you’re right, he will.” He attempted a smile. “Thanks for everything, Mom. I’m glad this last one was you.”

“Me too. And that’s it. The reports have been filed and the case is closed. Talk soon, Jim. Kirk out.”

And his screen went back to the Starfleet screen.

At that moment he heard the door of the quarters being accessed. He got up from behind his desk and went to greet Spock at the door. As Jim went into Spock’s arms, he whispered, “You give the best hugs. I’ve missed you.”

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