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As From You

He's thirteen and his fingernails are broken and dirty from blood and mud, his lips cracked and dry, swelling in places because he's been fighting for days now and sometimes someone lands a hit because he isn't quick enough. But in the end, he wins. He has to, there is no other option. He can't lose, there is no such thing as losing. Because of Kevin and the others, the small ones and a few who are bigger but less smart, less brave, less grown-up than himself. He learns that he only matters when he's got something to protect, because it's then the Universe will try to take it from him, and so he spits and fights some more because they're waiting for him and his bony hands filled with bits and pieces of food and clothes and wood for the fires. Sometimes he steals, sometimes he hunts, sometimes he kills.

He does things he had never thought of doing before, things that made Frank's cussing and Sam's leaving and Mother's absence feel like a distant memory of a life that wasn't really his anymore. Life of a boy who died, who had been dying even on the shuttle to this place, who had never really fit in until the starving and the deaths and the blood and the fighting.

It was here he thrived, fighting without ever losing because they're depending on him, surviving because even as he raced towards a cliff and was ready to end it he just couldn't; the Universe wasn't done with him and he wasn't done with it either. It swallowed him, chewed, and spit him out and he was kicking and screaming and laughing as he wrecked havoc on reality and went against the odds and lived.

He lived to see his fourteenth year, and fifteenth, twentieth. He never celebrated it, because he was born to death and surrounded by it and it wasn't anything special, just something to fight and to occasionally dance with because fuck yeah, he had the moves, and the music was rhythmic and called to his blood as he downed another shot and fucked another life form because oh yeah, he's alive.

Then there's the death of a planet, of a people, of the motherfucker who took his dad and destroyed his family before he even had had a chance to try and maybe do it himself. He gets a fucking ship out of it, and it feels like the Universe is laughing, because he knows of another place where his life was simply life and not death, and so it's bittersweet as he takes his bloodstained trophy and sets out to fuck up the Universe just a little bit more. He's got something to protect and the mission – to boldly go where no man has gone before – will not fail because he's got his crew and he's got Bones and Spock around him all the time so he's never alone, so the Universe can't stop him, just tripping him so he falls and gathers bruises and scars only to stand up again because as long as there are people around him, he will protect them and he will not fail, and he will not die.

So whenever he lies bleeding on the dirt of a new planet, staring into soft, brown and amusingly human eyes he knows he won't die yet because Spock's there, and so Bones isn't far away, and when he closes his eyes he will wake up on his ship and life will go on even as death haunts him with dead crewmembers and natives and perhaps another bit of his soul but he doesn't mind; he isn't safe-keeping his soul for anyone and the least he can do for those not waking for another day is follow them as far as he can before life is pulling him back for more.

He hadn't even considered the possibility of a second perspective; his world was his own and so when something alien penetrated it and merged with it he was almost appalled at what he saw through another's eyes. But maybe that wasn't him recoiling, because death wasn't scary, death was ugly and a failure but never scary, never red sands and a woman falling and a people crying. Death wasn't the dark shadows in his mind, the wounds in his soul that he wouldn't heal because they were supposed to be gone, gone with the people he failed, and it was life; breathing, eating, sleeping, fucking, fighting.

Death wasn't what Spock saw in his mind, but there was a soft warmth surrounding him so he didn't argue his point because this was better than dancing to the beat of a lethal tune that followed him like a personal theme music. It felt different than living, it wasn't life as he knew it, and he knew he'd been fighting before while clutching life in his bloody hands with the broken fingernails and cracked lips but this…..This was more precious than the next breath and so he never wanted it to slip away, and fuck the Universe, it wasn't meant for him but nothing ever was so he was keeping it anyway, like the three-legged kitty his mum had thrown out but it hadn't mattered because the next week she was gone and then no one cared if he carried it around and fed it, protected it, cared for it. He could do the same to this, to Spock, because it was Spock who was touching his mind and seeing his life and his death as they waltzed.

Someone should nurture you, someone should feed and pet you, and someone should live for you and fight and die and love and dance.

It wasn't life as he knew it, it wasn't death; it was Spock and there was more than one perspective and if he'd only see then maybe this could be forever, something told him, but it wasn't his. His world was what it was, and how could it be anything else, he was here to fight and to protect and to live so submit, be protected, and live, because death is here and you cannot lose, there is no way you cannot win, not here, not in this world, so don't invite a world where it could happen, where loss is possible and death is something more than just a failure, where death is The End and life isn't just life but love and hate and sorrow and happiness.

One should crave warmth where it is cold; one should crave cold where there is warmth. One should seek the balance, the harmony, of two extremes joined together for perfection, for a struggle to keep it, to continue, to strive for it because it is there and you have felt it.

This was more precious than the next breath, but it was staring into a black hole and wondering what would happen on the journey through, and where it would land him, and so he wouldn't know how to fight, how to live or how to die. Here, he fought to live surrounded and die alone. But what of the other place?

Parted from you, yet never parted. Friend. Brother. Lover. You are the Universe, you are life and you are death and you are mine. You are James Tiberius Kirk, and you will live and you will die and you will fight and you will live but you will do so with me, because you are what you preach, and you preach of the Universe and so you are my stars and you are my planets and you will never lose, because together, we can only win. Do not narrow your view, do not lose by separating us, see life and death and see love and sorrow and things I cannot name and help me create the world we crave. Name these feelings I have shunned and safe me, protect me, so that I may save you, protect you, and love you beyond my last breath and so beyond the Universe and its death and life. Be my beginning and my never-ending. Be mine, Jim.

And so he can't help but fall and never land because the ground isn't there unless reality says it is, and he's never listened to it anyway, so why the fuck should he do so now anyway?

Spock kisses him and caresses him and loves him and suddenly life is so much more than fighting for the next breath and dying isn't just about failures anymore but about sorrow and healing and life (because there are so many newborns every second around the Universe and beyond it he can't even comprehend it).

He still cannot lose, because he's still got Spock and Bones and his crew and ship, and he's never alone now, but there's a people crying and a planet missing and his trophies are still bloody but they're there so he keeps them, polishes them, and continues to fight because that's what the Universe demands.

But now he can lie in his arms and catch his breath and know what rest is, what calm is, what life can be and so he's happy and loved and alive. He thinks he prefers it over the monopoly of a lone perspective, and wonders why he never saw life and death as a shared experience, because maybe if he had, he'd found this a bit sooner.

However, as it is now, it doesn't matter. Because there is no end in sight and even if it comes, who is to say it's an end and now just another fight, another experience, another life and another death?

Parted from me, yet never parted. He likes that, it's Spock, and he fucking loves Spock and he thinks it's his new beat, his new drug, and fuck if it doesn't leave him delirious. Life as he knew it weren't all that great. This, however, this was fucking perfection.

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