Jim leaned against the wall staring out over the crowd, lost in his own thoughts. It was close to christmas, and the anniversary of Spock's death. It would be a year on the twenty third of December. Jim would remember that day for as long as he lived. It wasn't fair.
It had been a first contact. The planet had wanted to join the federation, and so Starfleet had sent it's best ship, the Enterprise. Spock had beamed down, only to learn that the Froetions did not like how he looked. The Froetion people looked exactly like humans only the fact that they only had four fingers was different. And they had not liked the fact Spock had had pointed ears and slanted eyebrows. They had attacked him, before he had had the chance to contact the ship. When he had missed his check in a half hour after beaming down Kirk had ordered an immediate beam up. When Spock had materalized, he was unconcious and bleeding profusely.
Spock had still been alive, but the injuries were too severe for McCoy to save him, even with the help of M'Benga. So the two doctors had placed him on life support, hoping that with time they could think of something, or that perhaps a Vulcan healer could help. Their hopes and been for nothing, there was nothing that could be done.
"Only his body remains alive, his Katra has already gone, and his mind is no longer there" that had been the reply of the Vulcan healer from New Vulcan. There was no hope, there had never been any hope.
Jim had known Spock was gone, he had felt the bond weaken, he knew that Spock had already left him. But he had not wanted to believe it. He had refused to let McCoy shut the machines off, because as long as they were on Spock was still alive. But he couldn't have kept him on those machines forever.
"Jim he's gone, theres nothing anybody can do" McCoy pleaded with him.
"He's still alive" Kirk argued as he sat by Spock's bedside and held his hand, like he had for months, since Spock had been placed on the machines.
"He's nothing but a vegetable, he's gone, and he's not coming back, it's time we shut the life support off" the doctor told him.
"You want to kill him?" Jim asked, not looking up from Spock's face.
"He's already dead, waiting is not going to change anything" McCoy replied.
"I can't lose him, Bones, I can't" Jim whispered.
"I know kid, I know. But you already lost him" Bones sighed sitting in a chair beside his friend.
"He was one of the few people who never ran away from me" Jim said quietly.
"He didn't mean to leave you, it wasn't his choice" McCoy retorted.
"I know, I hate those batards" Jim told him, the same anger returning to his voice, just like everytime he spoke of the ones who had killed Spock.
"I know, we all do" Bones said soothingly squeezing his friends shoulder.
"I don't want to shut him off, but it's the right thing to do huh?" Jim asked.
"Yeah, Jim, it is. Think about it, it's been six months, is this what he would have wanted?" Bones asked.
"No, he would want me to go on with my life, he would want me to let him go" Jim replied sounding resigned. "Go ahead, shut him off" Jim said closing his eyes tightly, not bothering to wipe away the tears that leaked from his eyes.
"Do you want to stay?" McCoy asked as he stood and Jim nodded, his hand tighting on the limp one he held. McCoy shut the machine off and sat with Jim until the end, rubbing his friends back as he cried.
"I'm sorry Jim" Bones whispered, before he left his friend alone to say his goodbyes to his bondmate.
Jim took a sip of his drink and looked around at the party, well it wasn't really a party, it was more of a gathering. But Starfleet was calling it a party, it was to welcome the Froetions into the federation. Jim had to attend as a captain, and also because he was the captain of the flagship. Pike had tried to get him out of it, but he had not succeeded. Which was clear because Jim would not be here of his own choice. At least the brass had promised to keep the Froetions away from him. He was sure he'd punch them if one tried to speak to him.
"Captain Kirk" A voice said and Jim looked to his left to see Admiral Nogura along with a Froetion standing there.
"What?" Jim asked, he tried and almost failed to keep the anger out of his voice. Nogura ignored the less then friendly greeting and began to speak.
"Captain you will be transporting the Froetion ambassdor and his aides back to their home planet tomorrow morning" Nogura told him and Jim could feel the anger well up inside of him.
"No, I will not, if one was on my ship I'd throw them out an airlock" Jim said flatly. Nogura along with the Froetion ambassdor looked furious and that made Jim feel a little better.
"Kirk you are walking the thin line of insubordination" Nogura warned.
"I don't care," Jim said.
"This is an order Kirk, you don't have a choice" Nogura told him.
"Then fire me, I will not transport them. They killed my bondmate for no reason, I will not do anything for them unless it's doing exactly what they did to Spock " Jim almost yelled.
"The admiral promised me you would take us home" The Froetion ambassdor said.
"Well he shouldn't have, all the admirals including him promised to keep your people away from me. You wanted to join the federation and you attacked my husband when he went down because you didn't like the way he looked!" Jim shouted. He was no longer able to hold in his anger. Jim noticed Pike, Sarek, and Bones making their way over a second later.
"Nogura what's going on?" Pike asked the other admiral once the three arrived.
"Kirk is disobeying an order" Nogura replied.
"He wants me to transport the Froetions" Jim added and Pike glared at Nogura.
"We all promised to keep them away from Jim" Pike said.
"It's been a year, it's high time for Captain Kirk to get over it" Nogura retorted.
"Get over it? They killed his bondmate, I may not know much about Vulcan bonds but I do know that Jim felt severe pain when Spock died" Bones said.
"A person will always feel the pain of a broken bond admiral, no matter how much time has passed. It is illogical to expect James to 'get over it' like you have said when he will always feel the empty space in his mind that my son once occupied" Sarek told him. Nogura opened his mouth to say something but Jim never heard what he said. Instead he ran from the room forcing the tears back until he was alone.
Days later and the anniversary of Spock's death came and went. The Froetions were back on they're on planet and far away from Jim. Jim wasn't forced to transport them, the rest of the admiral's had agreed with Pike and Nogura had been over ruled. Of course it didn't hurt anything that T'Pau had called and scared them into agreeing with Pike. They had even promised to keep Nogura away from him along with the Froetions.
But that didn't exactly help Jim to feel better, Sarek had been right he did feel an empty place and it hurt to know he always would. Because anytime he wasn't busy it came to the forefront of his mind, refusing to be ignored. It was a constant reminder of what he had lost, of what the Froetions had stolen from him.
Jim knew that Bones was worried about him, of course he knew, Bones was after all his best friend, he knew the way Bones looked when concerned. And really even if he didn't he would have known when Uhura told him that Bones had been contacting Sarek since they had gotten back to the Enterprise when he normally avoided talking to Vulcan's whenever possible. But what could Jim do? Telling Bones he was okay wouldn't work, because Bones would just think he was lying so he wouldn't worry. So Jim just had to wait it out until his friend realized that he wasn't going to go back to when Spock first died again.