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Story Notes:
I wanted to write a story where Spock wasn't the one practicing restraint. Also, this story was inspired in many ways by the TOS episode The Apple, in which the dynamic is interesting and Spock falls down many times. I don't ow this and it never happened. Enjoy!
1. The first is that lying does not come naturally to Spock, and this can give people the wrong idea.

The room smells biting and chemical with alcohol, a smell that always puts Spock on edge. People are celebrating. It’s an earth holiday and they’ve just successfully finished a mission, so he’s standing in the corner with his hands clasped behind his back, there because he knows distantly that that the Captain wants him there, even if, currently, the Captain is leaning in very closely next to a young ensign with dark hair that falls in ringlets across her flushed cheeks.

Spock knows what may happen between the ensign and Kirk tonight, though lately Kirk’s interactions with women seem to be full of much talk, much hot air, but little else. Still, Spock knows, and must consider this outcome a possibility. Spock knows that, right now, Kirk and this ensign are most likely talking about sex.

He moves forward onto the balls of his feet, and then rocks back onto his heels, wishing it were appropriate to return to his quarters. There is nothing for him here, and even if there were, it has been decided by forces outside of himself that there is not. He remains, mired in discomfort.

There are times that Spock tries not to hear the Captain’s voice ring above the others. He reminds himself that they are off duty, that he is not following orders in this moment so there is no need to be so aware of the tonal quality and sound of one human’s voice, but these attempts are always futile. There’s a loud, constant chatter in the rec room fashioned from many drunken voices all slurred together, and Kirk is most definitely not the loudest nor the clearest in the bunch, but his is the one that Spock hears from his corner, as if it is something he is made for.

“Now, you must understand, I did not intend, in any way, to even acknowledge this women let alone enter into a marriage ceremony with her. She was the chief’s primary wife, you see, so I was not even considering such things. However, customs in this particular village in Beta Phi consist of very, ah, how shall we put it, suggestive meanings around eye contact, so before I even understood what was happening, she was wrapping my arm in the ceremonial silver union rope...” Kirk is saying, and he is met with laughter. That of the ensign, and everyone else at the table.

Spock has heard this story before, told in this tone, to other pretty girls, and told in other tones to different audiences in efforts to render different reactions. He, of course, was there for this particular mishap on Beta Phi, and knows the reality free of the fiction, knows what happened without Kirk’s embellishment. There are many things like this story, where Spock holds both the truth, and the illusion of Jim Kirk.

Spock tries hard to focus on some other conversation in the room, just as an experiment, just as a puzzle for his brain. It’s always good to test one’s capabilities, Spock believes, to attempt to a see illusions for what they are, only to shift back into seeing the trick. He does this with Kirk’s voice, but the reality is much harder to maintain than the illusion, and it’s not long before he very distinctly hears something solid amongst so much vapor and water.

“I, of course, was very apologetic. I let her down, lightly...it was difficult, I must admit, she was a very beautiful lady.” There is the din of too-loud laughter again, a shift of bodies in polycarbonate rec room chairs. “Mr. Spock can attest to such things, he was there to witness this unfortunate incident. Wasn’t she beautiful, Mr. Spock?”

Spock turns at the sound of his name, eyebrows raised as several pairs of drink-blurred, mirthful gazes fall on him. At the center of all this is Jim Kirk, mouth parted and pressed against the rim of his shot glass, a fiery blackness to his eyes which are wide, blown apart, terrifying. Spock realizes this is a test of his humanity, as many things Kirk says to him are. This is something Kirk does, something infuriating, inescapable. In asking Spock’s opinion, Kirk is also saying tell us you didn’t find her beautiful, Spock, because you do not see beauty. Because you may seem human, in moments where I believe I can have you, but then I always convince myself of the truth, which is that you cannot love. You did not find her beautiful, just as you will never find me beautiful. So here, we are going to laugh about it, so that I can swallow.

Spock clears his throat, and fixes his gaze on the daring, drowning eyes of Jim Kirk. “I cannot comment on her beauty, Captain, for I was more occupied with the peculiar cultural nature of Betaian mating rituals,” Spock answers honestly, because of course, Kirk is asking the wrong question, as he always does.

Everyone at the table explodes in expectant laughter, and Spock looks down, eyebrows still raised, distantly weary of being the punchline to yet another joke.

“Of course, of course, Mr. Spock. You are not the one I should ask about matters of mating, unless it is some empirically driven question, correct?” Kirk says, and he’s smiling. It’s a self-deprecating smile, but Spock is sure that he is the only one who notices that.

“Perhaps,” he says, because lying doesn’t come naturally, and half-truths are best responded to with maybes.

“I thought so,” Kirk says, and downs the last of his drink.

2. The second is that Kirk always asks the wrong questions.

It forces Spock into a corner, backs him up until he must respond calculatedly, logically, because there is no other way for Spock to respond. If Kirk had asked do you find me beautiful? Spock would have answered inevitably with the truth, which is insufferably.

However, Kirk never asks about himself in regards to love, or sex, or beauty. He only asks generally about such things, in which case, Spock is indifferent, and uncomfortable. Spock is unsure of why Kirk uses generalities to talk about specifics; after all, it always seems very clear to Spock that when Kirk brings up sex generally, he is bringing it up for the sole purpose of testing Spock’s response to it, so that he can estimate the likelihood of Spock’s interest in sex, specifically, with himself.

Spock is not indifferent, or uncomfortable, with this specific, at all.

Perhaps he was, when the idea first began to surface within his mind. But that was close to a year ago, before he realized how illogical it was to force himself to expend enormous amounts of energy to make himself stop wanting something he deeply, basely wanted. He is still ashamed of his flesh, ashamed of the fact his body is capable of growing hot and itchy and wanting beneath his sheets, so much so that he has to force a hand under his clothes and touch himself until the ache passes and he spasms hot and silk-wet into his palm. However, hating his flesh is the same as hating his humanity, which is a chronic condition born of his blood. It is not the same as wanting Jim Kirk.

It is the opposite of wanting to fuck Jim Kirk, in some strange demonstration of logic. Spock thinks he could escape the infernal prison of his own flesh, were he to touch Jim Kirk’s.

Sex in general is not appealing. It’s messy, and filthy, and for the purpose of reproduction which is illogical in an overpopulated, overrun overworked overfed overfarmed world. However, sex with Kirk, in Spock’s understanding, is salvation. Self contained and pure and based in the most logical of all things: need. Need does not have a source because it is need. It exists purely, and organically, and self evidently.

Spock’s made peace with wanting Jim Kirk. He’s made peace with this one, fractional element of his humanity.

He does not think that Jim Kirk has made peace with this same fraction, however.

Jim Kirk is too brilliantly, blindly buried in self-pity to recognize that it is his own cognition of his own creation that Spock cannot love. Spock has never told Kirk that he cannot love, Kirk has decided that he cannot, to preserve his selfhood, to protect against the pain of loving someone that is not human. If he were to ask the right questions, Spock would tell the truth: that he does love, in spite of himself. That he loves so deeply and truly and purely that he’s ceased thinking about love as a feeling, and discovered that it is a need.

Few of Spock’s crew mates view him with any complexity. To them he is a computer, pure logic and wires and robotics. They don’t know that he struggles against himself, that he is cleaved in half by his own biology, and that even if he was purely Vulcan, he still might fight this fight. Kirk is the only one who seems to understand that there is any depth to Spock. Spock knows this from nights spent playing chess in the captain’s quarters, talking so late Kirk’s ability to discern between what was professional and what was not became blurred, messy. It must be so very difficult for you to live between two worlds as you do, Spock. All men, myself included, struggle with different aspects of his selfhood, but you, you actually are halved in a way we are not. I know most of us just assume you are operate as a Vulcan because the blood is there, but...correct me if I’m wrong, Spock...I think you struggle with your other half more than you let on. And, as easy as that, Spock knew that Jim Kirk saw him as more than a machine, more than a Vulcan, more than a man. He saw that even if Spock denied it, there was feeling, as visceral and strong and real as any humans, surging beneath his skin like green blood.

Kirk, more than anyone else, sees. Yet still, he forgets this one part of him. He has the capability to believe that Spock can feel anything else, suffer pain and joy and sympathy and fear, yet he does not ever consider the possibility that Spock can, and does, suffer through love, and desire.

Spock knows it is because Jim Kirk is human, and it would be too painful for him were he to be wrong.
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