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Story Notes:
I 've been writing these two with a lot of restraint. I felt like I needed some shattering self control, so I wrote this. Title is an Erasure song, so blame them for its lack of sense, not me. I hope you enjoy! I don't own Kirk or Spock. Thank you so much for reading :)
Twice, Kirk held Spock in his arms.

Twice, he had been made a fool.

Twice he had felt the sudden, elated fire of getting all he wanted filling him up, overflowing and come out his teeth until he was biting Spock too hard, although Spock never expressed pain, never pushed him off, only pushed back with the same desperate violence. Twice he was able to kiss him like he knew it was the last time, deep with hunger and sorrow. Twice, he thought that terrible, regrettable thought finally. Finally, you are here.

Both times, Spock was there.

Momentarily. Lost to the same sway, eyes dark and often shut, heart thundering with want under Kirk’s balled fist somewhere along the side of his ribcage, strange place to feel a heart, Kirk would think. Spock would fall alongside him, tear at him, choke him.

And then, he was gone. Staggering away from Kirk, face as impassive as it was when he wrote his most stoic fictions, hands clasped behind his back. Please Kirk would beg, ready to collapse to his knees if that was what it took. Don’t do this to yourself.

Both times Spock hesitated, rolled onto the balls of his feet then back down to his heels before he dropped his eyes.I am sorry, Jim, he pled, regret making his kissed mouth a soft, longing shape. I cannot.

Both times, Spock left. Both times, days would pass before he could look at Kirk straight in the eye again, or address him directly off duty. Both times, it was weeks before he called him anything but Captain.

The first time, three days into this excruciating, silent, lonely existence was when he decided that as desperately as he wanted Spock, this was too painful to pursue. He would spend his future alone, with Spock as a friend and First Officer and nothing more, as long as he still got to hear Jim in gravel tones, still got to feel the thrill at witnessing the barest ghost-bones of a smile on nearly always-unsmiling lips. He could live with the ache that coupled these things, as long as he still had them. Had anything but this terrible absence with no foreseeable end.

Of course, Spock had come back. Had eased slowly back into their old routines, shared expressions and wordless language, games of chess and the gradual shift from Captain to Captain Kirk to Kirk to, finally, long awaited, Jim. Things felt like they used to. Filled with possibility, the feeling which was not quite certainty that something existed between them that was beyond words, beyond friendship.

Kirk was a fool. A human, a romantic, the kind of man who believed that love was enough to overcome the inevitable impossibility of Spock’s Vulcan denial of feeling converging with his own human excess of it. He forgot his vow to let it go, and then there was the second time. Same thing. Spock’s body against his, kissing like fighting, his nails in longed-for skin and his hands clamped on shoulders he shook when Spock said, for a second time, I cannot.

Why, Spock? He’d begged in broken voice, wanting to snap tendons in Spock’s arms, wanting to pin him place like a butterfly to a cork board. Then that word again, the most tragic word in the english language, please. Then, Look me in the eye and tell me you don’t love me, the sound of Spock’s spine as Kirk ground him against the wall. Tell me.

Again, I cannot.

Cannot love me or cannot say? but Kirk knew the answer. There was no other explanation for force with which Spock was holding himself back.

You are mistaken Spock had responded, trembling all over, hard-edged with strain, eyes as black and miring as tar. He swallowed thickness, throat bobbing around grief. I do love you

Pain. Something like poison, a futility spreading radially out from the hollow place inside his solar plexus at those words. He cast his gaze towards their touching boots, wild with the ache of hopelessness. Then why? Kirk pleaded, always a plea with Spock there, against him and resisting and afraid. He shook him. Why?

Spock said I’m sorry, which was not an answer. Then he tore away from Kirk, and the color drained from the room.

---

Before the first time, Kirk spent much time telling himself it could not work. It would be best for both of them if it never happened, if he kept it deep inside himself, invisible in the dark and safe where it could not touch and be contaminated by the staleness of starship air. He could sense the potential between their two bodies, Spock hovering near in a way that always made Kirk aware of his own skin, Spock’s subtle ways of saying that he regarded Kirk differently. It was there, something, but Kirk doubted that Spock knew what it was.

He had to self-preserve, so even if the potential existed, it helped him move through the day by his first officer’s side if he convinced himself of the impossibility of its consummation. So when the first time happened, it caught Kirk so off-guard he was powerless against it. It happened fast, unexpectedly, a thunderstorm black and sudden flanked in sunny skies. If he had known it was happening before it happened, as it happened, maybe he would have stopped it. Prevented this mess he suffered now, the pain of knowing it could be, but Spock wouldn’t let it, which is of course worse than the pain of thinking it could never be.

Kirk was angry at Spock the second time, for breaking his heart, for making false promises even though a kiss was never a promise, but not the first time. The first time he was too stunned to feel anything but want, blind and searing as it slicked his palms with sweat and his mouth opened under Spock’s and let him in like a levee breaking. He caved like he had a rotten foundation, his eyes shutting, his chest swelling, and everything melting away to fools words, finally and please.

They were on a planet’s surface, doing routine checks on team of scientists when they got separated from the landing party. It was the first mission since the mess on Vulcan, and things had been tense, Spock still holding his hands behind his back when Kirk came too near, and the image of his smile wide enough to show teeth indelibly burnt into Kirk’s memory like a scar. It cannot be, Kirk told himself each time they met eyes, because each time, it felt like a revelation.

The planet’s surface was craggy and wet with moors and a slick granite substance, and Kirk slipped down a quarry for a good twenty feet, landing hard at the bottom with pebbles imbedded in his hands, curses and a smear of blood on his lips. Spock slipped in after him.

Jim, are you alright, he’d said, curling long, cold fingers around Kirk’s wrist. And that, just that, had been too much for both of them. Kirk remembered seeing something shocked and defeated slide across Spock’s eyes like an oil slick on water, a dark, glistening flicker. He tasted iron on his mouth, flicking his tongue out to lick the blood away and answering, Yes, yes Mr. Spock. Fine. Before he reached across the divide with rain on his fingers to grip Spock’s chin in his hand. Not to kiss him, not initially. To touch him, because he was compelled. Even to hold him away, at arms distance perhaps, to save them both. But that was not what happened.

More blood was crushed out of him when Spock moved into him, against him, their lips connecting to close a circuit, long running, unrealized, explosive in its power. Kirk twisted his hands into science blues, feeling fabric still warm from flesh, tasting skin and spit and the familiar metallic tang of his own insides, mind screaming finally, finally in an aimless, meaningless prayer long before he registered this collision of skin and blood and longing as kissing. As the impossible.

They broke apart, gasping, boots slipping on wet rock, Spock’s face strikingly pale under the damp dark of his hair, and Kirk kissed him there, rubbing their cheeks together, biting Spock’s jaw hard enough there would be a ghost of green there for days, haunting them both on the bridge when they tried to forget.

Spock had a vice-hard grip on the back of Kirk’s neck, firm and unforgiving, preventing Kirk from moving away had he planned to, had he been capable of stopping the overwhelming rage of his flesh. Spock he begged, thumbing Spock’s mouth open, his own lips a reckless, fool’s grin. Spock.

Their foreheads bumped together, breath coming out hard like they’d just run away from something, to something. Jim, Spock rumbled back, enough pressure to shatter bones in his hands.

You are? Kirk asked, not sure what he meant even now, after having replayed this scene in his head over and over again, cursing his every thought and action and animal mistake, biting holes through his lips in self-recrimination.

On Vulcan, Spock answered, though it was an answer to a question neither of them understood. When my blood burned. It burned for you. He told him, the words thick with mourning like they were a confession, like he had been holding them inside himself for months. I am sorry he added then, breath close and hot on Kirk’s lips. Jim, I am terribly sorry.

Kirk wanted to say, don’t be. But he was kissed too deeply at that moment to say anything, one hard, fierce, painful kiss like the last kiss of a lover before he threw himself into a war. A goodbye kiss, a kiss of endings, wet with tears, heavy with lead. Then Spock pulled away, let go of Kirk’s body with shaking hands, stepped back. They were both slipping without the other to hold him up.

I cannot Spock said.

No, Kirk would have said, in a small voice, but he could not make himself speak.

---


The second time, Kirk was angry with Spock. He was angry with himself. He felt cheated, like he had just suffered through the process of readmitting its inevitable failure, its obvious impossibility, when it happened again. Just like last time, sudden and hot and quick and violent, Spock against him, Spock in his arms, Spock destroying everything he had just condensed into something bitter but swallowable, digestible. Spock rendering him breakable.

Kirk in pieces. He was angry because so much work went to into convincing himself of these things, things which may have been lies, may have been truths. You cannot have this. It cannot work, Spock as a Vulcan, you as a human, both of you stubborn and career minded and out for the other’s safety. It is paradoxical. You are better as friends. You are his commanding officer. His blood boiled for you, but you are in love. Those are different things.

Then, Spock shattered it all to dust. Kirk’s carefully constructed wall of repeated, recited lines he hardly believed because Kirk was not a logical man. Four simple words, echoing inside of him like he were an empty room with a radio signal. I do love you. Spock’s eyes, black with grief, black with his own shattering, his own destruction. The admission of the most illogical force of all. Kirk remembered Spock’s hands on his shoulders, the bruises they left there. He did not want them to fade. They did.

He was angry with himself, for knowing this would happen but making himself susceptible to it anyway. It was so like him, he’d curse when he couldn’t sleep, the sheets itchy against his chin, to fall in love with someone like Spock. Kirk loved a challenge, he loved the things that broke him, that were too much for him, that he could not have. Kirk longed for the impossible, the unknown, the unfathomable. It was why he fell in love with space, why he was a starship captain, why he would have dropped to the ground between Spock’s knees and begged for him to stay if he had thought it would have done anything to keep him. He badly wanted to posses his own undoing, to control it and hold it in his hands. He longed for it.

He hated himself for this. He knew it was impossible, yet each time, his terrible heart surged forth from its cage of maybe lies maybe truths, forgot its scars and stitches and sung finally, finally, finally as it thrashed in certain suicide against warning ribs. Every time.

This is the last time Kirk repeated to himself as he went about his daily business, reading reports, relaying orders, leaning over Spock’s shoulder to gaze at the sensor readings without letting his own chest graze across the horizon of Spock’s back, pretending it did not ache for it’s understated curve. This is the last time. You will lose him if you don’t let this be the last time.

He didn’t believe it, not in the deepest part of his soul. The practical part of him did, or was at least trying to. The logical part, for Spock’s sake, for his career’s sake, for the sake of the wounded fraction of himself, the places still hurt and bleeding from loss, were trying to. Kirk had lost loves before, in a variety of ways. It was the risk of loving as he did, fully and foolishly and humanly. But he had been young then, and seemed like a heroic act at the time, to break his own heart in the way he did. A strength to withstand such pain. Now, it felt like a weakness. Kirk feared he was too weak endure losing Spock the way he had lost Edith, Ruth. So even if he didn’t believe that this was the say to save them, he still sought salvation, so he tried. It was not heroic, not admirable. It was nothing but self-preservation.

Kirk went through the motions, repeated the maybe lies, maybe truths. The salvations. That was the last time. The last time. It’s better this way.

He didn’t believe it. Kirk knew that if it happened again, if Spock reached out again, if he looked up only to be met with the same sadness darkening Spock’s eyes as as his own, he wouldn’t be able to make it the last time. He could not turn away; he didn’t have that kind of heart. He would tumble headlong into it, slipping to the bottom of the quarry, blood on his lips, gravel in his hands, Spock in his arms, finally in his voice, echoing into his empty room.

It probably wouldn’t be the last time.

---

There were innumerable ways to spend the time Kirk was presented with when he couldn’t sleep. However, after fruitless hours awake staring at the artificial ceiling hanging over him like some sort of art, as pointless and as mysterious, his eyes dry and sticky, he could never remember any of the other options. The only possible thing to do at fifteen hundred hours was to stumble down the hall in stocking feet to Spock’s quarters, self-deprecation sour on his tongue.

He did that tonight. He knew it couldn’t end in anything but the ache of absence, but he did it anyway. Sleeplessness made a man desperate, and Kirk was already a desperate man. This routine was not out of the ordinary. Late night and early morning chess games and philosophical conversations were how Spock’s general wariness and mistrust of Kirk, his reluctance to view him as anything other than his commanding officer, eventually shifted into uneasy acceptance before friendship, before whatever they were now. It was comfortable, easy, proof that there was something worth saving for all of Kirk’s sacrifice.

Come in Spock told him, and he did. The second time was close to a month ago so they were on their usual terms again, the conscious proximity, Spock’s almost-smiles, Kirk’s gentle teasing to disguise the sad, blatant longing hidden behind soft grins. He found Spock predictably awake, seated behind his desk still wearing his uniform, Vulcan harp cradled in his arms like something alive. Under normal circumstances he might raise his brows, make some quip about the responsibilities of starships captains, the strikingly similar effects of sleep deprivation and alcohol on the brain. Under normal circumstances Kirk would laugh, pour himself some brandy from the bottle he kept in Spock’ quarters for nights like these, say that he might as well drink if it would make no difference on a neurochemical level. They would sit, talk, eyes twinkling and hands brushing across the tri-level chess board in small, electrical shocks.

There were no almost-smiles tonight. Spock’s face didn’t change, he stayed stoic and still, long fingers motionless against harp strings. Were you not able to sleep, Captain? He said in stilted tones, still struggling to recall what it sounded like to speak normally, the normal of things before they broke them, before Kirk’s heart ruined them both.

No, Kirk responded, a hollow echo. He wanted to joke, he wanted to smile, even a sad smile, but instead he feels suddenly weary, an old man with no hero’s welcome waiting for him at home. He walked to the other side of Spock’s desk, thought to sit down there at his usual chair, but instead he kept walking, past the partition in the room, to the darkest corner where Spock’s bed lay, rust-orange with gold detail, starfleet issue, undented by a body. Kirk laid down.

He hadn’t been planning on being angry at Spock tonight. He genuinely sought his company, blind in the dark with outstretched hands, forgetting all the other things a busy man could possibly do with unasked for hours in the night. It was the cold question, the impassivity of his face. These things he had gotten used to, had swallowed as truths. Now they existed alongside contrary images in his mind, Spock’s strength rendered to pieces under his gaze, his lips parted, trembling, wet, bitten, his eyes so blown apart and helpless with raw feeling it was a miracle Kirk ever believed he could not love.

He closed his eyes, head pillowed in Spock’s scent, painful in the memories it brought surging to the surface like lymph on a new scrape.You don’t mind if I lie here, do you Mr. Spock? He called across the room, the sorry part of him recoiling at the bitterness in his voice. He hadn’t been planning on his, he reminded himself, dragging a rough, tired palm across his jaw.

The silence hurt to listen to. He couldn’t even hear Spock rustling, adjusting his body to the discomfort of being challenged. Kirk did not want to challenge Spock, he didn’t want to be proven right. He wanted Spock to come find him in the dark with the same blind longing that forced him here, in this bed he would never lie in as anything but a shameful, unheroic, bitter old man.

Spock finally spoke, his voice closer than his desk, hovering somewhere near the partition. I do not think that it is wise. But I would not say that I mind.

Kirk was far too tired to puzzle through the do nots and would nots in Spock’s language; he wanted Spock to give him a clear answer, to tell him he was wrong, that he was crossing a line, that he needed to pull himself together. He wanted Spock to get angry at him for being unfair, because he knew he was being unfair, that this was not one’s fault, certainly not Spock’s. That was the last time he repeated, and not a single strand of him believed it with anything but a resigned resentment.

You don’t mind, He echoed, carding a hand through his hair. I see.

Captain, if I may, Spock started, cutting himself off, shifting his weight audibly. He cleared his throat clearly contemplating what so say, how to approach it.

Kirk opened his eyes, disgusted with himself and his incredible lack of control, the way he was allowing all of his feelings of frustration bubble forth toxically, withering as they were exposed by sleeplessness. Forgive me, He said, sitting up in Spock’s bed and throwing his legs over the side to sit, a furrow through his brow. I shouldn’t have.

You are tired, Spock told him like it was an excuse. You are not yourself.

Kirk let himself look at Spock, his narrow ribcage, the quiet, steel strength in his biceps. He studied him unguardedly for a moment, letting his gaze drink because there were things he could allow himself, things that he could take without hurting anyone. I apologize, he said quietly.

As do I, Spock responded, a low, scraping hurt blackening his voice.

Standing, Kirk continuing to study Spock, wondering how much he could get away with, how much of this Spock would take before he turned away, said I cannot. The air changed, becoming hot and tight as it often did before Kirk was stuck repeating things, sabotaging his careful work. Spock regarded him with the same quiet and reproachful longing, tempered resistance visible in his flesh. His eyes flashed. Kirk realized that he, too was angry. They were both enraged, at themselves and at the other, and Kirk knew where this kind of fury led to. He’d been there twice.

Frantically he tried to recall why this had to be the last time. He was too exhausted, though, and everything was rushing inside him, too much ocean for too little body and of course, the only place he felt it could go was Spock. Please he thought, an isolated prayer to a nameless god. please.

Spock moved first. Quite suddenly Kirk was up against the wall, trapped between the corner and the edge of Spock’s bed, an elbow in his throat and breath a lost thing. Spock would hurt him, could easily do so, but he didn’t care. He fought back, twisting his lips away before Spock can catch them and baring his cheek instead, holding Spock off for furious seconds. Is this how it will always be between us, he choked, voice wheezy and nearly gone. Spock’s eyes flickered, his tongue flitted out to wet his mouth and Kirk nearly gave up right there, but managed to steel himself up against the rage of feeling, stolen moments like these, denying ourselves what is there, what is natural, until you cannot control yourself any longer? Look at you-- Spock’s forearm bit deeper into the ridges of Kirk’s windpipe, and Kirk spit down his own chin, sputtering and red-faced until Spock let up, shifted his weight so it dug into his shoulder instead.

Look at you, he repeated, voice torn, breath labored and panting. You are just as much of an animal as the rest of us, Mr. Spock. You resist, and resist until is is unbearable, and then you give in, he could stop himself from saying it, it poured out of him, fueled by the heat from the length of Spock’ flesh pressed flush against him, the damp puffs of his breath against his neck, his ear, the corner of his snarling mouth. You have the power to choose, Kirk pleaded, feeling himself sleep into desperation, into begging. I choose. We are both animals, Spock, You and I. But I choose to accept that. His fists tightened on Spock’s forearms, dugs nails in until he felt the shift of tendons.

It is not so easy for me Spock growled, forcing a knee between Kirk’s thighs, the hand he had braced against Kirk’s waist shifting so it slid under the fabric of his night shirt, cool and spreading against fevered skin. Kirk wanted to scream that it was no easier for him, but instead groaned involuntarily; Spock had never touched him like that and his flesh was treacherous, longing against Spock’s palm.

Damn you, Spock, he finally ground out, and he let himself be kissed to breathlessness.

---

Spock held him up against the wall, kept the whole of him immobile with the weight of his chest, the terror in his arms. Kirk couldn’t breathe against the crush of lips and teeth behind that, but he didn’t care; he pushed his tongue into Spock’s mouth, thrashed until he freed his left arm, used it as leverage to pry their bodied apart.

Everything happened fast. Spock twisted his arm, blood pooled in the half-moons left from his nails, the pain was bright and pure and searing as Kirk curled his consciousness around it, sucked it in because even then, the fear was deep inside him, this could be the last time. He threw an elbow into Spock’s gut, the firm plane of muscle catching his bones like carbon bonds in water, stinging his skin. Spock’s precision, usually infallible, was clumsy with want as he tried to strike Kirk back, and instead his hand dragged along the length of his ribcage, rutted up under his shirt. Jim, he called, and all the feeling in his voice almost made it unrecognizable.

They fought, stumbling alongside Spock’s bed, knocking knees and upending the bedside table, its drawers sliding out noisily, spilling neatly folded uniform slacks. Kirk’s flesh was slick with sweat, the neck of his nightshirt stretched out from being pulled by furious hands, and Spock bent his head to bite the skin there, press the warm wet of his mouth against a clavicle in the pantomime of a kiss. This was enough time for Kirk to knock them both onto the bed and cover Spock’s body with his own.

Kissing again, without realizing it was kissing. It kept happening, Kirk’s mouth bruised and tasting of iron, stunned by the heat of Spock’s lips, pushing desperately apart, in, and then the thought, kissing, we are kissing, followed by the painful heat tightening in his stomach, pushing his thighs apart so he could cant up into Spock.

Knuckles ground into ribs. Kirk sobbed against Spock, making first in his uniform, then under it, in his skin, taking great, bruising handfuls of him. Spock fought easily and with obviously superior strength, though he was trembling all over and Kirk could feel him hard against his thigh. He rolled Kirk over into his back, pushed a hand through his hair so his throat extended, golden and glinting with sweat. Spock fixed his mouth there, teeth deep into the suck of longing lips, and Kirk couldn’t fight anymore. He had no strength, his clothes half off, his chest heaving and every inch of his skin burnt, torn, hurting. You’ve won he told the night in a hoarse voice, the night because Spock certainly didn’t win, neither did he. They were both lost to this.

He closed his eyes, pressed the heels of his palms into the warm sockets and let himself be taken. Spock tore at him, nails and teeth across his chest, his stomach, criss-crossing him with markings he no longer wished permanent, because after all this was over, he’d be trying to forget. Spock’s jaw scraped against him, somewhere near his waistband, against the taut line of his external oblique. Spock’s kisses were rough, reckless, but they softened as they approached the more delicate skin there, and without pausing to stop himself Kirk relented, lifting his hips off the now-dented bed so Spock could pull his flannels off of his hips, cold air making him wince, chase the heat of Spock’s mouth which he knew would come.

Spock kissed the inside of his thigh, breath ragged and out of control. Kirk wanted to look. He wanted to rip his hands away from his wet, stinging eyes, he wanted cradle the back of Spock’s skull and guide him home. He wanted to witness all of it, hold it, die in it. But he couldn’t. If he saw, this would just be one other image to haunt him, another thing he was denied, another thing Spock gave him without really giving.

He willed himself to stay in darkness, one hand covering his eyes, the other balled into a fist and stuffed between his teeth to muffle himself when he cried out. Spock sucked on him, the insides of his cheeks so soft and slick they could not be real, and Kirk arched off the bed, space born between the sweating curve of his back and the regulation mattress. Impossibly strong hands spread wide on the flickering muscles of his thighs, and no matter what he wanted, there would be ten perfect indentations, ten perfect red-blue bruises there for days afterward. One hand squeezed tight, the other one left, abandoned pressure to fist somewhere between his own thighs, Kirk imagined. There was only this, no matter what he wanted. Metal in his mouth, salt on his cheeks, and the feel of Spock’s tongue, graceless and inexpert with the innocence of pure want, would not be forgotten.

Kirk bit down and surged, emptying heat into heat. And he could have done anything to silence himself, and still, he would not have been silenced. He came and came and he sounded like he was dying, but against the storm of it all he kept his eyes closed. He held Spock in his arms again, but he would not be made a fool. He collapsed onto the bed, pulling himself away from the heat of Spock’s mouth, twisting into an inelegant shape, his knees to his chest to protect the waning shudders of something too good to last.

And then, Kirk waited for the inevitable. For the sound of Spock stumbling to his feet, backing against the partition, a wild animal bleeding with shame. He waited for his voice, the same tones he wished for against his ear on lonely mornings, whispering words he meant but would never allow himself to say. Kirk waited for that voice to say the words it did say, it would say. I’m sorry. Then, I cannot.

The silence, again, hurt. It weighed against his cooling skin like something solid enough to snap bones, crush lungs. He realized, with a strange and sudden clarity, that Spock was still between his legs, one hand against one thigh. There was a shifting of weight, a body hovering above him, then beside him as the mattress bowed to accommodate new weight. Then there was Spock’s breath, labored and warm against the back of the hand protecting his swollen eyes.

Jim the voice said instead. Long, damp fingers came to rest along the curve of his cheek. Please look at me.

Kirk shook his head, defeated, disbelieving, confused. He removed his bitten, clenched hand from his mouth, let rest on his own chest. You are going to leave, he declared. He was amazed by the sound of his own voice, so calm and even. He kneaded his brow, rode the tunnel of stars behind his eyelids. Focused on things that were not the lie of Spock’s soon-to-disappear proximity, all the places they touched.

Spock was quiet, thumb rubbing idly at the curve of Kirk’s cheekbone, as if he only just discovered it was there and was touchable. Finally, he admitted, Maybe. But not now.

Pain wrenched in Kirk’s chest. But you cannot do this to me, he thought desperately, to Spock and to his own heart. You cannot. Don’t tell me you can. Don’t show me your feeling, don’t confess your love unless you plan to stay. Because I cannot be made a fool again. I’m not strong. I’m not built for your battle. Kirk thought, and felt the fierceness of all those potential truths, his skin smarting from the pain of something yet to happen, but of course, inevitable. You cannot. I cannot. he told himself, but what he told Spock was, alright.

He let Spock pull his wrist away, let the low light of his quarters burn his eyes. And he wanted to merely lie there and be kissed, touched, a passive vessel for all the pain a martyr must carry, but Kirk was not a hero. Instead he saw Spock’s eyes, huge and dark and wet under the flash of defeat, the same pain which mirrored his own, the same salt dried in the tail and creases. And he craned his neck up, in spite of himself, and kissed everything he could reach.
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