Author's note: A random little story I wrote a few years back, after discussing revenge on at KirkSpock Snuggle. It is what it is.
An endless roar filled his ears, subsuming the clatter of security guards and the encroaching alien Enforcers. And only one thought pierced the green fog inside his head.
With laughable ease he grabbed the ceremonial blade from the belt of the Enforcer. He took in the beetle-black carapace and stuck the blade quickly in the joint of the shell, effectively felling it. It felt like the practice forms he had done as a child when he whirled and the blade flashed three, four more times, stopping the rest of Enforcers.
It was nothing. The act felt like nothing. Nearly 40 years of Vulcan conditioning, and never before had he felt more true to his heritage than in this moment.
The insectoid bodies died rapidly. He still held the knife, made a decision not to relinquish it. It would be a reminder of this moment, this feeling of unity, whatever the consequences.
The humans looked stunned by his swift brutality. It was irrelevant to him, their small feelings. He grabbed his communicator.
“Spock to Enterprise. Immediate beam up, and emergency medical team to transporter room 1. Spock out.”
One glance at Jim's prone form, his red Terran blood leaking out of him, reminded Spock why he had done what he did. He could still see the Enforcers in his peripheral vision. A surge of satisfaction cooled his bloodlust.
No, he had no regrets. They had moved against him, more importantly the captain, and this was what their actions wrought. One must consider all possible outcomes before acting. Logic was fixed, even in this corner of the universe.
McCoy watched Spock as he sat in the center seat. His uniform reflecting his promotion to Captain. Even Spock could not deny it was necessary. Jim would live through his attack with the Scaleri, but would require extensive time in a regen tank and therapy. Six to nine months. And they simply couldn't do that on the Enterprise.
With less cajoling than McCoy would have expected Spock took the promotion, though only under the proviso of acting Captain until it was ascertained if Jim would be capable of resuming command.
McCoy had been thinking on the whole scenario since it happened and couldn't puzzle it out. All he could think was what were the missing pieces. He aimed to find out.
The doctor entered newly remodeled captain's quarters. It had a full office plus living quarters. A good change, McCoy thought. Spock would need the office as he would continue as Science Officer, who would be the new XO was still being debated.
Spock sat somewhat intimidatingly behind his shiny, new desk.
“Spock,” McCoy started hesitantly, “We haven't really had a chance to speak since the uh, incident on Hobok. What the hell happened? Oh, I've read the report but, Spock! You killed those beings, and frankly you haven't been the same since. I'm not here to argue fitness of command; you've been doing better than you ever have before, and the crew satisfaction ratings are good.”
“Doctor,” Spock interjected acerbically, “Did you intend to take a breath at any point?”
The doctor had chuckle. “I was afraid you might throw me out before I got to say what I wanted to say.” To which Spock merely raised a brow.
“I wasn't sure how receptive you would be to me, in general.”
“Doctor, I...I am sorry if you believe I did not convey my satisfaction with your tenure as Chief Medical Officer. Though your medical practice on Vulcans leaves something to be desired, you are in all other aspects an exemplary physician. Do you intend to leave?” Spock concluded.
McCoy balked. “Of course not, beside Jim's prognosis is excellent. Knowing him, he will defy all expectations and return to duty faster than anyone could have guessed.”
Spock's gaze was hooded as he replied, “Yes, it is also my hope that Jim will recover quickly.”
Bones dropped gently into the chair opposite his commanding officer. “As your physician, hell, as your friend, please tell me what happened down there.”
The Vulcan blinked rapidly, mental wheels visibly turning. He leaned back in his chair, fingers steepled.
“The Royal Enforcers were sent by Prince Skotar. His faction, if you will, was seeking to foment a civil war to create a wartime economy. His fortune was largely tied up in companies that made heavy armaments. They intended to kill us and presumably use it as a catalyst for unrest, as an alliance with the Federation was already somewhat contentious.”
McCoy couldn't stop himself from rolling his eyes. “Dammit, I meant you, what happened with you down there, not the political particulars.”
“Perhaps you should have clarified,” the Vulcan returned, deadpan. “Beside doctor, you said you read the report. I do not take you for a liar, what I wrote was what transpired.”
“Spock, in all the years I have known you, only once did you ever even express a desire to kill another living being. And that day you killed five. And now you are the captain of this ship, of this crew. And I don't feel like I know you anymore. It's not bad, you're just different. I want to understand, if I can. As your friend. As your subordinate.”
Spock swallowed, and he knew he had him on the ropes, when suddenly the missing piece fell in for him. All this time he had been afraid of Pon Farr, spores, alien telepathy, when the answer had been plain as the nose on his face.
“My God, man! You didn't know, did you? What kind of delusion have you been laboring under, what did you think you felt all this time?” He felt lighted headed with the incredulity of his conclusion.
Spock's eyes snapped up, burning with banked rage. The doctor could feel the tenuousness of his position.
My heart is flame.
He stood up casually, hoping Spock would pull himself back in. “If you will excuse me, I have some work to do in Sick Bay.”
The Vulcan's voice had a sandpaper rasp, “Of course, doctor.”
Bones looked at him intently, as he crossed the room to the door. He looked like a man shaken to the core, but he didn't really think that was such a bad thing in this case.
Jim let his eyes wander aimless over the stars in front of him, safely distant from him behind the transparent aluminum of the viewing port. This window had been his regular companion since he was able to leave the regeneration tank that had been his home for three months.
It was a miracle he was whole and healthy. A miracle three thousand years in the making, since the Greeks first dreamed up humours. He stood there feeling quite phlegmatic, pleased that Spock would be there soon.
He flexed his hands that rested on the sill, waist high. The skin felt tender, hypersensitive. His whole body felt that way. Sixty percent of the skin on his torso was new, covering the gaping hole in his abdomen the Scaleri claw had left. Parts of his organs, and much of his blood had been replaced as well. He had worked hard to get his new body back into fighting shape. His face looked ten years younger after being pampered in a bath of nutritious fluid. His hair cropped carelessly short by technicians that attended his unconscious, and later feeble body. All in all, he looked a bit young, and unkempt.
He had been so lost in his nothing thoughts he failed to notice the Vulcan appear next to him. He was even less prepared when Spock wordlessly covered his hand with his. The grip sure, as if certain it would be welcome. The pressure increased, and the lean fingers laced between his.
His breath exhaled without his will. Perhaps the cues were still mixed from being so freshly re-imprinted on his reptile brain. Equally thoughtless, he inhaled. Odd, it wouldn't have occurred to him to miss his habit of holding his breath at times.
Finally he turned to look at his friend. Spock was staring out the view port. Jim felt a twist in his belly, uncertain of what it meant. Something that hadn't seemed very important before suddenly seemed much more urgent.
“First things first, Mr. Spock. Perhaps I should say Captain.” He let his smile warm his voice. The Vulcan still didn't turned but raggedly shook his head in the negative. “Thank you. For saving my life, and the life of the landing party. It was a good thing you did.”
“You were not conscious. How can you know?” Spock's voice was soft and low.
“I didn't have to be. You made a decision, you did what you could and effected a positive outcome. I see no better course of action.”
“I killed them. By my own hand.”
“Yes, so that others could live. Even Surak thought self-defense was sufficient,” Kirk rejoined quickly.
“I do not regret my actions, I merely do not think they should be congratulated. There were other factors involved, not nearly as altruistic as you presume.”
He reclaimed his hand, and turned to lean on the sill with his elbow. He needed time, just a split second. He couldn't feel Spock, and wondered which of them was holding back.
Spock pursed his lips, lost in his own thought. Jim blinked lazily and responded.
“I don't believe in perfect altruism. It's beyond humans, but reasoned altruism that aligns with benefit for oneself and one's outcome. That is quite possible. I wouldn't judge you more harshly than that.”
“Perhaps you should. I am not human.”
“Oh, but Mr. Spock, you are. You're quite transparent to me.” He smiled to soften the blow. He heard Spock's sharp exhale of annoyance.
Spock regarded Jim stonily. “I killed them for you, because of you. And I cannot bring myself to regret it.”
His fingers trembled as they reached for the short hairs at Jim's temple. “I do not know if I shall ever regret it.”
Jim closed his eyes as he felt the electric slid of fingers on his skin.
“Maybe it's not regret that you need to feel. Would grief suffice?”
“For what?” Spock's fingers moved along his scalp, stroking the rough hair.
“Grief for this world and all it's terrible choices.” He opened his eyes, and they felt bright from the conflicting battery of emotions. Sorrow that Spock had to sully himself, but a perverse pleasure that he was now off his pedestal, tasting the bitter that came with the sweet.
Spock pushed his forehead against Jim's, both hands buried in his hair. With bright colors, Jim suddenly sensed all of his friend's love and affection.
“I killed them because I love you, and they would have taken you from me. I could not let them.” He felt Spock's need to say that. He reached his arms up and around his Vulcan, held him tight.
“I know, Spock. I know.”
After a moment, he pulled back, ran his finger along the side of Spock's face, along his lip.
“Take me home. Please take me home.”
Spock caressed his temple, then let his hands drop.
“Of course, sir.”
Jim smiled, and they left to go pack his things. Home, home to Enterprise.