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Title: If You Can’t Be With The One You Love, Honey…
Rating: NC-17 overall
Word Count:  6450/ a bunch

Paring: K/S  (Background Uhura/Bones)
Warnings:  this chapter has some mentions of violence.

Summary:
Spock has a… not all together logical reaction to Captain Kirk’s constant disregard for his own safety on away missions.
Beta:  The amazing
[info]jademac2442  for the ninjabeta. She seriously has the best turnaround ever. :D I had a lot of cheerleadery type read thrus, on both this chapter and the last- so tyvm and sorry that I forgot to mention!  [info]jlm121 [info]yesterday_girl[info]littleboycalico  and [info]karmic_fic  tyvm bbs!

Chapter 1 Chapter 2  Chapter 3  Chapter 4   Chapter 5 Part I


Warnings:  Author’s attempts at Trek-science and plot. Just close your eyes and it will be over soon. :) Please see A/N at bottom of chapter.

 

Chapter 6

The first time Jim opened his eyes, it was to a strange sense of surrealness. Darkness. The constant sound of the engines placed him on his ship, but the actual place is unfamiliar.  He blinked in the darkness and took stock of his injuries. He’d woken up in sickbay enough times that he knew what that felt like. Wherever he was, he wasn’t there.  His ankle felt bruised, and throbbed dully. His head... actually his head felt fine. There was no pounding headache behind his eyes. Jim rotated his wrist and winced at the feel of the muscles in his shoulder pulling slightly. He heard a rustle of something beside him and froze for a second until he felt the straw bump against his dry lips. He drank gratefully, then made a small, discontented sound when the water was pulled away from him too soon. The hand on his forehead settled him back down.  Oddly enough, the hand on his forehead made him relax. Jim arched slightly into the touch before he felt the icy cold edge of a hypospray against his neck. There was a hiss as the medicine shoots into his bloodstream and he settled, going back to sleep.

The second time he opened his eyes it was to a sliding touch against his face. Jim grinned sleepily.


“Spock?”


“No. Sorry, Jim.”


Nyota. Jim masked his disappointment. He opened his eyes just to see her move back to the side of the bed and realized that it must have been the end of her ponytail that brushed against the side of his face when he awoke. He felt lethargic, like he’d slept for far too long.

He stretched before he started to move, feeling each and every muscle in his body from his toes to his fingertips as they brush against the headboard. Some hurt more than others, but overall he feels better than he thought he would.


“Bones’ll kick my ass for being in your bed, you know.”


A familiar snort. “Bullshit, kid. Who do you think is the one that put you there?”


Jim grinned despite himself. He sat up a little, snorting himself when he saw that he was wearing pyjamas in bed. Hell, the last time he actually wore pyjamas was when he was probably four or five years old. He was pretty sure these didn’t have the little footie things though, but you really never knew with Bones. Jim rubbed at his eye, grimacing at the gunk that was caught in the corners.


He caught Nyota making a face at him.


“What? You’ve both seen me naked. What’s a little eye boogers between friends?”


Bones rolled his eyes  again and muttered under his breath about Jim being a complete infant.


Jim waited politely for one of them to tell him what the hell was going on.  He’d always heard the phrase “ignoring the elephant in the room,” but had never really experienced it before; especially when the elephant was actually six feet and two inches of growling Vulcan.


He realized that he kind of had to pee a lot and flipped back the covers to go take care of that. Sulu joked that it was always a good mission if you still had your dick at the end of it, and Jim blinked ruefully down at himself as he pissed for what felt like hours. It didn’t take him long to wash his hands and face, but he took the time to straighten the little bath towels that hung near the shower.


Okay so he might have been stalling a little bit.


“Come on, Jim. There’s an officer’s meeting in ten minutes. You have just enough time to choke down a sandwich before we sit down. Here. Eat.”


Jim eyed the ham and cheese sandwich suspiciously. He sniffed it and took a bite. “So are e’r of you go’a tell me wh’ the ‘uck.” He paused, swallowed. “What the fuck happened?”


He watched them look at each other. Bones looked faintly guilty; Nyota faintly worried.


That couldn’t be good.


“Look, Jim maybe we should just get you fed and to the conference room.” Bones’ tone was his customary briskness.


Jim wolfed down the rest of the sandwich, realizing dimly that he was actually starving. “I could make it an order, you know.”


Nyota tossed some clothes at him, sighing.  “Damnit, Jim.”


Despite everything, Jim had to grin. “That’s actually kind of freaky, you know?”


Bones sighed. “Okay. The short version, but you really need to shift your ass if you’re going to make it over there before they start the call. Spock was... shit, Jim. I don’t even know what Spock was. He would not let go of you for almost two hours after y’all beamed back. We had to practically jump him with enough tranquilizer to take down a Gorn, and he
still wouldn’t allow himself to collapse.”

Nytoa stretched out one hand to Bones’ shoulder, calming him without speaking.  “Jim. We put you in here because it seemed like a good idea at the time. We didn’t know what Spock would do once he woke up. It just seemed like a good idea to have you out of his way.  But- well....”


“How long was I out?”


“Jimmy, it’s been two days since you two beamed back.”


Jim choked on the last bite of his sandwich.


“When Spock woke up from the tranq, he was.. well. Normal. Well normal for the green-blooded--” Bones broke off when they both glared at him. “Vulcan. Fine. I took him off duty just to be safe. Haven’t heard from him since. He’s eating, and he’s been awake, but not exactly rushing out to explain anything.”


Jim processed this as he slid into the clothes Nyota had for him. Putting on his uniform caused his mind to slide back into his “captain mode.”  He didn’t have time to worry about his personal shit.  He had bigger things to worry about.


******


Well, this was fucking awkward.


Jim paused for a minute as the doors slid open, waiting for him to enter the staff room.  Bones, for once, was quiet, waiting patiently for Jim to walk in ahead of him. Jim fought to keep his face impassive.  It was harder than he thought. It took conscious effort to blank his mind of... well. Of everything that happened earlier. But, when the Brass coordinated a conference call, it was really hard to say no. He’d only contemplated asking Bones to knock him out for a few seconds, really.


Nyota smiled tiredly at him. She had been working like crazy to establish the subspace video conference call that Jim had ordered while Bones had been working on him in Sickbay. Even having warped out of the danger zone from when the moon Praxis collapsed in on itself, they were still parsecs from Starfleet HQ. Bones said that Nyota had worked almost nonstop since Jim and Spock had beamed back upon the Enterprise to establish the connection.


Jim kind of wanted to peek out of the window to make sure there wasn’t a giant antenna on the back of the saucer.


His gaze next caught Chekov who was conversing quietly with Sulu. They both broke off their conversation, looking up at him with a nod and a blinding smile. Jim almost returned the grin. It was hard not to. When Chekov smiled, half of the ship grinned automatically back. The other half usually tried to find a way to feed him.  Sulu was calm. Jim was rather proud of him, actually. He’d done one hell of a job keeping his shit, and more importantly Jim’s
ship, together during the crisis.

The chair where Scotty usually sat was empty.  Bones had assured him that  the Chief Engineer would make a full recovery, but the blast he’d taken to his chest had been a close thing. Jim didn’t pretend to understand all the medical mumbojumbo that Bones spouted, but the long and short of it was that Bones had had to regrow part of his lungs and that took a little while. Scotty’d be out of it for another few days at the very least.

Bones brushed by him on his way to his chair, startling Jim out of his thoughts. Bones had been very quiet since they’d beamed back, patching Jim back together with almost no comment. It had been fucking weird, actually. In more ways than one. Like some other doctor was there, impersonally doing his job. Spock had...

Spock.


Jim’s eyes flicked over at him as he made his way to his customary seat. Spock flinched at Jim’s slight hiss of pain when he pulled out the chair. Bones had told him that his shoulder was going to take a few days to feel less like a piece of ground meat and more like an actual part of his body. Spock’s head was bowed. His body was so rigid that it almost looked like he was in one of his meditative trances.  


“Hey guys. Thanks for coming. Lieutenant, are we about ready?”


“Yes, sir. Admiral Pike wanted to speak to us first.”


“Awesome. Anyone have any questions?” Jim looked around at the people he trusted most in the world, noting the shaking heads and muttered “no sirs.”  Spock still wouldn’t make eye contact with him.  Jim’s stomach clenched. He didn’t want to force this, but he had to make sure that Spock wasn’t going to … react... inappropriately.


“Commander?”


“Negative. I have no questions at this juncture.” Spock’s voice was subdued, but at least he was speaking.


“Thank you. Don’t worry, guys. Just explain what happened and answer their questions to the best of your ability. I know normally there would be a debriefing- but.. well.” Jim’s eyes flicked once towards Spock’s bent head of their own accord, before he caught himself.

 “Alright, Lieutenant, I guess we’re ready.” He cleared his throat and winced as he sat back in his chair.


Nyota entered something and the Starfleet symbol changed to Christopher Pike’s calm face. It was what Jim called his ‘Admiral bullshit’ face- a mask that was just as calm and unruffled as if he were reading over a lunch menu instead of getting ready to ream Jim into the carpet.


“Captain.”


“Admiral.”


Well, wasn’t this cosy.


“Jim, there’s no way to get around that this is going to be a shitstorm. You have about ten minutes before the top brass gets their collective asses together and feed into our conversation. I need to know what to tell them, so start talking. I don’t need to tell you that it will go much better for you if I know what the fuck happened out there
before I speak on your behalf.” Chris pinched the bridge of his nose, his shoulders slumping for just a minute. “Now would be the time to overshare.”

Jim took a deep breath. It wasn’t the first time he’d had to confess some sort of giant fuck-up to Chris, but this was the first time that the other man had been so blunt about working around the system. Plus, usually he didn’t have an audience. Jim leaned forward, ignoring the way the muscles in his back twanged at him. Jim felt a wicked sense of deja vu and had a crazy memory of swinging in the air, of being jerked into Spock’s inhumanly warm embrace before he bit the inside of his cheek to make himself focus.  


“I’m almost not sure where to start. I guess it would be on Planet Clusterfuck.” Sulu coughed into his hand. “Err. Huxtor III. Lieutenant Uhura and I had beamed to the surface with a small away team. You are, of course, aware that Uhura is unsurpassed in communications, but what you might not know is that she can
build the damn things too. The Huxtorites had enough eisilium that we were ordered to start negotiations for rights to mine the mineral.”

Pike held up one hand. “Eisilium, Lieutenant?”


Nyota spoke calmly, leaning slightly forward. “As the Captain said, sir. The eisilium is rare enough that we, uh, Lieutenant-Commander Scott and I, were eager to see how we could improve the communications capabilities using the eisilium as a stabilizer instead of the more common mix of materials.”


Everyone at the table ignored the small twitch of Pike’s lips at the mention of Scotty being “eager” to fiddle with something.  


Jim took up the reigns of the debriefing once again. “Unknown to us, the Klingons also had a need for the same mineral. The Lieutenant and I were ambushed and kept in jail for several days, then beamed to another location. It took some time for us to be located and beamed back to the ship. In the interim, we can assume that the Klingons either subverted the Huxtorites or managed to strike their own negations with their council leaders.” He was kind of proud of himself, truth be told. The official paperwork would have quite a bit more detail of course, but Jim thought he was doing fairly well at keeping the  burning fury out of his voice. If Starfleet Intelligence had just done their fucking jobs than none of this would have happened!


“How did the Klingons know of the eisilium? For that matter, how the hell did you two get beamed over somewhere else? Why not just keep you in the holding cell?”


Jim took a deep breath, but before he could speak, Spock’s quiet, emotionless voice started relaying the facts.


“Before we beamed down to the moon’s surface, the Captain was injured in an act of both mutiny and sabotage. The perpetrator, Lieutenant Giotto from ship’s security, also grievously injured Lieutenant-Commander Scott while escaping to the moon’s surface. I can attest that he confessed to acts of sabotage with the intention of undermining the Captain’s authority.  Giotto was quite forthcoming with information.”


Jim noticed Bones’ head whipping to stare at him out of the corner of his eye and ignored him. Giotto’s offhand confession proved that Jim hadn’t fucked up all those missions on purpose, but it hardly did him any good now. People, good people, were still
dead because of Giotto’s interference. Bones and Spock were still willing to think of him as some kind of... egotistical adrenaline junkie. Jim snorted. Well, okay. maybe he was an egotistical adrenaline junkie, but he wouldn’t fucking play with the lives of his crew like pawns on a chessboard. Both of them should have known and accepted that. Bones, especially.

“Is something amusing you, Captain?”


“No sir. Giotto was kind of off his nut down there. He said that he was working with the Klingons, so we can assume that he was doing what he could from the ship to assist him. I’ll have conclusive evidence for you as soon as possible on that matter. I’ve been a... a little distracted... since we found out.”


“Distracted huh? I was going to say, Jimmy that you do look like shit.”


Everyone in the conference room ignored the way Spock straightened, his body like a statue of a Vulcan.


“Captain Kirk is here against medical orders, with all due
respect, Admiral. He should be resting. The Commander too. Both of them went through--”

“Bones.”


Bones sucked in a breath mid-rant and looked away from the monitor, settling back into his seat with a scowl on his face.


“While on the surface, we experienced--”


There were a few beeps, and the screen split into three different rectangles, showing each of the three ‘fleet Admirals that were now monitoring their conversation.


“-- violent seismic activity. Spock and I had been separated, but were still close enough to observe the events that took place. Giotto was murdered by one of his Klingon conspirators and then the two of them beamed out. General Chang was the name he called one of the Klingons that was on the surface.”


Pike spoke, ignoring the tightened lips of the other two Admirals. They really didn’t approve of sharing information. “Kirk, Chang is a big player on the Klingon council.  We have intelligence-” He ignored Jim’s derisive cough “-that links him to several plots against the life of the Klingon Chancellor, Gorkon. Rumors of designs of a cloaking device that would allow their battle cruisers to fire while cloaked have come to light since your last mission report.”


“Captain Kirk.” Komack’s voice was cool as he interrupted Pike. “The fact remains that you deserted your ship, ordering your subordinate to accompany you and while down there-”


He spoke over the protests of Jim’s crew who all remembered that they were flirting with insubordination with a superior officer under the glare Jim leveled at them. With Komack is was just better to let him speak.


“-- your actions resulted in the destruction of an entire moon.”


“Yeah, the loss of the lucrative mining operation was a tragedy too. Look. We we watched while Giotto killed the one of the miners in front of us. We were trying to find out what was going on. Now, after the fact it’s easy to look back and second guess yourself. You guys didn’t give me this ship so that I could fuck around with that bullshit. This crew and this ship is the best in the whole ‘Fleet, and if sometimes things don’t work out perfectly, than that is on my shoulders, not theirs.”


“Why did you order your First Officer to beam down to the surface?” Admiral Bennett’s voice was mild, almost patiently inquiring.


“He did not.” For the first time, Spock sounded like Spock. Hearing it did funny things to Jim’s insides. He had another sensory memory of being held tightly, of Spock almost snarling at Bones, turning Jim so that Spock’s body was between the two of them.  He swallowed, hard. Not for the first time, Jim thought that it might have been prudent to talk to Spock before they went to this conference, but unfortunately there had been very little time. Starfleet wasn’t known for its patience.


Jim stared at the Admirals. Their faces were a little less impassive.  Nyota’s gaze crashed into his, widening in alarm.


“In fact, I dis--”


Nyota’s elbow came down on the console and the communication bleeped out.


“Spock! What the hell are you
doing?!” Jim knew his voice cracked, barely waiting for Nyota’s version of cupping her hand around the communicator and making krrrsh krrrrsh krrrshhh noises before turning to Spock and yelling.

“I am telling the truth.”


“Spock. I order you to shut the hell up. You can answer their questions but do not volunteer information.”


Spock turned to look at him, making eye contact for the first time since they were beamed back onto the ship. “I disobeyed your direct order, Captain. At the very least I deserve to be ordered to the brig.”


“The brig, maybe. But not to commit professional suicide, Spock. Come on. Don’t do this.”


Jim watched as Spock turned away from him, once again impassively facing the blank viewscreen.


“Jim, they are signaling.”


Jim reached out to touch Spock’s shoulder and froze when Spock actually flinched away from him. He let his hand drop, feeling stupid. “Come on,” he repeated, his voice quiet. “Spock, if you trust me, please.
Please don’t do this. Let’s just get through this comm, okay?” Jim was cursing himself as everyone in the room waited tensely for Spock’s reaction.  He knew better.  At the Vulcan’s terse nod, Nyota huffed out a breath.
Spock started speaking as the communication came back on-line.

Jim could see at once that their little trick didn’t fool Chris for one minute.


“Apologies, Commander. Could you please repeat your statement?” Kormack looked miffed at the interruption. “There must have been some sort of subspace interference.”

Jim’s heartbeat sped up so quickly that he was surprised that he didn’t pass out from the increased blood flow.

Spock waited a beat before calmly responding. “I distrusted the situation and beamed down with my Captain.”


“Sirs?”


Chekov’s shaky question caused everyone to look at him. He blushed under their regard but straightened his shoulders as he spoke. “I told Lieutenant Sulu of a report of a wery odd plasma signature. Once the lockdown was lifted and I was able to go back down to the transporter I was able to better monitor the occurrence.”


Jim gave Chekov a sharp look. This was the first time he had heard about any of this.


“The moon imploded because of a wast array of explosions deep within the center of its surface. Only, we were able to werify that the moon was actually imploding, collapsing in on itself, I was able to discern another transporter signature. That was why we were unable to immediately beam Keptin Kirk and Kemender Spock to the ship. What we did not know was that the Klingons were beaming out wast quantities of Kellenite, sirs.”


There was a shocked silence. Kellenite was a highly unstable mineral. Quantities had been detected in the Narada’s composite scans.


“ I believe that in my single-mindedness to retrieve my commanding officers,  I interfered with their transporter signal.  I am unsure as to how much of the Kellenite was actually transported to the Klingons, but will have a complete report sent to you as soon as possible.”


Jim’s gaze fell on Spock’s as though drawn there by a magnet. He could almost see the wheels turning.


“In that case, we will await your reports.” Pike’s voice was calm, although a slight note of excitement could be heard under his smooth voice. “Get some rest, Jim. You really do look like hell. Continue moving, but stay in touch. Hopefully no more subspace anomalies will interfere with communications. Pike out.”


Jim, despite the seriousness of the situation, hid a smirk.  he could practically see Chris make the quotation marks around interfere. He carefully didn’t look at Nyota, certain that her -cheeks were flushed a bright red.


“Acknowledged.” Jim spoke to the blank screen, his mind whirling, his voice a whisper of sound as he spoke. “Okay guys. I guess that’s it. You heard the Admiral. Go and get some shuteye, and I’ll see you on shift tomorrow.” Jim forced a smile, waiting as everyone stood, talking quietly as they made their way out of the conference room. “Spock. Can you stay for a minute, please?”  Jim ignored the concerned look Bones gave him at his question, focusing instead on the rigid set of Spock’s shoulders as he paused right in front of the doors. He took a step back so that the doors would slide shut.


PART II
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