1lostone: (Default)
[personal profile] 1lostone
Title: Music Appreciation
Author: [livejournal.com profile] 1lostone
Series: Reboot
Rating: PG
Length:  approx 3000
Warnings: (If any) Be sure to brush your teeth.
Summary: Spock's gift to Jim for the holidays to give him a private concert on his lyre. (USDA Approved: Unicorns farting rainbow Fluff) 
A/N:  Written for the prompt Spock's gift to Jim for the holidays to give him a private concert on his lyre. for [livejournal.com profile] ksadvent. I picked this prompt because I saw that [livejournal.com profile] spomarani was the artist and wanted to collaborate. I hope you like it!!!
Link to Art: HERE by: [livejournal.com profile] spomarani (Note, art is also embedded in the fic to keep from spoiling!)


There it was again.
Soft. Some sort of minor key that managed to both punch him in the gut and cause his heart to almost squeeze in on itself.  Jim didn’t recognize the instrument.  It wasn’t a haegeum, or a guitar. It wasn’t a harp, or some kind of Đàn gáo.  It sounded sort of like the Andronian Gudok, but had dark, sensuous overtones like an old-fashioned cello like from one of the concerts Nyota was always attempting to drag him to.
It was driving him crazy.
The first time he heard it, Jim had been certain that someone had been blasting some sort of sound file in their quarters. He’d been working, and the heartbreaking music had been more of an annoyance than anything else. He’d tried to ignore it. He’d tried to play some other music to drown out the sound.  He just happened to like loud, screaming guitars, thank you very much. Hell, he’d even barked an order for the computer to inform him of any sound files that were being played on his deck. There hadn’t been any.   It was deep into Gamma shift, and most of his crew were probably drooling into their pillows. 
Jim had managed to delve back into his work, not even noticing that he was muttering at the rudeness of some beings under his breath.  He’d worked for about five more minutes when the sweet, soulful tones ripped him out of his mission brief. He had been listening for ten minutes before Jim realized that he wasn’t really all that annoyed; that he was sitting on his bed with his PADD abandoned on his lap, his head resting lightly against the wall, immersing himself in the sounds that drifted to him...
... through the bulkhead.
That’s when he realized.  Well, Bones had always said he was slow.
It was Spock.
At first, Jim was just so .. curious. It completely blew his mind that Spock would be listening to something so beautiful. Well, no. It wasn’t beautiful. That was, it hadn’t make him feel happy like a sunset on an unexplored planet, or Uhura bending over to fix a boot. Thinking of Spock didn’t always make him feel happy. In fact, Jim was so adept at shoving what he felt for Spock way down deep inside of himself, that the fact that this was something he could do with Spock in some small way, was just as addictive. The song had been haunting, full of melodies and counter melodies that were hard to discern through the bulkhead, yet still seemed to somehow resonate within him.  Jim had only become aware that he had been completely absorbed when he realized he was pressing his face awkwardly against his side of the wall when the muscle in his neck twanged unpleasantly. 
That first night he had forgotten about his reports and just lay there, breathing as quietly as he could so that he could hear the faint sounds of the music take him to some place he had never been, never knowing how much he missed it. Slowly, it occurred to him that it wasn’t something that Spock was listening to.  It had to be some sort of instrument.
Night after night, Jim would hurry to finish his responsibilities so that he could listen in secret to Spock’s concert.  It didn’t work every night, of course.  Some nights Spock would spend with Uhura, or in the Science labs, doing whatever it was that he did when he wasn’t in his quarters.  Some nights, Jim had pollen issues or had been munched on by some sort of new and fascinating alien and was in sickbay.  But when he could, Jim would find himself stretched out on his bed with his head resting against the bulkhead, imagining that the faint strains of music were for him.

They had been working for two hours.  The battle had been vicious, and had left enough structural damage on his girl  that just about everyone on the ship had been  working as much as they possibly could , knowing that it was all 457 asses on the line.  When Jim wasn’t swearing with frustration, he was beaming with pride that his crew were like some well-oiled machine, working almost flawlessly together under pressure.  The Enterprise had been blind, dead in space after every single system had gone offline.  They weren’t even sure where they were until Chekov and Scotty had gotten the navigational systems back up. And that had taken almost two full days. Jim found himself pulling double and triple shifts, sleeping only when Bones and Spock bullied him into falling onto a horizontal surface for a few hours until they had juryrigged enough so that they had impulse power.
He had collapsed gratefully in his Captain Chair, looking around his burnt and bruised bridge with a small frown. Jim was so exhausted that he hadn’t noticed that Spock was giving him what were, for Spock, extremely strange looks until Uhura had caught his eye and given him a significant eye-roll towards Spock’s still form.  Jim stubbornly refused to go off shift until the Enterprise had limped into the nearest space dock, and at first he was pretty sure that Spock was just cranky over his ‘illogical human stubborness.’ But no.  Spock didn’t look like he normally did when Jim screwed up.  Instead, Spock’s eyebrow had seemed almost to fly off his forehead.  Not that that was weird. Hell, Jim had gotten that look at least twice a week since they’d started off working together.  What was strange was the slight, almost imperceptible softening of Spock’s mouth.
“Is something wrong, Mister Spock? I don’t think I have egg on my face.  Although it’s always possible, I guess.”  The words had slipped out before Jim could stop them, his exhausted brain killing the filter that usually kept the stupid things that liked to fall out of his mouth in check. He forced a tired smile in his first officer’s direction, stifling a yawn.
“No, Captain.”  Spock seemed to stiffen, turning to continue his scans on his slightly worse for wear console.  Jim found himself staring a bit too long at the lithely muscled rigid back of his First before blinking twice and making himself focus on his PADD.
“Captain, we’re being hailed.”  For some reason, Uhura sounded like she was trying to hold in a laugh. She wasn’t quite successful, but Jim was beyond caring.  He was pretty sure that he had broken a rib when he’d been knocked head-over-ass when the shields had failed. He hadn’t reported to Sickbay, and was equally afraid that both Spock and Bones would somehow be able to tell just by the weird psychic bond they seemed to share whenever Jim got hurt. It was practically the only time the two of them got along.
“Thank Christ.  Maybe we’ll actually get  there and on our merry way by Christmas. Onscreen, Lieutenant.” Jim’s relief was palpable as he forced himself to sit straight in his chair, mustering a grin for the Captain of the Excelsior
Maybe he’d actually make it to his quarters before he fell over onto his face.

Jim yawned, scratching his stomach as he widened his eyes in the bathroom mirror.  He winced when his jaw popped, and winced again when his ribs gave him a warning twinge. He’d remembered to put the dermal regenerator on himself before falling face-first onto his bed, but he must have knocked it off in his sleep.  Jim yawned again, bending over to get his toothpaste, knocking over a cup in the process.
“Shit,” he muttered under his breath, his reflexes way too sleep-stupid to catch the small, metal cup. It seemed extremely loud when it hit the floor of the shared bathroom, and Jim cast a guilty look at Spock’s door, holding his breath for a second, worried that he had woken him up.
Instead, he could hear the music again.
It washed over him all at once, stealing his breath and bringing tears to Jim’s eyes.  There was a slight variation on the melody that he’d heard countless times before, but it only served to bring the slight minor key to the forefront of Jim’s attention.  He crouched there, listening, lost in the music.
Jim didn’t even realize that it had stopped until the small chime that indicated Spock wished to enter the shared bathroom startled him out of his reverie. 

Jim stood up so quickly that his knees popped.  He was horribly aware that his face was flooding with color. Spock stood there in some kind of black silky ensemble that caused him to look both terribly severe and somehow eminently aloof.  Foreign.  Jim met Spock’s eyes for only a moment before looking down at the floor. It wasn’t that the outfit looked out of place, it was just that it made Spock look just slightly out of the realm of Jim’s preconceived version of “Spock.”
“You’re barefoot.”
Oh, Christ.  Jim felt his ears burn.  Spock tilted his head, shifting his body slightly to the left.  If Jim hadn’t been concentrating so hard on not looking Spock in the face, he would have missed it.
An instrument sat leaning against the egg-like chair that Spock preferred in his quarters. It was a deep, rich mahogany in color, with several strings that met at a point about three feet from the bottom of the bridge. 
“Is there something amiss?”
“N...no.” Jim cleared his throat, responding on autopilot.  His brain kept screaming at him, and for a second he was afraid he was completely failing at keeping his thoughts private. “Sorry about that.  I didn’t mean to disturb you.”
Spock opened his mouth to say something, but before he could, Jim retreated back to his own quarters as though being pursued by a Gorn with an injured tail.
Spock. It was Spock creating the music.  That song that enraptured him, that haunted him. Jim was terribly aware that his heart was beating a little too fast. Somehow, seeing Spock in his ... well, they weren’t exactly footie pajamas, but they sure as hell weren’t his science blues... knowing he was in his own space, comfortable, practicing on his guitar-thingy made Jim’s tiny, little crush a lot less reticent. He bit his lip, feeling incredibly foolish. 
Whoever Spock was thinking of when he made such beautiful music... it wasn’t Jim. Jim understood that to Spock, he was a valued member of the inner-workings of the ship. They weren’t quite friends, but nor were they antagonistic towards one another.  They had settled into a comfortable working relationship that Jim valued perhaps a little too much.  He rubbed at his ribs a little absently, ears half-cocked to listen to any sort of sound from Spock’s quarters.
Jim sighed.
“Damnit Jim, I’m a doctor, not a musical theorist!”
Jim winced. He’d been trying to explain how amazing Spock’s playing was.
“You’ve had two cracked ribs for God only knows how long, and you just now decide to let me know about this? And just exactly what kind of damnfool healing did you do on these?  There could be fragments of your ribs just floatin’ around your body right now for all you know. Idiot.”
Jim rubbed the back of his head, trying manfully not to wince again when Bones poked him hard in the sternum.
“I wouldn’t even have known if that pointy-eared elf of yours hadn’t insisted that I check you out.  He said you’ve been ‘performing at less than optimal capacity’ between the not sleepin’ and the not lettin’ me do my damn job and... Hey!” Bones thwacked Jim’s forehead. “Are you listenin’ to me, kid?”
“Hey, Bones? Can you fall in love with a piece of music?”
Bones blinked, his mouth freezing in mid-tirade. Jim was staring at a hangnail, sneaking peeks at Bone’s reaction out of the corner of his eye.  Bones did his impression of a fish for a couple of seconds before Jim saw the eyes go a little crazy.
Normal people fall in love with the people who make the music, Jim.  Normal people have the hutzpah to actually tell the per-- the being that made the music what they feel. What they’ve felt for over a damn year. No, don’t you look away from me kid.  Do you really think you’re in love with... a song?”
Jim frowned.  “Wait. How do you know it’s just one song?”
Bones threw up his hands, muttering under his breath. Jim watched him for a second, completely confused.  “Bones? Seriously, what’s wrong?”
“You have no flippin’ idea. I swear to God, Jim. You need your own personal cartographer and an excavation ship to find a damn clue.  You’ve been singing the same song under your breath for almost two months.  Badly, I might add. Nyota told me that Spock caught you humming a few days ago when you were dead on your feet.”
Jim blinked up into Bones’ hazel eyes, completely gobsmacked. “I... wait... what?” He forced a laugh that didn’t fool either one of them.
Bones made a face that looked like he had just remembered that he was supposed to be being a kind, understanding friend but was too busy stifling a laugh to care. “Jeez, kid. Just go talk to him.  Put us all out of our misery.”

Okay, this was ridiculous.
When Jim was little, Sam had read him ancient fairy tales.  The one that had always stuck with him was the Pied Piper of Hamelin.  Even at the tender age of five, Jim had known that his talents did not lie within anything musical.  But still he loved it... loved the idea of being so entranced by what he was listening to that he could forget everything that made him sad. 
That really wasn’t nearly as favorable an image as a twenty-eight year old Captain of the flagship.
With Bones’ words ringing in his ears, Jim bit his lip and decided to go for it.
Maybe Spock had been so focused on his music that he didn’t hear Jim, pressed against the door- listening.  Maybe he was so focused that he didn’t hear the door to their shared bathroom slide open, the whhhhhhst! just part of the white noise of living on a Starship.  Maybe Spock was so focused that he didn’t hear Jim trying desperately not to breathe too loudly, hideously aware that he was not just stepping over the lines of almost-friendship, but bounding over them. Spomarani's art.

He clenched his fists, his mouth twisting in a smirk at the sight of Spock, hunched slightly over his instrument, all that intensity that Jim so admired completely focused inward.  Jim closed his eyes, listening.  The music was much louder now, of course yet it  still rushed over him like a wave crashing over a beach. Jim felt like he was drowning, blissfully taking in the beauty around him, greedy for more.
Jim’s eyes popped open. He opened his mouth, ready to babble an apology, but before he could, Spock turned in his chair.  His gaze was very direct. And very amused.
It was the later that caused Jim to pause, his lips rising in a hesitant grin.  “Uh, that is very beautiful.”
Spock cocked his head to the side, nodding to the facing chair.  “Were you aware of the origin of this lyre, Jim?”
A lyre. What a simple name for something that caused such a complexity of emotion. Jim blinked, shaking his head.  He was still floundering a little from being so abruptly jarred form the spell Spock’s music had wrapped him in.
“It belonged to my clan matriarch’s father’s father. My own mother sent it to me only weeks before Vulcan’s destruction.  On what I believe you would call a whim. I’ve always been fascinated by its sound, yet I have never been able to play it with the care and respect that it deserved. Mother admonished my... lack of practice  and reminded me of the story behind this very lyre.”
Jim smiled encouragingly, not wanting to interrupt. Spock rubbed his fingers lightly over the different stings, sending small arpeggios and scales as background music to his speech. Jim ignored the smooth way Spock’s long fingers trailed sensuously over the bridge and handle of the lyre, almost stroking it as he spoke.
Nope, didn’t notice that at all.
“When I young, my father decreed that after the age of six stories and fables had no place in my educational pursuits. Yet there was one anecdote of an educational nature-” His eyebrow ticked, and Jim’s grin broadened at the phrasing, knowing it had to have been Amanda’s. “That I specifically requested Mother share with me, repeatedly. We would go to my father’s study and stare at this lyre in its case. Mother would speak, and I would stare up at it, focusing all of my attention on its smooth surface. Would you... care to hear it, Jim?”
Jim was able to give one, tiny nod.  He couldn’t seem to look away from Spock’s hands on the lyre.
“Back before moon upon moon, were the warriors S’verrik and Lhaes. Lhaes’ people were the emotional  ch'Rihan, while S’verrik’s followed the cool, logical path of Surak. The two clans were fearsome enemies, clashing brutally over land and avarice.  For ‘lo, even the unforgiving sands of Vulcan’s knew the green blood of both their Houses, soaked up the spill of life as the two clans gave heir very lives to their hatred."
"It was upon the third day of the third moon when S’verrik and Lhaes first encountered each other.  Lhaes gave no quarter; fighting with both Lirpa and Ahn’woon to bring about the end of his greatest enemy. S’verrik was just as fierce, for even though he abhorred the violence that he must use to subdue his wayward foe, he understood that nothing else would allow him victory.  It was after such a battle as this that the two enemies were stranded without weapons in the gully of a deep crevasse. Both had been recovering from grievous wounds in a neutral House of healing.  By the strangest of fates, they both left the House in opposite directions at exactly the same time, wearing exactly the same cloak to protect their skin from the harsh sandstorms. When the rain came, it caught both of them unaware, washing them into a deep hole.  Neither realized that it was their greatest foe  that was trapped with the other, for the moons were all but hidden in the darkness of the night sky. The walls were smooth enough that neither could fashion a way to climb out, nor did they have the equipment necessary to make a weapon. They spoke of many things that night, careful not to reveal who they were, for both were aware that they would be a valuable tool as a ransomed captive were either House to take them. Lhaes enjoyed the cultured, smooth tones of his companion, but mourned that he had nothing with which to help them pass the hours. In fact, it was S’verrik who had a roughly hewn lyre and it did not take much encouragement from his new comrade for him to play."

"The music seemed to fill the entirety of the crevasse, soothing Lhaes' weary soul. He could not seem to stop listening. It's beauty robbed him of speech, inflaming the very passionate nature of which he was so proud.  His own honesty forced him to speak of his entrancement, and was surprised at the bright smile he received in return. 'It is a tune recognizable by the warriors in my House. A song for one's T'hy'la, to call the very souls of two mates., warriors who are meant to be together.  Many enjoy the sound of the tune, but only T'hy'la to Thy'la are seared by its beauty. I give this to you as a gift, my T'hy'la, for I know that our souls shall never be parted.' Passion and  Logic were merged as the two became one under the darkness."

"Of course when the light broke upon their slumber, the two recognized the other for their enemy. Their bodies were inflamed by their enmity, even as their souls cried out to be together. Overcome by bloodlust, S'verrik threw himself into the battle that sang in his blood. Yet when the battle was over, and Lhaes lay crumpled with the green necklace of bruises blooming around his broken neck, S'verrik stared unbelieving that the destruction he had wrought with his own hands.  He had murdered his T'hy'la, and his sin was anathema. S'verrik bound his lover's body up in their matching cloaks and bore his heavy burden to his own Clan home, for once the light had risen, he could clearly see the path that lead him from the crevasse where he had known both his greatest joy and his greatest sadness."

"It is said that the lyre finds its way to one half of a broken soul, its song to be gifted to the one whose love is sought the most. I..." and for the first time, Spock's voice showed a slight hesitation. "I wished to gift this music to you. To play for you and see... if you could possibly have the same esteem for me that I ... feel for you."

Jim's heart seemed to stop. He knew he must look like a fool, sitting there with his eyes widened comically, his face both furiously red and coolly pale in turns as Spock's words rushed over him.  He felt too hot... no too cold. His own heartbeat returned with a vengeance as Spock began to play the song that so called to him.  Like all of the times before, it had a strange physicality to it, wrapping him in love, in a intensity that was impossible to ignore.  For the first time, Jim realized that it was the exact feeling he had tried to stifle so very many times when spending too much time around his prim first officer.  Spock who claimed no human emotionalism, used his lyre to show Jim how very much he loved him; how very much he cared.

Jim Kirk was not a fanciful man.  He looked on life with a certain pragmaticism, brought on by growing up too early in a universe that seemed to do its best to crush you down. Yet when his lips brushed Spock's for the first time, he felt like he was being gifted everything he could ever dream of wanting. He was so greatful for the oppertunity to have this, to share this with Spock that he almost misssed the sligtly smug curve to his earstwhile Vulcan's lips.



GO AND GIVE LOVE TO for her beautiful art, HERE.

Thanks for reading! 

Date: 2011-12-19 03:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spomarani.livejournal.com
Ow wow, this story is magnificent. I love the legend that you put in for the reasoning behind the song Spock played.

Date: 2011-12-19 06:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aerlalaith.livejournal.com
Absolutely adorable, I love Jim's attempts at rationalizing his reactions to the music.

Date: 2011-12-19 12:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lygtemanden.livejournal.com
So very beautiful, thank you!

Date: 2011-12-19 05:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] metallikirk.livejournal.com
This is a really beautiful story; I loved it. I love how Bones gave Jim the prod in the right direction and the kiss at the end was very cute!

Date: 2011-12-19 09:10 pm (UTC)
ext_55779: (Default)
From: [identity profile] ayesakara.livejournal.com
Awwww, so sweet. I loved this so much! :)

Date: 2011-12-19 09:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katrinna-le-fay.livejournal.com
Awww was a lovely and cute story! Spock playing music for Jim is adorable
Thanks for sharing, happy holidays ^ ^

Date: 2011-12-20 04:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] therumjournals.livejournal.com
awwww, this was delightful and delicious! great job describing the music...i could totally feel it (but not like jim did...in his pants!) :-D

and omg, those pics are freakin' adorable. jim's little face! jim's little butt!
Edited Date: 2011-12-20 04:05 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-12-20 03:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fannon-fodder.livejournal.com
What a lovely story! Beautiful and enchanting, and just a little bit sad. Loved it :)))

Date: 2011-12-20 10:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] half-vulcan.livejournal.com
That was great. Loved the art. The back story about the t'hy'la from warring clans was deep. This warmed my little Grinchy heart.

Date: 2011-12-20 11:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] coeurdesoleil.livejournal.com
This was such a beautiful story ♥

I loved that Jim was particularly drawn towards the music because his soul on some level recognized the call of his t'hy'la and I thought the legend of the Vulcan lovers added a bittersweet tinge to the story.

Date: 2011-12-22 03:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] myriadprobold.livejournal.com
That is lovely.

Date: 2011-12-22 10:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yesterday-girl.livejournal.com
OMG - you never fail to make me love you all the more with every fic you write hun. Simply lovely! I loved it. Plus those illustrations are great alongside it too. :0)


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