- Text Size +

Title: Communication
Author: Jenna Hilary Sinclair
Series: TOS
Pairing: K/S
Rating: Eighteen and over only. This short story contains unabashed and explicit depictions of male/male sex, so please read with that in mind.
Contact: Hilary54@aol.com. Feedback is always most gratefully received.
Disclaimers: James Kirk and Spock of Vulcan are their own beings. Paramount fools around with their images, often not very successfully. I think Jim and Spock like it better with me. I don't intend to infringe on any of Paramount's rights, whatever they may be, and I achieve no financial gain from writing this story.
Note: "Communication” was originally published in Legends 3 in 2003, Dovya Blacque, publisher. Many thanks to Dusky and to Dovya Blacque for their valuable editing.


COMMUNICATION


by Jenna Hilary Sinclair




To: Spock Xtmprsqzntwlfb, Captain, USS Tobin
From: James T. Kirk, Captain, USS Enterprise

I always knew you would make a superb captain of any ship Starfleet would put into your care, but I never thought it would take a war for them to provide you with the opportunity.

War. We thought, before, that we were in the middle of it, remember? The Organians. And Kor. You and I, we thought we were ready for it, we'd talked about it and planned for weeks, and I was convinced that between the two of us and our efforts there was no ship in the fleet better prepared than the Enterprise.

And now, two years later, war has come unexpectedly instead, and my ship and I must face it without you.

Forgive me, my friend, for the tone of this letter. You must be up to those elegant pointed ears of yours preparing your ship and getting to know her, getting ready to take her into battle. But, somehow, I don't think you'll mind this melancholy communication from me. I came back from the conference expecting to see you waiting for me in the transporter room, as you almost always are when I materialize, and instead it was Scotty with nothing but bad news.

That was almost three duty shifts ago. You will know what I've been doing since you left. The same thing you have been doing with your ship -- and I've been wondering how much more difficult it will be to manage the Enterprise without the best first officer in the fleet by my side. I'd rather go to war with you than without you.

Which sounds selfish, but I know the capabilities of the Enterprise like I know my own flesh and the strength of my arms, and I don't know as much about a light frigate like the Tobin. Remember the shielding updates you made last year? Make sure you implement them on your ship. If you don't have the codes, I can get Uhura to send them to you in a squirt. Just say the word.

It already seems quiet around here without you. Bones plays a lousy game of chess, and all Scotty is interested in is poker, though I don't think we'll have time for either. Damn the Tholians.

Stay safe, my friend.

Yours,
Jim

***** ***** ******




To: James T. Kirk, Captain, USS Enterprise
From: Spock Xtmprsqzntwlfb, Captain, USS Tobin

Your communication of Stardate 4775.3 was welcome. I am taking the liberty of replying almost immediately, as it is unclear to me when a subspace blackout may be imposed on all but essential official communications. Plus, my time has been most occupied and there has been little leisure to indulge in personal activities. However, I do find myself with some small period of time before the next briefing I have scheduled with my officers, and so I write to you. It is unfortunate that we are restricted to written letters instead of vid tapes, but I believe they will be adequate.

I regret that I was unable to say good-bye to you before I left the Enterprise. My orders were explicit given the nature of the emergency, and so I could not tarry despite my wish to do so. However, I did leave a taped message for you in my former quarters. I made the assumption that you would wish to retrieve your chess board and would therefore see the communication I left on the king's level. Inadequate as the words on that tape are, they do express my appreciation for having served under the best captain in the fleet for four point two years.

Do not fear that the Tobin is inadequately shielded or armed. I took the liberty of copying the improved shielding codes, as well as the new intermix formula that Mr. Scott and I implemented on Stardate 4200.4. You may be interested in knowing that shield performance improved by seven point two percent as compared with only six point nine percent on the Enterprise, due to a shortcut I devised when rerouting circuit seven two alpha during installation. I was forced to perform the action myself as my chief engineer does not have sufficient. . .shall I say imagination. . .to perform the task.

At any rate, I will continue to endeavor to make this ship as effective as the Enterprise is and will be under your command. I am as safe as it is possible to be when serving on the front line during a war.

I am, however, concerned about your safety. Forgive me for being more blunt than I would normally be, but the times are perilous. In the past I have exercised a moderating influence on your impulsive nature. Please continue to operate as if I were still your first officer advising that you preserve your personal safety. It is my wish to see you in person some time in the near future, the demands of Starfleet and this unwelcome war permitting.

I agree with your sentiments concerning the Tholians.

Yours,
Spock

P.S. -- I am sending this message via secure lines, but in the future I suggest we use the code I attach here. It is of my personal devising and should enable us to speak freely in the future. The Federation Encryption Department is considering it for fleet-wide use.

***** ***** ******




To: Spock, USS Tobin
From: James Kirk, USS Enterprise

I found the tape you left me even before I received your letter back telling me where to look for it. I'll admit, I had been thrown off balance when there wasn't any personal good-bye from you when I got back to the ship, just this black silence.

For what you recorded -- thank you. May I say in return that I. . . . Well, I don't think I have the words to adequately respond. Maybe someday. Someday when we meet again in the near future, as you said in your last message. If our few years of service together were memorable for you, know that they were the same for me.

I don't remember having written to a former shipmate when one of us was transferred before. This is a first. I usually only correspond with my mother -- and High Command, of course. But I agree with you, it's best that we answer these letters promptly, since we don't know when or if a blackout will be imposed. And I will be assured of your safety this way.

Your engineer has no imagination? I wish I could ship you Scotty. This is not reassuring. I'm glad you were able to get the shield work done, but equally important is getting Lieutenant Commander Stephens up to the standard you deserve. Yes, I've looked up your crew complement on Fleetrec and Stephens' background, too. At least on the surface she seems competent, and I feel sure that with your tutelage and inspiration she'll improve. It's vital for you to have someone you can trust in that position.

Not to mention in the first officer's position.

I had to laugh at your suggestion that I imagine you are still my exec, standing next to me and whispering your stern warnings in my ear. Yes, Captain! Actually, there is no way I couldn't take your advice. Although Hikaru is performing excellently as a first, and Lieutenant Commander Cohen has stepped up well as science officer, there is no chance that I won't feel your influence every day. On the bridge and everywhere else, I keep turning around and expecting you to be there.

That sounds morbid, doesn't it? I know that's how people react when a loved one has died. . . .

Damn the Tholians! They had no reason to start this unprovoked war, except perhaps to provide amusement for the Klingons, who are undoubtedly thrilled to see our losses mount. Too many good men and women have already lost their lives in this conflict. I'm sure you've seen the casualty figures from the action out by the Coal Sack nebula. I think both our ships will see action soon -- yes, before we have the chance to meet again.

Stay safe, my friend.

Yours,
Jim

P.S. -- Could you squirt us the specs on the shortcut you made on circuit seven two alpha? Even a small improvement in shield strength could make a big difference.

***** ***** ******




To: Captain Spock
From: Captain Kirk

Ignore that newsflash on NetOneVid. The Enterprise came through the battle just fine, with not even a scrape or a casualty. Well, Bones broke his leg, but that was just because he wasn't holding on during one of the maneuvers we made to break free of a tractor beam the Tholians were trying to impose on our nacelles. That was something I hadn't seen before, but only eighty-three percent thrust and reverse on the shields and we were gone with no damage. The Tholians disengaged and we were ordered elsewhere. Anyway, Bones limped for a day and now he's fine and grumbling as usual.

Just wanted you to know you can't trust what's on the newsvids. Didn't want you to worry in case you saw that report that we'd suffered serious damage.

Stay safe. That's an order

Yours,
Jim

***** ***** ******




To: James Kirk
From: Spock

Regardless of what you might have heard, do not fear, Jim. The Tobin is relatively intact and I have but minor injuries. I wish I could say the same for my entire crew, as we did incur casualties in our first action. Four individuals lost their lives.

I will write more extensively at a later time.

Yours,
Spock

***** ***** ******




To: Starfleet, Surgeon General
From: James T. Kirk, Captain, USS Enterprise

Urgent.
Request status of Captain Spock Xtmprsqzntwlfb of USS Tobin. Full details of recent injury.

***** ***** ******




To: Captain Spock
From: Captain Kirk

What the hell do you mean, minor injuries? How badly are you hurt? Is there a Vulcan healer on board? Did you need to go into the trance?

Damnit, Spock, when you send me a letter like that, give some details.

Anyway, thanks for the heads up. The official casualty list had the Tobin listed as missing. Still does, actually. We emerged from our second skirmish with the Tholians to that news. I carried the uncertainty with me for thirty-six hours as we made repairs before Uhura tracked me down in a Jeffries tube with your letter. Bless her. That's one perceptive woman.

I guess we'd both better get used to uncertain news and not believing the vids, right? Though it's hard not to grasp at any news.

It would have been difficult if Fleet had given me command of the Enterprise and then immediately sent us into combat. No time to get a feel for the ship, for the capabilities of the crew -- all that is so important to a captain. I know that you and your ship will overcome that handicap and do fine. More than fine, because I know how you work, I've seen how you can evaluate not just machines but men and women as well. You'll emerge from this war in one piece.

About the casualties your crew has suffered: I grieve with you. Nobody who hasn't captained a fine group of people can possibly know what you are going through: to see them give up their lives under your command. I know what you're feeling. I know it's hard. If I may pass on some advice that a wise man once gave me? It's when you stop feeling for those you've lost that that you need to start grieving for yourself, because you will have lost an essential part of yourself. Yeah, of course that was Bones who said that.

I know you're busy. Probably been up even more Jeffries tubes than I have. But find the time to write back to me, okay?

Stay safe,
Jim

***** ***** ******




To: James Kirk
From: Spock Xtmprsqzntwlfb

I hope you will forgive my tardiness in responding to your last communication. I had been much occupied in returning the Tobin to battle readiness, so much so that I neglected to monitor my own physical readiness. I am sure you would have ordered me off duty before a collapse -- certainly McCoy would have. But Doctor Contreras is not so familiar with my peculiar physiology. Subsequently, I unfortunately have spent the last two point seven days in the trance. Not my choice, but there are times, we both know, when the body will have its way.

I am now well. The ship has been returned to Active Alert status. Lieutenant Commander Stephens has proven herself a capable officer of value in the engine room and on the bridge during my absence.

I do not believe you and I have ever spoken of the subjective experience within the trance. While it is true that one is aware of external stimuli, there is overlaid on that an experience that is similar to human dreaming. I was aware of Doctor Contreras occasionally speaking to someone and moving about our small sickbay. But once he touched my hand, I believe inadvertently, while adjusting an intravenous solution, and I had the very strong impression that he was you. I thought that I opened my eyes and looked up at you.

I would dismiss this event and not even mention it to you except for your appearance. Your pallor was alarming, Jim. You had lost approximately twelve pounds. There was a large purple bruise over your left eye, and your left cheek had been sliced open as if with a razor. Blood was smeared on your cheek.

The Masters of Gol claim to experience true dreams under certain circumstances that are remarkably akin to those of a trance. I do not know if my vision of you -- which was so real to me that I struggled to rise from my bed to aid you or at least offer some word of support -- was one of those true dreams. It could have been the product of my subconscious, for I will confess that my thoughts have turned to you often. Or the vision could have been a reflection of your current appearance: injuries you did not see fit to report to me.

What I fear is that my vision was a true dream of the future. Such a thing is possible, for we have encountered odder phenomena in our travels, have we not? If so, I urge you in the strongest possible terms to be careful. For I have not yet told you the conclusion of what I saw. In my struggle to reach you, I extended my hand. You stepped forward with difficulty, with a pronounced limp, and eventually the tips of our fingers met. At that instant, as I opened my mouth to speak, you began to fade away before my eyes. Within ten seconds you were completely gone.

To speculate is illogical, and I am shamed to be relaying what is undoubtedly just a dream. Of no significance. I am succumbing to the fanciful, and I ask you not to judge my fitness to command the Tobin based on this letter.

Nevertheless, please be careful, Jim.

Yours,
Spock

***** ***** ******




To: Spock
From: Jim

Don't ever hesitate to tell me about your dreams, your illogical flights of fancy, or any other thoughts you want to share. What are friends for? Our kind of friends, anyway. I am honored and privileged to be your confidante -- as we have been for each other since that night you came to me as I was mourning Edith.

Have I ever told you how much that meant to me? We need not speak of it, because I suspect you would feel uncomfortable to hear my emotional protestations of gratitude.

Or. . .perhaps not. I think you know what is in my heart. I hope you do. You left too soon, Spock.

Don't fear your vision or your dream, whatever it was. If you ever reached out to me, if our fingers ever touched, I would not fade away. I'd stay. Do you know what I'm saying?

Yes, I will be careful, though the Tholians might make that difficult. I'm sure you've heard about their advances in sector eight. Lieutenant Takanawa, whom I promoted to first shift helmsman since Sulu can't handle two jobs like you did, has lost contact with his family and fears the worst. But there haven't been any reports of violence against civilian populations by the Tholians, so I'm encouraging him to think positively. Though truth to tell, how would we know?

This is the worst kind of war, because we're running blind. We don't even know what the Tholians' specific grievances are, we barely can understand their language or know for sure they understand ours, we know so little about who they are as a people. It would be easier for me to take the Enterprise into battle against the Klingons or the Romulans, against whom we have a long history of conflict. The Tholians -- they don't even breathe the same air that we do. If they require a defensive sphere to protect their home planets, war isn't the way to establish it. Not the best way, anyway. But is that even what they're fighting for?

Well, I'll stop that train of thought there. I will always do my duty. And we've got to stop their advances against the civilians one way or another.

Have you received a message from Uhura? She said she was going to contact you. Everybody else sends their greetings and best wishes, especially Hikaru, Pavel, and Scotty. Oh, yeah, and Bones, too, of course. I'm not sure how word got around that I was in touch with you. Maybe they just assumed it. Bones said he was going to write to your CMO with some hard truths about treating you. He couldn't believe it when I told him about how you more or less collapsed. Said he knew all your files had been transferred successfully, but that wasn't the same thing as personally relaying all that he's learned in treating your "damned mixed-up physiology" -- his words, not mine. I've always appreciated your physiology. You saved the ship, and me, more times than I can count because of it. And you were always easy on the eyes when I was sitting across from you during our chess games or in a briefing room. On a planetary survey. Anywhere.

Anyway, I let Bones wallow in his conscience for a while before distracting him. To tell the truth, I was damned angry with him when I realized there was more he should have told Contreras. It's like that extra point three percent efficiency in our shields that we realized because of your update; we all need whatever advantages we can get over the enemy.

Not much more to say. We're one hundred and twenty days into this war. Circumstances of war and our duty will prevent the two of us from meeting for a long time. That's hard.

Please stay safe,
Jim

***** ***** ******




To: Jim
From: Spock

It is possible that I do know what you were saying in your last communication, but it is also possible I do not. As you are well aware, there are some forms of information exchange in which I am decidedly inexpert. I will wait with much impatience the opportunity for you to clarify your words in person, and I agree with you that such an event may be a considerable time in the future. Yes, such a wait will be difficult, especially when such unwelcome duties must fill our time instead.

As you know, my preference has never been to command. I do not believe that my basic personality is suited to a leadership role, as yours is. Instead, I found great fulfillment in serving with you as your second-in-command, while having the additional pleasure of heading the ship's science department. It was an ideal situation for my talents and inclinations, and it allowed for personal growth as well. Our friendship was. . .is most enriching. I will confess that I miss our daily contact to a degree that surprises me. Especially since the hostilities were so unexpected, I had not prepared for a separation from my duties, from the ship that had been my home for so many years. . .or from you.

Forgive me if I write too emotionally. It is sometimes difficult for me to gauge what is appropriate beyond what I learned on Vulcan. . .and which I have passed far beyond in recent years. I am in uncharted territory, so to speak, especially if I have apprehended the meaning between the words in your previous letter. So, I will move to a different topic.

I agree with your assessment that the Tholians' bellicose activities are unwarranted. Such actions are the result of lack of communication; they expect the worst from us. At the least, the establishment of another Neutral Zone between our territory and their own would allow the diplomats to find a solution satisfactory to both sides, assuming we can establish meaningful dialogue at all.

My recent duty involves taking the Tobin on patrol in support of merchantmen trading in our sector. The communication between the convoy and the Tobin has been excellent so far, and I have been impressed with the caliber of officer serving the civilians I have encountered. The captains -- all of them are human -- were at first taken aback at finding me, a Vulcan, in command of their Federation escort. One went so far as to question my ability in light of the Vulcan preference for pacifism. I believe I was able to reassure her.

Perhaps you will be reassured that I have encountered no other experiences that could be compared to a true dream. I prefer now to think that the image of you by my bedside was the product of my subconscious. Perhaps it was caused by a separation I feel too keenly, and my continued but thwarted desire to encounter you in person some time in the near future.

It also occurs to me that the dream, if that is what it was, might have been prompted by this series of letters we are exchanging in combination with the well-known propensity of humans to employ word play and puns in their dreams. We are "in touch," are we not? As our fingers met in my vision.

I am

Yours,
Spock

***** ***** ******




To: Spock
From: Jim

You have no idea how much I wish we were truly "in touch."

Especially when I hear word of what you and your ship have been up to. Damn it, Spock, I'm still shaking to hear of it, and that's just from the official dispatches. I know, too well, that only half the story was told there. I’d like to dress you down like a midshipman for your heroics, even though I understand why you had to do what you did. You saved eighty civilian lives and didn't lose a soul from your own crew. Uhura's told me the scuttlebutt is that you'll be receiving the Cochrane Order of Merit medal; everybody here on the Enterprise is about as proud of you as if you were still here.

Not me, though. I'm pissed off mad that you got yourself in such a situation so that only beaming in an enviro suit behind the asteroid and then planting a timed torpedo on the enemy's hull was able to get you and the convoy out of trouble. If the radiation from the Tholian ship didn't kill you, the explosion so close would have. And don't give me any backtalk about your calculations showing an acceptable margin of safety. That's one of the things the dispatches don't mention. How close did you cut it?

And what the hell were you doing conducting such an action yourself? That's what crew is for, you know. Let your specialists do their jobs.

All right, I know the answer to that one. It's that fantastic Vulcan physiology we were talking about before, the physiology I don't know as well as I want to, that made you the suitable candidate to carry out that hare-brained scheme of yours. The fact that it worked doesn't make it any more feasible.

For God's sake, Spock.

This is an order: Survive this war.

Yours,
Jim

***** ***** ******




To: James T. Kirk, Captain, USS Enterprise
From: Spock Xtmprsqzntwlfb, Captain, USS Tobin

I find it highly ironic that you should speak to me about delegating responsibility when you are the worst delegator in the fleet. Even when I take into account the -- somewhat gratifying -- emotional state in which you undoubtedly composed your last missive, I fail to see why you would castigate me for activities you have undertaken yourself many times. My crew is composed of humans and Andorians, and I was therefore uniquely suited to carry out the plan that disabled the Tholian ship and enabled the escape of the convoy I was directed to protect. The others in my crew would definitely not have survived the blast.

And may I point out that seven hours and seven minutes ago I received word that the Enterprise was participating in an encounter with a task force of two Tholian battlecruisers and their smaller escort? It was not until thirty-two minutes ago that another dispatch revealed that the Enterprise had managed to disable two of the ships while causing the remaining cruiser to flee. Through the inspired leadership and daring actions of Captain James T. Kirk. My own foray to the hull of a Tholian frigate dims in comparison to your actions: leading a group into the interior of the enemy's ship for a full fifteen minutes. I believe that makes you only the second group of Federation members to survive for any length of time in the Tholian environment. I am sure Fleet Command will be most interested in the information you gathered.

Jim. There is much I would say to you, but my words of caution and warning are impotent, because I do understand the type of man you are and what induces you to undertake such actions. I was witness to the brilliance of your tactical thinking for more than four years, and I acknowledge that you are an expert in assessing a situation, however hopeless it may seem, and devising a solution that saves lives. But I was also witness to the disregard you have for your own life when pursuing your unorthodox solutions. If you will not exercise caution for yourself, please do so for me. I claim the right.

If you were shaking to read of my small contribution to the safety of the convoy we were protecting, please know that my own physiological reaction upon hearing that the Enterprise was engaged against overwhelming odds caused my heartbeat to accelerate by twenty-two percent. At least.

It is most difficult to continue this correspondence under such circumstances, especially since we have not spoken face to face in one hundred and forty-six days.

I am

Yours,
Spock

***** ***** ******




To: Spock
From: Jim

Oh, so you claim the right, do you? Well, so do I.

And I am not the worst delegator in the fleet, either.

God, I need to see you so badly I can taste it.

I am

Yours,
Jim

***** ***** ******




To: Spock
From: Jim

I'm sitting here undergoing one of Bones' radiation treatments in the sickbay RA booth; all the boarding party did get some moderate exposure, and he's being extra careful. I don't have anything else here to do except write to you, so even though I just sent off the last letter yesterday, here I am again.

No, that's not right. I'm writing because I want to, and I'd find the time somehow. I need to.

I think that it's time for us to stop writing between the lines. That's what I was doing the last few months before the war, when you were here with me. I was saying one thing to you and meaning another, and looking at you without words, always thinking we would have time for each other after the end of the mission. Personal relationships between command teams aren't forbidden, but they aren't always a good idea, and so I contented myself with looking and absorbing the way you looked at me. Those small smiles you gave me every morning. Don't think I didn't see them. I remember them so clearly.

But there is no end of mission in sight now. We will be soldiers for the people of the Federation for as long as there is need. Either one of us might be vaporized any day, any minute, and I cannot continue to write to you like this in veiled truths. Allow me to say what I must. If I have misjudged you. . . . But I haven't. I know I haven't.

I want us to be lovers.

I just transcribed that sentence, erased it twice, and now I'm letting it stand. I wonder if you know how much I want us to be lovers. When we served together my feelings for you were a sweet ache fed every day by your presence; without you they've transformed into a gnawing hunger I take with me every night to bed and try to shove aside every morning as I wake to do my duty.

Let me be clear. I want us to be together physically in the human way and mentally in the way of your people. I want you to claim the right to me just as I claim the right to you. Permanently. This war is made infinitely more difficult for me because we are apart. Coming back from the conference to find you gone: it was like being punched in the stomach.

Would you consider this? Joining with me in every way there is. Is this what your smiles meant? I cannot believe that I could have come to an erroneous conclusion about this. See that, now I'm even talking like you. Erroneous conclusion. I can't believe I'm wrong in thinking you feel the same way about me.

When we finally meet again, face to face, I want to nod at you courteously and say, "Hello, Captain Spock," but then I want us to find privacy. And there I want to do such things with you as lovers do: to kiss your lips until they soften and part, to stand and have you take off all my clothes, to tumble into bed and connect our naked bodies as our naked souls connected on the Enterprise years ago. If we make love. . .when we make love, it will be the culmination of all that we have forged between us. Remember when Admiral McNally called us the best command team in the fleet? We would be just as good for each other as lovers, as committed partners before all the peoples of the galaxy.

Yes, committed partners. I'm ready for whatever ceremony of commitment in which you'd care to indulge, so I suppose this is a proposal. Please, say yes.

I am yours,
Jim

***** ***** ******




To: Jim
From: Spock

TRANSMISSION GARBLED. SIGNALING TO RESEND.

***** ***** ******




To: James T. Kirk, Captain, USS Enterprise
From: Charles McNally, Admiral, Starfleet Command

Orders pursuant to General Order 7312.87 Tholian Conflict, Sector seven.

Enterprise to form battle group with following ships: USS Santiago, USS Grissom, USS Baytown, USS Tobin, USS Tangiers.

Enterprise to operate as command ship.

James T. Kirk promoted to Captain, Battle Group Commander.

Assignment: Patrol and eliminate Tholian presence in sector.

Personal Note: Jim, this assignment reflects a reorganization of our forces in accord with the new perspective at Command. We anticipate operating in larger battle groups for the duration of the war. We've got them stalemated; now it's time to destroy the Tholians.

Congratulations on the promotion. Assign one of the other ship's captains as your second-in-command. Go get 'em.

***** ***** ******




To: General Distribution
From: NetOneVid

(Centaurus) -- Word from Starfleet Central Command is that a fierce battle is being fought in sector ten, involving more than twenty Federation ships and an unidentified number of Tholian vessels. Cappellan Colony Two has been destroyed, as well as outposts six and eight in the Gensei system. Ships involved include:
Hood
Ranger
Yorktown
Toshiba
Tobin
Clyde
Grissom
Tokyo Bay
Gibraltar
Rose
Belfast

and others not yet identified.

Casualty figures will be released upon confirmation from Starfleet Command.

Sector ten includes thirty Federation worlds, twenty-two of them populated, and is within two parsecs of what the Federation claims is the Tholian border. Tholian incursions in the area have grown more frequent over the past month, and merchant ships have required special military escorts. The merchant ship Loggins was rescued from certain destruction fourteen days ago by the heroic actions of Captain Spock and the USS Tobin.

Stay tuned to NetOneVid for more information on this important development.

***** ***** ******




Personal Log, Stardate 4883.9

Still no word on the outcome of the sector ten battle. I am. . .slowly going mad here.

The Santiago and the Tangiers have reported already, and I'm conducting daily briefings as Captains Sterling and Chang and I hammer out our plans. Yesterday I appointed Chang as second-in-command of the group. I had to. The Tobin might never report. I've got to face that. For three days we haven't heard anything except that the losses are mounting.

I don't think anybody knows about the knife twisting in my gut. . . . I've always had the ability to control my reactions and I know how to do my duty. Check that. Who am I kidding? Uhura knows. I can see the worry in her eyes and the sympathy when she turns to me. I can't take that. Can't take the just sitting here and planning for another battle when I need to take my ship elsewhere. To where my love waits for me. God, where the hell did that piece of poetry come from?

I've never felt like this and I hate it. Helpless and. . .obsessed. It can't be healthy. I can't get him out of mind, out of my body, either. I am restless with longing and yet I must sleep to operate efficiently as captain of this ship and these men and women. And so I take myself in hand and think of him: his dark, calm eyes and his knowing, elegant fingers and how he will turn to me when at last we meet. . . . I don't get much beyond that. But my release doesn't help at all. I'm left with this terrible crushing weight of what might never be.

If only I knew that he had even received my letter before the battle. It's important to me that he knew. . .knows how I feel about him. No matter what happens. I'm not going to think about that. . . .

We've just received new orders. I'm to proceed with the two frigates we've got and the others will join us when possible. We need to get this war over quickly, and one way to do that is to find a way to communicate with the Tholians, so they really understand that a diplomatic solution is possible. We need to find out more about them; more than that they fight fiercely and are willing to die for whatever the hell they're fighting for.

Kirk out.

***** ***** ******




Personal Log, Stardate 4892.1

Still no word. I am numb.

But I have an idea. We've been stalking two ships right near the border, big ones if the signature Science Officer Cohen has picked up proves true. They don't know we're here, but I'm monitoring their transmissions and learning a lot. Spock would do better at interpreting this utterly strange language and culture, but I'm doing the best I can. We need some high level captives that we can talk to, or get some real communication going some other way. Sterling and Chang think I'm crazy, but I'm the one in command here.

Entering communications blackout now. So I won't know if we finally get word about casualties from the sector ten battle. Maybe it's just as well. . . . I'll face whatever I have to, but. . .not now. If this crazy idea of mine doesn't work, and we survive anyway, the courtmartial board isn't going to be very happy with me. Consorting with the enemy. I don't know that I give a damn.

You're here by my side, Spock, and I'm listening to your velvet voice give your cautions, because you have the right. I give it to you. But there's a chance that I can save a lot of lives, and I'm going to take this risk so there won't be any more lovers waiting anxiously for word from battles between the stars. I'm doing this for you, no matter where you are.

Kirk out.

***** ***** ******




To: Jim
From: Spock

Yes.

I have no time or energy to respond further, but you must know you have not misinterpreted me at all. I want you as my lover for as long as we live, and my greatest hope is that we both survive this war so we can act to achieve what we both want.

And I will say what you did not, probably because you feared my sensibilities as a Vulcan. I know what love is. I love you, James Kirk.

MESSAGE BLOCKED AT POINT OF RECEPTION. NO SIGNAL. WILL NOT RESEND.

***** ***** ******




Personal Log, Stardate 4897.6

I have always known James Kirk is the most courageous of men, but still I am in awe of his courage in writing to me as he did. Asking me for a permanent commitment with such a distance of space and time between us, trusting to his intuition as he always has.

Giving me what I desire above all else.

He has not received either message I sent him. The first was the victim of Tholian technology, the second rejected because of a subspace blackout. I have not previously been inclined to see the hand of fate and circumstance, but I do find it utterly ironic that Starfleet Command should assign the Tobin to the Enterprise task force, therefore providing both Jim and myself exactly what we wish for most, at exactly the time that battle with the Tholians prevented me from turning my ship to be at his side.

I do not know where the Enterprise has gone, but as soon as I have healed and we have brought the Tobin back to battle-readiness, I will follow my orders and find her. Find him. I must give him my "yes."

Spock out.

***** ***** ******




Personal Log, Stardate 4899.2

The Enterprise is still not responding to any attempts to communicate with her, likewise the two ships with her. I must not interpret that in a negative manner, as their last transmission was the intention to go silent. That was eight days ago. We are underway and we are repairing the Tobin as we proceed. I will not wait until ship and crew are at one hundred percent efficiency; we may be needed. We are at warp six. This silence makes me uneasy.

Or the truth: this silence makes me more emotional than any Vulcan should be, but I have long since acknowledged that Jim does that to me. I pace the decks at night because my bed gives me no solace. I wish to take Jim there, to my bed, to lay him down and touch him, to enter his mind and drown in his essence. He has only the barest hint of what that mental joining will be like, and yet he offers it, so courageously. I. . .cherish him. Cherish the human who will dare to make that leap of faith. His mind calls to me. . . .

More truth: his body calls to me as well. I had myself well under control as we proceeded in our cautious courtship, but now that he has acknowledged his own passions, a whirlwind of need has been let loose within me, and there is no hope that it will find expression any time soon. I do not know what to do with it. And so I pace, but I carry tantalizing, seductive images with me: Jim with his hair tousled after exercise, his fine, broad chest glistening with sweat, directing that smile to me that was always a gift. This is how he would look after we connect our bodies in the act of intercourse, I think. His slow, sure, seductive smile: I shiver even now as I think of it. He has been giving it to me for many months, even years, and we were far too slow in acting on the desire that sprang up between us even from the beginning.

My fingertips ache to touch his skin, to arouse his passions, to connect with the depths of his mind. . . .

I cannot continue this way. The Tobin must find the Enterprise. He and the others with him would not have established a no communication zone without reason. What plan is he implementing? And how can I help him? Jim needs me, I am sure.

To want, and know that I am wanted in turn, and to be utterly unable to act on those feelings. . . . The Tholians torture me.

Spock out.

***** ***** ******




NEWS FLASH
To: General Distribution
From: NetOneVid
Stardate 4900.1

CEASEFIRE!

Unexpected cessation to hostilities with the Tholians!
(main story file 1A)

Communication established with the nest brother of the Tholian High Commander by Battle Group Commander Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise
(story file 2A)

Courageous decision by the USS Tobin to lower shields before two Tholian cruisers, thus presenting a show of faith and allowing negotiations to begin
(story file 3A)

Negotiations now underway on New Caledonia
(story file 3B)

More coverage throughout the issue
Turn to NetOneVid for all the news


***** ***** ******




To: James T. Kirk, Captain, Battle Group Commander, USS Enterprise
Official Starfleet Communiqué
Stardate 4900.3

Congratulations on the successful conclusion to your incursion into Tholian space. I join with the Federation in hailing your actions that have suspended the hostilities and established real communication with our erstwhile enemies.

Signed,
Spock Xtmprsqzntwlfb, Captain, USS Tobin

***** ***** ******




To: Spock Xtmprsqzntwlfb, Captain, USS Tobin
Official Starfleet Communiqué
Stardate 4900.4

Congratulations on your daring decision to drop shields before the Tholian ships Rath'nar and Tabori. Your actions consolidated what I had been attempting to communicate to Semar, the nest brother of the Tholian High Commander: that the Federation will not fight unless provoked and we can be reasoned with. Your actions, no less than my own, are responsible for the establishment of the current ceasefire.

Signed,
James T. Kirk, Captain, Battle Group Commander, USS Enterprise

***** ***** ******




To: Jim
From: Spock

For the third time: yes.

Since our ships are fewer than twenty light years apart, this time my answer should be received.

Jim, when we are joined, I trust that this propensity of yours to rush into action that has a less than one percent chance of being successful. . .will not occur without my presence. You cannot continue to beat the odds as you so frequently do.

I love you, James Kirk.

I am yours,
Spock

***** ***** ******




To Spock:
From: Jim

Spock Xtmprsqzntwlfb, I love you.

I'm sitting here in my quarters with the most ridiculous grin on my face. It seems impossible. Not only have you said yes, but your ship is almost in visual range, and within a day the Tobin will be in formation at our starboard side.

If you joined my mind right now, you'd be dealing with one hell of a lot of emotion. I am. . .so happy. In the face of all the death and destruction that we've witnessed the past months, it seems impossible that something so good -- so right -- should be given to us. I don't understand why I should be granted my heart's need, but I will do everything in my power to be worthy of it. Of you.

I can't go on. If I did, this letter wouldn’t be seemly. It would incinerate before you could read it, if I were to pour out my passion into words. I. . .I want you so much, Spock. I've caught you up in my arms so many times in my thoughts, it's strange to realize that we have never actually kissed, or even touched with desire. I have so much desire for you.

We've got to arrange some private time before the brass arrives. McNally on the Excelsior is headed our way already to confer with Semar, and it will be nothing but the full press and bedlam after that.

If, right after the ships were in beaming range, the battle group commander ordered the captain of the Tobin to confer with him privately, would he?

Love,
Jim

P.S. -- Have you considered that maybe you're not calculating the odds properly? After all, I'm going to have you and you're going to have me, and who would have bet on that possibility four years ago? But it was a sure thing.

***** ***** ******




To: Jim
From: Spock

I estimate there are eight hours and thirty minutes between the time I can safely follow orders to transport to the Enterprise and the time when the Excelsior and her escort is likely to arrive. Allowing one hour for official preliminary debriefing with my battle group commander, and another hour for interaction between my former crewmates and myself, and another thirty minutes to endure whatever the good doctor has to say, that leaves six hours for private conversation and intimacy between us.

That is obviously not enough time for all that we desire, but it will be a beginning. Jim, I wish to begin with you as soon as possible. I have not seen you for one hundred and eighty-two days. I grow anxious. Please, order me to your side at the earliest possible moment.

Yours,
Spock

***** ***** ******




To: Carlotta Svenson
From: Penda Uhura

Dear Lotti,

I only have a few minutes to write this letter, since Admiral McNally and his staff will be coming aboard in three hours, and there's more than enough for a communications officer to do to prepare. But I couldn't resist taking what little time I've got to give you the most delicious news. I'm bursting, and I've got to share this with somebody.

Remember how I've told you about Captain Kirk and Mister Spock? How I really thought there might have been something going on between them and how much I wished there were? The captain was so subdued once Spock left for his own ship, and if only you could have seen his face that time when I handed him the transmittal from Spock saying he was all right after the first attack by the Tholians. Relief doesn't cover it.

Well, something's happened that's made me believe perhaps the gods aren't against true love after all.

Let me set the scene. Just a few hours ago, Spock was due to beam aboard, the first time since he left and the first time he and Jim would see each other since the war began. The captain ordered an honor guard for him, but even if he hadn't, the people gathered in the transporter room would have acted as one. The entire alpha shift bridge crew was there, including me, of course.

The captain was alone in front of the console. He was wearing his green dress uniform with all the ribbons he's earned, standing with his fingers a little curled and leaning forward in that way he has. That man. . .Lotti, I really do love Jim Kirk, and I admire him so much. He's responsible for saving the lives of millions of people; he chanced his big gamble and spectacularly succeeded. It was communication with the Tholians that we needed, words and concepts and not armament and soldiers. He knew that and dared to act on it, while the rest of our so-called leaders just led us into more war and casualties. He's a man a communications officer like me has just got to love.

But Jim's paid a price for his daring. From all I've been able to pick up, his time with the Tholians was part captive, part hostage, and only at the end was he a negotiator. He's lost a lot of weight, and that dress uniform he was wearing was fitting loosely. There's a big bruise across his left temple and a gash across his cheek. I don't know why Doctor McCoy hasn't fixed the cut, it's nasty, but I overheard the captain insisting that he wait until tomorrow. And his foot: Lotti, some time while he was over on that radioactive pile the Tholians call a ship, the bones of his right foot were more or less smashed. So he's got a limp that won't quit.

And yet, for all of that, there he was standing in the transporter room, a little canted to one side, waiting with joy in the depths of his eyes. I'm poetic, aren't I? But I transmit what I saw. His gaze was fixed forward, piercing the transporter chamber that was so far empty. But I could tell, he was just one blazing beacon of anticipation.

It seemed like a long time but probably wasn't before the console activated. Of course our chief engineer, Montgomery Scott, was there to pull Mister Spock in.

Jim visibly tensed as Spock started to form on the pad. I guess I did, too. Those two: I've always thought they belonged together, and to finally have them reunited on this ship. . . . It's not just my romantic inclinations I'm indulging. They made one hell of a command team -- even after they were separated. Without Spock and the Tobin, I'm not sure the truce Jim negotiated would have held.

Spock was in dress golds when he appeared from nothingness and tingled into the slim, straight figure I know and respect. That was a little bit of a shock, since I'm accustomed to seeing him in his blue science tunic, you know.

But it didn't seem to make a difference to him or to Jim. Maybe by coincidence -- or maybe not, because Spock doesn't often leave much to chance -- he materialized looking directly into Jim's eyes.

The honor guard came to attention and the traditional piping began, and Spock took the few steps that brought him off the pad and down to the floor of the room. And then he stopped, still looking straight at Jim as if waiting for something. Jim limped forward until they were face to face.

The piping stopped and there was silence, and I swear chills were running up and down my arms. I don't think anybody else had a clue what was happening between the two of them, but I've always been perceptive, and Jim and Spock have always had a special place in my heart. I really want them to be happy.

"Hello, Captain Spock," Jim said.

Spock didn't say a word. Instead, he held out his right hand, the first two fingers extended, the way the Vulcans do when they're mated.

And you've got to know what Jim did. He smiled that slow, sure, seductive smile of his, and he reached out to join his fingers to Spock's.

I've got to admit it, I had to choke back the tears. I'm an officer and a lady, and I wasn't going to intrude into that special moment with my own emotions. But here was proof that everything I've been hoping for those two really was happening.

Darn it, I've got to run. But I knew you'd want to hear about this. Say hi to Carl and the kids for me.

Here's to love.

Love,
Penda

***** ***** ******




To: Charles McNally, Admiral, Starfleet Command
From: James T. Kirk, Captain, Battle Group Commander, USS Enterprise

Charlie, you arrive in less than an hour. Any chance you'd be willing to perform a ceremony before we get into the nitty gritty? My former first officer and I want to get married.

Yours,
Jim Kirk

THE END


You must login (register) to review.