K/S Imzadi Redux by SoldierGirl

Browsing for the ST:TNG book "Imzadi" for Kindle last night, I wondered: What would happen if the basic plot of "Imzadi" was brought to original Trek verse and made a K/S story? (For those who don't know, an alternate universe Riker is old and bitter and commanding a backwater space station decades after Deanna Troi was killed on the Enterprise. Losing Troi was what made him that way.)

So, here's the challenge, a la "Imzadi": Spock is killed/dies sometime during the first 5-year mission(can happen any way you choose -- KIA, disease, pon farr, transporter mishap, telepathic attack, taken hostage and killed, etc). Of course, he dies after his relationship with Jim is in full bloom. What happens to Jim as a result?

My friend Amber is convinced that original Kirk would become a sort of Ahab, in her words, "loss of confidence at first, then a rebound where he throws himself into insane missions. He'd wind up dead in short order." Kirk has, of course, lost crewmen (and women) before, but he'd always had Spock there to confide in and reassure him that he'd done the right thing. I think it would be more traumatic if Spock died in a situation that Jim was forced to order him into.

Additional requirements:

Spock can NOT, under any circumstances, return from the dead. Not as an alternate universe counterpart, not via fal tor pan, nothing. He's dead and not coming back.

Must be original universe. For all his past troubles, original Kirk is (for lack of a better term) softer than nu Kirk, largely due to being secure in who he is and where he belongs (thanks to Spock) and to helping Spock become more accepting of his human emotions. He has Spock in his very DNA to an extent that nu Kirk hasn't had the time to develop yet.

This is angst galore, but I would be forever grateful if one of you talent authors were willing to take it on.

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