1- Mirror Kirk
It took Spock a grand total of 3,476 seconds to realize that there was something wrong with his Captain. It was in the way he stood on the transporter pad, the way he looked around him in surprise. He noted that every single member of the away team seemed somewhat disoriented. He saw McCoy's murderous glare towards him. He saw Mr. Scott's badly hidden sneer. He saw Uhura's expression of disdain at himself, then at Kirk, then at everything around them.
But most of all, he saw the Captain's eyes, filled with arrogance and hate when they looked at him. It was then, 5.857 seconds after beam-up, that he established the theory that the people in front of them were not who they seemed to be.
Spock exchanged a quick glance with Chekov, at the main station. The Russian ensign quickly typed something on the closest screen. "Same molecular sequence," read Spock from the corner of his eye. He would have to proceed without proof, then.
'Captain,' greeted Spock.
'Spock,' said the man with a colder voice, climbing down the steps with an arrogant stride. 'I see you shaved off the beard. Shame, it made you look scarier.'
'…Indeed. May I enquire about the success of the away mission?'
'You know, you don't need to be all stiff and proper all the fucking time, Jesus. You have no idea how annoying it is. A simple how did it go wouldn't kill you, would it?'
Spock simply lifted an eyebrow, which seemed to annoy Kirk even more.
'You know what, I'm not in the mood for your Vulcan shit. Debriefing in five minutes, then we blow that goddamn civilization to dust and we can finally get some peace around here. Hey, Uhura, mind joining me in my quarters afterwards?'
He threw a glance at Spock, seeming to wait for his reaction. When Spock offered none, he frowned. Uhura walked past Kirk and stopped behind Spock, a defiant tilt to her chin.
'Seems like your man doesn't want you anymore, Uhura,' smirked Kirk. 'Usually, you would have stuck your guards on mine for this, Spock. What is it, you getting bored of her?'
'I simply trust Lieutenant Uhura to be respectful of our relationship and I'm in no way intimidated by your provocation, Captain,' answered Spock in a cold voice. He had met the man less than five minutes ago and already he was having trouble keeping his emotions at bay. Right now, it was hard suppressing the dislike he felt for the doppelganger. Also, the worry he felt for his own Captain was eating at the back of his mind.
Chekov had subtly called security. The false Kirk had a nasty surprise when he tried to exit the transporter room with the rest of the false away team. Spock was relieved to see them all in the brig for the time being. He was even more relieved when Chekov and himself managed to repair the transporter and bring the real away team back.
When he saw his Captain's smiling face, simply happy to be home after a brief trip to an evil mirror universe where Spock was apparently "scary as shit, with a goatee, a goatee Spock! But still cool, as if you could be anything but," Spock finally realized that the man was not as arrogant and misguided as he first had thought.
2- Girl Kirk
Spock wandered the halls of the foggy labyrinth, the faint light of his tricorder creating a blue glow around him. He had been lost for hours, fleeing the omnipotent beings and the illusions they insisted on placing upon him. His mental barriers were on the verge of breaking down. He had been lost on the planet for a total of three days, seventeen hours, twelve minutes and forty-five seconds. He had not taken the time to eat, sleep or meditate, all his waking moments concentrating on finding a way to contact the Enterprise. Also, the strain of meeting illusions of his mother, his father, his childhood tormentors, the whole Vulcan Science Academy counsel, Nyota… Their faces kept tormenting him even though he knew they were not real.
A sound made him lift his head. Another illusion seemed to be forthcoming. He distantly wondered who it would be, this time. Maybe his mother again, or Nyota, with tears streaming down her cheeks like she had tried to hide, the day before the away mission. Maybe it would be Doctor McCoy with a whole new range of insults upon his genetics.
'…shitshitSHIT it hurts!' whimpered a feminine voice around the corner. More expletives reached Spock, who simply walked to the next illusion, tired already. He was almost surprised to see that he didn't recognize the young girl sitting on the floor, dressed in command gold.
'I do not know you,' said Spock aloud, because at this point, it didn't matter if the illusions heard him or not. They were not real.
The girl lifted her head and her phaser in a single smooth move. She didn't stand up, for her leg seemed to be broken.
'Alright, stop moving right now,' she ordered coldly. 'I'm pretty sure you're just another one of those stupid illusions but I'd rather not take any chances. Drop your weapons.'
'I do not have a weapon on my person. They were taken from me upon my arrival here.'
'Whatever, just come over here and hand me that tricorder. I need to know where the hell I am.'
'You do realize that the tricorder will not help if your supposition holds true and that I am, indeed, an illusion.'
'…The hell? Are you Vulcan? Yeah, I can see the ears, and seriously, only Vulcans have a speech pattern like that. Why would they show me a Vulcan?' she wondered out loud.
'Maybe for the same reason they would show me a woman I have never met before. This does not follow the logic they've followed until now.'
The girl frowned a bit and really looked at him in the eye. She made a frantic beckoning motion and Spock kneeled next to her, both to let the tricorder light reach her face and to be able to ascertain her wounds. She frowned at him, seemed to take his features, and at that moment Spock saw the blue of her eyes-
'T'Pock?' she whispered aloud.
'I am Spock,' he corrected.
'Yeah, I can see that…' she wondered. 'You look like my first officer, Mister. Those eyebrows can only belong to her. And those ears, and… Yeah, you even have the tiny freckles on your nose.'
'Vulcans do not have freckles,' he corrected her.
'She does, I checked. And you do too. You're T'Pock.'
At this, an amused smile lighted her face and Spock raised the possibility that this was in fact a feminine version of his Captain to 43.65%. The eyes were the same, the short hair was exactly the right tone, the smile curved at the right angle. Even the Starfleet dress, torn in some places, was the right color. Spock took a tricorder reading of her and was surprised to see that she was flesh and bones, unlike the other illusions that had plagued him so far.
'You resemble my Captain greatly,' he admitted. 'And my tricorder readings indicate that you are, if not him, at least substantial, and a human.'
'Hurray for me,' she snorted. 'It's sad that I don't have my own tricorder. I can't really trust an illusion, can I? Shame, really, you're cute.'
Spock lifted an eyebrow at this, and she laughed.
'Damn, you're good. The other illusions were all missing something, but this one, they overdid themselves. T'Pock always sends me that look whenever I make an illogical move at chess.'
Spock busied himself by taking off his science blue shirt and ripping it in strips to stop the bleeding of wounds of her arms and legs. The girl kept babbling, looking at him with dazed and feverish eyes.
'You're a very, very, very convincing illusion, Mister Spock,' she giggled. 'Can I keep you? Bonesy would have a fit, with two of you aboard. They already can't stand each other, and it's fun to watch the catfights because I'm pretty sure one of them will end up pulling hair, but still, once in a while I'd like to be able to see both of my friends at the same time, you know what I mean? But then, I'd have to go back to the Enterprise for that, and I'm sure I lost my way in this goddamn labyrinth-'
'I suggest you attempt to rest so you may recuperate your strength,' said Spock, placing her limbs in a more comfortable position and sitting next to her.
'Don't wanna sleep,' she whined, her fever rising up. 'You're not true, you can't watch over me, can't sleep…'
'You have my word that I am real and that I will protect you.'
'I guess even illusion Vulcans can't lie,' she smirked a bit, before placing her head against his shoulder and falling asleep.
Hours later, a feminine version of himself rounded the corner and lifted an eyebrow at seeing them both on the floor. He took in her long, black hair, her graceful silhouette, the expressivity of her eyes, the black leggings she wore under the regulation dress. He should have been more distraught, but meeting himself was not a novelty.
'T'Pock,' he nodded.
She nodded back and kneeled next to her Captain.
'Jamie,' she said, shaking her slowly.
Blue eyes opened up and a smile illuminated them.
'Hey T'Pock,' she grinned. 'I knew you'd come. Look, I found another you, and he's a stud!'
'Indeed,' she answered, and took out her communicator. 'T'pock to Enterprise. I found the Captain. Tell Doctor McCoy to get sickbay ready.'
'I'm right here, you pointy-eared ice-queen,' answered a crossed female voice through the static. 'Don't tell me how to do my job, and damnit, what are you waiting to beam her up?'
'I would be quicker if you did not keep me engaged in conversation, Doctor,' answered T'Pock. 'Prepare to beam-up. T'Pock out.'
'Wait,' said Jamie, turning towards Spock. 'What about you? I'm not leaving you down here alone. Maybe Chekov and Scottie can find a way to send you back to your own universe, it'll be easier from the Enterprise…'
'SPOCK!' yelled a masculine voice from behind him. He turned around to find his own Captain, eyes popping up at seeing his company. At that moment, T'Pock and Jamie started beaming up. Spock could swear that Jamie Kirk had winked at him.
3- Baby Kirk
They had walked for hours under the Earth's sun. Spock didn't mind the temperature, in fact he found it pleasant. The corn fields all around him stretched for miles, reminding him a bit of the Vulcan desert. Besides him, Nyota had other thoughts upon the situation. She had taken to swear in Swahili under her breath once in a while, whenever the sun, the hunger or her aching feet seemed too much to bear. Spock would have preferred her to rest, but she was insistent that they find civilization as soon as possible.
The sound of an engine caught their attention. They both turned around and were surprised to see an antique car stop next to them. The window on their side slid down and a blond woman smiled at them.
'Need a lift?' she winked.
Nyota's swearing turned into thankful prayers when she grabbed the passenger side's door handle. Spock opened his own and slid on the back bench, right next to a baby seat. Another infant was sitting on the other side, looking at him with huge eyes.
'And where are you two off to?' asked the woman.
'Anywhere with a bathroom,' grumbled Nyota good naturedly.
'I'll raise the stakes and even offer a good meal if you tell me your names,' said the driver.
'I'm Nyota, he's Spock.'
'Oh? And why did you both think it'd be a good idea to walk through Iowa on the hottest day of summer?'
'We… are lost,' admitted Nyota.
'How lost? I see you're Starfleet, even though the uniforms are weird. There's a base, not that far… Well, in car. It'd have taken you days on feet.'
'If I may inquire, which year is this?' asked Spock.
Nyota muttered something Klingon under her breath and shot him a dark glance through the rear view mirror.
'Nice vocabulary,' whistled admiringly the driver. 'I didn't know you could use that word in that kind of sentence. Creative!'
Nyota turned around and threw her an incredulous look.
'You speak Klingon? Who are you?'
'I'm Commander Winona Kirk,' she said with a smile. 'Retired.'
'You are Winona Kirk?' asked Spock before Nyota could stop him. 'What year is this, Commander?'
'…2230,' she answered, throwing them a sidelong glance. 'This is more than a simple Transporter malfunction, is it? You're lost in the space-time continuum.'
But they weren't listening to her, they were both transfixed by the small infant sleeping in the back seat. It was a boy, of about one year of age. He had blond hair and rosy cheeks.
At that moment, Winona stopped the car and turned towards them, a serious expression on her face.
'You are lost in time,' she repeated, waiting for their confirmation.
Nyota threw him an inquiring look, but he kept his eyes on Winona Kirk.
'We are. Our ship went through an ion storm right before our latest shore leave and both the Lieutenant and myself were sent to a location five miles from the point you found us.'
'Right. So what year are you from again?'
'…And you seem to know my Jimmy. Care to explain?'
At that point, Spock's gaze went back to the sleeping infant.
'James T. Kirk is… a friend,' he said with a softer side to his voice.
'Alright,' she nodded. 'Alright.'
She asked nothing more and started the car. They spent the rest of the ride in almost complete silence. Spock was content to stare at the child.
An hour and thirty-two minutes later, they reached the Starfleet base. While Winona Kirk disappeared to talk with someone who could help them, they were left to take care of the kids. When the mother came back, she found his youngest in Nyota's arms and caught the last of a long whispered diatribe:
'…and when I'll see you next time, I won't tell you, but yes, I thought you were cute. Don't let it go to your head, alright? And there's no need to be such a jerk either, I know you're smarter than you look, Kirk. Also, please, there's no need to go jumping into stupid situations, it worries Spock to no end and he gets annoying when he worries over you, he drives the bridge crazy…'
Winona sent him a speculative and amused look. Nyota noticed her presence and smiled shyly.
'Sorry,' she told Winona.
'Don't worry, I'm not surprised if he ends up being impossible,' laughed Winona. 'All Kirk men tend to be.'
At that moment, to prove her point, Samuel George Kirk stared complaining and caught his mother's attention. Nyota approached Spock and gently placed the child in his arms.
Spock blinked, unused to the act of holding children. He must have done something wrong, because the boy woke up. Blue eyes stared at him with wonder, and black Vulcan eyes stared back with no small amount of awe. It was surreal holding him like this, feather-light and minuscule.
When he lifted his head, it was to meet twin expressions of amusement from both women.
When they finally managed to go back to their own time and their own ship, they did not mention the name of the driver who helped them. Nyota was also very tactful about never mentioning his emotionally charged response to a young Jim Kirk again.
4- TOS Kirk 1
Spock was getting tired of omnipotent beings that felt free to remove him from the bridge of the Enterprise. He was getting very logically irritated by their habit of chaining him and torturing him. This one was no better than the others, even though he seemed to prefer wearing garishly decorated antique terran clothes.
'Behold, Kirk, as I torture your First Officer!'
The fact that a mere ten feet away, there seemed to be another James T. Kirk, older and hazel-eyed, didn't surprise him either. The multiverse seemed determined to throw him every representation of Jim it could think of. This one was also chained and looked furious.
'Leave him alone, Trelaine!' snapped the green-wearing Kirk. 'He has nothing to do with- Wait, that's not Spock!'
The man named Trelaine turned around and stared at him for a moment, then frowned.
'Pardieu!' he exclaimed. 'I had forgotten all about this silly time division! That Romulan made my games very difficult indeed.'
'Romulan? Are you with the Romulan Empire?' shouted Kirk.
'Tsk-tsk Capitaine, do not jump to conclusions. It is simply a matter of returning this Mister Spock to his timeline and fetching the other one… But then, I'm tired of this already. This one will have to suffice.'
At that moment, searing pain made Spock gasp and his vision almost blacked out. When he managed to get his bearings back, he realized he was lying on the floor, still chained, with a gloating Trelaine smiling smugly above him.
'One or the other, du pareil au même, really.'
'Stop your games, Trelaine! I know you are merely a child! You need to understand that humanoid lives are not toys! Where are your parents?' barked Kirk.
Trelaine was proving to be a most difficult individual to reason with. Luckily, Kirk managed to distract him long enough to deactivate the source of his energy. While Trelaine was unconscious on the floor, Kirk got rid of their chains, helped him back to his feet and grabbed his arms.
'Spock?' he whispered, staring at his eyes. 'It's you, right?'
'Yes Captain,' he answered, a bit uneasy at the unusual contact, even more so after being tortured. His shields were low, he could feel Kirk's worry through his skin, and something warm, so warm… Illogical, his mind told him. He is a human, and human have lower body temperatures.
'I'm so sorry you got dragged into all this, it shouldn't have happened…'
'Captain, the fact that I was taken from my own dimension is merely an error on Trelaine's part, you cannot logically blame yourself-'
'I know that, Spock. But I'm sorry he took you to manipulate me. Things like that should not happen, that's why I never-'
He was interrupted by the appearance of two glowing energy beings, which happened to be Trelaine's parents. They apologized for the inconvenience –again- and offered to bring them both back on their respective ships. When Spock disappeared, it was to sorrowful hazel eyes and the feel of strong hands around his arms.
When he reappeared, a second later, on the bridge of his own ship, he almost fell down due to the strain of his wounds. But he was illogically overjoyed to do it to the sight of blue eyes and the feel of strong arms around him.
5- TOS Kirk 2
Spock allowed himself a slow blink, and maybe a small frown. These were the only manifestations of the surprise that would have floored any human.
He was standing on a balcony overlooking a red desert. There was a city to the left, and rocky protrusions further away. He could see an oasis from where he was, the purplish leaves catching the rising sun. This, his eyes told him, vas Vulcan.
But it was impossible. Vulcan had imploded years ago. To find himself in such a place that replicated the exact configuration of his home planet was so infinitely improbable that taking it into account was illogical. But there he stood, on a balcony that used to be part of Sarek's house. His home.
'I must conclude that this is, somehow, an illusion,' he muttered to himself with a bitter twinge he tried to suppress. Whatever happened in this world would not be real.
The bitterness transformed itself into an ache that almost consumed him whole when he turned away. For Amanda, his mother, had just crossed the threshold, a welcoming smile on her lips and her arms open wide.
'You are not real,' he told her flatly, trying to build his walls back against the torrent of unwanted emotions. 'Something of someone must be manipulating my memories of you- of this.'
'Spock-' she started, still smiling.
'No. I will not hear anything you have to say.'
He stepped back and managed to turn away from the heartbreaking image. He had to get his control back. He had to suppress these emotions and find back his logic. But his mother was there, ready to- No. It was not his mother, even if she welcomed him with a smile and open arms-
This, said his logic. Open arms. His mother had refrained from giving him human sings of affection since he had asked her, when he was ten years of age. She had complied, even if he knew it had saddened her greatly. He regretted this decision dearly after her death, and even now, years after the tragedy, he sometimes found himself longing for a last embrace from those loving arms.
She was right behind him, it would be so easy to turn around and burrow himself-
No. Logic. Control.
This was not his mother. It seemed to be the representation of his wishes, somehow. The fact that she was alive on a still existing Vulcan indicated that this world represented his own unachievable happiness.
Words came back to him.
Happiness. Eternal bliss.
He remembered everything. The ribbon of energy. The briefing with his older self. The findings of a man named Jean-Luc Picard, future captain of the Enterprise. His older self's sadness, and guilt, at loosing his own Jim Kirk to it and believing him dead. His own worry when Jim insisted on-
Suddenly, he wasn't on Vulcan anymore. He found himself in the middle of a lush green forest, in front of a wooden cabin like he had visited on Earth during a shore leave with his Captain and doctor McCoy. In fact, it was the exact same wooden cabin.
There was a man chopping wood and whistling a happy song. Spock approached with caution, not trusting the Nexus' logic. He had fervently wished to see Jim, but this man… suddenly lifted his head and threw him a lopsided smile.
'Hi!' he greeted, and Spock had no doubt that this was, indeed, James T. Kirk.
'Hello,' he said slowly. 'Captain Kirk? Jim?'
'The one and only! To whom do I have the honor, Mister…?'
At the name, Kirk seemed to falter. But an easy smile replaced the brief light of recognition.
'Good morning, Mister Spock. Say, what's a Vulcan doing in these mountains?'
'I was… looking for a way out.'
'Out? We're already out, look at this sky!'
'Out of the Nexus, Captain.'
Kirk didn't listened to him. Instead, he gathered a few logs and started to walk back to the cabin. Spock, allowing himself a small frown, stepped into his way.
'Captain, you must listen to me. You are caught into a space anomaly called the Nexus. It uses your thoughts to replicate a situation optimal to your contentment. Everything around you does not exist.'
'Heh, I always said that Vulcans had some sort of sense of humor somewhere, but no one believes me,' he chuckled. 'My First-'
He stopped himself, seemed lost in thought for a moment. Spock didn't pass that opportunity.
'Your First Officer, Spock,' he said with an intense look.
'…Yes… Spock… Do you, do you know him?' he asked with a frown. 'I haven't heard of him for a while, he's on Vulcan, I think…?'
'No, he is not. He is on the Enterprise, with my Captain.'
'I'm sorry, did you say the Enterprise?' at this, Kirk's face lit up.
'Yes, your ship, Captain Kirk.'
'…Captain of the USS Enterprise…' he whispered to himself.
At that moment, everything shifted around them. They found themselves on the bridge. Kirk was sitting on the command chair, looking around in wonderment. It was empty, except for them.
'I- I can't believe this,' muttered Kirk. 'This is impossible…'
'It is the Nexus, Captain,' said Spock, arms behind his back.
Kirk turned his head and looked at him, then really looked at him.
'Spock? What are you doing here? And you're so young!'
'I am indeed Spock, but I am not the one who served with you. I am the product of a parallel timeline. The Spock you know found himself in our dimension. He is on the Enterprise with my Captain.'
Kirk thought for a moment, and seemed to take all his in stride.
'The Nexus, huh? Parallel dimensions? A younger you? And let me guess, the transporters are malfunctioning?'
'If I am familiar with your usual sense of luck, Captain, I wouldn't be surprised if there were also Klingons attacking the ship,' said Spock with a raised eyebrow.
Kirk laughed out loud, threw him a blinding smile, his eyes full of affection. At that moment, Spock could recognized Jim, his Jim, inside this man that had a completely different history.
'Wait, I know you,' said Kirk with an amused chuckle. 'I think we already met before. With Trelaine?'
'Indeed we did, Captain. It is a pleasure crossing your path once again.'
'So, tell me, younger version of my Spock, how do we get out of this Nexus thing? I think you're nice and all, but if you say that my husband is out there on your ship, I'd rather not make him wait longer.'
Spock took the "husband" with a raised eyebrow, but made no comment. It could explain numerous things, the amused look in his older self's eyes whenever he saw Jim and himself together not the least.
Then, he had a moment of doubt. He was so caught in the trepidation of finding the captain that he didn't take into consideration the changes that it could bring to the timeline. Jean-Luc Picard's notes on the subject, studied by his older self, said that one could exit the Nexus anywhere, anytime. It seemed that the anomaly's reached across dimensions as well.
But if he removed Kirk from the Nexus, Picard would not be able to find him and enlist his help into stopping a madman from destroying inhabited planets. He would have to leave James Kirk inside this space anomaly, chopping wood and waiting to be freed… to die hours later.
A look inside the confident eyes, the wrong color but still the same, helped him take a decision.
After all, if the timeline was changed, the future was not written yet, therefore, removing James Kirk from the Nexus and allow him to reunite with his husband would not affect upcoming events. It was simple logic.
+1 - And the only one that counts
If Spock were human, he would have groaned his frustration out loud. But since he prided himself on his Vulcan control, no outer sign indicated the extend of his exasperation.
'Spock, I'm the real Captain! Shoot him!'
'Would you stop that? I'm James T. Kirk, not you!'
Those situations did not even surprise anyone anymore. The fact that they were caught in a transport shield that stopped them from beaming aboard the Enterprise was almost standard procedure at this point. He had calculated that, on the away missions spanning on the course of the last four years and a half, 43.2% of the time there was an element that stranded them on the planet, ship or starbase.
'You're not Captain Kirk, because that's me!'
'Spock, don't listen to him, he's Garth, impersonating me!'
Also, it was almost expected that the inmates had managed to escape and take over the asylum at the precise moment that himself and Captain Kirk were scheduled to beam down.
'Listen, you crazy son-of-a-bitch, I won't tell you the code so you better forget about it!'
'Nice ruse, asshole, but there's no way in hell I'm letting you beam aboard the Enterprise!'
The fact that one of the inmates was also a decorated Starfleet Captain was not of a terrible relevance, if only for the fact that Jim seemed particularly reluctant at the idea of stopping his delusions of grandeur, at least at first. If one added that said inmate had the means to impersonate anyone's appearance, it still remained, if not in the area of what was probable, well enough in the area of what was expected.
'Don't you dare-'
'Ouch, you fucker!'
And the fact that there were two images of James T. Kirk now brawling on the floor in front of him almost didn't baffle him. Almost. Because even the most stoic Vulcans could not remain totally insensible to the enthralling spectacle composed of fierce expressions, grunts of rage, ripped golden shirts and, the more he waited, an increasing amount of exposed skin.
The captain seemed to be able to handle the situation alone. He took a seat further away to better observe the fight and gather more data on the phenomenon.
A couple of minutes later, both men stood apart, sweaty and gasping for air. Spock stood with grace, extended an arm and easily shot the one standing to his left. The other one turned to him, eyes wide.
'You took your sweet time for that,' he commented. 'Had trouble choosing the true me?'
'Of course not, Captain,' he said, trying to not sound insulted. 'I knew how to differentiate you both only 1.274 seconds after entering the room.'
'…Then why did you wait so long before shooting him?!?' Jim asked incredulously.
'I trusted that you could take the correct course of action without my interference, Captain. Also, I had noted that your increased frustration during this whole ordeal needed an outlet.'
'Huh,' simply commented Jim, incredulously.
Spock felt himself oddly on the defensive. He continued.
'I took the opportunity to observe and analyze Captain Garth's methods when impersonating someone else.'
'Oh? And did you pick up any interesting data on this?'
'Indeed, Captain. I am intrigued by Captain Garth's ability to mimic not only the appearance, but also the intonation and the mannerisms of the people he impersonated so far. The fact that he also managed to rip his own shirt during the scuffle may be attributed to coincidence or on a minute attention to detail. I am unsure as to which one seems more plausible so far.'
Kirk looked down at noticed the pitiful state of his own shirt.
'Huh, guess I destroyed another one. My yeoman's gonna kill me…'
Spock followed his gaze and took in fully the sweaty skin visible through the remains of the shirt. There was this rag around the Starfleet logo that would reveal a nipple, if it moved exactly 2.345 centimeters to the right-
A cough interrupted his calculations. He lifted his eyes to find nervous blue ones. He had been caught staring. A moment of silence stretched between them, and the tension grew in awkwardness with each passing second.
Jim coughed a second time.
'If I wasn't mistaken, Mister Spock, I'd say that you were enjoying that little show,' he said with a flirty smirk, the one he gave freely to anyone, Spock included. It was not a novelty. But still, the fact that Kirk had taken a metaphorical step forward, instead of backing up, pushed Spock to level the field.
'Indeed, Captain. I found it quite… fascinating.'
Kirk seemed surprised, but he recovered quickly.
'Yeah, I can see how meeting yet another version of me would be fascinating,' he said, half-joking. 'You can add this one to your collection.'
Spock recognized the maneuver for what it was. A way out. They didn't have to do this. They could burrow it, once again. But it would grow, and come back, and encompass all around them until it could not be ignored anymore. It was illogical to ignore what was.
'I do not need a collection, Jim. I found myself content with the only version of you that matters to me.'
Jim opened his mouth, hesitated and made up his mind. He took a literal step forward that brought him into Spock's personal space. His lips lifted in an hesitant grin.
'So… you're content with me?' he asked slowly.
'Indeed. I found the other versions of you fascinating, but somewhat lacking. I concluded that I had the advantage of having the most pleasing version of you all along.'
'Yeah, you've got me. Always had.'
When Kirk kissed him, pressing his half naked chest against him and burrowing his hands in his hair, he reaffirmed his conclusions. No matter the universe, there was no version more pleasing than the Jim he held in his arms.