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Pairing: Kirk/Spock
Rating: 18

It was a slow dance, that fight – diving to the depths and then coming up for air, grasping at the rubber tentacles of the thing and trying to twist the strength and life out of them and then discovering that they only came back for more. He dove and dove again. Water was not his natural element. The feel of it against his open eyes and in his ears disturbed him. The near-weightless feeling of twisting in the depths was not like the weightlessness of space. Space was all but inert, dead. This water was a live thing, and there was a live thing in it, trying to pull them both down.

He did not need to think about pushing aside his discomfort. He did it automatically, focussing only on that one thing – on that glint of gold that kept showing through the currents, that was Jim beneath the water, floundering. He dove and dragged the heavy body up to the surface, to precious, precious air, and then the thing dragged him down again, and Spock focussed his attack again on those writhing tentacles and on the strength in them and the tenacity of them.

He had long since ripped his own clothes off, tearing the fabric in the urgency to rid himself of that which gave the creature grip and which dragged him down with its waterlogged weight. His boots and the scraps of his clothes lay at the bottom of the water, somewhere in the silt. His body slipped through the sea, plunging again and again, his lungs holding on to every cubic inch of air that they could.

And finally he found it. Fighting through the swirl of grabbing tentacles, staring past the mass of shimmering crimson and brown, he saw what must be eyes, and the orifice that must be some kind of mouth. Once found, he attacked that without mercy, ripping his fingers into the soft, gelatinous mass that gave the creature sight and scraping it back into the water, where it drifted like dead jellyfish. He clenched his hands into the billowing softness of the head, scrabbling to reach whatever that creature might call brain and to put an end to it, no thought of the sanctity of life or the preservation of scientific marvels in his mind.

And he realised at last that there was no longer movement in the tentacles – that the only thing propelling them was the drifting of the currents. The water was stained with clouds and billows of bluish blood, obscuring his view of the sea floor. He pushed through it, down, down, ignoring the burning in his lungs and focussing on the scrap of gold that was appearing and disappearing through the inert tentacles. For the last time he grasped at his captain’s body, jerking him free of the mass writhed around him, and he pushed for the surface with all the strength left in his legs.

The waves and currents helped push them to the shore. Spock was gasping, the smell of salt water thick in his lungs, the spray soaking each breath he dragged in. He pulled the captain like a dead thing up onto the sand, his clothes that had given him grip in pulling him from the bottom of the water a hindrance now as he tried to haul him higher up above the line of the waves. He dragged him further, the sand wetting and cloying onto his clothes, the sand sticking on every wet patch of Spock’s skin, the sand rubbing between his hands and Kirk’s body. He ignored it, and laid the captain on his back, bending over him and breathing his own breath into the captain’s mouth, pressing his lips down over Jim’s own and pushing life-saving air into his lungs. His hands ripped at Jim’s top, shredding it apart and pushing it down to expose his chest, and he pressed the heel of his hand to Jim’s ribs, feeling the slow, dragging protest of his heart somewhere deep in his chest.

He was alive… He wasn’t breathing, but he was alive…

He kept moving his breath into his captain’s lungs, his lips hot against Jim’s, his hand on his chest always feeling that slow, reluctant heartbeat. And then Jim coughed, spluttering water out of his lungs. Spock recoiled at the splash of salt water, and then he turned his eyes back to Jim, realising now that his own chest was heaving and his limbs were shaking.

‘Captain,’ he murmured.

Jim’s eyes opened, unfocussed at first, and then riveting sharply onto Spock’s face.

‘Jim,’ Spock said, pressing his hand back to the captain’s chest and feeling that heartbeat picking up pace.

‘Spock,’ Kirk murmured, and coughed, and coughed again. His lifted his head from the sand, and then dropped it back again as if he realised his neck muscles could not take the weight. ‘What – ? That creature…’

‘Dead,’ Spock said. Then, ‘I believe it is dead, Captain. I believe I – ’

He stopped, reluctant to say, I blinded it, and I believe I ripped out its brain with my hands.

‘Are you hurt?’ Kirk asked.

Spock looked down at himself, suddenly seeing the places where green blood was flowing and mingling with sea water, where sand was clotting in gashes. There were welts on his body from the tentacles grabbing at him – but Jim had matching burns, in red instead of green. He looked down at himself and realised he was naked. His clothes were somewhere under the water, in shreds.

‘I am not in danger,’ he said.

Jim began to sit up then, recovering with typical verve, a smile that spoke of mischief creeping onto his face.

‘Uh – Mr Spock, you appear to have mislaid your uniform,’ he said.

Spock levelled a gaze on him with all the dignity he could muster. ‘You, sir, appear to have damaged your shirt.’

‘You did that to me, Spock,’ Kirk pointed out with a grin. ‘Was it really necessary to bare my whole chest just to feel for my heart?’

‘It was – efficient,’ Spock said.

Water was dripping from his hair and the end of his nose, and beading on his chest and arms. He was cold, and his skin was tightening, his nipples standing proud. He became more and more uncomfortably aware of the complete nakedness of his body. He glanced down at the sand, moving his fingers in the silica beads and watching the light glisten from them.

‘Spock, are you embarrassed?’ Kirk asked in amazement, the playfulness still in his tone. ‘I’ve seen you naked before, you know. Those showers in the ship’s gym don’t leave much to the imagination.’

Spock cleared his throat. ‘The context is rather different.’

‘You mean – the context of you sitting naked and dripping on the sand having just given me the kiss of life?’ Kirk asked, leaning a little closer.

Spock cleared his throat again. Really, this salt spray was unpleasant in the lungs.

‘Sp-ock…’ Kirk said in a sing-song voice, putting his hand on the Vulcan’s arm. ‘It’s all right, you know. You saved my life. You killed the big bad wolf. There’s nothing else here but you and me and a few billion grains of sand.’

‘You are not naked,’ Spock said – but all that he was really aware of was the heat of the captain’s fingers on his chill skin.

‘That can be remedied,’ Kirk said.

Jim began to ease himself out of his sodden trousers and underwear, peeling his torn top from his arms and flinging it onto the sand.

‘It’ll all dry better while it’s off, I’m sure,’ he said, standing on shaky legs.

Spock stood, about to offer assistance, but the captain waved him away. Jim carried the clothes over to a small stand of plants at the edge between sand and forest and hung them over the branches.

‘There,’ he said, turning back. ‘Now we’re even.’

Spock drew in breath sharply. He had been caught unexpectedly by the sight of the captain walking away from him, his muscles tight and firm and streaked with sand and blood. There was a feeling stirring deep down in his abdomen that he did not often allow himself. And now, as Jim turned back to him, exposed skin from head to foot beaded with water and patched with sand, he found that he could hardly breathe.

‘You look cold,’ Jim said. ‘It could be a long while before a rescue party comes…’

Spock stood as if riveted to the sand, his lips parted, his mind caught between thoughts. Jim’s hands touched his arms and began to rub the sand from them, delicately avoiding cuts and bruises, pressing harder where there were no injuries.

‘Here,’ Jim said, brushing more sand from the Vulcan’s chest, where it was caught in his hair like dew in a spider’s web. ‘And here…’

He brushed more from the Vulcan’s cheek with a feather touch, and then from the tip of his ear – and then Spock was leaning forward and falling against him with the surging relief of the realisation that Jim had been so close to death and had come back yet again. Jim was kissing him, no permission asked and none granted, and he could taste the salt water in his mouth, and grains of sand rolling between their lips, and they had tumbled onto the beach and Jim was atop of him, forgetting the varied injuries now and moving his hands over every inch of skin as if to reassure himself that the Vulcan was here, and whole.

Spock was not thinking. For this one precious time all analytical thought had been pressed out of his mind. He was feeling Jim’s skin and his heartbeat and the sand rubbing between them, and seeing his parted lips and his butterfly-wing eyelids and his dark, water-and-sand streaked hair, and smelling scents of mingling copper and iron based blood – but he was not thinking. His fingertips were feeling inch after inch, slipping over the arching ribs and the flat muscles of the stomach and then slipping into the roughness of hair and finding that hardness that showed Jim’s yearning, that caught against his own unexpected erection and brushed it like hot silk.

‘Sand chafes, you know,’ Kirk murmured, always the humorist – but Spock paid no attention to the words.

He leaned back on the sand, letting his legs fall apart, letting Jim’s urgently searching fingers slip through the hair between his legs and trail over the shivering tightness of his scrotum and no longer holding back the urge to groan aloud as those soft fingers tracked further down to find the opening between his buttocks and tease at it, slipping slowly into the depths. He moaned again, forcing himself to relax further as his body tried to tighten against the entry, and shivers moved uncontrollably up his spine as those fingers massaged the soft passage of muscle inside of him.

‘There, Spock, there…’ Jim murmured.

Spock was wordless, enervated, his body sinking into the sand, Jim’s fingers being replaced by the solidity of his erection which slipped with insistent firmness through the tight muscle and into his body. He had become air. He had become fire and air and everything intangible, the shimmers of stimulation rippling through his body as if a stone had been dropped into water. Jim was hard against his body, his chest to Spock’s chest, his belly moving with hard insistence against the length of Spock’s shaft, enclosing it between the warmth of their bodies. He had lost himself, the only sound being the deep grunts of his effort as he pushed into Spock’s body over and over, his mouth close against Spock’s cheek, his eyes closed. And Spock lay and let all logic drift away to be replaced with pure, boundless joy that seemed to set alight every nerve in his body.

Jim’s noises became more urgent, Spock’s own soft moans echoing them as muscle rubbed hard against his erection – and then with a primal gasp Jim stilled and Spock felt the jerking inside him as a shiver of ecstasy rippled through every nerve, and he could feel his own wetness slick between his stomach and Jim’s.

They lay still for an eternity. Spock lay with his arms loose on the sand, Jim inert on top of him, their hearts pounding against each other as the only things that seemed to be moving. Spock lay and let thought seep back and the shivering joy seep away until it was contained in the safe enclosure of his mind like a possession to be treasured.

‘Warmer now?’ Jim asked, quiet against his ear.

‘Warm enough,’ Spock murmured in response.

There was nothing but the sand and the slow pounding of the waves, and the feel of Jim along the length of his body, alive and whole and entirely his.

‘Do you believe the landing party will find us soon?’ Spock asked.

‘Soon enough,’ Jim said.

‘I do not want them to,’ Spock said.

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