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the empire never ended.
selections from the exegesis
shore leave (without you remix) 
11th-Mar-2013 04:33 am
penny
Okay, museaway came up with another amazing prompt to write a shore leave fic where Kirk sees Spock down on the shore leave planet and thinks it isn't real, so I finally, FINALLY came up with something.  It's 4:30am but I got started and couldn't stop!  Someone take this laptop away from me.  I seem to have a "naming fics after songs" thing going on and I wrote this fic while listening to a Lana del Rey song, posted below.

I love her you guys.  Anyway, click for fic!


--gold and silver line my heart, but burned into my brain are stolen images--

                “Spock?”  Jim squinted, covering his eyes in the glare of the Omicron Delta system’s lone sun.  He wondered for a long moment if this was real, if Spock was here or a product of this hallucinogenic planet, this protracted unreality.  It was starting to come apart, the illusion of it all.  “Is that really you?”
                “I am unsure as to how I can assure you I am indeed real, Captain,”  Spock said tersely, watching Kirk with visible unease.  “The reality you believe you are experiencing is a projection of your own thoughts.”
                Tell me something only you would know, Kirk nearly said.  Only you in reference to Spock meant two different people, one of whom could stand him because he had to and another had lived a whole life with a man he might never be.  He asks anyway, because he’s confused and overheated and broken pieces of his past have been coming up to poke at him like mirror shards, and also because he wants to know what this Spock will say to that.
                Spock’s hand stills on his communicator and he looks so placid, which is so unfair because Kirk is kind of freaking out.  It’s not every day, even in his line of work, that your best friend seeing Alice go down the rabbit hole happens and it’s even rarer for that to be the least strange thing that happens.  Tell me what you saw,” Spock asks, and Kirk wants to say everything.
                I saw a girl I used to know and then she disappeared, Kirk wants to say.  I saw a kid who used to beat me up and he wouldn’t stop, he never did, so I beat the shit out of him.  “What?”  He asks, feeling a little dizzy, like his head’s full of cotton wool and he’s draining out from the inside.
                “Can you remember what you were thinking of before the visions began?  I hypothesize that these thoughts that precipitate the visions are relevant to regaining conscious control of your mind, Captain, and we are running out of time.”  Spock stands mere inches away from him, close enough that Kirk can see the dark and light brown of his irises, the dull green tint of his skin that just looks like pale from farther away.  “This is wish fulfillment, these experiences that you believe to be real.”
                He just stands there, stock-still like a frozen hologram, Kirk does.  He didn’t get it, why he saw Ruth and knew he wasn’t the only James Kirk to see her again, why the dull thump of his fist against Finnegan’s cheek felt familiar until it came to him, unbidden as always and then he does get it.  He feels as if he’s standing here on shore leave in two different worlds, one of them existing only in his head in intermittent flashes.  It feels like Spock can’t be here,  like this is part of the visions and his head is spinning because when he starts to think that none of this is real he dissociates from it as his mind tries to pull itself out but there’s an anchor wedged tight in the bedrock of the landscape of his mind and he can’t...just can’t.
                “You’re here, aren’t you?  Please tell me you are.  Tell me what to do, Spock.  I’ve got people out there who need me and I don’t know what to do,” he says, voice thready.  “Even if you aren’t the real you, help me anyway.  I’ve already met two Spocks and both of ‘em have done more than they know.”
                Spock, to his eternal credit, does not raise an eyebrow.  “Let go of this.”
                “Of what?  Of you?”  Kirk squeezes his eyes shut for a moment and very pointedly doesn’t think about Ruth or Finnegan or Bones lying there and tries to quell the hot, bitter panic that bubbles up.  He can do that, he can open his eyes and if this Spock isn’t really here he’ll be gone and then he can go save the rest of the crew and maybe laugh about this later.  He totally can. He opens his eyes.
                Spock blinks, and the slight breeze rustles his hair.  “You believe I am a part of your vision.”
                “Yes, I do, because the real Spock wouldn’t still be here!  The real Spock would have gone on to help the rest of the landing party, not just me!”  He turns away, pacing, crushing what looks like a bluebell underfoot.  The petals are just a hair lighter than Spock’s uniform tunic and for some reason that weirds him out.  “If you’re really you, then go.  Go get the others and come back for me, because I know you and that’s what you’d do.”
                He really doesn’t think Spock will respond; if he’s a product of an occasionally moony imagination that’s host to some seriously complicated Spock-issues and Kirk knows that then he’ll go away.
                “You may come to know me, but you are incorrect.”
                Kirk wants to throw up his hands, because if even fake Spocks think he’s wrong all the time he may as well give up on life, the universe and everything.
                Spock stares him down, the heat of him so close Kirk can feel it.  “Your logic is fundamentally flawed if you have somehow failed to notice the importance of your continued well-being.”
                “I am no more important than any member of my crew, Spock—“
                “To me,”  Spock continues, looking at Kirk as if he is being deliberately dense.
                Even under the influence of whatever the fuck is happening, Kirk isn’t that slow on the uptake.  “Oh,”  he says.  Oh.  This moment isn’t real, he’s sure of it now, because of all the impossible things that his subconscious and a waking nightmare could conjure, this is probably the most impossible.  It’s a product of his mind, of someone else’s memories implanted there like dead seeds; no matter what they’ll never grow here—his Spock will never be his, and neither will the things he sees sometimes that feel as real as Ruth and Finnegan and he knows this is when he needs to come out of this because believing Spock now would be just as pleasant as believing his own eyes here, and just as deadly.
                “I’m not going to get another chance at this, probably, so before I go I’d just like to say one thing,”  Kirk says against the pounding in his head and the fading image of Spock that he knows will disappear any moment, and he puts one hand on Spock’s waist and the other against his neck and pulls him down into a kiss that goes from awkward to desperate as quickly as possible.  He feels Spock fumble to pull him closer, his fingers driving into his skin hard enough to bruise and…then he wakes up.

                Sick bay is as it always is, in that it’s the last place he wants to wake up in.  He feels like he’s been jarred awake from the deepest stage of sleep and it takes him a minute to get his bearings.
                “Evening, sleeping beauty,”  McCoy says, fiddling with his tricorder.
                “Bones, thank God.”  Kirk sits back, breathing a sigh of relief.
                Bones smirks.  “Lucky for you I’m not dead, who else would you terrorize?  Wait, don’t answer that.  Anyway, you’ll be fine, you blacked out on the surface.  Spock brought you back, you’ve got a few minor scrapes and bruises but nothing major.  You can go, since you’re awake and I could use the bed for the rest of these plebeians.  How your yeoman fell off a horse into a cactus is beyond me.”

                Kirk is glad to remove his torn uniform, deciding this shirt is a lost cause and throwing it out before he steps into a rare water shower.  He feels like he’s covered in a hundred different kinds of grime and just wants to forget about all this and go to sleep; maybe when he wakes up he’ll feel a little less like his head is about to explode and a little more like a normal human being.  He drags on his old sweats and forgoes a T-shirt because it’s one of those days, and he’s about to gracelessly faceplant on his bed when his door buzzer goes off.
                “Bones, if that’s you go away.  Rand, if that’s you I look forward to hearing what I’m sure is a really funny story later.”  He says, but if it were either of those busybodies they’d have just used their override code and barged in and he can’t just ignore whoever it is so he opens the door.
                “Spock?”  He says, too tired to regret his lack of a shirt.  Spock opens his mouth to speak and then looks down, brow furrowed and eyes lingering on Jim’s sides where there are ten perfect fingertip-sized bruises blooming a dark yellow and that’s…wow. Spock looks at him, really looks the way that another Spock used to look at another Jim Kirk but that hardly matters because Kirk knows they’re here because they want to be, not because of fate or destiny or anything else other than who they are.  It occurs to him that wish fulfillment is not just one-sided.
                “Come in,”  Jim says, and Spock does.


--can you picture this, know that life we could have lived--
Comments 
11th-Mar-2013 12:17 pm (UTC)
"It’s a product of his mind, of someone else’s memories implanted there like dead seeds; no matter what they’ll never grow here—his Spock will never be his, and neither will the things he sees sometimes that feel as real as Ruth and Finnegan..."

I loved that part. I really loved this as a whole, especially the last line, which is both asking him into the room literally but also asking him in emotionally (and actually, since Jim knows about melds, mentally as well).

Get some sleep!!!
11th-Mar-2013 08:41 pm (UTC)
Haha I work till 12ish most nights so I am always up late. It's my favorite time to write!

I am so glad you liked it! I got a quarter of the way in and THEN realized I was talking about mind melds in this story and was like, how did that even sneak in there, what...I don't plan/edit these things so it stayed. And kept going, haha.
12th-Mar-2013 01:07 am (UTC)
This is pure brilliance! This was the line that gave me chills: Only you in reference to Spock meant two different people, one of whom could stand him because he had to and another had lived a whole life with a man he might never be.

Beautifully done, and we got our happy ending. :)

Thanks so much for sharing!
12th-Mar-2013 01:16 am (UTC)
thank you! i am so glad you liked it.
14th-Mar-2013 01:25 pm (UTC)
This is so wonderful I love love love it!!!! You feel sorry for poor befuddled Kirk, and yet you know he loves having Spock to help him make sense of things. Their characterisations are so perfect in your writing! Thank you!!!
15th-Mar-2013 05:19 am (UTC)
No thank YOU for leaving me such an awesome comment :) So nice of you to say, Kirk is reeeeally hard to write for me so I am always unsure about how he comes off in my fic. Your comment totally made me smile!
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