Title: At Lover's Lane
Author: Sara
Email: sara_merry99 @ yahoo.com
Betas: Farfalla and Singer
Pairing: Kirk/Spock
Rating: PG-13
Archive: KSOF2003, ASCEM, AAK/SA (a giftie for you Farf). Anyone else please inquire.
Disclaimer: I would claim them if I could....they'd have more fun with me than they do with ParaViaBorg. But alas, I can't claim them, so I'll send them back home when I'm done with them.
Notes: Thanks to Lyra for the challenge.
Summary: Some heavy issues hang overhead as Kirk and Spock go parking.

At Lovers' Lane

The Andromeda P5 nebula flared and pulsed, its ribbons of purple and pink light powered by the two irregular stars buried deep within. A small Federation runabout hovered in space outside the nebula. Inside the small ship, two men--one human, one half Vulcan--stood together in front of an observation window, hands clasped, enjoying the beautiful spectacle.

"Ah, Spock, this is exactly what I needed," Jim Kirk said, sitting down on a convenient seat, squeezing his bondmate's hand tightly. His voice softened slightly as he went on, "Since the fal-tor-pan, we've hardly had any time alone together." He reached out for Spock with his other hand, encouraging him to sit close.

"Indeed. I have missed you as well." Through their bond, Spock could feel the pain his death still caused Jim. If not for Vulcan controls the intensity of the pain would have made him shiver. And that pain was dwarfed by the pain both of them had felt after the fal-tor-pan, when their marriage bond was only partially restored, both of them leaking half their souls away into the space between their minds and hearts. These pains were like aching scars in their psyches. Only contact, mental more than physical, could fully heal them both.

Squeezing Kirk's hand, Spock stayed silent, respecting the heaviness he could feel in Kirk's mind for a few minutes before speaking, "I did not expect that we would be allowed to leave Earth before your hearing, Admiral. I hope you have not further endangered your position with Starfleet by taking this trip without permission."

Kirk smiled wanly. "It's okay, Spock. Admiral Cartright knows that I have no intention of fleeing from justice. You are still an officer of Starfleet in good standing. I believe I am officially in your custody."

Spock raised his eyebrow again at that assertion, his muscles stiffening. "Admiral," he started, his tone sharp with disapproval, "this is highly..."

Kirk shook his head and smiled again. "I know, Spock. We will be back on Earth by tomorrow afternoon, well before the hearing the day after. Everything will be fine."

Spock sat stiffly on the edge of the seat, not sure he approved of the irregularity, even if it did allow him to spend what might turn out to be his last hours of privacy with his bondmate. After a minute of indecision, Spock relaxed into the seat, not willing to spend these stolen, private hours maintaining a stiff, public formality. "Very well."

"I want us to take this evening and just be together." Kirk said, settling in comfortably. "For today, I don't want us to worry about the trial, or what may come after."

Spock raised his eyebrow. "You do not think you should prepare for the trial, Admiral? I am certain that a lawyer could be found to..."

Shaking his head, Kirk said, "No. That isn't necessary, Spock."

"Admiral. Jim, I am certain you could argue extenuating circumstances..." Spock began, but was stopped by a shake of Kirk's head.

Reaching out to put his arm around his mate's shoulders and draw him close, Jim sighed, a mixture of contentment and worry for the future. "I just want to relax and enjoy these few hours together, Spock. Please."

Nodding his understanding, Spock allowed Jim to bring them together into a tender hug. They shared a kiss that was warm with love and happiness, only the barest embers of passion waiting to flare.

Pulling away from the kiss, Spock turned to the spectacular view of the nebula outside the observation window. "Why did we come here, Jim?"

"I told you, I wanted us to have some time together," Jim answered, resting his head comfortably on Spock's slender shoulder.

"I understand. But why here? We could have been together in our apartment in San Francisco."

Smiling, Jim said, "You remember this nebula, of course."

"Of course.. Our first mission together after the V'ger crisis was to do research on the Andromeda P5 nebula. It was nuclear astrophysics research on the interactions between the neutrinos emitted...."

Jim poked him in the ribs playfully, eliciting a small grunt. "And...", he prompted. When Spock didn't speak after a moment, his expressive face fell. "I thought you had all your memories back now."

Spock permitted himself, permitted Kirk, a shadow of a smile. "I do. You declared your love for me over a game of chess after my second duty shift assisting the research project."

Jim smiled, knowing now that Spock was playing with him, drawing out the pleasure of the reminiscence. "And..."

Spock smiled more openly and continued, "And two nights after that we made love for the first time."

Spock turned to face his partner, pulling him into another kiss, more passionate than the last. Spock buried his fingers in Jim's tawny hair, holding Jim's head so his mouth was at just the right angle for the kiss to continue until both were breathless from the emotions they shared as much as from the physical sensations of the kiss.

After a moment of harsh breathing, Jim nodded. "Yes. And after that mission we made arrangements for our bonding ceremony on Vulcan." He looked out at the pulsating nebula. "This is where we began...," he said, sounding wistful.

Suddenly, Spock understood completely what Kirk wasn't saying. He didn't need to hear the rest of that sentence to know that Jim was concerned that this might be where their relationship ended as well. Kirk didn't plan to defend himself at the tribunal, didn't want to speak with a lawyer. What Kirk needed, what they both needed was to chase away the last of their shared pain, to fully restore their bond. After the trial, the bond might be all they had of each other.

Spock decided deflection was in order and continued the playful mood of earlier. "So we are here for reasons of mere sentiment, then."

Jim sighed theatrically and turned so he could lean back against Spock. "I suppose Vulcans never want to go parking," he said, with a little smile, apparently understanding what Spock was doing and going along with it.

Spock wrapped his arms around his love's chest, and gave the answer he knew was expected of him, the next move in their verbal game, "Parking, Admiral?"

"Yes, parking. Going out to a secluded and scenic spot for the purpose of kissing," Jim reached up behind him and drew Spock's head down for a short but passionate kiss, "and making out." With that he twisted slightly and began to nibble on Spock's ear, beginning with the soft earlobe and working his way up to the sensitive tip.

Spock's breath huffed out of him at the stimulation before he said, "Ah. Parking. No. Vulcans prefer to engage in intimate activities," Spock took a moment to lick delicately down the tendons of Jim's neck, ending with a sharp nip at the tempting place where neck met shoulder, "in the privacy of our own homes." Spock turned Jim and lay him back along the seat, stretching his lean body over his lover's. "It is not logical to risk exposing one's private matters to strangers."

Kirk smiled up at his partner. "Or one's privates."

"Indeed," Spock said with a very slight smile, rolling to one side and resting his weight on his elbow, so he could stroke Jim's cheek with the other.

"Well, we're truly alone here," Kirk said. "So we can go parking without violating even Vulcan sensibilities."

Spock nodded his agreement. He then leaned forward and kissed Jim, letting the banked passion between them burst into a full and consuming flame. Pleasure, desire and love flowed between their bodies and their souls through their touches and the bond they shared. They soaked up the love and the connectedness, letting the passion and joy heal the lingering ache in their hearts and souls.

Later, they lay in each other's arms, sweaty and spent, clothes scattered around them haphazardly, staring out at the nebula. Jim spoke softly, as if his normal voice would be an intrusion on the moment, "It was worth it, you know, Spock."

Spock roused himself from his afterglow with a soft, "Mmmm?"

Kirk turned to face his mate. "Getting you back. It was worth everything, the Enterprise, my career..." He paused and winced a little. "Even David." He rolled onto his back, and put his arm over his face. "God, that sounds horrible to say. He was my son. But I never knew him, never really had a chance to love him." He moved his arm again, his golden hazel eyes finding Spock's, "I knew you, loved you, and I was dying slowly, by inches, without you. I need you. None of the rest of it would have ever mattered to me if I hadn't been able to bring you back." He looked away again, "That's why I'm going to plead guilty, we all are. If I fought the charges, I'd feel like I was denying that."

Warmed to the core almost against his will by the words, Spock reached out and pulled his bondmate close, cradling the familiar and beloved body to his chest. "I grieve for the losses you suffered, t'hy'la, and I rejoice that we are together again." Spock's elegant hand stroked the broad back, soothing and calming Jim with his gentle touch.

"I can't feel anything but joy to know you are alive, even if the hearing goes against us and I never see you again." Kirk shivered then rested his cheek against Spock's lightly hairy chest. "It will still have been worth it."

Years of being bonded to a human had not taught Spock how to reliably express his emotions in words. So he remained silent, pouring love and comfort and gratitude into Kirk through their bond, sharing all that he felt for the vibrant man who had been his constant light for more than 20 years.

After some time of this silent communion, Kirk roused himself. "It's time for us to return, Spock." He gave orders to the computer to return the ship to Earth at warp 5, a journey that would take only a few hours. Together they watched the nebula disappear into the maelstrom of the warp field, then cleaned themselves and dressed, putting on their public personae as they put on their clothes.

Just before the runabout landed at the San Francisco air-yard, Kirk pulled Spock into a fierce embrace. "I love you, Spock cha'Sarek, no matter what happens."

"And I you, t'hy'la," Spock replied, then his mouth seized Jim's in a kiss that was passionate and almost bruising in its intensity.

****

"On behalf of all of us, Mr. President, I am authorized to plead guilty." At Kirk's words, Spock heard the murmurs in the court room. Spock was grateful for the forewarning he had of the plea that was going to be entered because it was that foreknowledge that allowed him to retain his Vulcan impassivity. The thought of Kirk's humiliation and incarceration as a consequence of this guilty plea chilled him. He sought Kirk's mind in their bond, anticipating that he would find pain, or at best resignation. What he found instead was joy, love, and a deep resonant certainty that Kirk would do all of it again, and more, for Spock's sake.

When the charges against Uhura, Sulu, Chekov, McCoy and Scotty were dropped, Spock let his relief flow through the bond to Kirk. If their friends had suffered because of saving him, he knew he would have borne the guilt to his death.

"James T. Kirk, it is the judgment of this council that you be reduced in rank to Captain, and that as a consequence of your new rank you be given the duties for which you have repeatedly demonstrated unswerving ability...the command of a starship."

At those words, Kirk's mouth twitched in a smile and Spock knew that everything was going to be all right. Kirk and Spock turned to look into each others eyes, their bodies revealing nothing but a publicly appropriate relief. Their shared emotions, however, were a rush of joy and love and passion and a renewed hope for the future. Kirk had been willing to sacrifice everything for his love, had offered everything he had been and could become up to the universe. But the sacrifice hadn't been demanded of him. He got to keep his career, a new starship, his friends, his life. Most importantly, Jim and Spock got each other. Everything was going to be all right now.


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