Spock looked back down at his hand again. He hadn’t been able to stop looking at it, to stop stroking over his palm with his other thumb and consider what it had felt like to shake Kirk’s hand. He’d touched other people, familiar pats with Pike and Ortegas’ arm around his shoulders and Chapel’s hands at his face, but no one had grabbed his hand like that except T’Pring.
Maybe that was why Uhura kept watching him. He had behaved abnormally and she was trying to figure out why. Perhaps she knew the significance of the gesture for Vulcans and was shocked by the display.
But Kirk had held a hand out like he expected it. He had looked at Spock like it was a challenge. And Spock, newly experimenting with what it meant to feel, had decided to rise to it.
Kirk met Spock’s eyes unobtrusively and flicked a glance at Keth and the other warriors. Spock received the signal loud and clear: Think we can take them? He shook his head infinitesimally.
Kirk glanced away, but not before shooting a disgusted look at Spock.
Fool, Spock thought, you would rather risk your life, and mine, than back down. Anger sparked and flared into life somewhere deep inside him. Ironically, Kirk’s illogical reaction would make it easier for Spock to do what he had to do. Deliberately, Spock released the controls he normally would have used to suppress the anger, and instead allowed it to flare inside him. Distasteful as it was, he would need his quite real anger in order to perform convincingly.
Alongside the other senior officers, Spock stands at parade rest in the shuttle bay awaiting the arrival of Lieutenant James T. Kirk of the U.S.S. Farragut, who has been posted to the Enterprise for six months to shadow Captain Pike as part of a Starfleet command training initiative. The elder Kirk has naturally expressed satisfaction at the prospect of an extended visit with a brother he sees only rarely, and the rest of the human crew are – as ever – excessively diverted by novelty; but Spock has his own, private reasons for eagerly anticipating the shuttle’s arrival. James T. Kirk’s presence aboard the Enterprise will provide an unprecedented opportunity for Spock to observe the behavior of another pair of adult siblings approximately his own age. The Kirk brothers may prove invaluable as a control group to assess human sibling dynamics, and understand to what degree his relationship with Michael deviates from the mean, due to his mixed heritage and their shared Vulcan upbringing.
This epic slow-burn is everything I could have hoped for in a post!SNW season 1 fic for these characters. Not just Kirk and Spock, but everyone else, too, including Michael Burnham, whose absence makes Spock reevaluate some important things…
“That was a different situation. I was in complete control of what I was doing.” When Jim raises an eyebrow—somehow, he’ll make Spock lose control?—Spock repeats tightly, “I could not guarantee my actions.”
He tries not to think about the tiny apartment around him and how it might become his home instead. It’s much too cold, the air too thick, the amenities painfully behind what he’s used to. But at least he’ll have Jim, so it will be bearable.