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Jim's promise to wait for Spock to be ready for sex was immediate, an instinctive response to make Spock feel comfortable. He didn't realize how hard it would actually be to keep. This is the first time since he was fifteen that he's been with a person for weeks and hasn't even gotten to second base.

In the beginning, Spock showed an endearing hesitation with simple kissing, explaining it was not the usual Vulcan method of romantic interaction.

His hesitation was less endearing when he started talking about how unhygienic mouth-to-mouth contact was. Thankfully, he got over it quickly. And thoroughly. Jim using his tongue can still surprise him, but he's getting used to that.

But Jim is happy, despite the lack of sex. Of course, he would definitely like sex, but Spock touches him now like he's making up for lost time. Small touches, like a hand on his arm or brushing a wisp of hair out of his face or sitting and standing so closely their bodies brush against each other with every movement. Although the contact isn't sexual, it's so unabashedly affectionate that each tiny touch makes Jim disproportionately happy.

And his friends are noticing.

"Does this mean I finally get to meet him?" Bones asks out of the blue, and huffs when Jim blinks at him. "You've been obsessed with this guy for months, and now you're so happy I feel like I'm about to break into song."

"Don't hurt yourself, Bones," Jim replies automatically. Spock...and Bones. Now that he thinks about it, he's not sure he's ever met two more disparate personalities. The two of them would probably either kill each other or become best friends.

"My friend Bones wants to meet you," he tells Spock later, as he studies for finals and Spock works on some science report. They sit close together on the couch in Spock's quarters. Earlier, when Spock made some noise about doing work at a proper desk, Jim plopped his legs across Spock's lap. Spock raised an eyebrow, but he didn't move, and went back to work on his PADD when Jim beamed at him, the tips of his ears flushing a delicate green.

"Bones?"

Jim grins. "Dr. Leonard McCoy," he clarifies. "I just call him Bones. And don't ask why, because you'll just end up concluding I'm illogical."

Spock eyes him, but Jim can see he's amused. "May I then ask why he permits you to call him such a name?"

"Because he couldn't stop me," Jim replies gleefully, and leans forward to kiss Spock's raised eyebrow. When he pulls back, Spock's face is tilted up towards him, his eyes warm and peaceful. Jim smiles, softer, and scoots forward to kiss Spock properly.

About a week later, he and Spock meet Bones at the same vegetarian place they'd gone to the first time they went out for a meal.

The first thing Bones says when he sits down is, "Thank God you've gotten him to eat something healthy. I'd like you just for that."

Spock looks...far too intrigued. "I take it his previous eating habits were less than satisfactory?"

"What eating habits?" Bones grumbles, crossing his arms. "All too often he'd forget to eat entirely. If he remembered, it'd be something like hamburgers and chocolate ice cream."

Jim coughs, both to get their attention and to remove it from his eating habits. He doesn't like to talk about that. "Spock, this is Leonard McCoy," he says dryly. "Bones, this is Spock."

"I knew that," Bones complains, but he holds out a hand. "Nice to meet you, Spock."

Spock looks at the hand for a long moment, then takes it and gives it a single polite shake before withdrawing his hand. "And you, Dr. McCoy," he says. Bones watches him remove his hand, but doesn't comment on it.

"So, Spock, I've read some of your articles in the Journal of Xenobiological Studies," McCoy says after they've ordered. "I got the impression that you're more of a scientist than a linguist. Are you teaching the advanced Vulcan classes just because you're Vulcan?"

"While a substantial factor, that is not the entire reason," Spock replies. "I am simply one among several Vulcans who teach those classes, though I remain the only one enlisted in Starfleet."

"What's the rest of the reason?" Jim asks, crossing his arms on the table and leaning forward. He's been assuming that the whole Vulcan thing covered it. He knows Spock is more of a scientist, but his interests are diverse enough that Jim never blinked at him teaching linguistics.

"Among my other responsibilities, I also teach the introductory course in xenolinguistics," Spock explains. "My interest in linguistics, while not as pronounced as my interest in the sciences, comes from my work with my mother. She is notable for her work on the universal translator, and remains a diplomatic interpreter to this day."

"Hnn," McCoy says. "So why did you enlist in Starfleet in the first place? I mean, you're the first Vulcan who has."

Spock pauses. "I believed it to offer better opportunities for scientific research," he finally replies. "Although I am currently an instructor, that assignment is not likely to last longer than the next two years, after which I believe I will be assigned to an exploration mission. The Vulcan Science Academy could not offer me a similar opportunity."

McCoy whistles. "You turned down the Vulcan Science Academy?"

"It could not meet my needs," Spock says stiffly. Strangely so. The conversation moves on, but Jim tags it in his memory to ask about later.

He gets his chance after dinner is over and McCoy leaves to head back to his room. Jim and Spock meander on their way to Jim's dorm, walking closely enough their shoulders keep touching.

Jim spends a moment just enjoying the summer night, the warmth presaging the imminent appearance of fall. The silence is comfortable as they walk, but then Jim asks, "What happened with the Vulcan Science Academy?"

Spock looks at him, about as startled as he gets -- meaning his eyebrow ticked briefly, Jim notes with amused fondness. "Jim?"

He shrugs. "It looked like McCoy hit a sore spot. I was wondering if there was anything else you wanted to share."

For a long moment, Spock doesn't answer. Just about when Jim decides he's not going to, he murmurs, "Vulcan...is not without its prejudices. The Academy disapproved of my mother."

Jim blinks. "Why? Surely they don't have something against diplomatic interpreters."

Spock's mouth quirks minutely, but then his face smoothes into impassivity once again. "No, but they are less sanguine about half-breeds." There is another pause, then Spock says, "My mother is human. The Vulcan Science Academy considers being half-human a disadvantage."

Spock is half-human? Huh. Jim ponders that for a moment, then dismisses it. Spock is still Spock. "So you turned them down because they insulted your mother?"

"Indirectly so, but essentially correct," Spock agrees, watching Jim out of the corner of his eye while most of him faces forward.

Jim looks at him, then takes his hand and smiles. "Their loss," he declares cheerfully.

Spock looks at their joined hands, then at the smile still on Jim's face. His eyes lighten and his mouth quirks again. With the sun setting as a background, casting the glints of his hair in shades of yellow, orange, and red, he's so beautiful that Jim can't resist kissing him, right there in public. It doesn't last very long, but when he pulls away, Spock's eyes are still smiling at him, and though their hands drop as they continue walking, Jim still glows from feeling Spock close beside him.

--

The Academy breaks for the month between the summer and fall terms, and Jim's mom is home on shore leave from the Ada Lovelace, the science ship of which she is the chief engineer, so he goes to visit her in Iowa for several days. He invites Spock, but Spock says he doesn't want to come between him and his mom. Even when Jim protests that he won't be a bother, Spock refuses.

Jim tries not to get too hurt. Spock has been a lot more relaxed around him since talking about his mother -- Jim guesses he hasn't met much acceptance in his life. But still, sometimes Jim forgets they've only actually been dating for a little over a month, and maybe it's a bit too soon to meet the parents.

So Jim goes home, and he spends time with his mom. In some ways, it's better than he thought it would be, but in other ways, it's worse.

He loves his mom, but there's a lot of baggage in their relationship. For a long time he resented her for leaving so often, and then he resented her for letting Frank pack him off to Tarsus, and then he resented her for not being there when Frank hit him...he has a lot of baggage. And he hasn't been the easiest son to her, either.

But she's still his mom, and when she was home, she was one hundred percent there. She taught him how to fish, and how to excavate honey from wild bees without hurting them, and how to play chess.

Now that he's an adult and actually making something of himself, he finds it easier to let go of his childhood resentment. And now that he's in Starfleet, he understands better why she couldn't leave.

Being in Iowa, though, reminds him that there's nothing there for him except his mom. His last night there, almost a year to the day from his meeting with Captain Pike in a bar, he goes to the shipyard to see the Enterprise. The ship is sleek and glorious, a queen getting ready for her debut.

Two years before she's ready. Two years before Spock leaves for his exploratory mission, very possibly on this exact ship.

In two years, Jim will be on her as well.

--

Jim's second year starts off even busier than his first. He has an extra class to make up for taking Vulcan two terms, and this year he's starting to do more hands-on practical work like what he'll see on his actual assignment. Jim is Command track, so that usually involves doing simulations and then analyzing them and his own performance. It doesn't tend to leave him in a good mood -- even when the instructor says he did nothing substantially wrong, he always tries to figure out what he could have done better.

He's been getting snappish and irritable, though he doesn't like that either. Bones deals with it by threatening to update his immunizations and check for new allergies, which is a process horrific enough that Jim will avoid it when at all possible. So he doesn't snap at Bones too much.

But he and Spock have their first real fight when he's tired and frustrated and really wanting his favorite form of stress relief, which Spock is still hesitant about.

Jim's not proud of it, but eventually he just blows up at him. "What's the big damn deal?" he demands, after Spock lets him kiss his neck but won't let him go any further. "It's just sex, Spock! It's fun, it releases tension, it feels good! It's not even like one of us could get pregnant!"

"Your culture may consider sexual intercourse in such a causal manner," Spock replies stiffly, "but mine does not. I ask you to respect that."

Jim huffs, sitting back on his heels. "Spock, it's been months! How is that casual? And don't," he says, pointing at Spock, "tell me that it's casual because we're not married."

"All right, I will not tell you that," Spock replies, scooting back.

"Are you serious? You're giving me blue balls because you need a wedding ring first?"

Spock stands swiftly. "If your testicles are discolored, I suggest you look for a medical explanation. Furthermore, Vulcans do not wear wedding rings."

He leaves before Jim can do more than gape at him. As the door shuts behind him, Jim lets himself fall forward until his face is buried in the pillow. "Shit."

But he can't leave it like that. No man's died from blue balls yet. As tired as he's getting of his right hand, even a simple kiss from Spock is better than no kisses from Spock.

"I'm sorry," he says, getting it out of the way as soon as Spock, more blank-faced than usual, opens the door to his quarters. After a moment, though still without speaking, Spock steps aside so Jim can enter, and Jim does before he can change his mind.

"I shouldn't have gotten mad," he continues when the door closes behind them. "I don't want to have sex with you if you don't actually want it too."

"Apology accepted," Spock says quietly, and Jim lets his shoulders relax. "I, too, regret my...hastiness in ending our discussion."

"It's fine," Jim tells him, and watches him subtly relax as well. "Just, will you tell me why? 'Culture' is a bit vague," he adds with a smile.

Spock nods, then indicates a chair in his living room area. Jim sits down, and Spock sits in a chair across from him. "I believe sexual intercourse might be more significant for my people because we are reticent to open ourselves that way casually. As you yourself have noted, it is...intimate."

Jim considers that, and yeah, it makes sense. Especially with touch telepathy. "Okay, I get that," he says. "But do you really have to wait for marriage?"

"Marriage is not precisely required, no. However, I am reluctant to engage in such an intimate act without some degree of...commitment."

Jim doesn't know what kind of look he has on his face, but it must be something awful, because Spock immediately stands up and crosses the room to lay one hand on his.

"Jim, I do not doubt your feelings for me," he says, turning Jim's hand over to clasp it with his. Despite the strength of his words, his tone is soft and tentative, like Jim's feelings still surprise him. "And I assure you, my reticence is not out of a lack of...desire, for you. I simply request that you let me make that decision in my own time."

Jim looks at their hands, feeling like his fingers are tingling. "All right," he replies. "I can do that."

Spock smiles with his eyes, and Jim shivers suddenly, caught in their depths. He closes his own eyes to get a hold of himself, and when he opens them again, stands up. "I have to get back to work," he says. "I'll see you later?"

"Indeed," Spock agrees, and walks him to the door. Before he can leave, though, Spock takes his hand and shapes it so his first two fingers are sticking out while the rest of them are curled. He then touches the fingers with his own, and the tingle Jim had felt earlier spreads across his entire body.

"What was that?" he gasps, standing still to savor the feeling.

"That is how Vulcans kiss," Spock solemnly replies, and Jim has to kiss him the human way as well before he manages to gather himself and leave.

--

The term doesn't get easier after that, but Jim takes care not to take his stress out on Spock anymore. He still goes to Xenolinguistics Club when he can, but pestering Uhura isn't as much fun as it used to be for some reason, so while it's nice for a change of pace from studying and working, it's not much of a stress reliever.

Jim spends a lot of time hunched over his computer or his PADD, and while he goes to the gym and works out pretty often, he never feels like he has enough time to get rid of all his accumulated tension.

As final exams approach, Spock comes to his room one afternoon and scolds him for the condition he's let himself get into.

"Humans can damage themselves from stress if they do not take care to manage it properly," he says severely. "You are done studying for the day, Jim. We have not spent time together in nine point eight days."

"Kidnapping me, are you?" Jim replies with a tired grin. He rolls his head around, bringing a hand up to rub the back of his neck.

"Are you feeling discomfort?"

"Just spending too long in one position," he assures Spock. "You're right, I probably need to do something else for awhile."

Spock takes a step forward. "If you will allow me to assist?" He doesn't wait for Jim to answer, though, instead gently taking his head and turning it so that it faces the desk, away from Spock.

"Spock, what--"

Then Spock's hands are on his shoulders. "Where is the discomfort greatest, Jim?"

"My neck, I think," Jim replies faintly, because Spock's hands immediately started moving, drifting around his neck and upper shoulders. "And -- and I have a headache."

"Relax, Jim," Spock murmurs, his voice low and deep, persuasive and soothing. Jim would give that voice anything it wants. "Relax, and let me help you."

Jim is so aware of Spock's hands it's as if the thin t-shirt he wears doesn't exist. Slender hands scope out the tense skin of his neck and upper back, Jim hissing periodically when Spock finds a particularly tight spot. Finally Spock lays his hands more heavily on Jim's shoulders and, returning to one of those tight spots, starts digging in his thumbs.

Jim groans first with pain, but the pain is transmuted into pleasure so sharply and quickly that he can't hold back the "Ah!" And then Jim can almost feel the muscles beneath relaxing, like Spock's touch is some kind of tranquilizer.

Spock's hands travel across his upper back and neck, stimulating and soothing until Jim feels like a mass of nerve endings alert to Spock's every minute movement. He wants to melt into a puddle right there in the chair, but he's held in place by Spock's lightest touch and the desire for this to never end.

He doesn't even know what sounds he's making as Spock finishes with his neck -- and then Spock's hands move up, tracing past his checks to rest against his forehead. Jim has one moment of clear thought as Spock hesitates, but then Spock starts moving his fingers across Jim's forehead and coherent thought dissipates into nothing.

He feels immersed in Spock's touch, in Spock. Like he is just an outline of a person until Spock's touch draws him into reality. He barely feels like he existed before Spock began to touch him.

Then he hears a moan -- and distantly realizes that it wasn't him. Spock's hands disappear from Jim's face and Jim is dropped suddenly into a world bereft of coherence. It takes a long, long moment before his brain starts working enough for him to turn around and focus again on Spock.

"Spock?" he asks, once his mouth also starts working.

Spock stands stiff and almost frozen, but at Jim's voice he thaws a little. He reaches forward, and with a touch so light Jim can barely feel it, traces two fingers down Jim's cheek. Then he steps back.

"Come, Jim," he says. "After all, I am kidnapping you."

Jim stares for a moment, then huffs out a laugh.

"Just let me get changed," he replies.

--

Jim survives the fall term, made much easier with Spock's steadfast support. Almost before he can blink, the winter break arrives. Last year he spent it with Bones, who needed someone to distract him from his ex-wife keeping their daughter for Christmas and not inviting him.

This year, though, Jocelyn does extend that invitation, and Bones barely waits until final exams are over before he's on a shuttle back to Georgia. The Ada Lovelace is back out in space, so Jim can't visit his mom, and Sam and his family are living on Earth Outpost II. Like with his mom, Jim loves his brother, but they aren't so close that he wants to go all the way to Earth Outpost II just to spend Christmas with him. Not when he can spend it with Spock.

He's not expecting anything huge. Spock, though he explained that his mother insisted they celebrate Christmas every year and he and his father indulged her, is still Vulcan. Jim is pretty sure he thinks the extended festivities are highly illogical, though Jim can't say he disagrees.

But for the first time in many years, Jim is actually anticipating Christmas's arrival. Jim was fine spending last year jostling Bones into a better mood because Christmas hadn't really seemed special since Sam ran away, and it was even worse after Tarsus. By the time Jim's mom divorced Frank and it was just the two of them, she was spending more and more time on her ship and he was on his own. He's never had someone special to share the holidays with.

Until Spock.

And Spock is still putting up with him. He puts up with Jim singing carols, and then laughing at the face Spock makes. He puts up with Jim trying to get him to drink hot chocolate all the time. He puts up with Jim insisting he come over to help decorate the tiny tree Jim got for his room.

The things Spock puts up with amazes Jim. Even Bones by this time would be kicking him out and getting a drink, and Bones learned to tolerate Jim very quickly, possibly out of self-preservation.

But no matter how many times Spock mumbles about Jim being illogical, he keeps watching Jim's exuberance with soft eyes and quirked lips. Jim, always enchanted by this tiny hint of smile, will often get even more enthusiastic, and Spock...Spock actually seems to enjoy it.

The days pass quickly until finally it's Christmas Eve. Jim records messages for his mom and brother and sends them out, then briefly calls Bones and chats with him until his daughter jumps on his lap and beams at him, after which Jim graciously lets him go.

Jim heads out for Spock's quarters when he can't stand being by himself any longer, Spock not at all surprised to see him there hours before they planned. But Jim is good, and lets Spock go back to writing his latest article as he borrows Spock's PADD and reads up on warp core mechanics. Just being here, in rooms infused with Spock, listening to the faint fast clatter of keys as Spock types, is relaxing.

They make dinner together. Spock usually uses the replicator for meals, but Jim insisted on actually cooking for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, claiming that he could taste the difference between replicated food and cooked. Spock wore his 'illogical' face at the time, but now Jim thinks he's beginning to get why Jim wanted to cook. They work together in the kitchen, even though Jim is mostly the one directing Spock. Spock is adorably incredulous when Jim cups a hand under a spoonful of minestrone soup and holds it out for him to taste, but he leans forward and samples it before pronouncing it satisfactory. He pulls a baked Vulcan vegetable dish out of the old-fashioned oven, and doesn't move away when Jim crowds in close to him to taste it and see if it's done.

They play chess after dinner, and as their third game comes to a close, Spock says, "Jim, it is a tradition in my mother's family to open one present on Christmas Eve. I do not have more than one gift for you, but I would like to give it to you tonight, if that is acceptable."

"Like I'm going to turn that down," Jim replies with amusement. He clears his throat. "And actually, I brought my gift for you over already as well."

"Does your family have a similar tradition?"

"Uh, no." Jim's lips quirk up. "Actually, I was hoping to talk you into letting me stay the night, so I could give it to you first thing in the morning. I don't even mind sleeping on the couch."

"That will not be necessary," Spock tells him, brushing his fingers over the back of Jim's hand. "My bed is large enough for two, and I trust you not to press beyond my wishes."

Jim smiles at him, picking up his hand and kissing the palm. "You got it," he replies. "Let me go first?"

At Spock's nod, Jim gets up and retrieves the bag he used to bring some of the food, where he also hid Spock's present. He pulls it out and hands it to Spock, then returns to snuggling up against his shoulder.

Spock unwraps the present methodically, so careful not even the tape tears away any of the wrapping as it comes apart. Finally he sets the paper aside.

"Go is even older than chess," Jim murmurs as Spock holds the set on his lap. "And like chess, it's a game of logic as well as tactics and strategy."

"I have heard of the game," Spock replies softly, "but I have never played it. Are you proficient?"

"I know how to play, though I wouldn't call myself proficient." Hoshi Sato taught him, in that brief period before the fungus when every Tarsus colonist worked close together, bound by common endeavor into family until it all fell apart.

Jim hasn't played Go since Hoshi's death, but he thinks she'd approve of Spock.

Spock sets the game on the table, then turns slightly and lifts Jim's face up with a finger under his chin. He leans forward and kisses Jim, softly, slowly, thoroughly, like he understands what it means to Jim to give him this game.

Jim kisses back, immediately and instinctively, pressing close against Spock, who slowly shifts until he's laying back on the couch with Jim half on top of him. They kiss wetly for long moments, and then Jim pulls back just enough to trail kisses down his jaw and onto his neck, laving his pulse point with his tongue before sucking gently, not even enough to leave a bruise.

He's exulting in the taste of Spock's skin, somehow a bit more spicy than salty, when he feels Spock's hands move up his back under his shirt, and he freezes. Spock has never done that before.

"Spock...?"

"My present for you, Jim," Spock says as Jim raises his eyes to meet warm brown ones. "One difficulty I have with gift-giving holidays is the uncertainty surrounding an appropriate gift. I believe, however, that you have been wanting this for some time." Something like wonder fills his eyes with the last sentence. That Jim still wants him? As if Jim could stop.

"But you just said -- you said you trust me not to go further than you want," Jim protests dumbly. Really dumbly. Is he really going to turn this down? "Spock, I don't want to go further than you're ready for."

Spock raises a hand and brushes a few strands of hair away from Jim's forehead. "I do trust you not to go further than I wish, Jim," he says, and his eyes flick away almost shyly before returning to Jim. "That does mean that you are welcome to go as far as I would like. And I would like to give this to you."

Jim buries his face in Spock's throat and just breathes for a moment. He's always thought that the idea of 'giving' oneself to a person, particularly on a holiday, is too sappy and trite to be at all attractive. He still thinks it's sappy, but...that doesn't necessarily make it less meaningful.

He kisses Spock's throat before sitting up. "Come on," he says, standing and holding a hand out to Spock. "The couch is not the most comfortable place for this."

Spock nods solemnly and places his hand in Jim's as he also rises. Hand-in-hand, fingers tightly intertwined, they walk into Spock's bedroom.

Jim's lust simmers, but he forces it into the background. Spock would deny it, but Jim can tell he's nervous. Jim is not going to do anything that might scare him away.

And it's not at all a hardship to undress him slowly, unwrapping his present as carefully and methodically as Spock had earlier unwrapped his own. He presses kisses against newly revealed shoulder blades, runs his hands down newly bared arms.

Eventually Spock moves to undress Jim as well, and Jim lets him pull off his shirt, lets him press kisses of his own against Jim's bare chest. Spock doesn't yet move to touch his pants, so Jim sits on the bed and draws Spock over him, pressing down on his back as Spock's lips move along Jim's collarbone. Jim's skin feels like it's singing as Spock's chest hair rubs against his belly and Spock pins him to the bed to pretty much ravish Jim's skin with his tongue.

For the first time, Jim understands that sex...doesn't have to be just sex. It's always been intimate, but Jim thinks he understands only now exactly how intimate. Spock lets Jim strip away their clothing, lets him look, lets him see. Jim lets Spock see him in turn, in an act more fraught with tension than undressing has ever been for him before, because Spock matters. It's almost terrifying, how much Spock matters -- but it would be even worse to be without Spock altogether.

Spock hisses when Jim closes one hand around him, his eyes wide in surprise and wonder. Jim moans as Spock tentatively takes up a rhythm of his own, playing Jim's body with a hand different but deft. They move close against each other, legs wedged between legs and free hands wandering. Spock closes his eyes, but Jim nips at his ear and his eyes fly open again.

"Look at me," Jim pants as his body shudders and electricity runs through his veins. "Spock, Spock, look at me."

And Spock does. His eyes remain on Jim's as Jim's hand speeds up. Jim can see the rush towards the precipice in brown depths, can see the amazement and the fear as Jim's free hand takes Spock's and locks their first two fingers around each other. He can see the vulnerability as Spock falls, his erection jerking and spurting in Jim's hand. His mouth opens in a silent cry, but his eyes remain locked on Jim's.

Jim follows before he even realizes it's happening. He lets go of Spock and reaches around him to crush them together. He squeezes his eyes shut, but Spock's hand drifting on his face prompts him to open them again, and the sweet satisfaction of Spock's expression finishes him, the vulnerability eased as Jim clutches at him and finds his release.

They hold each other in the aftermath, foreheads pressed together and breathing each other's air. Finally, when Jim no longer feels like his heart is going to run away without him, he rolls off the bed and heads to the bathroom for a washcloth. Spock sits still as Jim cleans him up, then takes the washcloth and returns the favor. Jim returns it to the bathroom, and when he comes back out, Spock is under the covers, clearly scooted to one side with enough room for another person.

Jim slides in beside him, immediately cuddling against Spock's shoulder. Spock orders the lights off, then shifts until he can wrap an arm around Jim. Jim falls asleep before he can even murmur a good night. The last thing he feels is Spock pulling him closer.

Date: 2011-12-19 02:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starfish422.livejournal.com
Ah. Sweet perfection, truly. Love, love, love a slow build, and that Jim was able to go back to Spock to approach him a second time after being turned down once. Just lovely. Thanks for writing it. :)

Date: 2011-12-27 05:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

Date: 2011-12-19 03:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glayish.livejournal.com
Enjoyed every minute of reading this!

Date: 2011-12-27 05:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thanks!

Date: 2011-12-19 03:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sierra-scarlet.livejournal.com
Oh lovely. It's perfect how they build a friendship and relationship first. Great job.

Date: 2011-12-27 05:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2011-12-19 04:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] muscatlove.livejournal.com
Oh my god, this is so beautiful I sort of froze in my chair as I realized it was nearly ending and started reading it more slowly so that it wouldn't disappear as quickly. Absolutely gorgeous prose, a Jim who feels true to the character in a wonderfully balanced way, not sliding into extremes as in so many other fics. I love the weaving of the Tarsus experiences into the story, showing how they have contributed to who Jim is without defining everything about him.. Spock taking such cautious steps towards a relationship, easing into things.. everything about this just hit so many perfect notes, I am in awe. I would say I am dying for a sequel (because I am), but I also feel like this is like looking in a window and getting a fascinating glimpse of something that satisfies on its own.

Date: 2011-12-27 05:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thank you for the absolutely lovely comment! It's always wonderful to hear that you didn't want it to end. ♥ And I'm definitely glad you enjoyed my characterization of Jim, since I was trying very hard to get him right. I doubt there will be a sequel -- I have a few ideas, but I'm pretty busy and I have other priorities. Still, I'm glad it satisfies on its own!

Date: 2011-12-19 06:41 am (UTC)
ext_415568: (Kirk2.0)
From: [identity profile] prue84.livejournal.com
Wonderful piece. :)

Date: 2011-12-27 05:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thanks!

Date: 2011-12-19 10:50 am (UTC)
ext_15510: (clueless)
From: [identity profile] whochick.livejournal.com
A delightful Christmas story and a lovely, believable and eminently logical progression of the Academy AU trope, which is so often blindingly unbelievable!

Full credit to you for making us all remember exactly why Jim Kirk would turn his life around for a chance to simply be close to Spock, even if that's all he ever got. I love this story all the more because you made that distinction.

Also, your Spock is simply stunning.

Date: 2011-12-27 05:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thank you! I love the possibilities of Academy AU, but the execution often frustrates me. I'm glad you enjoyed mine!

Kirk and Spock were an epic friendship first, and while I do believe that there's romantic and sexual love there as well, one of the beautiful parts of the relationship in TOS is that in many ways, it doesn't matter. They're just close to each other, in whatever manner that closeness manifests. With this story I was trying to do the delicate balance of explaining why that closeness would be enough -- and, on the other hand, why it wouldn't be, why they both want more. (Not necessarily need more, but want more.) Anyway, I'm glad the distinction came through.

And I'm especially glad you enjoyed Spock, coming as he did entirely from Jim's point of view!

Date: 2011-12-19 12:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kianspo.livejournal.com
It's been... an unbelievably long time since I enjoyed a K/S story so much. I loved, loved, loved your characterization of both Jim and Spock. They're both incredibly difficult to capture, and I think you did it wonderfully. The differences between them, the way Jim always seems to read correctly whatever Spock isn't saying, the way Spock would meet him halfway. (As a side note, it was refreshing not to see Spock and Bones at each others' throats).

Wonderful, wonderful read. ♥

Date: 2011-12-27 05:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Wow, thank you for the amazing compliment! You write such amazing stories, so it's wonderful to know you've enjoyed mine so much. I was trying very hard to get both Jim and Spock right, since I very much wanted to avoid the trap of caricaturing them. I think they're at a point during the Academy when they're both changing, so I really wanted to write about how they could change each other.

As for Spock and Bones -- I thought about making them have friction right off, but they really had no reason to. They were both there for Jim, and they've always been able to come together for Jim's sake. I think a lot of McCoy's antagonism of Spock comes from frustration at Spock refusing to acknowledge that he's part human and what comes with that. If I ever write more in this universe, I think there will be some friction, just from logic vs emotion, but a lot of the antagonism in TOS started with McCoy, and I think he'll go easier on a Spock who, thanks to this relationship with Jim, is not walling himself away from his emotions all the time.

Again, thank you!

Date: 2011-12-19 07:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] melooza.livejournal.com
This was just fantastic. I loved the balance and honest relationship they had. And the end... Everyone in the bed for snuggle time!! lol

Very well done :D

Date: 2011-12-27 06:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the balance. And heh, I love me some cuddles. :p

Date: 2011-12-19 09:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] coeurdesoleil.livejournal.com
This is so so good. I actually found myself slowing down as I was reaching the final scenes of the story because I just did not want this one to end ♥

I loved the deliciously slow build, and the way they both slowly but surely opened up to each other and dared to put themselves out there, trusting the other with their pasts, with their fears and their hearts. You conveyed the instant connection between them beautifully, as well as their respect for and their growing understanding of each other's point of view. Your characterisation of both Jim and Spock was spot on, and you've got a wonderful way with words. This was such a delight to read!

Date: 2011-12-27 06:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thank you! It's always wonderful to hear that you didn't want it to end. ♥ I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Date: 2011-12-19 09:53 pm (UTC)
ext_393041: perfect Spock (Default)
From: [identity profile] verizonhorizon.livejournal.com
This was such a good story and so well written! I loved the inclusion of the Vulcan neuro-pressure massage, and it came off as intimate as I'd imagine it'd be for Spock, and the whole sweetness of how although in Jim's culture maybe Spock making such a big deal of sex seemed odd or silly but it made it that much more special for them both in the end (not that it's the end, really!), and I loved how you got in chess, family histories, just so many lovely, touching details that made this a holiday joy to read!

Date: 2011-12-27 06:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thank you! The massage was one of the first images I got for this story, Spock be willing to do something so intimate (for him) and being able to feel Jim's mind and...really liking it. ;) I'm glad you enjoyed the story, and all the details!

Date: 2011-12-20 01:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rinsbane.livejournal.com
This was such an enjoyable fic to read. It kinda made me coo a bit. but it's not just adorable - it's also get a layer beneath that. Jim's not really the one teaching Spock here. Totally the other way around.

Date: 2011-12-27 06:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thank you! They're really teaching each other here. :)

Date: 2011-12-20 01:53 am (UTC)
ext_55779: (K/S - two halfs blue and gold)
From: [identity profile] ayesakara.livejournal.com
This was beautiful. I love how Jim was able to comprehend the delicacy of the situation, of the seriousness of what Spock meant to him, of what he was worth. I love how both Spock and Jim were with each other. Very sweet.

Date: 2011-12-27 06:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Date: 2011-12-20 03:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ksalterego.livejournal.com
this is super! fave line: babies are impatient or something. ok and a few others, but that was the first one that really made me laugh. really great story and falling in love, very nice pacing. i like how you added so much background stuff in so few words, very well done.

Date: 2011-12-27 06:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Hee. I'm glad you liked the line, and the story. Thank you!

Date: 2011-12-20 03:56 am (UTC)
ext_193357: (Default)
From: [identity profile] lulabel.livejournal.com
This is so lovely! This story has a really interesting juxtaposition - the building of their companionship follows a sort of lazy meandering pace, while at the same time the emotional and romantic tension winds tighter and tighter. I also really enjoyed seeing how they both learned to value and appreciate each other while muddling through their cultural differences.

Date: 2011-12-27 06:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thank you! In many ways this is a slice-of-life fic, with all the different little scenes, but it's definitely building to something. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Date: 2011-12-20 04:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] adafrog.livejournal.com
Very good, thanks.

Date: 2011-12-27 06:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thanks!

Date: 2011-12-20 05:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ariadnechan.livejournal.com
So sweet i really loved this evolution in their relationship and their fist time together that was no and intrusion was an exploration being together feeling the other but not join together yet, because they are exploring how being together is. I really like it!

but i must be difficult for both of them to get to this point cultural differences are too different, but they can over come it because they really share a profound feeling for each other. it was really great done here.

Date: 2011-12-27 06:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thank you! They really are just exploring being together and finding a way that works for both of them, including overcoming cultural differences. :) Glad you enjoyed it!

Date: 2011-12-20 09:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lindarella123.livejournal.com
Loved this so much. You captured both man's vulnerabilities so well. Wonderful ending ... Has me feeling warm and gooey inside. Well done. :D

Date: 2011-12-27 06:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thank you! I was going for warm and gooey. :)

Date: 2011-12-21 04:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jaylee-g.livejournal.com
This was absolutely wonderful, I loved it from beginning to end. Both Jim and Spock were fabulously in-character. I love all of the details, from the cultural misunderstandings, to the total acceptance, love and ultimately, the deep connection. I've always felt that the beautiful thing about Kirk and Spock's relationship is that they could be both romantic partners and each others best friend, that they can love, argue (i.e. play devil's advocate to each other), and tease all within one five minute exchange. You captured this concept so beautifully. Really, really incredible read. Am so bookmarking this!

Date: 2011-12-27 06:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thank you! Definitely one of the best things about K/S is all the things they are to each other, which is why the word t'hy'la is so great. They really are each other's friend, each other's brother, each other's lover. I'm glad you enjoyed this!

Date: 2011-12-25 11:39 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
wow this is nice
patient and understanding Jim and supportive and shy yet brave Spock :)

Date: 2011-12-27 06:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thank you! Glad you liked it!

Date: 2012-01-05 01:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] therumjournals.livejournal.com
I looove Academy AUs and this one was so sweet!

Date: 2012-01-06 05:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thanks! I'm quite fond of Academy AUs myself. :)

Date: 2012-02-22 06:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sunny-rainfall.livejournal.com
that was sweet and lovely

Date: 2012-02-23 02:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thank you!

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