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How Far Is Near

Title: How Far Is Near
Beta: secret_chord25 , thank you! All remaining mistakes are mine.
Pairing: Kirk/Spock
Rating: PG
Word count: ~3000
Warnings: Language. Also, some truly dreadful poetry inside. *facepalm* Well, I tried.
Summary: Prompt: Kirk/Spock, first time. Kirk recites Vulcan poetry, Spock finds it hot.
Notes: This is written for aprilleigh24 in gratitude for her generous donation for the auction. She was not my winner, but she donated $30 to DWB. Thank you so much, April! Also, I'm sorry this didn't come out as NC-17. *headdesk* I fail, I know.
ETA 12/06/2010: This fic now has incredible art by makowe_pola to go with it. Find it here.

Spock looked over the crowded hall in satisfaction as the reception went into full swing. The efforts of the Enterprise team to make the negotiations with the Dimistines run smoothly had finally paid off, and they had all earned this moment of celebration. The Federation had first made contact with the species over a century ago, but until now, all attempts to establish a trade agreement had been unsuccessful.

Yes, Spock thought; this was quite a feat.

All around him, his crewmates and their hosts were laughing, helping themselves to various culinary delights, dancing, and talking animatedly. To a certain point, Spock felt elated himself, and intensely proud of their accomplishment. Three years into their mission, he had long come to see his colleagues as something close to kin (though he would deny it adamantly if asked). However, as Doctor McCoy was engaged in a conversation across the hall from Spock, there was no one nearby to needle the Vulcan with invasive queries, and Spock felt it safe to indulge in the sense of belonging that had been evading him his whole life.

There was an outburst of familiar laughter to his left, and Spock’s gaze drifted toward it inadvertently. He saw Jim standing in a small circle of Dimistine officials, talking enthusiastically. Intrigued, Spock moved closer.

“Our people seem to have more in common than we were led to believe,” the Dimistine Prime Minister Dalleen was saying. She had lovely features and a pleasant manner and made an agreeable negotiations partner. “I didn’t know we shared passions for the written word.”

“Oh, we’re totally mad about it.” Jim chuckled. “Aren’t we, Spock?” he added, catching sight of the Vulcan and drawing him into the conversation. Jim was prone to do that, Spock noticed – always including him whenever possible. Such consideration was... not unpleasant.

“Why, Mr. Spock, you look positively dashing,” Dalleen gushed, raking her eyes over his form.

Spock bowed slightly. “May I return the compliment, Madam?”

She batted her lashes, showing playfulness that should be unbecoming to her station, but somehow it only made her – and her people – seem more friendly and approachable. “A woman thrives on compliments, Mr. Spock, even if she’s a prime minister.” She winked.

Jim’s eyes were laughing as he looked at Spock over the rim of his glass, and Spock felt a blush creeping onto his cheeks. He straightened up, clasping his hands behind his back determinedly.

“The captain is correct,” Spock acknowledged, steering the conversation into safer waters. “Most of the Federation cultures find great joy in literature. It had been predicted that with the development of the holographic technology, the ‘passion,’ as you said, for the written word would fade, but it did not happen.”

“I’d say it’s quite the opposite, actually.” Jim nods. “I mean, a lot of novels get holovized, but they’re written and read first. And there’s just no appropriate channel you can find to convert poetry.”

“Poetry?” Dalleen’s face lit up. “Why, Captain, that’s very interesting! Most of our literature consists of poetic texts.”

“Indeed,” one of her aides joined in. “There must be great differences in our ways of expression, however. Perhaps you could demonstrate?”

“Whoa.” Jim laughed. “I’m not that good an orator.”

“I would have to disagree, Captain,” Spock said before he could stop himself. “You have shown great talent for oratory upon occasion.”

Jim looked at him, and as their gazes locked, Spock felt a subtle shift – a change of mood washing over them in an invisible wave.

“If you insist,” Jim conceded, addressing the prime minister but still looking intently at his first officer. “I do recall a verse... or two.”

“Oh please, Captain,” Dalleen encouraged him. “It will bring us great joy!”

Jim finally broke away from Spock’s eyes and glanced at her, smiling softly. “Very well.” He put his half-empty glass away and focused on the Dimistines, all waiting for his performance with tangible anticipation.

Your skin is canvas for my clumsy hands—”

Spock inhaled sharply as he felt the floor vanishing from beneath his feet.

The poem was Vulcan. What was more, it dated back to the pre-Reform times – when Vulcans lived lives consumed by their passions, not tamed them with logic. The poem Jim chose was probably the most famous, for its brazen, uncensored admissions of the most volatile and most intimate emotions.

I taint it, awkward,
Ruin it. You let me.
Your beauty makes me ill –
I seek to end it,
Devour your inner light that never fades

Spock’s head was spinning as another realization hit him:

Jim was reciting the poem in Vulcan.

His accent was heavy, but not unpleasant, and the way he was delivering the lines was perfect: even, smooth, expressionless, letting the words carry the meaning by themselves and respecting the poet, in faultless accord to the Vulcan poetic tradition... Spock’s mind clung desperately to those details, trying to escape the riptide that Jim’s voice had raised.

Your lips are full with promises obscene.
You’re mine to desecrate,
Mine for the taking.
My strength empowers me;
I need to break you.
When I am done, you’re not to be redeemed.”

Jim turned at last, his eyes finding Spock’s unerringly, and it was not long before Spock forgot how to breathe. Jim’s eyes were shining with their own unspoken, eloquent brand of poetry at the moment, and Spock was helplessly, hopelessly aroused by the sight of the man who had been the secret object of his yearning for too long a time to remember.

You triumph over me with just one glance.
Your body begs,
And yet you are the victor.
Your eyes plunder my soul,
And I’m evicted.
I’m all in you, until your heart relents.”

So many times Spock wanted to say those words to Jim. So many times he had returned to this poem, wondering how it could be possible that it seemed to be written just for him, capturing the effect Jim had on him so flawlessly...

You leave me bleeding as the sunrise lurks
Around my broken self,
My world is turning.
Your kiss ignites my blood
And leaves me burning.
I whisper on the brink that I am...”

“...yours,” Spock whispered.

He stood motionless, breathless. He was unable to look away or to comprehend anything outside the strange, airless bubble of space, free of everything except for himself and Jim and the fiery words between them.

“That was... original,” Dalleen remarked thoughtfully. “Certainly very different from our styles, wouldn’t you say, Perraan?”

The spell was broken. Spock blinked several times, disoriented and confused. Jim returned his attention to the prime minister, grinning amiably as if nothing peculiar had just happened.

“I can arrange for more samples of the Federation poetry to be delivered to you before we ship out,” Jim offered. “If you would like that, of course.”

“Oh, very much! Thank you, Captain.”

“Mr. Spock, would you see to—”

“I must ask your forgiveness, Captain, Madam Prime Minister. I...” Spock took a deep breath in a futile attempt to center himself. “There is something I must attend to immediately. Excuse me.”

Spock spun on his heel and stalked away before they had a chance to reply. He could feel Jim’s questioning, bewildered gaze drilling between his shoulder blades as he walked, but ignored it. He slipped away from the reception hall, savoring the freshness of the night air, as he stopped at the parapet of the wide palace balcony.

He felt numb. There were too many questions for him to process. When did Jim learn to speak Vulcan? How did he manage to find that poem? Why did he choose it, of all things, to recite now? Was it because Jim knew of Spock’s feelings? Could he have been so cruel as to call Spock on them in a public venue, with so many intrusive eyes around them?

But no, Spock thought. Jim was not cruel. And Spock had done nothing to deserve to be humiliated thus. Yes, he was in love with Jim, and he had long reconciled with his inappropriate feelings. But he did his best not to reveal them, never with an awkward word or a telling gesture. Spock kept his guard diligently at all times. He was certain Jim could never discover the true nature of Spock’s emotions toward him.

Until tonight.

That poem; oh, that poem. Spock had first read it when he was fourteen. He found it, among other pre-Reform poems and novels, in a rarely visited section of the library. It captured his imagination, but as years went by, he doubted more and more that the kind of emotional upheaval described in the all-too-explicit lines was anything but a poetic exaggeration. He knew that Vulcan emotions ran deep, but this was – this was something beyond plausible, Spock was convinced.

Until he met Jim.

Spock closed his eyes, trying to regulate his breathing.


Jim didn’t fit into any rule, category, or reference system. Jim was an entity unique in all aspects, each of them challenging and sharp as a diamond. Merciless. Knowing him, working with him, and being his friend had cut Spock’s convictions, beliefs, and reasons into a thousand pieces. Jim was the very definition of exception. Spock found himself irresistibly, irrevocably drawn to him.

But Spock was... Spock was but one of Jim’s many friends. Most of the time, when they were off duty, Spock had to share Jim’s attention with Doctor McCoy, or Lieutenant Sulu, or Engineer Scott, or even Nyota. What time he did spend with Jim alone that was not devoted to duty was certainly no bigger amount than the others did. Jim liked him and called him a friend, but he wasn’t Jim’s favorite by far.

Spock knew there was no reason he should be. Nyota had much more patience and consideration than Jim, but even she didn’t want to be in a relationship with Spock. They parted ways a long time ago and she had been very tactful and sensitive in ending their involvement, but it still stung. And Nyota, for all her marvelous qualities, was not Jim.

Spock’s logic concluded that the only thing he could hope to win here was his dignity, and he held on to that for months – being near Jim; curling up next to him on cold ground; supporting him when he was hurt or intoxicated; making him laugh with deliberate misunderstandings of human vernacular; and never, never once yielding to temptation. Spock had learned to live with it. It was a bittersweet kind of pain – always present at the periphery of his mind, always making his heart a little heavier in his chest. But every minute Spock spent at Jim’s side was worth it, and he couldn’t allow himself to lose Jim’s respect.

Which would happen inevitably, Spock knew, if Jim ever found out exactly how smitten Spock was with him.

Spock sighed. Perhaps he was reading too much into this. Granted, it had been a strange moment when Jim had looked at him in there, as he recited the ancient words of passion that transcended time, but it wouldn’t be the first one. Strange, awkward, charged moments were a reoccurring event between him and Jim. A glance held a little bit too long; a hand ‘forgotten’ on his shoulder; a teasing remark delivered with a smile that didn’t reach the eyes; or that unforgettable moment planetside when Spock woke up to find Jim watching him sleep...

Spock treasured them like a beggar treasured a few coins thrown into his hat. He never knew if the moments were there or merely a figment of his imagination – a product of his restless mind, starved for Jim’s attention. The moments always passed without comment, always forgotten, never discussed. This one would pass also. Tomorrow, when they meet on the bridge for Alpha shift, Jim would joke as usual, Spock would lift an eyebrow, and they would ship out, leaving another piece of Spock’s heart behind.

“You left a little abruptly.”

Spock flinched, badly.

“Whoa. Didn’t mean to startle you.” Jim came to stand beside him, resting his hand right next to Spock’s on the stone parapet.

“I am not startled.”

“Sure. And the urgent thing you needed to attend to is apparently stargazing.” A mild smile slipped over Jim’s lips. “I thought Vulcans didn’t lie.”

Spock didn’t comment. He couldn’t think of anything to say.

“Was my Vulcan that horrible?”

“No.” Spock shook his head, glancing at Jim, bewildered. “Of course not, Captain. It was quite... adequate.”

“Adequate? Well, I guess I’ll take it.” Jim was smiling, but his eyes seemed troubled as he looked at Spock. “You seem... tense. Did I violate some kind of Vulcan taboo or something?”

“No,” Spock responded, after a moment. “No taboo.”

“Well, it must have been something – you dashed out of there like a bat out of hell. What’s going on, Spock?”

“Nothing,” Spock replied quickly. “It is merely that...”

Jim waited, then prompted a “Yes?” when the pause stretched.

Spock sighed. “That poem is... a personal favorite of mine.”

“Oh.” Jim blinked. “And I butchered it?”

“No, Jim.” Spock made himself meet Jim’s eyes. “You recited it... perfectly.”

Jim drew back slightly, as if physically shocked. “Wow. That’s a – that’s high praise, especially from you.”

“I only speak the truth.”

“So... You liked it?”

Spock looked at Jim, not bothering to conceal the reproach. “You are aware that I did. You are an observant human being, Jim. You could not possibly have remained oblivious to the effect your recitation had on me.”

Jim worried his bottom lip. “I thought you did; I mean...” He averted his eyes, embarrassed. “But then you ran out on me, and I thought maybe I was reading it all wrong.”

They were silent for a moment, each consumed by their own thoughts. Finally, Spock asked, almost demanding, “Why, Jim?”

Jim looked up at him questioningly, but the words were already tumbling out, almost without Spock’s conscious volition.

“Why this poem? Why now? And why in public?” Spook paused to breathe. “I realize you surmised my feelings for you, but you did not have to make them a matter of shared knowledge. If my... regard for you was so inconvenient to endure, could you not have addressed it in private?”

Jim stared at him, mouth opened slightly in surprise. He blinked incredulously, eyes wide with astonishment.


Spock shifted awkwardly. “Jim—”

“Your – feelings?”


“As in, you have feelings for me? You, who could have anyone on the whole damn ship – hell, anyone at all – you have feelings for me? Me, of all people?”

“I – what?”

They stared at each other as if seeing one another for the very first time. Suddenly, Jim laughed.

“Oh my God,” he uttered chokingly. “Am I dreaming?”

“Not unless I am as well,” Spock managed. “Jim, what is the meaning—”

“The poem was for you, you stubborn, oblivious bastard,” Jim burst out, still unable to completely defeat his mirth. “I might have recited it because Dalleen asked me, but it was only for you, Spock; you alone.”

“I–” Now it was Spock’s turn to blink incessantly. “I beg your pardon?”

“Nah, not gonna get it.” Jim shook his head. “Spock, you idiot. All this time... Jesus. I was – I’ve had a crush on you since day one, and I can’t believe I’m telling you this.” Jim’s blush deepened and he looked away furiously, out towards the stars. “Holy fuck – first I read you poetry, then talk about my feelings... I’m turning into a complete mess here. Jesus fucking Christ.”

“Jim, I...” Spock floundered helplessly. “Please continue?”

Jim laughed so hard his eyes watered. “Dear God, Spock, you’re unbelievable.” He looked at the Vulcan fondly. “I’m telling this to our kids, make no mistake. We will adopt twelve kids, no less. We might even start with Chekov.”

“I must confess I am extremely confused.”

“I can tell.” Jim laughed and gripped Spock’s shoulders firmly. “Spock, no crush lasts that long. I mean, at first you were with Uhura and I was jealous as hell. Then you guys split, but you were so not interested and it fucking hurt. And then I just kinda stopped caring. It didn’t matter anymore if you were single or married; if you wanted me or hated my guts. I couldn’t help how I felt. I still can’t help it.”

He was smiling still, but his eyes had become serious, almost solemn. Spock hadn’t seen anything more fascinating in his life.

“I was” – Jim smiled apologetically – “I was so obsessed with you, I started to learn Vulcan. And when I stumbled over that poem, I just... It was so us, Spock. Or at least so me, and what you do to me.”

“It is ironic,” Spock said, barely above whisper, “because I have always thought it was about what you did to me.”

“I tried so hard not to show it – really, I tried. But tonight, when Dalleen asked, I couldn’t remember any other verse, and you were there, and I just – I gambled, and one moment you were there staring at me, like I dreamt you would, and then—” Jim faltered. “And then you ran away.”

Unable and unwilling to stop himself, Spock slipped his arms around Jim’s waist – still not quite believing he was allowed to – and pulled Jim flush against him.

“Spock.” Jim allowed himself to be towed, but placed a hand firmly against Spock’s chest. “I have to warn you: if you kiss me now, we’ll make a public display to end all public displays.”

Spock’s lips twitched as he drew Jim closer. He heard Jim’s breath catch, and Jim’s hand slid off of Spock’s chest, defeated. Jim’s eyes were suddenly occupying half his face, and Spock couldn’t help but smile into them.

“I shall, as you say, gamble.”

Jim made a choked, half-laughing, half-sobbing sound that was promptly caught by Spock’s mouth, and the world around them faded out of existence for countless, glorious seconds.

They were only shaken out of it by catcalls and whistles and a loud, vaguely familiar voice that shouted, “About damn time!”

Jim smiled against Spock’s lips and whispered, “That poem wasn’t the only Vulcan one I learned, Spock.” The corners of his mouth quirked upward. “Think you can help me improve my accent?”

Spock groaned deep in his throat and reached for his communicator, not letting Jim go.

“Mr. Scott, two to beam up. Expediency would be appreciated.”

Jim laughed, and kissed him again as the dazzling white light swallowed them.


( 74 punches — Punch it )
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Apr. 3rd, 2010 05:45 pm (UTC)
Aw, very cute. I love fics where Spock longs for Jim, completely and passionately, and you conveyed his feelings very well.
Apr. 3rd, 2010 06:06 pm (UTC)
What a wonderful story. Both Kirk and Spock are in character. You have their voices perfectly.

They are passionate, and loving.

Nice job.

(no subject) - kianspo - Apr. 3rd, 2010 07:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kianspo - Apr. 3rd, 2010 07:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 3rd, 2010 06:42 pm (UTC)


This warms my day. And you know I need it.:D
Apr. 3rd, 2010 07:26 pm (UTC)
I'm glad. ;)
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 3rd, 2010 06:55 pm (UTC)

Best icon ever!
(no subject) - kianspo - Apr. 3rd, 2010 07:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 3rd, 2010 07:03 pm (UTC)
OMG I love it!!!

Apr. 3rd, 2010 07:28 pm (UTC)
*giggles* You're the best. XD
(no subject) - aprilleigh24 - Apr. 7th, 2010 04:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kianspo - Apr. 7th, 2010 12:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 3rd, 2010 07:03 pm (UTC)

“I’m telling this to our kids, make no mistake. We will adopt twelve kids, no less. We might even start with Chekov.”

And that had me laughing. ♥
Apr. 3rd, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
You and Jim both. xD

I'm happy you liked it. ;)
Apr. 3rd, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
This is really well-written, and a very enjoyable read. :)
Apr. 3rd, 2010 08:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm happy you liked it. :D
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 3rd, 2010 08:42 pm (UTC)
They are, aren't they? But all is well that ends well. xD

Thanks for reading. ;)
Apr. 3rd, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC)
I’m telling this to our kids, make no mistake.


I love the angst on both sides, and the pining, and the fact that Jim learns Vulcan poetry. Most of all, I love that Spock makes the move to grab/kiss Jim at the end. The whole thing was great - thank-you!

Hugs, Soraya ;)
Apr. 3rd, 2010 10:16 pm (UTC)
Heh, poor Spock, he's waited long enough to grab Jim, not knowing he could have done that ages ago. :D Boyz. ;)

Thanks, hon! xD
Apr. 3rd, 2010 11:47 pm (UTC)
This is amazing! I loved the poem :) The buildup is so very cool and the two of them are so cute <3

Thank you for sharing!
Apr. 4th, 2010 07:19 am (UTC)
Oh thanks! The poem was a bitch to write, clearly I'm no poet. :D
I'm glad you liked the fic. :)
Apr. 4th, 2010 04:20 am (UTC)
Ohhhhh. I so very much enjoyed this. It was sweet and sexy and very, very satisfying, and I absolutely adored how mutually oblivious Jim and Spock were of each other's feelings. SO TYPICAL. Either they're awesome, or they're made of fail. Fabulous. ♥
Apr. 4th, 2010 07:20 am (UTC)
LOL. Your icon always makes me giggle whenever I see it. xD

They are awesome and made of fail. That's why we love them. ;)
Apr. 4th, 2010 04:25 am (UTC)
Very lovely.
Apr. 4th, 2010 07:21 am (UTC)
Apr. 4th, 2010 05:34 am (UTC)
Now that was just lovely. Oh, to be seduced in public with one's favorite poem...ahhh. (And at least Jim didn't pull out anything that started "There was a young man from Nantucket.."!)
Apr. 4th, 2010 07:22 am (UTC)
LMAO! Jim totally could! xDDD
Obviously, Spock's been lucky that didn't happen. :D
Thanks for reading! xD
Apr. 4th, 2010 08:02 am (UTC)

Souls driven by poetry!

i really like it
The intensity of their feellings and the poetry were so good!!!!

and thanks for your kind offer to help_chile!!

Apr. 4th, 2010 10:37 am (UTC)
Thank you for organizing such a great event. <3

And thanks for reading. ;)
Apr. 4th, 2010 07:02 pm (UTC)
Sweet, thanks.
Apr. 4th, 2010 08:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks. ;)
Apr. 6th, 2010 09:57 pm (UTC)
This was so damn adorable. Especially the whole confusion bit, with them stumbling over their words...can I take them home and snuggle them? I promise to bring them back :D
Apr. 7th, 2010 12:13 pm (UTC)
*giggles* Why don't I believe you? xDDD
On the other hand, if you take them home and bring back more pretty pictures... ;)

Thanks, BB! <3
You've been quiet lately, hope you're doing okay.
(no subject) - ashleyj28 - Apr. 7th, 2010 05:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kianspo - Apr. 7th, 2010 07:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ashleyj28 - Apr. 7th, 2010 07:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kianspo - Apr. 7th, 2010 08:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
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( 74 punches — Punch it )



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