Title: The Fire Burning Within
Fandom: Star Trek (Reboot)
Word Count: 2068
A/N: Is paired with “Seven Year Itch, or That Thing They Never Talk About, But Jim Loves”
The world turning below them was fairly normal for the quadrant of the galaxy they were in. Standard yellow sun, two planets well within the life zone and the only one that had developed life had two moons. With six other planets in the system, it was a totally normal example of a habitable solar system.
Jim watched as his science corps swiftly updated the entry on the planet in the Federation Databases. In addition to his standard compliment of xeno-everything, he was carrying a full load of diplomats on this trip. It seemed that the united government of the planet below was interested in moving to a protectorate status within the Federation. Jim wasn’t looking forward to the weeks of ‘look pretty and menacing but remain quiet’ that the diplomats would insist on for him and his crew.
“Initial scans match the ones recorded by the previous survey team, Captain,” Spock announced after several intense minutes collating the information his department was producing.
“Any pathogens or animals who think Starfleet officers are tasty?”Jim asked, at least somewhat seriously. The last three planets that his crew had explored had contained enough surprises that a round dozen of his crew were on medical leave. Since the Enterprise’s away teams were both volunteer and the rigorously trained, they were in short supply and as Captain, he wasn’t willing to squander them.
Spock looked up from his sensors, his eyes conveying his acceptance and amusement at the human’s quirks. “Captain, all scans match the last survey missions file. While there are several predators noted, there are no indications that they find Starfleet personnel to be edible.”
Eyes alight with equal amusement, Jim gazed back at his First Officer and CSO. “Good to know, Mr. Spock. Uhura? If you could be so kind… Please inform our guests that we have arrived and are ready for them to do their thing. It would be appreciated.”
Eyebrow raised, his comm genius of an officer looked at him in askance. Jim shrugged lightly in response. So he normally wasn’t that nice. But today was an anniversary of sorts and he was trying. Jim watched as Uhura’s hands moved over her station, like every Starfleet officer he had gone through the basic training on the complex board she was playing like a fine instrument, but… He was nowhere near the level of genius she was with it. “Message relayed Captain.”
“Excellent. Mr. Spock, we need to get a security detachment together to shadow our diplomats while they are down on the planet’s surface. Please make certain that the ones chosen can use more than the standar6d phrases. I’ll be checking with Dr. McCoy before we head down,” Jim directed as he pushed out of his command chair and headed towards the turbo-lift. He knew the directions were mostly unnecessary. After all, Spock knew what to do, but sometimes stating the obvious was part and parcel of being the Captain.
The wash of affection from Spock was welcome and Jim sent a wave in return. The glimpse he had of his mate before the doors closed, showed dark eyes looking back at him with as much affection as he had sent over the bond. Jim just winked back at him before the door to the turbo-lift slid shut.
Making his way to Sickbay, Jim took the time to talk to every crewmember who said ‘Hello’ to him. Most of his random walks through the ship gave him the chance to stay on top of the masses of rumors that seethed and bubbled was under the surface of the Enterprise. Humming quietly as he walked into McCoy’s territory after a successful gossip run, Jim looked around carefully.
The only person out in the main area of sickbay seemed to be Chapel and she was working on one of the biobeds. The sound of the door opening had attracted her attention and when she saw who it was, she pointed at the short hallway leading to the CMO’s office. Jim just nodded and smiled in thanks as he headed towards his appointment.
From the muttering he heard floating out the open door, Jim knew that McCoy was in a fine mood. The mixer he had hosted as ship’s Captain the night before had been a success and he was reasonably certain Bones had had a good time. Even if it had been a dry event since alcohol was frowned upon by the culture they were inducting into the Federation.
Knocking on the sill, Jim leaned against the door and watched as Bones tried to jump out of his skin. “If you didn’t bitch so loud, you would hear when someone knocks,” he teased gently.
Bones raised an eyebrow at his Captain and waved him in. “If I didn’t have so much to bitch about, I wouldn’t be so damn distracted. What can I do for you, Jimmy?”
Jim slid into the chair in front of the CMO’s desk and leaned back, trying to exude nonchalance. “Well, I’m going to be beaming down to whatever they call the planet below us with the diplomats. You told me that if I went down without checking in with you again, you would give me a shot that caused impotence. I like having sex with my bond-mate more than l like yanking your chain, so can I be tortured now?”
McCoy wore a pained expression on his face as he pulled a hypo out of the box on his desk. “You know, I really don’t want to know about your sex life so you can keep your hobgoblin love fest to yourself,”’ came the acid reply as Bones maneuvered the hypospray against his friend’s neck.
The sting of the shot pushing through his skin was an old and familiar pinch. Easily forgotten in the brush of honest affection his friend had for him. The feel of another’s emotions against his skin was becoming familiar and more manageable, the longer he and Spock were bonded.
Which was something he and Spock were not telling Bones and by extension Starfleet about. At least not yet. There were a number of humans with active parafrontal cortexes, but very few of them were in the Fleet. Of those, none were on the command track, let alone were the Captain of the Enterprise who had discovered an empathy brought on by his mating bond with a powerful telepath.
If Starfleet ever found out, they would have fits.
(Several hours later)
Jim was not happy to find that the people on the newest Federation planet had lied to them.
The survey team that had done the previous survey of the planet had contained no Vulcans and that was not a good thing, for his bond mate or himself. Spock had contracted something and it was moving through his system at an alarming rate, lighting pathways in his body that had lain dormant for several years. Jim dimly felt the faint burn that the virus was leaving in its wake. It felt like Pon Farr, but he knew that they were still four years away from their next experience with that biological necessity.
Jim paced outside Sickbay and tried not to climb the walls. From what Spock was relaying, Bones was subjecting his bond mate to every test known to man or Vulcan and he could fell how impatient the Vulcan was with the process. Which caused a carefully hidden fissure of alarm. Finally, after what felt like years, McCoy stuck his head out of the room and called him in.
“Spock has given me the okay to talk to you about what is going on with him,” McCoy said before he walked Jim over to his office. He further declined to say anything else until they were behind closed doors. “Near as we can determine, you were right. The virus is working on his system like Pon Farr and it is firing all the systems that start it. The Vulcan equivalents of testosterone and vasopressin are starting to show up in increasing levels in his bloodstream and from what you told me last time, this means that full-blown Pon Farr can’t be too far away.”
Jim let his eyes close as he reached out for his bond mate. Spock felt him brush against his side of their connection and he pushed back. The burn Jim had felt earlier was higher now and felt like it was about to burst into flames. “I know. Can you hold him here for an hour or so while I get things ready?”
“Huh?” Bones look confused and Jim almost laughed. Obviously, he had said something unexpected. “Jim, what do you mean ‘Get things ready’? Spook is sick with a virus.”
Eyes grim, Jim looked at his best friend “You said it yourself, Bones. This virus is provoking a Pon Farr like response in Spock’s body. When a Vulcan is in the midst of Pon Farr, it is literally a ‘fuck or die’ situation. Now, I need an hour to get things together so we can get Spock stable while you figure out how to kill that damn virus.”
The click of McCoy’s teeth meeting was the only proof that his jaw had dropped. “If what you are saying is correct, Jim, you are going to be preparing for your own rape. How in the hell can I condone that?”
Jim pinched the bridge of his nose in an effort to hold off his headache. Privacy versus getting Bones off his back danced through his thoughts and it was only when a wave of acceptance came from Spock that he made his decision. “Dr. McCoy, something you are not considering here… When you bond with a Vulcan, you are giving your consent to all that happens during Pon Farr. My consent was given over four years ago when Spock and I Bonded.”
It brought him no pleasure to see his friend rear back as his words penetrated. There was so much hidden about the Vulcan race that misinformation abounded. Even as careful and as through a doctor as McCoy normally was, he still got bit by what he didn’t know. Spook’s first Pon Farr had been handled in a very low-key fashion for the rest of the ship. When they had emerged from their quarters, most of the physical evidence of three days of semi-constant sex had been healed by a careful combination of a brief healing trance for Spock and a dermal regenerator for Jim.
What had happened was beyond his CMO’s control, but the events in front of them were making more waves than he wanted to deal with. Jim knew that somewhere inside the gruff doctor that McCoy presented to the world was another that was having problems with what he had been told. Specifically, that he had to let his best friend and Captain go have copious amounts of sex with his potentially out of control bond mate. Jim wasn’t willing to take any bets on that happening without a fight.
“Do you need me to include anything when I let Spock go?” McCoy asked quietly. Wonder of wonders, the man wasn’t protesting…
Jim shook his head and stood up. “No, I have everything we will need in our quarters. Please pass our apologies on to the Ambassador and the planetary delegates. I’ll be informing Star Fleet and New Vulcan about this as well once we have a cure going or it burns itself out of his system.”
Bones nodded. “Sounds good to me. I want to get a blood sample from you as well. I know you are human and all, but he is your bond-mate and I am very certain you two will be swapping all sorts of body fluids soon. We might as well be sure that this bug can’t jump to humans too,” the Doctor muttered as he pulled out a blood collection unit and clamped it on his Captain’s arm.
The small machine quickly drew three vials of blood and labeled them. As soon as it let him loose, Jim waved at his CMO and walked out of medical. A quick glance around the public portions of sickbay failed to reveal an impatient Vulcan, so he kept moving, trusting to Spock to stay put until released. He had a timer ticking in his head and he had very little time to get ready.