Thine, oh Paramount/Viacom, All thine and never mine -these characters, situations, and all the myriad creations of the Great Bird. Pray indulge us this humble fanfic, and I'll make no claim to it's rights.

Knot the Third:

Obsidian and Gold

By Taylor Dancinghands

The fog was thicker down by the water. It had made it seem, as he and Spock had 'accompanied' the Doctor home earlier, that they were descending into an impenetrable void.

The way ahead became increasingly unclear as they progressed and James Kirk remembered thinking to himself, *Just like real life. I think I know where I'm going, but mostly I've just been damn lucky."

In this instance it was a lucky thing that he knew the streets on this end of the old Presidio pretty well, and he and Spock had found their way to Starfleet Medical's Headquarters, where Dr. McCoy kept an office with a cot, without losing their way once.

They'd put the somewhat worse-for-wear Doctor to bed and struck back out into the fog, but when they reached the intersection where Kirk expected Spock to take his leave and return to the Vulcan Embassy for the night, Spock did not part but instead turned to him and said, "I would walk with you a way."

Kirk shrugged and smiled and said, "By all means."

They walked on in silence along the fog-shrouded columns of stately eucalyptus trees, toward the edge of the old Presidio, a route that would take them through the pedestrian tunnel underneath the old Van Ness Street transit lines and up to a path that skirted the edge of the old Palace of Fine Arts and headed into the Marina District where Kirk's apartment was.

James Kirk took great pleasure walking along the mist-stilled streets, enjoying how the timeless San Francisco fogs muffled even the sounds of the never sleeping, never resting business of the United Federation of Planets.

On a clear night, even this late--he guessed it to be about oh-two-hundred hours--the unceasing hustle and bustle of Star Fleet Headquarters would be more apparent. But now the fog obscured all. It was as if the anima mundi of the Bay Area had lifted a blanket of stillness out of the sea and bay waters and laid it over the land like a mother tucking her children into bed. Shh, ... she seemed to be saying, even busy Starfleets need to rest.

*Even busy Starfleet Captains.* It was a balm to his soul, this fog, stilling the busy racket of thoughts, anxieties, and frets in his mind the way it stilled outside sounds. It made him happy. Well, no, it wasn't so much that the fog made him happy, but that it allowed him to realize just how happy he was. The true causal agent presently walked silently and contentedly at his side. A pillar of strength, and wisdom, and what's more, some very vital parts of him were embodied there and almost, almost, they had been lost to him forever.

Inescapable memories assailed him with that thought, as they always did, bringing the searing agony of recollecting events all too recent. He cast a sidelong glance at the Vulcan pacing on his left, hoping he was managing to conceal his unease from his friend.

*He **is** here. He's alive and well, and he's back,* he told himself, not for the first time. Spock was back, but the lingering pangs of a heart torn asunder, and so very recently set back together could not be easily or soon dismissed. Especially when there was still a piece missing.

*If there is,* he admonished himself severely, *it's one you can live without.* Certainly compared to the gaping hole that Spock's absence had left it seemed of little or no consequence, but now, with the sheer horror of that time fading at last, it seemed that the absence of that piece might have greater consequences than he'd first thought. That, however, was a forbidden subject.

*You've been damn lucky once again, Mister. Luckier than anyone could possibly deserve.* And in this, he'd been luckier than any ten men could deserve, or even any hundred. *Only James Tiberius Kirk would have the unmitigated gall to ask for more after all that.* This was, of course, nothing less than what people had come to expect of him, even the Vulcan healer who had spoken to him at length after Spock had left the healing center to stay with his parents, and recover the rest of his memories.

"If you wish Spock to become once again the man you knew," the healer had said, not quite addressing him as a child, or simpleton, "you must desist in any way from prompting or suggesting the recollection of any particular memories. Any recollection of memories about his service and dedication to Starfleet or of you, or anything else must come from within him. Prompting, suggesting, or forcing in any way can cause false or incomplete memory recovery, or even memory loss. I urge you not to take this admonition lightly, Captain. Memories can be tenuous things, and it is vital in cases such as this that great care be taken not to interfere with their recovery.

Kirk had thanked him sincerely, but he could see the man really didn't expect to be taken seriously. He didn't know, he couldn't have imagined, being a Vulcan, how terrified James T. Kirk was at the prospect of not getting all of Spock back.

If he could have cut the desire out of his heart with a knife, and the memories as well (ah, such memories!), if need be, he'd have done it. But he could no more surgically excise a piece of his heart than he could command it. If he could not, however, command his heart, he could command his tongue.

He would not speak of it to Spock, or anyone else for that matter. He would not speak. He would not ask. It would be enough, it must be enough, that Spock was here, himself, and at his side.

By now they had crossed under the transit corridor and were climbing the hill, the crown of which was topped by the San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts. An early Twentieth Century "folly" made to resemble ancient Mediterranean ruins, the half-circle colonnade of fluted stone pillars had originally been made of concrete and were utterly destroyed in the second Great Earthquake of 2118. They were replaced twelve years later by eccentric millionaire Jonas Grumby who rebuilt the colonnade, and the adjacent children's science museum that had been there since the late twentieth century, with real marble, carved to match the original specifications exactly. The old Presidio military base it was built on the borders of was now the Terran Headquarters for the United Federation of Planets, and Star Fleet, and the Palace of Fine Arts stood at its Eastern entry way now, a testament to mankind's endless capacity for grand gestures.

Jim Kirk liked it, a lot. It, and not the adjacent Star Fleet headquarters were the reason he'd found his apartment nearby. He left the main path now, to climb the hill and walk the curve of the colonnade, Spock following unquestioningly, and came to rest at its northern end, taking in the view of the city and the bay beneath them.

The fog was thinning with a light breeze sending it drifting across the bay in veils, sometimes revealing the lights of the Golden Gate Bridge, and sometimes concealing them, so that the whole bridge seemed to be shimmering in and out of existence over the bay waters. Perhaps it was caught between realities, neither wholly in one or the other (as he had been once), or perhaps (more enjoyable to imagine) it was a fairy thing, enchanted and not altogether real.

He could, he thought, stand here and watch this bay and this fog, feeling the moist chill breeze and smelling the faint tang of the bay water, forever, or at least until Spock got cold, which probably wouldn't be long. When he heard Spock draw breath to speak he half expected that to be what he'd wanted to say.

"You have been very quiet this evening," Spock said, with the suggestion of a question behind it.

"I guess I let the fog get to me," he answered. "It's ... peaceful. I haven't felt that way in a while."

Spock nodded with satisfaction. "It is, indeed, beneficial to try not to be at odds with the universe from time to time, and upon those occasions it is customary to fine oneself in a more meditative or contemplative state of mind. That, however, is not a state of affairs which you are known to frequent."

Kirk laughed. "You're right, of course," he said. "In a couple of weeks I'll probably be stir-crazy -ready to get back out in space and in trouble again."

"Indeed," said Spock, and then, apparently changing the subject, "I met with T'frai and St'ret yesterday. They were quite pleased with my progress, and expressed some surprise at your ... restraint. I informed them that humans have been known to achieve great triumphs of logic when the facts are known and something worthwhile is at stake."

*He said 'I told you so’,* Kirk beamed to himself. *Wait'll I tell Bones.*

"Spock, I don't think I've ever had any more at stake in my life," he said out loud.

Spock nodded. "I had myself noted, over the last few weeks, the restraint you have borne toward me, the deference you have shown me. I believe I am coming to appreciate what that effort has cost you and I am. . .grateful."

"Spock," Kirk began, shaking his head, but the Vulcan had something more to say.

"Five days ago, after we had landed the Bird-of-Prey in the Bay," Spock's gaze, and Jim's, as he followed it, fell to that distant spot faintly visible from here, beneath the bridge, "when you sent me and the others to wait above while you went to find Mr. Scott and release the whales ... "

Kirk nodded, knowing where and when Spock was, just not why.

"We had already waited some time after Mr. Scott had joined us before we saw the whales surface, and when we did not see you ... I became concerned. I ... desired strongly to know where you were, if you required assistance. . . and without realizing what I was doing I ... reached ... for your thoughts. I found the link, Jim, and I knew you were well ... and I remembered ... I remembered, T'hy'la ... "

James Kirk felt as if he were a crystal bell and that word and that voice sounded a tone that matched a frequency within him, causing him to ring, and shatter into a thousand pieces. He staggered against the marble column beside him and felt Spock's hand on his shoulder, catching him lest he fall.

Fall he did, into those strong arms, wrapping his own around the Vulcan as though he were standing in gale force winds and Spock his only anchor.

Face pressed against the Vulcan's shoulder he sobbed out his name, overcome with joy, and the pangs of a mending heart.

"I couldn't hope," he said at last, in a voice thick with emotion. "I didn't dare. How could I? How could I dare to hope for more after ... after ..."

"Shh, T'hy'la. No more sorrow," said Spock, his voice like velvet. "It is not possible that I could have lived and not known of my bond to you. You were the key, from the first, Jim." Spock's voice, low and quietly passionate, enfolded Kirk's heart as the Vulcan's arms wrapped protectively around him, comforting him, body and soul.

"When I first came to myself on Mt. Seleya I did not know who or where I was. The ancient shrine I lay in, the healers, even my father's face meant nothing to me. But when I saw you, I knew you, and knowing you, I knew myself. Everything else proceeded from there, Jim. Everything."

Jim drew a shuddering breath and lifted his bright eyes to meet Spock's dark ones. Dark and sharp and clean, they were, like the black glass obsidian, made in the furnace of a planet's fiery heart. Stare long enough into those depths, he knew, and he would see a reflection of that fire. He saw it now, clearly, burning for him. He held off for a moment more, only to savor the anticipation, and let the beginnings of a smile move over his lips before they joined Spock's.

*Ah, Gods!* The bitter copper tang of his taste, the dry desert musk smell of him, the volcanic heat that radiated from his body into Jim's own. He let these sensations consume him as he consumed Spock, devoured his mouth and lips and tongue, tasted, touched the graceful upswept ears, the hard angular jaw and cheekbones, his silken ravenswing hair.

"Ah, Gods, Spock," he spoke aloud now, nibbling a favorite spot on Spock's neck behind his jaw. "I've missed you. I've missed you so much."

"And I you," Spock replied, and in response to Jim's puzzled regard, explained. "I knew that something of great importance yet remained to be discovered for me, even when the healers informed me that I had recovered ninety-seven percent of my memory. It troubled me, for though I could not determined what was missed, I knew some vital piece of myself still eluded me. Even when I could not remember, I could not forget."

With an astonishingly tender gesture, Spock took Jim's face in his hands, and lifted it so their eyes met, so Kirk could see what lay in Spock's as he spoke.

"So now you see, T'hy'la, how intractable our bond is? Enduring and indelible. Having once been we must be, and so we are. Now and forever."

"Never and always ... " said Jim, hardly realizing he had spoken.

"Touching and touched ... " There was fire in the Vulcan's voice now and his eyes smoldered. Jim felt the brush of fevered fingers across his face, come to rest there, and there, and there ...

He gazed into those obsidian eyes, felt the ancient Vulcan words reverberate within him, and fell in. He knew what he would find beyond the cool black surface, a furnace no less than what might be found at the core of the Earth. He embraced the heat of that passion as he felt the blood in his own veins like magma, coursing through him, igniting him. They came together now in a white heat, their separate selves fused into a single desire for one another. Mouths consumed, hands grasped and touched and stroked, tongues tasting salt and copper, bodies pressed together seeking a more complex and intimate joining. It was Spock's will that, at length, and with an act of astonishing self-control, brought the cooling discipline of logic to bear before the situation became one which would surely have resulted in one if not two cases of exposure, at the very least.

"Your apartment," he said when he'd managed to free his lips enough to speak, "is not far?"

Kirk managed to nod. He turned to lead the way, but couldn't quite manage to let go of Spock's hand, so they went that way. It was three blocks to Kirk's apartment, and in a supreme act of will they actually refrained from running.

Running would have been easier. He was all but gasping for breath as he pulled Spock into the apartment behind him. With the last shreds of his rational faculties he'd formulated the beginnings of a plan. Spock was his master in all arenas physical, lovemaking was no different, and Kirk was pleased to have it that way. But he was still James T. Kirk, who was, after all, known for taking the initiative from time to time.

With Spock, just about the only way to gain the initiative, even for a moment, was to take him unawares.

Without discussion or warning, Kirk pulled the Vulcan through the door, laid him up against the adjacent wall as the door closed behind him, seized him by the shoulders and attacked Spock's full, flushed, copper-tasting lips savagely.

Jim felt the corners of the Vulcan's mouth lift under his lips, heard an almost-chuckle deep in Spock's throat. Spock humored him for a few moments more, then Jim felt him lift his fever-hot hands to stroke his face, felt the fingers brush the contact points again. He gasped as the fire ignited within him again, and he found himself lifting his right hand to meet Spock's, two fingers extended.

The fingers contacted, caressed each other, and the touch sent a vibrating thread through James Kirk's self. It was a bonding, and a claiming -for just as sure as Lieutenant Commander Spock was Captain James T. Kirk's to command in their outer life, in their inner life Jim Kirk belonged to Spock, body and soul. And the real glory of it was, Jim thought, rejoicing in his heart, that Spock quite evidently remembered all of this.

"Oh yes," the Vulcan breathed to him, "I have not forgotten this."

"What else," Jim said, a little breathlessly, "do you remember?"

"It would be. . . simpler to show you," the obsidian eyes burned into his soul, "than to tell you."

"By all means," Kirk said, with badly-feigned nonchalance.

Spock lifted his two fingers from Kirk's and placed them at his throat and Jim felt something still within him. Then the Vulcan lifted his fingers again to rest them between Kirk's eyes. He saw Spock draw a breath and felt himself draw one at the same moment, and waited with familiar expectation as Spock held both their breaths for a moment, and then let them out. He lifted his fingers away from Jim's forehead, caressed his jaw and tilted his face up to take possession of Kirk's eyes.

"Such beauty, my T'hy'la," he said, catching a glimpse in Kirk's thoughts of the obsidian metaphor Jim had found for him. He gave one back. In Jim's mind came the image: gold, the metal of the sun, rendered to liquid, molten metal in the embrace of the volcano's heat.

The fire that burned in them now was a fusion of that fire which the obsidian had at its making, and the bright one that shines from untarnishable gold, molten or solid. The resulting conflagration left a number of garments strewn across Jim Kirk's living room floor, but the conflagrants themselves had gotten no farther than the sofa. Jim had by now shed everything, but Spock was still wearing his silk trousers. They didn't leave much to the imagination at this point, but Jim had been wanting them gone for quite a while, and every time he went for them Spock would touch him somewhere and he'd end up removing another piece of his own clothing instead.

That was all gone now, though, and it looked like Spock was finally going to let him. . . Kirk reached cautiously forward to take the knotted silk sash that fastened the waist. The knot tumbled loose as knots in silk do, and Kirk watched the Vulcan carefully, not certain yet if he was going to have his way. But Spock laid back on the sofa without protest, an intoxicating half-smile on his lips as he watched Jim advance upon him.

The trousers were wraps, falling open with ease with the knot untied, and Spock's graceful sex lifted itself free from its nest of black silk. Jim wanted to fall down and worship it, so perfect it was to his eyes. A thing of beauty, the color of patinaed bronze, its double rings flushed dark beneath the moist and trembling head.

Kirk sank to his knees on the rug before the sofa, between Spock's legs, to deliver his adoration. He brushed the bronze cock with his lips, kissing gently, then more firmly. It burned like fire beneath his lips. He licked it, savoring the taste and the joy it brought him. He ran his tongue around the rings, hearing Spock draw a deep breath as he did so, almost feeling the breath in his own throat. Lifting his hands now to caress the Vulcan's proud cock he kissed its head, sucking and tonguing it in anticipation. Jim felt Spock's own anticipation, seeing the Vulcan's face, eyes closed, entirely engaged in the sensations Jim was raising in him.

He lowered his lips around the head, taking more of Spock's flesh into his mouth, sucking gently and tonguing the rings. Hearing Spock moan, at last, heightened the vibrations of the cord within him. It meant the first little slip in the Vulcan's control. He could make Spock lose control, if Spock would let him, and sometime this evening he almost certainly would, but not yet. Kirk would try his damnedest anyway, though. He could hardly do anything else.

He sucked even more vigorously, drawing even more of the Vulcan's cock into his mouth while his fingers caressed the saliva-slicked base. He felt Spock's hips flex, a fraction of an inch. Not much longer now ...

Fingers on his face again brought a gradual expansion of his senses to include Spock's, and Jim almost faltered in astonishment. He knew that before he backed off Spock would bring them both so close to the edge ... If not for the cock in his mouth, Jim would've gasped, for now he was feeling not only throbbing, ridged Vulcan flesh against his throat and tongue, but his own lips and tongue sucking and licking his, no, Spock's aching cock. He moaned around the Vulcan flesh in his mouth, helplessly thrusting his hips into the front of the sofa. There was a sound between a moan and a sigh from Spock, the fingers came away, and Jim Kirk tumbled gently back into himself.

Spock lifted Jim's head up and away from his object of worship, clearly wanting the attention of Kirk's lips on his own. This meant climbing back up onto the couch with Spock, which quite made up for being called away from the Vulcan's magnificent cock. He settled beside the Vulcan reveling in the comfort of Spock's arms around him, and drank in his lover's lips, and mouth, and tongue. . .and occasionally his neck, and nose, and ears (ah yes, those ears).

So engaged in this feast of delights was he that he hardly noticed how the Vulcan's caresses moved closer and closer to his own sex. By then the casual stroke of Spock's finger along his cock almost caused him to swallow someone's tongue (he was never sure whose).

"Would you like to see," asked the Vulcan, when everything was back where it ought to be, "what else I remember?"

Kirk made a faintly insensible noise and nodded. He was remembering quite a bit himself, like how Spock could do things with his fingers that a thousand-credit prostitute couldn't do with two tongues. *This is the part where you sit back and enjoy the ride, Jimmy boy.*

It was indeed. With a sigh and a moan of unparalleled joy and delight, Jim lay back in his t'hyla's arms and let Spock play him like a violin. Each touch of the Vulcan's fingers was electric, sending a different vibration along the cord Spock had strung through him. With skillful and amazingly dexterous manipulations, Spock elicited moans and shouts and gasps and a host of other indescribable noises from him in turn, and at his whim.

Dizzy with pleasure, Jim felt Spock's lips behind his ear curving in delight as his fingers worked the moisture from the tip of Jim's cock over its head.

Hypnotized by these sensations, Jim didn't notice what Spock's other finger was doing until, suddenly, it was slipping inside him, and he was paralyzed with pleasure. It was unimaginable that Spock would be able to do the same thing to the inside of him that he could do with the sensitive skin of his cock, not to mention indescribable. But, Jim knew from experience, even if memory never served to recreate it, Spock could, would, and was doing it right now. Every stroke, and probe, and movement of that finger (or was it two now, or three?) served to render some new part of his body into something gelatinous, without bones, or muscle, in an areas spreading out from his sex. He was rapidly losing volition to do anything but moan brokenly, but he was still nowhere near to release. Spock kept something in him held back so he could experience almost more pleasure than he could stand, but never quite go over the edge. He imagined that his innards were being transformed into a giant reservoir of semen, and if he did release it now, somehow, he would be emptied utterly.

Before very long he had no more ability to control any part of his body than he did to fly like a bird. Adrift in a sea of sensation with no shore in sight, a new sensation came as a portent of high seas. Molten fingers on his face again, and the volition he had lost now became Spock's. At Spock's volition he arched his back, lifted his hips and positioned his wanting opening over Spock's hungrily hard flesh. Spock lowered him, he felt the burning rock-hard head press against him, slip inside, felt the double ridges caress his opening.

Bereft of even a voice to cry out with now, Jim Kirk was adrift with nothing to hold on to whatsoever when the wave of pleasure, from the sensation of Spock's magnificent flesh filling him swept over him, pulled him under, half drowned him and cast him out in the stillness that followed as Spock let him rest, unmoving. He was lying on his back on top of Spock who was lying stretched out across the sofa, his back propped in the corner between the arm and back, and their legs interlocked and embraced. Spock's flesh burned within him, wanting to move as much as he wanted it to, but Spock kept them both still.

What followed next was a feat that, Jim suspected, was remarkable even for full-blooded Vulcans. Deeply linked now, still in command of Kirk's body, and still mindful of his own, Spock caused Jim to sit up, freeing Spock to do the same. Arms clasped around Jim's waist, Spock guided them both to sit forward, begin to stand, and then lifted him so he could get his knees under him, on the sofa. Hard flesh still inside his love, still controlled to wait with Spock's iron will, the Vulcan stood, shifted them both to rotate until they faced the back of the sofa. Now, Kirk knelt on the edge, leaning his chest against the back, with Spock behind him, and, at last, slowly, impeccably rhythmically, Spock began to thrust within him.

No longer adrift in a sea, Jim had lost the sky, or perhaps fallen into it. He was floating in space, a space overfull of stars and suns and they were stars and suns of pure joy, and overwhelming ecstasy, and indescribable pleasure.

Indescribable pleasure was the Vulcan's blazing cock entering him again, and again. . . Overwhelming ecstasy was the fevered hands stroking his own aching flesh, slick with precum. Pure joy was the knowledge that it was Spock! Spock's molten hot body covering his, Spock's hard flesh inside him, Spock's smooth desert-dry hands roaming his body, Spock's deep, resonant voice, smoldering with Vulcan passion, low in his ears.

But before all these bright suns could consume him, he felt Spock slowly relinquishing his control of Kirk. It was far from unwelcome. Now, at, last, he was able to throw his body after the passion that consumed him. Now, at last, he could drive himself against the hard flesh that entered him. Now, at last, he could give voice to the sensations that coursed through him, and he moaned, and he cried, and he shouted himself hoarse.

Behind him, within in, he could feel Spock's control starting to slip.

Giving Kirk his freedom had been the beginning of the end for him. Now he would intentionally strike it a crippling blow. Spock's voice was hard, low, and unsteady as he intoned the ancient Vulcan words. They were beyond the need for touch now, Spock needing only the old mantra to direct and manipulate his thoughts as he had learned in discipline long ago. As it had once before this evening, Jim's world exploded. His senses grew to include not just the hands stroking his own hard flesh, but the feel of its slick hardness under fevered Vulcan fingers. Something opened within him so that now, besides the intoxicating closeness of the Vulcan furnace enclosing him from above, he experienced as well the exhilaration of clasping his own compact and firmly muscled body as it threw itself powerfully against the Vulcan's cock over and over. At the heart of that rhythm was that hardness thrust inside him again and again, only now it was joined by the experience of his own firm ass gripping the flesh that pierced him ... that he welcomed into him ... as his own flesh embraced him ...

"T'hy'la. . ." Spock's choked cry was that of a drowning man. The link was complete; they were truly joined as one, and the very last shreds of Spock's control were slipping away. There would be a changing of the guard now, and even in the heat of passion, James Kirk never failed to feel honored at these moments, at the depth of trust Spock accorded him. When the Vulcan finally allowed himself to be swept away on the tides of passion, it was Jim's hand that rested on the tiller to guide them through rapids he knew far more familiarly than the Vulcan did, but, moreover, understood them in a way the Vulcan never would, and thus guaranteed both their safe deliverance.

As always, the journey would be one of transformation. Ahead, Jim knew, there would be a narrows. Far past the point of turning back he knew it would strip them both of everything but the essence of the moment, before they could pass through, and what arrived on the other side could never be the same as what went in.

As Spock, entering him, became mindless will, more action than substance, and therefore nowhere, he, the vessel, became the receptacle of all things and everywhere. He could be at once the rutting human with his ass full of Vulcan cock and his face pressed into the rough upholstery of his sofa, and at the same time a skillful navigator of the vessel that was Spock and him both. He, the Everythingness, knew the Vulcan Nothingness, and craved it more than any or all of his own Infiniteness, while Spock's Nothingness sought to extinguish itself in his Everything. And when they each achieved their heart's desire, like matter and anti-matter, they would annihilate one another.

*Having once been. . ." Spock's words echoed in him, *we must be. And so we are.*

*We are!* the resonance was building between them like a grand chord. Annihilation was a handful of breaths away.

*We. Are!* Filling, being filled, cocks thrusting, being grasped, grasping,
skin slick with sweat, slick with precum, breath of fire, touch of fire, consuming, being consumed. . .

*WE ARE!* Somewhere in the distance two voices shouted and cried out, hearts hammered to near bursting. Two bodies convulsed in frenzied, mindless union.

**WE ARE!!!** Somewhere near the heart of the universe two souls were immolated in their own passion's pyre. Annihilation was theirs truly, for in their place rose, like a gold and obsidian phoenix, a perfect and balanced soul, created by an impossible alchemical marriage. It would live for a dozen heartbeats, no more, but between each heartbeat a star empire rose and fell.


Jim Kirk was listening to his, finally, gradually slow to something like normal. He was face down, lying lengthwise on the couch.

Spock was on top of him, slightly off to the side, and still inside him.

He had his fingers in a lock of Jim's hair, and was muttering something, distantly, in Vulcan.

Between his passing familiarity with Vulcan, and the lingering contact of the link, Jim could mostly make it out. It seemed to be a poem.

"Having no tongue, yet my heart calls out for thee
Having no eyes, yet it seeks thine
Having no hands, yet my heart reaches for thee
Yet the strangest paradox of all
Having not thou near, yet my heart still beats."

Spock knew he was listening, but rather than respond to his curiosity, the Vulcan kissed him on the nape of the neck, and carefully pulled himself free.

They each rolled on to their sides and lay alongside one another on the couch, Spock against the back with his arms still wrapped around Jim. They lay in contented silence, marked only by the occasional happy sigh, for a little while more before Spock raised his hand tenderly to Jim's cheek and carefully disentangled all the strands of their selves from where their minglings had taken them. After a few moments he lifted his fingers, stroking Jim's cheek as he did. The strand that bound them glowed brightly in Jim's mind, and it still hummed a little from the power of their joining, but everything else was back where it belonged.

"The poem," Spock's soft voice seemed sudden, in the absence of the link, "is called 'Sarek's Paradox.' It is not known if Sarek is truly its author -legend had it that it was intended for his bond mate T'pei, but that its courier was intercepted by Sarek's enemies, and made public in order to embarrass him. None of the writing or journals we have from Sarek ever mention the incident, however, and no evidence or draft of the poem was ever discovered in the Lady T'pei's effects, either."

"And you mention this because. . .?" Kirk always missed being able to read Spock's mind.

"Paradox, T'hy'la. You and I, we are a paradox. Opposites which not only attract, but belong together as surely as planets revolve around a star.

Sarek may or may not have written that poem, but he did say, 'There is a thing that lies beyond logic, and that is the paradox of logic. To arrive at that point, one must pass through that paradox, and whether you choose the path of Kol-i-Nar, total logic, or Kol-i-Fal, total emotion, at the end, the same paradox remains.' Without you, T'hy'la, without us, I could never have understood this. With you, you and I together, I truly believe we may be able to attain that which Sarek spoke of. In some ways, I wonder if we have not already begun to touch it."

"Spock," Jim replied, "you and I, together, we could touch God, and sometimes I think maybe we have," he said with a laugh, "but maybe that's what you just said."

"Indeed," said the Vulcan, who then turned to his love and covered him in kisses.

End -Knot the Third

End Three Knots