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[personal profile] lesyeuxverts
Title: Sleep to Wake
Author: [personal profile] lesyeuxverts
Beta: [personal profile] leela_cat
Series: STXI
Rating: R
Length: 1.6k
Warnings: none that I know of
Summary: "I have dreamed in my life, dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind."
AN: Quotes from the following poems: I Knew a Woman (T. Roethke); The Hollow Men (T.S. Eliot); Names, Places, Streets, Faces: The Universe in Flame (O. Paz); The Waking (T. Roethke), all in italics. The summary is from E. Bronte's Wuthering Heights and the title, of course, also owes itself to Roethke, although it is not a direct quote.



When Jim opens his eyes, the scene has changed completely: Amanda is there, insisting on a winter wedding, and Spock is refusing to wear a tuxedo. He tilts his head at a slight angle, as though he's been confronted with something utterly illogical, and Jim has to turn away or run the risk of kissing him.

His neck stings, as if Bones had given him a hypo, and Jim reaches up to scratch it. It's hot, much too hot for them to be on the new colony, and when he looks around, he realizes that they are on Vulcan, with the sands of the desert hot around them.

The scene shifts again, and Jim is running through row after row of potted plants, corn that grows straight up to the sky – surely they don't have potted plants on Vulcan – and when he's in front of Spock, he finds that it's the sort of dream where you discover that you're naked in public. He tries to cover himself with his hands, but instead he finds that Spock is no longer looking at his intended bride. He's staring straight at Jim instead.

-----

Spock is already on the bridge when Jim shows up for alpha shift; he relinquishes the conn without a pause, and Jim stares at him for a moment, long enough to make Spock raise an eyebrow.

This is the same Spock who nearly strangled him on the bridge, who hesitated to give Jim command – who now surrenders the conn without reservation. He is slim and graceful as he moves to his station, and Jim watches him go.

I knew a woman, lovely in her bones. Jim has known women, many of them, and in spite of the voice echoing in his head, in spite of the poetry he wants to recite or perhaps because of it, Spock is lovelier than any woman he has known.

This is also the same Spock who was wearing dark robes, ready to be married, last night in Jim's dreams – the same Spock who stared at Jim as though he wanted to touch his bare skin – but that fact is hardly relevant. The rest of the bridge crew is staring at them, and Spock has started to raise his other eyebrow. Jim shakes his head, turning back to the captain's chair and ignoring the look that Spock gives him.

He does his best to ignore Spock for the rest of alpha shift, not even looking at him when they receive orders to divert to the nearest starbase to pick up more supplies for New Vulcan. Ignoring Spock is the easiest way of pretending that Jim hadn't enjoyed being the object of his scrutiny, last night.

The older Spock is waiting for them, when they arrive at New Vulcan, and Jim springs off the ship, bounding across the dust-red ground to him. He ignores the glare that his First Officer gives him – to hell with it, Spock ought to be used to his lack of formality by now.

-----

This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper, and Jim, clutching Spock, feels his muscles trembling as they fall. He's as solid as ever – strong Vulcan bones, harder than a human's and heavier – but he's shaking, and that more than anything is indication that the world is ending.

He never went to Theta Cygni XI to celebrate the days of Christmas with Spock, never learned how to play chess or taught him poker, never drank hot chocolate with him and leaned forward to lick the last of the whipped cream off his lips – not that Spock would have permitted it.

The scene shifts, and they're on a flat surface. They're on the bed in Jim's cabin, the one that's been bad for his back this whole damned mission, not that Bones or the Admiralty is inclined to pay him any damn mind. Not that they care if Jim can't sit straight in the captain's chair because his back is aching – Bones just tells him to spend the night in someone else's bed.

Spock, though – in the dream, Spock cares. He turns Jim over and rubs his back, working the knots out of his muscles. Jim has never felt this before, all of his partner's attention on him, undivided, and he arches his back under Spock's touch.

Spock's skin is hot under his hands, when he reverses their positions, as hot as the burn of good brandy. Jim learns him inch by inch, mapping the places that are most sensitive and the ones that make Spock's muscles quiver. Through it all, he can feel Spock's thoughts in every touch, like a gentle pressure against his mind, and underneath it, an overwhelming need to be closer.

"I need you," he tells Spock, and Spock is there for him, touching him, holding him. They cling to each other, afterwards, and then their touches are gentler, simpler. This is what it means to have and to hold, Jim thinks, and then the scene shifts.

Jim falls, and he feels more than lost when Spock falls away from him.

-----

There's no explanation for the dreams – not that there needs to be one, Jim thinks. Ask Bones or any doctor and they'll tell you that dreams mean nothing, that the ancient methods of dream interpretation and the theories of Freud and Jung were no more accurate than divination through goat entrails or psychology based on phrenology. It means nothing.

It can't mean anything.

The voice that haunts him, that's another story. There are poems that Jim has never read, histories he's never learned, facts he shouldn't know – but the voice sounds like Spock, and Jim feels instinctively that it's safe, that this is something that Bones and modern medicine cannot touch.

Jim turns and watches Spock and the blue light emitted from his console flickering over his features. Spock's immersed in his calculations, his fingers moving fast over the console, and Jim has the chance to study him. It's a chance that he rarely has, and he takes it and tries not to regret it when Spock turns to face him.

Three point six meters separate them, and the gap can be bridged in a matter of seconds at Jim's average walking speed. The number is there in Jim's thoughts, the precise number of seconds it would take, but he pushes the knowledge aside. He does not want to know it. The Science department's reports take precedence over Jim's dreams and daydreams.

He doesn't dwell on the false memory of Spock's skin under his hands or the wrenching feeling that came when they were falling together, when Spock was falling away from him.

One touch, however, is all it takes to undo him – he stumbles, and Spock catches him before he can fall. His fingers are hot against Jim's skin where he's gripping his elbow hard enough to hurt, and Jim can't look at him for fear of what he knows.

Spock touches him again, takes him by the hand, and Jim shivers when their palms touch. He's wanted this the way the desert wants water.

He feels a jolt through his fingers – Spock agreeing with him, his thoughts twining with Jim's, matching them – and he stops, and turns, and kisses Spock.

"Is this all right?"

They're standing so close that Jim can feel the heat radiating from Spock's body. Spock's eyes are dark. He looks at Jim, and nods, and conveys more with his fingers than he could ever say in words. When they come together, it's as if they were never separate, touching and melding so that two bodies become one body, two minds spiral into one mind, their thoughts bound together with their pleasure.

It's like the winter wedding Amanda had wanted for her son – enough to banish all the cold.

"This is … more than all right," Spock says, his voice hoarse and rough around the edges.

there is no you, no I, no tomorrow, no yesterday, no names, the truth of two in a single body, a single soul, oh total being …

Jim is the one who thinks it – the boundaries are still lax between them, but he knows that it is his thought, wherever it has come from, and he feels Spock agree with it, shuddering and clinging to him. He touches Spock, holding one hand flat over his heart, and pulls him closer, and stays with him.

-----

This time, Jim knows it's a dream before it starts – it's not the same as the others, which were startlingly real. He's standing on the wind-swept Vulcan desert again, and Spock is at his side. He's not dressed for a wedding, this time, but he's wearing Vulcan robes that are stiff with silver embroidery.

Jim wants to touch each symbol and learn its meaning, taking them from the robe and copying them onto Spock's skin. Spock takes his hand before he can touch the robe, though, and Jim is taking a step closer to him when the scene shifts.

The two of them are standing across a chasm from Spock's older counterpart. There's a shadow on the sand next to him, the mirror image of where Jim is standing next to his Spock.

His face is lined, as if he's lost more than Jim can imagine, but he smiles when he sees them and raises a hand, saluting them.

"Live long and prosper," Spock says, his fingers stretched into a shape that Jim can't imitate. When he tries, the older Spock laughs and the sound of his voice is carried away by the wind.

The dream and the desert slip away, the world dissolving before him, and when Jim wakes, he's in Spock's arms, just as he'd dreamed he should be.

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow. I feel my fate in what I cannot fear. I learn by going where I have to go.

-----

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