There are people out there who probably can resist using this poem for Spock Prime / TOS Kirk, but I am not one of them. Spock Prime misses his Kirk.
Disclaimer: Blah blah, not mine, blah blah blah, belong to Paramount etc (and, in the case of the poem, written by Walt Whitman), blah blah blah. (PS. I'm not making any money, blah blah, etc.).
Pairing: Spock Prime / Kirk Prime (Spock/Kirk)
Summary: When Spock (Prime) had been young and arrogant, he had scoffed at the human propensity for sentimentality. For accepting comfort in whatever form it presented itself. However false, however illogical. Since then, he has lost his t'hy'la and his planet. And a whole lot of certainty to go with it. Inspired by the poem "O Captain! My Captain!" by Walt Whitman.
Spock had known how it would feel to see Vulcan destroyed. It would feel like losing Jim Kirk all over again. His world had fallen apart in that second from one heartbeat to the next. Only this time, it had been literal, and he'd had years to know it would happen and to dread it. He would never forget the moments when it actually had. When his world fell apart and time seemed to stand still. Those two heartbeats seemed to be separated by years. His Jim falling. His planet imploding. His mind going blank, barely capable of absorbing what he was seeing, let alone processing it.
He sighs and pushes the thoughts away. There is no logic in dwelling on misery. He is not strong enough to call up happier memories though. He turns to philosophy.
As it was, so shall it be. The world moves in seasons, endlessly repeating. Birth, death; spring, summer, autumn, winter. He is far too logical to have ever believed his life would be an exception. And yet, its summer had been so warm. So seductive. Full of things like the planet Vulcan and his Jim. That impossible, beautiful summer. He busies himself with work for the colony. There is no logic in revisiting his old pain or encouraging the new.
The dull ache is the most unpleasant. It is omnipresent. He knows from experience that it is there, although he does not feel it. For the first few months, he feels nothing but the immediacy, the enormity of his loss.
And yet. Even as Vulcan was destroyed, there was Jim. Not his captain, not his Jim, definitely not his t'hy'la, but James Kirk all the same. Willful, wide-eyed and utterly alive. Balance is indeed the fundamental law of the universe, and Spock is old enough, tired enough, to appreciate the beauty of it.
There is a part of him, a part he thought he had left behind. Selfish, impulsive and arrogant. He sees it in his alternate self. He feels it in himself when he looks at Jim, as he notes how easy it would be to see in him his own Jim returned -- and how hard it is for him to ignore that possibility. How easy, to ignore the differences between this Jim and his own: that dark edge, that uncertainty, that death wish. How easy to have his t'hy'la back.
It is only a part, though. And he may not be perfect, he may be half-human, but he is still Spock. He still has control. It is a small part of him. A part that belongs in the distant past; more distant even than his summer. The greater part of him relishes the idea of James Kirk out in the universe again. Taunting fate and getting away with it. A new James Kirk. A new Enterprise. A new Spock.
So he focuses his energies on the fledgling Vulcan colony and he doesn't stop to wonder what if. He focuses on building it, nourishing it, loving it. Loving it single-mindedly the way he had always loved his Jim. Because they are linked, Vulcan and Jim. They are together, deep in his bones. They are his dull ache. So the colony is a little like getting his t'hy'la back. It means having something to which he can devote his highest loyalty and his highest service. Spock has always been a servant, at heart. Never modest, nor obsequious, but, he knows his skills, knows where he is most valuable. He is most useful when serving, when lending his significant knowledge and mental capacity to something other, something greater, than himself. Its utility is two-fold as well. Serving under James Kirk had made him something more than himself. And it gave him great comfort to know that having Spock serve under him had done the same for Jim.
He feels glad, in a way, that it was Jim who had died, and not him. He would have laid down his life a hundred times over for his captain, and a hundred more for his Jim. But Jim could never have endured this. Not when there was no way out. The memory of his own Jim, his t'hy'la falling to the ground. Those two heartbeats and the world between them. The knowledge that Jim was dead and that he was alone. That memory never came unbidden to Spock's mind. For Jim, the memory of Spock's death would have assailed him relentlessly. The guilt while he was awake; the vision of it while he was asleep. He would have blamed himself, ceaselessly. Never forgetting; never forgiving.
But, O Captain! My Captain! It was not easy for Spock. Not easy to leave the Enterprise without him when they had docked. Not easy to spend his days alone, and harder still, his nights. They had never passed the night together in its euphemistic sense, but that had never stopped them from spending their nights together in its literal sense. Talking, playing chess, relaxing in companionable silence.
Spock had never considered the possibility of a sexual relationship with his captain. Or, rather, had never acknowledged such a consideration. He was far too logical, too Vulcan, too smart. He smiled wryly at his younger self. In truth, he had been too human. Too careless of time. He had been seduced by the feeling of invincibility that pervaded the Enterprise. He had ignored what he did not know how to process. He had successfully avoided acknowledging any of it until he had seen the new Jim with the new Spock. Known, known, as surely as he knows that his Jim and his planet are gone forever, had known that that intensity, those looks, that possibility, had existed with his own Jim. It had been a human failing that prevented him from seeing it then. Human arrogance; human heedlessness of time and logic. But it was a failing he refused to regret. To regret his life with James Kirk? He had never questioned his place in his captain's life. He had always known, without ever really acknowledging why he had to know, but always known that he was first.
So he doesn't see in this new James Kirk his own Jim returned, but he still smiles when Jim's face shows up on his comm. He is an old man, and he has learnt to take comfort whence he can. He loves to see Kirk's face, to hear his voice. He knows this Kirk is not his Jim, but he knows this one, too. Has known him since the mind-meld. And he loves him. Not the way he loved his own Jim, but as he would have loved Jim's son. Blindly, selflessly and eternally. For him, where Jim is concerned, love is always human. Always heedless of logic, beyond the reaches of rationality. He enjoys it, now, though. Even takes pride in it. It keeps Jim with him, to love as Jim loved.
When Jim, the new Jim, signs off, Spock returns his attention to the colony. One day, the colony will be a thriving hub, as Vulcan once was. One day, the children will not look so scared, so anxious. Will not bear the burden of the continuing existence of their whole species.
But Spock does not even have to wait that long for comfort. He knows that even today, even now, James Kirk is exploring strange new worlds across the Alpha Quadrant. The seasons are repeating, and the new summer of Captain Kirk and First Officer Spock warms him by its proximity.
He falls asleep that night with his own Jim lapping at his consciousness like a tide. He surrenders, blissfully, and they play chess together and talk into the late hours of the morning. Jim's eyes sparkle at him, and he accuses Spock of human feeling. Spock responds dryly, requesting that he not be insulted. They are flirting, as they always have.
“O Captain! My captain!” says Spock, and Jim pretends to look puzzled.