It was hot here. Insufferably so, really. And Jim had another moment where he wondered if agreeing to a month long visit to New Vulcan had been wise. Because, certainly, it was not the first one.
He’d been there two weeks already and had two more to go until he could escape to somewhere cooler. He tugged at the collar of his shirt. He had never sweated so much.
From his research, Vulcan had actually been hotter than New Vulcan. Jim had never made it there before it got destroyed so he only had accounts from those like Sarek and Spock to tell him.
And that was unbearably sad anyway, wasn’t it? A whole planet gone. And six billion Vulcans with it. It was still something he would never get used to. Through Ambassador Spock he had felt the crushing grief of its loss. Sometimes it haunted him even still. Jim could only be grateful Spock had been on the Enterprise and had survived. He hated to think if that had not been the case. But he had Spock. So he didn’t have to add that to all that fucked him up inside.
He stepped to the edge of a rock formation and looked down into what looked like a crater likely caused by some ancient meteor crash or something. He wiped his arm across his forehead.
It was a big drop, no doubt about it. If he fell down there he wouldn’t get up again. He took another step forward. Heard the pebbles falling down the hill from where he stepped.
“Jim, you are too close to the edge of the cliff,” Spock spoke up from about three hundred feet away.
“Nah, I’m fine.”
A weird bird gave a cry from up above and Jim tilted his head back to gaze up at it. At least he guessed it was a bird. Birdlike anyway. It was no eagle or hawk but it certainly had a giant wingspan. Sort of looked like old drawings of dinosaur birds from really ancient Earth.
“You are too close,” Spock said again. “Please step back.”
Jim looked away from the bird and back down below the cliff. It was filled with red and brown rocks and boulders, like the rest of the planet. It had been chosen due to its similarities with Vulcan. Spock had explained all that. There were even a few native plants down below. Flowers. None of them were roses. Black roses.
Another step forward and suddenly the ground beneath him seemed to give way.
A hand encircled his upper arm and yanked him away from the edge with extreme force. He fell to the ground and looked up at Spock, who was glaring at him. And really glaring. Not just Vulcan glaring.
“I told you that you were too close to the edge.”
Jim laughed and shook his head, scrambling to his feet. “I was fine.”
“You were about to fall,” Spock pointed out in a clipped voice.
“I was not,” Jim insisted. He brushed at the dirt on his legs and shorts. “And anyway, if I fell, then whatever.”
Spock sucked in a breath and then stared wide-eyed at him.
Jim shrugged. “I wouldn’t have anyway. Don’t take everything so serious.”
“My mother fell from a cliff to her death when we tried to transport her aboard the Enterprise,” Spock said softly. “You will forgive me if I take the matter quite seriously.”
“Oh.” Shit. Jim, you’re such a moron sometimes. “I didn’t think about that. I’m sorry, Spock. I really am.” He grabbed Spock by his biceps and ran his hands up and down Spock’s arms. “You forgive me?”
“Of course. Just be careful around cliffs.”
“I will.” Jim said. “I promise.” He moved his hand up to cup Spock’s jaw. Kissed the corner of Spock’s mouth. He laughed when Spock pulled away. “There’s no one around here, Spock. No Vulcans to scandalize with my improper behavior.”
“You need another shot.”
“Talk about a non sequitur.”
“Your color is high and you are sweating profusely,” Spock pointed out. “Dr. McCoy will not be pleased if I allow you to collapse.”
Jim snorted and turned away to dig into his backpack. “You don’t allow me to do anything. No one is in charge of me but me.” He removed one of the hypos. “And I’m pretty sure that this isn’t going to make me any cooler. Jesus, Spock. It’s fucking hot here.”
Spock quirked a brow and took the hypo from Jim and injected it into his shoulder. “I find the temperature comfortable.”
“I know. Your favorite place on Earth is Death Valley.” Jim leaned over and panted. “I think I’ve lost twenty-five pounds just from sweating.”
“We can return to the house if you wish. It is likely time to feed you anyway.”
Jim rubbed his stomach. “It’s past time. I’m really hungry.”
Spock nodded. “We will return to our explorations tomorrow.”
“Can we get an earlier start? Maybe it will be just a slight bit cooler.”
“As you wish, Jim.”
Jim followed Spock as they hiked back the way they came. He took a canteen out of his backpack and took a drink. It wasn’t cold at all anymore. And he was half tempted to pour it over his head.
He hadn’t realized how far they’d actually come until they kept walking and walking. They’d been walking back at least an hour before he spotted Sarek’s house in the distance.
“You are all right, Captain?” Spock asked.
“Well. If you can call being physically exhausted, dirty, sweaty, smelly and hungry as a bear all right, then yes.”
“It is only a little farther now.”
“I’m pretty sure you told me that half an hour ago.”
When they finally reached Sarek’s house, Spock stopped him before they entered.
“I apologize that you are having a miserable time.”
Jim smiled. “I’m not having a miserable time, Spock. I’m with you, okay? It’s-it’s not exactly where I’d choose to take a vacation, it’s true.”
“Where would you choose?”
“Right now? A fucking igloo. With a blizzard.” Jim grinned and touched his fingers to Spock’s. “Now can we go inside where it’s at least a little cooler? I need a shower.”
They entered the house and Jim heaved a sigh of relief.
“I’m going to get that shower. And whatever we have to eat, please tell me it’s not soup.”
Jim laughed at the look Spock gave him and then headed down the hall to the room they’d been given. He stripped out of his shirt and shorts and went into the bathroom. He turned the water to cool.
“Sonic Schmonic,” he muttered and got under the spray of deliciousness. He closed his eyes and slid his hand down to his cock.
“Better?” Spock asked when Jim emerged a while later dressed in a tank top and shorts. He left his feet bare. Both Spock and Sarek were dressed in Vulcan robes.
“Much. Hello, sir,” Jim greeted Sarek with a smile.
“Sarek, Jim. Remember? There is no need for such formality,” Sarek reminded Jim.
“What are we having?”
“Plomeek soup,” Sarek said, his expression blank.
“What?” Jim sked.
Sarek’s lips twitched. “That is what Spock and I will have. We have a refreshing salad of greens, tomatoes, and cucumbers for you.”
Jim grinned. “Thank God. Wait. Vulcan cucumbers or Terran ones?”
“Terran. I am aware of your distaste for the ones from here,” Sarek assured him. “You have made it quite obvious.”
Jim felt himself sort of blush but it was probably true. He had something of a big mouth when it came to what he liked to eat and did not like to eat. He smiled when Spock handed him iced tea just as his PADD beeped that he had a message.
He went to where he’d left it by the sofa in the living room.
He picked it up and read.
Hello Darling. I’ll be seeing you…soon.