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jim not quite B&W
Author: Clio
Title: When The Game Ends, We'll Sing Again
Pairing: Kirk/McCoy, Spock/Uhura
Rating: R
Summary: College AU: Four young men meet as Harvard freshmen in 1959.
Length: 20,000 words
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created by Gene Roddenberry and owned by one of the large media companies in a complicated arrangement to which I am not a signatory. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Notes: Thanks to peri_peteia and ali_wildgoose for their help and encouragement on this story; all errors are my own. Thanks also to the ol' alma mater; I hope I've done you proud. Title from the Harvard fight song, "Ten Thousand Men of Harvard." Ridiculous pile of cultural influences listed at the end.



the longest day


September, 1959

When Leonard McCoy walked into Harvard Yard for the first time he was actually a little embarrassed. He was eighteen years old, a goddamned adult, and he didn't need his parents accompanying him on the train from Atlanta to Boston. He could move his own self into college, thanks. Enthusiastic young men with sweaters that said "Crimson Key" were handing out maps and giving directions; McCoy wondered if their school spirit would calm his parents, show them that maybe this Yankee school wasn't so different from their beloved University of Georgia.

"Hello!" said one of them, and as if God Himself were looking after McCoy, the fellow had a southern accent. "Where y'all headed?"

McCoy looked down at the letter he'd received over the summer. "Holworthy 13," he replied.

"Great!" the man said. "Just over there on the end—" he pointed to a squat brick building— "and you want the middle stairwell, third floor." He handed him a map and some kind of schedule that said "Freshman Week" at the top. "Here's the events," he said, "and you should come to as many as you can, to meet your fellow classmates and learn about Harvard!"

As they walked away his mother wrapped her arm around his waist. "Well, if you can meet nice young men like that," she said, "maybe it will work out."

McCoy didn't trust himself to reply.

When they got to the third floor, he pushed the door open cautiously. "Hello?" he called out. The room itself was nice, with big windows and a large common area with desks. There were two bedrooms at the other end, with bunkbeds, and a door led to a back hallway and, McCoy assumed, the bathroom.

McCoy heard a voice say "ooh!" and then a boy—no, man; if McCoy was calling himself a man then his roommates were surely men as well—emerged from one of the bedrooms, talking very fast in a thick brogue he could only just understand. "Hello, hello," he said, grinning. "Name's Montgomery Scott, easy to remember as I'm from Scotland. Scott the Scot, yeah? Are you Kirk?"

"No," his father said, "we're McCoys! This is my son Leonard."

"Hello Leonard," Scott said, shaking his hand. "We have—oh here he is."

Another man emerged from one of the doors at the back of the room. He had dark hair and an impassive face. "Hello," he said. "I'm Spock."

"McCoy," he replied, shaking his hand as well.

"Spock's from New York City," Scott said.

"How about that," the elder McCoy said.

"Spock?" his mother said. "And what kind of name is that?"

Spock cocked his head. "American," he said gravely, and McCoy didn't dare make eye contact lest he burst out laughing.

Scott spoke then. "We know our last one's named Kirk, because his trunk is here. Though we haven't seen him yet."

As if on cue, another fellow came in the door behind them. Unlike Spock and Scott, who were in sport coats and oxford shirts, or McCoy who still wore his jacket and tie from the train, this man wore blue jeans rolled up at the ankle, a white t-shirt, and a brown leather bomber jacket. He had a rucksack slung over one shoulder.

McCoy was unsurprised to see his father cast him a disapproving look. "Can I help you, son?" he asked.

The fellow took off his sunglasses and looked right at McCoy, eyes as blue as Paul Newman's, and McCoy's breath caught a little in the back of his throat. "Is this Holworthy 13?" he asked.

"Yes," Spock said.

He grinned. "Then I live here." He reached across to shake McCoy's hand. "James Tiberius Kirk."

"Leonard Horatio McCoy," he said, surprising himself as he rarely revealed his middle name to anyone.

"Grandfather?" Kirk asked.

"Great-grandfather," McCoy replied.

Scott and Spock introduced themselves, and the elder McCoys were hustled out fairly quickly after that.

"Sorry about that," he said, allowing the natural irritable edge to seep back into voice now that they were gone. "Mother insisted on taking the train up from Atlanta. She wanted to make sure my roommates were the right 'sort' because those Yankee schools let in just anyone."

"Right sort?" Scott asked.

"Yeah, you know, not a Jew, probably not a Catholic, and certainly not a Negro." He paused. "No offense, Spock."

"None taken," Spock replied. "I am Jewish, as your mother suspected. I hope I was not disrespectful in my answer to her."

"Not a bit," McCoy replied. "It was her question that was rude."

Spock almost smiled at this.

"Hell," McCoy went on, "if I'd wanted to be surrounded by white Protestants bemoaning the 'situation' in Little Rock I'd've gone to Ole Miss with Jocelyn."

"Jocelyn?" Kirk asked.

McCoy smiled. "Yeah, she's my fiancee. Or I should say, we have an understandin'."

"Huh," Scott said, looking surprised, and McCoy wondered if maybe being young and engaged wasn't as common in Scotland as it was in Georgia. "Well, I'm all for that. Less competition for the girls."

Kirk grinned at that. "Well I don't know about you, but I'm starving. I've been in town a few days, and there's a chop suey joint around the corner. Sound good?"

And so over egg rolls and sweet and sour pork they told stories—well, what stories they had to tell at eighteen. Scott planned to study aeronautical engineering, and when the others asked why he wasn't at MIT, told the whole story about the MIT Summer program, an experimental light aircraft, and that Scottish terrier that unfortunately belonged to the Dean of Students. "But we did find him eventually. The dog, I mean."

"When and where?" McCoy asked.

"The end of August, at the Paul Revere House. It was the darnedest thing." He shrugged. "Must have put the decimal in the wrong place."

Spock was the son of a Columbia professor and was trying to decide between philosophy and physics.

"Maybe you should study the philosophy of physics," Kirk suggested.

"Or the physics of philosophy," McCoy added.

"Wouldn't that be metaphysics?" Scott asked, making everyone groan.

Kirk's bomber jacket had belonged to his father, who'd died in the war. He'd grown up on a farm in Iowa and was interested in Soviet studies. "Know thy enemy, right?"

"Surely you did not travel from Iowa to Massachusetts dressed in denims," Spock said.

"Well, I thought I'd take the summer to see the country a bit, as I've only left Iowa once before and that was to go to Missouri. But my resources are limited, so I shipped the trunk and hitched my way here." Kirk shrugged. "Regular folks won't pick up a hitch in a coat and tie. What's he need a ride for?"

"Fair point," Spock conceded.

"Anyway, the plan right now is to join up with the air force once I graduate. Be a flyboy like my dad was. Travel, adventure, shoot the bad guys—just like the movies."

McCoy was a medical school-bound biology concentrator who planned to marry his high school sweetheart. "And then I'll go home, be a country doctor like my grandfather."

"A Harvard-educated country doctor?" Kirk asked.

"What's wrong with that?" McCoy asked, frowning.

"Not a thing," Kirk said, holding up his hands. "It's just unusual, is all."

"Well I'm not a usual sort of fellow," McCoy said, taking a drink.

"Good," Kirk said.

"Funny," McCoy went on. "None of you have asked me why I came up here, why I left the South."

Scott shrugged. "I reckoned it was the same reason Kirk left the farm and I left the UK and Spock isn't at his dad's school. Get away from all those people we've known since we were just wee ones."

"Who think they know us, but they don't," Kirk said, crunching into a crab rangoon.

"Who think they know better than we do what is best for us," Spock added, nodding solemnly.

McCoy blinked. "Yeah, I reckon it is the same reason," he said. "Well, then here's to running our own lives for once."

"Aye to that," Scott said as they clinked glasses.

Kirk looked around the table, a gleam in his eye. "The four of us, we're kinda like a squadron, come to think of it," he said.

"I think you've seen too many war movies," McCoy replied, rolling his eyes.

"No, I'm serious!" he protested. "A southerner, a midwestern farm boy, a New York Jew—though to be honest, Spock, they're usually scrappy little guys from Brooklyn."

"I have won a fist fight or two," Spock said somberly.

"I'll take your word on that," Kirk replied.

"And who am I?" Scott asked.

"I dunno," Kirk said, squinting. "You were on the right side of the fight—"

"Right side?" Scott replied. "That fight was in my bloody back garden thank you very much."

"Are you Catholic?" McCoy asked. "One of them's always a Catholic."

"Me dad was, before he married Mum," he said, shrugging. "I can pretend."

"Anyway," Kirk went on, "since we're going to, what did the acceptance letter say? 'Embark on the grand enterprise of higher education.'" He grinned and they all started cracking up. "We should have nicknames!"

"Like what?" McCoy asked.

"Well, Scott is clearly Scotty," Kirk said.

"Because of my name? Because I'm from Scotland?" he asked.

"No, brother," Kirk replied. "Because of the dog."

"Ha ha," Scotty replied.

"And McCoy here's gonna be a doc," Kirk went on, "and docs are always 'Sawbones', though that's kind of—"

"Barbaric?" McCoy said.

"So we'll just call you Bones. Besides, you have good ones."

"Thanks?" McCoy said.

"Don't mention it. And Spock, well." Kirk paused. "Gotta tell you, brother, you've got this unpronounceable first name."

"It's Hebrew," Spock said.

"Unpronounceable in mixed company at least. And do you ever laugh?"

"On occasion."

"Well, Spock it is, then. Or Mr. Spock, even better."

Spock cocked his head. "That would be acceptable."

"What about you, Kirk?" McCoy asked.

"Oh, I'm just Jim," he replied. "The last girl I dated did call me James Tiberius Asshole, but I don't really answer to that."



The four roommates went to the freshman mixer that evening with all the best intentions. They circulated through the crowd as a unit, talking to their new classmates in the semi-darkness of the Yard. But less than an hour later Kirk was restless.

"What's the point if there aren't any girls here?" he asked.

"I believe we are to network within our class," Spock said. "Sow the seeds for relationships that may help us in the future."

"Yeah, well, nuts to that," Jim replied.

"If what you're wantin' are girls," Scott said.

They all leaned in with interest.

"There's a certain ladies' college not far up the road havin' their own mixer this very minute," he finished, smiling smugly.

Jim grinned. "Scotty, I like the way you think. Well, men, dare we breach the protected inner sanctum of the Radcliffe Yard?"

McCoy shrugged. "Why not?"

"Spock?" Jim asked.

Spock was expressionless, though it would have been difficult to read anyone's face in the dim light of the Yard. "I suppose I should accompany you, if only to avoid any kind of incident for which we might be disciplined."

"Incident?" Jim asked, all innocence. "What makes you think that?"

Spock raised one eyebrow. "You make a very strong impression, Jim."

Scotty was right—their sister college was having a mixer in their own Yard, only a few minutes' walk down the street. The ladies of Radcliffe—or, as their fellow Harvard men called them, the "Cliffies"—were only separated for housing and a few libraries; the classes had long since become entirely co-ed. Kirk said he doubted that they'd be the first Harvard men to crash the Cliffies' party, but it seemed at a glance that they were.

The first one to spot them as they wandered in through the gate was a tall, slim Negro girl with the bearing of a dancer, standing next to another girl with long curly red hair. She cocked her head and crossed her arms. "And what are you gentlemen doing here?" she asked.

Kirk smiled. "It's a mixer," he said. "We came to mix."

She rolled her eyes.

He extended his hand. "I'm James T. Kirk. And you are?"

She shook it reluctantly. "Miss Uhura," she replied.

"No first name?" he asked.

"Not for you," she replied.

"My name is Gaila!" announced the redhead, bouncing a little as she shook Jim's hand. "I'm her roommate."

"Well, Gaila, Miss Uhura, it's very nice to meet you both. May I introduce Scott—we call him Scotty, Bones McCoy, and Mr. Spock. Say, Spock, you can converse with Miss Uhura on the freedom of lacking a first name." He nudged Spock ever so slightly in Miss Uhura's direction. "While I talk a bit more with the lovely Gaila. Do you happen to have a last name, or is your room just for women with one name?"

Gaila giggled, and McCoy could see in a flash the next four years of Jim Kirk charming his way around Cambridge and shuddered. "You know that nice grey stone lecture hall in Harvard Yard?" she asked

"Yeah," Kirk replied. "I think I'm going to have a history class there. Why?"

She leaned forward, forcing Scott, McCoy and Kirk to lean toward her. "That's my last name," she whispered.

McCoy was startled—the building was named for a very old, very wealthy, very well-connected California family. Gaila was just the sort of person his mother would have wanted him to meet, and stubbornly McCoy almost didn't want to talk to her.

Kirk, of course, had a different reaction. "Does that make you a madcap heiress?" Kirk asked. "Because one of the things I wanted to do when I got to Harvard was meet a madcap heiress." He smiled.

"Not yet but maybe I should be!" She giggled again, then turned to the two blondes standing nearby. "These are our other roommates, Christine Chapel and Janice Rand."

"Hello," Janice said, shaking their hands.

"Janice is an artist," Gaila said.

Janice blushed prettily. "Gaila, I'm merely a serviceable painter!" she protested.

McCoy could see that the handsome Kirk had caught her eye, but Scotty was apparently undeterred. "I'm sure I'd love to see your work," Scott said, laying the accent on just a little thicker, and was rewarded with a smile from the girl.

Gaila pulled the other blonde, who seemed a shade hesitant, a bit closer. "And Christine is going to be a doctor."

"Is that so?" McCoy said, perking up and taking a step further into the circle. "So am I."

"I should warn you," Christine said, lifting up her left hand, "that I'm engaged to be married."

McCoy took yet another step toward her. "Well," he said, smiling, "so am I."

"Oh!" Christine said, surprised, and McCoy could see her shoulders relax.

"Bones's excuse is that he met his girl when he was a toddler or something, but how did a young girl like yourself get taken so quickly?" Kirk asked.

"He was teaching at a summer program I attended, at Bryn Mawr," she replied. "He's a medical archeologist, finishing his PhD at Penn."

"Well," Scott said, "clearly us mere mortals cannot compete with that."

"Oh honestly," Miss Uhura said, looking at the gate beyond them.

McCoy turned to see that while they may have been the first Harvard men to get the bright idea to crash the Radcliffe mixer, they were far from the last.

An enthusiastic looking girl with a Crimson Key sweater on walked by. "Oh don't worry, ladies!" she called out. "It's a tradition for the boys to crash our party eventually!"

The other ladies seemed enthusiastic about this turn of events, but Miss Uhura just shook her head.

Kirk grinned. "Apres moi, le deluge."



"I feel like we've moved beyond having a sister college," Scotty said, "to having a sister room." They were back in their room, after spending about an hour chatting with Gaila and her three roommates. McCoy had stuck close to Miss Chapel—Christine, she insisted he call her—and was looking forward to seeing her again. She was intelligent and interesting, as excited about medicine as he was, and with both of them engaged there was no danger of misunderstandings. He was sure Jocelyn would be glad to hear he'd made such a friend.

"Man, that means I'm never going to get rid of that girl," Kirk said.

"Janice?" McCoy asked. "She didn't seem very serious."

"No, no, Miss Uhura, and I don't mean romantically." He sighed. "She's taking Russian! With my luck she'll be in my class."

"I found Miss Uhura to be a delightful conversationalist," Spock said. "She's well-traveled, speaks several languages, and is planning to concentrate in linguistics."

Kirk slumped onto his desk and sighed. "Well, you can have her, brother."

Scotty was rubbing his hands together. "Don't worry about that, lads," he said. "There's more than just those Cliffies, lovely as they were."

"Oh?" McCoy asked.

"Yeah, at the weekend buses come in from the other ladies' colleges. Smith, Wellesley, Holyoke. We'll be drowning in girls." He smiled.

Kirk perked up. "I like the sound of that," he said.

"Gentlemen," Spock said, "we are here to earn a degree."

Kirk waved his hand. "Libraries are for the weekdays, Spock," he said.

"You know," McCoy said, "the college seal originally had that one book face down for all the things we should be learning that aren't in books."

"I am sure that the designers of the seal did not intend for you to seek that one-third of your knowledge solely in the arms of women," Spock replied.

Kirk shrugged. "You find it your way, I'll find it mine."



everybody comes to rick's


February, 1963

After five straight hours in the bowels of Widener library reading Russian primary sources from 1917, Jim Kirk had had enough of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and his pointy beard and bald head. What was to be done, obviously, was to head back to the suite in Lowell House and bother his roommates. Over the past three-and-a-half years Jim had refined his techniques for getting a rise out of them. Scotty was easy, but not as satisfying because you didn't have to work for it; he flared up but then calmed back down pretty quickly. Spock took forever to react; it was like water dripping on a rock. That was more about constant effort for an occasional result. But Bones gave the best effort-to-satisfaction ratio, and luckily he was home, working in his room with the door open. "Bones!"

Bones didn't even look up. "What do you want, Jim?" he asked, sounding a little tired.

"Whatcha workin' on?" Jim asked, turning his head to try to read upside down.

"Lab report," he replied. Bones's senior thesis was on an alternate method of virus cultivation, which Jim thought was pretty cool.

He slouched down in the chair next to Bones's desk. "How's that going?"

"Pretty well, actually," McCoy replied.

"I figured," Jim said. "You've got the bedside manner of a born researcher."

McCoy scowled. "I hope that wasn't intended as a compliment."

"Of course it was," Jim said. "So since it's going well …"

"Yes, Jim, I'll be done by spring break," he replied, answering the question Jim had been asking him since the term began.

"Great!" Jim said. "Where should we go?"

Spring break had been a bit of a problem since Spock and Nyota started dating freshman year. All those "Where the Boys Are" beaches were in the south, so they couldn't go as a group to any of them—and with folks pouring acid on the Negroes trying to integrate the pools in St. Augustine, Bones wasn't inclined to take any chances. Besides, they'd all seen how Spock reacted to relatively mild race feelings—even in Boston, a mixed race couple attracted attention—and while Nyota knew how to play the game, Spock did not. A quietly agitated Spock who might explode at any moment was something none of them wanted to deal with, especially Nyota.

"'Back to the mountains?" Bones asked. "Do some hiking, maybe some camping?"

"I could stand a break from the city," Jim admitted. "Hell, I could just stand a break from Lenin."

"We could all stand a break from Lenin," Bones said. "And virus cultivation, and how to make a faster turbine engine, and the philosophical implications of quantum physics."

Scotty poked his head in the door then, munching on a sandwich.

"Oh you're up," Jim said. Scotty had turned almost entirely nocturnal while working on his thesis. "We're talking about spring break."

"Can we talk over dinner?" Scotty asked.

"Scotty, you're eating right now," Bones said.

"This?" he asked. "This is just a snack."

"Well," Bones said, "seeing as it's six, we may as well go down to the dining hall. Though I'd love to know where the day has gone. Where's Spock?"

"He said he was taking Nyota to dinner tonight," Scotty said.

The door of the common room opened and closed.

"Or not," Jim said.

Spock walked by Bones's door. "Gentlemen," he said, nodding slightly, before going into his bedroom and shutting the door.

The three looked at each other, then Jim and Bones scrambled to their feet.

"Spock?" Jim called, knocking on his door. There was a muffled mumble from inside and Jim opened the door slowly.

Spock was sitting on the window seat. Light spilled into the darkened room from the street lamp outside. "You should go to dinner," he said, looking out the window. "I am going to meditate."

The others walked further into the room. "Spock?" Jim asked again.

He turned slightly, looking at the floor. "We—Miss—Nyota and I are no longer dating."

"What?" Jim asked. "How?"

"I suppose I will have to tell you," he said, and paused, shifting in the seat and leaning his back against the window. The others sat down—Scotty in Spock's desk chair, Jim and Bones on the bed. "We were walking back to her rooms from the library, and I mentioned the possibility of attending the same school for our graduate studies, as both of our departments have expressed an interest in our continuing our studies here at Harvard. She replied that with our undergraduate years coming to a close, it was time to be practical."

"What's impractical about staying at Harvard?" Jim asked.

Spock shrugged. "Nyota explained that we could not possibly be married, not only due to the obvious racial difference but also the significant religious one, and noted that our marriage would be illegal in several states."

Jim looked down and noticed that Bones's hands had curled into fists as Spock talked and he reached out, rubbing the top of one of them to relax it.

Spock went on, "She then stated that she felt a duty to give more than simply her summers to the movement, and that marrying a colored man was expected of her."

"'What did you say?" Scotty asked.

Spock shook his head. "I had no argument to make. Everything she said was perfectly logical. We agreed that as our relationship, however satisfying and mutually beneficial, has no future, we should end it before it becomes serious."

"Becomes serious?" Bones asked. "I'm sorry, Spock. But it must hurt."

Spock shrugged. "What is that saying, from the film Jim admires? 'The problems of two little people …'"

"'Don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world,'" Jim finished softly.

"So there you are," Spock said.

"I'll tell ya one thing," Scotty said. "There's no bloody way you're sitting in here meditating tonight."

Trust Scotty to get to the heart of the matter. "Scotty's right," Jim said. "We're taking you out and getting you drunk."

Spock raised an eyebrow. "I do not think—"

"Exactly," Bones interrupted. "You gotta stop thinking."

Spock sighed.

"Come on, Spock," Jim said. "I'm the only one with a class tomorrow, and I doubt I'd go to it anyway." What he didn't say—what they all knew—was that Jim's Friday class was fourth-year Russian and that Nyota was one of his classmates.

"If you insist," Spock said.

"We do," Jim replied.

Spock looked out the window. "Very well."

"Brilliant!" Scotty said.

"All right, men," Jim said, feeling just a little better for the activity. "Denims and tennis shoes. I know the perfect place, this dive in Somerville full of old men drinking cheap whiskey. There's sawdust on the floor and free hot dogs for dinner."

"Sounds like my kinda place," Bones said, rolling his eyes.

"Of course it is, Bones," Jim replied, slapping him on the back. "I've seen the way you can put away bourbon when you're in a snit, and you've probably been an old man since you were ten. Since before we met, anyway."

"Well thanks," he replied.

"'Don't mention it. S'why we keep you around."



March, 1963

The spring break plan had been made that very night, before they were too far gone. By the break they had handed in their theses, gotten acceptance letters from graduate schools, and were headed into a period of comparative freedom after four years of hard work. The McCoys had a house near Myrtle Beach, so the boys packed up the little car they'd gone in on a few years before and drove south for a week of sun and fun. There'd been a cloud over the whole room in the five weeks since Spock and Nyota broke up, and getting out of Cambridge felt very necessary.

They'd been in Carolina for a few days, going to the beach in the day and various dances at night. Bones was painstakingly teaching Spock how to do the shag so he might stop stepping on girls' toes. On this night there'd been a bonfire just down the beach from their house and as usual someone had a guitar. The singing started out with old camp songs and then moved on to pop, which was a little better for Jim's objective of necking with the pretty blonde he'd met that afternoon.

Then he sensed movement out of the corner of his eye and realized that Bones had gone. Looking up, he saw him walking down the beach. Jim glanced at Scotty and Spock and nodded his head, then made his apologies to Gerta—God, he hoped her name was Gerta—and trotted off to follow Bones. His friend had been a little down himself the past few weeks, partially because the break-up meant that his buddy-in-engagement-and-medicine Christine had been pretty scarce, and partially because Jocelyn was giving him a hard time about wanting to pursue an MD/PhD so he could keep doing research. Jim frankly didn't trust him to be alone in a house full of bourbon when he was in that kind of mood.

"Hey! Bones, wait up!"

He turned to Jim.

"Where're you headed?" Jim asked.

"Back to the house. It was starting to feel a little too Gidget Goes Hawaiian for me. But what about that blonde?" he asked, bumping shoulders with Jim. "You worked awfully hard to get her."

Jim shrugged. "She'll be around tomorrow, thinking what a loyal friend I am, or she won't, in which case it doesn't matter. Besides, plenty of time to chase girls. I only have you fellas around for two more months."

Bones shook his head. "There's always Europe."

"True, but it's not the same and not all of us." After commencement the four boys were headed to Scotty's home in Aberdeen for a week before going their separate ways. Scotty and Spock had other obligations, but Jim and Bones were going to travel for a couple of months, bumming around on their savings and McCoy's 21st birthday money, keeping Bones out of the way of the wedding planning in Atlanta. He was to be married in early September, and then he was off to med school, Jim to the Air Force. Jim hadn't wanted Bones to spend the money on him, but Bones had insisted that Jim would pay for himself with his know-how on hitchhiking and cheap hotels.

"It's not all of us right now," Bones said.

"Yeah." Jim turned, walking backwards. "Beautiful night. Wanna bring the whiskey out onto the porch?"

"No thanks," he said.

"What?" Jim asked. "No class, no work, away on vacation, and Leonard McCoy doesn't want to drink?"

He shrugged. "You said it, Jim. It is a beautiful night. I'd like to remember it clearly."

They still ended up on the porch, but with two glasses of chocolate milk, something Jim hadn't had since he was a kid, and he felt pretty cozy sitting there with Bones.

Jim looked up at the full moon shining on the ocean. "Think we'll get there?" he asked.

"Kennedy says we will," Bones replied. "That what you'll go for in the Air Force?"

"Nah," Jim said. "It's not like Buck Rogers. They're just sittin' on top of rockets. I wanna fly."

"Well, I hope that the Air Force is smart enough to have you do more than flying."

Jim scowled a little. "Like what?"

Bones shook his head. "I've never known anyone who could come near you in terms of talkin' folks into stuff they didn't wanna do. Gaila and Jan are still talking to you even though you dated both of them at the same time. The Soviet Studies people think the sun shines out of your ass. Hell, you've not only charmed my own mother into liking you—and you two had a rough meeting—but you charmed her into liking Spock. If the government is smart, which ain't often, they'll figure out how to harness that. They put you in Moscow, you'll keep Khrushchev so entertained he'll forget to declare World War Three."

Jim laughed at that, though he was gratified to hear Bones's faith in him. "Yeah, maybe, I dunno. Sounds too much like a desk job," he said. "But if I'm so damned persuasive how come I can't get you to accept one of the MD/PhD programs?"

"Because I am singularly immune to your charm," Bones replied. "That's why you like me."

"No you're not, and no it isn't. C'mon, Bones, if you won't listen to me at least listen to Spock. He's been telling you it's the only logical choice since the acceptance letters started rolling in."

"It's complicated, Jim. Jocelyn—"

"Jocelyn!" Jim sighed. "Let me tell you something. I like Jocelyn—"

"No you don't."

"Yes, I do," Jim insisted. "She's a nice girl, she seems to really be into you, she's loyal enough not to flirt with me—"

"You're not her type. She doesn't like dangerous; she likes reliable."

"That's the whole problem, Bones. She wants a nice doctor husband who makes a good living and drives a Buick and plays golf every Saturday afternoon with the local judge at one of those country clubs that wouldn't let Spock become a member. You don't even like golf." It broke Jim's heart a little, to think of Bones going back to that life. He'd visited Bones in Georgia one summer, and the whole unholy mess of it made him tense the entire week. Only late at night when they lay in his twin beds, talking, did Bones seem like the man he was every day in Cambridge.

"Well," he said, "maybe there's a little more wiggle room than that."

"I hope so," Jim said. "Just tell me you're really thinking about it."

"Jim, if I weren't seriously considering it, I never would have applied to the programs," he said. "Just, you gotta let me think it over."

"Okay." He held up his half-full glass. "Here's to our future. Our great big American future." He and Bones clinked glasses, and they both drank down the rest of their chocolate milk.

Jim felt a little odd—maybe it was the moon, or the little-kid-ness of chocolate milk, or all the sun he'd had that week. But for whatever reason tonight everything felt open and possible.

"Thinking great thoughts over there?" Bones asked.

"Not really," Jim said, looking over at his friend, who was staring down at his empty glass, a little smile on his face.

Suddenly he looked up, and met Jim's gaze. "What?" he asked, self-conscious.

"Nothing," Jim said quickly, and felt himself flush. "You have a mustache. From the milk." He put his hand on Bones's cheek, and he really meant to just wipe it off the mustache with his thumb, but Bones's eyes were so big and dark in the moonlight that he couldn't look away.

"I—" McCoy began, but Jim leaned in and kissed him, surprising even himself.

It should have felt sudden, unexpected, unnatural, but it was none of those things. It was more like they'd been headed to this place since the day they met.

They pulled apart, breathless, even though it was just one kiss. Jim swallowed, and felt suddenly shy. "I …" His eyes dropped.

Bones smiled, and while Jim knew he was a lucky person, he couldn't believe he was this lucky. "Let's go upstairs," he said.

They took care to shut Jim's door before running into Bones's room, Jim kicking the door shut behind them as Bones kissed him, pushing him back against the door. "Damn," he said, "why didn't I know this before?"

"I didn't even know," Jim said, "until ten minutes ago." He was unbuttoning Bones's shirt and mentally cursing undershirts, and belts, and shoes, and everything that stood between them and being naked in that bed right now.

Bones seemed to read his mind. "Slow down, cowboy," Bones said. He pulled back and shucked his shirt and undershirt, then helped Jim do the same. Nothing they hadn't seen before—heck, nothing they hadn't seen on the beach earlier that very day, but bodies looked different in bedrooms.

Jim had got his tennis shoes off, as had Bones, and he grabbed Bones's belt, pulling him forward. "I don't do anything slow. You know that," Jim said, before kissing him again as he undid his belt and shorts and pushed boxers and all off his hips.

"Well, I do," Bones said firmly, pushing Jim back into the door. He was as good as his word, too, taking his own sweet time getting Jim undressed, and Jim just stood and watched him, getting his fill now that he could stare all he wanted. Bones, of course, wasn't having it. "What are you looking at?" he asked, frowning a little.

"You," Jim said.

"Well—"

"Well nothing," Jim interrupted, wrapping a hand around the back of Bones's neck. "You look at me all the damn time, when you think I'm not looking."

Bones kept his eyes down. "Everyone looks at you, Jim."

"Yeah, well, I look at you." Jim said, and waited for Bones to look him in the eye again. "Okay?"

"Okay," Bones said.

Jim wasn't sure how they made it to the bed, but they did, and they were naked, and it was pretty great with hands just everywhere and now he understood what girls meant when they said guys were like octopi. He wanted to feel everything, feel how different it was, what pleased Bones and what didn't, and it was all kind of weird and overwhelming and his brain was flying around scattershot until Bones wrapped a hand around his cock and everything slammed into focus. Then it was just his hand, and Jim's hand on Bones's cock, and his eyes so blown out you could just barely see the green of them, and his mouth set in that tiny frown of concentration that Jim just had to kiss because it was so fucking sexy. And really who were they kidding—they were twenty-one, they were eager, there was no reason to last all that long, and they didn't, coming pretty quickly one right after the other. It was like a tornado, sweeping in and blowing everything around before vanishing.

They lay there for a while in the afterglow, getting their breath back, their limbs entangled in the sheets.

Of course at some point Bones had to say something. "Jim, I—"

"No," Jim said. "Don't say it. We both know it."

"Yeah," Bones said, sitting up and putting his head in his hands. "Yeah."

Jim sat up at that, because Bones sounded almost despondent. "Hey, it's not that bad," he said, rubbing Bones's back.

"Oh really?" he asked, lifting his head up to face Jim. "Enlighten me. Because dammit Jim, I—"

"I know, Bones," Jim said. "I do, too. And we can't—I know we can't. You want to be a doctor, I'm going into the air force, we can't. But that doesn't matter."

"Doesn't matter?" Bones asked, and his eyebrows were threatening to leap off his face altogether.

Jim shook his head. He didn't know how but he could see it all, at a glance, how it all fit together. "Even if we never touch each other again—well, after the trip, because brother we are fucking our way across Europe and I don't mean maybe—I've still got you. I can find someone else to suck my dick. But I can't find someone else to be you, and that isn't going anyplace. Right?"

"Right," Bones answered, and he was quiet, staring at Jim.

Jim slid his hand around to wrap around Bones's shoulder, and after a few minutes Bones leaned into him, resting his head on Jim's shoulder. They sat that way for a while, just breathing, until Bones spoke again.

"Fucking our way across Europe, huh?"

"You bet."

"We'll always have Paris?"

Jim nodded. "Something like that."

He lifted his head and smiled, that rarest of expressions, and Jim had gotten two that very night. "Come here," he said, pulling Jim into a kiss.

"Bones," Jim muttered, still kissing him, "I think this is the beginning of—"

"Don't you say it," Bones replied, kissing him harder so he'd stop talking already.

Jim wrapped his other arm around Bones, pulling him down onto the bed, and they started their European trip a little early.



Jim went back to his room after they heard the others come back, so he wouldn't be caught in the hallway. Not that all of them hadn't fallen asleep in each other's rooms on occasion at school, when they were up too late talking and crashed, but still. When he woke up in the morning, he thought about what Bones had said the night before, about wanting to be able to remember it. Jim felt like every second of it was etched on his skin, and he'd probably need a lot of help from somewhere to keep it from Scotty and Spock's sharp eyes.

He took a shower, threw on boxers and an undershirt and trudged downstairs to see Scotty sitting at the kitchen table, Bones standing near the stove. "Is that coffee I smell?" he asked. "I hope you made it, Bones." Scotty made amazing cocktails but truly terrible coffee.

"Yep, it'll be ready in a minute," McCoy said. He was dressed and looked like he'd been out on the beach already, and there was a sheen of sweat on his skin.

Jim didn't look for fear of staring, instead slumping down into the chair opposite Scotty, who wasn't dressed yet either. "Have a good night, Scotty?" Jim asked.

"I did. You?"

"I did. Bones is a great kisser. Get a glass of chocolate milk into him and he's yours for the night." Jim winked.

"Ha ha," Bones said, rolling his eyes.

"Wish I'd known that sooner," Scotty said, grinning.

"Coffee's ready," Bones said, and Scotty grabbed mugs and milk and put them on the table. "Where's Spock?"

"He got into the shower after me," Jim said. "Must be done now."

"Well, I'm going to take a shower, and then I've got something to say."

Scotty raised his eyebrows and looked at Jim, who shrugged. When looked up Bones shook his head just the tiniest bit and Jim breathed again.

"You two could make yourselves useful," Bones went on. "There's bacon and eggs in the fridge."

"Okay, Bones," Jim said, and Bones went upstairs. "What was that all about?" Jim asked.

"Dunno," Scotty replied. "He said he went for a run on the beach this morning because he needed to think. What did you two talk about last night anyway?"

Jim got up and started rooting through the cupboards, finding the mixing bowl and measuring cups and spoons. "Oh, you know, he was melancholy. He gets that way."

Scotty cocked his head. "Actually most of the time he's choleric."

"Yeah, well, not lately," Jim said, scooping flour into the bowl. "And yeah, so I pushed him a little on the school thing."

"Jim," Scotty said, shaking his head. "A man's gotta make his own way."

"I know, it's just—"

"I mean it," Scotty said sternly, and Jim turned to him, startled, because Scotty was rarely this firm about anything other than his engines. "He has to make that decision for himself. You cannot lead him there. It won't be fair to either of you in the long run."

Jim sighed. "Yeah," he said. "I just hope—"

"And you have to support him no matter what he decides," Scotty said.

Jim scowled, banging on the counter with a measuring spoon. "You're right. I know you're right," he said. "Can you hand me the eggs and milk from the fridge?"

"What are you making?" Scotty asked.

"Pancakes," Jim replied. He turned on the flame under the griddle at the center of the stove.

Spock walked into the kitchen then, grabbing himself a cup of coffee.

"Who knew Jim Kirk could make pancakes from scratch?" Scotty asked.

"Of course he can," Spock said. "He is from the west."

"Iowa isn't exactly the west, Spock," Jim replied, cracking an egg into the bowl.

"It is west of the Hudson," Spock said.

Jim rolled his eyes. "Is one of you going to make the bacon?" he asked.

By the time Bones came back downstairs Jim had gone through most of the batter. "Useful enough for you, Bones?" Jim asked. "There's more keeping warm in the oven, and bacon too, and we heated the syrup."

"You waited for me?" Bones asked.

Jim shrugged. "Seemed polite." He put the last two on the plate, buttered them, and slid the plate into the oven. He flicked the stove off and turned around, leaning against the counter. "So, you have something to say?" he asked, feeling a little nervous in spite of himself.

"Sit down, Jim," Bones said. He pushed his chair into the table, leaned forward against the back of it, took a deep breath, and looked dead at Spock, opposite him.

"When Nyota broke up with you, you said you didn't have any logical arguments to use against hers. You accepted it, so we accepted it. But we were all wrong."

Jim looked over at Scotty, but he looked as surprised as Jim felt.

"I've been thinking a lot about this, last night and this morning," Bones went on. "Hell, these past few years we've known each other. And the thing is, there ain't nothing rational about love. You don't have any arguments against hers because there aren't any—she's right. But we don't get a lot of love in our lives, and it seems to me that when we do get it, however we get it, we should grab onto it with both hands. You don't just give up; you fight."

Jim looked up at Bones, wondering where he fit into this theory about love, but Bones wasn't looking at him.

Bones was still talking. "We all know that the two of you together is gonna be tough. Maybe you just need to show her that you're willing to fight for it alongside her, that it wouldn't just be her fight. Because Spock, I've known you for almost four years now, and I've never seen you walk away from a fight. You're as bad as Jim. So why are you walking away from this one?"

They all looked at Spock, but he said nothing, though the grip on his coffee cup seemed a bit tighter than usual.

Bones pulled out his chair and sat down. "Guess I'll take those pancakes now, Jim."

In the stunned silence, Jim got up and started fixing plates of pancakes and bacon and Scotty poured the heated syrup into a gravy boat and passed it around.

Spock had been staring down at the table, but finally he looked up. "So you suggest that I talk to her after we return from spring break?" he asked.

"Hell no," Bones replied. "I'm suggesting we eat breakfast, pack the car, and take you to Nyota today."

"Today?" Spock asked. "But we do not know—"

"She's in the Poconos," Scotty said, "at the Chapels' cottage." The eight of them had spent previous breaks at the vacation home, so the boys knew it well.

"I see," Spock said. "You do make a good deal of sense."

"Of course I do," Bones replied, and he looked more sure of himself than he had all spring. It made Jim joyful just to see it.

"So are we going?" Jim asked.

"Yes," Spock said. "Yes, I suppose we are." He sounded surprised to have made that decision.

"Good," Scotty said, nodding.

"Oh, by the way, Spock, you were right about one thing," McCoy said.

"That is gratifying to hear," he replied. "And what was that?"

"My future. As soon as we get back I'm accepting the MD/PhD slot at UC San Francisco."

"I am pleased to hear that, Leonard," Spock said, almost smiling. "A very logical decision."

"I reckoned you'd see it that way," McCoy replied.

Jim couldn't quite catch McCoy's eye, but he was grinning like anything.

"So let's see," Scotty said slowly. "McCoy agreed that Spock was right about him. Spock agreed that McCoy was right about him. Jim Kirk walked away from snogging a beautiful blonde on the beach." He paused, nibbling on some bacon. "Is it Opposites Day and no one told me?"

"Nah," Jim said. "That would require you to be calm and quiet and—huh, come to think of it, maybe it is."



On the drive north Jim insisted they play every road trip game they knew and even made up a few, just to keep Spock's mind off of Nyota for a few hours. McCoy was driving as fast as the law and the jalopy would allow, and Scotty shouted out when he saw a truck stop, so they could refill on coffee and sandwiches.

When they finally arrived in Pennsylvania it was nearly ten p.m., and Jim suddenly realized that perhaps they should have called ahead. They all piled out of the car and knocked on the front door.

Christine opened the door, and seemed to take in the entire situation at a glance. "Nyota is out on the porch. Just a moment and I'll get her."

"Thanks," Jim said.

But Spock apparently couldn't wait, now that he'd decided on a course of action, and started walking around the side of the house just as Nyota, who must have heard them, did the same. They met in the middle, under one of the lamps illuminating the side garden, and as the others watched Spock first reached out to her, then dropped to his knees before her. She embraced him, clutching his head to her waist, and even the excited shouting of their friends could not take their attention from each other.





Harvard Class of 1963
Fifth Anniversary Report


JAMES TIBERIUS KIRK. Address Some APO or another, keeps changing—ask Bones, he'll know. Occupation Captain, USAF.

II. The farmer took a look at the motley crew at his door, and said that yes, they could stay the night, but they would have to share the guest bedroom on the first floor. You see, the farmer had three very beautiful daughters and he did not want their innocence robbed from them by three strange men in the middle of the night. (The farmer also had an even more beautiful wife but unfortunately his romantic adventures are not part of this story.) The stairs creaked, the farmer was a light sleeper, and he always kept a rifle close by.


LEONARD HORATIO MCCOY. Address San Francisco, Calif. Occupation Doctor; graduate student. Degrees MD, Univ. of Calif. San Francisco. Wife Jocelyn (Univ. of Miss., '63), September 4, 1963. Children Joanna, b August 23, 1964.

III. After having dinner with the farmer and his family, including the three very beautiful daughters, the travelers retired to the spare bedroom where the engineer immediately began to come up with a scheme to sneak into the daughters' bedroom. Seeing the engineer's determination, the doctor and the philosopher decided to help him with his plans. Not for their own benefit—they had beautiful and somewhat vengeful ladies of their own awaiting them in California—but so the engineer didn't get his fool head blown off by some idiotic impulsive farmer who probably shouldn't be allowed near any kind of weaponry.


MONTGOMERY SCOTT. Address Pasadena, Calif. Occupation Graduate student, California Institute of Technology.

I. A doctor, a philosopher, and an engineer, having met in Cambridge, were to travel together to California. None of them had been further west than the Ohio River, so they decided to drive and see what they could see of this beautiful country. Despite having a very fine engineer in their company, their car came to an unexpected stop near a farm in Iowa, and they would go nowhere until morning. (The engineer presumed that another of the company forgot to fill the gas tank, as they were driving a vastly inefficient though beautiful American car.)


SPOCK. Address Berkeley, Calif. Occupation Assistant Professor, History and Philosophy of Science, Univ. of Calif. at Berkeley. Degree PhD, Harvard University. Wife Nyota Uhura '63, October 15, 1967.

IV. "Farmer's daughter" jokes are typically told by prepubescent males who have only recently triumphed over their oedipal conflict and/or fears of castration and feminization. The scenarios allow the joke teller to indulge in and then discard various regressive fantasies that the subject, due to their development of the superego, now understands as socially inappropriate or taboo. This reinforces gender identity among prepubescent males, aiding them in their transfer of identification to the same-sex parent while also solidifying relationships among same-sex peers.

The telling of these jokes by post-pubescent males, therefore, can only be categorized as a joke in itself. However in this instance the joke is not in service of the teller, but rather at his expense.





Harvard Class of 1963
Tenth Anniversary Report


JAMES TIBERIUS KIRK. Address US Embassy, Saigon. Occupation Colonel, USAF. Children David, b September 28, 1970.

Poor Carol, she fell between reunion reports. But even though the marriage was short it was worth it just for David, who's an amazing kid even at three. Now I get what all of you have been saying about it changing your life. And he's practically growing up in her lab, which I heartily approve of. Given the work I'm doing now, I probably see him just as much as I might have if we were still married.

Hot war, cold war, it's all the same from this angle—and we really are doing all we can to hand over the fighting to the folks here and bring our boys home. It's tricky stuff, and how I got a reputation for being diplomatic I'll never know, but it's rewarding work, out there in the trenches. Er, so to speak.


LEONARD HORATIO MCCOY. Address San Francisco, Calif. Occupation Doctor, researcher in infectious diseases. Degrees MD, Univ. of Calif. San Francisco; PhD, Univ. of Calif. at Berkeley. Children Joanna, b August 23, 1964.

I swear my next project will be on the infectious nature of divorce, as it seems to be breaking out all over. Well, we agreed that she gets east of the Mississippi, and I get west. Jo's in Georgia with her mother, but she's with me in California for the summers, and in the meantime I've made the house into a kind of supplemental dorm for the medical school, putting students in the empty rooms. Keeps the place full and my mortgage paid even with the settlement and the alimony and the child support and … oh there goes my paycheck. Jo's come through it like a real trouper, though; I'm proud of her, and wouldn't be surprised if she becomes a Cliffie when the time comes.

Good friends can get you through most anything, though, and I'm lucky to have a cluster of them here in the Bay Area. Not sure if Spock and Scotty lead me to the bourbon or away from it, but either way they're usually there when it happens.


MONTGOMERY SCOTT. Address Palo Alto, Calif. Degree PhD, California Institute of Technology. Occupation Professor of Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, Stanford University.

I admit I'm feeling a little out of step as I've neither had a kid nor got a divorce (haven't even got married!) but I reckon the engines are my children. Better that than the students.

Which means that not much has changed, other than getting that degree finally and going from one school to another. Still trying to teach overprivileged Americans that being a good engineer means getting grease on your hands, not just sitting at a draft table with a pencil and a slide rule. Still attending the charity parties of my friend Gaila, though you shouldn't believe anything you might see in the gossip papers. Still carousing with McCoy and Spock and Kirk when he's in town, though I'm also attending a great many children's birthday parties these days. Just call me Uncle Scotty!


SPOCK. Address Berkeley, Calif. Occupation Professor, Philosophy of Science and Logic, Univ. of Calif. at Berkeley. Degree PhD, Harvard University. Wife Nyota Uhura '63, October 15, 1967. Children Isaac and Rebeccah, b May 17, 1970.

As you can see, Nyota and I have become parents since the last annual. We have agreed to adjust both of our schedules to accommodate the children, which has worked out rather well so far, as Nyota was able to finish her book and was granted tenure in the linguistics department here at Berkeley last year. I am sure that it will become easier once the children begin school.

My own research continues, of course, furthering my philosophical ideas about physics that were in my undergraduate and graduate theses and both of my books. I have been considering more and more the effect of the closed scientific community on research, particularly as my friends Leonard McCoy, Montgomery Scott and Christine Chapel all have both a practical and a theoretical side to their work and are brilliant at balancing those two elements. I wonder if some elements of theoretical science might have moved differently if the scientists in question had been more aware of the possible practical applications of their work. Could they have shaped those applications, if they had wanted to? Should they be allowed to?




Part 2

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
thalialunacy
Nov. 12th, 2009 05:11 pm (UTC)
I actually clapped my hands when I saw there was a 'Part 2', lol. :runs to read: School, schmool. ;)
jlh
Nov. 26th, 2009 04:30 pm (UTC)
Aww, yay, thanks! I hope it met up to part 1! I'm glad to provide a good distraction!
thalialunacy
Dec. 14th, 2009 08:43 pm (UTC)
omg i just found this in my inbox. School killed me, but I am slowly waking up again and going through old emails. The second part of this fic is so going on my short list. <3
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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