Sep 102009

Title: Splitting Apart and Coming Together
Fandom: ST XI
Characters: Spock, Kirk
Rating: T
Warnings: Jim's mouth
Notes: Another one from the crackmeme. This one's a story about scars. It's also really halfassed, and poorly thought through, but I had to do it, because I knew what scars they should be. And that's a story unto itself.

From this prompt:
Spock has a bunch of scars on his inner thighs, idk rape or self-multilation, but now he's really ashamed of it and he thinks it makes him look ugly. Broke it off w/ Uhura before she could see, but of course Jim think's scars are sexy…

The thing about Spock, that no one outside the city of Shi'Kahr was likely to know, was that he'd been short. Surely no one would credit such a rumour, now that he stood almost two metres tall, but until he was sixteen, he stood a mere 1.6 metres. It was generally attributed to his human heritage, much as the manner of his growth would be, afterward.

Most of what he remembered of the eight months that topped off his height were the pain and clumsiness. Every inch of his body ached, constantly, and his hands, elbows, and knees were never quite where he thought they should be. But most terrible to him were the places that his skin caved in, because the subdermal structure couldn't keep up with the expansion. He was left with pale, sunken spaces, along his hips and the tops and insides of his thighs, shaped like the tears beneath them, with only blood vessels and nerves between his skin and muscle. Even after the bruising faded, those never filled in.

Fourteen years later, they still hadn't filled in, and they were not only displeasing to the eye, but terribly sensitive to touch. He and Nyota had actually split, rather sloppily, over those very scars. "Sexual incompatibility", they told each other, these days, but the truth of the matter was that Spock would not take off his pants, for any reason, and Nyota had been far too fond of bare skin. He was, on the whole, a very private individual, when it came to his failings. The Vulcans would damn him, either way, and humans tended to allow their perceptions of lack and inability define their perceptions of a person. He had no intention of allowing himself to be defined by the uncomfortable reminders of an uncomfortable childhood.

And he stayed safe, inside his pants, until the captain dropped by, unexpectedly, one evening. Jim Kirk had an irritating habit of letting himself in to people's quarters, when he had something to drop off, and he didn't expect anyone to be present. Admittedly, the only person it really irritated was Spock, who hadn't realised it was a danger, until it was too late.

The shower is still running, and Spock stands in the centre of the room holding a PADD in one hand and pushing his hair back, so it wouldn't drip on the PADD, with the other. There is a gaping hole in this proposed treaty, and it just occurred to him in the shower. But, even in these moments, self-preservation prevails, and he wears a large hand-towel, tied awkwardly around his waist.

The door chimes once, and he ignores it, staring into the document, and trying to find the words to make it less ambiguous, without being antagonistic. Then the door opens, to admit the captain.

"Captain," Spock starts, looking up from the PADD, deep in the complexities of his work, "this treaty is —"

And then the wrongness sinks in. The captain stands, frozen, just inside the door, taking in everything he can see. Spock steps back, but with the wrong leg, and the whole of his left thigh is left exposed to view, the scars grey-green, from the water and warmth of the shower.

"Spock," Jim looks concerned, "what happened to you?"

"I grew up, Captain." Spock stiffens, pulling his legs tightly together under the small towel, and drawing himself to his imposing full height.

"But, those look like —"

"Bruises. Which I assure you, they are not." Spock's ears lay back, in that way they only do when he's feeling cornered. "They have been there for years, not days or hours."

"So, they're scars?" Kirk steps in with an interested look, and Spock holds his ground, unwilling to reveal his thigh, again.

"Yes." Spock's eyebrow arcs up. "Why are you here?"

"Oh, this." Kirk waves the book he's holding. "I wanted to return the book you lent me."

He moves to set it on Spock's desk, and turns, looking back. "Scars? Really?"

Spock's eyes slide closed for a moment. "Yes. Scars. They in no way affect my abilities. They are strictly surface defects."

"I wouldn't call them defects." Kirk has set down the book, and by the time Spock opens his eyes, the captain has covered more than half the distance between them. Pushing back his sleeve, Kirk holds up his arm, turning so Spock can see what he sees. His fingers trace along the white lines they find, almost lovingly.

"Barfight in Iowa; got cut open with a beer bottle. At the Academy; fell out some girl's window and caught it on a drainpipe. Oh, hey, you were there for this one — down the Jeffries tube from Deck Ten." Kirk laughs. "I shouldn't have grabbed for the spanner, when I dropped it."

"You shouldn't have dropped the spanner." Spock reasons, uncomfortable about how close the captain is to his own bare skin.

"Okay, I'll give you that one." Kirk grins, recklessly. "But, they're reminders, and they're flags. They say, I've been there, and I've done that, and I might be ready to do it again."

"On you they are a constant reminder of your persistent recklessness. On me they are a grotesque reminder of my own rather grotesque circumstance," Spock comments, as flatly as he can manage.

"You said you got them when you were growing up. What, exactly, did you do, get in a fight with a bobcat?" Kirk is insatiably curious, as he tends to be, and Spock is, as usual, not looking forward to fulfilling that curiosity.

"I did not say I got them when I was growing up, I said that the cause of them was growing up. Literally. I grew very quickly. It was extremely unpleasant." It wasn't half the accusation he wanted to lay out, but to hold a grudge at all was not a terribly Vulcan thing to do, so he let it slide.

And now he saw on Kirk's face exactly what he had hoped not to see. Horror. It was, he supposed, better than pity.

"They're … But… It looks like something tore holes in you!"

"Effectively, something did tear holes in me. Or, rather, my body tore holes in itself, that, fortunately, did not break skin." Spock is still far too tense. "It is over now. The marks are permanent. That is all that is relevant."

"So, you're just grossed out by how they look. I'm not sure I'm getting the full impact of the 'grotesquery', here. It's nothing you did. It's nothing anyone did to you. It hurt, and that sucks, but …" Kirk shrugs, confused.

"It is all because I am not entirely Vulcan. They said it was my human side." Spock actually looks faintly disturbed, the corners of his eyes tightening, and his lips thinning. "People talked. They blamed my father for choosing to breed with a human and bring this defect into perfectly good Vulcan blood. These are a permanent sign that I am inferior."

"Bullshit!" was the first word out of Kirk's mouth, and rather loudly, at that. "They're a sign that you're strong enough to live through your own body tearing itself to pieces. They're a sign that you're stable enough to have kept going, through all of it. And they're a reminder that no matter what anyone said to you, you still pushed past them to become one of the finest officers Starfleet's got."

Kirk's breathing hard; his fists are clenched. "And they don't make me respect you less. They make me respect you more. I went out to prove myself. Your challenge came to you, unexpectedly, and you still beat the shit out of it. That? That's hot."

"In your own word, Captain, 'bullshit'." Spock's eyebrow has arced up far enough to distort the lines of his face. "This is not, as you say, 'hot'. It is disgusting and shameful. It is a reminder that I should not be."

"And, yet, here you are, you rebel, you." Kirk's grinning recklessly, bad ideas spinning into being behind his eyes.

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