by JB McDragon
Rating: Eventual R/NC-17, but that's a long way in coming.
Characters: Spock and Kirk (eventual Spock/Kirk)
Spoilers: Uh, there was a movie. It was good.
Word count: *enter hysterical laughter here*
Broken: Adj. Def. 1. destroyed; made into pieces from a whole.
The Casari homeworld is a place that has yet to become unified. The people are ready to join the Federation, but one rebel faction will do anything to stop it. Anything, including capturing a starship captain and his first officer. With Kirk's memory damaged and Spock's mental shields shattered, escape is unlikely. It won't stop them from trying.
Notes: Many thanks to my beta-reader and font of information (aka, my pusher and dealer), alestar.
Just so you know, this is one of those most dreaded Works In Progress. I have 60 pages done and mostly edited, and probably another 30 to write. I'll be releasing one chapter a week until I've finished the story, and then I'll bump it up to one chapter every few days. Chapters will be less than 10 pages long (this one is 8), so we have a while. ;)
The last thing he remembered was the bracers prying his jaws open. The feel of the creature's hard shell as it slithered past his teeth. Over his tongue. Delicate whiskers feathering over the back of his throat just before it forced its way down--
He twisted away, as if physical movement could destroy the memories. Shoved himself off the filthy little cot, a scream tearing out of his throat, hoarse and broken. Slammed himself into the wall and curled up into a fetal ball, trying to cover his head and wrap his arms around his legs at the same time.
Someone was speaking. Someone that wasn't him. He lifted trembling hands and clamped them over his ears, nails scratching against his head. Hands caught his arms, and he yelled before he realized they weren't gripping. They were gentle. Careful. Long, graceful fingers looped loosely around the large bones of his wrist.
Large bones. Scraped bones. Skin gone red and raw, as if they'd been pinned down. For a moment, a heartbeat, there was a flash of memory--
--yanking against manacles uselessly, fighting before they could lock down his other arm, knowing it was pointless because there were too many of them but unable to stop--
And then, blessedly, the memory was gone. The voice was still speaking. Low and firm, as if persistence alone could draw him back.
"--T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise. Do you remember that? Jim. Look at me."
His gaze slid up, caught on a lean jaw, and skittered off again. He yanked away, turning his head into the wall. "C-can't--"
"You're safe now. You're here. Do you remember your name? Captain James T. Kirk."
A question swam up from the murky depths. "What's the T stand for?"
When the pause went on too long, he turned slightly, looking at the man who held his wrists.
He laughed. It sounded a little bit hysterical. "That's a shitty name."
The man before him inclined his head in acknowledgment. "It is true that it doesn't fit with the human standards of typically accepted and encouraged names. At one time, I believe it was considered quite popular." The man watched him steadily for a long moment. "Do you remember your name?"
He spoke slowly, drawing the words from the back of his throat. "James T. Kirk. Captain."
"You just told me." Something cold and hard gripped his stomach. He kept his gaze fixed on the pale face before him, finding comfort in the fact that this news didn't seem to be unexpected.
"The Shirai they used to extract information often leaves temporary memory loss. It should come back over the next few days."
Kirk nodded slowly. "Should?"
"If it died on time, and there was no severe cortical damage done."
This time when Kirk pulled a hand away, the man let him. He touched his throat, shuddering. Delicate whiskers feathering over the back of his throat just before it forced its way down--
And then it was gone. He thought he might vomit, and he wasn't sure why.
As if the impulse was scrawled across his expression, the man before him jumped up and hauled him to his feet, shoving him face-down into the corner.
Kirk heaved, guts roiling as stomach acid burned up his throat and seared his sinuses. He choked on vomit, felt it spatter off the concrete floor and hit his bare feet. Chunks came out with it, and he knew -- he knew -- he hadn't eaten recently.
When his body was done rejecting everything in his stomach, he saw it. Three inches long, with six legs and whisker-like appendages at the front--
He yelled and lurched back. Strong hands grabbed him, slowing his bolt, turning him so he couldn't see the insect-like body and pushing him down onto the cot.
He picked his feet up off the floor, scrabbling back into the corner again.
--writhing in the forceps as they brought it closer to his face, the woman with the pointed teeth asking him, 'Are you sure you don't want to simply tell us, Captain?'--
--legs on his tongue, a carapace against the soft palate of his mouth--
It was gone again, and he was curled in the corner, the heels of his hands pressed to his eyes. "Fuck!" he shouted, and resisted the urge to keep screaming.
"It's normal. I assume you're having memory bursts, but it's normal. A good sign--"
He grabbed a fistful of loose, filthy cloth, dragging the not-human closer. "Normal? This is normal? Is that supposed to be comforting? I don't even know your name! I don't know my name except that you told me! I don't know where the fuck I am--"
"What?" he snarled.
An ally. He knew it, the same way he knew his name really was James T. Kirk. He loosened his grip slowly, patting the material smooth with shaking hands. "And the rest?"
"We've been taken by a splinter sect of the Casari species, a humanoid race currently in negotiations with the Federation. I believe this is the same splinter sect they've been trying to find and secure. If my deductions are correct, then they are attempting to start a war." He paused for a long moment. "I assume you are comforting yourself through touch, but if not please be assured my shirt is as smooth as it is possible to achieve."
Kirk pulled his hands back. "Right. Yeah." He licked his lips -- dry, chapped -- and tried not to glance around the room. He could see it anyway.
It wasn't very large. Perhaps fifteen by fifteen. The walls were solid gray concrete, the door just as impervious. There was a hole in the floor that served as a toilet, and only one cot -- the one they were sitting on. It had a single thin blanket, which was as filthy as they were.
Their clothes were shapeless, light weight, pajama-looking things. He doubted they'd been given a choice in the matter.
He found himself petting Spock again, smoothing out the sleeve material. Somehow, even lacking a memory wasn't so bad if he didn't think about it. Spock had been through major shit with him before. He didn't know how he knew that, but he did. "How long have we been here?"
"Five Casari days, if they've synchronized the lights with the solar cycle. Which I doubt, so probably longer."
"You doubt it?" Easier to talk, to ask questions, than to think. To remember.
"A very basic method of wearing a person down is sleep deprivation. In addition, the temperature changes don't seem to match the light levels."
"Oh." He kept petting. "Tell me -- again -- why we're here? What happened?"
Spock took a deep breath, as if he could explain the whole situation on that single inhalation. One long-fingered hand came down on Kirk's, stilling the nervous movement, and didn't let go. "The USS Enterprise -- our ship -- was assigned to escort the Federation's ambassador to the Casari homeworld. We landed safely, delivered the ambassador, and were ambushed two days later, still on-planet. I believe the rebel faction, who do not want to align with the Federation and who have been committing acts of terrorism against the rest of the planet as a whole, has us now. They have been trying to get information from you."
Kirk resisted the urge to twist his hand under Spock's, or start petting with his other one. He focused on Spock's words, instead. "Me. Why me?"
"You are the captain of the Enterprise."
He looked at Spock, frustrated. "You said you're the commander."
"Why don't they want information from you?"
There was a long enough pause to make Kirk suspicious. Then Spock said, "They do."
Kirk was silent for a moment, trying to read something -- anything -- off that composed face. Nothing. "Are you always this effusive?"
One eyebrow twitched, but Kirk had no idea what it indicated. "I am."
Kirk snorted despite himself. "Are you hurt? Have they--" He ran his eyes over the commander's clothes, looking for any sign of trauma. He tried not to think about the fact that he couldn't remember if he'd done this before or not.
"Vulcans are more difficult to harm than humans."
"I'll take that as a no, even though it seems more like a dodge." Kirk eyed Spock.
Spock looked at him expressionlessly in return.
"Right. Well." He leaned back, settling into the corner. One hand lifted -- the tremor was almost gone, he was relieved to see -- and scrubbed his hair out of his face. "Do we have an escape pl--"
--slammed down onto a metal slab, cracking his head painfully against the steel. Trying to lunge back up, but unable to. Hands locking one wrist in place while he spat at the closest woman. She smiled, teeth pointed, and picked up a pair of forceps. A creature squirmed between them, thrashing back and forth--
"--fucking hell," he gasped, trying to draw air into lungs that seemed to have shut down. The heel of his hand was pressed into his temple, as if he could force the memories back. It seemed to work. They swirled into darkness, leaving him grasping to keep them at the last second.
"Jim? What do you remember?"
He dragged another breath down, blinking images out of his eyes. "I -- I don't. It's not staying. It's just there and gone again." When he finally looked up, Spock was frowning ever so slightly. "That's not good?"
"It is... a possible side effect." He seemed to be choosing his words carefully.
Kirk's eyes narrowed. He lowered his hand. "What are the other possible side effects?"
"Do you wish for a pertinent list or all the possibilities? Because there are many, depending on species and--"
"Spock! Tell me what I need to know!"
One eyebrow twitched upward again.
He modulated his tone, trying to sound normal. "Okay, not what I need to know, what you think I might want to know." Irritation was easy. He had the suspicion they'd played this game before. Often.
"Memory bursts are an indication that your mind is healing."
"But it wasn't perfect," Kirk accused. "You were hoping I'd remember the memory bursts." He glared. "What aren't you telling me?"
That eyebrow again.
Kirk seriously considered just hitting the commander and seeing if that would help. He'd probably hurt his hand more than the Vulcan's head, though.
Apparently the look he gave Spock was good enough, because Spock started explaining. "In most uses of a Shirai and a human, recovery is complete within a matter of days. In fewer cases, there are problems with memory loss, brain function, and death."
Kirk gave a single laugh. It didn't sound entirely calm. "Is that all?"
"As you are neither dead nor brain dead, you are safe from those possibilities."
"That's a relief."
Spock seemed to miss the sarcasm. "Still possible are brain damage and permanent memory loss."
"And remembering then forgetting things is a bad sign."
"It is not unheard of, even in those who heal completely. But it is not ideal, no."
Kirk leaned back against the wall. The cot springs creaked under his weight. "How long have we been here? No, wait, five or more days. You already said that." He searched through his mind, and met only with a black void.
Impressions, knowledge -- both of those were still available to him. You couldn't erase memories, really. Just block access to them. Fry the synapses that carried the stored information to your frontal lobes. He knew that, but he couldn't remember where he'd learned it. Spock said his memory would come back. He just had to wait. He trusted Spock with stuff like this. Didn't know why, but...
"You should rest. If you can," Spock said quietly.
Kirk glanced at him. He was familiar, even if Kirk couldn't remember meeting or interacting with him. "We're friends, aren't we?" He felt like they were. Or at least, he felt like he enjoyed Spock's company, but he had the impression it wasn't entirely for nice reasons. Spock, he knew suddenly, was fun to tease.
"We are comrades." Spock spoke with great care.
Kirk peered at him, trying to read something more in his expression. There was more emotion in his eyes than the rest of his face. Kirk thought he'd learned that over long months of practice, but couldn't be sure. The odd, upward angled eyebrows had a tendency to lift and fall, indicating emotion. Spock's mother was human.
He didn't know how he knew that.
Spock's mother was also dead.
He didn't know how he knew that, either.
"We're comrades," he echoed after a moment.
"Do we ever just... hang out?"
"Occasionally, when you desire companionship."
Companionship? Kirk's eyebrows shot upward. "I'm gay?" He was pretty sure that wasn't the case.
For the first time, Spock looked startled. It was gone in an eyeblink, but Kirk had his first taste of why he found Spock fun to tease. It was a challenge. "I do not believe so. I simply meant that when you desire conversation, you sometimes invite me to... converse."
Kirk sat up straighter. He'd caught a flicker of discomfort there, too, as Spock searched for the right word. Oh, this was great. This was a far more effective distraction than anything else they'd talked about. "Do we 'converse' often? I mean, you're a fairly attractive man. And obviously Vulcans and humans are compatible. If I were gay, I could do worse than you. I think. I don't remember the rest of the crew, but... you have lovely eyes." Large and dark brown, they were certainly the most expressive part of his face -- which wasn't saying much.
Spock's eyes flicked to a spot over Kirk's left shoulder. "Thank you." It sounded like those words actually caused him pain. "But this conversation is irrelevant to our current situation. You should rest."
Kirk peered at him. "You're awfully young for a commander."
"As you are young for a captain."
"Were they desperate?"
Spock looked at him again. "I beg your pardon?"
"Were they desperate? We're in some big war and losing, right? They're promoting people because half of their officers are dead?"
"No. You earned your place in a combat situation. The admiralty felt you did well and rewarded you with a ship."
Damn. "Big reward."
"You did very well. Now, Captain, if you would rest it would help your mind heal faster."
Kirk smoothed the wrinkles out of his sleeves. His feet were cold. "That would be the logical thing to do, huh Spock?" The quirk of the Vulcan's eyebrow told him he'd just said something notable, but he wasn't sure what. He felt like he ought to smirk, but wasn't sure why. He reached for memories, and got only a slick abyss.
"Yes, it would." Spock paused, then added, "Jim. You should rest."
He'd just woken up. His throat burned. Nothing here to wash away the taste of bile or sooth abraded skin.
And for all that, Spock was right. If it'd help his mind heal, and it seemed like his mind needed all the help it could get, he should rest. He scooted away from the top of the bed, laying down with his back to the wall, sliding behind Spock. "What about you?"
"I can sit here, or if you prefer, the floor. I will meditate and wake you if anything should happen."
Like if they came back. Kirk nodded and pillowed his head on his arm. "Sit here, then. When I wake up, we're coming up with an escape plan."
Spock inclined his head. "I will describe the ones you've formulated and cast aside already, and perhaps we will think of something further."
He couldn't decide if it was soothing that Spock would fill him in, or disturbing that he'd apparently already tried to escape -- and failed.
It didn't matter. They'd come up with a new plan. One that worked.
Much to his surprise, sleep claimed him almost as soon as he'd closed his eyes.