Kirks and SpocksPairing:
Chris Pine/Zachary Quinto, implied William Shatner/Leonard NimoySummary:
's prompt for help_chile
- (paraphrased) When Zach signs on for Trek, he expects his life to change in many awesome ways. He does NOT expect writer's strikes, strange histories, obsessive mentors, ultra-hot co-stars, and to be eventually driven halfway to the lunatic asylum by The Greatest Love Story Ever Untold. It turns out he has a lot to learn about being a Spock.Rating:
can't be provenWarnings:
mildly cracky, sexual harassment in the workplace, gradual insanity, ShatnerSpoilers:
STXI and some moments of TOSA/N:
So, here it is, the Fic That Nearly Killed Me. It's a good old-fashioned Pinto, too! Some things you, as a reader, should note - first of all, the deleted scene from the film mentioned and quoted in the story is real. Click here
and scroll to the bottom to see the whole thing. Also, there may be a little promptFAIL going on in this one; it's a bit crackier than requested, but hopefully still fits the tone of the prompt. Also also: I wish I could give you a nice smutty finish, but PG-13 was all this one could handle in the end. As always, if you desire MOAR SEX, do feel free to write an addendum. I won't stop you! :D As I announced to withthepilot
, my patient and wonderful beta on this fic, I HAVE GIVEN UP THE WAR ON CAPS. When I write humor, I apparently like some caps. Whatev.Check out an artist's (hilarious!) rendering of a scene from this fic.
- by squarededdieKirks and Spocks, Part 1"A lot of the things I spoke to Leonard about, I'm really interested in... keeping for myself."
- Zach Quinto, Casting featurette
Life was really, really good.
Zach had an image in his head, something boilerplate and mundane enough to be iconic. It was the young man standing on the stoop of his date's house on prom night, running a last-second comb through his hair; it was the guy checking his teeth in the reflection of the elevator door right before stepping off to take his interview. That was him. Of course he couldn't comb his hair, because it was already in its final form, sleek and bowl-shaped, and Zach had been threatened with violence should he mar its gleaming perfection. And he'd already been through all of the interviews. Still, he was bouncing nervously from foot to foot in his scratchy new uniform, trying not to twist his fingers together, silently praying that his voice wouldn't turn squeaky. He was all too cliché.
Leonard's entrance was like the ripple of a rock thrown into a pool. Everybody stood back at a respectful distance, turning to him, the focus of the energy shifting around one point. And then, there he was, Nimoy himself, smiling and dignified, his eyes full of wisdom and humor. He looked superhumanly magnanimous and serene. Zach told himself to breathe. He smiled as Leonard walked up to him and took his hand.
"Zach, it's great to see you again." Leonard paused, checking Zach's hair and ears. "Looking good! Has the hairdresser given you the usual blood contract with death threat provisos?"
"Oh, yes." Zach shook Leonard's hand and chuckled. "You look fantastic. How does it feel to be back?" His voice was entirely free of squeak, and Zach felt his confidence lift up a notch.
"Oh, I suppose I could get used to it." Leonard's eyes twinkled. "Come on. Let's take a walk and look at the ship."
He put a warm hand on Zach's shoulder and led him off. Zach told himself to keep breathing, because everything was going to be okay. This was just the fitting, after all... there would be weeks to grow accustomed to all of this. "Leonard, I was wondering if I could ask your advice on a few things..."
"I would expect no less of a dedicated performer, Zach." Said paternally, with a hint of affection.
This was going to be good. Life was so
* * *
Then came the reading. Zach thought that life couldn't possibly get any better... he and Leonard were going to be absolute besties (he could just tell
), J.J. was a force of positive energy that infected everybody around him, the cast seemed like a terrific group, and the script, well. Zach was in utter bliss over every aspect of this project.
His nervousness about meeting Zoe had been one obstacle, but they clicked immediately. She was experienced, tough, and had an improbably bubbly laugh that burst out frequently, especially when she blew one of her ridiculously technical lines. Zach could tell by the sly quirk of her eyebrow that she had him firmly pegged as gay within seconds. They were flirting shamelessly by the end of the first coffee break. She drank hot herbal tea, holding it delicately over crossed legs that seemed to stretch forever. Zach found himself briefly questioning his sexuality until he began lusting over her cross-strap patent leather heels.
Captain Kirk was another matter. Before the auditions, Zach had confined himself to the faint hope that it wouldn't be some action flick asshole hopped up on transdermal anabolic testosterone, cursed with an elevated opinion of his own body odor.
Then he'd seen Chris Pine. A name he knew, vaguely. A guy he'd seen around, met here and there. Maybe looked at again in passing. And then again, because just about anybody would.
Chris, whose smile required a pair of polarized shades to view without optical injury. Chris, who had what seemed to be the Surgeon General's recommendation of ideal muscle bulk to inspire maximal ogling. Chris, whose pants threatened near-coronary when viewed from any angle, front to back. All in all a generally hazardous person to be around. Zach had to think about whether he was an improvement on the dreaded action-flick asshole.
Then Chris showed up with a pen stuck behind his ear and proceeded to quibble with the writers over any line that wasn't "grammatically balanced".
Zach felt the flutterings of a hard core crush begin in his... er... heart. He was pretty sure it was his heart
. He decided he was okay with that. Chris was goofy and friendly and lovable, and having a crush on him was not merely a popular hobby, judging by where half the crew's eyes were tending, but a fun way to pass the time between takes. When Chris turned on the juice, playing Kirk with a cocky squint and a grin, Zach had to really fight to pretend (as Spock) to detest him. They had immediate, fantastic chemistry.
Life was good. Life was so
Zach settled between Chris and Zoe, Leonard right across from him, and he barely managed not to cast his eyes skyward in rapturous gratitude. The reading was rough, choppy as they worked the lines, figuring out what worked, laughing at the funny parts. Everybody lost it when Karl first started reading, and anything Simon said was sure to herald at least a minute of utter chaos. It was pure play, the kind of day where you wonder why they pay you at all.
Then they reached Leonard's scene, and Zach sat back and watched as he and Chris batted the lines back and forth like expert tennis players. When Chris actually teared up a little bit at the mind meld, Zach gently chewed on the corner of his script, thinking about five different and unfortunately mutually exclusive pornographic acts that Chris might look just as good performing.
He managed to suppress his, er, throbbing enthusiasm, and then he was reading with Leonard himself... and Zach felt both Chris's and Leonard's eyes on him. When young Spock and elderly Spock exchanged their Vulcan salute, Zach felt himself shiver. Oh my God. This is going to be good. This is going to be SO good.
It was better than a fresh paycheck. It was better than a new Versace line.
He was contemplating whether it was better than morning head (conclusion: probably not, but close), when they reached the optional and/or transition scenes.
Kirk's long speech at the end, the recorded hologram kept in a cherished locket worn by the elder Spock for long years, was introduced by J.J., who explained that this would be the cameo for William Shatner. The cast members visibly brightened. The Shat himself. The Legend! Leonard smiled fondly, and Zach barely managed not to coo at the adorableness. J.J. asked if Chris would fill in and read the lines until negotiations could be finalized with Mr. Shatner, and Chris readily agreed. He read the lines with inspired emotion, never dwindling into sentiment, but speaking them rough and manly and real, humor coloring every word.
"You once said being a starship captain was my first, best destiny... If that's true, then yours is to be by my side. If there's any true logic to the universe... we'll end up on that bridge again someday." Chris paused, smiling per the script notes, looking so affectionate that Zach wanted to curl up in his lap and purr. "Admit it, Spock. For people like us, the journey itself... is home."
The reading ended, and applause filled the room. Both Zach and Leonard pressed their mouths tightly shut, fighting the persuasiveness of the emotion. It wouldn't do for either Spock to cry. At least not until the lift scene.
Leonard was deeply moved, however, and he stood for a moment. Everybody quieted, respectfully. "Mr. Abrams," he said, his voice rough with unshed tears, "I would just like to tell you how very much I respect and admire the bold decision that you and the writers have made with this scene." He paused. J.J. looked visibly awed and only slightly baffled. "When the series first aired, naturally there were things we felt we could shift in the social consciousness, but there were also things we felt we couldn't, compromises we had to make. The true nature of the relationship between Kirk and Spock... well, we could only take it so far, even in the succeeding films."
Around the table, eyes were meeting each other, rabbit-glances seeking reassurance... Do you know what he's talking about? No? How about you? Does anybody? What medications is he on?
J.J. blinked, the beginning of a bemused smile on his lips.
Leonard continued, "That you have included this heartfelt admission between them... what can I say? It reveals... it forgives... it apologizes for... so very much. In a way, you have requited one of the greatest star-crossed romances of the twentieth century."
Confusion gave way to shock in the eyes of his audience. Zach realized his mouth was hanging open.
Leonard took a deep breath, wiping his eye. "I commend your courage and your generosity. I'm sure that Bill will be just as, if not more, delighted to hear about this scene." He bowed his head briefly and sat, a beatific expression of contentment gracing his features.
There was a silence.
J.J. cleared his throat noisily, his smile now open and his eyes kind. "Thank you, Leonard. What can I say? That's just... incredibly gracious of you. I'm sure that the writers will be delighted to hear about it. You know, once the strike is over."
Zach noticed a harsh chittering in the corner of the room, the sound of dueling frantic whispers. He looked over to where two suits were sitting in semi-violent discussion, practically crawling into each other's clipboards with panicked attention. He thought he remembered that they were the producers' representatives. Bean counters.
He was new to cinema, but he guessed it probably wasn't good that they were turning a funny shade of green. Even if they were
Zach noticed Chris looking at him with frank curiosity. He realized that they were probably both wondering what Leonard's implication about Kirk and Spock meant for the future of their own rendition of the duo. Zach's mind went suddenly and painfully blank.
Chris winked at him.
* * *
This was not good. This was so
The gossip was that Shatner's cameo was cut because the studio reps took another look at the script after Leonard's eloquent remarks and decided that it was indeed just a little bit too "courageous and generous" for their blood. The gossip was that the writer's strike gave the execs the excuse to pull the scene without calling for a rewrite instead. The gossip was that similar cuts had been made to the Trek franchise in the past for similar reasons. The gossip went on further to state that one of the producers had actually sprained his eyelids at the mention of the phrase "one of the greatest star-crossed romances of the twentieth century", although Zach wasn't sure if he should credit that or not.
To give J.J. his due, at least he gave the announcement in person. There were plenty of directors who liked to hand out bad news via memo: Your scene has been cut, you can say goodbye to any face time, we don't love you, go eat some more ramen and thank your lucky stars you live in L.A. and don't have to burn your resumes to keep warm. Signed, Management.
No, J.J. had class, he had style, and when he gathered everybody up for some blocking, he put the bad news out with apologetic candor. "Leonard, I want you to know that I personally found the scene quite moving. But the producers have let it be known that negotiations with Shatner have fallen through, so the last bit with the locket has been cut. I'm sorry, guys. Now we have to get to work."
Leonard accepted it with what seemed quiet but dignified regret. Zach noted that he didn't seem surprised.
He learned why later, as he and Leonard sat for yet another session of what was to be several gajillion ear-refittings. Leonard was next to him, and they spoke quietly about lines and character for a little while as the technicians diddled with the points of their ears, making them pointier or curlier or perhaps adding feathers (one had to wonder, after the first hour or so). Finally, Leonard let out a sigh that was deep and hollow and filled with the angst of several thousand unpetted puppies.
Zach felt himself melt inside, and said in a cajoling voice, "Oh, Leonard, what's wrong?
Leonard hesitated, judging Zach according to some internal measure. Zach could see it, and he silently begged, Oh, consider me worthy of trust, please please pleeeeease, I'm totally wise beyond my years and I could be your confidante and we could be bff's forEVer and and and--
Leonard interrupted his internal monologue with, "Bill isn't speaking to me again."
Zach quelled a sudden burst of jubilation and did his best to look appropriately horrified. "That's too bad!" Be supportive! Be empathetic! Be... wait.
Leonard mused, a finger pressed to his lips. "It's his contention that I got his cameo cut. With my... as he puts it... 'incessant need to stroke my own poetic sensibilities in public rather than keeping them decently in my pants'." Leonard scowled. "And yes, again. This happens every few years. He'll get into a snit over, well... you'll soon see yourself."
Zach tilted his head quizzically. "Will I?"
Leonard glanced at him. "Well, you've got one of your own. Highly volatile creatures, Kirks." He shrugged wearily. "You'll learn to deal with it in fifty or sixty years, but it never ceases to irritate."
Zach was too stunned to reply immediately. Possibly Leonard was referring to Chris, but in a bizarre way. He decided to skirt the issue. "So this should blow over?"
"Well, one hopes. He is awfully upset this time, though. I expect I'll hear about it for a few years." Leonard settled in his chair, causing the artists hovering over his ear to buzz and flitter like sharply well-equipped gnats. Zach felt momentarily reassured by the fact that Leonard's ears were still feather-free.
He ventured, cautiously, "You almost sound like quarrelsome siblings."
"Oh, you can make the comparison to marriage, Zach. It's far more apt." Leonard winked at him. "Anyway, you'll soon know all about it. How are you and Chris getting along?"
Zach found himself deliberately constructing an entity in his mind and labeling it Chris
... a charmless, stupid entity entirely lacking in any distracting body parts. "Chris? Does he have anything to do with this?"
Leonard looked surprised, and then indulgent. "Oh, Zach, you don't have to share private matters with me. Let's just leave it at this: history often repeats itself."
Zach was torn between the intense desire to ask and the equally intense desire to forget the entire conversation. After all, he knew perfectly well that Leonard and Bill were married... to two women. "Chris and I... we barely know each other, actually."
Leonard's eyes were far away. "Ahh, to be young again, to have that journey of discovery ahead of you." He glanced at Zach. "You should use me, you know. I can help you avoid some of the pitfalls I fell into near the beginning."The beginning of what?
Zach stared for a moment, and decided to change the subject. He said, "It seems a shame, the studio not being more open-minded."
Leonard nodded sagely. "You'll learn, if you haven't already, that studio executives have balls the size of giant, hairy microbes."
Zach wanted to be amused by the image, but in the context of the conversation, any reference to testicles just made him want to check his own for defensive shriveling. He permitted himself a thought of Chris Pine and Zach Quinto, behaving like married folks. The resultant shrivel made him twitch hard enough that the ear tech seized his chin to hold him still.
Zach said, "You know, maybe once shooting begins, I should watch a little of the old series."
"Do that," said Leonard, seemingly pleased. "I'm going to recommend a similar notion to Chris, so perhaps you could watch together."
Zach twitched again.
* * *
Zach greeted the first day of shooting with a spring in his step and the determination to enjoy himself. Not that he hadn't been enjoying himself thus far. Except for a few mopey moments from Leonard, and perhaps a little discomfort around Chris, everything was fine. He spotted Zoe and bounced over to her. "Hey, legs."
"Hi there, gorgeous." Zoe rose on her tiptoes to kiss his cheek. "Have you managed to sex up the Captain yet?"
Zach put on his best baffled face.
Zoe smirked. "You don't fool me. What with all the star-crossed lover talk..."
"Nobody actually believes they were lovers, Zoe. I'm sure that Leonard was merely being... expressive. Chris and I have a wholly professional relationship, defined by mutual respect and. Stuff," finished Zach, lamely.
"Who says a nice thorough fucking can't be respectful?"
Zach stared at her in consternation. "Who? What? Figs?"
Zoe shrugged. "Fine, have it your way. I saw how you were looking at him during the reading."
Zach scoffed with conviction. "Like you even have
She smiled brilliantly at him. "You're deeply in the throes of crush, babycakes. Your scathing retort-o-mator is broken."
"Yeah, well, so's your mom."
Zoe eyed Zach, possibly measuring the number of kicks it would take to kill him, when Leonard walked up and conveniently distracted her. "Ah, the young lovers. Or I should say, the other
young lovers." Zach thought about figs again. He nearly mentioned it, but just then Leonard put an arm around his shoulders. "Perhaps we could talk for a little while, Zach."
Zach tried to suppress the swell of pride in his chest that Zoe should see Leonard treating him as an equal, nearly commensurate with an advisor. He gave Leonard a look of calm professionalism. "Why, Leonard, what's the matter?"
Leonard gave a slightly disgruntled huff. "Bill's hired help has begun screening my calls. You know, if I could just get the studio to listen to reason, we could work this whole thing out. I don't suppose you have any clout with J.J.?"
Zach paused, the pleasurable sense of pride dribbling out of his ears, leaving him cold and confused. "Not exactly." He glanced at Zoe, who was squinting suspiciously at both of them. "Are you sure it won't simply blow over? Executives make idiot decisions like this all the time."
"Yes, yes," sighed Leonard, his shoulders hunching. "But this is important
! The love story spanning a century divide, and it's simply not being told!"
Zoe tilted her head, her voice deceptively innocent. "Mr. Nimoy, what exactly do you mean, love story?"
"Do call me Leonard, Zoe. I insist." He smiled warmly, lines crinkling at the corners of his eyes. "And in order to tell you about Kirk and Spock, I must provide a few decades of history. Surely you're too busy to listen to the ramblings of a nearly retired star..."
Zoe shook her head, her eyes Bambi-like in their glimmering sweetness. "Oh, no, I have plenty of time to hear this! And I know Zach is dying to hear all about it. In excessive detail."
"Well, if you insist, let's start with the early 1970s, when the fans began to write about us." Leonard tightened his grip on Zach's shoulder and proceeded to regale them both for an hour of the extent and history of the sexual and emotional connection between Kirk and Spock through the years.
Zoe hid her smirk behind her hand as Zach grew redder and more uncomfortable, sweating and twitching worse with every mention of Kirk's "golden masculinity and representative machismo of the generation" and Spock's "deeply-buried passions". Zach made a mental note: Do not ever mention Zoe's mom. In any context.
* * *
Zach was rubbing makeup off his face and grimacing at himself in relief when he heard the knock, and froze. The thought that it might be Leonard, an idea once so exceedingly attractive that it would have made him giddy, now made him pale and start thinking up a rapid list of excuses why right now was a Bad Time To Talk.
Not that he minded discussing the various political and socio-emotional implications of the rejection of the Kirk/Spock slash interpretation of the original series, but... okay, maybe he minded a little. He was really trying hard not
to act like a love-struck ball of bubblebrain around Chris, who had the strange ability to don his Kirkself and strut it like smut-gilded catnip until Zach wanted to bury his head in Chris's lap and slurp at him like a deer at a salt lick.
Being reminded of the ostensibly obvious and, in Leonard's opinion, "beautiful" shades of sexuality inherent in their characters was simply counter to productivity. Zach could not play Spock with drool dripping off his chin and puddling onto Uhura's arm. And smashing Kirk around the bridge like a rag doll was far easier to do when he wasn't sporting his own personal Steeler in his pants.
But Leonard, bereft of his closest friend, was taking the whole confidante thing quite as Zach had unfortunately intended him to. He was giving Zach the benefit of his entire half a century's worth of mulling. And, as it turned out, the romance between Kirk and Spock was a topic he never tired of.
The knock happened again. Zach stood very still and thought, I am not here. I am a table. I am a chair. I am a kitchenette far too tiny to produce a decent reduction of port wine. I am not the droid you seek.
A muffled voice from outside yelled, "Man, are you in there? Leonard said you were. If you're jacking off I can come back later, just give me a grunt for affirmation. Do I hear a grunt?"
Zach flew to the door and had it open so fast that his blush didn't even have time to flow into his cheeks. "Chris! Sorry, I was, er, in the bath... room." The blush found its mark and he felt the heat like a dead giveaway.
Chris smiled indulgently. "Hey, it's fine, you can finish up."
"No, really, I wasn't... I was... I mean..."
"Look, it's not like it's anything to be ashamed of; those pants are stupid-tight. Like, with literal tightness-of-stupidity. I can feel my IQ dropping every time they cinch up the dance belt. Here I'd spent my life hoping desperately that my brain wasn't actually housed in my pants. Now, I'm not so sure." He smiled winningly. "So yeah, taking care of any potential erections between takes? That's just good business sense."
Zach felt himself try to put on his least-guilty face, and knew it only made everything worse. "I was just... I was... okay. I didn't answer because I'm avoiding. No, that's... shit." He blinked, unsure of whether his avoidance of Leonard, catty and immature as it was, might come across as catty and immature.
"Avoiding me?" Chris looked mildly hurt.
"No, not you, Leonard." Zach clamped a hand firmly over his face. "I shouldn't have said that."
Chris took the opportunity to sidle inside, his sculpted torso brushing across Zach's arm as he mounted... as he climbed
the stairs. "Let's talk it over. I mean, if you're actually done with, ya know, personal time." He sat down easily on Zach's miniature sofa.
Zach eyed the remaining space on the sofa, which was ample enough for his ass, but perhaps not for his bruised and tender dignity. He went to the freezer and shoved his hand into the ice for a moment. "Want something to drink?"
"Nah, I'm good. So what's up with you and Leonard? Seemed like you were becoming the best of Vulcan amigos."
Zach got a glass from the kitchenette cabinet, filled it with ice, poured some water over it, and resisted the urge to dump it over his head as he gingerly sat next to Chris and took a prim sip. "He's just... a little... well. Mildly. He's the tiniest, merest bit... totally and utterly obsessed with the romance between Kirk and Spock."
Chris stared, but to Zach's intense relief, he didn't leap from the couch and run out the door screaming. "Really? Is that why he was so insistent that I watch the original series?"
"Was he?" Zach took another sip, crossing his legs slowly and carefully.
"He was adamant. Said that I needed to view the episodes in order to capture the emotional essence. He did mention Kirk and Spock, too, said that I had a lot of material to process before I could master the complexities of the relationship and represent them accurately, particularly without Bill's assistance. At least, that's what he said, er, paraphrased." Chris smiled modestly.
"Paraphrasing appears to be your forte." Zach hoped that staring was appropriate.
Chris tugged at his collar. "So, you wanna brave the original series together? Could be fun. It may warrant a little liquor consumption."
Zach paused. "What's a little complex relationship representation and liquor consumption between friends?"
Chris beamed. "Right! You're off the board for today, right?"
Zach nodded, cautiously.
Chris magically produced a CD sleeve and unzipped it, spilling some suspiciously copied-looking DVD's into his hand. "Let's get started, then."
* * *
It had taken Zach about three hours and enough wine to garnet-wash a wall before he felt completely relaxed around Chris. But by the end of the viewing session, they were both making notes like dutiful students, trading occasional quips about the subject matter of the episodes, admiring their counterparts, and Zach suspected Chris was enjoying himself as much as Zach was. Chris finally tapped the remote to turn off the set, and turned to Zach.
"Well, that's enough for one evening. I thought we made some good progress."
Zach grinned lazily. "Yes, Doctor, the therapy appears to have taken root."
"Hey, I'm a Captain, not a Doctor, dammit." Chris grinned, loosened by beer and the easy camaraderie that had filled the room. "So what are you going to say to Leonard when he asks for your interpretation of the Last Great Starstruck Romance?"
Zach sighed with resignation. "Ah, well. I guess I can see where he's coming from, but he's certainly exaggerated it a bit. I suppose I can live with the obsessiveness, I mean, he's so cool otherwise..."
Chris's forehead was creasing with confusion. "Wait, you can see where he's coming from?"
Zach blinked. "Well, I mean, yeah."
Zach tried again, feeling himself lose his footing, his tongue growing clumsy in his mouth as he adjusted position on the sofa, sitting straight. "I mean, yes, clearly he's over-emphasizing the looks and touches..."
"What looks and touches?"
Zach paused. "You... I mean, you don't see it? It's not overt, but..."
Chris shrugged, looking almost painfully baffled. "I didn't see anything. But you did? Where?" He picked up the remote and turned the TV on.
"You don't have to..."
"No, no, I wanna see it too. Wait, did you mean here?" Chris paused a scene where Kirk was touching Spock. Slapping him, in fact.
Zach winced. "Well, I mean, it has a context, so maybe not there so much..."
"What's the context, though?"
"Look, I'm not saying it's really overt, it's just this subtle array of gesture and nuance. Um."
Chris crossed his arms over his chest. "I am so not seeing this. Are you sure you're not imagining it? I mean, what kind of touching? Like this?" He reached out and pushed a fingertip into Zach's shoulder.
Zach quirked an eyebrow at him. "Not... quite."
"More like this?" Chris slung an arm around Zach companionably. Zach's cock responded in a neighborly manner.
Zach tried to shrink away. "I, um..."
"Closer?" Chris nudged himself closer.
Zach stared. "They're never this close. Never this close. Ever."
Chris backed off, looking disappointed. "Then I'm not sure where you're getting this from."
Zach, able to breathe again, flapped his hands helplessly. "It's more in the... just... chemistry is more than contact, you know that!"
"Well, maybe if you're ready to see it, it's more there..." Chris looked distinctly cross now, glaring at the television like it was a mathematical problem.
Zach blinked. "What? No! I mean, I don't really see Kirk and Spock that way."
"But you said..."
"No. Maybe it was easier for me to see because Leonard's been schooling me on it for a few weeks now, but..."
Chris harrumphed. "I just don't see it. I mean, I don't want to play up this romantic thing unless it's accurate."
Zach felt his mouth drop open. "Oh my God. Chris, look, it doesn't have to be..."
"Because I want to get it right
, but frankly, they just look like good friends to me."
"They look like good friends to me, too!" Zach felt his color rising again, and couldn't believe he was arguing about this.
"But you said..."
"No, no, unh-unh, no way, what I said was... forget what I said. We don't have to play it that way, friendship is purely canonical." Zach blushed harder.
Chris examined him closely. "Tell me the truth."
Zach twitched so hard he nearly fell off the sofa. He blurted out, "We should watch more episodes before we make a determination."
Chris harrumphed again, but he subsided. Even as he prepared to leave, the disgruntlement was clearly written on his face.
Once Chris was out the door, Zach promptly dumped his glass of ice water over his head.
* * *
Life was turning difficult.
Zach suffered through his ear treatment with ill will and a bad case of the fidgets, mildly hung over and not entirely happy about his first friend-date with Chris. Leonard, fortunately, was waxing eloquent over photographic art and the form of light as it strikes human skin. It was improving Zach's mood a great deal, and he was actually beginning to grin with daft unconcern by the time they had stretched his head back to glue his earlobes on.
It was difficult to talk because they were pulling at his mouth, but Zach did his best. "Smooo, Leomard, I was hopeeng wee could tmalk about the lift sceeeeen..."
Leonard nodded minimally but wisely. "Ah, yes, the Uhura thing. Well, the key thing you need to remember is that Spock is sublimating there."
"Yes, you see, he doesn't have a harmonious relationship with Kirk yet, because they had such a prickly beginning. But still the passion rides deep beneath the surface, and Uhura makes a handy target for exhibiting some of those feelings..."
Leonard gave him a sympathetic look. "It can be uncomfortable sometimes. Don't worry, you grow accustomed to the way they manhandle your face after ten years or so."
Zach remained silent, hoping for a miraculous change of subject, but unable to bring it about on his own steam.
Leonard sighed. "So just focus on your burgeoning feelings for the upstart young cadet who bested your Kobayashi Maru, and when Uhura confronts you, merely let it spill out. She's a lovely girl. Spock and Uhura always had a very special relationship, mind you."
"Absolutely. I'm charmed and pleased that the writers gave them these moments of emotional exchange. I merely wish that the studio had gone further into an accurate depiction of Spock's feelings for Kirk as well."
Zach closed his eyes, whimpering.
"Your ears will get tougher after a few months, Zach, don't worry. Now, Spock and Uhura have a real affection and connection. But Spock needs a bit of a firmer grip, I would say. Perhaps it would be a good idea to envision Kirk's hands while you're doing the scene. Just think about his hands all over you, and then sublimate that on Uhura."
Zach wondered what it was like to be driven slowly insane. How in the hell was he going to manage that scene now
?Continue on to Part 2...