Vulcan Couples' Retreat
Summary: Spock asks Kirk to come with him to New Vulcan to meet his family and experience the Vulcan culture firsthand. But Kirk didn't expect to be separated from his bondmate and forced to spend the weekend in class with T'Pau, Spock's grandmother. K/S SLASH
Vulcan Couples' Retreat
Captain James T. Kirk was exhausted, physically and mentally. What had started out as a weekend that would allow him to experience Spock’s culture firsthand had turned into a living nightmare. He really should’ve expected something like this to happen. Jim had finally found the love of his life, and now one lousy weekend might prevent their bond from being recognized by Vulcan law? It figured. Karma always liked to show up and bite him in the ass when he least expected it. It had all started like this:
One month ago, when Spock had asked if Jim would join him on a weekend trip to New Vulcan, Jim had jumped at the chance. He knew that if he went, Ambassador Sarek would realize that he was serious about bonding with his son. Of course, Jim and Spock had bonded already out of necessity when they’d been stranded in freezing temperatures on Altair V for two weeks. But Sarek didn’t know that! Jim knew that it would be a lot easier for Spock's family to accept if they pretended to be in the ‘courting’ stage. Then, after Jim successfully completed the rigorous cultural learning weekend at the colony, he would formally ask Spock’s father for his permission to bond. It seemed like a lot of work, but it was Spock’s wish, and Jim would do anything for the one he loved.
So, during their next shore leave, Jim travelled with Spock to New Vulcan. They were met by Sarek and some of the Vulcan High Council members, including T’Pau. (To Jim’s disappointment, Spock Prime was nowhere to be found.) Taking a hover-taxi to the newly fashioned Katric Ark and monastery, the secretly-bonded couple was given the schedule for the next few days.
“May I relieve you of your communicators?” Kirk looked questioningly at Spock as two Vulcan security guards stripped them of their comm devices.
“Hey, I might need that!” Jim protested. “What if the Enterprise needs to get in touch with me?” T’Pau replied,
“All communications will be redirected to my office. We wish for all on retreat to be kept in complete seclusion as not to disturb them from the tasks at hand.” Jim prepared to argue, but Spock surreptitiously shook his head. Inwardly fuming, Jim closed his gaping mouth.
“Morning meditation begins at 0530...we pride ourselves on punctuality… uphold our lofty ideals…” Kirk wondered if the elderly Vulcan knew she sounded like she had a stick up her tight ass. Maybe that was a characteristic of all Spock’s Vulcan family members…
//Jim…// Spock mentally disapproved.
//Sorry. Just a little joke. My bad!// Kirk winced, and tried to look more attentive.
“…Beginning martial arts follows, along with a morning meal. I would suggest that you rest well tonight.”
If Kirk didn’t know better, he would’ve guessed that T’Pau was laughing at him. Her face remained as blank as ever, but her crow’s feet crinkled just a tad, indicating Vulcan amusement. Fine. Let her laugh - Jim would sure show her! He could take anything these Vulcans could dish out.
“Resting sounds good to me,” Kirk agreed. “Where will we be sleeping?”
“Spock will be quartered with the other Vulcans,” said Sarek, pointing towards a lodge in the distance. “As you are human and have different basic needs, including a longer resting period, you will be given a room to yourself, in this building.” It was the farthest building away from where Spock was sleeping. Jim frowned at that.
“You know, that’s not entirely necess-”
“I insist!” T’Pau not-glared at him. Kirk glanced over at Spock with a defeated expression. Apparently they wouldn’t be partaking in any ‘fun’ activities that weekend. Damn - that'd been the one thing Kirk had been looking forward to…
Without Spock at his side, the weekend sounded less and less like a couples’ retreat and more and more like a diplomatic mission. Kirk hated diplomacy, and he really sucked at it without Spock’s assistance. If he was lucky, he’d manage to get through the weekend without insulting one of his bondmate’s family members. Yeah right…
“Thank you for your consideration. I’ll get settled right now.” Kirk gave Spock’s grandmother a winning diplomatic smile before he turned away and began to haul his suitcase into his weekend home.
“Oh, just one question…” Kirk turned back around. “When’s lunch?” T’Pau raised an eyebrow.
“We are not serving a midday meal today.” Kirk shrugged.
“Okay, when’s dinner?” T’Pau looked affronted. Had Spock not informed his beau of this important custom?
“We are observing a day of fasting and meditation.”
“Ah… I forgot.” Kirk smiled sheepishly at his hostess. “I’ll see you tomorrow then, Spock?”
“Affirmative, Captain.” The three Vulcans watched as Kirk took refuge him the guest house. Spock longingly watched him go.
It turns out Kirk didn’t see Spock for the rest of the day. But at least he had the bond with which he could communicate. Spock’s family couldn’t take that away from him. Resting on the bed in his spartan quarters, he telepathically contacted his bondmate when night fell.
//Spock?// He called out. //Why didn’t you tell me about the fasting?//
//I had assumed that this particular illogical tradition, along with others, had died along with Vulcan. However, I was obviously mistaken.// Jim felt his bondmate’s regret through their link.
//Don’t sweat it.// He reassured Spock, his stomach growling in complaint. He’d just have to stock up on food tomorrow. //But I am bored since I already finished my Starfleet reports. There are no computers, no comm center, no news broadcasts, no replicators, no alcohol, and I didn’t brink any books with me. It’s like I’m stuck in the Stone Age! Can we talk?// Spock sighed. What he wouldn’t give for a long, stimulating conversation with his other half.
//Jim, I apologize, but my total concentration is required right now.// Jim was a little hurt, but he understood. Spock would be giving his services to the monastery along with introducing Jim to the Vulcan way. It was his way of volunteering his time for the good of his race. But neither one of them knew just how much T’Pau would be requiring of her grandson…
//I’ll see you tomorrow, then.// Jim sent his affection, which was properly returned.
That one little word reminded Jim just why he was putting himself through this ordeal.
The following day, Jim rose super early to go and watch Spock and the other Vulcans meditate. There were a variety of ages present, from children to elderly Vulcans going through their morning rituals. Kirk sat near the front of the room with his knees crossed, closed his eyes, and pretended like he knew what he was doing.
When the morning session began, it turned out that Jim had been assigned to a class with the Vulcan children, and Spock was to stay with the advanced group.
“Spock, I thought you were supposed to stay with me during all this,” Kirk hissed under his breath, trying hard not to panic. The last thing he wanted to do was embarrass Spock’s family with his lack of knowledge of Vulcan customs! And what was up with him being stuck with the young’uns? How insulting!
“That was my original wish. However, I am afraid I have no choice,” Spock said softly, glancing around to find T’Pau’s knowing gleam landing on himself and his captain. “Jim, I believe they are trying to separate us on purpose,” he whispered. "I believe my father is testing us."
“No shit,” Kirk muttered. He reminded himself that their situation was not Spock’s fault. “Don’t worry, Spock.” He patted his First’s back. “I’ll be fine on my own.”
“Be careful, Jim,” his Vulcan cautioned. “Try not to injure yourself.”
“I think I can handle a bunch of kids,” Kirk joked. To Jim’s dismay, Spock still seemed worried. Then his bondmate was shooed out of the monastery, and Kirk was left behind with the Vulcan children and T’Pau, who was to be his instructor. Oh joy. Jim hadn’t had this much fun ever since his flight from the monster on Delta Vega…
When the session began, Kirk knew he was in real trouble. All of the Vulcan children already knew the routine and he had some trouble picking it up. Many of the positions and moves were given names in Old Vulcan, which left Jim in the dark. While he could speak modern Vulcan quite fluently, the only word in Old Vulcan he knew was t’hy’la, and he thought T’Pau wouldn’t appreciate it if he busted it out. (Jim could only imagine having to explain how he’d heard of that word…)
For the first time in his life, Kirk was the worst one in the class. While he was rather fit for a human, he just didn’t have the extra strength or flexibility that all Vulcans did. The poor young captain fell over a few times, wobbled, tripped, and took a few punches to the gut. Each time Kirk made a mistake, the Vulcan children whispered amongst themselves and pointed at the human. It reminded him of the treatment Spock had to endure as a child, which Jim had seen in their melds. Now he could empathize with his mate.
Why did T’Pau always have to call on him to come up and demonstrate? She always made a big show of correcting him, and she tried to make his body twist into positions that it just wasn’t made for! One time she even tried to contort his protesting form into the shape of a pretzel! Needless to say, Kirk’s muscles and joints were throbbing after that. He hadn’t thought humiliation was on the Vulcan agenda, but he could be mistaken.
Just when Jim thought he couldn’t take it anymore, it was time for the morning meal. But to Kirk’s dismay, the mess hall was only serving Vulcan foods. While he enjoyed the small dish of plomeek soup, he thought it was rather bland and wanted to add some spices like he did when he was eating with Spock on the Enterprise. But there were no spices. Just soup, salad, and water. Jim would’ve killed for a juicy Iowa steak, or even just a cookie…
To make matters worse, Vulcans observed the ritual of being silent during meals while on retreat. This made it rather difficult for Kirk to explain that the reason why he wasn’t eating the salad was because the dressing had peanut in it and he was allergic. He almost pounded his fist on the table in frustration, but knew the Vulcan children would make fun of him for his emotional display. He wasn’t about to give them – or T’Pau – the satisfaction of knowing they’d gotten to him.
After the meal from hell, Kirk returned to the monastery for more lessons. He still hadn’t seen Spock yet, and was reluctant to mentally disturb him. He wasn’t that close to breaking – yet.
During the second session, it had grown terribly hot in the domed room. Jim was the only one sweating, as the temperature was perfect for Vulcans. He was so thirsty and he had to go to the bathroom, but he kept on exercising any way. He kept thinking T'Pau would give them a break any minute now, but it never happened. After three hours of this, Kirk had steadily grown lightheaded. He raised his hand, willing himself not to faint.
“Did you have a question, Captain?” T’Pau asked.
“No, I feel like I’m going to throw up,” Kirk groaned. And then he vomited right there on the floor, which in turn caused Spock to throw up three buildings over. (Since they hadn’t yet been bonded by a Vulcan healer, there were some rather strange telepathic side effects.) Spock had felt Jim’s abdominal discomfort and in turn reacted in the same way. The Vulcan wasn’t looking forward to explaining all this to his father, who was not stupid.
//Spock!// Jim’s end of the link vibrated in humiliation. //I didn’t mean for you to…//
//It is alright, Jim.// Spock placated his ill bondmate. //I suppose we were fools for trying to keep our joining a secret. Do not worry, you will not have to endure this farce any longer. I will come for you, t’hy’la.//
About five minutes later, Sarek stormed into Spock’s class, and removed his still-shaky son. They began the trek outside to the other side of the grounds.
“I was informed by the elders that you vomited at the exact same moment as your captain, even though you had no cause for distress.” Sarek pulled Spock toward the domed building that housed the ailing Kirk.
“Oh?” Spock feigned indifference.
“The odds of that occurring simultaneously are astronomical, unless…” Sarek narrowed his eyes at his son. “Unless you and Kirk are…” he trailed off and shook his head. “Impossible.”
“And yet the facts are there,” Spock commented as they approached the entrance. The ambassador stopped in his tracks, narrowing his dark eyes a fraction.
“Do you mean to tell me that you have committed your life to that… that heathen?”
“You will refrain from speaking of my bonded in a less than polite manner.” Spock openly glared at his father.
“He stole your command!” Sarek cried. “Or are you so blinded by your lust that you have forgotten that fact?”
“His decision to take command of the Enterprise saved all of our lives,” Spock snarled. “You should be grateful to him. Check your facts before you accuse Jim Kirk of anything malevolent. I have seen his mind, and it is simply not in his nature.” Leaving his sputtering father behind, Spock rushed through the double doors to find a weakened Jim waiting for him.
“Spock!” Jim feebly grinned up at his bondmate from the floor. “Glad you could make it.”
“We’re returning to the Enterprise immediately,” Spock informed his captain as he heaved him to his feet. “I never should have asked you to come here and be dishonored like this.”
“Woah woah woah,” Jim protested, leaning heavily on his First. “I’m not done with my classes yet, Spock. “I just got a little sick! I’ve been through much worse than this before – just ask Bones. I can’t leave yet - I have to prove myself to your dad that I’m serious.” Spock shook his head.
“You should not have to. That you are willing to do so should be proof enough. I will not stand by and allow you to suffer any longer on my account.”
“Spock.” T’Pau traveled toward the pair. Jim knew from her raised eyebrows that she’d heard everything that counted. “I was not informed of the nature of your true relationship with your captain. If I had been-”
“Now you are,” Spock interrupted coldly, holding Jim’s hand in his own. Jim could hardly believe Spock was engaging in a very blatant Vulcan display of affection, but he was proud of his mate for taking the risk. What a rebel Spock was! Jim liked to think he had something to do with that. “He has been pushed past his physical limits and must be allowed to recover.”
“I’m fine!” Kirk insisted, but when Spock removed his arms, the captain started to slip. Spock re-exerted his hold on Jim, who grumbled his assent.
“Spock…” T’Pau tried to apologize but the half Vulcan would not hear of it.
“He is not Vulcan – you should not have treated him like one.” Then Spock pulled out his stolen communicator. “Energize, Mr. Scott.”
“Spock, wait!” Sarek called, coming to join T’Pau. Supporting Jim with one arm, Spock raised his other hand in the Vulcan salute.
“Live long and prosper.” And do not ever try to separate me from my bondmate again… Jim heard the unspoken threat. The whirl of the transporter whisked them home, and they were met by an irate doctor who demanded to know what had happened to the captain this time.
The Enterprise had warped out of New Vulcan’s atmosphere, with the captain and first officer safely on board. Dr. McCoy had patched up Jim and given him plenty of fluids. A few hours in Sickbay and several hypos later, the captain’s condition had somewhat improved. Spock was feeling so guilty for causing his bondmate discomfort that Jim was able to talk the Vulcan into giving him a back massage. After all, Jim didn’t believe in no-win scenarios. What a silver lining this was after those two days of hell! His t’hy’la was seriously talented with his fingers. If he wasn’t such a top-notch officer, Jim might recommend him as a professional masseuse...
After Spock finished removing all the kinks and knots from Jim’s back, thighs, and shoulders, they lay together on their king-size bed, spooning comfortably.
“Well, I say the weekend wasn’t a total loss,” said Jim, always trying to look on the bright side. “I discovered something interesting about Vulcans while I was there.”
“Oh?” Spock raised an eyebrow. “To what are you referring, t’hy’la?” Kirk smirked.
“The fasting...the silence...the bland food... the strict rules...the overworking; now I know why Vulcans are so bitchy.”
Jim waited for the nerve pinch, but it never came. Content, he snuggled up against Spock and they entered a short healing trance together.
A/N: Who wants to read about their necessary bonding on the freezing planet of Altair V? Let me know and I’ll do it!