Kirk took a last pull from his glass, grimaced at the burn in his throat. He found pen and paper in his desk and after a moment began to write.
'Spock, dearest Spock. Forgive me for this. You've always said, "There are always possibilities," but I don't see any here. I can't accept life without you--I'm no Gol mystic. I need you, I need other people, other friends. But the others see the pain in me, what I feel without you. And they move away.
I'm doing this while I can. Before I become even less a man. Some will say I'm weak, I've given up, but I like to think that I'm just changing the terms of the test.
'McCoy has all the codes and combinations you'll need, if you've forgotten those also.
'Parted from me, and never parted.
Never and always touching and touched.
He put down his pen and briefly rested his head on his folded hands.
Kirk rose and headed for the bathroom. He seized his razor and with minute attention removed the day's growth of beard. He rinsed his razor, shook it, and hung it to dry.
Reaching into the shower, he twisted the knob, set the water temperature just right. He stripped and stepped into the stream. As always his brain did a rapid inventory of things he'd done with Spock in that warm enclosure. There had been a time when neither had ever showered alone. He lathered himself up and washed his whole body in minute detail. Careful soap, careful scrubbing, clean head to toe.
He stepped out and dried himself and then his hair with a large towel. Automatically he combed his damp hair back from his forehead. He stared at himself for a moment in the mirror, but saw only loneliness in the eyes that looked back.
Still nude, he walked through to the bedroom that they had shared, the one green-lit with the glow from the k'lin. He had to stand on a low stool to reach one end of the fabric, but once it was in his hand, he had only to walk in a circle around the bed to rip out the moorings on the ceiling. Yards and yards of fabric glided downward, creating green hills and valleys around the room, with rivulets and streams of silver and gold paint where the words of the poems stood out.
He embraced the material as it embraced him. His mind ran back to the first time he'd seen it, the first time he'd seen the written record of his vows to Spock and Spock's to him. Oceans of shimmering emotion, of all that they hoped for their life together. The echo of Spock murmuring in his ear, arms wrapped tightly around him, "Of those so close beside me, which are you?"
He measured with his arms and found the middle of the material, then centered it on his back. He pulled it around to the front, tied a strong knot in the delicate fabric. Now with enormous wings of green silk, he headed for the balcony on which he and his chief medical officer had been drinking just a few hours before.
He stopped briefly and considered the music console. Through his mind ran the words of the song McCoy had commented on, but he turned away from the machine. His life with Spock had begun in silence; let it end that way.
Slowly he looked out the picture window. Briefly he wrapped his arms around himself, making himself warm under the yards of silk a last time.
He stepped onto the balcony and tidied the furniture. Then he placed a chair and the table against the railing. Shoulders squared, Kirk stepped onto the chair. And onto the table. For a time he stood, gazing at the Promenade. They had begun their journey as a bonded pair just there at the breakwater.
He could almost touch it.
He closed his eyes, then leaned into the soft evening breeze. The rich green billowed around him, rising and falling like a living thing. He studied the ground, twenty-three floors below. As he began to bend forward, he heard a soft tread behind him and felt strong hands grab his hips, strong fingers weaving into the silk, meeting his skin with an electric shock. Skin meeting skin, as it was born to do, planets apart. He was pulled roughly backward in a heap, into waiting, comforting arms. Arms covered in a midnight-black cloak.
At first he could not turn his head to see the man who held him. But after a bit the humming scent of sand and dust reached him. Kirk felt the slow burn of the bondlink lighting in his mind, for the first time in--a very long time.
"I remember," said Spock. "I remember."