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Title: Simple Stargazing, Simple Truths
Author: Ainzfern
Series: TOS
Code: S/Mc
Rating: PG-13
Parts: 1/1
Disclaimer: Paramount owns STAR TREK ... etc and so on and so forth!
My only pay here is personal joy
Summary: Part of the Bonded Souls series. Set some weeks after "Possession Is Nine Tenths." The bondmates have returned for a brief visit home to Earth, and Spock has a moment of peaceful reflection.
Archiving: Cool- if you want to- please let me know.
Feedback: Yes please! All comments are welcome
Author's Note: For Janet. Because she matters. As always, my eternal thanks to her for her excellent and FAST (wow!) BETA.

Simple Stargazing, Simple Truths

Spock stood, relaxed and silent, leaning against the railing of the front porch. His forearms rested comfortably on the wooden handrail in front of him, hands hanging loosely.

The front garden was beautiful under the light of the stars. The low bushes and thickly planted garden beds that by day seemed an almost riotous rainbow of colorful flora were now washed into a pale palette, leeched of their bright hues by the night's touch and repainted in every imaginable shade of silver in the spectrum.

Straightening slowly, his long fingered hands curling around the railing, Spock lifted his calm face to gaze with fathomless eyes at the seemingly endless vista of stars and that peppered the night sky. He felt, as he always did, a certain sense of proprietorship upon looking up at the stars above this house. *His* house.

Illogical in the extreme to entertain thoughts of ownership over a section of solar system and perhaps, he reflected, it was not so much the stars themselves that he claimed tenure to, but the feeling of contentment they evoked within him.

He was home.

No matter where he and Leonard traveled, no matter what breathtaking splendor and stunning experiences he encountered nothing in Spock's opinion could substitute for the beauty of the stars above his home.

He tilted his head, his sensual mouth curving into the barest ghost of a smile, as he heard his beloved clattering about in the kitchen, no doubt setting himself to the task of preparing their evening meal. They ate late in their homeplace, a luxury that the military precision of shipboard life rarely afforded them.

Spock considered the stars once more. They had played a pivotal role in the lives of many of Earth's historical figures. The mariners of Earth's ancient shipping lines had navigated their way through foreign waters with them, unerringly finding their way back home to familiar shores by plotting their course under the seemingly unchangeable map of the nights sky.

Guiding light.

A notion occurred to Spock at that moment, somewhat poetic but nonetheless unalterably true. The single bright light that guided Spock's own journey was not some unnamed star glimmering in the distance of the night sky.

It was closer. And infinitely more constant.

He heard the squeak of the screen door, heard a soft footfall behind him and felt that familiar sense of comfort that somehow always seemed to pervade him whenever his mate was physically near. Of course, through the unique bond between their minds, Spock had a part of Leonard's spirit with him at all times. But there was just *something* about having the man right next to him...

"Stargazing again, beautiful?" Leonard asked softly, as he stepped up beside Spock and slid a warm arm around his waist.

Spock leaned slightly into the touch, enjoying his mate's closeness with no hint of self-consciousness whatsoever. He looked down into Leonard's face, seeing the fine lines around those intelligent blue eyes, the touch of silver at his temples. He saw the undeniable mark of the years passing on that beloved face and could confess to himself that he found Leonard more beautiful now than he had ever before.

"Indeed, beloved. I am also considering my good fortune," Spock said softly.

"Oh yeah?" Leonard grinned, his blue eyes sparkling with mirth and affection.

"Yes." Spock lifted his hand and touched his slender fingers to the hollow at the base of Leonard's throat, stroking the soft skin gently. "I find it remarkable... most pleasing, that in the face of whatever force has attempted to divide us, we have always unerringly found our way back to each other."

Leonard's expression softened into profound tenderness. "I can't imagine life without you, Spock," he said simply. "I just can't."

Spock slid his hand up to cup Leonard's jaw. With gentle insistence, he lifted his mate's face and descended slowly to kiss him, the barest of touches. He heard Leonard's breath catch, and he exulted in the soft sound, at his own ability to so move this man whom he adored. Deepening the kiss, he wrapped his long arms around Leonard's torso, pulling him close, feeling the wonderful warmth of his body pressed against him. He kissed his mate slowly, thoroughly, tasting the warmth of his mouth with gentle dips of his tongue.

Pulling back, he cupped Leonard's face with both hands and gazed down into a pair of hazy blue eyes. The feelings inside of him flowed without hesitation through the miraculous bond he shared with his mate. He held his reason for living, the sum total of his happiness, in his hands. It was a simple truth, a fundamental realization.

"I love you," Leonard whispered, his trembling hands lifting to touch Spock's face.

"I know."

They held each other closely under the gentle light of the stars, simply enjoying the night sounds and the warmth of each other's bodies. Later they would eat together in the soft light of the kitchen, talking lightly of little and unimportant things...

Just 'keeping company', Leonard had always called it.

Spock nestled his cheek a little more into Leonard's hair, appreciating the softness of it. In the closeness of these moments, these unhurried and soothing embraces, Spock could admit freely that he adored the tactile sensation of touching his mate.

His body heated a little, hardened slightly, as his thoughts turned towards more intimate plans. Anticipation rose in his belly as a sudden image came to him. Leonard, all lean lines and sweat dampened skin, his long neck stretched back in ecstasy, pinned under Spock's surging frame as they moved together. Their minds and bodies joined completely, hands and fingers interlinked... their mouths hot and demanding, drinking from each other as they worked together in synchronous rhythm towards fulfillment and completion. The ultimate expression of their bond.

Against his shoulder, Leonard chuckled wickedly. "You keep *that* up, beautiful, and we won't get to eat at all."

Spock arched one sable brow and looked down into a smiling face. "A pertinent point, beloved," he conceded lightly. "And perhaps, considering the notion more fully..."

Leonard's delighted laugh echoed into the night air. "Is *that* what you're callin' it these days?" He snorted and linked his hands behind Spock's neck. "Sorry, can't make it tonight, Jim - Spock and I wanna stay home and 'notion'."

Spock's mouth curved into a wry half-smile. "Most amusing."

"C'mon." Leonard took Spock's hand firmly and led him inside. "Dinner first, lovin' later. *You* might have Vulcan resilience on your side, but this old hack needs to intake some fuel."

Something about Leonard's off-hand remark struck a chord within the Vulcan's chest. He stopped abruptly in the doorway to the living area, pulling Leonard to him and looking deeply into those loving eyes. A strange and unformed sense of fear rose in him. A moment of truth that he had formerly refused to consider.

Leonard's eyes softened, as he picked up the feelings emanating from his mate. His reached up gently laid his hand to the side of Spock's somber face. "Hey... you're not getting' all morose on me now, are you?"

"Leonard..." Spock paused, struggling with it, his usual calm implacableness deserting him, in the face of this realization.

"Spock," Leonard said softly, tenderness infusing his voice. "Every creature in the universe has its time. Me included. You always knew that I wouldn't outlast you. It's not exactly a surprise."

Spock nodded reluctantly. "Indeed, beloved. It is just that I have never before this moment accepted the reality."

Leonard grinned. "Thought I'd live forever, did ya?"

"You do manage to portray such an impression, Leonard."

"It's my larger than life personality that does it." Leonard's face grew serious again. "I'm not going anytime soon, beautiful. I've still got plenty of years left. Don't start the mourning, while I'm still kicking on strong here."

Spock sighed somewhat ruefully. "A difficult moment of truth," he confessed softly.

Leonard nodded, his eyes filled with love and understanding. "The simple ones often are, Spock." He smiled again, pulling Spock into the kitchen and firmly seating him at the small table. "Eat," He ordered in a no-nonsense tone.

Picking up his utensils, Spock tilted his head and regarded his mate fondly, as Leonard sat down to his own meal with obvious enthusiasm.

Catching Spock's eyes on him, Leonard paused and smiled curiously. "What?"

"I am just considering another moment of truth, beloved. A far easier one in this instance."


"Gratitude, Leonard," Spock said simply. "For the fact that you love me."

Leonard reached across the table and clasped Spock's forearm. "Beautiful? You are gonna get *sooo* damn lucky tonight."

Spock's lips twitched, as he returned his attention to his meal, reflecting on just how well his mate knew him. How he could restore his equilibrium with a few gently teasing remarks. How he could acknowledge and comprehend Spock's feelings and fears without ever once making him feel like he had failed by not suppressing them.

Spock had to admit, he was the one that outward views would interpret as the more intelligent of the couple, but there was no doubt in Spock's mind that Leonard was by far the wiser.

Considering that, he felt that Leonard comment regarding his luck was now a rather moot point. He didn't need to 'get' lucky.

He cast another affectionate look at his bondmate.


He already was.



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