Fandom: nu!Trek, slight Heroes fusion
Prompt: Love at First Sight
Word Count: 1k
Trigger(s): xenophobia, pandemic, coronavirus allusions, isolationism
“He came from the stars,” his mother told him once when he had asked, a tight smile on her lips. “They all did.” She tucked his hat around his ears that were slightly pointed and told him, “Remember that you are half-human. Don’t let anyone tell you different.”
At school, they called him Gabriel Grayson, publicly. When they weren’t hitting him at recess, they asked him what his alien name was.
It should have been easy to hide, pulling his hat down over his ears and eyebrows, a mask over his face. The pandemic should have made it easy. It was compulsory to wear a mask at all times when you were out of doors and not on your own property. It was compulsory to wear a mask when not in your own “isolation bubble.”
Spock—that was the alien name he had given himself when he was six and promised himself he would never cry again—always wore a mask except around his beloved mother. She smiled at him, told him he was too intelligent for his peers, and if he just tried to be a little more affable, he might make a friend back.
He hadn’t wanted to until he met James Tiberius Kirk.
It was love at first sight—for Spock.
He couldn’t take his eyes off the vivacious boy with bright blue eyes and tufts of blond hair. His eyes laughed even though his smile was hidden behind a mask. Their gazes caught during Advanced Mathematics and Spock couldn’t bear to look away. He wanted that little bit of blue, that little bit of sky for himself.
His eyes were too dead, too alien. Most of the children didn’t notice, but they thought he was weird anyway. He had difficulty inflecting his words.
Amanda, his mother, was too afraid to have him tested, too afraid he’d be labeled as a virus bringer, and so he was left to fumble and attempt to adapt on his own.
He usually sat alone at lunch—or in his own pod grouping, all the other pods empty—and was surprised when three point two minutes into his meal, the door two pods over opened and Kirk popped his head in.
Nodding to himself, as if the answer to an unvocalized question was before him, Kirk disappeared and then arrived with his own lunch. Kirk’s mask was quickly shed in the safety of his pod, his lips full and smiling, and the breath in Spock’s lungs caught. Kirk was the most beautiful human he had ever seen, and he fell just a little bit more in love with him.
“Mind if I sit here?” Kirk asked, although he was already seated.
“I do not mind,” Spock responded, trying to push warmth into words that would not allow it. He looked down at his own lunch, so carefully prepared by his mother—cut vegetables and fruit, all neatly arranged.
Kirk had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, he noted, or something similar to it. He also had an easy smile on his face. “The name’s James T. Kirk,” he greeted, waving through the plexiglass. No one shook hands anymore. Spock had never even been offered anyone’s hand. He was too young. But Kirk was still speaking: “I’m going to marry you on your eighteenth birthday.”
Spock’s stomach did a flip and for the first time in his life, a smile tugged on his lips. “Then I believe I should mention, James T. Kirk,” he told him calmly, “that I am only fourteen years of age, and you have three years and 143 days until our marriage can occur.”
Kirk looked at him warmly and took a bite of his sandwich, every inch of him screaming confidence. After swallowing, he asked, “That’s your only objection?”
Pausing, Spock asked, “Should I have another?”
Shaking his head, Kirk smiled. After several long moments, he whispered, “I want to travel the stars.”
This caused Spock to pause as all interstellar exploration had been halted with the coming of the virus. First Contact had been a time of joy, only to be followed by a time of terror.
Clearing his throat, Spock murmured, “I’ve been attempting to build a—” He paused, knowing that their conversation might be monitored, and ‘warp’ was certainly not a word he should admit “—an engine in my mother’s basement. She keeps discovering it and thinks I’m too young for…motorcycles.”
At this, Kirk’s eyes lightened to an even lovelier blue, as if understanding. “There’s an old barn out in our cornfield. No one would think to look there.—You should come by, after lessons.”
“I shall comm my mother. If I could have your mother’s comm address…”
“Done!” Kirk told him enthusiastically. “There’s nothing but corn for miles and miles, and we can build hovercars and bikes to our hearts’ content… Do they call you ‘Gabe’?” he wondered, less of a question and more of a trial-of-words.
Spock shook his head. “Negative. My mother calls me ‘Gabriel.’”
His eyes looked up through the plexiglass and caught Kirk’s and held for so long that his ears must have tinged green beneath the hat he always wore.
“I’ll take you to the stars one day, Gabriel,” Kirk promised, just as lunch was ending at the first warning bell rang. They were putting away their lunches (mostly uneaten) and putting back on their masks so they could leave their pods, “when the President allows us out there again, when there’s a vaccine, when there’s a cure…”
“You don’t blame them?” Spock asked carefully, catching Kirk’s eye as they came out of the pods into the loud cafeteria, other students looking at the unlikely pair. “The people from the sky?”
“Nah,” Kirk stated, his protective gloves back on. His pinkie finger caught Spock’s, and a frisson of electricity shot up Spock’s arms. “How would they know that their common cold would make our planet sick?” Then he leaned forward and whispered, “Your ears are cute,” just loud enough for Spock—and only Spock—to hear.
His eyes were warm when their gazes met again, slivers of blue and dark brown, in a sea of protective clothing… and Spock knew that this moment was the beginning of his future. Perhaps they might never go to the stars, but looking at James T. Kirk… perhaps, just perhaps, they would.