A Day in the City
|Title:||A Day in the City|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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It was published in the print zine First Time #51.
This story was nominated for a STIFfie Award.
"Kirk and Spock make love while in New York of the 1930's, but problems arise when they return to the ship and their own time."
Reactions and Reviews
Written in first person, present time, mostly inner thoughts with both Kirk and Spock, and on top of all that, different fonts, one might think this story would not be too good.
I enjoyed every bit of this gorgeous, love-filled story. It concerns the events during the episode of "City On The Edge..." and even the title is perfect. The story is structured almost moment to moment with the place and time heading each section. Doing a story this way is extremely difficult to pull off, but pull off, this author does, and really well.
I was enthralled by Kirk's and Spock's deepest feelings from the very beginning—all shown in such intimate detail.
Like this in the beginning, where Spock is alone in the room at the boarding house, while Kirk is gone. "It is a good thing that Jim is out with Edith Keeler. I believe I left a rag near the circuit boards." What a beautiful way to show Spock's struggle with his feelings as he tries to distract himself so he doesn't have to think about Kirk being with Edith.
Later that night, Kirkcomes back and the real issue of their feelings for each other gets covered by who will sleep on the one bed in the room that's partially covered with the device that Spock is building. Kirk finally wins by insisting they sleep together. This decision proves pivotal in their relationship.
Kirk: "God, finally, he's breathing like he's asleep. This is hard on both of us. It's hard on me in more ways than one, dammit."
Spock: "Even if something happens and we are forced to remain here, I must never let him know. I am Vulcan. The mind rules."
I absolutely loved hearing each of their thoughts interjected with dialogue. But it never got confusing and we see Kirkthrough Spock's eyes and Spock through Kirk's eyes so beautifully. Even that sentence appears confusing, but the story wasn't!
When they talk about being in the bed with each other, they both try to explain their feelings about being so close. Both have secret longings that they don't want to reveal.
Ahhh, he is touching me back, just the lightest quivering ofhis fingertips on my hand, as he says, "Spock, you said Vulcans value proximity to certain others at times. Are you saying you value this proximity?"
I adore that—'Value proximity". I loved how Spock analyzes and interprets everything that Kirk says.
"I roll on my side to face him and he does the same. I feel his warm breath against my cheek. His face is so soft against my fingers. And his lips...." Gorgeous! Spock kisses Kirk—their passion increases until they take off their clothes and kiss and touch until they orgasm. It is so wonderful for both of them, but frightening at the same time.
Back on the Enterprise, they both experience inner turmoil over what happened between them and neither will talk about it. The tension builds until Spock decides to transfer off the ship and when he's at Kirk's quarters and Kirk isn't there, Spock decides: "I am no longer welcome."
Finally Spock tells Kirk he must transfer and Kirk thinks that's what Spock really wants. I know "the misunderstanding" is a typical K/S scenario, but I happen to enjoy it and I love it in this story.
What a scene when they go to Spock's quarters and suddenly embrace. Kirkthen picks up the transfer disk and walks out. So sad!There's more that happens, but when they fall into each others' arms together in passion, I just melted. What a great ending to a marvelous story.
I particularly like K/S stories based on 'City on the Edge of Forever.' I did one myself; though one reader took spirited exception to my slighting the Kirk/Edith relationship by daring to turn this episode into K/S. Anyway, number one, I do respect and have fondness for the Kirk/Edith relationship, though it's not like gospel truth; and number two, I think SR Benjamin gave Edith a better part, though small, in her story than I did in mine.
I have to say that the date/time headings in this story were a distraction. It wasn't as if significant time is passing and it matters to the story that we know exactly the date and time. These were minute-by-minute headings, and were distracting. The story isn't especially short, either, so there was more time to continue to be distracted by them. I suppose they were a way of dividing the alternating Kirk/Spock POVs.
Which brings me to that. This is totally a personal thing of mine, but I just don't care for first person present tense in stories. First person has its own problems, but add present tense to that and.... What makes it odd, also, is when the first person present tense is interspersed with live" dialogue. Also, I always find this an odd writing device: a paragraph of dialogue by one person which includes his responses to the other person's words, though we're not given those words by the other person. So it's like hearing one side of a telephone conversation, except that isn't what is going on in the scene-the other person is present. What is the appeal of first person present tense anyway, that many K/S writers want to do it these days? Yes, "immediacy," etc., etc., but there are other ways to do that. Thinking you're closer to the character and expressing him more expressively? Just wanting to do something "different"? Please explain.
However, let me put all that aside, and enjoy this vision of Kirk and Spock, their odyssey in that dingy little room, with the circuit board on one of the beds.... (Yes, it's a seriously dramatic episode, but I love that we can have them find love within the context of this universal-life-and- death scenario. Just like I love that we can read so much into that small but telling circumstance of Spock having occupied one of the beds with his machinery-didn't all of us wonder about this as younger versions of ourselves when we first watched?)
So, they must share the other bed; and we're given Kirk's thoughts about this, and Spock's. It's strained between them, and they're both reluctant to speak of it. All this feels authentic, based on the very real dynamics of their individual personalities and on their professional and personal relationship. Then...I love it when Kirk finally admits he's having a response sleeping so close to Spock. Just a human quirk, he says. Right. So then Spock talks about Vulcans also appreciating physical proximity and such.
Oh, these are exquisite moments...the tentative touching...moving closer... a kiss-so lovely. And, unfortunately, the headings are a distraction in this breath- holding kind of scene.
I love the sex, love the afterglow, love how they cannot speak but to just say each other's names quietly. And Spock thinks: "Illogical. Exquisite." Beautiful.
And then, in a nice poetical way, there are the essences of the episode that are drawn down into this story. Kirk thinks: "We have just altered the times we live in. Forever." This of course has meaning in the episode with respect to Edith's death, but now it has an enriched meaning in the K/S sense. Also, the "all is as it was" line comes up. Kirk and Spock, of course, know that definitely is not true now.
There's a wonderful moment I love, when they both think it's over, that their unguarded passion has mined their working relationship. What I love is the little scene when they grab one last moment of passion. Though the misunderstanding persists.I wondered why the story ended not with Kirk and Spock in each other's arms, but an odd little scene where McCoy comes in the room. However, in the end, their both coming to their senses about the viability of their relationship is satisfying... as is the sex. 
This is a 15 page story which is somewhat like a diary of alternating thoughts between Kirk and Spock. Don't read this LOC if you dislike the plot revealed. It starts just before their first sex when they are on earth during the Edith Keeler incident. Basically the story only takes a few days. It's divided, also, into three parts. Chapter 1 is "In the Mission" and basically covers their first sexual experience. It ends with Edith's thoughts which is her only entry. Chapter 2 is "On the Ship," and this happens after Edith's death. Spock decides to transfer, and Kirk. Chapter 3 is "At Officer's Row," and McCoy plays more of a part. He gets it out of Kirk what is wrong with Spock and him. Soon Spock and Kirk solve their problems. This ends with the sole entry from McCoy. The author ties everything together then, including Edith's final words which she spoke to McCoy as he held her as she died. I must admit that I cried at the end. It's not really a sad story, just a very touching and sentimental one. 
New perspectives on what took place in that long ago city of New York are always intriguing. This one’s quite different in that it is told first person style from both Spock’s and Kirk’s point of view. It’s nice knowing what they both think, how they react to the realization there is only one bed in which they can sleep, the second being rendered out of service by electronic components. Spock admits to himself that he is far from peaceful within while Kirk rests so close. I like the Vulcan-like thought processes and find them very believable. Also very refreshing is that Edith, ever perceptive, has it all figured out. “It was crystal clear,” she concludes, “every time Spock looked at him.” Back on the Enterprise, things become complicated. There is a lot of conflict to be resolved – and resolved it is. And with Edith’s blessing, which is a nice ending touch. 
- from The K/S Press #48
- from The K/S Press #49
- from The K/S Press #51
- from The K/S Press #70