A Thin Flame

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K/S Fanfiction
Title: A Thin Flame
Author(s): Cynthia Drake
Date(s): 1981
Length:
Genre: slash
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series
External Links: A Thin Flame

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A Thin Flame is a Kirk/Spock story by Cynthia Drake.

It was published in the print zines Cheap Thrills #2, Golden Oldies and New Delights, and later online.

The sequel is Bonded.

Summary

"The Kirk of the M/U exchanges Spocks in order to force a bond on this Spock, that will carry over to his own...and this Spockʼs to this Kirk."

Reactions and Reviews

Mirror Kirk kidnaps our Spock in order to rape and then bond with him. Mirror Kirk wants control and dominance over his own Spock. and he believes this act will translate into his own relationship with his Spock in his universe.

Spock is sent back, having been drugged and beaten. Kirk cares for him, declaring his true love.

This is one suffering Spock—he is (or was) a virgin—he's sure that Kirk will hate him. Spock is more afraid of the bond that will happen between himself and Kirk, then having sex with the mirror Kirk. He says: "He'll hate me for it. He'll despise me. You will ruin everything—my whole life. You will leave me nothing." Terrific writing.

The rest of the story, once Spock is returned to his proper universe, is mainly Spock's suffering. At one point, when Spock has told Kirk what happened between him and the mirror Kirk. I loved Kirk's reaction. He says how could you ignore a blow job? And how could Kirk possibly blame him because if that mirror Kirk was anywhere near as good at it as he is, how could Spock have ignored it?

A lovely ending to the story as Kirk falls asleep in Spock's arms and Spock tells him all the things he loves about him. [1]
This LOC was inspired by Jenna's comments to Gratienne in the last issue in which she mentions a rape story that she likes. As you might know I too generally hugely dislike rape stories in any form, but here is one that despite it being just the type of thing I usually hate, I actually liked. OK the basic idea is that the mirror Kirk wants to bond with his Spock but feels he can only do so by forcing a bond that the Vulcan would afterwards honour. Only the mirror Spock could not be forced, to remedy this the mirror Kirk abducts our Spock and forces a bond on him that will mean he will also be bonded to his Spock. (Perhaps this is cross universe bonding is unlikely but it seems to work in this story.)

Anyway I’m reading this story thinking, ugh I hate these stories where any Kirk rapes any Spock, even though the mirror characters are plausibly brutal enough to do this. BUT wait, now Spock is returned to our Kirk and there is some lovely hurt comfort. All to often the sex that is offered in comfort in this type of story is its self uncomfortably rough, but not so here. Poor Spock is still drugged up when he comes back all controls gone, he tearfully tells Kirk what happened and Kirk angry as he is with his counterpart shows Spock that sex can be gentle and based on mutual desire. Now we are treated to some lovely tender moments that make up for the unpleasantness of the early parts of the story. Clearly the comfort works both for me and for Spock!

Now this is by no means the best K/S story I’ve read but one which was good enough to make me for once put aside my usual objection to rape stories so I decided to LOC it in the interests of IDIC! [2]
This story will always hold a special place in my heart, as it is not only written by one of my all-time favorite K/S authors, but also happens to be the very first K/S story I ever read, which was about 21 years ago. Yet despite the passage of time, this particular piece has never grown stale for me, although I have lost count of how many times I have read it.

In this story, Spock is transported to the Mirror universe, where he finds himself a prisoner of that Enterprise's Kirk. Paralyzed by a drug that also prevents him from blocking out any emotion, Spock soon learns from the Mirror Kirk the reason for his kidnapping. It seems that this Kirk has learned that if he bonds with our Spock, then he will automatically be bonded with his own Spock, as well. As the Mirror Kirk explains to our Spock, by doing so, his Spock will then be forced to protect Kirk at all times because the bonding will insure that Spock will not survive Kirk's death. As an added bonus, the Mirror Kirk has discovered that if Spock should die, he himself will survive the breaking of their bond, thus all the cards are in his favor. When our Spock questions the Mirror Kirk why he didn't force a bonding onto his own first officer, Kirk explains that death bond or no, his Spock would have no choice but to try to kill Kirk for what he dared do. Thus it was safer for Kirk to bond with our Spock since by doing so, his own Spock would have no reason to seek revenge. Spock then realizes that if the Mirror Kirk succeeds with his plans, it will also mean that he will be bonded with his own Kirk, something he is sure his captain could never accept. Desperate to prevent that from happening, he begs the Mirror Kirk not to do this, but his pleas fall on deaf ears. With his victim rendered defenseless by the drug, the Mirror Kirk takes full advantage of the opportunity in front of him, first by raping and then eventually forcing the bonding from Spock. But the physical abuse Spock suffers is nothing compared to the mental anguish he feels once the bonding is successful. He is completely convinced that his own Kirk will reject him once he is returned home and that thought is simply unbearable for Spock. Sensing this, the Mirror Kirk, in a rare moment of sympathy, decides to send Spock back to his own Kirk right after the bonding, in the hopes that his counterpart can give Spock the reassurance the Vulcan will need in order to accept what has happened.

One of the reasons that this story has remained one of my all-time favorites is because it contains plenty of what I always enjoy in a K/S story and that is angst. This author is a master at what I like to call "get Spock" stories and while she does tend to portray him as weak in a lot of her stories, she never does so without a plausible explanation. In "A Thin Flame", Spock's rather uncharacteristic behavior is a direct result of the drug he is forced to take, so it is not difficult for the reader to accept his rather emotional state in the latter part of the story. Her portrayal of both Kirks, however, is right on the money, form the ruthlessness the Mirror Kirk displays in order to get what he wants to the gentle and loving manner our Kirk displays when dealing with a very traumatized Spock after he is returned home. Great characterizations, lots of hurt/comfort, and a happy ending makes this story a must read for every K/S fan. [3]
Shades of Broken Images! I have never been a big fan of A/U stories except for the aforementioned novel. Thus, it was with some reservation that I read the short story, “A Thin Flame”, by Cynthia Drake. “A Thin Flame” is actually a sequel to the episodic story, “Mirror, Mirror”. The characters are focused almost solely on Kirk, A/U Kirk, and the main character, Spock. There are the guest appearances of Dr. McCoy and A/U Spock. Severely restricted, the setting is limited to the Spocks’ quarters in both universes, except for the opening scene on the bridge.

This first time story’s clever plot has an interesting twist for any lover of the Spock character! AU Kirk switches Spocks between the two universes in order to bond with our Spock. This task, the captain of the ISS Enterprise feels, would be easier to handle then to directly deal with the A/U Spock. Consequently, the bond would supposedly allow the “Mirror” Kirk to manipulate his Spock into a permanent relationship, which will allow for no deception. Can our Spock allow such a bond to force our Kirk to be linked with him? Will our Kirk’s hidden affection for Spock be revealed? It is because of this intriguing storyline that I thoroughly like “A Thin Flame”. Unfortunately, the story is too short! There could have been more interactions between our Kirk and the mirror Spock. Also, I would have liked to know how the Mirror Kirk and Mirror Spock’s reunion went. Perhaps there is a sequel that I am unaware of? If not, Cynthia Drake needs to write the sequel! Alas, there is one last drawback to the story. I would not have accepted the emotional reactions of our Spock, if not for the explanation of the drug usage (which is a common catalyst in such stories.) Even so Spock was a bit too weepy for me.

For someone who is very limited in his or her preference for AU stories, “A Thin Flame” is quite enjoyable. Thank you, O Keeper of the Flame, Carolyn Spencer, your guidance in selecting “A Thin Flame” and other K/S fanfic for this reader is always rich and inspiring. [4]
The mirror Kirk figures out if he forces a bond with the alternate Spock he will have a bond with Spock in his own universe. The mirror Kirk is still violent and selfish, but the character is written with a bit of conscience and he decides to send Spock back earlier than he planned: "Send Spock back now; let Jim Kirk comfort him [..] That Kirk wasn't blind, and he'd have to be not have noticed-- and considered--his Spock before. They simply couldn't be that different. The only difference was that he himself was willing to go out and take what he wanted. That Kirk would have never done so, which was why, he supposed, Spock loved him." That little bit of reasoning from a more brutal Kirk gave him the humanity that is expected of his character. When Spock is returned to his own universe, a delicious abundance hurt/comfort fest ensues. [5]
This story is very special to me because not only is it written by one of my all-time favorite authors, but also because twenty years ago this month, I got my first K/S zine and read my first K/S story. I don‘t think I need to say which story or which zine it was. And through the years since, this story has remained in my top ten of favorite K/S stories ever. It‘s what compelled me to want to read even more stories and collect even more zines and after twenty years, that passion has never dimmed and it was all due to this particular story.

To give a brief synopsis, this story is set in both the Mirror universe and our own. The Mirror Kirk is having trust issues with his Spock and wants to find a way to resolve the situation so that no matter what, he knows he can trust Spock to always have his back. A little research gives him the solution – if he bonds with Spock his problem is solved. The only thing is he knows that if he forces HIS Spock to bond with him, Spock would kill him right afterward, bond or no bond. So Kirk goes for the next best option – he manages to switch his Spock for ours so he can force a bond without having to worry about the consequences. Besides, he kind of senses that his Spock wants to bond with him anyway, but the harsh reality of life in the Empire prevents him from making that choice. Unfortunately for our Spock, once he is in Mirror Kirk‘s clutches, the experience is far from pleasant, but the physical abuse he suffers is nothing compared to the mental anguish he feels once the Mirror Kirk reveals why he is there. Our Spock is absolutely convinced that should the Mirror Kirk succeed, Spock would then be bonded with his Kirk, something he is convinced his Kirk would never want. But no matter how much Spock pleads and begs, nothing will stop Mirror Kirk from achieving his goal, leaving our Kirk and Spock to deal with the consequences.

This is just one of the many stories this author penned over the years she focused on writing K/S. And while she has since moved on to other fandoms, she leaves a legacy of wonderful, unforgettable K/S stories behind – including one that also introduced my bestest K/S buddy Deanna Gray to the fandom, a wonderful little tale called And a Bottle of Rum. Although I kind of think it was due more to the delicious ―Southern Cross‖ illo that accompanied the story that REALLY made her a fan. But either way, I find it really special that both of us fell in love with the fandom due to the unique talent of this very special author. That‘s why this particular story will always have a special place in my heart. [6]

References

  1. from Come Together #25
  2. from The K/S Press #45
  3. from The K/S Press #77
  4. from The K/S Press #39
  5. from The K/S Press #164
  6. from The K/S Press #161