All This Time
|Title:||All This Time|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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It was published in the print zine Beyond Dreams #1.
This story was nominated for a 1999 STIFfie Award.
"Commissioner Ferris continues to be a problem after the shuttlecraft crew is rescued when he tries to bring Kirk up on charges, convinced that Kirkʼs actions were due only to his affection for his first officer."
Reactions and Reviews
Aftermath of Galileo Seven. As Kirk comes to a few realizations about what his first officer means to him, commissioner Ferris is still making a nuisance of himself. What does he have in mind? Great writing, great unfolding, great characterization and character dynamics, this was the discovery of another new favorite author for me :). The fic also does a nice job of explaining a few points such as Kirk not even bothering to ascertain the identity of the cremembers beamed aboard (very significant plot point here). 
What a wonderfully rich and detailed story—Kirk is haunted by the knowledge that when Spock was in danger, he knew intuitively that he was okay. He knew Spock was alive and believes it was the result of the
mind-melds they’ve shared and his growing attraction. As a backdrop to this good, emotional drama is Commissioner Ferris and his accusations and vendetta against Kirk. He accuses Kirk of abandoning his crew in favor of other lives—specifically Spock’s. And what an excellent dilemma as they can’t just tell him to go f...k himself because he’s in Starfleet. His character is such a weasel—a really wonderful weasel who you just love to hate. Then one of the most memorable scenes ever— Ferris asks Spock for a tour of the Enterprise and then the slime bucket asks Spock to play his lyre for him in his quarters. Spock’s reaction when Ferris comes on to him is priceless! Kirk bursts in suddenly right at the moment when Ferris is leaning forward for a kiss. Great scene! Kirk admits to Spock that he was jealous and then says he’s in love with him. Spock says the feelings are mutual. Kirk also tells Spock that he knew he was alive after the Galileo incident. I always enjoy the creative ideas that authors come up with for Vulcan links and mental connections. Here it’s the “t’veh” which is a “basic form of telepathic link” and an empathic connection. The one drawback I felt about this scene was that the revelation that they were in love with each other might have come after the discussion of the mind meld. Maybe that sounds like nit-picking, but it threw off the building tension of the scene for me. Discussing mind melds seems more like a prelude to the ultimate confession of loving one another. Besides, they were able to say “I love you” very easily. But then when they kissed and “It felt like coming home”—I just melted. I was disappointed that the whole Ferris situation was kind of dropped. So instead of a satisfying conclusion (Ferris gets his), it pointed up how the brouhaha was merely a writer device to get Kirk and Spock together. While the protest that Ferris has reported is reviewed by Starfleet, Kirk and Spock go on a shore leave. They want to be together so they can have sex. Even though this might have been odd, it was really good. Often when they discuss their plans to have sex, it comes across as stilted and unnatural. But this was just the right combination of discussion and emotions. And even though I might prefer their making mad, passionate love spontaneously, I thoroughly enjoyed the way it was in this story.M.E. Carter is one fine author. 
This story was a pleasure, with its leisurely style and dialogue which felt so genuine, its vivid picture of ship's life, especially Kirk and Spock going about their business together. I have to mention a common thing we tend to do, which makes for an undramatic opening. We might think we have to pack all sorts of information into the beginning paragraphs, which is fine (and it can be maddeningly confusing when you're so cryptic that the reader doesn't know who/what/where); but doing this can be at the expense of a dramatic drawing-us-in. Instead of just being drawn into the story without being overly aware of the writing itself, I'll actively notice the first long paragraph, the pages of long, dense paragraphs, perhaps containing long, unwieldy sentences. Anyway, the writing in the rest of this story seemed nicely clear and economical. Besides, maybe the long paragraphs in the beginning were effective insofar as easing the reader into the leisurely style, as I mentioned.
The story takes place after the "Galileo" incident. A great idea, to have the obnoxious Ferris try to come between Kirk and Spock; while meanwhile the dynamics between Kirk and Spock are more than merely desire and/or resistance. Kirk's immediately knowing Spock was alive, was one of the five beamed aboard from the Galileo, makes him think back to a meld Spock had done previously to teach him to meditate after his painful experience with the neural neutralizer. I loved this simple little hint of Kirk's stronger feelings: that he had felt the meld was "disappointing" in that it was "professional and impersonal." I can picture this so well, that deep down he had an expectation for something more intimate in his melds with Spock. As to the current situation, he now wonders if they have some residual link from that meld. The whole thing about Ferris is great. He really gets on Kirk's case about Kirk's uncommon devotion to his crew (read: Spock) over and above the greater good (the millions waiting for the medical supplies). But best of all is Ferris messing with their heads by seeming to come on to Spock in Kirk's presence. Really a great scene—Kirk's jealousy, before he can really control himself from showing it. And then the lovely, lovely quiet talk Kirk and Spock have right after that, when it becomes apparent that now is the time to make their feelings clear.
This part is written very beautifully, plain but so full of feeling. Sweet, tentative talk...and a kiss, two kisses. I like that there's no sex right away; they have to go about their business. This, of course, gives just those kisses more heightened meaning. The setting for finally coming together (and the Ferris plot-line resolution) was really nice—a secluded cabin, a bit of shore leave with the ship in orbit. Slow, beautiful arousal and touching and a little talking. Long pages and pages of foreplay and sex, oh god. Hot, sweet love; touch, sucking, coming. (In the middle of this, there's an odd paragraph of a very distant perspective, the god-observing/commenting kind.) I think it isn't always necessary to resolve every single aspect of what Kirk and Spock are going to have to deal with in their future, all in the final afterglow scene. This was done in this story, though admittedly kept to a minimum; and I'm not saying I didn't enjoy reading it. We learned exactly where Spock stood with his bond with T'Pring, and they talk of their future and being bondmates, etc.A very satisfying story. 
Usually when a story is so captivating you want it to last forever, it turns out to be short. Not this time.
One of my favorite themes is exploration of a series episode, perhaps because it gives me a rich visual; perhaps because there is always so much left unsaid. Having my own theory for Kirk's failure to ask which crewmen had survived the incineration of the Galileo, I was ripe for Ms. Carter's version. Much the same: Kirk knows Spock is OK because they are linked. Only in this case Kirk hasn't yet realized it— nor has Spock.
One must have a it of antagonism to make things challenging, and that challenge comes in the form of High Commissioner Ferris, meddling as usual. Ms. Carter has a deft command of her characters, both crew and extras, bringing them to vibrant life without appearing to do so by lengthy explanations. Rather she does it with keenly described expressions and true-to-life dialog.
The process of falling in love and admitting that love is handled with utmost dignity and strength of self. Neither Spock's Vulcanness or Kirk's determination and loyalty to his career are compromised. Even when the despicable Commissioner sets up a "seduction" scene for Kirk to witness between himself and Spock, doubt never entere Kirk's mind. He sees through the cruel charade in a heartbeat.Their beautiful loving is accompanied by a gorgeously erotic pencil drawing by Liz. Not that this author needs any assistance in providing a spine- tingling love scene. The art is something to lock your gaze upon as your brain comes to terms with the exciting tale you've just been told. 
M.E. Carter is one of my favorite authors. Her novel, Worlds Apart, is just wonderful, and I hope she someday writes a sequel to it. I really liked this story, too, set on the Enterprise immediately after the events portrayed in the episode The Galileo Seven. Commissioner Ferris is still on board the Enterprise as they make their way towards Makus III to deliver the medical supplies. Ferris is convinced that Kirk cares too much for his crew, in particular Spock, to the point that he would have continued to look for him and let millions die. Ferris is determined to prove that Kirk is unfit for command for this reason. I really enjoy stories set on the ship that involve one of the episodes, and I thought this was an interesting story to set after this particular episode. After all, at the conclusion of the episode, Ferris was still on board the Enterprise. How would he interact with Kirk after what had happened? This story attempts to provide an answer, in a K/S context. Kirk realizes that he knew without asking that Spock was one of the crewmembers who survived, and that he and Spock have some sort of mental connection. As Kirk analyzes his reactions and feelings about what just happened, and how he almost lost Spock, he comes to realize that he is in love with Spock. In the story Ferris continues to criticize Kirk, to bait him, and to insinuate that his feelings for Spock go way beyond friendship. Ferris even attempts to kiss Spock in front of Kirk in order to observe Kirk’s reaction. I love how it’s made clear that Kirk would have abandoned the search for his crewmembers in time to get the medical supplies to Makus III even if Ferris had not been there. One thing I enjoyed in this story was the depiction of Kirk’s integrity and honor, and his commitment to his responsibilities. The James T. Kirk I admire would not have let millions of people die in order to try and save a few, even if one was Spock. I love that Spock understands and accepts this, and defended Kirk to Ferris, using the phrase we came to hear so memorably in The Wrath of Kahn: “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”. The scene where Kirk discusses the mental connection he has with Spock, which leads to the two of them declaring their love to each other is so well written. I like this part : “We’re not falling in love because we work together, Kirk realized. We work together so well because all this time... we’ve been falling in love”. Kirk and Spock decide it’s probably best not to consummate their love with Ferris on board, but the author manages to work in quiet little exchanges of verbal affection and kissing that are really nice. Ferris does file a formal complaint against Kirk, and the resolution of that complaint and the final love scene between Kirk and Spock make a very satisfying conclusion to this excellent story. 
I nearly always like stories which either continue on from one of the episodes or retell that story in a K/S way, so I expected to like this one and was not disappointed. It was a very well written follow up to the episode “The Galileo Seven”, and the characters all seemed true to life. Also, the author manages to twist several strands of plot together in a very satisfying way.
The story starts with Kirk wondering and speculating why he knew without having to ask that Spock was one of the survivors and beginning to suspect that he and Spock have some kind of mental link, and at the same time Ferris is plotting his revenge on Kirk. It is ironic in the end that at the time Ferris makes his complaint about Kirk the situation he is so unhappy about does not actually exist and his actions only have the effect of pushing Kirk and Spock closer together. The scene in Spock’s cabin where Ferris has manipulated Kirk into catching him with Spock is well written and we share Kirk’s feelings of jealousy and anger as he unintentionally reveals his feelings to Ferris all too clearly, although in the end, this does not have the effect Ferris intended at all! It was also nice to see all Kirk’s senior officers gathering together to protect him from Ferris (it’s clear that they all know he can’t stand having to spend any time with him after his insensitive attitude earlier), and especially to see both McCoy and Spock united for once and endeavouring to keep Ferris occupied so Kirk doesn’t have to spend any time with him. It’s clear as the story progresses that all the crew are firmly on Kirk’s side just as we would expect.I also liked the way Spock showed a great deal of restraint and consideration for Kirk’s reputation in this story, although he wanted to join Kirk on shore leave he did not do so, feeling his presence might jeopardise Kirk's position, which demonstrates his extreme loyalty to Kirk. However, once the situation is resolved, he wastes no time joining Kirk, and once reunited, they don’t waste much time before they both realise they feel the same way and revealing to each other how they really feel which leads us to a very sensuous, beautifully written love scene at the end. I also enjoyed the descriptions of Makus III in the story, Kirk’s feelings of loneliness as he wanders around the planet on shore leave all alone in the rain and wishing Spock would join him is especially well written. 
Shameless romance set after the events of Galileo Seven. Under pressure from Ferris, Kirk has to balance realisations of his feelings for Spock with his professional duties. What I like about this one is that they don't agonise over their relationship, it just happens. 
- from The K/S Press #35
- "4 September 2009 Master List of K/S Favorites *Updated Nov 19, 2013*". Retrieved Nov 19, 2013.
- from The K/S Press #35
- from The K/S Press #35
- from The K/S Press #51
- from The K/S Press #65
- from The K/S Press #111 and #187
- from Recs by Rhaegal, also in The K/S Press #189