Crossing the Line (Star Trek: TOS story)

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K/S Fanfiction
Title: Crossing the Line
Author(s): Kathy Stanis
Date(s): 1995
Genre: slash
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series
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Crossing the Line is a Kirk/Spock story by Kathy Stanis.

It was published in the print zine T'hy'la #16 where it has a single illo by the author.

illo by Kathy Stanis


"Kirk is a crossdresser."

At KiSmet 2011, Elise M displayed a number of "story pictures" -- Kirk and Spock dolls shown in a scene from a story accompanied by some lines from a story. Fans were challenged to identify with story the tableaus illustrated. These CGAs were later printed in The K/S Press. This one was for "Crossing the Line."

Reactions and Reviews


Well, Kathy has done it again! Our resident master of the taboo subject takes on cross-dressing in this intriguing story and almost makes it believable that Kirk would try dressing up as a woman to explore another side of his personality and sexuality. With her trademark fine writing and luxuriously poetic style. Kathy vividly illustrates the sensual delights this practice holds for Kirk and—of course—the result when Spock catches him in the act. To be honest, I can't totally buy the idea of Kirk dressing as a woman—and maybe this is just a matter of personal taste, as I don't find the idea of men in drag particularly erotic—but while reading this story, I suspended disbelief and went along for the ride.

I do love the idea of 23rd century men being able to wear flowing, attractive clothes and even makeup. But I didn't see the need for Kirk to wear false breasts—somehow I just didn't buy the necessity of his actually trying to pass himself off as a woman. Nor do I see in his character any hint that Kirk might do such a thing. But the way the author connects the practice to incidents in Kirk's youth was compelling, and did at least attempt to justify his unusual behavior.

And whether or not I believed Kirk would do any of it quickly became a moot point when Spock entered the picture. The ensuing scenes are dynamite! The exploration of another side of Kirk's sexuality also allowed for the exploration of a more sensual, worldly wise Spock than we often see in K/S fiction. I absolutely loved this gallant Spock, so self-assured and undaunted by what must have been a startling revelation about his captain and friend.

Spock takes Kirk's drag in stride, and you can probably guess the result. Ill say only that Kathy has again written one of the most surprisingly erotic scenes in our genre. And she sacrifices none of her usual emotional intensity in the process, either.

Some of Spock's dialogue is truly wonderful. Especially his reference to "cross dressing drag" and how he seemed to think that was one term, rather than the two terms that Kirk had meant. That one sentence beautifully conveyed Spock's perfectly alien perspective and his nonjudgmental attitude. I also love his comment: "l do believe it would behoove every man to walk in a woman's shoes, so to speak, at least once." (Oh. boy, can we convince Spock to come and visit the 20th century and teach our men a few things?) And Spock's observation that Kirk's lipstick clashed with his necklace—I mean, what other guy would even notice such a thing?

Anyway, a fine and truly original contribution from one of my favorite authors. A must-read in the same sense that Disneyland is a must-visit—it's not for everyone, but everyone ought to experience it at least once. [1]

From the first line of this startlingly original story ("He pulled the delicate silk up slowly; the feel of it whispering against the smooth skin of his legs emptied his mind of everything else") to the last line: "Still, he couldn't help but wonder how this other part of himself would look in that long, green velvet....") K/S readers used to the 'normal' K/S story will be awed, thrilled and shocked. But not surprised. This is, after all, the same author that brought us "The Mask In The Mirror" in WTM 7), that shocking story wherein Spock makes love with his family and that shocking story that I could not believe I was reading, let alone enjoying! She's done it again.

With deft skill and delicate touches, this author manages to make a story like this work. And work beautifully.

I almost don't want to tell anything about it. I don't want to take away the gasp of surprise you will enjoy when it dawns on you what exactly you're reading. However, this story must be truly unique in the annals of K/S. And, by the way, if you are awed by the story, you'll be astonished by the accompanying illustration, done by the author. Someone please tell me if they have ever, in all the years of K/S (from the time of the beginning...) seen a drawing of Kirk like this. Besides, it's beautifully rendered.

So at the risk of being slightly coy in order not to give it away, here are some thoughts and observations. So at the risk of being slightly coy in order not to give it away, here are some thoughts and observations.

Very effective tension as Kirk makes his way out into the world. So many clever touches accompanied his brave foray—a man's leer in an elevator and later when Kirk thinks of him as "horrid". This is a wonderful comment on not only Kirk's experience as a man, but the beginnings of his altered perceptions as a woman. Even further, the story continues to expand ones definition of men and women; stretching the boundaries both of society and of Kirk's and Spock's personal views and experiences.

Spock's drop-dead classic pick-up line as he sits down next to Kirk at the bar: 'You look ...ravishing. Jim.' Also wonderful were Spock's priceless comments on coordinating fashion: 'That shade of lipstick was not perfect...It clashed with the rose-stones."

Delightful humor with careful attention to detail gives the story richness and depth. Ms. Stanis masterfully combined a true-to-form K/S story with all its necessary emotional life, love and sex with fascinating sociological commentary on attitudes and mores of the present and of the future. In a way. it is a celebration of being female and of being male. And what separates the two is not so clearly defined as we might think.

The title defines a variety of meanings. Kirk's crossing the line to tell Spock that he loves him; crossing the line of gender; looking at what makes us what we are and what we appear to be.

Beyond a doubt- here is story that delivers good, solid K/S and makes you think. A terrific combination written with beautiful style. [2]

What an interesting idea! This author always manages to come up with a way of looking at K/S that is unique and startling, and after twenty-odd years of fan fiction this is an extraordinary achievement in itself.

I must say that I don't subscribe to this view of Kirk, I didn't before I read the story, nor did I two seconds after I finished reading it. It doesn't mesh with anything I have come to know about our intrepid captain but, and here's the point, it really doesn't have to. For the space of this story I simply followed where the author wanted to take me and enjoyed the trip immensely! Kathy writes with such clarity, such expressiveness, that the reader immediately visualizes the word pictures she paints.

The whole first scene is filled with such incredibly sensuous imagery. I felt I was entering a soul I'd known existed but had never before visited, and better yet, felt that I had glimpsed and understood some of its allure. (Oh, so that's how it feels!! I'm not saying I want to live there, I'm just saying it was a hell of an interesting place for a vacation! (Excuse me for not being more specific, but this is still a fairly new zine, and I don't want to spoil the pleasure of those who may chance upon this story without knowing its subject matter.)

This seems to me to be the essence of good writing, to be able to take a scenario that one does not necessarily subscribe to and convince others, at least for a short while, in its absolute threatening, yet I doubt he cringes each time he sees one.

The drawing that accompanies this piece unveils yet another aspect of Kathy's vast talent. Strikingly unusual and expertly done.

This story will not be everyone's cup of tranya, but if pleases me no end that there is a place in our K/S family where we can stretch our literary wings, where we can explore all aspects of Kirk and Spock. and sexuality -our own or that of others, that there are special people like Kathy with the talent and courage to do it. To paraphrase, if not here, then where? [3]


The theme of this story is transgression. Both drag and K/S are radically transgressive for Kirk. Some of us have been reading K/S for so long that we often forget that K/S has been and still is viewed by many outside the K/S community as a shocking transgression against the conventional view of Kirk -as shocking as Kirk in drag. I see this Kirk with the childhood transvestite fantasies as an a/u version of the character. Kirk is sometimes portrayed as having been victimized in childhood for being a "pretty boy.' The usual reaction is the decision to fight back and prove he's a 'real man" by being tougher than his opponents. Those who see macho as a defining characteristic of Kirk can't imagine Kirk making any other choice, Yet there is a sensitive feeling side to Kirk that makes him far more than a macho stereotype. I can see that Kirk has the potential to develop in a different direction, In this a/u Kirk appears to have made the unconventional decision that rf he was going to be hung for an offense, he might as well live up to it. He was going to be the best damned "pretty boy" anyone ever saw. There's a defiance and gutsiness about this reaction that make this a believable an a/u path for Kirk. When I think of this Kirk would react to the events of Turnabout Intruder." I'd love to see Kathy write such an story. It would make an intriguing sequel to 'Crossing The Line." [4]


Have you heard of the cross-dressing story? If you’ve been in zine K/S fandom for any length of time, you probably have. “Crossing the Line” by Kathy Stanis not only presents us with a cross-dressing Kirk, but also gives us a picture of him, feminized, by the author/artist. Ah, come on, you know you want to read it! [5]


  1. ^ from Come Together #20
  2. ^ from Come Together #19
  3. ^ from Come Together #21
  4. ^ from Come Together #29
  5. ^ from The Legacy of K/S in Zines: 1991-1995: Publisher by Publisher