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It was published in the print zine First Time #54.
"Kirk refuses to rebond with Spock after the fal tor pan in reaction to Spockʼs breaking of it the first time to keep Kirk from following him into death."
Reactions and Reviews
I found this a powerful story. That image of the bond fraying in Kirk’s mind as he ran to Engineering and how he clawed and clutched at it as hard as he could, feeling it slip away. And waiting for the deathbond to take him after the funeral. So poignant. The long meld scene balanced the anguish of the earlier part of the story. I have to say that, in this story, Kirk’s pain and initial rejection of Spock, rings true to me because of what he has experienced. It is psychologically understandable, and Kirk’s turmoil does not come across as weakness, but evidence of the strength of his feelings for Spock. It is hard, I think, for any writer to portray Kirk as very emotional and stay really true to his character. Because, although the man is emotional, his control is as fine as Spock’s in his own way. I really don’t care for a petulant Kirk at all. (I know I shouldn’t make him cry in my own stories, but it gets a bit irresistible. He suffers so beautifully.)Anyway, I found this a painful but lovely story, which did the characters justice. Can’t wait to find out who wrote it. (I have my suspicions) 
Kirk refuses to rebond with Spock after the fal tor pan in reaction to Spockʼs breaking of it the first time to keep Kirk from following him into death. 
This was another great story in the FT 54 zine. There were five or six stories that tied as my very favorites in the zine, and this was one of them. (Choosing just three was sooo difficult.) This story is intense and so full of angst it is heartbreaking, but it is also wonderful and just beautifully written. Spock and Kirk are reunited on the Enterprise after the events in ST IV, but Kirk is still unable to let go of his grief over Spock’s death, and his anger that Spock broke their death bond and left him behind. Kirk is emotionally distant from Spock, and even states that he doesn’t want a relationship with Spock anymore. The story deals with how they restore and renew their relationship, and come to terms with Spock’s actions and with bonding again.
There are some truly harrowing passages in this story. Like the part where Kirk describes how, as he ran to Spock in the reactor room in engineering, he tried to hold onto the bond: “All the time I was running I fought and clawed and clutched at my end of the bond as hard as I could. With everything I had. With everything I was. But it didn’t.... I couldn’t.... Like water through my hands, it slipped away strand by strand.” I could just feel Kirk’s pain so vividly as I read this.
Or the part where Kirk thinks of how he wants to claim Spock to prove that he belongs to him, and is appalled at the capacity for violence in him that this reveals. Powerful stuff.
And the passage that gives the story its title is just wrenching. Kirk is telling Spock what he told the cadet who wanted to know if there would be a celebration when they got back to Earth.
“You know what I told him? ‘God knows there should be. This time we’ve paid for the party with our dearest blood.’ Our dearest blood, Spock. But to that kid you weren’t ‘our dearest blood’. That kid still wet behind the ears had never seen you when your eyes first opened in the morning with your hair all straggled and mussed. Hadn’t ever heard the sounds you made when I loved you in the night. He could still walk and talk and eat and sleep and make love to his girlfriend, and to him you weren’t ‘our’ dearest blood. Suddenly my legs went out from under me, and I started to fold. Spock followed me down still gripping my arms, and we ended up in an untidy heap on the floor. ‘You were mine.’ A strangled whisper in some stranger’s voice. ‘My dearest blood’. “ Goodness, what an incredible scene! I had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes when I first read it.Another deeply emotional part was when Kirk is telling Spock he doesn’t want the bond again: “Don’t you understand? I can’t go through that again. I won’t go through that again and not be with you.” Kirk asks Spock why he should trust him not to withdraw the death bond again, if something happens to him. Spock answers: “’I am not the same man I was before. I have stepped over the that line between life and death, and I do not have the courage to go there again without you.’ He raised his head. There was a desperate desolation in the dark eyes. ‘Do not make me go alone, T’hy’la’. “ I just loved this whole sequence. There’s so many more parts I loved, such as the chess references woven into the story, but I think I’d better stop before I quote everything! Wonderful writing and a beautiful, powerful story makes “Dearest Blood” one I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend. 
Admiral Kirk, now captain again. Spock comes to him and Kirk is angry and bitter because of what he sees as his bondmate's abandonment of him when Spock died. The Vulcan had broken their bond; Spock's reasons for holding back part of himself at that agonizing moment of death seem perfectly logical to me, and very protective and caring. I like this story because of the intensity of the mood the author creates. That mood is maintained throughout and it is delicious. Seems to me exactly how Kirk would've reacted, temporarily anyway until Spock got to him. Another plus for me: Kirk wasn't always 'grinning'. Sometimes I can't stand so much of that. Anyway, this story is excellent, with a beautiful bonding and love scene between them. Incredibly well done and satisfying. 
The symbolism with which this story begins sets a tone of melancholy for me. The chess set that has arrived unexpectedly is obviously something Spock has bought for Kirk with much love—Kirk grasps the pale green king from the exquisite chess set, cherishing its elongated shape, the veins of darker green enhancing the marble. He traces the double ridges of the crown with his fingers and we know we are in for an emotional tale, but likely not what we expect.
The time is following STIV. Despite the promise implied by Kirk's response to Spock's gift, all is not well aboard the Enterprise. Pain radiates in waves from the Admiral turned Captain. His grief over all that has happened since their infamous "training cruise" is horrible to see. He has sealed himself away from any additional pain and in so doing he has withdrawn from life itself. Most importantly he has withdrawn from Spock.
Even knowing the pain Kirk is feeling as he recounts being witness to Spock's sacrifice and loss of the bond, I found his level of animosity too great. He is almost cruel to Spock at this point, making me very uncomfortable.
I've always loved the scene where Kirk realizes Spock is missing from the bridge and his wild, desperate rush to the engine room. This author reinforces the impact of that fruitless race with time as she describes the bond fraying strand by strand as Kirk dashes toward his bleak destiny.The catharsis is a necessary one, and drives home the enormity of Kirk's loss and his feeling of betrayal that Spock had denied him the death bond, forcing him to remain behind—alone. This is a very powerful subject explored to its depth by the author, finally bringing understanding and renewal of love in its wake.