Divorce Vulcan Style
|Title:||Divorce Vulcan Style|
|Author(s):||Mary Suskind Lansing|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
|External Links:||at AO3|
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There was a prequel, Parted and Never Parted, which was to have been published in the second edition of Organia. That zine was never published, and it is unknown if the story was ever written or printed.
It was published in the print zine Consort #2.
"It deals with the well-known problem of Kirk's addiction to danger, when Spock goes into pon farr Kirk flies to Vulcan to aid his bondmate, and while there comes to terms with himself and what his forcing them apart has cost him."
Reactions and Reviews
... this story is in a zine with one of the weirdest covers you'd ever want to see! It's a Southern Cross drawing showing a very beefy, very hefty, very buff Kirk standing on a mountain wearing some sexy warrior paraphernalia. Also, this zine is very big. Looking back on 1986, one is astounded at the job these ladies did in typing this thing without benefit of computers.
So—to the story. Kirk saved Spock's life over twenty-seven other people during an incident on the Enterprise. They've been bonded, but Spock leaves the ship and Kirk stays. The bond is still there and Kirk is aware of Spock's going into pon farr. After a two year separation, Kirk goes to Vulcan. All this is an excellent premise for a story which begins very cleverly from the POV of a whore who was just about to have sex with Kirk when he gets a telepathic zing from Spock. Some wonderful moments as they go to an isolated house on Vulcan that Spock had built all to the specifications of his and Kirk's dreams. And how heart-rending because they are still very much In love and very nervous about their reunion. I adored all the items and personal things in the house that have meaning for Kirk. So I was shocked, along with Spock. when Kirk said:"I'm not staying. Spock. We only have this week." It broke my heart.
So many beautiful scenes such as when they take a walk in the large dome-covered garden adjacent to the house.
There are lots of wonderful thoughts and emotions— however, one big drawback in the showing of these emotions was the ever-changing point-of-view. This is a prime example as to why staying with one POV is so effective and why changing back and forth and being privy to both minds is such a mistake. In this case, by revealing what Spock is thinking, as well as what Kirk is thinking, wef the readers, are robbed of all the mystery and wonder that Kirk feels when he thinks of Spock. Ifs kind of hard to explain, but the revealing takes away our excitement.
What an inventive idea—Spock designed his bedroom just like the one that he and Kirk used to fantasize about So romantic!
I love the difference and the unusual twist in this story in that they are both aware of the encroaching pon farr and are prepared for it. Usually, in most stories, pon farr takes them by surprise. And I loved Spock's trying to control himself as his impulses and drives become stronger Really neat.
But...uh, oh—second-part-fall-apart alert! Another story that starts strong and terrific and then gets weak and borderline silly (well..maybe not borderline). Kirk throws himself (with a loud "war whoop") onto the bed. Spock compares Kirk's hair "like strands of silk over a weaving bobbin" (is that like Vulcan?) The beginning of their long anticipated sexual encounter is with Kirk bouncing up and down so that his cock bobs up and down. (Or is it Kirk bobs up and down so that his cock bounces up and down?) They banter in the heat of passion. One of my pesky peccadilloes—toothpaste. (They still use toothpaste?) And the all-time peccadillo—they both collapse in a fit of giggles. And, on top of all this, their first important love-making is cut-to-the-crashing-waves! Aaargh!
The Marilyn Cole drawings were more sexually explicit than the story. Forget explicit. How about just some sex?So my recommendation is to definitely read this story for the whole first part which really is wonderful. The scenes and moments I described above were absolutely breathtaking. 
Last month I wrote a review of Mary’s story “Commutative Diagram.” “Divorce, Vulcan Style,” was published even earlier in 1986, and is, in my opinion, one of the classics of our genre. This story has everything I look for in a K/S story: a little bit of angst (pull at my heartstrings but not so much that it overwhelms the story), obstacles to be overcome (it shouldn’t be too easy for them), loving sex (oh, yes, and if it’s sweet and tender and wildly erotic at the same time you won’t hear me complaining), excellent characterizations (I want to hear their voices in my head), superior writing (don’t take me out of the story with too many typos; a lovely turn of phrase will always catch my attention), and if you could just make it funny and sad and moving and unique and dramatic while you’re at it, I’ll be yours forever. I don’t want too much, do I? Oh, well, it gives me something to aim for in my own writing.
The story starts on Starbase 6. Kirk has had too much to drink and is having sex with a prostitute when he is suddenly incapacitated by a brief attack of blinding pain. It passes as quickly as it came, but Kirk knows the cause immediately. Spock is somewhere close by, the pain an unconscious reaction on the Vulcan’s part when he inadvertently mentally stumbles into Kirk’s mind during intercourse. Kirk sets out to find his former first officer, but the Vulcan flees as fast as he can.
It’s been a year since the bondmates divorced. When Spock is injured and Kirk rescues him at the cost of twenty-seven crew dead, McCoy laid the choice before him: pick either the ship or Spock. Kirk chose the ship. “After spending over a quarter of a century learning to command, he found he couldn’t give her up, not even for Spock. It tore him apart, but he’d sent Spock away.”
According to the terms of the divorce, Kirk commits to servicing Spock during pon farr, and although he may engage in sex he may not marry. Spock, on the other hand, commits to shielding the bond. This whole first scene is written beautifully. The anguish of both men is thoroughly revealed even though Spock isn’t even present. (By the way, the story of how Spock leaves the Enterprise and Kirk makes this fatal decision is told in the prequel “Parting and Never Parted” published in Consort 3. Evidently Mary was besieged by requests for the beginning of the tale.)
Two years later Kirk, now an admiral, is in a meeting with his aide at Starfleet Headquarters in San Francisco, when the inevitable happens. Pon farr has finally come, and Spock summons Kirk to his side. (See Best of the Best for an explanation of how it’s done.)
What follows is just one of the most poignant, heart- wrenching descriptions I’ve ever read. Spock brings Kirk back to his house, and we see what the Vulcan has been doing over the past few years. Each facet of his living space has been designed with Kirk in mind, from the carefully chosen cooler location to the beautiful wood Captain’s desk, from the moisture-controlled garden to the importation of an Argellian pleasure bed. All of Spock’s dreams have focused on the moment when they will be together again. The reunion is everything both men hope it will be, but the time is still not right for them. Spock is full of hope that this time Kirk will stay, or that he will allow Spock to join him on Earth, but Kirk contends that his new position doesn’t permit him to stay in one place for long, and that it wouldn’t be any kind of a stable life for them. When he asks Spock to give him memories to hold on to until pon farr comes again, Spock’s hopes along with the reader’s are dashed.
As they proceed back to the spaceport for Kirk to catch a ship home, there is a wildly erotic, yet comical scene, of the two making love on a public street. Sounds impossible to do and keep Kirk and Spock in character, doesn’t it? Yet Mary pulls it off.
Let me hasten to assure you that they do resolve their problems. Kirk decides to try for the head job at Starfleet Academy. Of course there is no question he will get it, and he telepathically lets his bondmate know their long separation is over. The simple small changes in Spock’s body language—just the way his head comes up, the way his shoulders straighten—speak in such a subtle way of the relief and happiness he feels now that his pain is over.This is, in all ways, a unique and beautiful story. It always brings a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye. I miss this author and her special take on the Kirk/Spock relationship. 
Way back when I was first getting into K/S fandom and buying every used zine I could get my hands on, a free-standing copy of this story made its way into my hands. With two endings. As I recall, the alternative ending was much sadder and more ambivalent than the one actually printed in Consort 2. I am really happy that the author and editor decided to finish this story in an upbeat manner in the zine, because otherwise I’d carry around this pit of depression with me whenever I thought of this story. Mary Lansing is a very, very good writer, and when good writers write sad stories...well, I just want to run in the opposite direction. Thankfully, that’s not the direction this story ultimately takes. Whew!
Instead, I’m impressed with the Kirk characterization. Although he’s bonded to Spock, they have separated because Kirk can’t stand the thought of continuing to expose Spock to the dangers of the service, although he himself is so addicted to the danger that he can’t leave. There’s also the hint that their separation also serves to feed Kirk’s need for independence and screwing around. So Spock goes back to Vulcan and Kirk continues to junket around the galaxy, until Spock’s pon farr calls Kirk home to him...at least for a little while.I can really feel Spock’s need for Kirk, the utter happiness that they are together mixed with the bittersweet knowledge that Kirk will leave him again.... At the end, Spock accompanies Kirk to the station for him to go off-planet, and, gee, I can feel the depression growing. But then Kirk, thank goodness, has a good, hard look at himself. 
- from The K/S Press #4
- from The K/S Press #77
- from The K/S Press #82