Falls the Shadow (Star Trek: TOS story by Anne Elliot)
|Title:||Falls the Shadow|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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It was published in the print zine Prophets in the Wilderness.
"McCoy discovers Kirk is being unfaithful to Spock and is horrified when he confronts the unrepentant Kirk."
Reactions and Reviews
Now, this is an excellent piece and, I think, the most powerfully written story in the zine. Kirk and Spock have been bonded for twelve years. For eight of those years, Kirk has had 'secret' affairs with various women. He believes Spock doesn't know. McCoy accidentally finds out and confronts each man. Kirk is unrepentant. Spock will put up with it. No K/S fan is going to like this portrayal but I believe the powerful writing and psychological realism makes it a valid vision, or nightmare. Like the editor, I was chilled because, within its own terms, this story is painfully believable. But not in my universe! 
I'm sorry to say i didn't like this story at all. Kirk is having multiple affairs—affairs, as in taking amistress and dating and making love with her on a regular basis. While he claims commitment and "desperate" love for Spock, his bondmate of 12 years, he has no problem and absolutely no remorse about his infidelity. His extremely casual attitude about Spock and what he's doing makes him seem, to me, to be nothing more than an arrogant, callous, genuine selfish bastard. I cannot recognize this as Kirk at all. And Spock is nothing more than a doormat He knows about all of Kirk's activities and says nothing. He's resigned to the fact that Kirk won't ever stop and apparently too afraid to cause any disturbance in their relationship by bringing up the subject I just can't believe in this. I can see an emotionally vulnerable Spock, but not such an insecure and wimpy Spock that can't at least even talk to Kirk about it. It just doesn't ring true to me that Spock would just accept Kirk's behavior so easily, being content that eventually Kirk comes home to him. What kind of relationship is that? There isn't even any hope at the end, because even as Kirk has decided to end things with his current mistress to give Spock more attention, and supposedly thinking of re examining his lifestyle, he's already calculating how much time he should wait to begin the next affair! I couldn't find any truth or real love in their relationship in this story. The incredible love and friendship I see between them, and that I read K/S for, was nonexistent here to me. 
The editor calls this story the most chilling narrative she has ever read, and I most definitely agree. I normally love Anne‘s writing and she‘s one of my favorite authors. “Falls the Shadow” is the only one of Anne’s stories that I’ve ever disliked. One reason this story was so upsetting for me is because Anne is such a good writer that she makes everything seem too real and believable while you’re reading it. I’ve read other K/S stories where Kirk has had an affair while being involved with Spock, but never like in this story, where he has had 8 affairs in 8 years and also numerous one night stands. Supposedly this Kirk deeply loves Spock and says Spock is essential to him, but he doesn’t get much pleasure from their sex life, so he thinks it’s perfectly okay to go looking for good sex elsewhere. Spock knows about Kirk’s infidelity and isn’t happy about it, but is so needy and insecure that he refuses to say anything to Kirk. This Kirk and Spock involved in a life of betrayal and dishonesty aren’t the Kirk and Spock I read K/S for.Another upsetting thing is that McCoy finds out everything, and is so angry, sad, and disillusioned that he decides that he just can’t be friends with Kirk and Spock anymore. Kirk has some anxious moments in the story when he thinks Spock has found out about his affair, and decides that he’ll have to change his behavior. So finally you think Kirk has learned something and decided to change his serial adultery. No, the only thing he’s going to change is letting more time go by before his next affair. This story was well written, powerful, unforgettable, and I hope I never read another one like it.