None So Blind (Star Trek: TOS story by Brianna Falken)
|Title:||None So Blind|
|Date(s):||print zine- (1997); K/S Archive - (09/2010)|
|Length:||print zine-47 pages;|
K/S Archive - 24,945 words
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
|External Links:||The Kirk/Spock Fanfiction Archive|
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It was published in the print zine KaleidoScope #6 (1997) and online in 09/2010.
This story was the winner of a 1997 STIFfie Award
From the story summary: Spock convinces a blinded Kirk to allow him to create a mental link between them while they are stranded on an uninhabited planet after the shuttle crashes.
Reactions and Reviews
1996From a zine:
This is a mirror story which I don't normally read but I do like this authors writing so had a read and am I glad I did. Kirk and Spock are trapped on a planet and Kirk has been blinded in the accident. Spock has to care for him and Kirk has to learn to trust his First Officer. Not easy at all for him to do. The whole story is terrific and there are pages of really hot sex scenes . When Kirk and Spock finally get together I thought the pages would catch on fire their passion was so sizzling. I certainly needed to cool down after reading it. Excellent Brianna! 
1997From a zine:
From a zine:I love this story. Wonderful Mirror characters, and just the two of them, Kirk and Spock, throughout most of the story; that suited me quite nicely.
There is a shuttle crash, and Kirk is blinded. His hands are also burned and bound, so he has to trust Spock. At this point I just settled in for a delicious read. And it was.
This Spock is divinely strong and calm, masterful. And a Mirror Kirk with a vulnerable innerness is beautiful. Great dynamics between them; I couldn't pick a better scenario for drawing these characters together. Yet still we have plenty of wonderful angst to go through before it's all over.
I would call this almost flawless writing; almost no missteps. I felt there were a few places, though, where telling us that Kirk felt vulnerable, for instance, made for obviousness, whereas the rest of the story had a lovely subtlety and mystery by not overtelling us what they were feeling. Plenty of feeling, but showing us as it happens, not telling us in overviews.
Not to mention the challenge of showing us a story from the point of view of a character with no sight! And conveying Spock from only his (unseen) actions and what he says. Excellent.
Showing us how Kirk feels about Spock is done really well, how the feelings creep in, how important Spock is to him.
I adore how Kirk senses Spock's smile from his voice. This plays in later in the story also, when he has his sight back; a beautiful scene, that.
Lovely to read, how Kirk's perceptions change through having no sight; and the subtle clues we get from what Spock says. There are some little mysteries going on, but they are played out just right. We aren't told something is a mystery, it just is.
I love how lots of the scenes end with very warm feelings of Kirk toward Spock.
Every word I loved; never a dull moment. The density was just right, too—no wading through dense paragraphs, obscure thoughts, yet enough to give the story richness. And plenty of dialogue that keeps things moving; and many, many superbly sharp lines. Meanwhile, I was faint in the scenes where Spock has to physically take care of Kirk. Bathing in the stream—oh god.
Kirk's sadness at being rescued is written so perfectly. If our Kirk needs rest and ease from being the captain, and care and comfort from Spock yet, how much more Mirror Kirk might find this so seductive.
There is much beautifulness and drama in this story, but I won't go on too much. The rest of it, when they are back on the ship, is wonderfully done. I love the kind of misunderstandings that keep them at cross-purposes, until finally.
I love Mirror Kirk's suffering.
Some very raw sex Kirk is watching (on Tantalus Device). I think it's brave to write such flat-out crude stuff and hope we won't be turned off. Au contraire! The intensity of Kirk's feelings for Spock make it wonderful.
A couple places that made me laugh out loud, too. Boy, as if gorgeous love and sex isn't enough, if you make me laugh out loud, too, I'm yours.
Beautiful words between them; I was melting... Kirk's words are beautiful and strong, but then Spock's are of that gorgeous, deep, warrior devotion.
There is a really nice coming-full-circle with the blind metaphor, too. I love when metaphors are presented as physical things in the story, as opposed to being just symbolic, in someone's feelings or thoughts.
Beautiful sex. And beautiful words of ending. So purple but not flowery. More like warrior-purple.A wonderful story. As a whole, it absolutely works, and in its individual parts is exquisite. 
From a zine:A very exciting mirror story done with all the flavor and verve that this author infuses with her lively style and direct, clear writing. This is quite the Mirror Kirk and unmistakably a Mirror Spock, although at times I wondered at Kirk’s explosive macho behavior and although Spock was better balanced, I wondered at his past with the "rape gangs" and how he "brutally removed their genitalia" and left them "hanging from a tree". I guess that’s a judgement call on the mirror characterizations.
When they are stranded on a planet and Kirk is blind, I loved their link and how it was so nicely shown with the silver and gold strands and the warmth that Kirk doesn’t want to give up. After their rescue, there’s a very good scene where Kirk pretends with McCoy that he’s still a mean guy and Spock dissolves the link after Kirk’s sight has been restored.
Then the fun begins for poor Mirror Kirk! He’s impotent with the females and after watching Spock with a male crew member on the Tantalus screen (a very sexy, albeit rather down-and-dirty scene) he becomes aroused practically just thinking about Spock. This was all very well done, but I admit to not looking too closely at Kirk’s excessive behavior and outrageous manner when he decides to throw himself into a veritable pool of women (or "pussies" as he thinks). I know, I know. He’s the mirror Kirk.
I liked the "K/S misunderstanding" a lot. Spock overheard Kirk tell McCoy that he didn’t trust Spock and that he wanted the link removed. None of which was true.
The sex scene was excellently portrayed with the neat idea of Spock putting a sash over Kirk’s eyes and then penetrating him. I loved the theme of Kirk’s blindness to love.Another full-bodied story from an author with lots of super ideas. 
"None So Blind" doesn't have a very original title, nor even a very original story line. But having said the two most damning things about the story, let me assure you that I thoroughly enjoyed it, and that for me, it was a real page turner as I sped through it to get to "the good part". This is the mirror universe with lots of hurt/comfort where Spock and Kirk are stranded on a planet with Kirk being injured. The title lets you know what one of his injuries is. If you have read Brianna's stories before (and how could you not have?), you know she is a tease. It takes her forever to get our favorite duo into heavy duty action. She’s one of those writers who actually throws a plot in her K/S. This build up makes her stories suspenseful. We know they’re "agonna git roundtuit", but we have to see how she maneuvers them into it. The story is well plotted and believable. There are many obstacles presented and each one is carefully dealt with. Besides the plot line, we have lots of dialogue and Brianna makes it sound right. This is a mirror universe Kirk who's mean and relies only on himself and a Spock who's the usual brilliant Vulcan with unwavering loyalty to his captain—no matter what the universe. This is hardly the most brilliant piece of dialogue in the"I can’t trust you, Spock. I don’t know how.I do not foresee our being rescued in the very near future. You will have ample time to learn." One thing I like about this Kirk is that his dialogue also, has lots of very colorful metaphors. We are always aware this is a mirror Kirk. Another trademark of Brianna’s is her use of details. "Thoroxian sabermouth" and "Filoxian firestone" being two examples in this story. This helps to make the setting and background seem more concrete. I do have two minor criticisms, but this applies to many writers, and at least, two fandoms. I really don’t like scalding cum. That just spoils my mood. All I can think of is OUCH! And somehow, I just can’t get used to my heroes crying, especially during sex. But then, maybe it’s all that scalding cum? Brianna Falken is one of my favorite writers. She’s a friend, too, so I am hardly unbiased. She manages to write long stories (generally 30 to 50 pages) without being boring or repetitive. I’d give "None So Blind" an X rating—X for excellent! I recommend it. 
1998From a zine:
Great story! For the first time in his life, Kirk tries to open up and trust someone. Deep down there is that core of integrity. The walls around that core start to crumble and it's a joy to behold. Trusting someone must be the hardest part because in the empire, trust means a certain death.
I had some questions (what else is new?). They have been in that cave for weeks and Spock has only been out once to go hunting. How far do those rations stretch? Where did those blankets come from? They had only two to start with and Kirk lost one when he walked off that precipice.
Speaking of walking off that precipice, how did Spock restrain himself from spanking that foolhardy but lovable idiot after he rescued him?
The emotional pictures experienced by Kirk as a result of their link are so vivid that you can actually taste them.
If Kirk can feel the Vulcan through their link, why can't Spock do the same? At least to know what Kirk really feels about sharing a link because no matter what the mouth speaks, mind to mind, you can't lie. Spock would've known that Kirk was lying to Bones and saved both of them lots of heartache. (But then it would be over much too soon, wouldn't it?)
Hilarious the way Kirk tries to get rid of the perpetual hard-on Spock gives him. And then, just when he thought he'd won, Spock is on the intercom and: "Kirk snapped off the intercom and stared with horrible fascination at his groin-at the fully aroused, suddenly rock-hard erection hovering over his belly." Ha, ha, what a joke!One of the best Brianna has written.
2001From a zine:
I think this story by Brianna Falken is the best one she's ever written. I say this even though it's a Mirror story. I enjoyed reading Brianna's new work in Within the Mirror 14, and liking it, I thought of this other story, which I like even better.
In "None So Blind", the Mirror Kirk awakens injured and blinded in a cave (oh, those caves!) on a planet where he and Spock have crash-landed. Their accompanying operatives are dead. Spock, the reader knows but Kirk does not, has craved a genuine friendship with his captain for a long time, and he takes this opportunity, when Kirk is fairly helpless, to try to develop that friendship.
And he mostly succeeds. Although unable to see, Kirk is able to detect the nuances in Spock's voice, being able to tell when he is almost smiling, when he is almost frowning, when he is displeased, worried, etc. Though he is mostly unaware of these new abilities he is developing, as he is very self-centered. But when his sight does start to return, as predicted by Spock over the months they are marooned together on the planet, he doesn't tell his first officer, fearful of what it will do to a relationship that Kirk is beginning to appreciate.
Of course they are rescued. When they return to the ship, Kirk returns to his distrustful, surly persona. Spock, of course, retreats likewise. And everything starts to disintegrate, including that fragile happiness that Kirk had found alone with his first officer. I think that the resolution that Brianna comes up with for this unsatisfactory state of affairs is quite excellent and well presented. It's there in the story, but not emphasized, so when the reader discovers it along with Kirk, there's a nice little ahah! moment.
The whole story is really nicely written, well-structured, with nary a false step construction-wise to trip up the reader. The characterizations are good, too, though mainly we "see" Mirror Kirk and Mirror Spock is not quite as vividly rendered. Well, at least, he gets what he is dreaming of.The one thing I question is Spock "seeing" Kirk's real personality in a meld, and that being the impetus for his love. "I have loved you since we mindmelded on the Melkotian planet and I discovered the man you really are—the lonely man of honor and integrity, you try so hard to keep hidden." You'll have to go a long way to convince me that this particular Mirror Kirk in this particular story is a man of honor and integrity! It's one of the reasons I don't like Mirror stories. A person is defined by his or her actions, aren't they? And Kirk's actions are not particularly ones of honor and integrity, at least from my point of view. But this is a very small quibble that I can easily overlook. A very nice Mirror story by an author who doesn't really know how good she really is! 
2008From a zine:
A lot of my K/S friends know I am not a big fan of the Mirror universe, but when I run across a story written by one of this fandom‘s best authors, it certainly deserves a read, and even more, a review. Unfortunately, I often don‘t get a chance to do either as she tends to write more Mirror stories than not and, as I said, I‘m not really all that fond of such stories, so the opportunity to review one which I actually did read was one I couldn't pass up.
What drew me into this particular story and what compelled me to write this review is the author‘s portrayal of the Mirror Kirk and Spock, especially Kirk. Now we all know from the glimpse of him we got in the TOS episode that he is cruel, arrogant, manipulative, not above using whatever he can to get the power he craves. Yet in this story, when he is left in a position where all that he knows and relies on to survive is taken away, he is forced to rely on something he has never had to rely on before — trust in another being, in this case the Mirror Spock. To make matters worse, his first officer is the one being in the universe that Kirk fears most of all. But what he doesn't realize, and what Spock works to convince him of, is that unlike Kirk, Spock's interaction with 'our' Kirk during the 'Mirror' episode has deeply affected him and he wants nothing more to have that same relationship of trust and friendship, and perhaps more, that he knows their two counterparts share. The problem he faces, however, is that for this Kirk, trust was 'nothing but a weakness that got you killed'. And friendship was something Kirk didn't even believe in. But as time passes and circumstances force Kirk not only to trust, but to need Spock, as well, he finds he cannot live without either. Yet he soon finds himself forced to do so once normality is restored and they both return to the same routine and relationship they had before. But for Kirk, he soon discovers that this is the last thing he wants, however, to all appearances, Spock seems perfectly happy to go back to what they once were, both in their professional and personal relationships. It is up to Kirk to make that emotional sacrifice he has never had to make before to regain what he has lost, but how Spock is going to react to that sacrifice is a question he is almost afraid to have answered. Still, he must try and the answer he seeks is one that will forever change the lives of them both.
As I said, it is this author‘s portrayal of Kirk that made this story such an enjoyable read. This is a Kirk that, on the surface, is that uncaring bastard we all recognize from the TOS episode, yet underneath is a man who can change, who can trust and love, and is willing to step into that unknown world and take a chance with the one being in the universe who has always been willing to take that chance with him.Whether you are a Mirror fan or not, this story is a must read because it is simply so much more than that. 
From a zine:Now, let me just say up front that I have never been a fan of mirror!verse at all. I am not into the violence and excessive cruelty that most of this genre is comprised of, so imagine my surprise when I came across some mirror fics in which that is not the case at all... "None So Blind" (TOS) by Brianna Falken. Spock convinces a blinded Kirk to allow him to create a mental link between them while they are stranded on an uninhabited planet after the shuttle crashes. A roller coaster ride of angst in which Kirk learns what trust and love is and Spock always gets what he wants in the end. ;) 
From a comment at Kirk/Spock Fanfiction Archive, where the story is posted:This story recently found its way onto the K/S Archive so even though I've reviewed it in the past, it's certainly worth another shot. If you missed it the first time it was published you can catch it now. Even if you are staunchly against AU or Mirror tales, I'd urge you to make an exception in this case.
I generally don't care for Mirror stories—even though I've written one myself—because I usually find the depiction of Spock to be so harsh as to make him unappealing. Brianna threads that thin line between a Spock that can survive in that soul-killing environment and one who succumbs to it. You see, Brianna‘s Spock has seen what the Spock and Kirk from our universe share and he wants it. But first he has to get past the defenses of Mirror Kirk—defenses that have served the young captain well: don't trust and above all, don't love. Spock's opportunity comes when both men are deposited on a planet after a shuttlecraft accident. It's only after Kirk is blinded that he learns to "see" Spock with other senses besides sight.As is usual for this author, there is a real plot in this story, and all the way through it the reader can clearly hear the characters voices, clearly see the scenes like a movie playing out in your head. There is just so much "substance" to these characters. And I love this Spock! He's got a sense of humor and enough integrity for two universes. 
From a comment at Kirk/Spock Fanfiction Archive, where the story is posted:I'm truly at loss here because words fails me.
I'm truly in love with you because of Debts of Honor, one of the best K/S fics I read, so... I kinda had a heart-failure when I've seen you wrote a Mirror fic. I'm... very... well, I love that universe and all it's potential and, as you explained in a response up here (or down, ok), I too feel that even those two version of Jim and Spock could share their life with each other.
I can't even explain the epic perfection of this fic, I simply can't. Believe me, I'd like to give a proper, long review starting from the characterization and go on, because this fic deserves nothing less but... I can't find the words.
I hope you still indulge yourself writining or, at least, you have more to share with us. Just on a personal question: are you an "old" slash fan? Not that I want to inquire about your age, believe me, but... old slash writer have... an aura, and write such poetics fics us poor "young fan" failed miserably (only a couple here and here can write marvellous epicness as the old, first girl.
I know, this comment makes no sense.Love. <3 
From a comment at Kirk/Spock Fanfiction Archive, where the story is posted:Fantastic Mirror story! There's a famous French quote that says "L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux, on ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur" - (The essential is invisible to the eye, you only see clearly with your heart). This might be the best illustration of it I've had the pleasure to read :).
The part on the planet is probably my favorite. The Mirror world you've established is a harsh one - the "defective" men sent in brothels or for experimentation, the rape gangs - and those months as castaways where Kirk was forced to rely on Spock utterly was truly an oasis. From the very beginning, even if they didn't trust each other (certainly not Kirk and despite his love Spock didn't either), and the mutual curiosity and fascination were obvious. I'm not sure Kirk would ever have learned to love Spock if not for those circumstances where he was forced to trust or die, those months blindless forced him to listen with his heart and learn what kind of man Spock really was. Realized he wanted him, maybe, but if not for the trust and affection born on that isolated planet he would have gotten the Vulcan transfered or killed; he'd have freaked out at the mere idea.
The descriptions of Jim's blindness, his panic and paranoia, then the way his others senses opened to compensate was really well done. I loved reading of all those little signs he noticed about Spock, like the smiles in his voice, and how his friend's touch and smell came to mean comfort and home. The scene where they linked was beautiful...my mind went squee at Jim's obvious, unaware tentative to bind them closer, and I squeed even more when he panicked when Spock blocked the link. They were so quietly happy in their way that dreaded the return of the Eterprise just as much as Kirk did, because I knew it was bound to go very wrong before being set right.
I liked your characterizations a lot. I won't pretend these Kirk and Spock are good men, but they're not evil men either. They're just...the product of their harsh world, I guess, and they are not without integrity, no matter how dubious their respective moral codes are. More important, they have that loyalty to each other, that irresistible pull, and still a hidden core of vulnerability and desire for love... they're simply buried deeper and under thicker hide. My heart ached at the loss Kirk felt when his sight returned and the Vulcan seemed cold and unforgiving again and he fucked things up out of fear and bravado. So much time lost... But maybe he needed to learn how to reconcile the image of the Spock he was used to on the Enterprise and the gentler side he had seen while on the planet. I rather enjoyed seeing a dominant Spock, a more sexual one, assertive... They're both very alpha males, and it was a thrill to see them surrender to each other alone. As for the sex, do I need to say it was scorching hot?? I even enjoyed the scene Spock fucked Avalon while Kirk watched, more aroused than he'd ever bee in his life, and I don't normally like seeing them with other people. But again, in this story it seemed fitting, and an essential part of Kirk's journey back to Spock.
Superiorly done, and a magnificent story.Author's Response: This is quite a marvelous review and I thank you for it. I love the French quote by the way. You got exactly what I was trying to say in this story. At times I like writing in the Mirror Universe, especially when I get an idea that's a little rougher than what I want to put our Kirk and Spock through. They are not good men here, but as you said, they're not evil men either. They are a product of their world, but even these men need love. And I like to see that they get it. Thank you for taking the time to write such an insightful review. Brianna. 
Words cannot express the perfection of your story. The mirror universe is such a cold world filled with doubt, fear of the unknown, so many uncertainties but in the end to mirrorred souls meet and fall in love and change their lives forever. It doesn't happen over night but over a period of time Jim realizes he doesn't need to be so macho, so hateful and untrusting because even though blind for a moment which seemed like forever he found his way into a friends soul and realized he liked it there. Now they are one....united ...never shall they fall. The veil has been lifted from Jim's eyes and he sees for the first time...He has fallen in love. Such a precious gift, to find that other side of you....we should be so lucky...thanks for writing this my friend....PEACE. Author's Response: Thank you so much for the kind words. I like writing in the Mirror Universe. There's something satisfying about getting these two lonely, suspicious men together. They deserve love too. Brianna 
From a comment at Kirk/Spock Fanfiction Archive, where the story is posted:"Mirror!Verse fic where Jim becomes blind and Spock takes care of him. SO GOOD. Stop what you’re doing and read it!"
From a comment at Kirk/Spock Fanfiction Archive, where the story is posted:Wow! This is definitely the best Mirror Universe story I’ve ever read! I love the idea that Jim was blind (luckily only for a short time) and I just can’t help wondering how could Jim survive in this dangerous and violent Universe, even if Spock’s here for him. But when I read about the part that Jim was hanging on the cliff and he let go just because Spock said so, I know that Jim had found his safe haven. Those months they spent together were so comforting that I almost forget what world they lived in. Usually I’m glad to see Jim reunion with his Enterprise, but in this circumstance I feel a little bit hurt, because this reunion means going back to a dark Universe and Jim and Spock were forced to act indifferently. But, to be honest, that’s the Mirror Universe we know, thus, this attitude was exactly what Jim and Spock had to choose. And this is why I think this story is really in character and fantastic. 
I usually dislike the "Mirror Universe" and I do not read stories set there. However, I read this because I liked your other stories very much, and I must say, you did it again :-) I really liked this despite my usual anthipathy for the Mirror Universe. My compliments!
Author's Response: Yeah, I find Mirror can be tricky to write. Some authors make the boys so vicious and just evil that we don't even like them or want anything good for them. I always felt that we know in the episode The Enemy Within, Kirk hides his "wolf" and shows his "lamb", but in the Mirror Universe he would have to hide his lamb and show his wolf instead if he wants to survive. So that's what I write. He has some goodness, but isn't allowed to show it. Glad you enjoyed the story. Brianna. 
"I love the way Kirk fights so hard against the feelings he starts to develop for Spock. It’s so difficult to open up and trust anyone in the mirror universe, so I have a major taste for Mirror stories in which they manage to overcome their feelings of distrust and come to rely on each other."
2015From a comment at Kirk/Spock Fanfiction Archive, where the story is posted:
Damn! This was fluffy and brutal and awesome! Love it! 
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