Patterns (Star Trek: TOS story by Eva Stuart)
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
It was published in T'hy'la #3.
"High politics play havoc to the opening of a new planet for colonization. The New Humans, old acquaintances, Starfleet machinations and the Orion threat play the backdrop to a more personal crises in Kirk and Spock’s lives."
Reactions and Reviews
Politics, relationships, ideals, principals, all intertwined. Politics must play a very important part in a starship commander's life and that is a subject which isn't often woven into a story. 
A plausible plotline keeps this story going. The sensitivity I like to see in K/S is not as noticeable as I prefer. There are good moments between Kirk and Spock as they blend crisis-laden shipboard duty with their personal lives. They have learned how to communicate feelings of happiness and love, but have not yet discovered how to share the darker side of their lives. The sorrow and guilt they both feel when command decisions are less than perfect are bottled up by each of the command team. Eva explores how they gradually, even reluctantly, overcome this tendency to hold close their pain and learn that being one half of a whole means sharing all things in all ways. 
Ms. Stuart has captured the essence of a series episode—maybe a two-parter—with the added appeal of a mature relationship between the members of the command team. Powerful descriptive phrases leave little to the imagination, or perhaps feed the imagination to just the right degree.
The time is set skillfully as the second 5 year mission by the fact the Enterprise is refurbished but the uniforms have not yet fallen to bureaucratic improvements. I became fully absorbed in the interaction between the characters as the Enterprise first defended, then became escort to a colony ship headed up by civilian Will Decker. Decker, as a “new human” is well defined and his command presence has not been sacrificed to the new role he has chosen to play. While he is a pacifist, he is a credible one. The author skillfully blends in touches of insight into Kirk’s and Spock’s lives such as when she introduces us to Kirk’s quarters. Done through Spock’s POV, we see that Kirk prefers a “stripped for action bareness and uncompromising masculinity.” Observing this, Spock shivers and admits to himself that “he had never denied his own nature but only Kirk roused him”. He also reflects that Kirk’s sure strength allows them gentleness, something Spock had never thought to want. We see something of both men’s command expertise when Spock must take control of the colonists’ vessel in battle with Orion pirates. Kirk has been injured and Spock tests the link from time to time but doesn’t let it detract from duty. I liked seeing that strength portrayed. In the course of the story, both men must face losing men and women under their command and because of their decisions. Curiously, both choose to deal with it pretty much alone—a trait not usually portrayed as pertaining to both men.There’s not a vivid sex scene at the end, but a very satisfying “fade to black”. A good read.