Patterns (Star Trek: TOS story by Liz Ellington)

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K/S Fanfiction
Title: Patterns
Author(s): Liz Ellington
Date(s): 1980s
Genre: slash
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series
External Links: Patterns

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Patterns is a Kirk/Spock story by Liz Ellington.

It was published in California K/S 4 Play.


"Kirk and Spock each separately tell McCoy about their feelings for each other."

Reactions and Reviews

Liz Ellington's "Patterns" was one of the best stories in the zine, and presents Kirk and Spock each separately telling McCoy about their feelings for each other. The doctor's initial reaction to Kirk's confession, which came first, was unprofessional and cruel, but otherwise this story was well told and had a tender, moving sex scene. [1]
This author wrote very few stories, but one of my favorite K/S stories ever is by her, There is a Season in Matter/Antimatter 5. This story is not quite as wonderful as that one, but still a lovely read.

And the structure is really very simple. Three scenes. In the first, Kirk goes to McCoy to talk about Spock leaving the ship and how he wishes Spock would stay. Could be so cliched but it’s not. I like this exchange: “Bones, are you being deliberately obtuse?” McCoy didn’t reply, just stared back at him, and Jim said, “I don’t want him to leave. And I don’t know how to tell him. Are you hearing me now.? In the ensuing silence McCoy’s expression changed slowly from confusion to disbelief. “You’d better be a lot more specific,” he said carefully, “cause if you’re not thinking what it looks like you’re thinking, I’m liable to get myself decked for what I’m thinking.” I also like it when, in the same scene, McCoy brings up the issue of how homosexuals were/are perceived by the general populace. This seems to be a subject avoided in K/S, but the truth is that the general population has an image of homosexual men as being invariably effeminate and stereotyped. Everybody seems to think that view will change in Star Trek’s future, but I ask myself what if it hasn’t? So I like it when this happens: McCoy’s frustration surfaced with an exasperated and exaggerated gesture, limp-wristed, effeminate and affected. “So here we have the new Jim Kirk, is that it? Dahling, it’s just too much!” He crossed his legs and pretended to examine his fingernails. “Do tell me who your hairdresser is....” The second scene takes place right after Kirk leaves, when Spock comes to sickbay to talk to McCoy about how he doesn’t want to leave the ship, that there is someone on board with whom he might be able to stay.... You see, it could all be a very badly written and conceived K/S story, but it’s not, there are many insightful character touches, little real life incidents such as when Chapel leans her head into McCoy’s office to tell him: “And you’ve got an abort on your machine out here.” I like McCoy’s insight after both conversations are over that each of the men remained themselves despite the surprising subject of their talks, because this is exactly what makes this story special, that both Jim and Spock are written with strong characterizations that are really convincing. It feels real. What more can a reader ask?

And finally, the scene where Jim and Spock get together could be just another sex scene but it’s not. This one is worth reading. [2]
Patterns: Was incredibly beautiful. I loved the way you showed Kirk's reluctance and fear at submitting to something he so desperately wanted. His fear of losing Spock was really heart breaking and I loved the scenes with McCoy. Both when Kirk talked to him and Spock too. I found it lovely that Spock would trust McCoy enough to bring up something so sensitive. And that he wanted Kirk enough to actually talk to someone else about it before bringing it up with Kirk. Seeking reassurance. Wow. And their first encounter there was beautiful. I also enjoyed the difference between them physically. A very touching story with both love and a lot of sensuality. [3]
I loved "Patterns." What a great first time story. And a lovely portrayal of McCoy being the trusted friend who brings them together. And Kirk wanting it, but being afraid at the same time of losing himself. And an interesting take on Vulcan anatomy. [4]
This one was an anomaly because I seldom write from anyone's POV but Kirk, but I just started wondering what McCoy might do if Kirk came to him for that kind of advice. And then it seemed like the most natural thing for Spock to come in with the same question. I like your imagery of Bones rubbing his hands together in glee--that's just what he would do. Have no idea where the lieutenant came from--she waltzed in all on her own. This was written I think about 14 years ago so I don't remember what might have been going through my mind at the time. I wrote it for our 'K/S Support Group' and then someone asked me to send it to California K/S Foreplay, so it's one of the few of my stories that actually got published anywhere. [5]


  1. from On the Double #7/8
  2. from The K/S Press #48
  3. back after years of deprivation..., kira-nerys, May 5, 2000
  4. back after years of deprivation..., Isla, May 5, 2000
  5. FB for "Patterns", Vanasati, June 20, 2000