Players in the Game

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K/S Fanfiction
Title: Players in the Game
Author(s): Bethany Hawke
Date(s): 1994
Length:
Genre: slash
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series
External Links:

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Players in the Game is a Kirk/Spock story by Bethany Hawke.

It was published in the print zine KaleidoScope #2.

art by Deeb
art by Deeb

Summary

"Kirk takes Spock sailing on shoreleave and their love for each other is realized."

Reactions and Reviews

Oh delightful! I love this simple little story, definitely my favorite in the zine. Not much plot, but how wonderful the feelings! Kirk has taken a day of leave is sailing a rented sailboat. Spock has finally agreed to accompany him on the shore leave. Kirk asks why he's finally succumbed after so many requests over so many years, S reveals that he overheard K telling McCoy he would ask "one last time". Spock hesitantly tells his captain, "l found that I ... that I did not want you to stop asking."

The rest of the story is like that, shy, sometimes hesitant, but so lovely. Lots of free flowing affection, a swim, their first kiss and the discovery of a link between them, I liked the way this author paced this story, very lazy. That first kiss isn't the prelude to fiery passion. It's left undefined, hanging in the air, so that later the guys can take it where they want to, if they want to. It's a nice, very nice change from more typical characterizations, one I find quite appealing and mature. (Of course, when Kirk later hauls out a mat from below decks and offers to give Spock a rubdown, I wasn't complaining that the author had decided to let kirk move things along.)

There's an especially lovely thread the author weaves through the lasts few pages based on Kirk's desire not to have the day end, culminating in a sweet scene in the captain's cabin. Very nice writing, very delicate handling of emotions. I won't give further details so readers can enjoy it for themselves. I liked the insight on Spock's inner eyelid on page 108, I didn't like Kirk's reaction to discovering Spock's genitals are pink on page 120. Talk about interrupting a mood. I liked so many lines in this story if I quote them all I'd be writing for a long time.

I liked both of Deeb's illos for the story, especially the one opposite page 109 where they're both in the water. Now where did she get a photo reference for that one? Good work! [1]
Lovely, romantic interlude as Kirk and Spock admit to their feelings for each other.

There's some wonderful writing here, very direct and immediate, and the story proceeds at just the right pace, neither rushed nor boringly slow.

The characterization of Kirk as frustrated sea captain was perfect. I especially liked his ruminations that this was command without the awesome responsibility he usually carries. In another time and place Kirk is a man that would have fulfilled his urge for exploration on the sea.

The moment Spock sees tears of happiness on Kirk's face and does not understand was perfectly portrayed. And when Spock accepts and smiles, I melted. So nice.

The only problem I had was the color of Spock's genitals. Seems to me the color of Spock's blood would preclude his genitals from appearing anything other than green tinged.

Accompanied by two Deeb illustrations that fit the story precisely, full of joie de vivre. [2]
A sweet, utterly charming, delightful story—meltingly tender, so much love. I feel, though, the title has nothing to do with the story; and there were other words or threads of concepts in the story (i.e., "destiny") that could have made a more relevant title.

Kirk and Spock are on a sailing ship. I liked how in the beginning, when just "ship-is said, we assume it's a starship, then find out it's a ship on the seas.

Spock agreed this time to accompany Kirk on shore leave after finding out from McCoy that Kirk had told McCoy he'd ask Spock just "one more time." Spock: "I didn't want you to stop asking." Such a small, subtle thing, and so telling; it just shouts Spock's feelings.

I can hardly bear the vivid image of the wet Vulcan, in shorts, muscularly manning the sails. And other really nice scenes, vividly drawn, such as when they are eating with their fingers, Spock sucking juice off his fingers, etc. Throughout, I loved this author's Spock, his certainty. His realizations of his feelings for Kirk, and his arousal, are perfectly portrayed. When we were told they dropped anchor, we needed to know where they were, in a crowded marina, or an isolated nowhere. Makes a big difference.

I love the not-specifically-genital way that Kirk was getting turned on, just by watching Spock, by little things like drinking from the same wine bottle that touched Spock's lips. A beautiful arousal of the whole self, not necessarily genital at first. Gorgeous.

It's so beautiful when Spock trusts Kirk so much to doze on the beach. When he opens his eyes to find Kirk leaning over him (thinking how it would be to kiss him), we learn of their link they are just becoming aware of.

But, the kiss and their feelings about it passed too quickly, for such a significant high point.

I love their little jibes. Spock and his "natural superiority" (physically superior, as in swimming); Kirk and his "naturally superior libido."

My eyebrows climbed my forehead, when Kirk first said in words he wanted to make love with Spock. I had to get up and cool down. Somehow, even assuming I might know where a story of this sort leads, I was still so pleasantly shocked at the moment when Kirk first comes out, you might say.

I didn't understand why Spock's penis would be pink. But, beautiful sex. Kirk cries. I understand the desire to have Kirk cry, but I'm not certain about indulging that desire. It seems much more autobiographical, than a discerning portrayal of Kirk's character. I happen to love it, though.

I'm pleased this new author got around to expressing herself in words, and she does so with an interesting mix of innocence and elegance. [3]
Apparently we have a new author! Welcome. Ms Hawke presents us with very pleasant, loving story of a shore leave interval spent sailing. The one problem for me was the lack of momentum. I've always heard that without conflict Of some son you haven't got a story, and I found that to be the case with this peaceful idyll. It was a lovely interlude but even a storm would have helped to push the plot forward. One thing I particularly did like was the way Spock taught Kirk to shield his thoughts by imagining a glowing ember in the dark and then encasing it inside a clear protective crystal. Nice analogy. This may be a first story, but the author is no novice when it comes to using words. Beautiful writing, I could sense in almost every sentence the love this she has for her characters. When the two join, each nuance of their coming together is lovingly described. I hope we'll soon be seeing more of her work. [4]
Romantic story of Kirk and Spock off on a sailing excursion. They sail, swim, bask and begin their delicate game of love.

Some very nice writing from this new author and lots of neat romantic moments like: 'Now who is in need of rescuing?' Spock asked, his eyes alight with mischief. Me. Kirk thought as he gazed into the liquid depths of those dark eyes, I need rescuing. I'm drowning in your eyes.' It's so refreshing to read this kind of openness and vulnerability between the two.

Neat reference to the "k'ditha" which Spock explains translated from the Vulcan means "the presence" which is part of the mental link they begin to experience.

What a lovely scene as Spock teaches Kirk the various techniques of mental shielding. It captured my imagination and made me want to try it! It was also delightful as they played together in the water, on the sand and in each other's arms.

Their little repartee concerning the color of Spock's appendage was appropriately child-like with the "you dids" and the "you did nots", but I still fail to understand why (he said appendage was "ahrant" which is described as meaning "reddish-brown".

Such an ingenuous story as they kiss and say wonderfully romantic things to each other. Besides, I'm such a sucker for any story that has Kirk say to Spock: "Make love to me." Oh boy. [5]
The Players in the Game is a light-hearted and sweet story, and a relaxing read. Personally, I enjoy reading something like this from time to time, to rest from the drama....

Spock and Kirk share shore-leave for the first time. At least I assume that it's the first time since the boys say that Kirk's been asking Spock repeatedly to join him, but that Spock keeps declining. This time however, Kirk says to McCoy that it's the last time he'll ever ask Spock, cause he's tired of being rejected.

Spock realizes he doesn't want Kirk to stop asking, so he accepts. They are on a boat, a sailing boat, and I for one really enjoyed the report Bethany describes between them.

Can you imagine Spock playing tag, and trying to dunk Kirk in the water? Can you imagine him smiling easily at Kirk, without thinking that he's completely out of character? Well, that's what happens in Players in the Game, and I enjoyed it a lot. [6]

References

  1. from Come Together #11
  2. from Come Together
  3. from Come Together #15
  4. from Come Together #13
  5. from Come Together #14
  6. from The K/S Press #57