|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
"Kirk and Spock are quarantined together and Spock must deal with his attraction to Jim while sharing a room. Prequel: Lessons."
Reactions and Reviews
This story was so good I had to read it very slowly, like eating an incredibly rich piece of fudge, with long savoring pauses. Vivian Gates writes with tremendous depth and maturity. Virtually every word of this is perfect; nothing short of exquisitely well written. This is a sequel to her story 'Lessons' is T'HY'LA 5. In that story, while on L'Dessaia. a planet populated by gays, Spock sought out his first homosexual experience. In this sequel, Spock is trying to integrate his L'Dessaia experience and the realization that he is attracted to maies (and, of course, to one male in particular) into his life. His solution is to seek out further homosexual experiences that, while not emotionally satisfying, at ieast provide physical release. This seems to Spock to be the most he can hope for in life. And even it is temporary. I was so moved when, after Spock assumes that he will never be able to approach his heterosexual captain and that his parents wiil eventually find another Vulcan female for him to bond with, he goes on to think "love, and the deep physical satisfaction of being penetrated would no longer exist for him then. For only a few years, he would be wnat he truly was." This writing is imaginative, and tough, and alive with quiet feeling. I wish there was more like it. 
Kirk and Spock are on a space station, which doesn't seem to complicated, but it took a while to figure out where they were, in addition to a confusion over constantly changing POVs.
For the most part, there's good, clear writing with a good pace and realistic portrayal of a space station. The story concerns Spock's visit to the "Lamb Club", that I can only describe as a rather makeshift, gay, singles get - together.
There'a a bit too much attention on getting the room prepared for the evening, which began to remind me of setting up the gymnasium for a junior prom. But, the story really centers around Spock's introspection about his homosexuality and his desire for Kirk.
I enjoyed the rationale that Spock is attracted to human males and to Vulcan females, along with a good explanation of Vulcans' attraction to their future mates. It all added up to a very insightful and interesting study of Spock's sexuality.
When Spock is finally faced with his inescapable feelings for Kirk, there's a wonderful moment when he decided to tell Kirk "in the morning", but: "Tonight, when Kirk came back at last and lay down to sleep beside him, Spock would love him. Silently, not with his hands and body, but with his mind- He would allow himself to feel his love for Kirk, freely, he would enjoy the scent and sound of the Human." What a beautiful expression of Spock's love and inner turmoil.
Quite poignant, as well, when Spock admits to Kirk that: "'I am a homosexual." And his explanation: "I cannot sleep beside you. I do not think of sleep when I lie only inches from a personable, naked man..." So simple and understated.
As they feel each other out and discuss the turn of events, their dialogue is so precise and uncluttered. One can hear each saying these things, along with a rather shocking "I have performed fellatio upon him." when Spock admits what he did with another man.When Kirk kisses Spock, it's a wonderful, tender moment. 
While it isn't necessarily my favorite K/S dynamic as far as dramatic possibilities and emotional impact, I have no problem with either Kirk or Spock being depicted as being innately homosexual or with previous meaningful same-sex experience. I like this look into the personal politics, between Kirk and Spock. of one of them being gay. In this story, it's Spock who considers himself homosexual. This was presented believably, as was Kirk's response.
Kirk and Spock are stuck in tiny quarters on a space station because of a quarantine. Spock desires Kirk, so this bed-sharing situation is painful for him. Kirk knows nothing of this yet.
This story is a sequel. In the previous story, Spock's sexuality had been awakened by another man. I liked learning of Spock's experiments since two years ago (when his bond had been broken} to confirm his sexual preferences. "Something in him had come awake, that would not sleep again." Yum.
Spock goes to the "Lamb's Club," the Startleet-gay place on the station. He thinks he cannot have Kirk, but he does want sex until his next pon farr when he will bond as his family arranges. I like this Spock for a number of reasons; I also loved learning that he particularly loves being penetrated.
A nice scene with a man Spock leaves the club with, just for sex. But, his (not many) previous sexual encounters had been to learn, and he feels there is nothing to learn here. This other man is definitely turned on (me too) by Spock's masterfully demanding the way this brief sexual encounter will go. But for Spock, it is empty, meaningless.
Spock returns to the shared quarters. In the dark, in bed. Kirk demands they talk about what's wrong. This is when Spock says he is a homosexual. And since on a certain previous mission they had played the part of a couple, and by Spock going to the Lamb's Club—by his coming out in other words—Kirk's reputation is linked to him. This is an interesting premise, that Spock would be hesitant to come out in order to protect Kirk's reputation. Spock says, I cannot sleep with you because I desire you. Our beautiful captain, nervous but brave, says, Love me then. Oh! But first. Kirk has to get jealous of that other man on the station. So that back in their room later. Kirk grabs Spock and kisses him quickly, harshly, like to prove he can do it, that he's the better man for Spock. But Spock's kiss in return is so tender then erotic it was absolutely exquisite, breathless. Kirk says, you'll have to fuck me (because he's afraid of it). Some gorgeous moments- Kirk likes it. Sweet, nice, ah,...And Kirk is willing to go to the Lamb's Club with Spock and be thought of as a homosexual. Right on. 
These two stories (Lessons and Second Lesson) together paint a portrait of a Spock who is in search of his sexuality. In Lessons, while K & S are on a diplomatic mission to a planet with many same-sex couples, Spock is determined to find out if he is, in fact, a homosexual. His meeting and sexual encounter with one of the males on the planet is handled in a totally believable and graphic manner. In the sequel Second Lessons which takes place several months later, Spock has realized his love for Kirk. He suffers through a trip to a gay club and an unsatisfying sexual act with a somewhat sleazy character. The sequences, in both stories, where Spock lies in bed beside Kirk and yearns for his body are very powerful and touching. Spock is, at first, a very lonely figure — even after discovering his sexual preference he knows that eventually he will have to return to Vulcan to take a mate not of his choosing. When he confronts Kirk with his dilemma he really doesn't expect anything positive to come from the captain but cannot be silent any longer. Having to lie beside him in bed is almost too much for his control to handle. I really enjoyed both stories a lot. Ms. Gates, always one of my favorite authors, shows her understanding of the characters and comes through with two very interesting and enjoyable stories. 
The sequel to “Lesson” which appeared in T’hy’la 4, is, I think, even better. Spock’s dispassionate approach is portrayed in full from his decision of “coming out” to his restrained passion when he confronts Kirk with his being, his feelings, his wants. I find Kirk better in the sequel as well. The way he was ranting and raving about the rumor didn’t let me believe he would consider testing out if he could accept Spock’s physical expression of his love. Perhaps those months between L’Dessala and now were sufficient to do some soul- searching and not react out of some macho image. I kind of miss Kirk’s emotional development. Both stories are steeped in Spock’s actions, feelings, decisions, and that’s great. But I’d loved to have Kirk’s growth as well. Nobody said I couldn’t be greedy, couldn’t I?