Snowman

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K/S Fanfiction
Title: Snowman
Author(s): Michele Arvizu
Date(s): 2000
Length:
Genre: slash
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series
External Links:

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Snowman is a Kirk/Spock story by Michele Arvizu.

art by Marianne Mueller ("Holding You") -- "IM Mueller is a superior new K/S artist and this is another of her beautiful pieces. Kirk in a plaid shirt (one of my favorite things) holds Spock against his chest. I loved the detail of the wood in the background and the hint of landscape. Beautiful Kirk face—and his expression is so filled with love." [1] Another fan writes: "Ohhh. Strong cleanly drawn lines, delicate shading, meticulous attention to detail, exceptionally well drawn hands! I'm no art critic, but I know what I love and this is it. I keep turning back to this page because I simply can't get enough of looking at what to me is a small masterpiece. Its a good thing my eyes can't wear out the paper or I'd already be in need of a new copy of this zine. However this artist must know what I like because she has given us my favorite vision of these two men; rare moments off the ship, casually dressed. Two people who, whether they're going somewhere or just hanging out, are never afraid to let the world see how much they care for one another." [2]
title page

It was published in the print zine Beyond Dreams #2.

This story was nominated for a STIFfie Award.

Summary

"The Nexus from ST:Generations is an alternate universe story in which Kirk and Spock are lovers who have been separated for years following his disappearance from Enterprise-B. Spock goes in search of his captain and bondmate. The search eventually brings him to "our" ST universe where he encounters "our" James T. Kirk."

Reactions and Reviews

It’s winter and Captain James Kirk is taking shore leave on an earth like planet when he is visited by a Vulcan—who claims his name is Spock. At risk of giving away the plot I won't go deeper into the details of a well-crafted story in a just-published zine. I've always enjoyed stories by this author and this one is a winner—well told, and with a plot twist that makes it somewhat different than the typical shore leave story. Try not to miss this one as it’s well worth reading. [3]
This is a well-written and enjoyable story that puts the Nexus from ST:Generations right where it belongs: in an alternate universe. I loved the entire story line about another reality in which Kirk and Spock are lovers who have been separated for years following Kirk's disappearance from the Enterprise-B and in which Spock has the sense to go in search of his captain and bondmate. This search eventually brings him to our ST universe, where he encounters our James T. Kirk. Their interaction is wonderful, from Kirk's immediate recognition that his visitor is not "his" Spock, to his initial skepticism about the alternate Spock's story, to some intriguing details about the alternate Kirk and Spock and their society. I was perhaps not entirely convinced that our Kirk would so quickly become attracted to the alternate Spock, and yet both characters are so well-drawn and "feel" so right that it was easy to suspend disbelief and simply enjoy the chemistry between them.

Even though this visit serves beautifully to awaken Kirk to his feelings for his first officer, I did have a bit more trouble with the last part of the story, in which our Spock rejoins Kirk at the cabin after the alternate Spock has returned to his own universe. Their interaction involves some nice tension, and I appreciated the fact that they do not simply fall into each other's amis the moment they are together. Still, the circumstances seemed just a bit too convenient, as Kirk and Spock were supposed to have been on leave together when Spock was unexpectedly called away to Vulcan, and we (and Kirk) eventually learn that he had been summoned by Sarek to approve a prospective bondmate. Though Kirk and Spock had previously never acknowledged any desire for one another, Spock of course refuses the pairing and in the process comes to realize his attraction to Kirk. The fact that they are reunited immediately after almost simultaneous awakenings seemed enough of an unlikely coincidence to be somewhat distracting. I think I would have liked it better had the entire trip scenario been omitted, with Spock simply arriving late for their shore leave due to duties aboard ship. He could still have revealed that he had recently refused a bonding without the device of such an unlikely coincidence.

This story ends not with our Kirk and Spock, but with their alternate universe counterparts, and the fact that this works so well is a tribute to the author's depth of characterization. Just as Kirkdid, Ifound that Icared about what happened to the alternate Spock and was happy when he finally finds his beloved Jamie. Their reunion is tender and full of promise—and nicely mysterious in keeping with the ambiguous nature ofthe Nexus—and I was left feeling that all was well with several worlds. [4]
A lovely, haunting storyof an alternate universe Spock searching time, space, and dimensions for his captain.

Kirk (our Kirk) is on a shore leave in a remote cabin in a beautiful forest. I enjoyed the background on how he found the place. He had come to the cabin with Spock for ten days, but Spock was unexpectedly called away to Vulcan. So Kirk's alone, but when he comes into the cabin, he finds Spock sitting in the dark in the bedroom. This is a way cool moment, but then Kirk, even though he was totally surprised and had been waiting anxiously for Spock's return, goes out of the bedroom without even turning on the light and goes into the living room to build a fire in the fireplace.

This unrealistic action bothered me a great deal and it took a while to forget it. But what a terrific story—Kirk, of course, thinks it's his Spock, why would he think otherwise? But it's an alternate universe Spock—older— who is in search of his own Kirk who had been caught up in that Nexus thing from "Generations. He explains that there are many timelines with many different versions. This was all so imaginative and I loved it.

Spock says he knows his Kirk isn't dead because he feels his presence. He will stay in this universe for four hours and then will go back and try again.

A great moment when Spock starts to talk about Sybok, but stops himself and only tells Kirk that Sybok is "a relative". I loved the differences in his universe like McCoy is retired and Chapel is a doctor. And how Spock calls his Kirk "Jamie" and the very poignant moment when Spock calls him by that name.

I adored the history that Spock recounts about himself and Jamie and his world. Especially about women being the best starship captains because of their "innate intuition". In his universe, Vulcans are not non-emotional and Spock was raised by his mother on Earth. His feelings for Jamie are so beautiful and so poignant. He says they are not legally married,"But in our hearts, yes."

I enjoyed the role that this Spock takes with this younger Kirk. At once he's a teacher, confidant and a lover. And precipitates Kirk's understanding of his true feelings for Spock. What a gorgeous moment when the older Spock says: "Oh, Jim, I would give anything if you could be my Jamie— and I wish with all my soul that I could be your Spock."

The scene where they embrace is so terrific.

This is written so well—expressing the inspiration of awareness that Kirk experiences.

Spock briefly touches Kirk's face and unbeknownst to Kirk, he erases any memories of what Spock told him about the future. I loved how this was done so quietly and so without drama. Then, minutes later, Spock disappears. I melted.

Our Spock comes back and brings a box of flowers in stasis (so imaginative a detail). But next morning—arrghh! Run for the hills! Spock is in the kitchen, wearing an apron, no less—making waffles. And why does Spock always drink juice ? Why not coffee? And then, even worse, Spock prepares "ham cakes". And to have Kirk think that Spock's handling "dead animal flesh" would make him queasy. Sigh.

I loved the discussion of the alternate Kirk and Spock, especially Kirk's anger at Spock's lack of acknowledgement. However, the unnecessary explanatory thoughts lessened the emotional impact. If only the dialogue had been presented and then Kirkwould turn to leave, everything would have been clear without all the explanations of what Kirkis reallyfeeling. But what a wonderful moment when Spock kisses him and Kirk leaves, although I was confused as to Kirk's feelings. And an excellent use of the environment—ifs cold and Kirk feels it. This is very well done with stiff fingers, hard to talk, and dark clouds.

It turns out that Spock went to Vulcan to be set up with a mate for his pending pon farr, but Kirk wants Spock's love and finally is able to face it.

The ensuing scene where they press their bodies together is filledwith sexual tension and sexy dialogue like: "This excites you, doesn't if? Tell me that it does." And "Let me go." "You wanted this." I'm about ready to fall down." "I will catch you." And when Kirk watches as Spock fondles himself.. .thrash on the carpet time!

A perfect ending with the alternate Spock coming to the cabin and seeing his Jamie. [5]
Snowman by Michele Arizu is an interesting 36 page story. It starts with Kirk having a shore leave on a planet that's rugged, Viridian IV. He's 36 and very surprised when an a/u older Spock visits him. This Spock is hunting for his Kirk because he disappeared. Perhaps he's been killed, but Spock hopes he's really been just trapped in a time bubble. This a/u Spock calls his Kirk "Jamie" and so far has been to about ten other universes and has been looking for 18 years. For reasons I really didn't understand, Spock has to stay a littlewith this Kirk before he can go back to his hunting for his Jamie. He spends this time talking a little about his Jamie, trying not to reveal too much because it might influence this Kirk's future.

Kirksoon realizes that this Spock and the other Kirk were bonded. He learns more about the a/u world, including the fact that most captains were female, including Christina Pike and Elena Garrovick. Inthe a/u world, it's common for the captain to be female and the first to be male. There are various other interesting differences, too. Ifs quite a complete a/u world that Spock describes.

After Spock describes his world and his Jamie, then he asks Kirkto describe the Spock in this world. This Kirk is friends with Spock as this Kirk is totally heterosexual, or so he thinks. The a/u Spock tells Kirk that he and this Spock are actually in love with each other, something that Kirk denies. The visit continues, and then the a/u Spock leaves.

Soon after, the Spock of this universe comes to visit Kirk. They talk and Kirk relates how the other Spock and Kirkwere lovers. This Spock kisses him, and Kirk reacts angrily because he's confused by the two Spocks and what he wants. They continue talking, and Spock then tells Kirkthat he considering a marriage to a Vulcan woman named T'Rees. Everything gets more complicated as they continue talking.

I've already given away too much of the story so I'll stop here. This is a very complex story with two very different Spocks and universes which makes the story both different and very good. It's not the same old 800th variation of the same first time story. It's a story I recommend. [6]
I liked the idea of an older Spock from an alternate universe and the way both Spock and Kirk compare and evaluate their counterparts.

Oh yes, female starship captains. Loved it.

"He could only be a man who was forbidden to love, unable or unwilling to cross the line between what was Vulcan and what was human." This implies to me that Vulcans are non-emotional beings and that is very hard to swallow. You might as well be a mechanical device. Without emotion, there's no possibility of growth. Vulcans are a passionate people, but they have learned to control that passion and lead it into non destructive paths, but that passion is still there. They have to have a balance somewhere and thafs where I think those different mental links come into play.

Spock's turn of heart comes a bit abruptly. I knew he cared about Kirk, that came through in the previous pages, but not that he loved him as in being lovers, physically and mentally. [7]
"Snowman" by Michele Arvizu was full of very powerful scenes. Kirk's growing fascination with and attraction to the A/U Spock is developed beautifully. And Kirk's despair when the A/U Spock leaves is so real. And I loved "our" Spock's attempt to discuss Kirk's feelings for the A/U Spock: "He kissed you and you enjoyed it. I kiss you and you become angry." Spock's attempt to rationalize the situation (and hide his pain and jealousy and feelings of rejection) created a very complicated and well-written dialogue. And their conversation the "morning after" was one of the most erotic I've read: "Our first time, Spock... what you did... my god." "What I did is... what you wanted me to do." "But not everything that I wanted you to do." 'You wanted me to enter you. Then you wanted me to turn you on your back and come on your belly, and then to clean you with my tongue. That is what you wanted." [8]
Kirk and Spock are supposed to be taking shore leave together on a planet called Viridian. Spock has been mysteriously called away to Vulcan, leaving Kirk alone. While he is alone, he is visited by another much older Spock from the future, who is Kirk’s lover and has been searching for him since he vanished in the Nexus 18 years ago. They spend a few hours together while Spock waits to return to his own time and talk about their respective partners, which makes Kirk realise that he is in love with Spock, although he is not sure which Spock he loves, the one from the future or the real Spock in his own time, since he doesn’t think his own Spock will be able to return his feelings, while this particular alternate universe Spock comes from a very different planet Vulcan where emotions are not so strictly controlled which enables them to discuss their respective partners more easily.

This story was beautifully written with some wonderful descriptions of the planet, in particular Kirk’s ride with Spock on a skimmer in the snow. There is also some very good dialogue where he and Spock try to resolve their problems and Kirk tries to convince Spock that he loves him not his alter ego from the future, and a realistic portrayal of Spock’s jealousy of his alter ego because he believes that Kirk is not in love with him, just the version of himself from the future. It is also interesting that when he returns, Spock reveals to Kirk that he was called back to Vulcan because his father has found a “suitable woman” to be his new bondmate which of course prompts Kirk into taking action.

It is also ironic that this incident takes place on the planet Viridian which later features in Kirk’s “escape” from the Nexus with Picard much later in time. It was especially rewarding that the author included the scene where the “other” Spock is finally successful in his quest too. [9]
This story was a pleasure...and one of those where I said to myself, I wish I’d written that. I love this scenario of our Kirk being visited by an older, alternate-universe Spock, and how it changes both of them, though mainly our Kirk. And later, our Spock.

This is so beautiful, with the A/U Spock still searching, after 18 years, for his Jamie, who disappeared into an “energy ribbon” when on the Enterprise-B.

I loved that Michele got to create this alternate universe of the other Spock’s, and other parallel realities he’s also been to, and populate them with different versions of our familiar characters and different social mind-sets, etc. But she didn’t have to actually write it all out as scenes; we learn of all this from what A/U Spock tells Kirk. Also, the science of the time/universe traveling that A/U Spock has been doing is described realistically enough for me...since it can’t be really realistic anyway. I definitely appreciated the writing. Other than being in all characters’ heads at the same time, which can make it feel jumpy, this is good, clean writing, with a lovely touch of poetically expressive vividness but not too much so that it shows the author more than the story. Four years into the five-year mission, Kirk is in a cabin in the woodsy, snowy mountains. He and Spock had come here together, but Spock had gotten called away to Vulcan. Here’s a little thing I would gripe about. They are on this beautiful, natural world, a colony planet used mostly by retired Starfleet. But it’s said the colonists “seek investors in real estate, mining, agriculture and industry.” What?? We’re going to let them ruin this world for the bottom line too? Or is that something from the Nexus movie that I’ve forgotten? So, at this cabin is where the other Spock comes to Kirk, having once more slipped into an A/U rather than just a previous time in his own universe (I think that’s how it works, anyway). This is such a strong story of feelings. How this other, older Spock affects Kirk and his feelings for his own Spock. Especially as Kirk learns of the love between this Spock and his Jamie. Since we’re also in this Spock’s head, we see how strongly this young Kirk affects him, also. It’s said that Spock can’t tell Kirk specifics of his future (though he really only knows specifics of the future in his and Jamie’s reality), yet he does keep telling him stuff. Though he briefly touches Kirk’s mind later and supposedly takes away details of the future which he had revealed. Perhaps there is nothing new in Kirk’s feelings, but they’re certainly presented as a very satisfying conflict or dilemma in this story. His and (our) Spock’s both. I appreciated each and every page of this conflict being resolved. Basically, Kirk thinks of himself as heterosexual and thinks a relationship with his best friend/first officer would be problematical...even if Spock were to have the slightest inclination that way. So they’ve got a lot of stuff to clear up between them. After, that is, the other Spock has turned Kirk’s head around and invoked very intense feelings in him. This is so good, and just kept getting better and better as I read. Just one of many little things I loved: The other Spock says that in his reality most starship captains are female, “of course.” And why. Not only that, but relationships between the command team are encouraged. And Vulcans are strongly tied to logic, but not non-emotion. I loved how, well into the story, we learn this planet is called Viridian IV–so it is the Nexus place, where Spock will find his Jamie, I’m sure. I loved the joy and fun that the other Spock has out on a ride on a snow-skimmer with Kirk; and then Kirk’s deep sadness later when Spock is suddenly gone. So, after all this, including beautifully written, quietly deeply hot scenes between Kirk and the other Spock...Kirk certainly has a different perspective from which to look at his own Spock. This would be a great story if it ended here...but now we get Kirk and our own Spock together, and what comes of this awakening Kirk has had. But this LOC is getting long enough; I’ll try to be brief (though I can’t; there’s so much I liked). I loved that it wasn’t just an easy falling into bed together or anything like that. Tensions are high between them– each for his own reasons. This was so cute: Kirk nervously asks a series of five or so questions in a row and Spock answers: “Yes. No. Unknown. Of course. No.” Funny! And when Kirk says, after having been brusque and dismissive, “I’m glad to see you, you know,” Spock says, “No, I do not.” I love our literal Vulcan. There is a gentle, tentative kiss...but then they have some really great fighting. Angry, sharp dialogue, so perfect. I really liked it a lot, almost unseemly so. (Like in STIV, “I love the way she fights.”) Spock understands (and saw briefly in Kirk’s mind) the dynamics going on, that Kirk was strongly affected by the other Spock and Kirk is frustrated because he, Spock, is not the other. Kirk wants what Jamie has, to love and be loved by his Vulcan. Eventually...and not a moment too soon, or too late, there is beautiful sex; and a perfect deep- eternal-love ending scene with them. (Though I actually didn’t quite get some of the “cruel” and “begging” dynamics that went on in the sex scene.) And then a short ending with Captain Spock in his quest for Jamie. The outcome is certain--a happy ending--though not spelled out.

I was happy to read another story of Michele’s. There haven’t been all that many (and I never read the gen story (novel?), “Conduct Unbecoming”) but each one is memorable. [10]
Kirk and Spock, a secluded, snowbound cabin, a ten-day shore leave, and a “cute” title—could be fun, but, to tell you the truth, at first glance this story seemed like it might be too much of a K/S cliché for my taste. But I’m glad I kept reading, because “Snowman” very quickly becomes far more interesting than I thought it was going to be. The vacation isn’t going as planned. Spock has been called away to Vulcan for a few days and Kirk is depressed—in part because he’s been left alone, but mostly because of deeper, more disturbing issues. As it turns out, Kirk isn’t alone for long. He’s soon joined by an enigmatic visitor from another time and place, and the story that this visitor tells turns out to have a huge impact on Kirk’s own life.

As the visitor’s story unfolds, the “snowbound cabin” setting becomes (for me at least) increasingly important: the cabin functions as a metaphor for a place that exists apart from the usual constraints of space and time, a place where Kirk can view his own life from a new angle. I first realized this was happening when I read the sentence:

The sun had set, but a fading, golden residue lingered faintly about the quaint wooden furniture in the living room, seeming to emanate from the cabin walls.

That sentence beautifully conveys the feeling of being in an ordinary place and suddenly seeing it as something extraordinary—as a place where the incredible may happen. I also appreciated the plausible explanation for how the visitor ended up in the cabin with Kirk. I’m not quite sure what I think of the interaction between Kirk and Spock that occurs when Spock returns from Vulcan. For some reason I couldn’t really get into this part of the story as deeply as I got into the scenes in which Kirk is interacting with the visitor. Perhaps after I read it a few more times I’ll change my mind, but the Kirk/Spock relationship seems just a little off here, a little forced. I don’t know quite why: maybe it’s because Spock seems to be too unemotional even for Spock. I have no inherent objection to Spock showing more of his Vulcan side than he sometimes does in K/S. But in this case I had the feeling that Spock’s emotional restraint was more a result of the author’s desire to emphasize the differences between Spock and Kirk’s visitor, rather than a natural depiction of how the Spock we know and love would act in this situation. I also wish the author had omitted the last section of the story and left more to the reader’s imagination.

Despite these problems (which are probably due more to my own personal preferences than objective criticism), I found “Snowman” to be a wonderful, haunting story, definitely worth reading and re-reading. (By the way, the title is appropriate.) [11]

References

  1. from The K/S Press #46
  2. from The K/S Press #44
  3. from The K/S Press #44
  4. from The K/S Press #48
  5. from The K/S Press #49
  6. from The K/S Press #50
  7. from The K/S Press #50
  8. from The K/S Press #59
  9. from The K/S Press #101, reprinted in The K/S Press #188
  10. from The K/S Press #46
  11. from The K/S Press #45