The Bounds of Friendship
|Title:||The Bounds of Friendship|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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It was published in the print zine First Time #50.
"Kirk accompanies Spock as Spock acquires a paid companion for pon farr, but knowing that itʼs him Spock really wants, Kirk finally decides that he is willing to pay the price for the friend he loves."
Reactions and Reviews
I had to read this story twice to really appreciate it.
Kirk returns from a month-long absence from the ship to find Spock in pon farr. Although Spock makes it clear that it is Kirk he desires, neither man makes a move towards the other: Spock because of his self-sacrificing nature, Kirk mainly through fear. Kirk accompanies Spock to a planet where the Vulcan will hire a paid sex worker. But he requests a “skll,” whom Kirk discovers is a sexual sadist. Spock believes he will require such a person to prevent him from turning to Kirk. This is a captain who is not very courageous, and Kirk leaves his suffering friend with a giant of a man who will force pain on Spock along with sexual completion. This scenario was a little hard for me to accept, and yet the whole story supports this particular characterization. And I definitely appreciated a different view of K/S that the author presents, even though it is a bit horrific for Spock to be so injured in the name of protecting his captain. Eventually Kirk finds his courage and returns to the room. I appreciated how straightforward he and Spock are once the skll leaves, how Spock allows Kirk to care for him.I wish this story had been expanded to perhaps twice its length, allowing us a greater insight into Kirk’s fear, Spock’s suffering and love. But as it stands this is an effective and memorable story from an author who has been absent way too long. I welcome Elizabeth Scott back to K/S writing and hope to see more from her. 
A lovely and intimate short story of Spock struggling with the onset of pon farr. I was particularly glad to see this story take place in the time of TOS and on the Enterprise. It seems recently that there have been fewer stories based in this time period which is one of my favorites.
Anyway, Kirk understands what Spock is going through and wants to help, but doesn’t really know how. I thought this emotional state was very realistic for Kirk. But he insists on being with Spock during his ordeal, so they beam down to a city where they go to a hotel suite. Spock keeps resisting any of Kirk’s efforts or advances and instead engages a “skll”, described as kind of body guard/surrogate to help stop Spock from getting to Kirk. This decision turns out to be disastrous when the huge, beefy guy beats up on Spock. Very cool scene when Kirk saves Spock from the creep.Afterward, there’s some lovely comfort after the hurt and some beautiful love-making. The story built to this point so well that it would have supported a much longer conclusion. I actually felt that the whole story could have been expanded because it was such a good idea, but I’m just glad to read a new story from Ms. Scott. 
It's a wonderful story... but sad in a way, because Spock enters pon farr and reveals that his need is for Kirk. Kirk doesn't feel the same and rejects Spock, but out of friendship wants to help Spock through this time. The beginning of the story is so very powerful and sad, and there is a segment that just gripped me. The words that won't leave me for a time are these. (Spock is talking) 'You asked 'why me' and you stated that no matter how bad things got I wouldn't do anything you wouldn't want. The answer to 'why me?' is simple. You are the one person who has accepted me without reservation, without ulterior motive. You are the only person who has ever found in me an intrinsic value. When I left Vulcan I was empty, searching for something I could not discern. I only knew that I felt anchor-less, incomplete. In leaving Ithought to find the otherhalf of myself, my Human half that would make me whole. But I was unable to understand or grasp the Human concept of emotion. Vulcan was too deeply rooted within me. However Jim, you did not ask me to be either Human or Vulcan. You accepted me as I was, as I am." To me this paragraph summarizes very eloquently a lot of what Spock is and what his relationship with and feelings for Kirk are. They also give an insight into what kind of a lonely and barren life Spock may have had on Vulcan.
I seldom tire of a pon farr situation as a first-time device, and enjoyed this well-written one. Which also has a unique Vulcan-ways thing, and some trademark hot stuff by this author. This seems so minor, but not to me: I appreciate the most simple explanation for events, things I know the author had to think about how to get around, instead of coming up with all this convoluted stuff to work out a plot element. Here, Kirk had been away, and so Spock's pon farr was already upon him when Kirk returned. Making immediate action necessary. Simple.
There's also some wonderful dialogue. See, Spock has a solution to his problem, going down to the planet they're orbiting and hiring someone. I like when Kirk says, "I guess any warm body will do...." And Spock says, "Not any, Jim." So this leads them to talk about why Spock will be drawn to Kirk during the time. I love how Kirk wants to stick close to Spock to see him through this--he'll go down to the planet with him and make the arrangements for him--yet neither of them acknowledge yet that it really should be Kirk to be with Spock in pon farr. As the time goes on, though, Kirk realizes more and more that it should be him. There are beautiful words of their friendship between them. There's a unique character in this--a unique idea of a type of sexual partner for Vulcans in pon farr. I think I won't spell it out, just let you read it. But it's a convincing case for S/M, I'll say that. Though it gets out of hand and Kirk steps in.And very beautiful and purple love-sex writing at the end; a lovely ending. 
- from The K/S Press #44
- from The K/S Press #44
- from The K/S Press #50
- from The K/S Press #45