The Deep End of Emotion
|Title:||The Deep End of Emotion|
|Author(s):||Dana Austin Marsh|
|Length:||10,296 words |
21 pages fanzine
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
|External Links:||The Kirk/Spock Archive|
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It was published in the print zine First Time #49 (11/2010) and online.
"After Kirk helps Spock thru pon farr they decide to go back to a platonic relationship, only to have their mutual love for each other gradually draw them together."
Reactions and Reviews
Mellow. I feeel mellow. There is no other way to feel at the end of this very satisfying piece. It begins with a crisis—one that Kirk senses even before Spock admits to him that Pon Farr has made its inevitable return. Thus, we have one of those accounts where there is room for no preamble. Kirk closes the door to Spock's quarters and commits to saving the life of his friend. No questions asked. I am very appreciative that this author penned no ruminations or misgivings for either man at the end of the siege. They are mature, they knew what they were doing and they did it. They step easily back into their friendship. Funny then, that Kirk finds it so difficult to leave when their nightly chess games are over. So difficult that he practically fells asleep on his feet. Never one to miss a clue, Spock the scientist inquires about the atypical behavior only to learn that Kirk wishes to sleep with him. Who is more startled, Spock or the reader, when it is learned that Kirk means this literally. There follows a very endearing love story which unfolds as slowly as a new rosebud, and reveals an equal amount of fragile beauty. 
One of a few “serious” stories from Ms. Marsh—one without the comedic undertones and overtones that are usual in her delightful stories. But the serious nature of this story is one of the reasons I loved it.
A restless Kirk finds Spock going through pon farr. He offers himself to him in a wonderful scene where he strips off his clothes in front of Spock and they make love. This scene was done with such poignancy and depth of feeling. The next morning they must face each other and deal with this new aspect of their relationship. For a while, they try to go on normally, but Kirk keeps finding himself drawn to Spock. Spock suspects a link, but they finally agree to share a bed whenever Kirk needs to. But the wonderful difference here is that Kirk just wants to sleep with Spock—not have sex. And like Kathy Stanis said in her review last month, I loved the little touch of their personal items being in each other’s quarters. So cute when they discuss what these things are like Kirk’s hairbrush and Spock’s “bottle of N’Tara” in Kirk’s liquor cabinet or their toothbrushes.... A beautiful moment occurs towards the end where Kirk declares Spock to be his “chosen brother”. Spock’s reaction is equally beautiful.A tender and lovely story. 
This is a long story, a really nice slow and gradual progression of Kirk and Spock's feelings for each other and how it evolves over time and is acted on, in a daily way on board the ship. I kept half-expecting something "bad" to happen (as in, supposedly desirable dramatic technique) and was glad when it didn't. It's written very well, clear and taut and full of
simple (and deep) feeling. Except I had to stop now and then and get in a different head-space, with both POVs. I love how Kirk, on shore leave with McCoy at Argelius, at a sex-show club, just can't relax and enjoy himself, even with the ladies. He feels so drawn back to the ship. It's a dark and dramatic scene as he finds Spock in his quarters and recognizes the symptoms of pon farr. This is another one of those times where I felt I was reading this pon farr drama for the first time. It's so beautiful, I could almost cry just thinking about it as I write this. Kirk's offer of himself to Spock is put so beautifully, as are the next things they say and do.... Afterwards they need to put this behind them. Kirk forgives Spock his need; but Spock must forgive himself...and hope their friendship can remain intact. So what follows is this long process, with lots of lovely tension going on, and lots of rich passages of feelings. For instance, Spock feels that as Kirk's friend, he is the only one; but as Kirk's lover, he's one of many—powerful and poignant, this. Well, not only does their treasured friendship remain intact, but they want to and do spend more and more time together, starting with just sleeping together occasionally (just sleeping), then more frequently, then all the time.... It's darling how it happens, just like in "real life" (if you've ever kind of moved in with a lover before you know it)...where they have articles of personal stuff at each other's quarters, and spend more and more time together, and finally decide to make it official and move in together. Oh yes, but first we were made privy to the natural disinclinations each had, particularly Spock, about sleeping together, lack of privacy and such. Best of all, they find the places where they fulfill each other's needs, and this sharing grows and gets deeper and enriches each of them, besides fulfilling the other. Some of these things are shown in nicely depicted tie-ins with episodes. After sleeping together every night for a while, one night they end up for real in each other's arms...and they go with it.Perhaps some of the dialogue at the end is slightly awkward, in order to maintain the theme. But, after all, these are stories, written by us, as much as I'd wish this was actual real-life Kirk and Spock I'm somehow privy to. Of course some of the story-teller's craft shows through—it couldn't be any other way. So I sure can't complain when it does, when done so nicely. This is such a lovely story. 
It is so cool to see so many stories being written by one of my all-time-favorite author. I like Deep End of Emotion the best for its straight forwardness. Kirk and Spock gelled so well together in this story. I just love it. There were no 5000 words or more dissertation of Spock's mental anguish in doing the wild thang with the Captain. The usual I'm so ashamed, I must transfer off the ship immediately, or I must go super Vulcan and spread my mental anguish disease to everyone until Dr. McCoy do a psych scan on me or receive another tongue lashing on the human psyche. The cool part was when Kirk discovers that he has been leaving his stuff in Spock's room and vice versa, and Spock telling him that it was okay. No fuss.
No muss. Another awe factor was when Kirk had a nightmare, and Spock turns to comfort the little guy by hugging him close spoon fashion. Yes! That scene alone just melts the butta right out of my mouth. There were only two micro size things wrong with the story. The ending was a bit staged. The other, I wish it was a heck of a lot longer. It is a rare occurrence indeed to read my two favorite guys coming together so well without the usual run-of-the-mill angst and mental anguish that seems to be in stories of this type. Truly a refreshing change. Definitely a Big Aawww and two MEGA thumbs up!WOOOHHOOOO! 
Dana Austin Marsh writes serious stories less frequently than humorous ones, but these are always worth reading as well. FT 49 has another excellent story of hers called “The Deep End of Emotion”. It starts with Kirk on shore leave, but feeling uneasy, as though something is wrong. He calls the Enterprise and finds out that Spock took himself off duty, and never told him. This sets off alarms, and Kirk hurriedly returns to the ship to find Spock in pon farr. Of course, Kirk insists on staying with Spock for the duration, even though Spock tries to send him away.
Afterwards, Spock desperately wants to resume their previous relationship, as Dana eloquently describes: “It was over. They had both survived, virtually undamaged. But what of their precious friendship? It would be up to him to return their relationship to its former comfortable state. Kirk had forgiven him his need before the first touch. It was Spock‘s task now to forgive himself.” And on the next page: “The sharing had been wonderful, and Kirk’s compassionate ability to relieve his needs truly mind boggling. Spock, however, wanted what he had held before Vulcan biology had handed him so much more. As James Kirk’s trusted, loyal friend, he was one of only a select few; as Kirk’s sexual partner, he was only one of many. Spock wanted the return of their natural, soul sustaining friendship so badly his entire being ached.” Kirk also wants to reestablish their comfortable relationship and get things back to normal. Although each recognizes they love each other, they are not in love with each other at this point.The rest of the story shows how Kirk and Spock build on that experience and gradually become closer and closer. Kirk finds himself craving the physical closeness he’d had with Spock. Not the sex, but touching and being held. They start to spend some nights sleeping together (just sleeping), especially during times when one is troubled, such as Kirk after the events in Dagger of the Mind, which gives him nightmares. Dana nicely portrays their increasing closeness and intimacy until they finally realize they are in love, and make love. I always enjoy this type of story, and Dana writes it very well indeed. 
Dana Austin Marsh is one of my favourite TOS K/S authors. The reason is because she manages to combine great characterisations with great stories, and The Deep End of Emotion is no exception.
There are a number of reasons why the Enterprise is the most successful ship in the fleet - and it's all to do with her unique command team. At the start of the story, Kirk's intuition, which plays such a vital role in many of their missions, is telling him something's wrong, even though they're on shoreleave. I love the way Dana actually shows some of the cues he unconsciously picked up in the days leading up to the situation, showing us how in this case his intuition worked, how that brilliant mind pieced it all together to figure out what was wrong. Of course, the reticent Mr. Spock says nothing of the fact he's gone into pon farr, prefering to die than ask anyone to help him. Thankfully, Kirk uses his persuasive charms to talk him round. This part of the story is almost a prologue. So the main part of the story begins - and what a great story it is. Both men are concerned about whether their friendship can survive the intimacy they were forced to share, as they go back to being the colleagues they were. This is the where Dana demonstrates her wonderful abilities as an author, as she deftly shows us in a series of vignettes over a period of time, how the two of them gradually become closer, gently and naturally moving from friends to something akin to 'brothers'...and of course in the end, it's only a small step to lovers as they become true t'hy'la. It's wonderful to see how they fall in love - it's so organic and utterly believable - all testament to Dana's writing skills, as she takes us with them on that subtle journey. It's her wonderful and profound understanding of Kirk and Spock's characters and their special connection with each other, together with a recognition of the level of responsibility their roles entail on board ship, as well as their duty to StarFleet, that makes Dana's stories work so well. They are so believable.I read this story this morning, and on and off through the day it's come back to me - which doesn't often happen unless a story has affected me profoundly. This story has been added to my favourites and is an absolute must-read. 
Thrown into unexpected intimacy by the happening of Spock's pon farr, Jim and Spock try to resume their initial friendship, to find it deepening with every day. Wonderful, sweet and surprisingly deep story from an author better known for her fun and light romps.