The Faces of Love
|Title:||The Faces of Love|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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It was published in the print zine KSX #2.
"Spock returns from a diasterous leave on Vulcan, where he found that he and his parents still relate to each other as if he was a child."
The Author Comments
I wouldn’t remember anything about this story, except the last time I was with a small group of K/S fans – in 2004 – somebody mentioned having read it. So, upon returning home, I pulled out the zine and read it. I still don’t remember, now, what it was about exactly. I think it was little more than a warm fuzzy conversation, with Kirk comforting Spock because Spock had just returned from visiting his parents. Essentially it was a “My parents suck, it’s amazing I survived, you’ve changed my life” story. I really loved socking it to parents back then. Took a lot of stories (and well into another fandom) before I pretty much got past feeling I had to have nearly every story about Bad Parents, in some form or other. 
"The Faces of Love", I'm rather amazed at the gushy feedback. First, it's in first person, which I almost never do. Second, I can actually remember that I originally wrote it as touchy-feely gen, and it was rejected by the genzine editor that I submitted it to. It wasn't published into a few years later, in a K/S zine, in 1988. I admit I don't have the nerve to read the whole thing, even though it's under 4000 words. I browsed through it, and it really is pretty emotive for Kirk -- which, again, surprises me that that kind of tone is so readily embraced by modern readers.
I've said it before and I'm saying it again -- I'm just drop-dead flabbergasted at how well these old K/S stories of mine have been received on the archive. I mean, I'm a away better writer now, than I was then. And even with most knowing these stories are old, and it's not like feedback is going to spur me to go back to writing K/S, readers will still leave comments.K/S fandom just absolutely amazes me. 
Reactions and Reviews
I recently reread this short story, and have found once again why I enjoy it so much. I usually prefer stories with sex in them, the more explicit the better, but while there's no physical encounter in this story, ifs very touching, and full of love.
Told entirely from Kirk's POV, the story unfolds through dialogue and Kirk's thoughts. The author did a wonderful job blending the two, using both to show the love between these two men. The story is set a few months after the Babel incident and Spock has just returned from visiting his parents for the first time since then. He and Kirk have been lovers for a few months. Kirk asks Spock about his visit:
"Did you enjoy your stay?"
The question brings forth a long sigh. I can't recall him ever making such a noise. I study him carefully. His eyes are on the desk between us.
He almost seems to grimace. "No, I did not enjoy my stay."
My gentle Vulcan, I wish nothing but happiness for you. What could have gone wrong? Instead I simply ask, 'Why not?"
The story progresses, showing that things have not gone well with Spock's parents, and he's very upset. Kirk tries to offer comfort:
"I open my arms and put all the love I possess into my smile. "Come on, Spock, let me hold you."
He watches me for a long time. Then he shakes his head. "Jim, I do not believe it is wise for us to engage in sexual activity tonight" He sighs. "I do not think I would be a very responsive partner."
My heart sinks. My dear Vulcan, after all we've been through, you don't know the difference between affection and passion? Please, please let me show you.The writing is truly beautiful in this story. The author was able to show Kirk's and Spock's love, and put them in a position where they openly show share that love and their gentleness with each other, all while keeping in character. I thoroughly enjoyed rereading this touching story.