The Misunderstanding

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K/S Fanfiction
Title: The Misunderstanding
Author(s): Deborah Cummins
Date(s): 1988;12/2007
Length: 64 pages;
30,170 words K/S Archive
Genre: slash
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series
External Links: The Kirk/Spock FanFiction Archive

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The Misunderstanding is a Kirk/Spock story by Deborah Cummins.

It was published in the print zine Naked Times #19 (04/1988) and later online (12/2007) published as Debbie C.


"While giving Kirk a backrub, Spock picks up on Kirkʼs feelings for him which gives him hope for a relationship between them but both menʼs fear and hesitation create problems that are compounded when a female diplomat and her aide come aboard. "Spock could no more leave Kirk's side than he could exist without breathing. If his mood hadn't been so black, the irony might have amused him. The cause of the suffering was the lure that kept calling him back, kept him tied to the human's side as if he were bound with a thousand chains. So he stayed. For four years. And repressed the sorrow, the pain, watching Kirk seduce women by the score, fall in and out of love, turn to him for help and consolation before delving once again into another relationship. The list seemed endless. Spock buried the hurt, smothering it in rejection and denial. Kirk didn't love him."

Reactions and Reviews

This has come to be a somewhat clichéd theme in K/S: both Kirk and Spock love each other desperately but because each thinks the other feels only friendship, something far too valuable to lose, they say nothing. Clichés are based on themes which surface again and again. NT 19 was published in 1988 so this might not have been the earliest treatment of that idea, but for me, it’s certainly one of the best and most memorable.

There has been a disastrous landing party. Six young crewmen have lost their lives, and Kirk is understandably depressed. Spock comes to his cabin to comfort him and while Spock is massaging away his headache, Kirk’s guard slips and he reveals both mentally and physically how he feels about this most beloved companion. Spock cannot help but notice. Fearing Spock’s reaction, Kirk lies through his teeth, and Spock’s hopes are crushed.

Set against this emotional upheaval, is another darker story. The population of Harappa has decided to vote as to whether their planet should join the United Federation of Planets or not. The Potemkin is to ferry a Federation ambassador, the beautiful Valerian, to assist. A young woman, Mesila Siwan, a spy and saboteur, is an aide to the Ambassador and is to plant a delay-activation device that will destroy the Potemkin during the ensuing vote and embarrass the planet’s president, the Federation, and cause chaos and hatred among the populace. Her job has grown considerably harder since at the last minute orders are changed and it’s the Enterprise that is sent instead. Harder because of one man whose reputation is unsurpassed in Federation scientific circles. Spock will foil her plans. Fortunately for her, she immediate senses the turmoil raging between the command team as soon as she comes aboard, and just to make sure it stays that way, she deliberately aims Ambassador Valerian at the captain like a weapon. Kirk, for his part, grasps the opportunity as a lifeline. What better way to reassure his skittish first officer that he is a staunch heterosexual than to begin an affair with a woman? See, Spock? You don’t have to worry about me. Ironically, Spock is so confused and hurt he flees to the sanctuary of the lower levels and his computers. He finds the aberration, and is off to correct it, when he runs into the saboteur herself with a loaded phaser.

Spock’s near brush with death causes the two men to speak of the love hidden in their hearts.

The ties to 9/11 and fanatic terrorist religious extremists are downright prophetic.

Debbie Cummins is technically a fine author who writes complex and emotionally satisfying stories. She almost always hits my K/S button dead center. This story is one of my absolute favorites.[1]


  1. By Carolyn S in K/S Press #153 (06/2009)