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I might want to shoot myself for this, but at the same time I've had such nice comments from people eagerly looking for more of this series.

What you're getting: These are the 22 pages of revised blind!Kirk fic that I have on hand. I haven't written more since last spring and this isn't on my immediate radar of things to finish. This section has the biggest revisions.

Folded and Unfolding ("REVISED")
Standard disclaimers apply.
Rating: Teen thus far
Main Characters: Kirk, Bones, Spock Prime, Spock
Pairings: ... heading towards Kirk/Spock
Notes: Prompter wanted blind!Kirk.


--- Past ---

When Pike approaches him and makes his proposal Kirk decides he might actually have a chance.

His records must be well-concealed if a Starfleet officer would so strongly encourage his participation. Kirk comes from small-town Iowa in the middle of bumfuck nowhere where everyone knew each other's business, but it also means that the community keeps its gossip and secrets within its borders. It's the only reason Kirk can think of for how he comes out with a clean bill of health for admission to Starfleet.

Of course, Starfleet has its own examinations to run after recruitment, which Kirk avoids for as long as possible. He puts off calling home, knowing his mother is off-world, his step-father doesn't yet know he left the state, and Kirk doesn't really have "friends" to contact.

Eventually, after two weeks in San Francisco, he resigns himself to the necessity of making a call to his step-father and the family doctors.


His roommate shows up early from registration just as Kirk's about to make the call. McCoy has his usual grimace of irritation as he mutters a greeting and slumps onto his bed.

Kirk moves away from the comm unit and leans casually against the bedpost, arms crossed and staring pointedly at the opposite wall. "Say, Bones..."

"What, kid? I want a goddamn nap after the hell they put me through. Introduction to humanoid anatomy! What the hell do they think I've been doing? Fixing up cattle?"

This can work in his favor. "That's a real shame. Can't you demonstrate some snazzy technique to move you up?"

"Standard procedures," McCoy sneers, clearly quoting some administrator. "Bastard probably doesn't know a Vulcan from an Orion..."

Kirk nods sympathetically, waiting for the right moment. McCoy seems to lose steam a few minutes later and he heaves a giant sigh. Instinctively Kirk tenses as he prepares to let his new friend in on a secret only a handful of people know.

"So, Bones. You up to a real medical challenge?" The key to working it out, Kirk is sure, is to cater to the man's ego and pride in his trade.

Tone laced with suspicion, McCoy asks, "What're you talking about?"

"Well-- Nah. Probably better to go see one of those specialists." Kirk straightens up and walks toward the comm.

"Hold up a minute, kid. Lay it out before you go wasting your savings fund on an eager surgeon."

Kirk slowly turns around, a schooled frown of skepticism dominating his expression. "I'm not so sure you'll be up to this. Gotta admit, this is going to take some subterfuge."

McCoy's eyes narrow. He sits up on the bunk and scans Kirk head to toe. "Let's hear it, what the hell have you got?" Although suspicion still lurks in his eyes, McCoy looks like he's resigning himself to the likelihood of hearing about some boring yet disgusting malady.

Kirk forces himself to keep the tone casual. "Know anything about optic-nanotechnology?" McCoy's eyebrows arch in surprise. "I take that as a yes."

"Was in every damn science journal a few years ago. Damn dangerous and nowhere near receiving the official go-ahead. Hasn't even been cleared for human testing except somewhere in Asia, I think."

Alright, so the good doctor understands the tenuous status. Kirk pulls over a chair and sits down. Keeping his stare levelly on the doctor, he says, "A few hundred volunteers for the treatment have been found over the years as well." He definitely has McCoy's interest.

"There's other ways to improve your vision, Kirk," the doctor warns. "I'm not an optometrist and it'd only take me a half hour with a basic procedure to fix things up. Trust me, you don't want some creepy pseudo techno organisms crawling along your optical nerves." He shudders.

Kirk stares at the floor, debating whether he should admit the rest or let it drop. McCoy ends up making the decision for him.

"Shit. You did something stupid and now it's going wrong? Damn it, they'll throw you out for accepting an illegal procedure!"

"What the hell would you choose?" Kirk snaps, meeting McCoy's disdainful gaze with instinctive anger. "I don't care what century we're in, there's few options you get if you're blind, Bones! So what would you do? Sit on your ass never knowing when someone's staring at you? Forget what your mother looks like?" He grits his teeth as he watches McCoy's expression shift between confusion and shock. "I lived like that for years and there's no way in hell I'd go back. None of the shitty procedures they offer at the prestigious 'institutes' would come close, even if they would have opted to operate on a punk Midwestern kid."

For a long while neither of them speaks.

Eventually McCoy props his elbows on his knees and leans in. He peers carefully at Kirk's face, a look of calm professionalism smoothing his expression.

"So what happened?"

Kirk focuses on his clasped hands as he begins, "You know about the USS Kelvin?"

"Strange 'lightning storm' in the middle of space and some weirdass ship attacked. Yeah, I know." McCoy hesitates. "George Kirk was your father."

"I was born on one of the escaping shuttles. Ma was always worried the anomaly would fuck me up. Turns out she was right." Kirk slumps back in his chair and scrubs at his face.

"Ma noticed I suddenly had problems walking when I was five. I kept knocking things over, too. Doctors ran a crap-load of tests and started looking at family medicals. My mom's folks had some issues with sight a couple generations back and apparently my dad's grandpa was blind, but nothing connected to the full extent of my results. Finally they decided some weird radiation or something at the time of my birth screwed me over." He glances at McCoy and anticipates the question he sees in the doctor's expression. "It's like retinal dystrophy. The connections rapidly deteriorated between eye and brain. By the time I turned eight I'd totally lost my sight."

Kirk straightens up, expression defiant. "Everyone kept saying there was nothing that could be done. At the start they thought about a few short-term options, but that wouldn't do much. So what the hell did I care when eight years later a voice said I could see my mom again? I could finally see the car my step-dad was fixing up and I could do more than hand over tools. The possible consequences didn't matter, not to Ma and definitely not to me."

Kirk hopes he doesn't sound as desperate as he feels when he asks, "So what do you say, Bones? Can you help me clear Starfleet's medical?"

McCoy runs a hand through his hair. "Shit, kid. We'll be dodging them forever!"

Kirk hears quite clearly the specification of "we." He grabs for McCoy's hand and grips it tightly in his. "I'll get you out of the stupid classes you've already taken, hack the system. I don't have much money right now, but I can get a job - pay you. Name your price! I can't be-- Thank you!"

McCoy stares at him with a overwhelmed expression and his mouth slightly agape. "Jesus, Kirk. At least wait to see what I can fucking do before offering the world on a platter." He swears some more when Kirk's grip on his hand tightens. Kirk can't speak for long moments and just shakes his head in giddy relief.

"Damn it, kid. Are you okay? Speak up!"

"Jim," Kirk finally says, laughing. "For god's sake, call me Jim."

---In Between---

Around the time he fails the Kobayashi Maru for the second time, Kirk knows something's gone wrong with the nanites. The problems aren't major - yet. He doesn't tell McCoy, wanting to wait and find out if there will be other symptoms. For now he gets the occasional headache from blurry vision and he has trouble reading from a distance. Thankfully it doesn't worsen in the days that follow.

Lulled into a false sense of security, he nearly panics when he goes completely blind in one eye after Bones injects him with an unnecessary vaccine to get him aboard the Enterprise. No matter how grateful Kirk is to get on the ship, he'll gladly clobber his so-called friend when he's feeling better. What the hell had Bones been thinking?

The report of the lightning storm quickly clears Kirk's mind of anything but convincing Pike to hold back. Kirk knows Vulcan is a trap. A gut instinct is screaming at him that something horrible is about to happen.

Later, after Pike is gone and Vulcan destroyed, McCoy drags Kirk aside despite the crowded infirmary and wide variety of wounds and runs a thorough scan. He swears under his breath and pulls out a penlight. Kirk grimaces as the light blinds him for a minute.

"I can't fucking see when you do that!" he snaps.

McCoy lowers his voice, tone gruff, "What can you see?"

Kirk struggles to control the knot of fear forming in his gut. He doesn't lie when he answers. "Colors mostly faded. Depth perception kind of off; I grabbed Sulu, though, so I don't think it's that bad." McCoy glares at him. "Look, man, this'll keep. You've got enough people to worry about in here."

"I don't trust what all this space radiation is doing to you, kid. Diving through atmo sure as hell ain't doing you any favors. You better not be using the transporters again anytime soon."

"Bones..." Kirk sighs. "Fine, I'll be careful. But this is an emergency," he reminds.

Challenging a Vulcan is definitely not playing it safe. Kirk thinks it may very well be the complete opposite of being careful. But he ignores McCoy's warnings as he fights with security and by the time he wakes up - in a chilly escape pod, alone - there's no McCoy to tell him "I told you so."

Kirk has trouble navigating the frozen surface of Delta Vega. Even with perfect eyesight it would be difficult. Everything is covered in snow and Kirk can make out no landmarks. He refers to the tricorder from among the pod's emergency supplies in attempt to orient himself. Somewhere Starfleet has a base on this hunk of rock. The machine isn't well calibrated to the cold, though, so Kirk mostly bundles it under his coat, close to his chest to keep it from freezing.

He's checking the tricorder when the ground beneath him shakes and he looks back to find a gigantic beast bearing down on him. In the resulting chase where he runs faster than ever before, he drops the tricorder. He's pretty sure he'll be dead before he'd get to check it again, anyway.

Then he receives a miracle and at first he thinks his rescuer is some sorry soul assigned out here by Starfleet. He supposes it's not entirely impossible to have accidently veered into the base area. He's disabused of his first guess, however, when he finds out the man is a Vulcan. A Vulcan with disturbingly familiar - albeit greatly aged - features of the Enterprise's Acting Captain.

"Jim?"

Kirk just stares at the guy, wondering if his eyes are failing him and he's hallucinating the resemblance of Spock. It occurs to him to wonder why the hell there's a Vulcan on this ice rock.

"Who are you?"

"I have been, and always shall be, your friend." That baffling statement is hardly the most surprising in the information that follows.

Kirk feels overwhelmed by everything - the story of alternate universes, the revelation that Vulcans can feel quite deeply, the emotions broadcasting from Ambassador Spock, and the lightning fast glimpses of another time and place. Kirk doesn't know how he keeps his feet when he's again alone in his head.

Reaching the base is made infinitely easier now that Kirk has someone to follow. He trudges after the ambassador, thoughts preoccupied by the impressions left in his head after the mind-meld. He doesn't notice when the Vulcan stops, meaning Kirk bumps into the guy's back. He mutters an apology and steps out of the way as Ambassador Spock works open a door nearly hidden due to the constantly drifting snow.

Kirk immediately takes a liking to Montgomery Scott. Maybe, he thinks, between the three of us we can pull off a miracle. But the ambassador declines. Kirk has the strange urge to cling to the Vulcan and refuse to leave until he comes along.

Instead he stands at the ready on the transporter and watches the elder Spock until light engulfs his vision.

Much of what follows upon his return to the Enterprise is a blur. He gains captaincy by goading one damn emotional Vulcan. Kirk's vision swims throughout his entire speech to the crew about the change of course. He can see McCoy's fingers twitch next to his tricorder but Kirk doesn't have time to deal with a check-up right now and McCoy knows that.

By the time Kirk and Spock beam over to the Narada, James Kirk has already been captain longer than his father. Now he needs to rocket past the record by saving far more than eight hundred lives.

TBC