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Fanfic / My Love Has Two Lives

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My Love Has Two Lives is a canon-divergent series of Star Trek fanfiction, the first of which is primarily a Fix Fic for Star Trek: Generations whilst still being a deconstruction of the popular 'Kirk survives and reunites with Spock in the twenty-fourth century' plot.

The series is based around the premise that Picard and Kirk go back to a different moment in time than they do in canon, thus sparing Kirk's life and setting off the Decon-Recon Switch, a retelling of the eleventh movie, and the sort of events you'd expect when a Weirdness Magnet like Jim Kirk gets involved with anything.


There are currently two parts to the series: Start Infinity Again and Between The Mountain and the River. The series can be read on the Kirk/Spock Fanfiction Archive and on Archive of Our Own.

Events that appear in canonical events have been left unspoilered. Spoilers have only been used for important events from the fic itself.

This fanfic provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Heroism: Sybok's counterpart is far more balanced and reasonable than Sybok Prime, and on a planet where There Are No Therapists his philosophy of embracing emotion and confronting pain begins to serve a beneficial purpose. He also becomes a valuable ally to Jim and Spock.
  • Always Save the Girl: Always Save The Love Interest: Discussed in Between the Mountain and the River:
    It probably made [Jim] selfish to know he would choose to live in a universe with Spock but without Vulcan over the other way around, but he had come to terms with his selfishness long ago. For Jim, when it came to Spock, the needs of the one outweighed the needs of the many.
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  • Anti-Villain: Kopek isn’t a bad guy, really. He just wants his family and planet back, like everyone else on Ha-kel. Unfortunately, he’s reacting to their loss even worse than the rest of the population is, and it leads to him Jumping Off the Slippery Slope.
  • Berserk Button: Any challenge or insult to the t'hy'la bond is apparently this to anyone who’s ever had one, most likely a holdover from the time when Vulcans were a Proud Warrior Race. However, whilst this might have been beneficial to the Vulcan Battle Couples of old, it just gives Nero something to taunt our heroes with.
  • Continuity Nod: The series is full of these. The Dominion, the Borg changing history, and Shinzon all get mentioned, and Jim frequently compares and contrasts Nero with Khan (and the actions of the latter's reboot self are mentioned in Between the Mountain and the River). Reference is also made to events from various episodes, a notable example occuring in the second story, with Jim recalling the events of The Deadly Years and deliberately acting as far removed from that version of himself as possible in an attempt to convince the High Council to take his concerns seriously.
  • Crapsack World: The fourth alternate universe in Between the Mountain and the River. Earth and Vulcan are both destroyed, and Andoria is the new capital of the crippled Federation, which is implied to be under threat by both the Klingons and the Romulans. Starfleet is also much weaker than it was due to the sheer number of losses. And Jim is dead. The fifth is even worse. Nero kills the older Spock, leaving Kirk without a rescuer on Delta Vega. Kirk dies and never proves the younger Spock is emotionally compromised. Under Spock’s command, the Enterprise regroups with the rest of the fleet, and Earth is destroyed. Nero is still out there with the red matter, but no-one in the Federation knows what it is, and the Romulans are on his side and at war with the Federation. The Klingons are allied with the Federation, but even so they are implied to be losing.
    • Crapsack Only by Comparison: In-Universe. Some of the alternate universes are actually started to be better than the Kelvin timeline - or at least not much worse - but Jim still considers them Crapsack since Spock is dead or Ret-Gone.
  • Dead Alternate Counterpart: Since every alternate universe created by Kopek’s experiments can be logically assumed to have contained two James Kirks at one point, this trope was twice as likely to occur as in other cases:
    • The Jim from the fourth alternate universe is dead, although that timeline's version of Kirk is still alive.
    • In the fifth alternate universe, it's Kirk who's explicitly stated to be dead, but given that no-one recognises 'our' Jim it's probable that that timeline's Jim is also deceased.
  • Deconstruction Fic: The common 'Kirk survives Generations and reunites with Spock' plot is explored beyond the reunion, discussing Jim’s Fish out of Temporal Water status and all its associated problems in great detail.
  • Don't Call Me "Sir": Almost every conversation Jim has aboard the Enterprise-D features him asking to be addressed as 'Jim' rather than 'Captain'. It never seems to take.
  • Due to the Dead: In one of the Prime chapters, Jim, Spock and Scotty visit the graves of Sulu, Uhura, Chekov, McCoy and Jim’s parents (although Scotty stays behind after visiting Uhura). Spock makes McCoy a mint julep, and one of Uhura's descendants sings a mourning song for her.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Jim actually has to put effort into both finding his feet in the twenty-fourth century and rebuilding his marriage. The epilogue of the first story also makes it clear that whilst he feels to an extent that his relationship with Spock and previous command of the Enterprise were meant to be, he also had to work hard for those things.
  • The Empath: Jim has become this as a result of his time in the Nexus, as well as developing a sensitivity to alterations in the universe.
  • Enemy Mine: In the fifth alternate universe, the Klingons have allied themselves with the Federation as a result of the Romulans destroying their warbirds.
  • Epigraph: Each story begins with the Pablo Neruda poem from which it derives its title.
  • Exact Words: Jim often resorts to this to obfuscate the true nature of his relationship with Spock. This eventually forces him to allow the younger Spock to believe him to be a widower when the latter offers condolences following Jim's reference to his husband’s death.
  • External Retcon: Two examples:
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Jim during the Prime Universe chapters of Start Infinity Again.
  • Fix Fic: Start Infinity Again serves as one for Generations, albeit with a healthy dose of angst and deconstruction.
  • Forced to Watch: Nero's plan for Spock.
  • For Want of a Nail: In the second story, the two Crapsack Universes are both the results of a single change to the timeline. The universe where Vulcan never joined the Federation is also an example of this, but to a far less notable extent, since Vulcan is still destroyed - the only thing changed beyond the Nail is that Spock does not exist.
  • Freudian Trio: In the sequel, we have Jim, Spock, and Sybok.
  • Happily Married: Jim and Spock.
  • He Knows Too Much: Kopek’s motive for trying to kill Jim, with the added bonus of his death causing a knock-on negative effect for Spock and Sybok. It's never stated what he planned to do to them, but given that Jim's death would involve spaghettification, it probably wouldn't have been all that nice.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Jim and Spock in the last Prime Universe chapter of the first story. However, their survival is a Foregone Conclusion.
    • The third alternate universe in the sequel is one in which Spock sacrifices himself to save Vulcan. He succeeds in preventing the destruction of the planet, but that timeline's Jim (if there is one) would be trapped in the alternate past alone.
  • How We Got Here: Start Infinity Again opens with Jim and Spock entering the Reboot universe and being captured by Nero. The next chapter and every alternate one after it show Jim’s life in the Prime universe from the Nexus to that moment, with the final line of the last Prime chapter leading directly into the very first line of the fic. The chapters in-between feature Jim's reactions and experiences during and immediately after the movie.
  • Identical Grandson: Lampshaded. Jim's first thought regarding Worf - after getting over the shock of seeing a Klingon in a Starfleet uniform - is how similar he looks to a certain defence attorney.
  • In Medias Res: Start Infinity Again opens with Jim and Spock entering the Reboot universe and being captured by Nero. The next chapter and every alternate one after it show Jim’s life in the Prime universe from the Nexus to that moment, with the final line of the last Prime chapter leading directly into the very first line of the fic. The chapters in-between feature Jim's reactions and experiences during and immediately after the movie.
  • In Spite of a Nail: In the sequel, a non-Federation version of Vulcan is still destroyed by Nero, albeit a year later and with no connection to Spock.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Jim and Spock develop this with each other's counterparts. Jim also has this with a Vulcan girl named T'Korin.
  • Interspecies Romance: Jim and Spock.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Jim admits he’d rather see Spock bonded to Saavik than have him dead or brain-damaged. Fortunately, there is a third option.
  • Kirk Summation: The mini-version that Jim gives Ayel in Start Infinity Again is just a ploy to buy Kirk some time, but the ones given in the sequel are played entirely straight.
  • Literary Allusion Title: The stories and the series as a whole are titled after lines from poems by Pablo Neruda. Said poems appear at the beginning of each story as an Epigraph.
  • Living Battery: The Nexus uses the people trapped inside of it for this purpose.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Spock essentially becomes this to Jim after the latter arrives in the twenty-fourth century. Troi advises him against building his life around one person, however, and with good reason. Fortunately, there are other people he can turn to for support when Spock can't be there.
  • Long-Distance Relationship: Jim's marriage to Spock becomes this whilst the latter is on Romulus trying to convince the Senate to grant the former permission to join him.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Discussed and reconstructed:
    Jim: I sometimes wonder if we do something cruel to you, we humans who are lucky enough to be the recipients of a Vulcan's love. Your emotions are so strong and consuming, and even if we don't die prematurely, our lifespans are shorter than yours. I have to wonder if it's cruel of us to make you love us, knowing how long you'll have to live without us, loving us still.
    Sarek: I would say that I would not take back my love for Amanda, even after having lost her. And I believe your Spock would say the same.
    Jim: He would. And he would tell me he chose this path, even knowing where it would lead, and he does not regret it.
    Sarek: So I would say.
  • Mindlink Mates: Jim and Spock, once the latter dissolves his bond with Saavik. They were this before the Nexus as well.
  • The Mourning After: If not for pon farr forcing his hand, Spock would have played this entirely straight regarding Jim.
    Spock: I would not have [married Saavik] had my Time not continued to come, Jim. I promise you that. I never wanted another mate in my life, after you.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted by way of time travel. The author minimises any confusion created by there being two James Kirks in the universe by referring to the older version as 'Jim' and the younger as 'Kirk' (as this page does, with the exception of the description), but there's not much that can be done about the Spocks.
  • One True Love: It's made very clear that Jim and Spock are this for each other.
  • Queer Romance: It's not the whole focus of the work, but the relationship between Jim and Spock is a very prominent part of the story.
  • Reality Ensues: It's made clear that trying to resume your life in a time period where everything you know is eighty years out of date, you can't do the job you've built your identity around, the love of your life has remarried (albeit temporarily), and most of your friends and family are dead would be incredibly stressful.
  • Retconjuration: In addition to Nero’s canonical example, we have Kopek’s creation of the alternate universes.
  • Ret-Gone: Spock in the second alternate universe created by Kopek - Vulcan never joined the Federation, Sarek never married Amanda, and Spock was never born.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Nero blames Spock for the death of his wife, so he very deliberately inflicts as much pain on Jim as he can, ensuring that each time, Spock is Forced to Watch and unable to do anything about it. He goes so far as to separate them in what might be the most sadistic way possible - Spock is deposited on Delta Vega to watch his homeworld implode whilst Nero intends to keep Jim as a prisoner until they reach Earth, at which point he will be killed along with everybody else on the planet, thus forcing Spock to feel the crippling pain of a broken bond whilst not even being able to be present for his husband's final moments. He claims he’s doing all this so Spock will feel what he felt when his wife died, but, as Jim notes, their situations aren’t all that similar.
  • Secret Relationship: Zig-zagged. Jim and Spock were in one in their original era in an attempt to gain a measure of privacy, but by the twenty-fourth century this is no longer the case. In the new universe they have deliberately avoided informing their counterparts of their marital status in order to preserve their free will, and have similarly left the rest of the Enterprise crew and Pike in the dark, but are openly living on Ha-kel as bondmates and under their real names.
  • Slash Fic: It's not the whole focus of the work, but the relationship between Jim and Spock is a very prominent part of the story.
  • Society Marches On: In-Universe. Jim discovers that the twenty-fourth century is rather different from the twenty-third - there are Klingons in Starfleet and many of the unconventional tactics you could get away with back then are no longer acceptable. Jim was prepared for none of this.
  • Straw Vulcan: Averted. The High Council is correct in asserting that a world where Vulcan still exists would be far better than the current one, and that Jim has no right to alter a culture that has served them well for thousands of years. Or at least, he wouldn't if it weren't for the fact that emotional control is clearly no longer working and the tension is slowly but surely driving their society to collapse.
  • There Are No Therapists: Justified, since Vulcans wear the Hat of Emotion Suppression and see no use for such things. Fortunately, Sybok has returned and is now on a mission to defy this.
  • Translation Convention: Aside from an initial phrase of greeting, all Vulcan dialogue between Jim and Sarek's counterpart is written in English.
  • Together in Death: Although we know they survive, Jim deliberately invokes this trope by choosing to accompany Spock when he volunteers to inject the red matter. And, rather than just choosing to die at each other’s sides, this happens:
    The Jellyfish too had been caught in the singularity's pull, and would not be able to escape.
    But it was all right. Jim felt a wave of peace wash over him. "Spock," he murmured, and reached out to cup Spock's face with the hand not holding Spock's.
    "Jim," Spock returned tenderly, his own free hand moving to Jim's face. His fingers stilled on the meld points, and he brought their minds together one final time.
    They would never separate from this. They would never separate again.
    Jim had no regrets.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Start Infinity Again opens with Jim and Spock entering the Reboot universe and being captured by Nero. The next chapter and every alternate one after it show Jim’s life in the Prime universe from the Nexus to that moment, with the final line of the last Prime chapter leading directly into the very first line of the fic. The chapters in-between feature Jim's reactions and experiences during and immediately after the movie.
  • What If?: Explored in some of the alternate universes in Between the Mountain and the River.
    • What if Vulcan never joined the Federation? It gets an extra year of existence, but since Sarek and Amanda never married - perhaps they never even met - Spock was never born.
    • What if Nero succeeded in destroying Earth? Starfleet is decimated and the Federation weakened to the extent that the Klingons and Romulans are regularly testing the borders.
    • What if Nero never left Spock on Delta Vega? For Want of a Nail, the Federation and Klingon Empire are fighting a Hopeless War against the Romulans.
  • Women Are Wiser: Jim insists Spock remain married to Saavik rather than risk brain damage or death from breaking their bond. Spock insists that the not-insignificant risk is worth it if he can be with Jim again. Saavik suggests Taking A Third Option and having their bond changed into a purely familial one, dramatically reducing said risks and giving everyone what they want.
  • You Are Worth Hell: It’s established in the Prime chapters that there is absolutely nothing that Jim will not do and nowhere he will not go if doing so means he can stay with Spock, so when the latter volunteers to take Geordi’s place as pilot of the Jellyfish the former (aware that it will most likely be a one-way trip) immediately invokes Together in Death by accompanying him.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: A central theme. Jim can’t go back to his life pre-Nexus, instead having to Start A New Life first in the twenty-fourth century, then in an alternate version of his own past.
  • Your Answer For Everything: Turomek insists on creating a simulation for everything.
    Jim had a sneaking suspicion he enjoyed even the ones that failed for the unique ways in which things would tend to explode.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Kopek uses this to attempt to kill Jim - if his mind died in a red matter singularity, his body would die too, even though he was in no danger physically.

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