Summary: When Spock left Starfleet after the encounter with Nero, Jim thought he'd lost his chance at their supposedly destined friendship. Upon returning to Earth after the Enterprise's first five-year mission, he discovers that Spock lost far more. Jim's willing to fight for the bright future they were promised, but the one thing standing in its way is Spock himself.
Reasons for Reccing: I've seen this story recced all over the fandom, and it took aschicca giving it her seal of approval before I finally gave it a read. As it turns out, everyone was right. It's absolutely fantastic. It's a different spin on others in the fandom because Spock doesn't end up as Kirk's first officer aboard the Enterprise and Kirk actually manages okay without him. That doesn't mean Kirk doesn't want him there. :) Kirk and Spock are both emotionally vulnerable in this, but for very different reasons, and all the thought the author put into this plot-driven story shows. Set aside some time to read this one. You've got a full novel on your hands.