There's no need for words. Really, there are no words. You can't just say "thank you" to the guy who didn't even hesitate before diving headlong after you, from a platform hundreds of feet above a planet's surface. And, apparently, he can't just say "thank you" after you've come streaking across the galaxy, guns blazing, to save him from being sucked into a black hole.
They don't make greeting cards for shit like that either, so what the hell do you do?
If you're Hikaru Sulu and Jim Kirk, you silently clink beer bottles, and drink long and deep. Of the beer, which is warm and burns your nostrils and the back of your throat. Of each other. He's got bruises everywhere you look, and flecks of dried blood on his cheek, on the long fingers curled around the beer bottle's slender neck. They're kind of beautiful in their way, and you want to touch them, lick them. You wonder if he'd let you. He might. He just might.
If not this time, anyway, then the next time.
Yeah, there'll be a next time.
An understanding passes between between you. All of this? You'll do it again. And again and again. You'll follow him to the ends of the universe and he'll catch you each time you fall.
And it'll be awesome.
There's this silent promise in the blue eyes, this thirst that you recognize right away because it's an echo of what's in your own soul.