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Spock suspected his Captain was flirting with him.

Jim Kirk was a flirt by nature. He liked to laugh, and joke, and touch. If he had ever been in possession of personal boundaries –Spock was doubtful he had– Jim had lost them long ago. He flirted with humans, aliens, animals, plants, inanimate objects, even his own ship. Jim was like a whirlwind, and Spock found himself intrigued by the constant hum of energy emitting from his Captain.

It wasn't a surprise for Spock to find himself at the receiving end of Jim's flirtations. It was, however, a struggle to determine the meaning behind such behavior. It often seemed as if Jim's actions were intended specifically for Spock, and Spock alone. All the tell-tale signs were there. The tendency to touch Spock, and an apparent need to be close to him at all times. The suggestive words falling so easily from Jim's perfect mouth. The way he would laugh after saying something inappropriate, gifting Spock with a shining smile, all the while his blue eyes seeming to linger a little too long.

Yet, Jim persisted in brushing his comments and actions off as a joke. A suggestive comment would be followed with a wide smile and a slap to the shoulder. A lingering hand would be countered with a comment on human behavior versus Vulcan social customs. If Jim was serious in his flirtations he showed no indication.

 

*

Jim had arrived at Spock's door at 19:00 hours, as usual, and started setting up the board as Spock made tea for himself and opened a beer for Jim. Spock didn't drink alcohol, but, in an effort to be a suitable host, he'd obtained various kinds in the early days of his chess games with Jim.

“It makes no sense to send us directly from the Rakayan Quadrant to Koevian VI. They're not even close to each other.”

Jim was talking animatedly, his hands flailing and slapping the arm of the chair as if to enforce each word.

“It's as if Starfleet wants to waste time and manpower.”

Spock contemplated his next move, eyes focused on the board, elbows on the arms of the chair and hands steepled.

“That trip would take almost a month! Just us hanging out on the ship with nothing to do. Just a month of cruising through the galaxy catching up on paperwork!”

Reaching forward to move his rook up one level, Spock's hand was suddenly gripped by one of Jim's.

“Spock, are you listening to me??”

Spock remained still, his hand frozen in place under Jim's. “Of course.”

Jim stared at him intently, his eyes amused but stern. “You seem more focused on the game. Don't you see how pointless this is?”

“Yes, I do.”

“An entire month, wasted! Doesn't it seem ridiculous to you?”

“Of course, captain.”

Jim laughed. “Captain?? Jim, Spock. Call me Jim.”

Spock swallowed and paused to take a breath before speaking. “Jim, is there a reason you are still holding my hand?”

Jim glanced down at their hands still connected over the board and laughed.

Spock tensed and attempted to ease his hand out of his Captain's grip. It was the first awkward movement Jim had ever seen from the usually unflappable Vulcan. He gripped Spock's hand harder before he was able to escape completely. A spark of energy seemed to surge between them, and Spock was unsure if it was perceptible to Jim. Spock met his gaze for a moment as their hands hovered together over the board. Jim was looking at him almost questioningly, as if there was something he wished to say but he was holding back.

“Jim..”

“Right, sorry, sorry.”

Jim released his grip on Spock's hand and sat back in his chair, running his hand through his hair before speaking again.

“Is it my move?”

“It is still my turn. Your actions interrupted me.”

“Yeah. Right. Sorry.. Go ahead. Take as long as you need.”

By the time they reached the end of the game, Jim had returned to his usual behavior – ranting about Starfleet orders and regulations, discussing upcoming missions, and speculating on possible shore leave locations. Spock suspected the Captain was distracted, however, as he gave Spock several avoidable advantages in the game.

When the evening came to an end, Jim seemed to hesitate at Spock's door. Spock was abrupt in his goodbye, nodding respectfully to his Captain before distracting himself with tidying up his tea cup and Jim's half-empty beer bottle.

“Everything's alright, right?”

“Indeed.”

“I mean.. between us. We're good, right?”

“Of course Jim.”

He avoided the Captain's uneasy glance and only looked up as Jim finally left, watching the retreating figure as the door slid shut.

*

The meeting had been going on for 97.25 minutes when Spock felt something brush his foot under the table. A soft tap at first, and then the sensation of the toe of a boot traveling up his shin. The rubber of the boot touching his own made a small squeak under the table, so quiet it would only be perceptible to Vulcan ears. Spock steeled himself, his eyes locking on Admiral Pike's visage on the view screen.

Without turning his head, Spock made a mental note of the crew members across from him and he attempted to determine which officers would be in reach of him from under the table. If his calculations were correct, it was likely his shin was within reach of Ensign Chekov and Jim. While there was a slight possibility that Ensign Chekov would risk his position to proposition a ranking officer, Spock was 99.99% certain which crew member was in possession of the wandering boot – one James T. Kirk.

As the boot traveled further up his leg, reaching the bottom hem of his pants, Spock felt his face begin to flush. He attempted to will away his discomfort as he busied himself making a pointless note on his PADD. He felt the rubber catch against the fabric of his pants and tug a little, and Spock shifted imperceptibly in his chair. As his leg moved away from the offending boot, out of the corner of his eye Spock could see Jim shift noticeably in his own chair. The boot reached him again, and gave him a little kick.

Spock's eyebrow rose as he finally chanced a glance at Jim. The Captain was grinning. He gave Spock a quick nod of acknowledgment and tilted his head towards the view screen. Jim then rolled his eyes and pretended to stifle a yawn. Spock gave him a look of disapproval which conveyed the message of “what the hell are you doing Captain? This is extremely unprofessional” quite efficiently.

Jim glanced down to type something on his PADD and within seconds Spock noticed his own PADD light up with an incoming message. His eyes lowered to the small screen as he clicked the flashing notification.

-Boring.

Spock's brow furrowed as he typed a quick reply.

-Necessary.

He watched his Captain receive the message and take slightly longer to type out a reply.

-I think Scotty could've handled this meeting without us.

A flurried exchange of messages followed.

-Chief Engineer Scott requires our support in budget matters. Problems in Engineering can lead to ramifications for the whole of the ship, Captain.

-True, but extra funding for engineering poker night doesn't really seem like a pressing matter.

-Keeping crew members socially stimulated assists in providing the emotional stability necessary in humans and can lead to a healthier work environment.

-Stimulated, you say.

-I understand the reference, but the implication is unclear.

-Spock, you are hilarious.

-I fail to see the hilarity. Specify.

-Nevermind.

-In that case, I suggest we cease communication and focus on the meeting.

-You're no fun.

In response, Spock set his PADD on the table and turned his gaze back to the view screen. A mere 2.45 minutes passed before Spock felt Jim's foot brushing his own again. Another foot brushed the other side, and Spock felt two boots grip his own and his foot was suddenly trapped between both of Jim's. Spock pointedly ignored the action, gracefully yanking his foot away from Jim and pulling his feet beneath his chair, refusing to meet Jim's eye across the table.

His PADD lit up a few seconds later.

-No fun at all.

 

*

Spock made a point of sitting with the senior crew members at every meal. He could have just as easily taken meals in his room, which would have permitted him more time to catch up on reports, but he made the conscious decision to eat in the mess hall as a means of socialization. Eating with the crew allowed him to observe, listen, and occasionally engage in conversation and debate with his fellow crew members.

The majority of his meals were spent at Jim's side. Their shifts coincided, and it made sense to coordinate their meals as well. Over the past few weeks, however, a disturbing trend had begun to emerge. Jim had started trying to feed Spock from his own tray.

At first it was a taste of replicated garlic potatoes similar to something Jim said his Grandmother Kirk used to make. The second instance involved fettuccine alfredo, again with far too much garlic for Spock's liking. After that particular evening Spock made it clear to Jim that he not only disliked garlic, but he was not a fan of Italian food in general. It was too strong for his mild palate.

From that point on, Jim seemed to stick strictly to desserts. He was aware of Spock's sweet tooth, and Spock suspected his Captain was taking advantage of that information.

“Come on, Spock, just one bite.”

“Jim, this is unprofessional.”

“We're off-duty, and it's supper. No one's going to care. Just try it.”

The fork hovered threateningly close to Spock's mouth, the replicated cake looking undeniably appealing. It was pink with some sort of sugary syrup dripping from it onto the table.

“I would rather not.”

Spock knew what was coming – the pout. Jim played it up, puffing out his bottom lip and giving Spock what he referred to as his 'puppy dog eyes.'

“Just taste it. For me.”

Spock glanced around at the other faces at the table. Chekov was debating something with Doctor McCoy, while Sulu seemed to be looking longingly at the back of Chekov's curls. Scotty and Uhura appeared to be distracted by one another, but Spock noticed their occasional knowing glances in his direction.

He turned his gaze back to the Captain who was still swinging the fork tantalizingly by Spock's mouth.

“Just one bite.”

“If it will appease you.”

Jim grinned as Spock opened his mouth slightly and allowed the fork to enter. He took a quick bite and pulled away, hoping no other crew members noticed.

It was delicious, Spock couldn't deny that fact. He looked down at his empty plate and over at Jim's syrupy cake. Jim looked at him expectantly. “Good, right?”

“Indeed.”

“Want more?”

Spock hesitated as his eyes ran over the line at the replicator. “Perhaps.”

“You can share mine,” Jim said as he shoveled a piece of the cake into his own mouth.

“I can obtain my own piece in a few minutes.”

“Don't be ridiculous, that line will take forever.”

The fork was at Spock's mouth again, the cake calling out to him to eat it. Without thinking he opened his mouth again, allowing Jim to push the fork in.

“See, this is easier.” Jim said with a smile.

Spock silently agreed, waiting for his next bite of cake.

He emitted a soft hum of approval as Jim fed him a third bite, his eyes closing as the cake seemed to melt in his mouth.

When he opened his eyes he saw Scotty and Uhura watching him. His eyes traveled down the table and he found McCoy looking at him as well. The Doctor winked.

He suddenly found himself torn between embarrassment and wanting more cake, and was secretly pleased when Jim made the decision easy for him as he shoved a fourth bite of cake into Spock's mouth.

 

*

In his rush to beam down with the away team, Jim had forgotten to bring his sleeping pack. Spock couldn't be sure Jim's actions had been intentional, but the circumstances did seem suspicious. It was meant to be a relatively safe mission. All readings suggested the planet was uninhabited and covered in various undiscovered flora and fauna. With no chance of encountering angry inhabitants or dangerous wildlife, Spock's science team had been well-prepared and well-stocked as they stepped aboard the transporter. Jim's last minute decision to join them likely lead to the sleeping pack being left behind, but the fact that Jim insisted on accompanying them on such a mundane mission seemed rather suspect.

As night fell, the temperature dropped sharply. Spock's tent had been assembled earlier by an ensign, and when he climbed inside with the intention of warming himself and receiving a few hours of sleep, he found Jim already sitting inside.

“Forgot my pack.”

Spock found himself unsurprised by the admittance. “Indeed, Captain?”

“Can I crash here with you?”

“Crash?”

“Sleep, Spock.”

Spock raised an eyebrow. “It is quite likely my team brought extra supplies. Surely they could find proper accommodations for you.”

“I don't want to bother them..” Jim paused slightly, glancing at the floor of the tent. “And I don't want them to know I forgot something so simple.”

Spock was intrigued by the brief look of embarrassment on Jim's face. “Yet, you do not mind if I know.”

Jim smiled, glancing up at Spock. “Of course not. You've seen me at my worst. You know what an idiot I can be sometimes.”

“Foolhardy, perhaps, but you are not an idiot Jim.”

Turning from him, Spock zipped the small door shut and bent down to remove his boots.

The walls of the tent rippled softly, and Spock could feel the cold radiating from them. Jim sat still and silent on the sleeping bag, watching Spock prepare himself for sleep.

Spock was hesitant as he approached the sleeping bag, it suddenly looked tiny, much too small for two people.

“I am unsure how we should proceed, Captain–”

“Jim.”

“Jim, there does not seem to be room for two grown men to rest comfortably.”

Jim laughed finally, sitting up on his knees and pulling the sleeping bag open. “It'll be fine, Spock. A little awkward, maybe, but fine.”

He motioned for Spock to climb into the sleeping bag, and Spock followed the order. When he was on his back with his long legs stretched out beneath the material and his toes pressed against the end of the bag, Jim climbed in next to him.

Spock mentally noted the difference in Jim's body temperature as his Captain curled up beside him.

“You're warm.” Jim said, his voice muffled against the fabric of Spock's shirt.

“I have just made a related observation about you. I find you to be significantly cooler than I would have expected.”

“I've been freezing since we got here.”

Jim curled in closer to Spock, his head resting on Spock's shoulder and his arm draped casually across his stomach. He gave Spock's side an experimental squeeze.

“Mind if I cuddle with you?”

“In normal circumstance I would fail to see the logic in cuddling. However, considering your low body temperature, I believe it might be beneficial for you to take advantage of my own elevated body heat.”

Jim laughed, tapping Spock's chest gently. “Wow. Don't ever let anyone tell you you're not a romantic at heart, Spock.”

“I am merely acknowledging your need for warmth.”

“I appreciate it.” Jim replied, and Spock could sense the grin on his face as he spoke.

They stayed silent for several long minutes. Jim's breathing began to grow shallow, and Spock sensed he was drifting closer to sleep. Spock reached over to switch off the light source and darkness fell over them.

“You tired?” Jim mumbled into Spock's shirt.

Spock had been attempting to ignore the feeling of the sleepy figure next to him, but his efforts were growing increasingly difficult. The weight of Jim's body against his side was undeniably comforting, and Jim's soft breath was lulling him into a relaxed state.

“I am in need of a small amount of rest. Vulcans require less sleep than humans, however I often find myself in need of sleep after a long day of research.”

Jim hummed a little in understanding. His hand squeezed Spock's side again, attempting to pull them a little closer together. “You're so warm.”

“You stated that 8.35 minutes ago.”

“I know. I just like it.”

“Would you..” Spock paused to consider his words before replying. “Does your internal temperature seem to be returning to normal?”

“A bit.” Jim mumbled against Spock's shoulder. “If I just stay here with you I should be fine by morning.”

Soon Jim's soft breathing was the only sound to fill the small space, and in the darkness Spock allowed himself a slight smile as Jim shifted beside him.

He liked this man. Despite the misleading actions, the foolish behavior, the tendency to leap before looking, the frustratingly illogical habits and words and looks.

Spock liked Jim.

Wanted Jim.

Spock glanced up in the darkness, pondering his next move and contemplating possible outcomes. Finally Spock shifted in the darkness, pulling his arm out from between himself and Jim and wrapping it around the cooler body. He gripped Jim's shoulder and pulled him closer, and Jim moaned happily at the gesture, pressing himself flush against Spock's side.

“I do not wish you to freeze during the night.”

Spock had meant it as a token of affection, but it was Jim's turn to pause slightly before he nuzzled sleepily against Spock's chest.

“Thanks Spock. Best First Officer ever.”

Spock tensed as the words escaped Jim's mouth.

First Officer.

Spock had made a poor judgment call. The darkness, the closeness he felt to Jim in that moment, it had caused him to slip. Clearly the situation was just Jim Kirk being Jim Kirk – forgetting his pack, needing shelter, needing warmth. Of course the Captain would rely on his First Officer in such a situation.

Spock silently berated himself as Jim drifted off to sleep.

 

*

They hadn't spoken properly since the away mission. Spock had left the tent early the next morning, after determining that Jim's body temperature had reached an acceptable range, and busied himself collecting data for the remainder of the mission.

Still ill-prepared and unable to tolerate the cold, Jim beamed back earlier than the rest of the crew.

It was five days later when Spock finally beamed into the transporter room. The Captain had been there to greet the crew, nodding to Spock and offering his usual grin, before heading back to the bridge to give out orders for the next mission.

One hour later Spock met with Jim for a debriefing and to report his findings, and then proceeded to his quarters. His intention was to shower, but he soon realized mediation was necessary to push out the illogical thoughts invading in his mind. Too many thoughts of Jim. Too much want. Too much confusion. A shower could wait.

Foregoing his usual mediation robes, Spock remained in his uniform and sat quickly on the floor of his living quarters. His mind slipped relatively easily into a shallow meditative state, but thoughts of Jim continued to invade the peace he was seeking. That face, the blue eyes, the smiling mouth. Pink cake, and grins, and laughter. An uncontrollable energy pushing at him, constant and insistent. Teasing him, challenging him. A warm body pressed to his side. Soft breath and messy hair. Unusually calm in that moment, sleeping, and feeling so right at his side.

Spock jolted out of his meditation. Climbing quickly to his feet, he headed for the bathroom. Perhaps a shower would help him clear his mind.

 

*

His mind distracted as he entered the shared bathroom, Spock failed to hear the running water. He was already through the door and standing at the entrance to the shower when he noticed the figure inside.

Jim.

Touching himself, eyes hooded, his hand was moving over his length giving himself long slow tugs. Water cascaded over his body, and Jim said nothing, his mouth hanging open more in arousal than surprise.

He didn't seem bothered to see Spock there, and for a moment Spock was unsure if Jim even noticed him at all. Spock stood frozen in place for a second before he finally managed to gather his wits and he turned to leave.

“Spock..”

Jim was speaking to him. Pleading. “Spock.”

At the sound of his name, Spock lost all semblance of control and turned back toward the shower. His eyes were locked on Jim, wet and naked and open to him, pleading and wanting, begging Spock to not turn away this time.

Spock was a bit dazed as he stepped into the shower, still fully clothed. He said nothing, his eyes still locked on Jim, intrigued by the movement of his hands and the look of abandon on his face.

As he continued watching, Spock's hands came up on their own accord and began to undo his uniform pants, the wet fabric making it unusually difficult.

“It's about time.” Jim said quietly, his hand still stroking himself as he watched Spock.

Spock's fingers paused in their actions as he looked up to meet Jim's gaze. He stepped forward again, pressing himself to Jim and drawing him into a kiss. Jim molded himself against Spock's wet form as he kissed back fiercely, their tongues entwining as Spock forcefully gripped the back of Jim's neck, deepening the kiss.

Jim clawed at Spock's body, his feet slipping a little on the wet tiles as he held Spock there, as if he was afraid Spock would simply disappear if he let go. His cock rubbed against Spock's hip, and Spock realized his own erection was already hot and hard and straining inside his uniform.

When Spock finally eased his mouth off, Jim grinned as he groaned, “I've been flirting with you for months.”

His hands reached anxiously for Spock's zipper, fingers scrambling, attempting to release Spock's erection from his pants.

Spock mustered enough coherence to reply. “Your communication skills are lacking.”

Jim laughed as he reached inside Spock's pants, the wet fabric clinging to his skin. “Yeah, I realized I needed to try something more obvious.”

A sharp breath escaped Spock's mouth as Jim's fingers clasped around his length. It felt amazing and right and perfect. Jim pumped him gently a few times and Spock's mouth fell open and his head tilted back.

“Jim..”

Jim grew careful with him suddenly, easing him out of his pants, whispering “I know I know” and kissing him softly as he continued to touch. He licked at Spock's mouth, nuzzling against his nose, being so very gentle. Spock raised his arms, allowing Jim to peel his wet shirts off. Despite the water and the rush of arousal only moments before, Spock liked the sudden unexpected slowness. The care Jim was showing, only for him.

“Jim..” he whispered between kisses. “You should have told me.”

“I know..”

“Then why..?”

Jim glanced behind Spock to a spot on the shower door. “I was afraid you didn't want me.”

Spock touched Jim's face, encouraging him to meet his eyes again before kissing him.

“Illogical..” he whispered against Jim's mouth.

His hand slipped down Jim's back, ghosting over the round buttocks, and he gripped one forcefully before resting his fingers teasingly between Jim's ass cheeks.

“You should have told me what you wanted, Jim.”

Jim let out a laugh, attempting to hide a shuddered breath. “Fuck, Spock, you know what I want.”

His head fell to Spock's shoulder as Spock's fingers slipped between his cheeks to tease him further.

He clung to Spock. “You. It's always you.”

At those words, Spock reached with his index finger to tease Jim's opening, his hand withdrawing slightly when he discovered Jim was already slick and open and ready.

“You have prepared yourself?” A smirk played on Spock's lips as he shook his head in disbelief.

“Gotta be honest. I.. I was hoping you'd wander in. Wanted to be ready.”

Spock nearly growled as he turned Jim roughly, pinning him against the tiles. Jim felt the blunt tip of Spock's cockhead sitting at his entrance for only a moment before he slid inside in one smooth quick motion.

“Ahh fuck..” Jim moaned, his back arching as he pushed back trying to take in all of Spock.

Spock's splayed his hands flat against the tiles on either side of Jim's head, their bodies flush together as he slid in and out of Jim. His voice was deep and close by Jim's ear, and Jim shuddered as the words became clearer.

“Want you.. want you..”

“Yeah Spock.. Yeah..” Jim moaned back. “I want it. I want you.”

As he continued pounding into Jim, Spock reached forward to clasp his hand around his erection. Jim's hips jerked as he fucked the hole created by Spock's hot fingers, and he eventually managed to create a rhythm between Spock's thrusts and his own.

“Your skin.. feels like.. fire..” Jim managed to gasp between panting breaths.

“Should I stop?” Spock spoke against Jim's ear, though he wasn't sure he'd be able to if Jim said yes.

“Fuck no.. I love it.”

Spock brought his mouth to Jim's cheek then, pressing kisses along the skin and trailing them down his jaw and across his shoulder. Jim's hand came up to grasp the back of Spock's head, his hands tangling in the slick wet hair.

Muttered words began falling from Jim's lips, his eyes closed, his fingers gripping Spock as he pushed back against him and into his hand, and he tilted his head to press his temple against Spock's lips.

“Love you.. love you..”

As the words reached him, Spock's orgasm hit. His gave one last thrust up into Jim, holding him tight and still against his chest. Jim let out a hoarse shout as the hot liquid pulsed inside him and he snapped his hips sliding his cock through Spock's hand. Spock felt Jim's body tense and then jerk as his own climax hit. Jim's cum splashed against the tiles and then he went limp in Spock's arms.

“Are you alright, Jim?”

A soft laugh fell from Jim's mouth. “Yeah..”

He groaned as he stood upright and turned back to face Spock, his head falling heavily on Spock's shoulder. “Just gotta stand here for a second.”

Spock wrapped his arms around Jim, holding him upright under the water. It occurred to him that he was still wearing his uniform pants, and he wondered where his discarded shirts went.

Suddenly it didn't matter, because Jim was really there, wet and pliant in his arms. They were warm and sated and whatever flirtation there was between them, whatever it meant, it was all there, in the open.

He kissed the top of Jim's head.

And he knew it meant love.