It’s a record: after only twenty-five minutes of intense and single-minded staring, he has managed to get a reaction out of Spock. Sure, that reaction is no more than a thin arching up of his eyebrow as he spears a tomato onto the end of his fork, but it’s something. Yet if Jim’s being honest with himself, he’ll admit that he’s not been ignoring his own lunch—not to mention all of the extensive chatter and movement of a high school cafeteria that surrounds them—for almost a full half hour, just to get a rise out of the strange Vulcan boy. He also just really loves watching Spock. He loves the way his jaw moves when he chews; the way his eyes are always flicking around the room in curiosity; the way he takes small bites yet still eats so quickly, so efficiently. Upon reflection, Jim realizes that he’s never felt for anyone what he feels right now for Spock. The feeling practically bubbles in him, makes him want to giggle just like that pack of girls in his Terran Literature class who sit painting their nails in the back of the room all through the lecture. (He’d offered to do their homework once, in exchange for a kiss, and a second time for the more carefully defined “kiss with tongue.” They’d laughed but agreed. It hadn’t been terribly satisfying.)
“You are not hungry?” Spock asks him, eyebrow still raised.
Jim shrugs. “Not very. Got better things to do.”
“You are aware that one can stare and eat at the same time.”
Jim laughs a little, shortly, in answer, his usual acknowledgement of Spock’s flashes of humor. Then, into the almost-too-long pause that follows, he pushes his plate away, leans in across the table, and asks, “Are we ever going to talk about it?”
Spock stares back with his completely calm, completely unreadable face. Then he picks up his fork deliberately and returns his attention to his salad. “I do not know to which ‘it’ you are referring,” he says. “You should be careful to use proper antecedents.”
Jim smirks, and slips back onto his own side of the table. Spock is more easily rattled than he seems, and Jim knows it, but he’s too polite to call him on it. He plays along instead. He pokes around at his own food and pretends to let the subject drop, and that silence that often falls over him and Spock, a comfortable and easy silence that asks nothing of either of them, settles over them again.
“I was just talking,” Jim says later, just before the bell rings and all of their classmates stand up in a great rush of noise and hurry around them, “about that time we kissed.”
Spock doesn’t have time to answer, but for six awesome seconds Jim has the distinct pleasure of watching Spock stare a dull, surprised, open mouth stare, unable to speak. Then Jim snaps him out of it with a sharp slap to his shoulder. “Come on, Spock,” he says, over the last half-second of echo as the school bell fades out. “Time for class.”
Spock is waiting for him at his locker when he gets out of Algebra ten minutes late, as always. “I am going to be a math genius by the time I graduate,” he says, with a long sigh, as he keys in the code for his locker. Spock doesn’t say anything in response. He just stands there, leaning against the next locker over, his gaze focused straight ahead at the overly bright, overly excited poster celebrating Species Diversity. Jim’s used to this silence. Spock’s in his own head a lot, and he gets that. Jim gets lost in his thoughts sometimes, too. It was one of those things that got him strange looks even before he befriended Spock their freshman year.
“You wished to have a discussion?” Spock asks finally, after Jim has gathered all of his things and they are walking down the now-deserted hallway to the exit. He is holding himself with even more stiffness and formality than usual. Jim shrugs and tries to make it seem like nothing.
“Well I don’t know if ‘discussion’ is really the right word,” he answers lightly. “I just wanted to ask…”
Jim Kirk isn’t usually this nervous. They turn the corner into the main hallway, also empty, and when they get to the front door Spock holds it open and lets Jim walk out in front of him. He doesn’t press or ask Jim to continue his thought, nor does he provide his own ending to the sentence, as Jim had half-hoped he would. With girls, it’s easy. He just walks up to them and turns on his charm. Half the time they reject him. More than half the time. But the thing about girls is that there’s always another one, but there’s only one Spock, and only one chance to screw everything up.
His stomach was so tangled before the kiss that he honestly thought he might be sick, but then when he leaned in just that extra tiny bit and pressed his lips against Spock’s, everything was all right. They’d been outside. They’d stayed late after school to work on a project for chemistry, and afterwards they’d sat outside on the lawn by the field and Spock had told him about Vulcan and how he’d never felt rain before he came to Earth. Jim’s not sure anymore exactly how it happened, how they came to be sitting as close as they were. Spock doesn’t usually like people in his personal space. Jim had been staring at his profile, those sharp alien ears he’d been fantasizing about since they met, that slight green tint to his clear pale skin, and then Spock had turned to look back at him, and it had occurred to him that if he only leaned in—
Afterwards, Spock had made some sort of excuse about having to go home before his mother started to wonder where he was, which wasn’t a very Spock-like thing to say, and which Jim had taken to mean that he felt uncomfortable and nervous, so he hadn’t argued. He’d felt rather dazed himself.
It’s been a week now, and he thinks about it all the time. But Spock hasn’t said a word on the subject.
“I believe that, in your culture, there is a high importance placed on the ‘first kiss,’” Spock says finally, now, as they walk down the slope of the campus toward the gate.
“There isn’t on Vulcan?”
Spock shakes his head. “We do not talk of such things.”
“Oh.” Jim lets a slight pause grow into the conversation, then asks, sounding a bit more unsure than he’d intended, “By such things you mean, like, sex things, right?”
Spock’s gaze snaps to him sharply, and Jim picks up a slight hesitation in his step, before he recovers himself. “Yes,” he says, and turns his attention away from Jim to look in front of him again. “That is what I mean.”
The conversation is going nowhere and Jim begins to feel desperate, his palms itching with sweat and his stomach doing that bizarre twisting thing again. They stop at the corner. Jim turns right, here, and Spock turns left. If he doesn’t say it now, he never will.
“So are you interested in me or what?” he asks. He’s sure to hold Spock’s gaze on this one, and to his surprise Spock looks straight back at him. When he does let his gaze drop, and he does, before Jim breaks, Jim’s sure what he’ll say. He pre-empts him. “Don’t tell me you don’t understand the question or that I’m being vague. You know what I’m asking you.”
Spock still doesn’t answer so Jim touches his arm carefully, right below the shoulder. Spock still doesn’t look up. But he does say, quietly, so Jim’s almost not sure he heard right at all, “I do know what you are asking. And I am, Jim.”
What Jim really wants to do is hug him, just wrap his arms right around that thin, gangly frame, there on the street corner for all Riverside to see, but he doubts Spock would appreciate a gesture like that very much. So instead he just invites him over to his house for the afternoon.
Jim got his license almost six months ago but he still doesn’t have a car, or even a motorcycle, which is what he really wants anyway, so he and Spock take public transportation out to the old farmhouse where the Kirk family lives. There isn’t anyone home. Frank works late and his mother doesn’t get back from the starbase for another week. Sam got his own apartment three months ago. Jim lets himself and Spock in and then invites Spock up to his room, and even though they’ve only spent like a million hours or so up there together since they started hanging out, today Spock seems hesitant.
“Come on,” Jim insists, smiling, grabbing hold of one of Spock’s wrists and pulling him toward the stairs. “Or do you think I’m going to start molesting you as soon as we’re behind closed doors?”
Spock doesn’t answer right away and Jim finds this worrying, because that look he’s getting is first-class Infuriating Vulcan Blank, and he doesn’t know how to read it or if he’s said the wrong thing of if Spock’s going to leave right now or what. He drops Spock’s wrist.
“Perhaps we should stay downstairs,” Spock suggests.
So they end up in the living room. Spock drinks vegetable juice and Jim drinks soda and they talk about their classmates and where they’ll be in ten years when Jim and Spock are flying through space on their own ship. At some point, Jim realizes they’re sitting close against each other. He can feel Spock’s leg against his leg. But he doesn’t say anything just in case Spock doesn’t notice and pointing it out will make him freak him out and want to move. But he does take one chance, stealthily stretching out one arm and letting it fall back around Spock’s shoulders.
Spock stops what he’s saying and turns to Jim. His face has that unreadable expression plastered on it again, and it makes Jim uneasy. He’s just about to move away when Spock tilts his head, first to one side and then straight again, and leans in to touch his forehead against Jim’s. The gesture is the last one Jim was expecting, and so wordlessly, bizarrely, sweet, that he does not notice, at first, Spock’s fingers reaching up to stroke down the fingers of his hand where it is resting against Spock’s arm. The movements are slow. Jim would almost call them scientific, a minute exploration of every joint and every millimeter of skin. Spock isn’t looking Jim in the eye. His eyes aren’t even open, Jim realizes, and the rest of his body is stiff and awkward, but the touch of his fingers is confident. Something about that touch sends a thrill right up his spine.
He thought that only happened in books.
“I didn’t know Vulcan kissing could be so hot,” Jim whispers, and laughs once. He doesn’t laugh because it’s funny. Only because he’s nervous.
“And human kissing?” Spock asks, tilting his head so that their mouths just barely brush against each other.
There really isn’t any answer to this but to move just the tiniest bit forward and press his lips against Spock’s.
Except for their first kiss, that so-quick-and-then-gone press of lips against lips, Jim’s never had any experience kissing an alien before. He’s also never kissed anyone he, like, actually cared about. He’s not sure if it’s the alien thing or the liking thing that makes this so different, but it is. He takes his arm from around Spock’s shoulders and wraps it around his waist instead, to bring their bodies closer together, and Spock wastes no time in grabbing Jim’s other hand, more forcefully now, and running his fingers down Jim’s fingers. Spock’s mouth is open and Jim can feel the furnace heat of him, even before he lets his own tongue slip forward. Spock’s tongue is so hot. It’s insane. It’s actually, honestly, insane how hot he is. Jim feels a little giddy with it.
He pulls back and for a moment they separate, and he’s sure, or he thinks at least, that he hears Spock make some sort of low, quiet, wordless noise. Like he thinks this is pretty hot too. Jim doesn’t give him enough time to say anything, or even to open his eyes. He just catches his breath and goes back to this kissing thing, Spock’s mouth opening right away this time and his tongue in Jim’s mouth this time and his spare hand in Jim’s hair. He’s not sure if Spock is dragging him or if he’s pushing Spock but they’re lying down on the couch now, Jim on top and Spock’s hand on the back of his neck, now, and now moving to grip at his shoulder.
They struggle for a comfortable position, and sometimes it feels almost like wrestling except Jim’s never wrestled with anyone while simultaneously trying to find their tonsils with his tongue. He’s not even sure if Vulcans have tonsils. But that’s not important.
Spock’s as desperate and uncoordinated as he is, which will surprise him later when he replays the whole afternoon over and over and over in his head. He tries to hold Jim as close to him as possible, even wraps his legs around Jim’s and wriggles beneath him so that they touch in the most satisfactory way. But he’s not graceful. Jim kind of thought Spock would be graceful, but he likes this better. He’s actually losing control a little, loosening up like Jim’s always telling him to, making little whimpering noises when Jim draws back for air.
They’re both frantic but not daring, neither attempting to touch the other’s skin where it’s still covered by clothes, neither letting his hands stray below the waist. Though once, Spock does let his fingers slide down to Jim’s wrist, right at his pulse point, and flutter there almost nervously. Jim’s not sure what that means though.
He doesn’t get much of an opportunity to figure it out. He loses track of time with Spock beneath him, but really it’s only a handful of minutes that they’re rutting against each other on the couch. Not enough time to decide what they’re doing but just enough time to get irredeemably caught up in each other. Not even Spock’s Vulcan ears pick up on the sound of the front door as it opens.
It’s hard not to notice, though, the sound of a loud, exaggerated cough from the living room doorway. Jim jumps up before he quite knows what’s going on, his thoughts running so fast even he can’t keep up with them, but all he does is land on Spock’s knees and trap him, awkwardly sprawled on the Kirk family couch with his cheeks flushed green and his hair all mussed. Jim’s pretty sure he looks just as bad. But he tries to keep his voice nonchalant anyway.
“Hi Sam,” he says cheerily. “What are you doing here?”
His brother is standing in the doorway with his arms crossed against his chest, and a great big grin on his face, which totally messes up the stern look of disapproval Jim’s pretty sure he was going for. He looks practically tickled.
“The laundry chute in my apartment’s acting up again, so I came over here to use mom’s,” Sam answers with a shrug. Jim wants to call him on this bullshit except that he knows Sam’s always having trouble with the technology in that apartment, and anyway he can see, now, that Sam has a giant laundry bag sitting at his feet. So he’s probably telling the truth.
“What about you, little brother?” He wiggles his eyebrows. “What are you doing?”
Jim tries to look as cool as he can, but it’s pretty hard, because he’s still sitting on Spock’s legs. “Nothing,” he answers innocently.
Sam just bursts out in laughter at this one, and he laughs so long and so loudly that Jim’s one second away from throwing pillows at him. But that would be immature. He keeps his calm. He wants to glance over at Spock and shoot him an apologetic look but he’s kind of nervous to see what Spock’s face looks like right about now, so he stares at Sam instead. “Are you done?” he asks, when the laughter seems to have burned itself out.
“Ah, ha, ha, ha,” Sam laughs slowly, and then holds his stomach and catches his breath, and he makes a big show out of it too. They used to be friends. Then Sam hit puberty and turned into a jerk. He’s shaking his head now and he still has that big, stupid grin on his face. “‘Nothing,’ sure,” he says. Then he composes himself, somewhat, and forces his face into an expression that’s almost serious. “Don’t let me interrupt anything, Jimmy,” he continues, nodding and biting back his smile. “I don’t want to ruin the mood. I just have two pieces of advice before I leave. First: no sex without safe sex, remember that. And second,” he looks at Jim and then at Spock, then back to Jim once more, “maybe next time you should move the orgy to somewhere more private, okay?”
He doesn’t give Jim much chance to answer, just slings his laundry bag over his shoulder and heads out of the room, the sound of his quiet laughter echoing after him. Really, Jim doesn’t see how it’s that funny. But he doesn’t have much time for anger or even annoyance because he’s too busy being more embarrassed than he’s ever been in his entire life. It doesn’t help that Spock’s legs are still pinned beneath him. It’s hard to forget, with those bony knees digging into him, that he’s not alone. The awkwardness isn’t over yet. In fact, knowing Spock, it might just be about to get a lot worse.
“I’m sure he didn’t see anything,” he says, as lightly as he can, and tries to stand up with a maximum amount of grace, or at least a minimum amount of clumsiness, and free Spock’s legs.
“I am sure that he did,” Spock answers, and rearranges himself into a sitting position. His hand comes up to his hair and starts trying, almost absently, to rearrange it, but without the help of a mirror he only makes it worse. Jim doesn’t say so. He just falls down on the couch next to Spock again and sighs loudly. He should probably be looking at him, but he can’t quite bring himself to. He knows it’s impossible to die of embarrassment, but at moments like these one starts questioning the impossible.
“Perhaps someone should inform your brother of the meaning of the word ‘orgy,’” Spock says, after a long and increasingly uncomfortable pause. “He seems to be confused on this point.”
Jim lets out a forced, dull laugh. “Yeah,” he says. “I’ll get on that.” He still can’t look at Spock and it’s getting a bit ridiculous. But at least the silence is broken and he can pull himself together enough to say, “I’m really sorry about that. I had no idea he was going to come in just then.”
“Of course,” Spock answers. He sounds considerably more calm than Jim expected him to. He peeks over at him and sees that he’s sitting in his usual, straightbacked, eyes forward way. He doesn’t look rattled at all. “You could not have known,” he continues. “I understand. I am not upset.”
Jim lets out a long breath that ends in a laugh. Maybe he won’t die after all. He turns to look at Spock and even allows himself to put a hand on his shoulder. Then he leans in and asks, “Just embarrassed, right?”
Spock rolls back his shoulders and says stiffly, “Vulcans do not get embarrassed.”
“Yeah, right,” Jim grins. He takes his hand from Spock’s shoulder and stands up, and he’s not really sure why he does it except that he thinks he might look cooler, more at ease, if he were leaning against one of the bookcases. He looks down at his feet and says, with forced lightness, “Too bad my brother kind of ruined the mood, there.”
“Yes,” Spock answers. “It is, as you say, ‘too bad.’”
There is another pause, and Jim can feel Spock watching him.
“Perhaps, next time, we should take his advice,” Spock suggests.
Jim can’t answer right away because his mind is racing too quickly from the idea of a next time, as in he hasn’t totally screwed this up yet, to wondering what advice, exactly, Spock is talking about, to what Sam said about sex and the possibility that Spock might want to have sex with him—he’s so absorbed in the thought that he almost misses Spock saying, “I believe he was correct when he said that your room would be a safer and more private venue for such…activities.”
When Jim looks at him again, he sees that Spock is blushing. He grins.
“Yeah,” he says, “we’ll have to keep that in mind.”
Jim and Spock take Sam's advice...which doesn't quite work out as they'd hoped.
After Spock leaves, Jim makes Sam promise not to tell mom about any of it, and even though he does, on his honor and everything, Jim stopped feeling any confidence in Sam’s word around the time he turned fourteen. When his mother gets back from her trip he watches her carefully. He waits for her to make some sort of completely embarrassing comment, and goes over possible nonchalant answers that he could give to keep her from being yet more embarrassing than she usually is when she runs into Spock again. But she stays quiet. Jim even invites Spock over to dinner, on a night when Frank is working the late shift at his job. He doesn’t use the word ‘boyfriend,’ or kiss him hello or goodbye, and of course Spock himself is as calm and undemonstrative as ever, but they do manage a satisfying game of footsie underneath the table, which Jim takes as a personal victory.
“Come over tomorrow,” he says quietly, after they’ve eaten, and while he and Spock are helping his mother clear the dishes off the table. Winona is in the kitchen. He leans in quick, ready to jump back if she returns unexpectedly. “Frank’s visiting his brother in Des Moines, and Mom’s got this meeting thing…she’ll be out all afternoon. We can…be alone.”
He sounds pretty dorky to his own ears but Spock seems convinced enough by his attempt at sounding seductive. Or so Jim interprets the light green blush that seeps up to his ears. He starts to accept the invitation but doesn’t get very far before Winona invades the dining room again. Jim bites back a groan, and slides quickly, but subtly, away from Spock again.
“You really don’t have to help clean up, Spock,” Winona says, as she takes a pile of dishes from him. She’s pulled her hair back from her face in a messy ponytail. Her face and hands are tan from the harsh sun of the last planet she visited, and she looks tired.
“I wish to help, Mrs. Kirk,” Spock answers politely, and when Jim’s mother smiles at him in response he knows, he just knows, she’ll like him. That is, she does like him, and she’d like him even if she knew about the two of them. That doesn’t mean he’s in a hurry to tell her. But he knows he’s found a good one, finally. And he’s glad.
The moment the door to Jim’s room closes behind them, Spock leans in. Jim isn’t expecting such a movement; the resulting kiss is short and awkward. It lands half on his mouth, half on his cheek. Jim laughs a little as Spock pulls back, he just finds the gesture so unbearably cute, but Spock blushes and ducks his head and steps away. “I apologize,” he mutters.
“What for?” Jim laughs brightly in answer, and takes Spock’s wrists in his hands. “Come on.”
He drags Spock back, and back, and back, and Spock looks down more at their shoes than Jim’s face, and Jim just looks at the shiny black of Spock’s hair, and in a moment they hit up against the bed. Then Spock looks up. “I would like to try again,” he says, and takes his wrists from Jim’s grip. He pulls him forward with a hand to each cheek. This kiss lands where it is intended. It rather takes Jim’s breath away—which is something else that he thought only happened in books.
“Oh boy,” he says, when they break apart again, and can’t stop the ridiculous grin that keeps breaking out over his face. “We need to do that again.”
“I am in complete agreement, Jim,” Spock answers, and though he isn’t grinning, isn’t even smiling, he still manages to look quite content. He sits down on the edge of Jim’s bed, and though his expression is confident, and so is the movement with which he pulls Jim down next to him by the wrist, his posture is as stiff and uncomfortable as ever, and Jim knows he’s just hiding his nervousness. He would make some sort of comment but before he can even start, Spock leans in once more, and presses his lips against Jim’s.
This kiss is desperate from the beginning. Spock wraps one around Jim’s waist to pull him close, and the other, he rests palm-flat over Jim’s heart, the smallest of barriers between them. Jim wraps an arm around Spock in return, and then parts his lips to Spock’s hot tongue. He keeps on thinking I missed you, frantically and brightly, even though just a moment before he hadn’t been thinking anything of the sort, and it doesn’t even make sense, really; Spock hasn’t gone anywhere, and neither has he. Right now, though, it’s the only thing he can think. The words seem to mean everything at once.
This time, he lets Spock push him back onto the bed. Spock is heavy on top of him, and Jim wriggles to adjust their positions, spreading his legs to either side of Spock and pressing his hips up. Spock makes low, indistinct, noises every time they part for air. Jim runs his hands up into his hair, mussing the perfect arrangement of it, curling the strands in his fingers and keeping Spock close. He doesn’t care about anything, can’t think about anything, except keeping Spock close.
He isn’t expecting Spock to kiss his chin, or his cheek, or his jaw, but he does, and then he works his way down to Jim’s neck. The touch of Spock’s lips is gentle and light—he’s holding back and Jim knows it, but he won’t push, not yet. He shuts his eyes tight and just lets himself feel, enjoying the way Spock is mouthing at his collarbone or lightly touching his tongue to the skin over Jim’s throat. He whispers Spock’s name without quite meaning to whisper anything at all.
Spock doesn’t say anything, at least nothing coherent, in return, but then his mouth is busy, kissing now up the side of Jim’s neck and behind his ear. Jim arches back, eyes shut tight and neck strained to let Spock reach as much skin as he can, and his hands slip down Spock’s back and grip at his hips. Spock is heavy and Jim knows that he is balancing carefully to keep Jim from feeling his whole weight, but still he tries to pull Spock closer against him. He grinds his hips up into Spock’s. He pushes up Spock’s two layers of shirts and allows himself the feel of that smooth, hot, skin beneath his fingers, and he moans out something that might be “Mmm, yes, Spock,” or that might be nothing but utter, incomprehensible gibberish, he really doesn’t know or care which.
He can feel Spock’s breath at his ear and his teeth, gentle at first, giving the slightest tug to his earlobe, and he’s thinking, damn, he is one lucky son of a—
“Jim, you didn’t tell me you were having a friend over today.”
Spock’s off him in a moment, all the way on the other end of the bed as if he’d flown there, while Jim can’t even get himself together enough to sit up properly. He just flails around on the bed and tries to say, “Mom, what are you doing here? I told you to knock before you came into my room!” It comes out something like, “Mom! What! KNOCK!”
“What? I just came to bring up your laundry!” She holds up a basket of neatly folded clothes as evidence. “I didn’t mean to interrupt anything.”
Why is my life always fucked over by laundry? he groans to himself, and then lets his head fall back on the pillow again. He covers his face with his hands and tries to become invisible.
“Well, you did,” he mutters. Then he forces himself to drop his hands and actually look at her. “I thought you were busy this afternoon.”
“My plans changed,” his mother answers, and if before she sounded slightly amused, her voice has now taken on a terse and faintly annoyed quality. She sets the basket on the floor and crosses her arms. “And don’t take that tone with me, James Tiberius. This is still my house, young man, and I can come into your room if I choose.”
“Who’s saying you can’t? I’m just asking for, you know, some warning.”
“And I would like some warning when you bring…special friends up to your room.”
“Don’t use words like ‘special friend,’ Mom. That’s not…no one says that!”
“No one except your mother,” she corrects, not a hint of amusement in her voice now, though Jim’s sure she didn’t mean to sound as cold as she does. Not in front of company. She turns stiffly to Spock and forces a smile. “Are you staying for dinner?” she asks.
“I regret that I cannot, Mrs. Kirk, but thank you for the offer,” Spock answers politely, and again Jim’s afraid to look at him, afraid to see if he’s blushing green or if his hair is incriminatingly tousled.
“Another time, then,” she says, her manner still stiff, awkward, trying to force an easiness that will not come. She turns back to Jim. “Next time, Jim, some warning if you’re having guests.”
“Next time, mom, some warning if you’re opening closed doors,” he snaps back, and then as soon as she’s gone he pulls a pillow over his face.
“I find I rarely understand this joking manner that humans often seem to adopt among themselves,” Spock says, after a long, tense moment of silence has passed between them. His tone is the light one of inconsequential observation, or idle wondering. Jim throws the pillow off the bed.
“That wasn’t joking,” he answers. “That was my mother trying not to yell at me in front of guests. She doesn’t want anyone to know how fucked up we are. It would ruin her image as famous-widow-slash-important-Starfleet-official-slash-famous-mother. Sometimes I think Sam and I are just showpieces to her. I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Your mother has always appeared to be a quite agreeable woman,” Spock says. His words sound hollow. Jim looks at him, and sees that he’s sitting trapped in the same stiff posture he’d taken on when he jumped up at the sound of the door, staring more at Jim’s bookcase than at Jim himself.
“Appears,” Jim answers. “That’s just it.”
There isn’t much more to say about it, so for a while, they’re silent. Jim stares up at the ceiling. He’s more rattled than he cares to admit.
“I’m sorry about that, by the way,” he says finally.
“No apology is necessary,” Spock answers. Then he reaches out, gaze still averted, and grabs Jim’s hand with his own, no grace to the gesture but only a confused tangling of fingers forming a link between them. Jim closes his eyes. He knows they have to leave, knows Spock has to leave, but all he wants to do is lie right where he is, concentrating on the light sweep of Spock’s thumb across his palm and the sensation of calm that it brings.
"She suggested that you and I eat dinner together."
"Like on a date?"
"I believe that is the word she used, yes."
Jim lies down flat on his back on the bench. He has one knee up, foot flat on the lower section of the bleacher, and he lets his other leg dangle down between the slats. He’s lying three steps down from the top, and Spock is sitting next to him, leaning with his elbows propped up on the bench behind him. Their Earth Science class was cancelled at the last minute, and now they have an unexpected hour free—all Jim wants to do with it is pull Spock into some janitor’s closet somewhere and sweep his tongue across the inside of his mouth, but he’s not really sure how to suggest it. So he lies, idly daydreaming instead, eyes closed and the sun on his face.
“I mentioned the change in our relationship to my mother yesterday,” Spock informs him, then, and Jim feels his heart beat a little louder. He forces himself not to open his eyes.
“The…change?” he asks. He’s trying to sound nonchalant, but it comes out more like wary.
Spock clears his throat. “Did I misspeak?”
Jim shrugs, and swings his leg back and forth stiffly, keenly aware now of every movement of his body and wondering what each one says. Does he seem at ease? Or nervous like Spock? Disapproving? “No,” he says. “I mean, I don’t think so.” He cracks one eye open, and chances a look over at Spock. He hasn’t moved. But he’s watching Jim out of the corner of his eye. “So, um,” he tries, “what did your mom say?”
“She appeared pleased with the development,” Spock answers, and Jim releases a breath he didn’t know he’d been holding. So he’s the kind of guy an alien can take home to mother. It’s kind of funny, in a way. “She suggested,” Spock continues, lightly, “that you and I eat dinner together one evening.”
“Like on a date?” Jim opens his eyes and watches Spock, unsure what is happening. Spock’s eaten dinner at his house before, several times. But this would be different, what he might be suggesting, what Jim isn’t quite sure he’s suggesting.
“I believe that is the word she used, yes.”
“Oh. Okay.” He tries to picture a date with Spock. He’d have to take him somewhere nice, of course. Like, tablecloths on the tables, and candles or something. Or would that be too cliché? What do Vulcans do when they want to be formal? Probably wear lots of robes. Jim’s not really sure he’s comfortable with that.
“So, um, do you want to?” he asks, and when Spock doesn’t answer right away, he sits up and plants his feet properly on the bleacher again. “Would you like to go out with me, Spock?”
Usually, when Jim asks people this question, they just laugh at him, but Spock looks at him with one of those frustrating Spock stares, like there’s clearly something going on back there, but darned if any mere human will ever guess at that thought process. “Yes, Jim,” he answers. “I would like that very much.”
“Cool.” It’s not a very dashing thing to say but Spock doesn’t complain. “So…Friday maybe? I’ll ask my brother if I can borrow his car, and I’ll pick you up at your house.” The thought of asking Sam to borrow anything, and especially his precious car for a date with another guy, is hardly appealing, but he doesn’t have a lot of transportation options, and he’s certainly not going to ride a bus to a fancy restaurant, or wherever, so he’ll manage somehow. Spock is amenable to the plan, and it isn’t until later, hours later, when he’s doing his Chemistry homework, that he realizes that he has an actual date, with actual Spock, and starts to panic. What are they going to do?
Spock doesn’t know anything about human date conventions or stereotypes; Jim could have taken to the aquarium, or to a museum, and there would have been no questions asked. Actually, he’s considering the possibility that he should have brought Spock to the latest exhibit on early human space travel at the Riverside Historical Museum, because he’s been tense all evening and it’s making Jim tense too. They’re eating at an out of the way Andorian restaurant that Spock has never been to, at the same corner table Jim always requests when he goes because it’s out of the way and sort of private, you know, he tells Spock, and the food is good and so is the company, but the conversation lags and breaks apart with large holes of silence. Jim spent about an hour wondering what he should wear and finally settled on his nicest shirt and nicest jeans, but Spock is wearing a tie. He keeps pulling at it. “My mother insisted,” he explains, once, when he catches Jim staring.
Jim laughs a little.
After they order dessert, which Jim will take with coffee, and Spock with tea, he leans over the table and whispers, “Meet me in the bathroom in two minutes.”
Spock’s eyebrows lean together over his nose. “I do not think that is a good idea, Jim.”
He just winks. “Trust me.”
The bathroom is only one room, large and square, tiled with pink stone and with a large green fern in the corner; the sink is a long marble trough with three faucets. He doesn’t count the seconds but he’s sure Spock does, and in something that feels like two minutes, there’s a small knock on the door and then the twisting of the doorknob. Spock is speaking even as he steps inside. “I do not think this is a good idea, Jim—”
“I know, I know, but we’re not doing anything,” Jim answers with a light wave of his hand. “Unless,” and he knows this is what Spock has been assuming all along, “you think I just called you in here to jump you or something.”
Spock’s cheeks flush a light green and he says something about not understanding this Terran slang but Jim just laughs. “You have the dirtiest mind, Spock,” he declares. “It’s not anything like that. I just thought it would be inappropriate for me to reach across the table in plain sight of everyone and…do…this.” As he speaks he steps up close and starts to unknot Spock’s tie. He moves carefully and slowly. He’s never been very good at untying ties and he doesn’t want to mess it up or get it tangled. He knows how close he’s standing; it’s on purpose, teasing and flirting, trying, but it’s affecting him as bad as it’s affecting Spock, and worse, his breathing a little faster just as Spock’s is, his heart pounding.
“There,” he says, once the tie is off. “Better.” He considers throwing the thing into the plant but Spock’s mother would probably notice if he came home without an article of clothing, even such a minor one, and he doesn’t want to be accused of doing anything Inappropriate with her son. Especially before anything Inappropriate actually happens. So he shoves it in Spock’s pocket awkwardly.
He wouldn’t have thought it would be this hard to just lean over and kiss someone, especially someone he’d kissed before, but he feels awkward and clumsy, bulky and angular instead of smooth. Spock is staring at him, wide eyed, as if waiting.
“I’m…I’m having a really good time with you tonight,” Jim says nervously, and then he laughs because it’s all so ridiculous. He’s in a bathroom with his best friend, and they’re on a date, of all things, on the suggestion of his mother, and he’s still trying to seem cool in this situation when Spock knows well enough how very not cool he is, and seems fine with it—
“Is something funny?” Spock asks. Jim smiles and claps his shoulder and promises to explain once they’re back at their table.
After dinner they take Sam’s car to the movies. A new adventure movie’s just come out and Jim’s been dying to see it but he finds, sitting there in the theater with Spock right next to him, that he can’t concentrate on a thing, even surrounded on all sides by the Mega Screen, even when there are explosions and starship chases across the galaxy and great big battle scenes. He used to never be able to get enough of those things.
Spock sits very still next to him, and he certainly looks like he’s engrossed in the film, only his head moving slightly to the right or left to take in more of the scene. He keeps his hands on his lap or Jim might have tried to take one in his own, and later he might even have feigned naïveté when Spock reminded him what it means to touch a Vulcan’s fingers. But Spock gives him no opportunities. Jim sits with his own fingers gripping his knees.
He’s feeling pretty tense by the time the movie lets out. He couldn’t have answered even the simplest questions about its plot or characters, and when Spock asks him if he enjoyed it, he says, “Yeah. It was good,” and hopes Spock won’t ask any follow up questions.
“I found it difficult to concentrate on the story, myself,” Spock answers, and it takes Jim a minute to hear what he is really saying, what he is really admitting. Jim smiles. Spock isn’t look at him or letting any emotion leak onto his face, but Jim knows, underneath that, what he meant.
They don’t speak much on the way back to Spock’s house but Jim can’t keep that stupid grin off his face.
Jim walks Spock up to his front door and then waits, standing there next to him on his porch like some kind of cliché. His palms feel sweaty. He wonders if maybe he should just leave, but he’s been standingtoo long to just turn away now and say, “Okay then see ya later, Spock,” like they didn’t just go on a date, or whatever this evening was. Spock is staring at him, not saying anything either.
Even though his mouth feels unnaturally dry, he manages, “So this was fun.”
“Yes,” Spock answers. “If my understanding of your Earth vocabulary is correct, this evening was, in fact, ‘fun.’”
Jim smiles. “I’m glad you, uh…had fun.” He could hit himself, he sounds so stupid. But Spock just tilts his head, perhaps a little confused, too polite to press. Jim tries for his best recovery, his coolest voice, his most confident body language; he considers putting up one arm to lean his hand against the front door, smooth and easy-going and in control, except that he’s sure if he tried the door would just open of its own accord and he’d go falling into Spock’s foyer and that sort of embarrassment is impossible to recover from. So he decides against it. “You know,” he says, “on Earth we have this tradition. At the end of a date, the two people on that date kiss each other goodnight.”
“A sensible tradition,” Spock replies, and before Jim can say anything else totally smooth and confident and attractive, Spock leans in and kisses him. It is not a proper first date kiss at all but then, Spock’s new to this particular Terran tradition. His lips are hot and his tongue insistent and almost desperate, pushing past Jim’s lips, and he’s gotten one arm around Jim’s waist and the other in his hair. Jim holds Spock’s hips. He has a half formed idea that he should push him back against the wall, hard, press his body against him, grind their hips together, but Spock’s too strong for that, will only be moved if he wants to be moved, and what he wants, now, what he seems to want, is for them to writhe against each other, standing unanchored and in place, each one in his turn stepping sometimes back and sometimes forward. Everything he’s felt all night comes up now, every moment of awkwardness, every repressed desire to touch or to kiss. Spock feels this too, he knows it, feels it somewhere deep and strong where some people don’t think Vulcans even have feelings. The inside of Spock’s mouth is so wet, and there is the hard shock of his teeth and there the sweet soft pink of his gums, a pink Jim can taste. He doesn’t know how he’ll ever let go; he doesn’t know how he’ll ever force himself back to that borrowed car to drive home alone through the dark Iowa night.
Then the door opens.
Spock’s house is impossibly bright inside, and the sharp florescence of it spilling out onto the porch blinds Jim, at first. He doesn’t know what is happening. He feels Spock disentangling their arms and pushing him, discreetly and carefully but definitely, unquestionably, away, until there is some decent distance between them again. He looks at Spock first, at the set of his mouth in its thin, expressionless line, his back so straight it looks painful, and then, he forces himself to look at the doorway instead.
“Ambassador Sarek,” he says, and his voice is so gruff he has to clear his throat. “It’s uh, nice to see you. Again. I mean. It’s been a while. I’m sorry.” He’s not sure why he’s apologizing but it seems the thing to do. He feels Spock’s foot nudge against his and he looks down at it, as if this were what he was supposed to do, when really it’s more like the last thing he should do and it makes him seem like a massive dork.
“Father,” Spock is saying. “Jim has just driven me home.”
“I heard the car,” Spock’s father answers. The Ambassador’s eyes flick from his son to Jim, then back. Jim keeps on waiting him to say something more but he doesn’t, and the moment seems to stretch forever in absolute infinite agony. He half expects Spock’s father to start questioning him, asking him about intentions and using the phrase “my son” a lot, as in “what do you think you’re doing with my son?” and just generally being so formidable and stern and authoritative through the whole thing that Jim would have no choice but to melt into a puddle of terrified, incoherent goo.
In retrospect, the whole encounter lasts about two minutes.
“We were saying goodnight,” Spock says. His own voice sounds very stiff, and Jim’s not sure if he’s just turning up the volume on his Vulcan demeanor because he’s back home or if he’s actually annoyed and defensive that his father broke up his make out session.
“And I imagine that you have had ample time to say goodnight by now,” his father finishes.
This would be a pretty perfect time for Jim to say “well goodnight, Spock,” and make a mad dash back to Sam’s car, but he can’t leave Spock just standing there facing what might be, in Vulcan terms, for all Jim knows, his father’s wrath, and also, his feet are pretty much cemented to the porch. Someday he’ll be kicking ass and taking names in space and he knows he’ll be ready for it because no Klingon could ever be as terrifying as Ambassador Sarek of Vulcan.
“I apologize if I kept Spock out too late—” he starts, but Spock cuts him off. He’s not looking at Jim but at his father.
“We are not late,” he says. “I said I would be home by ten o’clock and it is only five minutes until ten now.” How he can know this without a watch is totally beyond Jim’s understanding. But then he has other things he should be worrying about right now, like whether or not Spock’s father is about to kill him.
He’s looking at Jim now like he’s trying to answer some essential question about him, and Jim feels so exposed in front of that stare that he can’t help but look down to make sure he’s still wearing clothes.
“Not quite ten, that’s good,” he says, his voice a bit creaky and a tiny bit too high. “I do always try to be punctual.”
“A fine trait, Mr. Kirk,” Spock’s father answers, and then he turns back to his son and raises one eyebrow slightly. “Are you coming in, Spock?”
Spock, amazingly, actually hesitates, and he glances over at Jim as if he had any sort of clue here as to what to do. As if Jim would actually dare to defy a six foot tall Vulcan man with a death glare.
“So I’ll see you in school on Monday?” he asks, and he thinks he actually sees Spock sigh.
“Yes, Jim,” he answers. “I will see you on Monday.”
There’s not much either one can do now, and Jim hesitates; it seems like something like a peck on the cheek or a hug would be appropriate but Ambassador Sarek is still watching him, so all he can do is wave goodbye—wave goodbye on a date—and walk down the stairs half looking over his shoulder the whole way. It could only have been worse if he’d tripped. Just before he steps into his car he looks back again, and he sees that Spock and his father have disappeared into the house, but that the front curtains are parted, and Spock’s face is looking out at him from the inside. He puts his hand up in his traditional salute and, even though Jim knows Spock can’t see his face, he grins.
Spock is already at his locker when Jim gets to school, and he knows he has to play it cool when he comes up to him, because he didn’t exactly make the most graceful exit the last time they saw each other. So he does his best to say, “Hey Spock, what’s up?” in the most casual way possible. Yeah, he’s unruffled. He’s got it together.
Spock lifts an eyebrow, and then turns back to his locker to take the last of his school things out. He closes it with a light snap. “How was the rest of your weekend, Jim?”
“Mmmm,” he considers, “would have been better spent with you.” He punches in the code to his own locker and tries to sound nonchalant. “I would have called, but I thought if your father picked up, it might cause trouble.”
“You should not have been concerned. My father was not angry.”
Jim pauses with his PADD halfway between his locker and his bag, and swings on Spock with his best ‘you’re bullshitting me’ look. “Could have fooled me.”
Spock continues as if he did not notice any change in Jim’s expression. “I know my father well, Jim. I assure you, he was not upset. If anything, he was…amused.”
“Amused?” This time, it’s Jim’s turn to raise some eyebrows, though he lifts both of his because he never really got that one-eyebrow thing down. “Really?”
“Yes,” Spock answers matter-of-factly.
Jim almost wants to laugh.
With Sarek out of town for the long weekend, Jim thinks it's finally safe to return to Spock's house...
Despite Spock's reassurances, Jim's wary to accept any invitations to hang out at the Ambassador's residence that week. He makes various excuses, and every time, Spock gives him that look like he can see right through him, and he’s mocking him on the inside. He doesn’t say any of it out loud, though, and for that, Jim’s grateful. They spend afternoons in the park and at the café downtown, and when they go their separate ways for dinner, Jim kisses Spock goodbye, once, quickly, and no more.
On Thursday, Spock tells him that his father is going out of town for the long weekend and Jim says, “Good to know,” and after school he follows Spock home. As they’re walking up the drive to the front door, he even reaches out to take Spock’s hand—Spock blushes madly. It is too much perhaps, but he’s not apologetic.
They stop by the kitchen so that Spock can make himself tea, and Jim makes a circuit of the room while he waits. Spock’s family has several large cactus-looking plants not quite crowding their kitchen, and a very large sword over the doorway into the living room. It’s strange how he hadn’t noticed it before. He isn’t over at Spock’s house much. Now he catches Spock’s eye, gestures with his thumb over his shoulder at the weapon, and asks, “You use that to kill dinner before you eat it?”
Spock raises his eyebrows. “Jim, my family and I are vegetarians.”
“Oh yeah,” he blushes. “I knew that.” He wanders over again to the other side of the room, where Spock is standing next to the counter, waiting for his water to boil. Jim slides onto a stool on the other side of the island and says, “Okay, theory number two. Your dad uses it to decapitate would-be suitors.”
Most people would laugh at least out of politeness but Spock is a Vulcan, so he has an excuse to keep his silence. He does open his mouth to answer, but before he can quite gather the words, the kettle starts to screech behind him. He turns away to pour his mug full. While his back is still to Jim, he says, “I have told you before that my father does not think badly of you.”
“Are you sure?”
Spock turns, and, bringing his tea, sits down across from Jim, on the other side of the island counter. “Quite sure,” he answers.
“Okay,” Jim says, drawing out the word as if he were still skeptical. “So tell me this.” He leans forward, counter edge digging into his stomach, and meets Spock’s eyes: an easy task, as Spock is staring right back at him, unsmiling, waiting. He takes a sip of his tea. “If your dad doesn’t have a problem with me, then why are we sitting on opposite sides of this counter?”
Spock just lifts an eyebrow, pushes his tea to the side, and pulls Jim forward by fisting his hand in his shirt. Their mouths bang together, uncomfortable and off at first, but they correct themselves, and the counter is still digging itself into Jim’s middle, and he doesn’t care. Spock’s mouth already tastes faintly of his tea. He still hasn’t let go of Jim’s shirt. Jim leans into the kiss as far as he can, opening his mouth against Spock’s, swiping his tongue inside the other’s mouth just for a moment, and then when he can’t stand it anymore, he reaches up one hand to hold the back of Spock’s head and feel his short, smooth, hair between his fingers.
“I think this counter is really getting in the way here,” he whispers, lips still close enough to brush Spock’s lips, and Spock nods.
“Come here,” he whispers back, and even though this is what Jim himself was going to say, he doesn’t argue. He lets go only long enough to run around to Spock’s side of the divider, and then all but crashes into him, teeth and lips smashing, arms around bodies, bodies close. He presses Spock up against the counter, but before he quite knows what’s happening, Spock turns him, might have actually lifted him, Jim’s not really sure, and now he’s the one being bent back. He doesn’t care. Just wants Spock as close as he can get him. Spock has one hand around the back of his neck, the other on the counter behind him, and Jim’s running his hands up and down Spock’s back. He even tentatively slips one up beneath Spock’s sweater, beneath the shirt underneath. His skin is so fucking hot. He is so fucking hot. Jim almost can’t handle it.
He’s just about to pull back to ask Spock if he’d like to maybe take this upstairs, when he hears someone loudly clearing her throat behind Spock. He should be pretty good at this by now, this quick jumping back and separation of limbs, but he’s not fast enough. She’s seen them. And even though Jim always thought Spock learned that eyebrow trick from his father, it turns out Amanda does it pretty well, too.
“It’s nice to see you again, Jim,” she says.
“Nice to see you too, um, really, nice, it’s nice,” he answers, as he cycles through at least a half dozen places to put his hands. Better to cross them or have them at his sides? Scratch his head? Pretend he was scratching his head the whole time? Keep them behind his back? Spock has half turned in surprise toward his mother, but he hasn’t said a word, and Jim really wishes he would. He clearly shouldn’t be trusted to speak.
Spock’s mother has never been anything but welcoming to him, even invited him over to dinner a few times, and once, she’d told him she was glad that her son had found such a good friend. Jim could only imagine all the shades of green Spock would have turned if he’d heard that, but luckily he’d been out of the room at the time. So for a moment, when he’s not sure how to read her face, if maybe that is shock or disappointment there, he feels terribly guilty, without quite knowing why.
“Mother,” Spock says, voice a bit creaky, and a little too loud, “I have made tea. Would you like some?”
Clearly, his strategy here is to pretend this is not happening. She saw nothing. Jim moves his hands for the fiftieth time, behind his back this time, and waits to see her next move.
Spock’s mother smiles. So she’s keeping with the ruse, Jim thinks. That’s probably good. “I would love some,” she answers and then, after a quick glance at the countertop with its single full mug, still wafting steam, “I take it you don’t want any, Jim?”
Trust Amanda Grayson to be unfailingly polite and friendly. He can almost breathe again. Almost.
“No thank you, I don’t really like it much,” he admits, and even though he usually works to keep himself from sounding this awkward—he almost sounds shy—he’s pretty sure it works in his favor this time. Makes him seem less threatening, if that’s even possible after she’s already walked in on him about to grope her son’s ass.
Spock’s mother is unceasingly polite to him for the next half hour, during which time the three of them sit at the kitchen counter and drink tea—or in Jim’s case, water—and talk about school and the Embassy and the local news, but Jim’s pretty sure she has an ulterior motive behind her friendly chatter. It is pretty much the most effective cock block ever, and he’s not sure if he should be impressed, embarrassed, or guilty. Spock does an incredibly good job of never once looking at Jim the entire time they’re sitting next to each other, and of the three of them, he says by far the least.
Around four-thirty, Jim stands up and insists that he should be heading home now. Amanda tells him that it was nice to see him again and invites him to dinner in a few days, after Spock’s father gets back. He accepts, though he’s hardly looking forward to it, and Spock jumps up to walk him to the door. “I apologize,” he starts, once they’ve cleared the kitchen doorway and are safely out of earshot, but Jim waves the words away.
“Don’t. It’s okay.” He pauses, and glances back down the hallway to the kitchen. Spock’s mother isn’t within eyesight. So he leans in close again and whispers, “How mad do you think your mother is?”
“She is not angry,” Spock answers.
Jim’s not sure if he’s convinced. It’s hard to tell if Spock’s lying, he’s so good at that impenetrable Vulcan thing. “Are you sure? Are you sure that sword above your doorway isn’t actually hers?”
“Jim,” Spock insists, “my mother is not angry. She is simply…a little overprotective.”
“Well, her little boy is growing up awfully fast,” Jim answers, and pats Spock’s cheek gently. He knows a lot of people who would say that Vulcans never emote, but he’s pretty sure the gesture elicits a genuine frown, perhaps even a grimace, and somehow, this just makes Jim smile. The look doesn’t suit Spock well at all, so he leans in and gives him a quick kiss, hoping to wipe that frown right off his face.
Spock and Jim skip the high school dance, in favor of a quiet evening in...a car.
All anyone can talk about the next week is the fall dance. Jim can’t concentrate in Terran literature class because the gaggle of girls around him keeps talking, in stage whispers so loud he can’t believe their teacher can’t hear them, about what dresses they’re going to buy and what shoes they want to wear and oh the most important thing, who will ask them out. He could strangle them. And picking this seat seemed like such a good idea in September, too.
He used to care about these things too. He used to wonder which girl he should ask out, worry about it for days even, practice shaking off the rejection before it happened—and it did, every time—and sometimes he’d show up to the dance itself, dateless, and start the whole process over again on a small scale. Who should he ask to dance? What if she said no? What if she said yes—did he even remember how to dance, anyway?
He slides into his seat across from Spock in the cafeteria and thinks, wow, he sure doesn’t miss those days. Spock’s better looking than all of those Terran lit girls put together, and he and Jim can actually hold a conversation together for more than 80 seconds, and on topics more interesting than what’s-her-face’s new hairstyle or how hard Ms. Monroe’s latest test was. He can think of about a hundred things he’d love to do with Spock on Friday night, but just to be polite, he asks him anyway what he thinks about this dance business.
“It seems to be a great source of excitement for our classmates,” Spock observes. “I overheard a conversation on the topic during biology. It was quite curious.”
“Yeah? How so?”
Spock tilts his head, as if considering. “We do not have dances on Vulcan. I have never been to one.”
Usually, when Spock finds something curious and unknown, his first instinct is to investigate, and Jim’s first instinct is to be wary. He can’t really imagine showing up to the dance, all paper streamers and bad music, with his Vulcan date on his arm. He’s an awkward dancer at the best of times, and he doubts Spock is hiding any killer moves under his controlled alien calm (though Jim has certainly been surprised before by just how well Spock uses his body), but worst case scenario they can always skip out and make out by the lockers if it gets boring. So he shrugs to himself and asks, “Do you want to go to this one?”
Spock doesn’t answer right away. He picks up one of his carrot sticks and crunches on it thoughtfully. Jim watches him, patient, willing to wait all day for a reply this time because no matter what answer he gets, it doesn’t matter. Dance, no dance, steal Sam’s car and drive around town, stay home and watch movies on the couch—he has this one. And it feels pretty damn good.
He’s almost surprised to hear Spock answer, “No. Unless you wish to go—”
“I really don’t.”
Spock pauses, another carrot stick halfway to his mouth. “You do not?”
“No.” Jim shrugs. “Trust me, Spock, these dances are pretty dull. Just a bunch of teenagers dancing to bad music or waiting around on the sidelines of the gym. Oh, and there are streamers. That’s the highpoint. But really, I’d much rather spend my Friday night just hanging out with you.”
“Despite your glowing report of the event,” Spock answers, “I too would prefer a quiet night in.”
He says this so calmly, provides no clue in his inflection or his expression, that Jim isn’t sure he should feel the flutter that he does. A quiet night in. Some time spent alone, just the two of them… Possibilities arise. He smiles to himself.
“I don’t suppose your parents will be out of the house on Friday?” he asks. He’d wanted it to sound sly. It doesn’t quite come out like that, but Spock doesn’t seem to notice.
“They have no such plans this weekend,” he answers. Jim would almost think Spock doesn’t know what he was trying to imply, except for the tone of his voice when he suggests, “Perhaps it would be wiser to meet at your house?”
“No. My mom’s off planet for the next week and a half, but Frank’ll be there…” The thought puts a major damper on whatever excitement he’d been building up. He’s in no hurry to bring Spock home to meet Frank. The general rule, in his mind, is that the less his stepfather knows about his life, the better it is for all of them, and he especially doesn’t want to imagine what Frank would say if he ever met Jim’s alien boyfriend. Still, he won’t give up on the weekend yet, not with the way Spock is watching him now, not when he still can’t get the memory of their last kiss to stop playing through his head.
“Then we will have to decide upon something else to do with our night,” Spock is saying.
“I guess so,” he answers, and sets his mind immediately to the task.
‘Something else to do’ turns out to be downing coffees and teas for three hours in the abandoned upstairs of the only café in Riverside. Jim tells Spock his best stories from previous high school dances—or perhaps they’re his worst stories, he’s not really sure. He wouldn’t tell them to anyone else, because anyone else would laugh, but even if Spock is amused, somewhere deep down on the inside, he’s not about to let even a little smile quirk up the corners of his lips. He only tells Jim that he is glad, if this is how dances tend to be, that they chose not to go.
“Yeah, me too,” Jim agrees. “I’d much rather spend an evening with you than with any of those other people. No question.”
The manager kicks them out at 9:30 and there isn’t much of anywhere else to go from there. It’s full dark out and beginning to get chilly, not good weather for taking a long walk, but Jim’s not ready to let the evening be over yet. “What do you wish to do?” Spock asks him, when he comments to that effect, but he has to admit, he doesn’t have any ideas. At least, not any plausible ones.
“It is unfortunate,” Spock says, as they turn a corner onto a side street, heading in no particular direction at all, “that there is nowhere that we can go to be alone.”
If Jim hadn’t been paying so much attention, hadn’t been so perfectly attuned to every syllable and every movement of this boy, he might have missed it. But that was definitely a capital S Suggestive Statement, and he just wouldn’t be Jim Kirk if he didn’t take advantage of that. So he smiles, and says, “I think we should be able to manage that.” He has no idea how. But that doesn’t matter. Thinking on his feet has always been one of his strengths.
They end up at Jim’s house without actually making the decision to go, their feet following the familiar route of their own accord. But there’s no way that Jim is going to bring Spock into a house that has Frank in it, so he leads him around to the garage instead. Ever since Jim stole Frank’s car and drove it off the side of a cliff, Frank’s kept the garage under a lock so tight that one would think he were hiding Federation secrets on the other side of the door, but there’s never been a lock invented yet that Jim couldn’t hack his way through. Before Spock can quite ask him what they are doing, exactly, they’re inside.
“My stepdad has thing about antique cars,” Jim says, by way of explanation, as he watches Spock’s eyes widen for a half-second at the sight of the shiny blue convertible sitting in the center of the garage floor. It looks like it’s just been washed, and it probably has: Frank’s obsessive about that sort of thing. The garage itself is rather a mess, disorganized shelves and old tools gathering dust, but the car is absolutely pristine. “He’d kill me if he knew we were in here.”
Spock turns, almost looks nervous, and then says, “You are joking,” a question that he tries to turn into a statement.
“Yeah,” Jim answers, and then, because that isn’t quite the truth, “well, mostly. But we’re not going to get caught. Come on. This thing is even better on the inside.” As he says this, he pops open the door to the backseat and ushers Spock in.
Spock hesitates. He’s never met Frank, and Jim doesn’t talk about him much, but a couple of stories go a long way, and so it is distinctly possible that even Spock, who knows no fear as far as Jim has ever been able to tell, is nervous at the thought of defying Frank’s law.
“Come on,” he insists. “I’ll make it worth your while.” Then he wiggles his eyebrows up and down in perhaps the most unsexy fashion possible, and touches Spock’s lower back lightly, and somehow, this touch alone is enough to overcome Spock’s indecision. No longer frozen, he slides into the backseat. Jim slides in after him, and closes the door.
It’s darker than he expected it would be. Spock’s just a shadow in front of him, a bit of darkness darker than the rest, and he reaches for him on instinct. Spock reaches for him too and they clash, fingers into side and palm brushing thigh and nose into collar, but then he closes his eyes and they rearrange and everything is instinct. Chest against chest, arms wrapped around body, mouth connecting to mouth. He presses up close.
He’d expected they’d talk a little first, awkward conversation in the pitch black of the backseat, but they both know why they’re there, and they’ve done all their talking, nothing but talking all night, so far. Spock fits against him perfectly, the puzzle piece he didn’t know he was missing. He opens his mouth to Spock’s tongue, hot and alien thing, and he shivers at the unexpected touch of fingertips on the bare skin of his back as Spock sneaks his hands up under Jim’s shirt. He doesn’t fight as Spock pushes him back and back until he is lying in the cramped seat, that heavy body on top of him, perfectly balanced not to crush him
“This is…” he tries to say, as Spock starts to kiss his jaw, tracing a light line down to his chin and then back up, “this is…this is nice.” ‘Nice’ is only the dumbest word ever for what this is. It’s hot, it’s torturous, it’s wonderful, it’s perfect, it’s arousing, it’s—fuck, it’s everything. ‘Nice’ doesn’t capture it at all. But somehow it’s the only word that he can get to come out of his mouth while Spock’s mouth is so thoroughly distracting him.
“I, too,” Spock answers, as he begins to kiss down Jim’s neck, “am finding our activities thoroughly enjoyable.”
Damn him, Jim thinks, for his ability to remain articulate even while…doing…this…whatever.
He tries again. “You’re…really…” Hot. Talented. Amazing. Do that again. “Good. At this.”
Then Spock bites down gently on a spot just above his collarbone and he decides: words just aren’t important. He lets his hands fall from Spock’s waist to his ass and gives it a squeeze, then tries to crush their bodies closer together, pushing his own hips up as he pulls Spock’s down. He thinks he might be moaning, or maybe that’s Spock making that noise, a low noise like what desperation might sound like, and for a moment, he thinks, this car thing was a bad idea, because he could use some room to maneuver here—he at least needs enough space to take off a shirt, unbutton some buttons.
But perhaps it is better that his shirt remains on, his buttons buttoned, because when the door opens and the light from a flashlight starts to blind him, the situation looks pretty bad, and the only way to imagine it being even worse is to imagine what Frank would do if he found his stepson with his pants off in Frank’s car.
For a split second he can’t see, his mind is slowed and blurry with desire and heat, and he has no idea what’s happening, and then the second passes and he realizes that what’s happened is he’s been pulled from the backseat and thrown on his ass on the cold, hard concrete floor.
“What are you doing?” he yells, before he can think better of it, as he squints up into the harsh light.
“What am I doing? What are you doing, you little brat?” Frank’s voice answers. Jim can’t see his face because he’s holding the flashlight up at a blinding angle, but he’d recognize that voice anywhere, especially when it’s raised in those angry tones he remembers so well from his youth.
“Nothing! I’m not doing anything!”
“Oh, I know exactly what you were doing!”
“Then why did you ask?”
It’s a bit hard to sound superior when he’s being hauled up by the collar of his shirt like a puppy grabbed up in its mother’s jaws. He doesn’t even try to look for Spock, but he catches sight of him accidentally, crawling out of the backseat after him and standing by the door, his face invisible in the darkness outside of the flashlight’s beam.
“I bet you think this is so funny, huh Jim? Breaking into my garage—into my car—have you matured at all since you were twelve years old? Or are you still just that same snot nosed brat? Huh?”
He screws his eyes shut and tries to pretend he’s somewhere, anywhere, else. It’s not just that he hates being yelled at by Frank, because even though that’s hardly his idea of a good time, he’s used to it by now, knows how to tune his stepfather out so completely it’s like listening to the waves at the seashore, but knowing that Spock is watching him being chastised like a child makes him want to lock himself in his room and never come out.
“Answer me, you—”
“We both apologize, Mr. Sullivan,” Spock interrupts, in that perfect, polite, mature, controlled voice that would totally win over even the most reluctant step-parent—if that step-parent hadn’t just walked in on him biting a hickey into his step-son’s neck. “It was wrong of us to use your vehicle without your permission.”
The apology doesn’t calm Frank, but it does distract him. He flips his light up and into Spock’s eyes. “And who are you?”
“My name is Spock. Jim and I are seeing each other.”
They’ve never said in so many words that they’re seeing each other, though Jim’s experimented with the word ‘boyfriend’ sometimes in his thoughts, usually at night as he’s going to sleep or in the middle of boring classes when he can’t get Spock out of his mind. Now he opens his eyes and tries to read Spock’s expression, difficult on the best of days, near impossible now, and all he sees is expectation, a polite openness, waiting.
What he wishes he could see is Frank’s face.
“I could have guessed,” Frank says. Then he lets Jim go. He opens the fist that he’s curled into the back of Jim’s shirt and lets him stand on his own two feet again. For a moment, Jim focuses his attention on straightening his shirt, rolling his shoulders, looking halfway cool again if at all possible, and then he turns his attention to Frank. He doesn’t feel any cooler. He still feels like his face is the red of a cherry and his breathing isn’t quite back to normal, either. Frank has crossed his arms against his chest, the flashlight still held lightly in his right hand, and he flicks it between the two boys casually, in no hurry, and they wait as if anticipating some great judgment.
Finally, he flicks the light into Spock’s eyes and holds it there. Spock doesn’t blink, doesn’t even flinch. “I want you out of my garage,” Frank says. “If I catch you in here again, I’ll send you all the way back to whatever planet you came from and don’t think I won’t.”
“Yes, sir,” Spock answers, but he’s looking at Jim when he says it. It’s one of those times when Jim wishes he could read Vulcan facial expressions better, because the look on Spock’s face could mean, I love you no matter what, or You are a chump and I have lost all my respect for you, or possibly, Call me as soon as you can. It’s impossible to know. In another moment, Spock’s slipped out of the garage, so quick you’d think he was running but with more grace, and Jim’s left alone with Frank and the too-bright flashlight.
“And as for you,” Frank says, all attention on Jim now, “you—you stay away from my car.”
“Yeah, I got that message.”
“I’ve only been telling you to keep your hands off of my car for the past four years and as far as I can tell, you still haven’t gotten that message.”
“Frank!” he shouts, and actually steps forward into his stepfather’s space, an action that will amaze him when he remembers the encounter later, “you didn’t catch me stealing your car for a joyride through downtown Riverside! You caught me making out with my boyfriend!”
“I caught you breaking into my garage and using my stuff! I don’t care what you were doing but you stay away from my things and if there is anything out of place here, you do not even want to know what will happen to you then.”
“Oh, I can guess. You don’t have to worry, Frank, your precious car is fine.” His date, however, is pretty much ruined but he doesn’t expect Frank to understand that, and he hates how every time he opens his mouth to have the same argument he’s been having for years, he sounds like he’s still twelve years old. He throws up his hands at the whole thing, and starts to push past Frank, when he feels a hand on his shoulder.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
“Back to my room,” he answers, and he knows the dismissive tone in his voice will just drive Frank nuts. “I think this conversation is over.”
“You think you get to decide when this is over?”
“You have something else you need to say to me?”
Sam thinks Jim is dumb to get into these confrontations. He tells him just to ignore, ignore, ignore; he says soon enough Jim will be able to move out and live his own life and Frank won’t have any hold on him anymore. When Sam was fourteen, he tried to run away, and got about as far as the bus stop. When Jim runs away he’ll be putting whole planets between himself and Riverside.
For a moment, Frank stares at him, dumb and vacant expression on his face, just anger and no substance behind it, and then he bites out, “You go to your room, then, and stay there. And don’t think you’ll be coming out any time soon.”
“Great,” he answers, but it’s mostly a muttering under his breath, and he doesn’t argue when Frank pushes him toward the door, perfectly happy to be rid of him now. He storms back into the house and up to his room, but as soon as he sits on his bed, the fight is out of him. It’s always like this, when he argues with his stepfather. The rage dies and in its place is just a hollow feeling, an emptiness, fatigue. He looks back on the fight and it seems like it’s two strangers fighting, utterly stupid and useless rage, a shameful thing. He doesn’t even want to think about what it looked like to Spock’s eye. Probably just two human beings at their worst.
Spock's parents are away for the weekend. Really.
Jim insists that it’s no problem to sneak out, but Spock tells him, as they sit across from each other in the cafeteria, Spock’s feet resting gently over Jim’s under the table, that it isn’t worth it. “I would rather wait,” he says, “than cause your stepfather to become angry again.”
“Yeah, well,” Jim answers, and bows his head as if this could hide his embarrassment, rubs his hand across the back of his neck. Spock has told him more than once that he does not think badly of him, even after witnessing the altercation with Frank; he’s told him that it is clear to him that Frank handled the situation badly, even considering that Jim and Spock were breaking his rules. But Jim doesn’t even want to think about it. “The only way to avoid Frank’s anger is to avoid Frank. Staying in my house all the time isn’t the right way to go about that.”
Spock tilts his head. “You said that you were…”
“Grounded,” Jim supplies. He’s sure that Spock knows the word, but he won’t force him to abandon this persona he’s developed, the alien out of touch and uncomprehending of his second home’s language and customs. “For a month.”
“Yet this weekend it will be exactly four weeks since your stepfather found us in his garage,” Spock points out lightly.
And so, he realizes, it has. He’d almost forgotten, the days piling up on each other, each one too much like the last, waiting and waiting until he’d lost count. But he should have known Spock would never lose count. His face splits into a wide grin, and he say, “We should celebrate the occasion. I don’t suppose you have any ideas?”
Spock doesn’t smile back, certainly doesn’t mimic the easy, flirting tone that Jim has perfected, but the way he stares, the quick rise and fall of his eyebrows, the slight movement of his foot against Jim’s, says enough.
“I have one,” he says, and Jim doesn’t know why, but his heart beats a little faster at the words.
“I like the sound of that.”
Spock doesn’t tell him that his parents are out of town until they’re halfway up the stairs, and only then because Jim asks him where Sarek and Amanda happen to be at the moment. He actually pauses, when Spock tells him, one foot on the step above the other. This simple piece of information puts too many thoughts in his head, too many images, too many ideas, and he has to tell himself not to think too much of it. There’s no reason they won’t spend the afternoon as innocently as Jim had previously assumed they would, hours wiled away with math homework and simple conversation. He tries to joke, “Why didn’t you tell me this sooner? Do you like to see me sweat?”
Spock glances back at him. “You do not seem to be perspiring to me,” he says. Jim can’t tell from the slight twitch of eyebrow that accompanies the remark if Spock is joking back with him or not, and before he can decide, Spock turns forward again and steps onto the second floor. “My room is at the end of the hall,” he says.
“All right,” Jim answers, and follows one step behind him, past several closed doors and a few abstract paintings, to the last door of the hall. He’s not sure if the odd twisting of his stomach is nervousness or excitement, but he’s never been in Spock’s room before, never even climbed the stairs of his house before, and now it’s only the two of them and a house all to themselves, no interruptions and no surprises, for a whole afternoon and the evening, too, if they want it. There are a lot of possibilities open here.
He watches Spock’s back carefully, even though not even he knows what answers he’s trying to find there, as Spock turns the handle of the door and pushes it in.
The room isn’t what he expected. Even when Spock commands on the lights, it’s still dark, the walls draped in rich red cloth and decorated with weaponry at least as impressive as the sword in the kitchen. A series of small tables by the far wall hold unlit candles and incense. In the corner, next to a large window that looks out on the backyard, its thick red curtains pulled back now to let in the afternoon sun, is Spock’s bed. It’s fairly huge, much too large for one person, and piled high with pillows and blankets the same red color as the curtains. Jim can’t take his eyes off it. He just wants to throw Spock down on all of those pillows and—
“Are you all right, Jim?” Spock asks. “You have not closed your mouth since we came in.”
“I’m fine, Spock,” he answers. “Really. I’m just impressed. Your room is…it’s really something.” He swallows. His throat feels too dry. He looks over at Spock and sees that he’s watching him carefully.
“Do you want to sit down?” Spock asks him. He nods. There’s a desk in one corner with a chair next to it, but only one, and Spock doesn’t even look at it, just leads Jim over to the bed and sits down with him there. They’ve sat next to each other on beds before. There isn’t anything special in this, not even in the way that Spock moves to sit as close to Jim as possible, thigh against thigh. Still, he feels his heart beating in his throat, and his palms are sweaty. Spock is watching him. He has a vague idea that he should grab Spock by the front of his shirt and kiss him, hard and rough, just like he wants to, but then maybe all Spock wants to do is talk, and he’s looking at Jim like that, with that carful and studious look on his face, because he’s waiting for him to pick the topic, that’s all. Jim clears his throat. “Your room,” he says again, “it really is nice, Spock. Like, really impressive. I like all the red. And, um, the swords. Are they—are they real? I—”
“Yeah?” He tries to wipe his palms on the knees of his pants without being too conspicuous about it. He looks down more at his hands than he looks at Spock, who’s still staring at him in that disconcerting way.
“You can stop talking.”
“Oh.” He takes another glance at the sword hanging just above Spock’s desk, across from them. “Would you decapitate me if I didn’t stop?” he jokes.
“Okay then.” He’s pretty sure Spock’s joking. Probably. But when he turns to face him, to see if he can read anything on that famously inscrutable face, Spock leans forward and kisses him. He misses, a little. He moves too fast, as if expecting that Jim would be moving forward too, and hits just at the corner of his mouth. Then he pulls back as if shocked.
“I apologize—” he starts, but this time, Jim interrupts him.
“Don’t.” He grins. “Nothing to apologize for, really. Come here.” And he grabs Spock by the back of the neck and pulls him in for a real, a proper kiss this time, mouth open against mouth, a long and grasping kiss. He locks his fingers together behind Spock’s neck and, as he does, he feels Spock mimic the gesture. The kiss starts to feel cramped, claustrophobic, and it’s difficult to breathe. He pulls back. Spock is blushing the most brilliant green he’s ever seen, and he’s sure he’s a red deep enough to match. “Good kiss?” he says. He’d meant it to be a declaration, but his voice breaks at the end into a question.
“Good kiss,” Spock affirms.
They’ve moved so close now that they’re almost on each other’s laps. Jim’s hands have fallen to Spock’s shoulders, and Spock’s are all the way down at Jim’s waist. There’s something disorganized, uncomfortable, about the way they’re sitting, but Jim finds it hard to care, hard to think of anything except the color of Spock’s eyes, the shape of his mouth. He must have it pretty bad, he thinks. He must have really fallen hard. But then, he already knew that.
This time, when he leans in to kiss Spock, he tries to keep it soft, gentle, slow. Just as slowly, he pushes Spock back onto his bed, against all of those oversized red pillows. He has one hand to the side of Spock’s neck, angling his head to just the right spot, and he feels one of Spock’s hands on his hip, steadying him. They are the perfect balancing act, he thinks. Spock opens his mouth to him without prompting, and he slips his tongue inside that sweet, warm mouth. The kiss becomes messier the longer it lasts, a real swapping of spit, and he almost can’t believe that Spock, usually so kempt and neat and straight backed, would ever let himself get this disarrayed. He snakes his hand up under Jim’s shirt and starts to trace slight patterns on his side and back. He arches his body up to meet Jim’s, and gives him the courage to press his own weight down.
I could do this all day, Jim thinks, and smiles to himself, and then thinks that he loves the way it feels to smile while kissing. They shift and turn around each other until they are lying on their sides on the bed, legs tangled up and hands exploring up stomachs and backs and arms. Spock starts to kiss his jaw and then his neck and all the way to his collarbones, an exploration, yes, but a frantic one, and he would tell him to slow down except that he likes this pace, the almost-desperation of it. He throws back his head and bares his neck to Spock’s kisses. Spock kisses some haphazard pattern down towards Jim’s chest, then bites him, unexpected and sharp, and Jim pushes back out of instinct and then sets to kissing him again, fierce but not angry, a struggle but not a contest. When he repeats Spock’s trick, kissing, nipping, licking, behind his ear and at the underside of his jaw and down his neck, he hears Spock let out the slightest of moans, breathy and deep, and if he hadn’t been getting hard already, that would do it, that simple sound like a surrender.
“You’re wonderful, you know that?” Jim whispers, the first either of them has spoken in a long time, and even then, he has to manage the words between kisses. It just seems impossible to keep his mouth from Spock’s for more than a few seconds. He doesn’t know why he says it. Maybe, he thinks, he shouldn’t be messing up this moment with words, and yet he feels like he has to say something, has to express something.
It’s hard to work out what he means, even to himself, when Spock is running his hands up and down his body, grabbing him and grasping him like he needs him, hard to get his brain working when all of Spock’s lithe, stretching body is right there for him to touch and explore, hard to wrap his thoughts around even the simplest of concepts when he can feel Spock getting hard against his leg. He lets his hands rest at Spock’s waist, a bit nervous, he doesn’t know why, when they’ve wandered lower before, to move them any further. Then he feels, actually feels, Spock grind down against his leg, desperate for him, moaning again just under his breath, and he finds himself wondering what Spock sounds like when he comes, and somehow this gives him the courage, born from wonder and curiosity, to grab Spock’s ass and pull his own body closer, smashed against him. They can’t get any closer, not like this.
But he still wants something more.
“Can I?” he whispers, and tugs at the bottom of Spock’s shirt. He half expects some sort of discussion, at least some hesitation, but Spock just nods wordlessly, and then strips off not just his sweaters but the light shirt he wears underneath. He’s blushing furiously as he does it, and won’t meet Jim’s eyes. But Jim only half notices.
Spock is lean, almost skinny, but with a certain amount of muscle hidden there, too, and Jim just wants to take him all in, wants to run his eyes and then his hands down that body, and he does. He pushes Spock down on his back and straddles him, kisses his chest and his stomach and licks his nipples and grins to himself when he hears Spock make a perfect sort of “mmmming” sound as he arches back, head tilted toward the ceiling, eyes closed.
“Jim,” he whispers. The word sounds strangled from him. Jim runs his hands down Spock’s arms until he reaches his hands and then twines their fingers together; Spock writhes beneath him at the touch. “Jim,” he whispers again. “You too.”
At first, he doesn’t know what Spock is trying to say, but after a moment, a few garbled gestures, their hands still linked, he gets it. Then he grins. He disentangles their fingers just long enough to pull his shirt over his head and throw it down to the ground. He meets Spock’s eyes. Spock doesn’t smile. But he looks at Jim with such desire, such want, that Jim just about thinks he will explode.
He takes one of Spock’s hands in his again and tries, the best he can, to imitate the movements Spock once made against his fingers, a steady and slow exploration. He watches Spock’s face carefully as he moves. His mouth is just barely parted, his body relaxed beneath Jim’s, but his eyes are alert, traveling down Jim’s chest and back up to his face. His tongue flicks out to lick his lips.
“Like what you see?” Jim smiles. He sounds like a dork, but Spock nods, and reaches out his spare hand to touch Jim’s waist. Jim’s never felt this sort of easy confidence with anyone, but then, in a moment, Spock shifts his hips under Jim—perhaps it is on purpose, perhaps it is just an involuntary shiver—and he feels his stomach clench with sudden nerves. For just a moment, he’d felt Spock’s cock rub against his own, and it had been like a spark or a shock against his skin, as sudden and sharp as electricity. He wants to go farther than just kissing. He wants to touch more than they’ve touched yet. He isn’t sure how far. It isn’t a thought, really, so much as a feeling.
“Jim?” he hears Spock asking him, and only then does he realize how long he has been thinking, gazing off into a space just to the right of Spock’s shoulder. “Is something wrong?”
“No,” he says quickly, snapping back, turning his attention to Spock’s face again. He’s watching Jim with a slightly puzzled expression, expectant, a little confused and maybe, beneath that, slightly nervous. Jim smiles in reassurance. “No, yeah, I’m okay.” He’s not sure if it’s true, if he’s really what one could call okay—maybe better than just okay, maybe fantastic, in this gorgeous boy’s bed, straddling his hips—but he’s nervous too. He rolls the question around in his mouth before he asks it, and even then, at first all he manages is a name. “Spock?”
“Jim?” He quirks up an eyebrow, but he sounds a little breathless.
“How…how do you feel about…” He runs his hands up from Spock’s waist to his shoulders, stares down at the flushed green skin. He doesn’t even know what sex is for Vulcans. He doesn’t quite know what it would be for him, either, right now.
“Feel?” Spock prompts. He sounds as if he were testing the word out, gauging the sound and the taste of it.
“How do you feel about, maybe,” he tries again, and lets his fingers graze back down, all the way to the waistband of Spock’s pants. He runs a finger around the top button. “Maybe going further?”
For a moment, he’s sure that this was the exact wrong to say. Spock just stares at him as if he hadn’t understood the words, though Jim realizes a moment later that it was only a thoughtful expression that had fallen over his features. He disentangles their fingers and sets both his hands at Jim’s hips, still for a moment, then moves them tentatively around to Jim’s back. Something in the movements, slow and considering, the feeling he has that Spock is coming to his conclusions based on what he reads from Jim’s body, a language not even Jim himself knows—something in this makes his breath catch. Then Spock moves his hands again. He brings one forward to Jim’s hip, then forward again, and he deftly undoes the top button of Jim’s pants, then zips down the fly. He watches Jim’s face unerringly the whole time. “I would be amenable to that suggestion,” he whispers.
Jim slides down without warning, body over Spock’s body again, and sets to kissing his neck and jaw and cheeks and ears and mouth, always returning to his mouth, that burn of tongue against tongue that is almost familiar to him by now. For a moment, he almost forgets how his pants are undone, how they had just decided something important, maybe, and all he can think again is Spock, Spock, Spock, how gorgeous he feels. He feels Spock’s hands run up and then down his back, pressing down almost painfully hard, pulling him close at once. The touch moves lower, lower, then suddenly Spock is grabbing his ass, his bare ass under the waistband of his underwear. He jerks forward without thinking, crushing their bodies tighter together. His cock rubs against Spock’s again, and he hears that wonderful moan again, and he may be making the same sound, he’s not even sure. He doesn’t know what to ask, what he wants, if he wants Spock to touch him or if he wants to touch Spock, or both, everything, all at once, so he rolls over on his side so that they are tangled up in the blankets now and he maneuvers one hand between them and he palms Spock through the pants he’s still wearing, and he feels Spock groan into his mouth. It turns him on. Turns him on like nothing ever has before.
He moves his hand, touching like he imagines he would like to be touched, and he feels Spock push into his hand. He wonders if someday he could actually get Spock, perfectly composed Spock, to beg for him, what that would sound like—the sounds he’s making now are just short of begging already. He mumbles a sort of “Can I?” into Spock’s mouth, and feels the nod of his head with the back of his spare hand where his fingers are curled into Spock’s hair, and then he’s pulling down Spock’s fly and slipping his hand in, past layers of fabric, until he can curl his hand around Spock’s length. As soon as he touches him, he pulls back as if burned.
“What’s wrong?” Spock asks him. Jim can see his face now: it’s flushed a deep green, his hair messed, and there’s an uncharacteristic worry creasing between his eyebrows.
“Nothing,” he insists. Spock looks utterly unconvinced. More than that, though, and what is cutting, what stabs right in under Jim’s ribs, is how worried he seems, how embarrassed.
“Then why did you stop?” he asks. “Was it something about my—about me?”
“No,” he says, “no, Spock, really,” and smiles gently. He kisses Spock lightly, sweetly, against his lips, but feels no reciprocating kiss back. “I stopped because I don’t want to just touch you. I want to see you.”
“See me?” Spock repeats, as if he’d never heard the phrase before.
“Yeah,” Jim breathes. “See you.”
He doesn’t say anything more, doesn’t explain any further, only waits. He tries to read Spock’s face. It is impassive as always, only the slightest furrow marring his brow, the sign of careful thought. Finally, he nods, a small discreet movement of his head against the pillow. Jim grins. He leans in for one more kiss, a deep, grasping, kiss that takes all the air out of the lungs, and then quickly, hoping to leave Spock still breathless and up in the clouds, still dizzy from the kiss, he pushes Spock back and slides down the other’s body, licking one long, light stripe down as he goes. He doesn’t want to lose his own nerve. Before he can, he pushes down Spock’s pants and underwear, all in one motion, slowed only by his own inept movements; Spock helps him by kicking off his clothes as soon as Jim’s pushed them down far enough on his legs. And then they just are.
Jim’s never actually touched a cock that wasn’t his before, and looking at Spock’s now—not as alien as he would have thought, except that it’s a dark green color and, he realizes, rather noticeably larger than the average human version—all of the frenzy of the last moments leaves him and he feels quiet, calm. He wants to take his time. He wants to enjoy this, and even more, he wants Spock to enjoy it.
“Can I?” he asks, glancing up. He’s rubbing his hands up and down the inside of Spock’s thighs, never getting too close, not sure still if he’s really going to be allowed, but Spock just leans up on his elbows and answers, “Please do,” in a breathless sort of voice that makes Jim think he must be acting a terrible tease without even meaning it.
He touches tentatively at first, wraps one hand around Spock’s length but lets his grip stay loose. Spock’s skin is hotter here, too, that alien burn of him that Jim knows so well by now. He starts to move his hand, still gentle, up and down, and after a moment he looks up at Spock again, and his blood beats a little faster at the sight of his head thrown back, his neck exposed. He looks so gorgeous. It’s almost impossible to take. He wants to drive this boy insane, he wants to make him come, he wants to make him scream out with it, wants to drive him over every edge there is, wants to make him writhe.
He bends his head down, brushes his lips against the head of Spock’s dick, then glances up to see what effect this has had. Spock has pulled his head back now, and he’s watching him, staring intently and waiting. Jim reaches out his tongue for one tentative lick. The skin at the tip has a pleasant feel against his tongue. His eyes never leave Spock’s face, and he watches as Spock swallows deeply, his face flushed a perfect shade of green. “This okay?” he asks.
“I believe, Jim, that ‘okay’ would be an understatement in this situation,” Spock answers. He sounds much too coherent. But Jim thinks he has a solution to that problem.
He’s not really sure what he’s doing, but he tries his best, licking his tongue in a circle around the head of Spock’s dick and then, a bit tentatively, taking the whole of the head in his mouth. He’s encouraged by the sounds Spock is making, utterly inhuman and utterly gorgeous, and by the way he puts his hands down on Jim’s shoulders and digs in his fingers, his grip just short of painful. He runs his tongue in circles, teases at the sensitive skin. He takes his time. Spock is saying his name, saying “Jim,” and “yes,” and the sound of him and the taste of him and the feel of him is almost too much. He reaches down with his free hand to stroke his own cock, so painfully hard.
Slowly, slowly, he slips his mouth down farther, until he’s taken as much as he can and he worries about gagging, about looking dumb, especially when Spock bucks his hips up too hard, but after a moment, he finds a rhythm. He matches the movements of his mouth to the movements of his hand, a quick tempo up and down and then, just when Spock’s moan starts to draw out too long, an abrupt slowing. Spock is saying his name over and over. He feels a sharp grip of fingers into his shoulders, then the grip softens as if by a great force of will, and those same fingers ghost through his hair and even touch, lightly, against his cheek.
He’s not thinking of anything now but his actions, his task before him, a mission he’s set himself to drive Spock to that edge and then push him straight over it. He pulls his mouth from Spock’s dick and, for a few moments, uses just his tongue, trailing it up from the base until he reaches the head and then circling, and in the litany of his name mumbled almost incoherently above him, he starts to hear a few “pleases” mixed in. He moves his own hand faster on himself, though it’s awkward enough, his own pants unzipped but still on.
After another moment, he gives in to Spock’s insistent pleas, and he really can’t believe he’s gotten Spock to plead, he’s not even that good, Spock must just have low standards or else he’s making these noises for Jim’s benefit, and he appreciates them, he really does—and he swallows Spock down again. He tries to mimic the same movements of his tongue from a minute before, except now he can feel the head of Spock’s dick almost at the back of his throat. He moves fast now, as fast as he can, and he doesn’t let up even when Spock’s voice, rough and almost inaudibly low, tries to warn him, “Jim, I’m—” and then quite suddenly he feels a spurting of hot liquid down his throat. It’s neither painful nor pleasant, and the aftertaste is so slight he cannot quite distinguish it, which is rather too bad—it would be interesting to know what Vulcan come tastes like.
But then that’s hardly the most important thing at the moment.
He sits up and then back on his heels, and he watches Spock, the deep breaths he’s taking, the way his eyelids have fluttered closed, the way the skin of his face and chest has flushed green. Jim’s own breathing is heavy, too, and his cock is still so hard it’s painful, but still he can’t say he’d trade this moment for anything.
“Are you all right?” he asks, after a moment.
Spock nods. “Yes,” he says, “I believe so.” Slowly, he opens his eyes and then props himself up on his elbows to look at Jim properly for the first time in many long minutes. “Are you…?” he starts, but he can’t seem to form the words. He expresses himself well enough, under the circumstances, by the deeper flush that colors his cheeks and the way that he glances down at the outline of Jim’s erection in his pants.
“I think I’ll come pretty fast,” he admits, “with a little help.” He tries to grin in some flirty way, though they’re way behind flirty, and then he crawls his way back over Spock and kisses him again, forcing his tongue into Spock’s mouth as he does, a forceful kiss that Spock melts into. He seems so relaxed, almost limp, the way he’s sprawled out underneath Jim in his post-orgasm haze, while Jim himself is still knotted with tension, aching for release, and he’s almost worried that Spock will abandon him here, when he feels an insistent push of tongue against his tongue and then the body beneath him rises up and pushes him back and pushes him down into the pillows.
Then he feels Spock’s hand on his cock. It doesn’t move, just rests over him, over the fabric of his underwear, and he’d say something about how utterly frustrating that is except that his mouth is too engaged with Spock’s mouth to form words. So he just makes a few incoherent noises and bucks his hips.
Spock pulls back just enough to whisper, “May I see you?” into Jim’s mouth. He nods quickly. What he wants to say is for the love of all things good in the universe, yes, please, do, right now, but he doesn’t quite trust himself to speak.
Spock slips his hands in under Jim’s waistband and pushes his pants and underwear down and off with surprisingly little grace, and then, for the first time, they’re both naked together. But there’s no time to dwell on that. Spock is touching him skin to skin now. His touch is tentative, unsure. Jim takes his own hand and covers Spock’s with it, shows him the best way to touch and to move, and Spock watches the movements his own hand is making with that look of open fascination he only gets when he’s found something particularly novel to investigate.
The movements of Spock’s hand under his hand are awkward, not quite what he’s used to, and he’s so close and yet not quite at that edge, not quite there. He closes his eyes tight to concentrate and coaxes Spock’s hand to faster movement. When he opens his eyes again, Spock is staring at him, staring him right in the eyes. And that’s enough. That’s what he needs. He’s there, and then he’s gone.
For a few moments, he just lies on the bed on his back with his eyes closed. He has no bones and no muscles. After a moment, he opens his eyes and sees that Spock is staring at him again. He feels himself blush, not sure what to say or what’s appropriate now, and suddenly he’s quite aware that he’s naked and his chest is, well he would not say it is splattered, but it has a fair amount of drying come on it and he would really rather it didn’t. “I, uh, I should go clean myself up,” he says, a bit hesitantly.
“Of course,” Spock answers. He’s staring, Jim notices now, at Jim’s mouth, not meeting his eyes, and he sounds utterly calm, unruffled, except that his hair’s a mess and his skin is flushed and, oh, he’s naked too, and he doesn’t make any effort to move. Jim has to climb awkwardly over him to get out of the bed.
“If you do not feel comfortable wandering the halls of my house nude,” Spock says, “you may borrow my robe.” He gesture to where it is lying draped over Spock’s desk chair, and Jim glances at it, then back at the bed, where Spock is still not quite looking at him.
“Well, no one’s home right?”
“No,” Spock agrees.
He decides to take the robe anyway. With their luck, Spock’s parents might just decide to come home early, and if that happened, getting caught in Spock’s robe would be bad enough.
The bathroom is just one door over, a large room with shiny fixtures and fluffy towels. He considers taking a shower, but doesn’t want to be gone from Spock that long, and anyway, it isn’t his house. So he just washes off his stomach the best he can while standing at the sink, then splashes some water over his face too, since he’s there. Then he returns to Spock’s room. He’s not sure what he should be thinking now, or what he should be feeling; his mind is surprisingly blank. He just knows that he’s exhausted and a bit weak in the limbs. Happy, certainly. He would say that he is happy. He would say that happy is probably, as Spock would say, an understatement.
When he pushes open the door he finds Spock sitting up on the bed, legs crossed underneath him and hands on his ankles. He’s still naked, and so unembarrassed in, unconcerned by, his nudity that Jim feels a little overdressed in his long robe. Spock looks up as soon as Jim enters, but his expression is unreadable. His skin is still colored a light green, but whether this is only his exertion still showing through, or some renewed sense of awkwardness, Jim cannot tell. He smiles at Spock, a thin and nervous smile. “Hey,” he says, then adds, “How are you?” as if they had just met up on the street.
Spock looks up at him, tilts his head to the side—hopefully, his version of a smile, though Jim isn’t sure—and answers, “I am well. And you?”
“Good. Well. I mean—Spock, that was pretty damn fantastic.” He starts to laugh a little, old pent up nervousness finally letting itself out, or maybe just because it is funny, how awkward they are and how stupid it is to be awkward now.
“I am in complete agreement,” Spock answers, and before Jim quite knows what he’s doing, he’s crossed the space between them and grabbed Spock’s face between his hands and kissed him, a long and messy kiss.
He pulls away grinning, and even Spock allows himself a slight, quick, upward quirk of his lips.
“Did you know,” Jim says, “I’ve never done that before?” He’s not sure what makes him want to confess except that he and Spock are almost nose to nose, too close to look into each other’s eyes, and somehow he just thinks that Spock should know.
“Nor have I,” he admits.
Jim grins. He puts one hand gently to the side of Spock’s neck, rubs his thumb against his cheek. He pulls back just enough to get a proper view of Spock’s face, and he considers kissing him again, considers telling him he loves him, because it’s true, even considers pushing him back down on the bed and just holding on to him until they both fall asleep, because he’s so unfairly tired, exhausted, almost limp, but he can’t quite bring himself to do any of these things.
“I had imagined,” Spock says, a bit hesitantly, “that you were more experienced.”
Jim could almost laugh. “Really?”
Spock just nods solemnly.
“I really wasn’t,” Jim insists. “You…you’re kind of my first, I guess.”
He very well might be blushing again, it’s sort of embarrassing to say the words, even though he’d said the same thing just a moment ago, but then Spock reaches out one hand and slowly traces the slight smile of Jim’s lips with his finger. “And you are mine,” he says. “In more ways than one, you are my first.”
“That is an uncharacteristically vague thing to say, Spock.”
“I believe you understand my meaning.”
He does, of course he does. He wants to say it, too. But the words stick in his throat, and anyway, it’s understood, passes back and forth between them through their skin; Jim doesn’t need Spock’s telepathy to hear it. He curls his fingers through Spock’s and for a long moment, he stares down at their intertwined hands. He feels like he’s been waiting a long time for this, and not just these long weeks where every touch, every kiss was broken in on. He feels like he’s been waiting his whole life, short as it’s been thus far, for something this right, for something that rings this true.