“So, you guys are back together, huh?” Jim smiled at Spock, leaning closer to squeeze Spock’s arm.
“Bones told me that you two were having issues. You and Uhura.” Jim stared down into his drink for a moment, like he could discover the wisdom of the world, but then he raised his gaze to Spock. One thing Jim refused to be was a coward. Never that. “But tonight at the party, you guys looked like you’re working things out.”
“I am…uncertain,” Spock replied softly.
“Yeah?” Jim took a long swallow. “Well, if you are back, I’m really happy for you.”
“We will always remain friends. I care a great deal about Nyota and she cares a great deal for me. Whether we can put our differences aside to repair our relationship, I do not know.”
“Was it the New Vulcan thing?”
Spock blinked rapidly and Jim could see he had surprised Spock. “You know of that, Captain?”
“Bones told me that too.”
For a moment, Spock just stared at him. Then he said softly, “I did intend to discuss it with you.”
“I’m sure. And while we’re on the subject, Spock, we should talk about something else.”
“You refer to what you wanted to discuss in the turbolift?”
Jim nodded. “Look, really, the thing is, I’ve changed my mind about it anyway, but—”
“You applied for the vice admiral position on Yorktown.”
Now it was Jim’s turn to be surprised. “You knew about that?”
“Commodore Paris mentioned you had recommended me for Captain of the Enterprise should you earn the promotion.”
“Oh.” Jim licked his lips. “Yeah. I changed my mind though.” He searched Spock’s gaze. “What about you?”
“Whatever happens with Nyota, I have decided to remain on the Enterprise,” Spock said quietly. “I believe Ambassador Spock would have approved of my decision.”
“Spock? Do you have a moment?” Uhura had walked over to where they were standing by the window. She smiled at Jim. “Sorry for the interruption, Captain.”
Jim shook his head. “I need a refill anyway. Goodnight you two.”
He walked away and didn’t look back because he couldn’t. And anyway, he did say he was going to call his mom. He bid goodbye to Scotty—he couldn’t find Bones—and he went to his temporary quarters on Yorktown. Eventually they would return to Earth while the new Enterprise was built.
His mom looked tired when she appeared on screen, but she offered him a sweet smile. “Hi, baby. I was just about to contact you.” She paused and there was only a slight catch in her voice. “Happy Birthday.”
“What happened to your face? Oh, don’t answer that. I heard about what happened.”
“So many lives, Mom.”
“It’s never easy, Jim, but you’re a great leader,” his mom told him. “You were ambushed. And you saved millions of lives on Yorktown.”
Jim nodded. “How are you?”
“I’m hanging in. I miss my boys.”
“Heard from Sam?”
She shook her head. “Not in a while. You know how he is.”
“What you want doesn’t matter. You are nothing.”
“Yeah,” Jim replied. “I know what he’s like. How’s the farmhouse?”
“You hate being retired.”
“I sure do. But I’m getting used to it. Think you’ll visit me before you go out again?”
“I’ll try,” Jim said, though they both kind of knew he wouldn’t try that hard. There were always promises between them. Most of them broken.
“Hey, before you go, I have something else you might want to know. It probably won’t really affect you because you’ll be out in space and all but…well…they released him.”
Jim’s blood froze. “Released?”
She nodded, her eyes sad. “Time served.”
“There’s no time he could have served that it would make up for any of it,” he whispered hoarsely.
“I know, Jim. That’s why I thought you should know. He probably won’t bother you. God knows I threatened to cut off his balls if he ever goes anywhere close to you, but you should know.”
“Okay.” The words to thank her got stuck in his throat.
“We’ll talk soon. I love you.”
“Love you, too, Mom.”
The screen went blank.
Jim shook himself. None of that mattered. Not anymore.
Two months Later
Jim was already late to meet Bones for dinner. His meeting with the admiralty at Starfleet HQ had run longer than Jim had thought it would. All routine stuff about the refit on the latest edition of the Enterprise which would go out three months from now, if everything worked as it should.
Jim had been back in San Francisco for one and a half months. The crew for the most part had gone their separate ways for their time away from the Enterprise. Sulu had stayed on Yorktown with his husband and daughter. Uhura had gone to visit her family, without Spock, as Jim had learned. Jim was still unsure about the status of their relationship officially, but he had a suspicion that it had remained firmly in the friend zone after the events with Krall.
Bones had chosen to spend some time in San Francisco with Jim but he intended to catch some time with his daughter too.
Jim’s mom hadn’t brought up him coming to Riverside again since his birthday and neither had Jim.
He was just grabbing his coat when there was a light tapping at his door. Jim went to it and was a little startled to find Spock there.
“Captain, you are going out?”
“Yeah, to meet Bones for dinner. Did you want to come along?”
“If you do not mind, I would like a quick word with you.”
Jim nodded. “Okay.” He let Spock in and closed the door behind him. “What’s on your mind?”
“Jim, I am going to New Vulcan.”
“Wait, what? I thought you had decided to stay with Starfleet.”
“And I have. I do not mean permanently. I meant for a month,” Spock explained, his hands behind his back.
“Oh.” Jim allowed the knot in his stomach to loosen. “Good. I really don’t know what I would do without you, Spock.”
“I request you come with me.”
“To-to New Vulcan?”
“We would have plenty of time to attend to duties, when we return, related to the departure of the Enterprise.”
Jim didn’t know what to say. This was completely unexpected. “Uhura?”
“Nyota and I remain close friends but have ultimately decided the demise of our romantic relationship was for the best for each of us. Our affection and respect for each other remains intact.”
Well. The proper reaction was to be sympathetic, Jim knew. And yet—
“I’m sorry, Spock. I know you two were together for a while.”
“It is unfortunate. However, I realized something rather significant recently.”
“While I care for Nyota a great deal, my intention was still to go to New Vulcan to continue the work of rebuilding our race as well as that of Ambassador Spock. Despite her objections and the reality I knew my decision would hurt her.”
“But you did change your mind,” Jim said, feeling a little disoriented.
“Yes. Because of you, Jim. And your need for me to be by your side. Not because of Nyota.”
Jim was aware that Spock had moved closer to him. But now it occurred to him that Spock was very close. Like in his personal space close.
He licked his lips. “It was not my intention to burden you, Spock.”
“Your reliance on me is no burden. And it is…unexpectedly…reciprocated.”
Jim’s breath caught in his throat. “I’m not sure what to say.”
“Will you accompany me to New Vulcan?”
Jim’s communicator beeped. “Hold that thought.” He flipped it open. “Bones?”
“Jim, where the hell are you?”
“Sorry, Bones. Spock is here.”
“Well, bring him with you.”
Jim met Spock’s gaze. Spock nodded. “We’ll be there shortly.” He closed his communicator. Stuck it in the pocket of his jeans. “Yes.”
“Then you will accompany me to New Vulcan for the duration of a month?”
“That’s what you want?” And hell, Spock was right. It did seem significant.
“It is, Jim.”
Spock still hadn’t moved away. In fact, he had moved closer. So close. All Jim had to do was lean in just a little and they would be kissing. Which was nuts. Wasn’t it? Spock didn’t want to kiss him.
Jim realized his hands were on Spock’s chest, smoothing over Spock’s shirt, like, well, like he had a right to touch him that way. And the weird thing was Spock wasn’t stopping him.
“I—that is.” Jim shook his head. “God, I’ve never felt so damn shy and awkward before. Ah, hell.”
He was about to step back and just go to have dinner with Bones. But Spock’s hand was suddenly on Jim’s waist preventing him from moving.
“You do understand what I am telling you?”
“Maybe. Yes. Will you just fucking kiss me?”
Spock arched a brow but then his lips descended on Jim’s, warm and soft, and tasting way better than they had a right to. Jim heard a sort of squeak and realized it came from him as he gripped the collar of Spock’s shirt to bring their bodies into closer contact.
He felt himself be lifted off the floor and before he could orient himself, he found he was put down on the dining room table of his apartment. Spock’s mouth was devouring his, over and over, crushing his lips, Spock’s hot tongue pushing past the seam of Jim’s lips to enter his mouth.
Jim reached for the zipper of Spock’s pants, sliding it down enough for Jim’s fingers to slip inside Spock’s boxer briefs. Spock gasped against Jim’s mouth as Jim curled his fist around the length of Spock’s cock.
“Shh, I’ll take care of you. Trust me.” This Jim knew. He knew how to give pleasure. Pleasure that would blow Spock’s mind.
Spock’s hips were moving frantically as Jim worked his cock with his fist, sliding across the shaft with a perfect tight grip. Spock continued to frantically kiss Jim as he felt how close Spock was to coming.
He tore his lips from Spock’s, kissing along Spock’s jaw until he reached one pointed ear. He flicked his tongue over the tip and Spock gave a keening cry as he came all over Jim’s hand.
They were both breathing hard, lips swollen, as they stared at each other wide-eyed.
“We-we’re late. To meet Bones. We gotta go.”
“Captain, what about you?” Spock’s eyes went down to the prominent bulge in Jim’s jeans.
Jim gave him a reassuring smile. “No time for that.” He kissed Spock. “Let’s just get you cleaned up and go.”
Spock’s gaze rose to Jim’s flushed face. “Very well.”
“And Spock?” He flicked his tongue at the point of Jim’s ear. Enjoyed Spock’s shiver. “I think Jim is more appropriate in this instance, isn’t?”
Spock closed his eyes as he cupped Jim’s jaw and pulled him in for another kiss. “Yes, Jim.”