“Are things better between you and Spock?” Bones asked over coffee in the mess room the next morning after Jim had spent the night in Spock’s bed. Sleeping.
“Mm.” Jim took a fortifying sip. “Define better.”
“Well how do I know?” Bones glanced around then shrugged. “He came to me last night for advice.”
Jim frowned. “About me?”
“No about the science department.” Bones rolled his eyes. “Yes about you. You see any other lovelorn idiots around here?”
“I’m hardly lovelorn.”
“Whatever. He was troubled by your relationship.”
“What did you tell him?”
“Doctor privileged information. I doubt Spock wants me to tell you the sordid details.”
“Then why the hell did you mention it?”
“Because, my friend, you should be talking to Spock. Communicating. Why don’t you tell him about your issues and then he can tell you about his and then you can have issues together.”
Jim grimaced. “You’re a big help. Anyway, he was acting a little weird last night.”
“He freaked out over me talking to Lieutenant Drew.”
“Define freaked out.”
Jim gave him a look over the rim of his coffee cup. “Pushed her away from me and growled at her that I wasn’t hers.”
Bones nodded. “Okay, I’ll give you that was pretty weird.”
“Yeah. So, um, then he asked to sleep with me.”
“That’s hardly new.”
“Ah. Well. Isn’t that what you want? To be all couple happy cuddling beside each other?”
“I don’t want it to be forced.”
Bone sighed and finished his coffee. “It’s not forced, Jim. It’s compromising.”
“He shouldn’t have to compromise himself to be with me.”
“Why the hell not? That’s what being a couple is. Compromise. That’s why my marriage fell apart. We always had a problem giving an inch on anything. Both of us.”
“Well. What if Spock thinks I’m trying to change him?”
“What if you are? So what? Is that so bad?”
Jim bit his lip. “It is if it makes him feel less Vulcan.”
Bones snorted. “Believe me, Jim, he’s plenty Vulcan. A little compromising with you isn’t going to change that. Now I have to go. Talk to him.”
When Jim got to the bridge, he noticed Spock was not at his station. Completely unusual. When he’d left Spock’s quarters that morning for his own, Spock had indicated he would be having breakfast with Uhura and then would be on the bridge.
Uhura was at her station but there was no sign of his first officer.
“Status report, Mister Sulu?”
“Five point three hours until we make orbit of M64, sir.”
Jim went over to stand at Uhura’s station. “Lieutenant.”
She frowned slightly. “Don’t you know?”
“Where’d he go after breakfast?”
She shrugged. “Beats me. He canceled breakfast. Said he wasn’t feeling well.”
Jim went to his chair and hit his comm. “Kirk to the Medbay.”
“Is Mister Spock there?”
“No. Should he be?”
He tapped his fingers on the chair. “I don’t know. Kirk out.”
Jim rose and went to the turbolift calling over his shoulder, “Sulu, you have the conn.”
Inside the turbolift, Jim hit the button on the wall. “Computer, locate Commander Spock.”
“Commander Spock is currently in the captain’s quarters.”
The door opened onto the officers’ deck and Jim made his way down the corridor toward his cabin wondering why Spock would be in his rather than his own. If Spock was ill—
Well, Jim sure as hell didn’t want to think about that. Vulcans don’t get sick. Or so Spock had told him.
The first thing that hit him was a blast of heat when he stepped into his quarters. It felt like it was a million degrees. Okay 100. But still.
“Spock? Are you in here?”
The word, Vulcan obviously, was whispered and seemed to surround him in the room but he couldn’t even decide where it was coming from because he couldn’t see Spock. And the air was thick with incense.
A whole sentence of whispered Vulcan words that were mostly unintelligible to him. He coughed against the smoke from the incense.
“Spock, where the hell are you? What’s going on? You were due on the bridge and—”
He was suddenly violently slammed against the bulkhead and then Spock’s nose was smashed into his throat, just below his jawline, and he swore he heard purring.
The air had been knocked out of his lungs and when he could finally speak he said, “Uh, um, Spock?”
Spock licked him.
Jim cleared his throat. “Um. That’s nice. But the bridge—”
“No!” Spock growled. His hands grabbed Jim by the biceps and held him there with a lot of force. “You must not leave.”
“God, you’re burning up. Why is it so hot in here?”
Spock’s lips moved to the shell of Jim’s ear. “Such round ears. So tiny.”
“Not really, they’re normal ears. Spock—”
“You cannot leave. I will not allow it.”
“Allow it? I’m getting Bones.”
“He cannot have you!”
“Jesus, he doesn’t want me. What the hell…oh shit.” Jim suddenly couldn’t breathe. “You-you’re in that thing. I know about that from-from the other you. Spock, let me go.”
To Jim’s surprise, Spock blinked, released him and allowed him to scoot away from the bulkhead.
“Pon Farr, right? I sort of remember that from Ambassador Spock’s memories. Damn. You have to mate with-with a Vulcan, right? I have to get you to New Vulcan.”
“No,” Spock ground out.
“Damn it, Spock. You’ll die or something if I don’t. You have to.”
“No,” the Vulcan repeated, once more advancing toward Jim, who took a step back. “Mine.”
“Your what?” Jim held up his hands. “Look, um, I don’t exactly know all the ins and outs of Vulcan biology but I do know that Pon Farr is some seven year itch thing where you have to mate for, well, I don’t know, days or something, with a Vulcan woman or something bad happens.”
Spock advanced another step until the point where Jim was backed up against the bulkhead once more.
Jim shook his head. “I’m comming Bones.” He pulled out his communicator which to his shock Spock promptly knocked out of his hands. “Spock!”
“No Vulcan!” Spock said, now glaring at Jim. “No woman.”
“I don’t know what you’re trying to say but I’m not going to let you die because we’re together and you have some sense that you can’t mate with someone else.”
Jim stared at Spock. “What?”
“I mate with you.”
He made a sort of choked cry when Spock’s hand suddenly gripped his chin. He licked his dry lips. He was feeling rather lightheaded. Whether from the incense or the heat or the fact that Spock just said—
“Okay, well, I…Spock.” He felt himself go limp and he would have fallen to the floor except Spock still had a hold of him.