Jim knocked once and then pushed the door open. Spock sat up in the bed so hastily that the duvet fell onto the floor. Jim stared at the duvet and then at Spock who clearly was trying to look like he hadn’t got surprised and pushed off his duvet.
“Sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you.”
“Captain, I must assure you that you are in no circumstances capable of startling me.”
Jim smiled. Spock was wearing a pajama shirt and bottoms that covered almost all of his skin and looked uncomfortably warm. “I like your outfit.”
“My outfit,” Spock paused and frowned, “is highly functional since it keeps me warm. It is not meant to be likable.”
“I like it anyway,” Jim said and couldn’t stop grinning, “sorry. It’s just that this is the day.”
Spock raised an eyebrow at him.
“We’re leaving today,” he said, “Enterprise is leaving today. Or have you forgotten?”
“Indeed I am not,” Spock said and Jim could have sworn that there was a hint of smile lingering on Spock’s lips, “Captain.”
“I’m glad to hear that, First Officer,” he said and didn’t bother trying to cut down the grinning. “Please get dressed. I want you on your uniform in the kitchen in five minutes so that we can drink coffee and get going.”
Spock stared at him. He smiled at the man and then realized he was still lingering in Spock’s room and perhaps Spock wouldn’t get dressed as long as he was watching.
“Sorry,” he said and turned around. “I’ll be in the kitchen. And happy.”
He swallowed and glanced over his shoulder. Spock had stood up and folded his hands behind his back. “Yes, Spock?”
“Perhaps you would like to discuss… us.”
Jim pulled his shoulders back. “What about us?”
“Since our wedding, we have only spent time together in this apartment. There has been no need to develop a satisfying way to act around each other when there are other people present.”
“Spock,” he said and took a deep breath. “You’re trying to ask me if I want you to act somehow differently around me when we’re on the ship.”
“Because we’re married now.”
Spock didn’t answer that. Perhaps it had been too obvious a thing to say.
“Fine,” Jim said, walked back to Spock and smiled in a way that he wished was reassuring, but actually he was probably smiling just because today he would once again be on his ship, in space. With Spock, of course. “If you want to, you can always call me sweetheart.”
Spock’s eyes seemed to get darker. “Jim, I asked you not to mock me.”
“Sorry,” Jim said and took hold of Spock’s shoulders before he could wonder if it was a good idea or not. Spock seemed to lean into his touch just a little. Perhaps Spock was actually nervous about getting back on the ship as a married couple. “I didn’t mean to. Really. It was just a joke.”
“I wish you would not joke about that.”
“You’re right,” he said and squeezed Spock’s shoulders lightly, “as always. I’ll try to remember. I really am sorry. But I don’t think we have to worry about that.”
“You do not?”
“The people we know the best were on our wedding. They all just looked happy. And they know that we’re going to act professionally when we’re at work. They don’t expect us to –“
“Jim?” Spock asked. Jim frowned and clutched Spock’s shoulders.
“They don’t expect us to kiss on the bridge.”
He felt Spock tensing. He wasn’t exactly looking Spock in the eyes now, but still he thought Spock seemed quite surprised at the idea. “Indeed not, Jim.”
“So,” Jim said, patted Spock’s shoulders once and more and then let go, “we’ll just keep on doing whatever we’ve been doing so far. And it’ll be fine.”
“Yes,” Spock said in a slightly odd tone, “yes. It will be fine.”
“Great,” Jim said and took a few steps back. He felt a bit unsteady now that his hands weren’t resting on Spock’s shoulders anymore. Spock was watching him like he was thinking that Jim might be thinking about the two of them kissing on the bridge. But Jim wasn’t thinking about that. Of course he wasn’t. Thinking. About that. “So. Just get dressed and then… breakfast. Kitchen. And… get your things.”
“Captain,” Spock said in a voice that was now much steadier than how Jim felt, dammit, “I do not possess many things.”
“Well, get yourself,” Jim said and tried again, “get yourself into your uniform. We will be late if we aren’t on time. Possibly. I really need some coffee.”
“If you could now depart from my sleeping quarters so that I may dress in private, Captain.”
“Yes,” he said, “fine, you can. I’ll do it. See you in the kitchen.”
He had barely managed to make himself coffee when Spock came to the kitchen. He was still staring at his cup of coffee because damn, he had just been thinking about how he would kiss Spock on the bridge, which wasn’t going to happen and the only reason why the thought had come to his mind in the first place was that he had talked about it with Spock. He would have never thought about kissing Spock in front of the science station if he hadn’t talked about it first.
Spock cleared his throat in a subtle way that felt very familiar. Jim raised his eyes from the coffee and blinked. Spock was now wearing his blue uniform shirt.
“It looks really good on you, First Officer,” he said. His voice was a little which was worrying, because he really didn’t want to catch a cold when Bones would be around being a nosy doctor.
“Thank you, Captain,” Spock said. “Yours looks good on you as well.”
“I know,” Jim said and smiled. What the hell, they were getting back on Enterprise, just where they were supposed to be.
“Have you sufficiently enjoyed your morning coffee, Captain?”
“Just a few more seconds,” he said and drank the rest of the coffee with a couple of gulps. “Okay, I’m ready.”
“I seem to notice that you are a little impatient today, Captain.”
“You’re damn right, First Officer,” he said and squeezed Spock’s arm lightly as he walked past the man. “Let’s go.”
“So, here we are,” Bones said. He sounded thoroughly unhappy.
“Here we are,” Jim said, grinning as he tried to make himself believe that they actually were here and that they would be here for the next five years.
“As you both seem so keen to addressing our current location,” Spock said, “I wish you would do it in a slightly more accurate manner. Here is so vague.”
“What do you want, the coordinates of the fucking ship?” Bones asked.
“I can’t believe that we’re here,” Jim said, and Spock’s silent disapproval only made it better. “Let’s go and see what our ship looks like.”
“As we have previously spent five years on this ship, it is highly probable that we already know what it looks like.”
“I thought what I missed the least was being pushed into space in this tin can,” Bones muttered, “but I didn’t remember how those remarks get on my nerves.”
“He missed you,” Jim said to Spock as they walked away from the shuttle and through the open door. “I missed you, too.”
“And don’t we all know that,” Bones said.
“He’s just grumpy about going back to space,” Jim told Spock, who was watching him with a very serious look. He really wanted to grab Spock’s arm and perhaps mention a few more times that they were here but Bones was eyeing him quite sharply and also Spock probably knew better than him where they were. He tried to walk a bit closer to Spock anyway, because it was surely possible that he would start wondering if this perhaps was a dream, and then it would be very practical that he could just bump his arm into Spock’s and be reminded that he was indeed awake. Or perhaps his life on Earth had been a dream, an uncomfortable, dull dream which had had nothing specific wrong with it but still he felt so relieved now that it was over.
“Captain,” Spock said in a low voice. Jim corrected his course so that he wouldn’t walk straight into Spock’s shoulder.
“Don’t worry,” Bones said in answer, “he’s just unnaturally excited about getting back here. He’ll get back to normal in a few days. His normal, at least.”
“That is indeed probable,” Spock said.
“You’re wrong,” Jim said and grinned at the empty corridors that would be full of his crew in a few hours, “both of you. This is my normal. This is where I’m supposed to be.”
He thought he saw Spock and Bones changing a glance over his shoulder which was actually quite weird, because last time their only successful way of communication had been grumpy comments. He didn’t want to think about that now, though. They were walking quickly through the corridors and soon they would pass his quarters. He would take a peek just to leave his bag there and to remind himself that he was really living here again, not just visiting. And then they turned around the corner and the door of Spock’s quarters was right on their left side, but Spock just kept walking.
“Spock,” Jim said and stopped.
Both Spock and Bones looked surprised about Jim standing beside Spock’s door.
“Yes, Captain?” Spock asked.
“Yeah, what is it?” Bones asked. “I thought you would run to the lift and to the bridge and then glue yourself to that chair of yours.”
“But,” Jim said and frowned, “Mr. Spock, this is your room. Certainly you want to check that everything is alright.”
Spock shifted his weight from foot to foot. Jim swallowed and then looked at Bones, who seemed rather amused.
“What is it?” he asked. “What am I not getting here?”
“Captain,” Spock said in a steady voice even though there clearly was a nervous tone underneath, “if I remember correctly, this room has been given to Lieutenant Uhura.”
Jim blinked. “Uhura? But where will you sleep?”
Spock tilted his head slightly to the side. Bones muttered something that might have been dammit, Jim.
“Oh,” Jim said.
“Pull yourself together, kid,” Bones said. “It’s a standard procedure that married couples of high rank share living quarters. If you didn’t want that, you might have thought about it a bit sooner.”
Jim swallowed and made himself look at Spock, who was apparently watching intently at something just over Jim’s left shoulder. “Spock? You knew about this?”
“I received a file considering the ship’s current status,” Spock said, “as did you. Planned living arrangements were included.”
“But you didn’t say anything,” Jim said.
“As the doctor said,” Spock said, “it is a standard procedure. I was under impression that you would choose to discuss the topic if you found the thought of sharing quarters with me objectionable. It seems now that I was wrong.”
“Dammit, Jim,” Bones said, very clearly this time.
“Fine,” Jim said and tried to collect his thoughts. He glanced at the Spock’s door and then firmly told himself that it wasn’t Spock’s door and that Spock would be living with him. “Of course it’s not… objectionable. But you need a higher temperature than me, Spock. How can we –“
“Captain, I believe I have requested a sufficient amount of warm underwear.”
Jim opened his mouth and then closed it.
“Can we please stop hovering in the middle of corridor and just get on?” Bones asked. “I want to get these five years started so that I can get out of here one day.”
“That is a highly illogical wish, doctor, since we have not departed yet,” Spock said, but his tone seemed to lack some of its usual calm confidence.
“You’re right,” Jim said, “both of you. Let’s go. I don’t know why I didn’t check that file properly when I got it but it surely isn’t your problem.”
“Captain,” Spock said as they began walking towards Jim’s – their – quarters, “it may be still possible to change these arrangements. I shall request another room in order to maintain a room temperature more suitable for me.”
“Absolutely not,” Jim said and took a hold of Spock’s arm for a few seconds even though he could see Bones rolling his eyes. “If you are happy to share with me then I’m happy to share with you. I’m sorry I got so surprised about this. I should have realized.”
“Well,” Spock said slowly, “your reaction was quite illogical.”
“Yeah,” he said and patted Spock’s shoulder. “I apologize, Mr. Spock.”
“Apology is unnecessary, Captain.”
“For fuck’s sake, can you please keep your fingers off him for a few seconds,” Bones said, which probably was meant for Jim because Spock’s hands were quite firmly on his sides. “I’m right here.”
“I suppose the Captain is well aware that you are there, Doctor.”
“The Captain can very well speak for himself,” Bones said, “oh, wait, he can’t, he’s busy because he just realized he got married over the holidays and his husband is now living with him.”
Jim glanced at Bones. It was meant to be a warning and it might have worked, but then Spock moved slightly closer to him and he placed his palm on the low of Spock’s back just to assure the man that everything was alright and that he didn’t mind the new living arrangements.
“I can’t take this anymore,” Bones said and turned around, “I’m going to see the sickbay. I just hope you two get to the bridge one day.”
“It takes approximately 3.4 minutes to walk from our current point of location to the bridge,” Spock said to Jim when they couldn’t hear Bones’ steps anymore. “I wonder what he meant by his illogical comment.”
“Don’t worry about it.”
“I do not intend to. However, human communication never ceases to surprise me by its creativeness.”
“I’m glad,” Jim said and patted Spock’s arm. Damn. Bones might have had a point about that at least, he really was touching Spock a lot today. But probably it was only because he was so excited about getting back on the ship. “I really am sorry that I got so surprised about you and me sharing a room. It just hadn’t crossed my mind that we might.”
“I understand, Captain,” Spock said in a voice that hinted he didn’t.
Jim wasn’t exactly sure what there was to understand but he was going to try to explain anyway. He took a few more fast steps and then they were at his own door which slid open. He walked in and waited for Spock to follow him, and then he placed his palms onto Spock’s shoulders and looked the man in the eyes.
“Captain?” Spock asked.
“Listen,” Jim said and tried to focus. He had a feeling that what he would do now was important and absolutely no idea what he would actually do. “It was my mistake that I hadn’t realized we would be living in the same quarters. And I reacted badly. I apologize.”
“Captain, I have –“
“You have said that you understand and that it’s unnecessary to apologize. But it’s not exactly the same as telling me that you’ll forgive me.”
“Is it not?”
“No. I wish you would admit that I was wrong with this and then tell me you’ll kindly overlook my mistake.”
Spock was watching him, probably trying to estimate a logical approach. Jim took a deep breath.
“I am sorry, Mr. Spock,” he tried.
Spock nodded. “I forgive you, Captain. Although your concern for the room temperature was indeed logical. I suppose I will have to sleep in full thermal underwear or you will have to sleep naked.”
Jim frowned and then realized he was smiling. He grinned at Spock and then again when Spock raised an eyebrow at him. “I don’t think you want me to sleep naked, so I hope you like that underwear.”
Spock just watched him with a look that hinted he was being illogical but also fascinating in a peculiar human way. He squeezed Spock’s shoulder and wished he wasn’t misinterpreting his husband’s expressions. Perhaps Spock was just as irritated with him than Bones was and only hiding it better. But when he left his bag in the corner of the room and turned around, there was something almost soft in the way Spock was looking at him. He smiled at the man and rushed out of the room and to the lift that would take them to the bridge.
“Five minutes, Sir,” Sulu said.
“We have been given a permission for departure, Sir,” Uhura said.
“Mr. Spock?” Jim asked and glanced over his shoulder. Spock was leaning down, staring at the screen with a look of complete focus on his face.
“Everything is functioning optimally, Captain.”
“Thank you, Mr. Spock,” he said and smiled at Spock’s back. Then he caught both Sulu and Chekov staring at him and leaned against the back of the chair. A few seconds later he realized that his crew might be even expecting that he would throw subtle glances at his Science Officer. There really was no logical reason why he couldn’t once in a while admire how intently Spock was working.
“Four minutes, Sir,” Sulu reminded him, like he could have forgotten.
He asked a report from the engine room and Scotty assured him that the ship was all good to go. Next, he asked about the sickbay and Bones told him that if they weren’t going to get moving soon, he would change his mind and get back to Georgia and go fishing or something sensible. Jim glanced at Spock’s general direction but Spock was staring at his screen, and Sulu and Chekov exchanged a quick look.
“Three minutes, Sir.”
“Mr. Sulu,” Jim said, “Mr. Chekov, is there something that you find amusing?”
“No, Sir,” Sulu said, looking at him over his shoulder. The man looked as happy as Jim felt.
“No? So there’s no reason behind those quick glances you and Chekov are throwing at each other?”
“Oh, Sir,” Chekov said, “it’s not us who are throwing glances.”
Jim took a deep breath. They were all grinning and when he himself smiled, they gave out a short shared laugh. “I will not report that comment, Mr. Chekov, only because our next five-year mission begins in…”
“Two minutes, Sir.”
“Yes. Two minutes. After that you will not comment on any glances I may or may not be throwing. I’m sure Mr. Spock doesn’t blush but I sure do.”
“Captain,” Spock said, “may I ask that you would not speculate the state of my blood circulation in front of the crew?”
“You may. I apologize, Mr. Spock.”
“I will forgive you, Captain,” Spock said, and Jim was sure he saw another of those glances being thrown between Sulu and Chekov.
“I’m sorry, Captain,” Uhura said from behind his back, “it’s just that we’re so glad about the two of you.”
“We really are, Sir,” Sulu said. “One minute, Sir.”
“The last time you just kept glancing at each other,” Uhura said. Jim fixed his eyes on the space in front of them. “It was so obvious.”
“We had a bet on it,” Sulu said rather happily. “I lost a lot of money.”
“Really, Mr. Sulu?”
“I thought you would make it official sooner, Captain,” Sulu said. “Sixty seconds.”
“And we were kind of worried that the same would go on this time,” Uhura said, “all the glancing and touching and going to places together and rounds of chess in the middle of the night.”
“Wait,” Jim said, “how the hell do you know about the rounds of chess in the middle of the night?”
“Captain,” Spock said, “it is perhaps unwise to encourage them by participating in this highly unprofessional conversation.”
“Of course you’re right, Mr. Spock. Lieutenant Uhura, I ask you to refrain from betting on my love life in the future.”
“There’s no reason now that the thing is settled,” Sulu said. “Ten seconds.”
Jim leaned forward in his chair and glanced at Spock, who looked patiently pleased.
“Oh my God, Captain,” Sulu said. “Two seconds.”
“Shut up, Mr. Sulu,” he said. “We’re leaving. Warp two, Mr. Sulu. Keep the course.”
“Aye, aye, Sir.”
The engines of Enterprise murmured softly around him. He watched the stars that began slowly changing places in the distance. He looked at them, sitting in his own chair, and somehow everything was more in place than it had been in two years. When he turned his gaze to Spock, the man looked at him like he knew exactly what Jim was thinking. Everyone else seemed suddenly very busy.
Of course he had known there would be only one bed. He had been surprised to find out that his husband was sharing a room with him, he certainly wasn’t going to get surprised about his husband sharing a bed with him.
He took a quick shower and when he came back to the room, there still was only one bed and Spock was sitting in it looking rather uncomfortable.
“So,” he said, “we only have one bed.”
Spock raised an eyebrow at him but still looked like he wanted to be somewhere else.
“Okay,” he said and sat down beside Spock, “okay, we can handle this.”
“I never meant to cause you discomfort, Captain.”
“You don’t have to call me Captain when we’re in bed,” he said and placed his hand on Spock’s knee in a gesture that hopefully was assuring and not nervous at all. “So, this bed surely is wide enough for the two of us.”
“I should probably warn you that I can be a bit aggressive sleeper.”
Spock blinked. Jim watched as Spock slowly turned to answer his gaze.
“I mean that I move a lot. When I’m asleep. Or so I’ve been told, and also in the morning I often find myself in the different side of the bed than where I fell asleep.”
“Captain, I assure you that if you try to roll over me, I have sufficient physical strength to prevent you from doing so.”
“Good. That’s good.”
“I wish that my rather peaceful way of sleeping will not disturb you.”
“I don’t mind you disturbing me, Mr. Spock,” Jim said and bit his lip. They were going to sleep in the same bed. He shouldn’t have probably slipped into Mr. Spock now, but Spock was calling him Captain and it kind of stuck with him. “So, what did you think about the bet?”
“The bet considering our personal relationship?”
“Yes. That one.”
“I find it highly illogical that our crew was so interested in the nature of our relationship that they engaged in an act of betting on it.”
“Yes. It’s fascinating.”
“I believe that’s what I would say, Jim.”
“Yeah,” Jim said and looked into the dark eyes that seemed to follow him carefully, “but how did they… what gave them an idea?”
“I believe glances were mentioned.”
“Fine,” Jim said, “I know I look at you a lot. But you’re my First Officer. Of course I want to know what you’re doing. And your expressions are so subtle, I need to see your face so that I can guess what you’re thinking.”
“Perhaps they were misinformed about the reason why you keep watching me.”
“Perhaps,” Jim said and then realized that he still had his palm on Spock’s knee. He patted the said knee just to let Spock now he was alright with all this and then he pulled his hand away. “Are you tired yet?”
“Affirmative. However, I wish to meditate before I attempt sleeping.”
“Do you mind if I go to sleep already?”
“I do not,” Spock said and frowned just a little, “obviously.”
“Great,” Jim said, smiled and climbed into the bed. It was much wider than his old one, which of course was a very good thing. This would work. They would make this work. He would learn how to sleep beside his husband and hopefully Spock would keep his word and stop Jim from rolling over him asleep. He watched as Spock settled into the corner of the room and took a posture that probably was for meditation. The bed felt much larger now that he was alone in it. He lay down but didn’t know what to do with all that space.
“Spock?” he asked after a few minutes.
“Will you promise that you will come to bed after you’re finished? That even if I’m sprawled all over it, you won’t get all self-sacrifice on me and sleep on the floor or something stupid like that?”
“If you are,” Spock said slowly, “actually sprawled all over our bed, it might be a logical solution for me to decide to sleep on the floor.”
“Absolutely not,” Jim said. “You will just push me back into my side of the bed then and climb on. This is an order, First Officer. I will not have you sleeping anywhere else than in this bed.”
“Very well, Captain.”
He took a deep breath. His heart was bouncing a little but well, it had been an exciting day. He could hear the distant sound of the engines and Spock’s steady breathing and soon he found himself thinking hazily about all the places they would go to, throughout the space, together, him and Spock who was sitting not three meters away from him, and he could still hear Spock breathing, which was actually pretty great because then he knew Spock was right there. He kept his eyes closed and for a moment he wondered whether he should have asked Spock which side of the bed the man would prefer, but it was too late, he was already falling asleep.
He knew he wasn’t quite awake yet but there definitely was someone breathing beside him. In the bed. Possibly in his own bed although he wasn’t sure because he was still asleep. Shit, there was a person lying in the bed with him. What had he done? Bones would kill him again and he didn’t even remember having flirted -
Oh. It was Spock. Thank god it was Spock.
He took a deep breath and stared at the back of Spock’s head until he was certain he was awake and there was indeed a person in his bed but it was Spock and everything was fine. Spock was covered with at least three duvets and it seemed he had stolen Jim’s as well. But it was alright because the room was almost uncomfortably warm anyway. Jim sat up and grabbed his own knees that were only slightly sweaty and then he looked at Spock.
So, he had just woken up beside his First Officer. He had had that one coming, he knew that. There was a certain line of logic that seemed to suggest that if a person married another person, in some point they might end up sleeping in the same bed. Spock’s hair looked oddly tidy even know and Jim wondered if perhaps it was impossible for Vulcan hair to get messy. Maybe one day he would try running his fingers through Spock’s hair. Then he would know. Spock would probably frown at him but he would smile and Spock would raise an eyebrow and then forgive him.
He blinked. Spock hadn’t moved at all. “Aren’t you sleeping?”
“I was until the pace of your breathing went through a temporary intensification, which was distracting.”
“You heard that?” Jim said and then frowned. “How can you speak like that? You just woke up.”
“Yes, I heard it,” Spock said, “and what are you referring to by like that?”
Spock rolled onto his back and opened his eyes. Jim realized he had been staring at Spock and he was still doing it, but well, they were alone in the bed and Spock probably didn’t mind.
“Jim, having recently awaken does not decrease my ability of talking.”
“You’re just really good at everything,” Jim said, “aren’t you?”
“Well, it wasn’t really a question. You’re great with everything you do.”
“Jim, your assumption is both illogical and not accurate,” Spock said. “Is there something wrong with my hair?”
“No,” Jim said and bit his lip, “it’s just very… tidy.”
Spock raised an eyebrow.
Jim lay down again. Their shoulders brushed against each other but he didn’t really mind, and besides Spock was still covered in duvets. “It’s not morning yet, we could still sleep for a few hours. Do you think you could fall asleep again?”
“I estimate that there is a 62.5 percent probability that I can.”
“You can’t possibly estimate that.”
“But I just did, Jim.”
But I just did, Jim thought and smiled at the ceiling. He could imagine the look on Spock’s face even though he wasn’t watching. And Spock could surely imagine how much he liked that. But I just did, Jim. He was sure Spock wouldn’t say a thing like that to anyone else than him.
“Our shoulders are touching,” he said and then immediately wondered why the hell he had said it, but it was kind of late to regret that now. “If you don’t count the duvets, of course.”
“Do you wish me to move?” Spock asked in a low voice.
“Of course not. I was just making conversation.”
“I was under impression that you wanted us to fall asleep.”
“Yes, that too. Conversation and falling asleep sounds very good to me.”
“Jim, you are being illogical.”
“Sure,” he said, “and so fascinating.”
He waited but Spock didn’t answer that. He realized he was kind of happy because he really didn’t want Spock to deny being fascinated by Jim’s illogicalness. Maybe it was just that they were so close and Spock was his First Officer and he really needed Spock to respect him. Although this whole business with marriage kind of went beyond respect, or at least he hoped that Spock liked him as well. Of course Spock liked him. Spock was sleeping in the same bed with him, certainly Spock wouldn’t do that only because it was logical.
“Jim, you are not asleep.”
“No,” he said, “sorry.”
“Is there anything I can help you with?”
“No,” he said and then turned onto his side so that he was facing Spock’s left ear, “yes. Spock, do you like me?”
The mattress shifted as Spock slowly turned to face him. “I wish you would not ask since you know that to admit liking something or someone is rather unsettling for a Vulcan.”
“But it’s just me,” Jim said, “and we’re alone.”
Spock looked like he was questioning why he always went with things like this. “I like you, Jim.”
“Thank god,” Jim said. “I like you too, Spock.”
“That has been my main hypothesis,” Spock said but his mouth surely was trying to put back a smile.