Chapter 1: The Proposal
It was almost midnight in San Francisco when he opened the front door of his apartment and found Mr. Spock standing in the corridor.
“Spock,” he said, frowning. “Is something wrong?”
“Negative, Captain,” Spock said and then raised one eyebrow as his eyes dropped lower. Jim stood still and waited. Sure, he had been ready to go to bed and wasn’t wearing too many clothes at the moment, but Spock had seen him in various states of clothing during their five-year mission. And it wasn’t like he had just appeared at the door of his friend’s flat, unannounced and staring at the man without an attempt to explain.
“Spock,” he said finally, because Spock was still eyeing him and not talking to him.
“I apologize,” Spock said, blinking. “I realize now that I have caused you discomfort by my sudden visit in an uncustomary time. I should have waited until the morning.”
“Well,” Jim said and took a deep breath. What the hell. He had been alone anyway, like he always seemed to be these days. Besides, he hadn’t seen Spock in three Earth weeks at least, and the last time had been at Starfleet Headquarters where they had passed each other by in the corridor. He had stopped himself from grabbing Spock’s arm and instead asked if Spock might want to have lunch with him, and Spock had declared being too deeply occupied with his research to do so. That night Jim had felt curiously lonely, perhaps even lonelier than he usually did in his empty apartment.
“Captain?” Spock said in a serious tone and Jim realized he was still standing in the doorway, thinking about how he had sat down onto the chair, watching the night sky through the glass and thinking about the games of chess they had used to play up there somewhere.
“Don’t call me that,” he said and tried to soften it with a smile, “I’m not your Captain anymore.”
“That might be strictly speaking true, but I was rather referring to our personal relationship. I cannot stop thinking about you as my Captain.”
“Okay,” he said. He would argue this later. “Come in then, Mr. Spock. Let’s not just stand in the doorway or people might talk.”
Spock followed him inside but watched him carefully. “And what exactly might these people talk about?”
“It was just a saying,” he said and walked straight to the living room. Spock would follow him. These days there weren’t many things he was certain of but this he knew. “And a very stupid one. I wouldn’t care about any gossips and I think you wouldn’t either. Do you want anything to drink?”
“Negative, Captain,” Spock said. Jim wondered if he could open a bottle of beer. Spock’s sudden visit might be an excuse good enough so that he wouldn’t feel pathetic in the morning. But Spock was already standing in the middle of his living room, clearly not planning to sit down and chat about the weather. Jim sighed and placed himself facing Spock, not very unlike to the days when he had been Spock’s Captain. Maybe he should try to explain how it made him feel even more adrift that Spock insisted in addressing him like that, as if they had still been on their ship. Later, though. He knew the firm look on Spock’s face. Something was wrong and Spock was serious about it.
“Tell me,” he said.
“It has come to my knowledge that Enterprise has been signed for another five-year mission. You are to be her Captain.”
Jim blinked. “What?”
“I believe that you will be informed shortly. It is by coincidence that I got to know this before you. I was present because of reasons regarding my research as the decision was addressed.”
“I’m not upset,” Jim said and clenched his fists. He wanted to grab Spock’s shoulders and he would have, two years ago he surely would have. But the longer they had been in San Francisco, the less he had known how to act around Spock. He had complained about it to Bones once while quite drunk and Bones had told him with a grunt that he was a stubborn idiot who didn’t know what to do with himself now that he wasn’t flying around in space and that was the problem, not Spock.
He blinked and tried to realize what Spock had just said and, most importantly, why Spock’s face showed no sign of joy over the news. Surely he would still know Spock well enough to be able to tell whether the serious expression on the man’s face was one of content or distress.
“What’s wrong? Why aren’t you happy?”
“I am not assigned to accompany you, Captain,” Spock said with a low, steady voice.
Jim opened his mouth and then closed it. Shit. “That’s…”
“Most unfortunate,” Spock said. “I have given both my formal and informal request that they would reconsider but I have been informed quite clearly that I ought not to be optimistic about the outcome.”
“But why? They must know that you and me are the best team in the whole fucking Fleet.”
“There is no reason to use inappropriate language,” Spock said, and there was this certain tone underneath his voice that suggested he appreciated the inappropriate language Jim was using. “However, I believe I have made a terrible mistake.”
“You?” Jim said and then cleared his mouth. “I mean, what mistake?”
“My research,” Spock said, sounding totally miserable in his calm, controlled way. “It has become essential. I failed to foresee that the accomplishments of the research I am conducting at Headquarters might seriously damage my possibilities of getting assigned to another five-year mission.”
“With me,” Jim said. He was suddenly a little cold, but well, he only had his underpants and a t-shirt on.
“With you,” Spock said.
“Listen. I will talk to them. I will tell them that I’m going and you’re coming with me.”
“Captain,” Spock said, and there was this longing in his voice that made it very clear that he very much wanted to call Jim his captain for another five years, “you long for another mission in space. I will not let you give it up for me.”
“I’m not doing such thing. But they’ll have to take us both.”
“I am grateful for any attempts you might do regarding the situation,” Spock said, and Jim made himself keep his eyes locked in Spock’s even though he kind of wished he wouldn’t have had to face the sadness Spock wasn’t able to hide, “but it is highly improbable that you would succeed. Besides, they know how much you desire the opportunity they are offering you.”
“Yes,” he said. Spock knew it anyway. And he knew that Spock knew. He was lost on Earth and he wanted to get back to the sky. But he wanted Spock with him. “I’ll try anyway. You know that. And you know how stubborn I am. I’m going to talk to them until they let me have you.”
“I do not doubt that you would,” Spock said, “but there is no gain in it. I do not think even you can win the bureaucracy.”
Jim drew a deep breath and turned to look through the window. Once in a while, usually a few times per night, he wished he could just switch off all the lights of the city. Perhaps then he would have seen the stars. He placed a hand onto his face and waited for the sound of Spock’s steps following him, but the room was all quiet. Spock must have been standing still, patient as ever, except that he had come to Jim’s place in the middle of the night. Jim didn’t mind, of course, it wasn’t like he didn’t often sit in his empty flat wondering what Spock was doing.
“So,” he said without turning around, “you only came to tell me bad news.”
“I regret if my visit has been inconvenient.” Spock paused and Jim tried to tell the man that it wasn’t, it definitely wasn’t, how the hell could he even think he wouldn’t be welcome to come to see Jim anytime he wanted to. But Jim couldn’t make himself say the words aloud and then Spock drew a somewhat sharp breath. “And, Captain, I must be clear about this. I wish you to take the opportunity. This is good news for you. This is what you have desired since our first mission ended one point eighty-seven Earth years ago.”
“That’s true,” Jim said and turned to face Spock. Spock was watching him carefully and he wished he had had more clothes on, preferably his uniform. “And you’re coming with me.”
“Captain,” Spock said.
“I will bribe them if I have to.”
“That would not be wise.”
“It was a joke,” he said and Spock cocked an eyebrow at him, “kind of. There must be something that I can do.”
“I have been assigned to another position. I am afraid that even as a captain of a starship, you will not be able to challenge that unless the person in question were your legal spouse.”
Jim swallowed. “So, that’s what it would take.”
“A marriage or a bond of same level of commitment is often regarded as a relevant factor in the situations like this,” Spock said and there was absolutely nothing in his voice suggesting that he might have been thinking the same thing than Jim was. “This is very unfortunate, Captain. Perhaps I should now depart from your apartment. I realize it is late and as a human, you require more sleep than I do.”
“No,” he said, “wait. You aren’t going anywhere. Sit down.”
“Excuse me?” Spock said.
“That was an order, Mr. Spock,” Jim said. Spock looked slightly surprised but sat down into the nearest chair which happened to be a very cozy and very soft armchair that almost seemed to swallow Spock. Jim bit his lip as Spock watched him with wide eyes and apparently tried to find a way to sit in a bit more graceful posture. “So. Tell me. Would it make a difference?”
“I wish you would specify your question,” Spock said, but his voice wasn’t so calm anymore now that he was struggling with the armchair.
“Would it make a difference if my spouse was a scientist assigned to work at Headquarters and I told them I'm not leaving without him?”
Spock raised an eyebrow at him. “With a probability of 72.3 percent, yes. But this is highly irrelevant when it comes to our current problem.”
“Well,” he said and wished he had been wearing pants. “Mr. Spock, I trust that you haven’t made plans to marry anyone anytime soon.”
Spock blinked. “Captain, the question is highly –“
“Personal, I know,” Jim said. “Sorry. I wish you would answer, though, because I’m going to propose to you and it’s going to be much more awkward if you’ve got engaged since I last saw you.”
“I have not,” Spock said, watching him with wide dark eyes. “However, I fail to see how this line of thought –“
“Fine, then,” Jim said, “we will get married.”
“Jim,” Spock said and cleared his throat.
“Yeah,” Jim said, “I’m surprised, too. And I know things are moving on quite quickly for the two of us but we have a starship to catch.”
“You are, as you might say, joking,” Spock said. He sounded horrified.
“But you must be.”
“Listen,” Jim said, “I’m not going to marry a nice girl and buy a house and have children. That’s not going to happen. For last two years I’ve been standing in front of this window, thinking I’m the unluckiest person ever lived because I’m on the ground and not in space.”
“You might meet someone,” Spock said. He looked like he really wanted to stand up but didn’t remember how. “Perhaps you meet someone on Enterprise, possibly a fellow officer. Then you would not be required to stay on Earth in order to participate in a satisfying relationship.”
“I need to have you on board with me.”
“Jim, you are being illogical.”
“Captain,” he corrected, “it’s Captain to you, Mr. Spock. You and me are getting back out there and we’re going to do it together.”
“I believe I must ask Doctor McCoy to evaluate your mental state. I am concerned that prolonged stay on Earth might have compromised you in that area.”
“You bet,” he said and realized he was smiling. No wonder that Spock thought he had gone mad. “I know I’m not logical enough for your taste, Mr. Spock. But I promise I will kick your ass in chess.”
“I do not wish my ass to be kicked nor wish I to complain about your use of logic.”
Jim opened his mouth and then blinked. “Really?”
“Negative, Captain. Your way of thinking is often imaginative and not, strictly speaking, logical. However, you have often achieved in solving situations that, from the point of logic, were impossible to solve.”
“Well, thank you, Mr. Spock. I think we’re going to be fine.”
“Jim, you do not –“
“Yes, I do.”
“I will not let you sacrifice yourself for my sake,” Spock said. His voice was now tense and not very calm and Jim wanted so badly to grab his shoulders and caress his arms and tell him to stop worrying, but they weren’t on Enterprise and there were two uncomfortable years in between them and he didn’t dare to touch his first officer anymore. But he would. Later. When they would be back on the ship and everything would be back to normal.
“This is not for your sake,” Jim said, straightened his back and tried to find the strength he had once had in his voice. “This is for my sake. I ask for you that you do this for me, but only if you want to.”
“Jim,” Spock said, grabbed the armrests and stood up.
“If marrying you is what it takes to get you to Enterprise with me, then I’ll be glad to do that with no regrets whatsoever. But if you don’t feel the same, I understand.”
“Jim,” Spock said in a very quiet voice, “I feel the same. I want to be on Enterprise, by your side. However, you are planning to lie about the nature of our relationship to multiple people.”
“Surely what we’ve done for each other is enough to suggest that we are... that the compassion we share is strong enough for a married couple.”
“Jim, you are purposely avoiding the point.”
“I know,” he said and grabbed Spock’s shoulders before he realized he was doing it. Spock stared at him. He stared at Spock and then squeezed slightly, and Spock’s eyebrows inched but didn’t raise. Jim took a deep breath. If he was going to marry the man, surely he should have the guts to grab him by his shoulders in a friendly manner. “I know. I’m asking you to avoid the point with me. Will you do it?”
He leant in closer. “Really?”
“If you ask me to do it, then I will,” Spock said with a voice that was once again calm and controlled. “However, I wish that you will not make fun of me once we are married.”
“I would never make fun of you,” Jim said and tried to think clearly but it was getting very difficult. He was getting married. He was fucking getting married and he was getting back to space and possibly he was panicking a little but also happier than he had been since he had glanced Enterprise over his shoulder and walked away almost two years ago.
“Yes, you would.”
“Yes, I would,” he grimaced, “sorry. But only very gently.”
“I do not wish to mock the concept of marriage. I find it quite alike to Vulcan concept of bonding, which I keep in high regard.”
“I know,” he said and stepped back, “I know, Spock. I’m not trying to make fun of marriage or you. I’m trying to get to spend my next five years with you on a starship.”
“Perhaps in the morning you have changed your mind.”
“No,” he said, “not going to happen. But perhaps you should go home anyway. You might want to think about this.”
“I have given you my answer,” Spock said with a firm voice, “I will marry you in a human concept of marriage if you wish me to.”
“Good,” Jim said, “it’s settled then. I think I should tell Bones before he sees the announcement in the newspaper or something like that. I could ask him to come over tomorrow.”
“I did not realize you wish to announce our plan to marry in the newspaper.”
“Well, maybe not. But I’ll talk to Bones anyway.”
“The doctor will find your decision quite illogical.”
“I know,” Jim said, “I’m looking forward to telling him. Do you want to come?”
“I absolutely do not,” Spock said.
“Yeah, it might be best that I tell him by myself. But we should see later tomorrow, sort things out, that kind of stuff. Do you want to -,” Jim paused and blinked. They were going to be married and he was uncertain whether he could ask Spock come to his apartment or if the request was too personal. “Will you come here?”
“If you wish me to,” Spock said, watching him.
“I do. Maybe we could play a round of chess, too. We haven’t done that in ages.”
“Five hundred seventy-four Earth days.”
“That long,” Jim said and frowned, “really? Well, we’ll have plenty of time to do that on Enterprise. Once we get there.”
“Affirmative,” Spock said slowly, “Captain.”
Jim realized hazily that he was leaning in, probably trying to pat Spock on the shoulder. He placed his hand behind his back and walked to the front door. Spock followed him. Surely there was something else that should have been said, but he couldn’t figure out what exactly. Of course he realized that Spock was probably logically concerned about the whole deal but that was fine, Spock wouldn’t have said yes if he hadn’t meant it, and they would both get used to the idea in no time at all. And then they would be in space again, back in where they belonged, and together. Everything was going to be fine.
"Good night, Jim,” Spock said in a few seconds, standing in the corridor and looking like he was very much trying to look calm.
“Good night, Spock,” Jim said and closed the door.
“Fucking hell, Jim,” Bones said and coughed into his cup of tea, “have you lost your mind?”
“I want that ship,” Jim said, “and I want him with me.”
“You reckless kid,” Bones said, glaring at him, “you always made stupid decisions faster than I could prevent them but this is beyond even you, you idiot.”
“If there’s a chance that I could get back on Enterprise with Spock, I’m going to take it.”
“You utter idiot,” Bones said, “you’re telling me you two will get married so that you can run away to space together.”
“It’s not like that at all,” Jim said, although it kind of was.
“And are you really saying that Spock agrees to this? The most illogical plan you’ve ever managed to think out?”
“Then you’ve both gone mad.”
“So,” Jim said and crossed his hands over the table, “obviously I want you to come to the wedding.”
“The wedding,” Bones said and looked like he was going to fall from the chair sometime soon, “surely you aren’t trying to tell me there’s going to be a wedding.”
“Of course there’s going to be a wedding,” he said, “but a very small one. I’m going to talk Starfleet into letting me have Spock who is probably the most brilliant scientist they have. I’m not going to risk it by eloping with him.”
“You should have your head examined.”
“You’re welcome to do it yourself once we’re on Enterprise,” Jim said. “The official assignment came this morning, by the way. I am now again the Captain of Starship Enterprise.”
“I know,” he said, “I can’t help it. I’m going to see Spock this evening and we’re going to talk about the details but I think we want only a few people there.”
“In our wedding.”
“Oh my fucking –“
“You of course,” Jim went on, “and Uhura, Scott, Sulu and Chekov if they can come. I don’t think Spock wants his parents there but I wouldn’t mind if he did.”
“Jim,” Bones said and pointed his finger at him, “I’m only going to say this once. Or actually I’m going to say this many times because you’re too stubborn to believe anything I say, ever, but I hope I’d only have to say this once. You’re getting deep into something you have no idea of.”
“It’s just Spock,” Jim said and smiled his best smile but unfortunately Bones seemed to be still rather immune to it, “it’s just me and Spock.”
“This is not about the two of you saving each others’ poor asses in space.”
“That’s exactly what this is about.”
“I’m going to call your mother.”
“No, you aren’t,” Jim said, “because she’d blame you. I’ve told her that you keep me out of trouble.”
“No one could keep you out of trouble,” Bones said, “you create trouble out of nothing. I can’t believe that those idiots in Starfleet will let you have your own starship once again.”
“I think I should get going,” Jim said, “I have a wedding to plan.”
Four weeks, he thought and shook the admiral’s hand, only four weeks and then he would be back on Enterprise doing the only thing he knew how to do. Only there was one more thing he probably should mention before he would go.
“Admiral Thompson,” he said and smiled at the man who looked rather surprised to find out their talk wasn’t over yet, “I suppose a starship captain has a right to demand that their spouse should be released from other Starfleet assignments in order to accompany the said captain to a mission.”
Admiral Thompson frowned at him. “Well, that is the custom, Captain Kirk. But I’ve been under impression that you’re unmarried.”
“Not for long,” he said and patted the man on the shoulder. “Have you met my science officer, Mr. Spock? A brilliant man. I hope you get a chance to discuss time warps with him sometimes. Well, anyway we are planning to have a simple wedding quite soon, perhaps in a week. I’m sorry it must be hurried but another five-year mission took us by a surprise, you know how that is.”
The admiral looked like he definitely didn’t know.
“Anyway,” Jim said, “I just thought to ask you whether I should file a request right now or wait that we’re officially married. We wouldn’t want to delay the departure of Enterprise because of a small problem like my husband being still assigned to do research at Headquarters, would we? Of course I understand that Starfleet wants to keep him here, did I mention that he’s a brilliant scientist?”
“I think you did,” Admiral Thompson said and cleared his throat. “You can of course file a request as soon as you like, only I think it won’t be taken into consideration until you two are… married.”
“Good to know,” Jim said and nodded, “I’ll do it right away. Thank you for your time, Admiral.”
He got lost twice before he finally found the right office. There was a pretty young woman sitting behind the desk. He smiled at her and then realized what he had come here to do. The girl nodded her head seriously when Jim declared that he, Captain James T. Kirk of the Federation starship Enterprise, was to be married to Starfleet science officer Mr. Spock shortly and that he wanted his husband to be transferred to his ship. Afterwards he was a bit short of breath but the girl didn’t seem to notice.
“Very well, Sir,” the girl said, “your request has been filed.”
“Thank you,” he said.
“And congratulations on your engagement, Sir.”
He thanked the girl again and then walked out of the office. Well, that had gone well. He should probably cut the flirting, though. He knew he had a habit of smiling to every beautiful female whom he encountered and who wasn’t working for him. In their last five-year mission there had been times when even Spock had seemed to be a bit frustrated about Jim’s behavior but only when Spock had thought it might compromise their current task. This time there would be no flirting, so Spock didn’t have to worry about his personal weaknesses of that nature anymore. Maybe he could ask Bones to kick him in the leg if he accidentally slipped back to the flirting even after he was married.
Oh shit, he thought and tried to focus on the positive side of it all as the shuttle of public transport filled with busy humans. He was going to get Enterprise back. He was going to get back to space with Spock. There was no reason to start panicking about all this now. And so what if he couldn’t kiss beautiful women this time? He would have Spock. That was the most important thing.
Besides, it was already done. He had told Admiral Thomposn and the girl in the office, and of course Bones. There was absolutely no way he could panic and cancel the wedding now. And Spock couldn’t, either, which was great, because he had a vague idea that Spock might have spent the morning trying to find a logical way to convince him that they should not get married.
He was exactly right about that, of course.
“Jim,” Spock said later, standing in the corridor just like yesterday. “This is madness. We must cease our plans to marry.”
Jim took a deep breath. He had been home for something like half an hour now. Maybe he hadn’t been completely successful in his attempts to calm down but there was no way he would let Spock panic about this.
“Mr. Spock,” he said, straightened his back and locked his gaze into Spock’s eyes, “are you trying to say that our personal relationship isn’t close enough so that you could not give a commitment of marriage to me?”
Spock glared at him. “Captain, that is not the essence of the problem.”
“Well then,” he said, “are you trying to tell me you want to marry someone else instead?”
“Definitely not, Captain. However –“
“Or perhaps you wish to tell me that you have changed your mind about another five-year-mission. Perhaps you prefer to stay on Earth. Or perhaps you would like to serve under another Captain.”
“I would never,” Spock began and then drew a somewhat sharp breath. Jim grabbed the man’s arm, pulled him into the flat and closed the door behind them. Inside, he let go of Spock’s arm and Spock stood still, watching him. “Jim.”
“I need a drink,” he said and turned around. “Follow me.”
“Jim,” Spock said, “last night when we talked, I let my personal desire rule over my logic. The distress of being declined to follow you in your next five-year mission was so overpowering that I made a misjudgment.”
“You did not,” he said, passed a glass of water to Spock and opened a beer for himself. “But now you’re panicking. That’s why you’re trying to talk me out of it.”
“I am not capable of panicking,” Spock said, holding the glass of water and looking like he didn’t know he had it. “However, I would like to state that –“
Spock blinked. Jim leaned his back against the counter and watched the man who stood still in the middle of his kitchen. He knew that look. He had once thought he knew all Spock’s expressions, no matter how hard Spock tried to hide whatever he was thinking. “Spock. Do you wish me to go without you?”
“I do not, but –“
“And do you dislike the idea of being married to me?”
Spock looked like Jim had just beaten him in chess. “Negative, Captain. I do not.”
“I’m glad,” he said. “So, you must realize by now that you’re going to lose your battle unless you tell me you don’t want to marry me.”
He held his breath. Spock stared at him. He stared at Spock. The flat was unbearably quiet.
“Fine, then,” he said when he had given Spock plenty of time to say I do not wish to marry you, Jim and Spock’s mouth still staid firmly closed. “Let’s go to the living room. I think we could have our wedding in a week. What do you think?”
Spock opened his mouth and then closed it.
“I’m glad you agree,” Jim said and sat down onto the armchair by the window. Spock followed his example looking extremely uncomfortable in a very calm and controlled way. “So, how about next Saturday?”
“That is acceptable.”
“Great. Great. So, I think we should invite Uhura, Scott, Sulu and Chekov. And Bones, of course. And probably Miss Chapel, too, although I think she is going to be a bit sad to see you married off to a certain handsome starship captain. Is there someone else you want to invite?”
“My parents,” Spock said.
Jim took a firmer grip of his bottle of beer. “Really?”
“They are currently on the planet,” Spock said. “Certainly you realize that they will hear about their son getting married. If we do not invite them to our wedding, my mother will be upset in a most distressing and human way.”
“Of course,” Jim said and put the beer aside. “Okay. Do you want to tell them the truth?”
“Which truth?” Spock asked.
Jim frowned and opened his mouth but for some reason he didn’t suddenly know what to say.
“My parents are well aware of my high opinion of you, Captain. I believe my mother will be surprised nonetheless but we must allow that since she is a human. My father will attempt to find the logic in our decision and I believe he will succeed with that attempt.”
Jim took a deep breath. “You think he will… you think your father would believe you want to marry me.”
“Jim, I have never in my adult life expressed a wish to be bonded with a Vulcan female in order to conceive children and, as you yourself said yesterday, buy a house.”
“Yeah,” Jim said and tried not to imagine Spock with a house and a bunch of pointy-eared tiny Spocks with a calm stare. “I know that. So, we’ll invite your parents.”
“I’ll inform them tomorrow.”
“Good,” Jim said and placed his palms onto his knees.
“Jim, I believe you are experiencing nervousness over the thought of my parents attending our wedding.”
“Yeah,” he said, “sorry. I don’t mean to. Maybe I should tell you now that I’m a little bit afraid of your father.”
“I am, too,” Spock said seriously. “But you do not need to lie to him. I, obviously, do not intend to lie and neither should you.”
“But,” he said and grabbed his beer.
“You yourself said that our commitment to each other goes far beyond what is considered proper for a human couple planning to get married. There is no reason to lie.”
“Yes,” he said, “no, you’re right. Of course you’re right. I’m just getting myself worried by overthinking it.”
“Jim, you are allowed to worry. I only wish that you share your concern with me so that I may try to ease it.”
Jim leaned in and placed his hand on Spock’s knee. Spock raised an eyebrow at him and he made an attempt to smile. He was pretty sure the smile wasn’t as confident as he would have hoped but Spock didn’t seem to mind.
“We’re going to be fine,” he said and squeezed Spock’s knee slightly, “you and me. As we always are.”
“Yes, Captain,” Spock said and kept watching him with a serious look in his eyes.
Chapter 2: An Emotional Day
Thank you for your comments and kudos, guys, I've been so happy about them! I've also almost got used to the sappy title because well, this is a sappy story in a way! Here we go again, today we have one James Kirk and one Spock calling their parents and then having a very emotional day.
“What I don’t understand,” Bones said, staring at him over a wide selection of cakes, “is why you didn’t take someone else to do the shopping with you, preferably someone who doesn’t think this wedding is the biggest disaster after global warming.”
“You’re my best friend, Bones,” Jim said and frowned. “After Spock, of course.”
“Spock,” Bones said in a sharp tone, “is going to be your husband.”
“There is no reason why he couldn’t be both,” Jim said. “What do you think about chocolate? Yes or no?”
“Jim, you know that Spock can’t eat chocolate.”
“Chocolate is mildly intoxicating for Vulcans,” Bones said. “it does to them pretty much what alcohol does to humans. Fucking hell, you know nothing about him.”
“I know that he wants to marry me,” Jim said and stared at the chocolate cake. He had a weirdly strong feeling that he really wanted a chocolate cake for his wedding.
“I don’t know how I bear with you two. I should just leave you be and mess your things up in peace.”
“You’ll have to stay a bit longer, we haven’t picked the cake yet. I really like the chocolate one.”
“Jim, you can’t get him drunk at your wedding night.”
“Wedding night,” Jim repeated and stared at the cake. Perhaps this was actually a very good idea. Jim would have wine and Spock would have chocolate and they both would enjoy their wedding.
“Yes, wedding night”, Bones said, pointing his finger at Jim. “You’re supposed to be an adult, kid. Surely you know about the wedding night.”
“Bones,” Jim said with a sigh, “relax. I don’t think me and Spock are going to have sex.”
“You haven’t thought about that.”
“Of course I haven’t thought about that,” Jim said. “Now, if you could please let me pick my wedding cake –“
“Jim, that insufferable green-blooded Vulcan isn’t a robot. He’s going to need to have sex. Once in every seven years at least.”
Jim froze. “Oh.”
“Don’t oh me,” Bones said. “You haven’t fucking thought about that either, have you?”
“Well? It’s going to happen sooner or later and I don’t think anyone wants a repeat of what happened the last time.”
“We’ll have to figure it out later.”
“Bones,” he said and watched the doctor over the chocolate cake. “I’m going to marry him.”
“You’re the most stubborn and the bravest man I know,” Bones said with a grunt.
“Thank you,” Jim said and managed to smile a little. Bones didn’t look very convinced but he would worry about that later. “Now, I think we have to taste that chocolate cake.”
He meant to talk to Spock about pon farr. He really did. It was only that he didn’t know what he could achieve by it. Either Spock had thought about the problem and figured out a way to solve it, or Spock hadn’t thought about that at all and there would a real risk that he would call off the wedding. Jim wouldn’t let that happen. There had to be a way to get him and Spock through the next pon farr without either of them getting killed.
“Captain, is there something that is bothering you?” Spock asked. They were sitting in Jim’s living room trying to find a place for their wedding, or Spock was trying to find the place and Jim was thinking about the next time his husband-to-be was going to have to have sex or he would die.
“Jim,” Jim said and sighed, “you should really call me Jim. We’re going to be married.”
“Affirmative, Captain,” Spock said.
Jim opened his mouth, but there was something in Spock’s eyes that stopped him.
“You’re laughing at me.”
“In a completely respective manner, Captain,” Spock said, still watching him. “Do you object?”
“Not at all, Officer Spock,” he said and straightened his back. “Now, have you found an acceptable location for our wedding?”
“I believe I have, Captain,” Spock said and glanced at his PADD. “There is a small cafeteria in Starfleet Headquarters that has a beautiful garden. I wish us to be married in the garden.”
Jim blinked. “In the garden?”
“I went to see the place today. In case of rain we would have to go inside because there is no sufficient shelter. However, there is a 98.4 percent probability that our wedding day is going to be sunny.”
Oh my god, Jim thought. They were going to get married. “You went to see the place, Mr. Spock?”
“Well, certainly it is logical to go to see the place where one is planning to get married,” Spock said with a calm look in his eyes. “That is a very important day, Captain.”
“Yeah,” Jim said and took a deep breath. “Okay, the place sounds good.”
“Do you wish to see it personally before you decide?”
“I trust your opinion. So, have you contacted your parents?”
“Indeed I have,” Spock said. “They have confirmed that they will be present.”
“The pace of your breathing just increased, Captain. I must conclude that you are nervous.”
“Did they say anything?”
“Affirmative,” Spock said, “they said thank you, Spock, we will be there and before that –“
“No,” Jim said, “I mean, did they say anything about you choosing to marry me? Did they ask if you have thought it over or that they know I’m a good guy and all but that they want better for their son?”
“Captain, I do not understand why they would require something better than yourself.”
Jim held his breath. “You don’t?”
“As I just said, Captain,” Spock said and cocked an eyebrow. “To answer your previous question, my mother asked me if I am certain. I informed her that I am.”
“And she accepted it?”
“It would have been highly illogical to refuse to believe my statement,” Spock said, “and she knows what I think about illogicalness.”
“I’m sure she does,” Jim said. Well, it seemed that Spock’s parents knew about them now. Neither of them had contacted him and asked him what the hell he was doing with their son, which was probably a good thing. “I spoke with Uhura and Scott today. I told them we’re getting married.”
“And?” Spock asked when Jim had been sitting quiet for a few seconds.
“It was a bit weird.”
Spock looked mildly interested. “In what way?”
“Uhura sounded really glad,” Jim said and tried to remember the tone in Lieutenant’s voice, “and not very surprised. It was almost like she had been waiting for me to tell her exactly that.”
“That is indeed odd,” Spock said, turning his gaze away from Jim.
“Yeah,” Jim said, “and when I spoke with Scotty, he only said that you’re a fine lad and that he will be there and then he started talking about an article he had read about a new structure for antimatter vessels.”
“I am certain he is rather interested in the subject.”
“I know, but isn’t it weird that they weren’t…”
“You are disappointed that they did not question your statement,” Spock said, folding his hands in his lap.
“No,” Jim hurried to say, “no, of course not. But I thought…”
“You thought,” Spock said after a short silence, “that they would be surprised to find out you had agreed to marry me.”
“You’re getting it the wrong way,” Jim said. “I can’t see why you would agree to marry me. But I didn’t mean that. I meant that we weren’t… a couple. We were friends. And friends don’t get married.”
“I have read that they often do,” Spock said.
“Yes, of course, friends who have… romantic feelings for each other get married all the time, but we…”
“Captain, I recommend that if you wish to withdraw from our plan to marry, you would be wise to do it now before I make a reservation for the wedding place.”
“Who said anything about withdrawing?” Jim snapped and then took a few deep breaths. Shit. He had always thought he would be a crappy husband and now he was proving he had been right about that and they weren’t even married yet. “Sorry.”
“There is no need to apologize.”
“Yes, there is,” he said, “I made you think I want to back off. I don’t.”
“Very well, Captain,” Spock said, “I shall make the arrangement.”
Jim watched as Spock lowered his gaze onto his PADD again. There seemed to be a hint of a smile lingering in Spock’s lips. Perhaps Spock had been more frustrated at being stuck on Earth than Jim had realized and was now logically relieved about getting back to space. It just didn’t seem possible that Spock would be that happy about the garden.
“James Tiberius Kirk,” his mother said, “I will not stand this.”
“I’m sorry,” Jim said and leaned closer to the screen, “it just happened so fast.”
“Fast? You’re telling me that you’re getting married in three days when your mother is still in another solar system!”
“I’m really sorry.”
“Just postpone the wedding so that I can get there. Three weeks should be enough.”
“Mom,” Jim said, “you know I can’t do that. I have to get him on Enterprise with me and we have to be married so that they’ll let me have him there.”
“I’ll contact those old idiots and tell them to give you your man,” Winona said, “so that you can wait for your mother to get to your wedding.”
“You can’t do that,” Jim said, “you know you can’t.”
“James,” Winona said and took a deep breath. “Congratulations.”
“Are you happy?”
“I thought you would never get married.”
“I just hadn’t met the right Vulcan yet.”
“You were the most stubborn kid there was,” Winona said and raised his hand like she had been planning to caress Jim’s cheek through the screen. “I always knew you would make your own choices.”
“Well,” he said and tried to decide what the hell he could say. He had almost skipped calling his mother altogether but Spock had talked him around.
“He must be a good man.”
“He is, mom,” Jim said, “he’s the best man I know. Listen, I think I should be going. We have so much to do. For the wedding.”
“I’m sorry I can’t be there,” Winona said. “But I hope I’ll meet him someday. Will you tell him that?”
“Of course,” Jim said. He absolutely wouldn’t introduce Spock to his mother if only he could avoid it. He could imagine his mother trying to kiss Spock on the cheek and then telling colorful stories about everything stupid Jim had ever done. “I’m going to go now, mom.”
“Fine. But you be nice to him, James.”
“And tell him to be nice to you.”
“He knows that, mom.”
“And send me pictures about the wedding, will you?”
“Sure. Listen, I really have to –“
“James, I have to go now,” Winona said, glancing over her shoulder. “Give Spock my love.”
The screen went blank. Jim stared at it for a few seconds and then took a very deep breath.
“I am rather surprised.”
“And why is that?” he said and turned around. Spock was sitting in the corner of the room, watching him with a calm, careful expression he knew very well.
“Your mother seems to possess a personality quite similar to yours. She is highly intelligent but also possesses deep emotions.”
Jim chuckled. “Do I possess deep emotions, Mr. Spock?”
Spock turned his gaze away from Jim. “I believe that you do, Captain. I did not mean that as an insult.”
“I know. Don’t worry. She said she wants to meet you some day, did you hear?”
“I was sitting two meters and forty-five centimeters away from you and my hearing is excellent. However, it seems to me that you do not wish for me to meet your mother.”
Jim sighed. “Well –“
“You are relieved that she will not be able to attend the wedding.”
“I don’t know why it’s like that,” Jim said. Spock was now watching him carefully. He ran his fingers through his hair and turned to look through the window. “Maybe I’ve been away for too long. Or maybe it’s because I’m all that she has left. I think I should be somehow better.”
“I do not see how that would be possible, Jim.”
Jim closed his eyes for a second. “I didn’t remember that you are this good at sweet talk.”
“I must assure you that I am not engaging in sweet talk, whatever that is.”
“Sorry. I just kind of… she lost my father and then she lost Sam, too. Now she only has me and I don’t even want to tell her that I’m getting married.”
“Perhaps,” Spock said slowly, “that is because you are getting married to me.”
“Well, at least she didn’t demand that we give her grandchildren,” Jim said and tried to smile but it seemed to get stuck on his face and he knew Spock didn’t buy it. He bit at his lip. “Surely you have wondered if your parents will be disappointed. I’m not exactly a Vulcan princess.”
“For which I am grateful.”
“Jim,” Spock said and turned to face him, “my parents are aware that I am devoted to follow you wherever you go.”
“And you say you don’t know what sweet talk is.”
“Indeed I do not. I only say what is logical.”
“Well, my mother probably knows that I’m devoted to take you with me wherever I go,” Jim said. “It’s getting pretty late. You should sleep here.”
“I have a guestroom,” Jim said, “and I never use it. We have a lot to do. It would be convenient that you would sleep here, so that in the morning we would have some time together before you go to Headquarters.”
“That is logical.”
“Great,” Jim said and stood up. “I’ll show you the room.”
Later he was lying in his bed and listening to the soft steps echoing through the wall. He tried to close his eyes but it didn’t work, he wasn’t tired at all, and Spock was so close to him and obviously not tired either. Maybe he should have got up and gone to ask what was wrong, perhaps he could help. On the other hand, he had a pretty good idea that whatever was troubling Spock might have something to do with the two of them planning to get married in a few days.
“Jim,” Bones said.
“Shut up,” he said, “I’m not listening.”
“You’re already late.”
“I’m not late,” he said, “I’m just not very early. I think my face looks weird today.”
“Jim,” Bones said through his teeth, “you’re late from your own wedding.”
“I’m pretty sure Spock won’t start without me.”
“No,” Bones said, “but he might change his mind.”
“Shit. How do I look?”
“Too pretty for your own good, just as I’ve always thought. But I’m sure Spock won’t mind. Let’s get out of here.”
Jim followed Bones out of his flat and tried to tell himself that this wasn’t real, although it kind of was. As they took the shuttle through the city, he pressed his eyes closed and tried to look like he was considering something and not panicking.
“You’re panicking,” Bones said.
“Yeah,” Jim said. He was happy that it was Spock to whom he was getting married, because otherwise he would probably have jumped off the shuttle already. But also he was probably panicking exactly because he was going to get married to Spock. He couldn’t let Spock down. He just couldn’t. It was unthinkable. There was no way he could cope without Spock.
“Good,” Bones said, “that means you still have some common sense in you.”
“I don’t think you’re supposed to try to talk a man out of getting married,” Jim said, “in his wedding day.”
“Oh, I’m not,” Bones said, patted him on his knee and then stared at his own hand like it had done something very weird. “I think you deserve each other if you both are stupid enough to go through with this madness.”
“Thank you, Bones.”
“I’m glad you’ll be on Enterprise with us,” Jim said, “as our closest friends, as we figure it out. Like, me and Spock being newly-weds and you trying to guide us through our first fights. On a starship. In space.”
“Sometimes I wish I could just return my life and get a refund,” Bones said and Jim felt slightly better.
“Listen,” he said when they were getting nearer and he began to realize that he was actually, for real, going to marry Spock in a few hours, “if someone catches me and asks me what the hell I am doing and why exactly we are going through this, I want you to save me.”
“I definitely won’t save you, Jim,” Bones said. “It’s going to be fine. Don’t worry.”
The funny thing was that no one caught him and asked what the hell he was doing.
He kept waiting for it. It had to happen. He and Spock were getting fucking married, certainly one of their closest friend would realize there was something weird going on. It wasn’t like they were in love or anything. But no one said a thing.
The ceremony itself was short, thank God. Jim stood beside Spock in the garden that really was quite beautiful. Spock seemed to be avoiding his gaze but he kind of understood why. The Starfleet officer who wedded them basically just asked them both if they wanted to try their best to love and support each other and Spock’s affirmative was calm and steady. It was only then that Jim remembered Spock wasn’t supposed to be capable of lying, but Spock had kind of already said the words and it was his turn and he was only staring at Spock’s face and Spock was cocking an eyebrow at him and clearly waiting for him to declare his love and support for Spock, so he did. They didn’t kiss, obviously, and when they turned to face their audience, Jim thought that all their friends looked weirdly disappointed.
“So,” he said when the officer had disappeared somewhere and they were standing in the garden and their friends were apparently trying to decide if they could be approached now, “we are married now.”
“Affirmative, Captain,” Spock said. “We are indeed.”
“I don’t feel any different.”
“I do not feel.”
Jim grinned and then remembered he was at his own wedding. “Oh, don’t try to fool me, Mr. Spock. This is an emotional day.”
“If you say so, Captain.”
“Your father is approaching us.”
“It seems that our other guests are slightly afraid of my father,” Spock said, “so it might be convenient that he congratulates us first.”
“Fine,” Jim said, “let’s get this over with.”
He stood as straight as he could, pulled his shoulders back and tried not to look like he had just got himself married to Ambassador Sarek’s only son. The ambassador eyed him with a calm, serious look. Amanda looked a bit suspicious but not at all as suspicious as Bones who was standing by himself and glaring at everyone and everything.
“Jim,” Spock said very quietly.
“Welcome, ambassador,” Jim said in a voice that wasn’t as calm as he would have hoped. “I’m glad you could make it.”
“I was informed that my son intended to get married to his Captain in a human fashion,” Sarek said. “It was logical to make it.”
“You look very handsome, James,” Amanda said and smiled. “And you too, Spock. I’m happy for you.”
“Thank you, mother,” Spock said in a voice that seemed to clearly hint what he thought of happiness.
“Captain Kirk, as my son has chosen to commit himself to you, it is logical to welcome you to visit us on Vulcan so that you may have a chance for basic understanding of our culture.”
“We can’t call him Captain Kirk now,” Amanda said, looking at Sarek. “He’s our son-in-law.”
Sarek looked rather terrified for someone who wasn’t supposed to have emotions.
“Father, mother,” Spock said, nodding to his parents, “I believe it is logical to expect that our other guests are waiting for their turn to congratulate us on the behalf of our marriage.”
“Indeed,” Sarek said. “We will talk to you later.”
“We sure will,” Amanda said and winked at Jim.
Jim smiled because it was pretty much the only thing he was capable of now.
“That went well,” Spock said when his parents had walked on.
“Your mother winked at me,” Jim said.
“Captain,” Uhura said, stopping in front of them and watching both of them with a wide smile, “Spock. I thought you two would never get it.”
Spock raised an eyebrow. “May I enquire what you mean, Lieutenant?”
“Never mind,” Uhura said, “I’m just happy. Can I hug you?”
“Of course,” Jim said.
“I wish you would not,” Spock said.
Uhura hugged Jim and patted Spock on the shoulder. Jim thought hazily that there was something he should have asked, perhaps something considering what Uhura had said, because he hadn’t realized he had got anything and if there was something to get, he really wanted to get it. But Uhura kept smiling and saying that the ceremony had been beautiful and the two of them had looked at each other with so much affection and love and it just made everyone’s heart ache in the best way, didn’t it? And then Scott was there too, saying that it sure did make a lad’s heart ache to look at the two of them but it would be for the best if they tried not to do it in the engine room because the engines couldn’t face a scene like that, they were pretty innocent and Scott tried to keep them that way. Jim cleared his throat and hoped he hadn’t blushed and Spock looked rather curious, but luckily Scott just patted them on the shoulder and then went.
“Is something wrong, Captain?” Spock asked when Sulu and Chekov were coming closer.
“Nothing at all,” Jim said.
He refilled his glass of wine and then sat down into the bench next to Bones.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” he said and took a sip of his glass.
“This thing feels a lot like a wedding to me,” Bones said.
Jim nodded. It was getting darker already but their friends were still here, eating and drinking and apparently making jokes about how he and Spock had kept staring at each other throughout their five-year mission. But we weren’t, he had said a couple of times and everyone had laughed at him except Sarek and of course Spock, who was serious but in a rather content way, and Bones who had looked quietly miserable for the whole day. Later Jim had realized that he had just married Spock and so there was really no reason to try to tell his crew there had been nothing going on between Spock and him.
“I don’t know what’s happening,” Jim said.
“Are you having regrets?”
“No,” he said. “But I’m nervous.”
“Okay,” Bones said, “I’ll only say this because it’s your wedding day. You should be nervous.”
“That’s not really helping.”
“Hear me out,” Bones said, glaring at him. “You should be nervous because you’ve made quite a mess. But when you realize exactly how messed up you are –“
“Bones, you aren’t helping at all.”
“Just let me speak. When you realize how badly you’ve messed up, you have to remember that of all intelligent things throughout the galaxy, that green-blooded Vulcan is the one you care about the most.” Bones paused and sighed deeply. Spock was standing not far away from them, talking to his mother. Jim thought he saw Spock throwing quick glances at them, and then he flinched as Bones poked him onto his arm. “And he cares about you even more, you reckless kid.”
“No, he doesn’t,” Jim said, “that’s not possible, because I care the hell out of him.”
“You’re more romantic than I thought.”
“You always knew that I’m a romantic.”
“Well, you never hid it very well,” Bones said. “I don’t understand why they would give you a starship. Again.”
“I’m really happy, Bones. I was going crazy here. I kept sitting in my living room, staring at the stars.”
“You were always weird in that way,” Bones said and then straightened his back. “Your husband is coming our way.”
“My what?” Jim asked and then remembered. Bones looked like he was trying to bite back a smile. Spock walked to them and tilted his head to the side, and Jim swallowed a few times and then stood up.
“You didn’t have to, Captain,” Spock said. “I was only going to come to remind you that we should shortly leave because the cafeteria is getting closed.”
“Captain?” Bones said. “You should try calling him sweetheart, Spock.”
“That is a highly inappropriate suggestion, doctor,” Spock said.
“Fine,” Bones said but looked rather amused, “I think I’m going now before I make more inappropriate suggestions for you two.”
Spock cocked an eyebrow at Jim. Bones stood up and told them to take care of themselves, and Jim realized hazily that he kind of wanted to grab Bones’ arm and make him stay with them. But of course that was stupid. It was just him and Spock. He could handle them even if they were now married and he had absolutely no idea what to do with it.
“We should say goodbye to everyone,” Jim said. “It’s been a long day. Will I see you tomorrow?”
“Captain,” Spock said in a somewhat heavy voice and then frowned. “Jim.”
“What is it?” Jim asked.
Spock looked at him like there was something he was missing, and then he realized.
“Shit. I’m sorry. We should probably leave together.”
“I believe so, yes.”
“Will you come to my place?”
“If you wish me to.”
“Of course I wish you to,” he said and drew a deep breath. “I can’t believe that I’ve been your husband for four hours or something and I’m already messing it up.”
“You could never mess it up, Captain,” Spock said and flinched, “Jim.”
“Well, I’m really good at messing things up, sweetheart,” Jim said.
Spock looked rather shocked.
He was standing in the middle of his living room. Spock was standing next to him and he had absolutely no idea what to do.
“So,” he said, “did you try that chocolate cake?”
Spock watched him with calm eyes. “Jim, I believe you know that I do not operate well with chocolate. Also, I am mildly concerned about the fact that you seem to have tried to intoxicate me on our wedding day.”
“Sorry,” he said and bit back a grin. “I apologize, Mr. Spock.”
“That is unnecessary, Captain. I know that you do not mean any harm.”
“Well then,” he said, raised his chin so that he could easier reach Spock’s eyes and placed his hands together. “What do we do now?”
“Do you wish to go to bed?”
Jim tried not to blush. He really tried. “To bed, Mr. Spock?”
“Perhaps you are already tired. This has been a stressing day for you since you were nervous about how my parents would react to our marriage.”
“Oh,” he said. “Well, I’m not that tired. But since we’re talking about sleeping and, well, beds, where do you prefer to sleep?”
“The guestroom is suitable.”
“Fine,” Jim said, “great. So, would you like to play a round of chess?”
“You should really call me Jim now.”
“I apologize,” Spock said, “it slipped.”
Jim blinked. He was pretty sure that Spock was smiling at him. “Don’t worry about it. So, about that chess. This way, if you please, Officer.”
“Thank you, Captain.”
Fucking hell, Jim thought.
Chapter 3: A Few Logical Decisions
And here we go again! Thank you for all your comments, they mean so much to me!
It was like any other morning. He was oddly sad and discontent and knew this was going to be a crappy day full of paper work at Headquarters, and it didn’t help at all that he knew there was actually nothing wrong with the day except that he wasn’t in space. Fine. He would fucking get up and make the best of it. And then he remembered that he had married Spock yesterday.
“I can hear that,” Spock said through the closed door of Jim’s bedroom. “Do you wish me to prepare you breakfast?”
He swallowed. “I don’t know. Spock, just open that door and come here.”
“I do not wish to disturb you, Captain.”
“And stop calling me Captain.”
“Affirmative, Captain,” Spock said, “Jim. I am now going to open the door.”
Jim sat on the edge of the bed and waited. Spock opened the door slowly like the man had been trying to give him time to escape. He checked that he had boxers on, great, and then he tried to put on his best and most friendly and most comfortable smile as Spock stopped in the doorway.
“Good morning, Jim,” Spock said, looking like he had been very concerned about the state of the said morning.
“Good morning, Spock,” Jim said and realized he was smiling for real now. Spock looked so uncomfortable but also so determined to be right there. “I think I’m going to get up and come to the kitchen and then we’re going to figure that breakfast out together.”
“Very well,” Spock said and then drew his gaze away from Jim as he stood up. He tried not to mind. Of course he didn’t mind. This would be slightly uncomfortable for a while, this whole business of being married, and if Spock didn’t want to watch Jim walking across his bedroom with only underpants on, he surely wouldn’t say anything about that.
“You’ve seen me dressed like this before,” he said as he opened the cupboard door and tried to find something to wear. Damn that he missed his uniform.
“Affirmative,” Spock said and Jim could hear the uncertainty in the man’s voice, “but the situation is… different.”
“I’m sure we’re going to get used to this. And you know I don’t mind.”
“I am aware.”
“Well,” he said and put on a black t-shirt, “good. Tell me about that breakfast. What do you usually have?”
Later they were sitting at the kitchen table. Jim was already on his second cup of coffee, which perhaps meant that he was still a bit nervous, but he was going to fiercely ignore that. Spock was carefully watching his own hands.
“So,” Jim said. “Tell me about that research you’re doing at Headquarters. It has to be important if they thought they wouldn’t let me have you because of it.”
“I am rather optimistic that they will, and I quote you with this, let you have me now that we have gone through the trouble of getting married.”
“It was no trouble at all, Spock,” Jim said and there was a tiny hint of smile in Spock’s eyes as the man glanced at him.
“No, it was not. The research is about the theory of molecules and time warps.”
“Molecules and time warps,” Jim said and went to get his third cup of coffee, “tell me more about it. And, Spock?”
“I should have asked you to visit more often,” he said, “over these two years that we’ve been back on Earth. I wanted to. This whole place always felt so empty. But I didn’t know how to.”
“I would have come.”
“Yes,” Jim said, “out of obligation perhaps, or because of nostalgia.”
“Jim, as a Vulcan, I do not experience nostalgia. And you are wrong.”
“I would have come because I appreciate your company. You must know that.”
“Well,” he said and breathed in. Spock was now watching him with concerned eyebrows. He took a sip of his coffee and smiled at Spock, and Spock looked slightly surprised like he often had on the bridge all that time ago. “Now tell me about those time warps.”
“So, how’s it going?”
“It’s only been three days, Bones,” Jim said. He tried to get Bones to walk to the kitchen but the man kept stopping and glancing around like he had been sure Spock was hiding there somewhere. “Don’t worry, he’s not around. He’s at Headquarters doing his research.”
“Fine,” Bones said and finally looked at Jim. The doctor looked worried but also irritated, which was reassuring. “But he’s living here now, isn’t he?”
“We’re married, Bones.”
“But it must be weird to live with him.”
“Surely you realize we spent five years on a starship,” Jim said and nodded towards the chair so that Bones might sit down and stop that grumpy hovering, “with a shared bathroom and all.”
“So you don’t mind.”
“Of course I don’t mind,” he said. “I don’t think he does, either. He hasn’t really brought in any of his stuff but when I asked he looked at me like he didn’t know what I meant so I guess he just doesn’t own anything. And it’s not like we’re going to keep this place when we get back on Enterprise.”
“I never understood why you didn’t like this,” Bones said and watched around. “This is a damn good flat, Jim. And it’s not in the middle of dark empty space.”
“Well, there you go,” Jim said and fixed his eyes on the painting on the wall. It had probably been there all along but he hadn’t really noticed. “What about the wedding? Do you think they bought it?”
“Jim,” Bones said in a somewhat softer voice. Jim straightened his back and made himself look the man in the eyes. “Yes, they bought it.”
“You’re looking at me like you know something that I don’t.”
“Well, let’s put it like this,” Bones said, “you decide to marry your science officer out of the blue. I tell you it’s a terrible idea but you want him on your ship so badly that you make him marry you anyway. And then you two tell your closest friends and family that you’re getting married and they pat you on the back.”
“I don’t get it.”
“I suppose you would have married Enterprise if only that was legal.”
Jim let out a deep sigh. “Bones, if you’re trying to once again tell me that I can’t handle romantic relationships –“
“I’m not,” Bones said, “I really am not. I think you have no idea what you’ve got yourself into and the mess you’re making right now is going to catch up on you sooner or later. But I also think there’s probably absolutely nothing that you can do that would drive your stubborn Vulcan away. So you might be crap at romance but you have done something right with Spock.”
“Are you alright? You aren’t even swearing. And I kind of have a feeling that you’re trying to be nice to me. Are you ill?”
“I have received an assignment to another five-year mission in damn space with you,” Bones said, “so that’s probably it.”
“You realize that even though I absolutely want you there,” Jim said, “you don’t have to come if you don’t want to.”
“I don’t really know other people,” Bones said, “and I’m too irritated to make new friends, so I might as well stick with you and Spock. And someone needs to watch over you, kid. You don’t know what you’re doing.”
“Bones, surely you realize that I’m not actually a kid anymore.”
“I know, kid,” Bones said. “Now that I’m here, can we please do something useful and go over the ship’s medical equipment or something? I hear that busy scientists have figured out new ways to cure people within last seven years and I want that new stuff on my ship.”
“You mean my ship.”
“You can have the ship,” Bones said, “and Spock. I don’t care. But the sickbay is mine.”
“I can’t wait to get back there,” Jim said and Bones glared at him like he had just said something that made no sense at all.
There was a knock on the door. The bed creaked as Jim stood up and checked that his boxers were in their right place. He meant to tell Spock to come in but he didn’t have time before the door opened.
“Jim,” Spock said, “I wish to speak to you.”
“Well, here I am. Go ahead.”
“I wish I did not interrupt –“
“Just go on. Is something wrong?”
“Not exactly,” Spock said. “I only wish to mention that there is only one and a half Earth weeks left until the planned departure of Enterprise and we have not received a confirmation that I would have been transferred to your command.”
Jim blinked and walked at Spock. Spock took a step back. Well, maybe it wasn’t the best idea to go grab Spock’s shoulders when he was wearing nothing but his underpants, though he didn’t exactly understand why Spock would mind. “You’re worried that they aren’t going to transfer you after all.”
“We should consider the possibility.”
“But you said it will work.”
“I said that there is a probability of 72.3 percent.”
“Don’t talk to me about percentages,” Jim said and then took a deep breath, “sorry. I’m sorry. I only…”
“You are having regrets about the way in which we attempted to solve the problem.”
“No,” he said and placed his hand on Spock’s shoulder. It was no big deal. He had done it before. “Of course not. But I’m not going to leave without you.”
“Yes, you are, Captain,” Spock said in a low and oddly soft voice. “I ask that you do.”
“I ask that you don’t ask me to leave without you.”
“You cannot stay here. You are unhappy.”
He grabbed Spock’s shoulders and raised his chin to reach the man’s eyes. “You don’t get to tell me that I’m unhappy. And what would you know about it anyway? You always say you don’t feel anything.”
“You are accelerating. I have only stated that I am not capable of emotion.”
“But you are,” he said, “you want to get to space with me. Don’t tell me you don’t.”
“That’s an emotion for you, Mr. Spock,” he said and let go off Spock’s shoulders. Shit. He was standing in his own bedroom wearing almost nothing, his hair was still messed up after a night of bad sleep and stupid dreams and his mouth tasted like hell. He was just a miserable man losing his temper when he was afraid he wouldn’t get something he really wanted. And Spock was watching him with careful, sad eyes and he couldn’t take it now.
“Jim,” Spock said, as Jim walked to the bed, sat down and tried to steady his hands.
“I’m sorry,” he said, “I’m really sorry. I think I’ve let myself believe that it’s going to happen.”
“Enterprise is yours, Jim.”
“I want you there with me,” he said, “you know that. I’m sorry, Spock. If you could just… if you could leave me for a minute. I’ll try to get myself back together and maybe brush my teeth and then we could eat breakfast.”
“Jim,” Spock said and took a step closer, “you are obviously right about my intense wish to accompany you on Enterprise. And I must admit that your argument about that being an emotion is quite fitting. Once again I admire your human logic.”
Jim swallowed. Spock stopped in front of his bed and stood still. “Spock, you’re trying to sweet talk me again.”
“That is not an exact term.”
“I appreciate your sweet talk, Mr. Spock,” he said and stood up. Spock stayed still, hands folded behind his back, eyes following Jim’s. “I promise you that I will do my best to get you on that ship with me.”
“Your best, Jim, is quite a lot.”
“Well it sure as hell is,” he said, “and I’ve been told that I’m the most stubborn man in Starfleet so I’m going to keep doing my best until we get this fixed.”
“I wish you are not planning anything illegal.”
“That wouldn’t be my first choice,” he said and wished he had had a shirt on so that he could have straightened its hem. He straightened his underpants instead. Spock cocked an eyebrow at him and he felt a bit more normal right away. “Could I ask you to make me coffee, Mr. Spock?”
“You could, Captain,” Spock said. “However, your preferences over coffee are highly illogical since you seem to enjoy it more when it is unbearably bitter. I doubt that I will be able to produce the said substance in a way that satisfies you.”
“I’m so glad we’re fine,” Jim said and patted the man on the shoulder. “Please, make me some coffee. I’ll drink it happily and give you my prettiest smile.”
“That is unnecessary,” Spock said, “but highly appreciated.”
Jim watched as Spock turned around and walked out of the room with steady steps. He had a vague feeling something was going on but he didn’t have an idea what it was and he damn well wasn’t going to ask.
He smiled at the woman behind the desk and then blinked. He should really cut off the flirting so that Bones wouldn’t get a chance to say that he was mistreating Spock. The woman smiled at him and he folded his hands behind his back and tried to imagine how Spock would handle the situation with no flirting at all.
“There is a request that I filed,” he said and swallowed, “three weeks ago. I would like to know what’s taking so long.”
“Your name, Sir?”
“James T. Kirk.”
“Oh,” the woman said and glanced at him. “And the request?”
“I have requested for my husband to be transferred to U.S.S. Enterprise,” he said and cleared his throat. “With me. As I’m the Captain. And he is my First Officer.”
“Yes,” the woman said, staring at her PADD with a serious look. Jim bit at his lower lip and waited. Finally the woman sighed in a politely disinterested way. “I apologize, Sir. It seems that the request has been noted but not yet considered.”
“But it hasn’t been declined, has it?”
Jim breathed in. “The ship is leaving in a week. Can you hurry the request?”
“I can make an attempt, Sir, but I can’t promise anything.”
“I get it,” he said, smiled at the woman and then froze. Maybe he should try to learn a new way to smile. Spock could help him. They could practice in front of the mirror until he knew what kind of a smile was friendly and not suggestive at all. “Okay, just try your best. But I got to have him on that ship with me.”
“I see, Sir,” the woman said and raised her eyebrows just a little.
“He is a very good scientist,” Jim said, “probably the best.”
“There is a remark on your file that you have been married very recently, Sir,” woman said with a hint of a smile that was actually a bit suggestive but not in the way that Jim was used to. “Congratulations.”
“Thank you,” he said and frowned. “Okay, I’ll just go now.”
“Very well, Sir. Good afternoon.”
“Good afternoon,” he said, smiled at the woman and then bit his lip and turned around. Okay, that hadn’t gone exactly like he had planned but not too badly either. He had smiled at the woman but still she hadn’t looked like she had thought he was flirting. Maybe it had something to do with him calling Spock his husband. That might actually be the answer. If he kept talking about Spock every time he was in contact with beautiful women that weren’t working for him, he might be able to avoid the impression that he was trying to hit on them.
Although of course the most important thing now was to get Spock on that ship with him.
“Jim,” Andrew Collins said and looked at him over two glasses of beer, “I thought you would be high over your heels. It must have been difficult for you to stay on Earth for almost two years. You’ve always had that restless thing in you.”
“Yeah,” he said and took a sip out of his glass, “it was hard. And you don’t have an idea how happy I was when I heard that I had a chance to get back.”
“But I have,” Collins said, smiling in a relaxed way that was at least partly due to the fact that they had been sitting in this quiet bar for almost two hours now. Jim had asked about Andrew’s wife and kids and his work. The wife was fine and kids as well, and the work was little dull perhaps but what can a man do when he wants to stay near to his family, and at least Andrew now had a lot of responsibility in the Fleet. And power, too. “I know you, Jim. I’ve known you since you were a cadet and I was trying to tell you to relax once in a while. You just kept saying that you want to be a captain and that it’s not going to come easy.”
“Well,” Jim said and leaned slightly towards the man, “that’s true. You’ve known me for a long time. You know how much I want to be in space. And you know that I’m the best captain for Enterprise.”
“Not too modest, though,” Collins said with a smile.
“But not wrong, either.”
“No. It’s your ship, Jim. I’m glad you got it back. It seems I’ve finished my beer. Are you in a hurry or do you mind if I get one more?”
“Not at all,” Jim said, “please go ahead. But actually I’m not surprised that you could see something’s bothering me. You’ve known me for a long time, Andrew.”
“I knew something was wrong,” Collins said and took a firm grip of his new glass of beer. “What is it, Jim? Can I help?”
“I don’t think so,” he said and took a deep breath, “though I wish you could. I wish that so much because I don’t honestly know what I’m going to do.”
“Damn, Jim, just tell me already,” Collins said, “you know you’re one of my best friends. Even my wife loves you. She’d be furious at me if I didn’t at least try to help you.”
Jim sighed. Collins was watching him with a concerned look. He sighed again and then leaned closer. “The thing is, I got married a few weeks ago. It was very sudden and all, just a small ceremony since we were kind of in a hurry, you know, me getting assigned to Enterprise again and all that.”
“Oh,” Collins said, looking like he really wanted to smile but didn’t dare because Jim kept sighing sadly. “So, the right woman finally came along.”
Jim frowned. “Not exactly. Do you know my former First Officer, Mr. Spock?”
“I believe I have met him,” Collins said, clearly confused about the sudden change of topic. “I think we have him working for a very important science project at Headquarters right now.”
“The thing is,” Jim said, “I married him. You know how it is when you’re working close to someone and you’re only learning to respect them more and more when time goes. And then the mission ends and you aren’t working together anymore and suddenly you realize just how much you miss him.”
“Well,” Collins said slowly.
“Anyway,” Jim said, “that’s how it was. I kept wandering around my flat and missing him. I never thought I’d get married, you know that.”
“I know,” Collins said, watching his beer. “I was actually a bit worried about you. I thought you might be lonely, Jim, always travelling from here to there. Sarah has been worried too. You know how she likes you.”
“That’s so very kind of you both. But you don’t need to worry about me anymore. We’re very much in love, me and Mr. Spock.”
“You are?” Collins said to his beer.
“Yes,” Jim said, “definitely. But you realize that it breaks our hearts that he’s been assigned to work at Headquarters with that science project of his. And I’ve been offered Enterprise. You know how I am, Andrew. I really have to get back there again. But it’s breaking me apart that I can’t take him with me.”
“Oh,” Collins said and raised his eyes to meet Jim’s. The man looked quite worried. “That’s a difficult situation.”
“And we just got married,” Jim said, lowering his voice, “three weeks ago. It’s so new for the both of us. The first time in my life I’ve been… but I have to leave in a week and he can’t come with me.”
“Because of that science project.”
“Yes, because of that science project. I know how important science is, I married a scientist myself. Just like you, Andrew. But this whole business is breaking my heart.”
“Oh, Jim,” Collins said with wide eyes. “Sarah won’t like this at all.”
“I just wish I knew someone,” Jim said, “who might have anything to say about those decisions in the Fleet. You know, like someone who knew me and knew how terrifyingly important this is to me.”
“Yeah,” Collins said, “that might make a difference.”
“Listen, “Jim said, leaned closer and then saved his glass of beer from falling off the table, “I’m going to tell you something but only because I’m slightly drunk and you’ve known me for ages. But please, don’t tell anyone.”
“Of course not, Jim,” Collins said with wide eyes. “What is it?”
“I don’t think I can do it. I don’t think I can leave with Enterprise if I don’t have Spock with me. It breaks my heart but I think I have to let someone else have Enterprise.”
Collins looked shocked. “But you can’t… that ship is meant to be yours, Jim. You’re the best captain in the whole Fleet.”
“No,” he said, “I’m the best captain only if the best first officer is with me. I won’t do it without Mr. Spock.”
“It’s quite late, isn’t it?” he said and patted Collins’ hand quite clumsily. “And you have a home to go to. And your wife that means everything to you. I don’t think you could go back to space without her.”
“Absolutely not,” Collins said, “but, Jim –“
“And I have to go home too,” he said, “to Spock. I can’t stand to be apart from him for more than a few hours. It may very well be that Starfleet just has to go on without me because I can’t leave Spock here and go with Enterprise.”
“But it was very good to see you, Andrew,” he said, “since we’re old friends.”
When he got home, Spock was sitting on the armchair in front of the window. He smiled at Spock and the man straightened his back with a hint of guilt lingering in the way he pressed his mouth shut. Jim tried not to smile.
“I see that you’ve grown fond of my armchair, Mr. Spock.”
“I was only sitting on it, Captain,” Spock said. “Perhaps I should go.”
“Don’t,” Jim said, took a deep breath and then sat down in the chair in front of Spock’s. “I’m sorry I came home this late.”
“Apology is unnecessary.”
“I know. I didn’t think you were upset. I just wanted to let you know that I wish I would have come sooner so that we could have played a round of chess or something.”
Spock was watching Jim like he had been trying to understand this another illogical human habit.
“Anyway,” Jim said, “I saw Andrew Collins. We had a few beers and talked.”
“So, that is a reason behind your mild intoxication.”
“Yeah. He has a quite good place in the Fleet. I think if he wanted to, he might get them to let you come with me.”
Spock raised an eyebrow at him. “You were using your personal history in order to emotionally blackmail him to affect formal Starfleet decisions.”
“Well, I didn’t exactly lie to him. I just told him about our problem. And maybe I emphasized how very much in love we are.”
“Jim,” Spock said in a low voice but didn’t seem to know how to continue that sentence.
“Do you disapprove?”
“I, too, am very distressed about the situation. I suppose it is logical that you would try to use your human charm to find a somewhat creative way to solve the problem.”
Jim bit at his lip. “My human charm?”
“Jim, if I may inform you that you indeed are mildly intoxicated. Your eyes have been fixed on me for 10.2 seconds longer than is the length of your average stare. Perhaps you would like to go to bed.”
Jim opened his mouth and then closed it again. There was something else that had been on his mind from time to time these last weeks. He had repeatedly decided not to bring it up before they would be on the ship and in space where there was absolutely no chance that they could panic and avoid each other for more than a few hours. But he had had a few beers and besides, he and Spock had been married for almost three weeks now.
“I want to talk to you about something first,” he said.
Spock was sitting in the armchair, completely still. “Very well, Jim.”
“Before I go to bed,” Jim said, “because you’re right, I’m a bit tipsy and I should go to bed.”
Spock stared at him. He was pretty sure he had always liked the way Spock stared at him, even before they had got married. “Captain, you may proceed to tell me what you want to talk about.”
“Oh,” he said, “yeah. Sorry. I was thinking about something else.”
He was sure that Spock was thinking about how illogical that was. He smiled and wondered if he had ever known anyone else as well as he knew Spock. Actually it was a bit weird that talking about this felt so awkward after everything they had been through together.
“Spock,” he said.
“Jim,” Spock said, when Jim hadn’t said anything else within a few seconds.
“Spock,” Jim said and took a deep breath, “it’s about… it’s about your…”
“My what, Jim?”
“Your Vulcan biology,” Jim said and wished he had said nothing. Bones had been wrong. This topic shouldn’t be discussed, not now and possibly not ever. Jim didn’t like at all how uncomfortable Spock looked, like the man wished he could disappear into that armchair. “I’m sorry, Spock. I shouldn’t have said anything, it’s just that I’m drunk and it’s… we’ll figure it out later. Much later.”
“No,” Spock said in a firm voice.
Jim held his breath. “No?”
“You are in correct with your attempt to address the topic. We must discuss it. It is illogical that we have delayed the discussion this long.”
“I didn’t want to bring it up.”
“I did not either,” Spock said. Something in the way in which Spock’s eyes were moving on Jim’s face looked very human. “Jim.”
“Yeah,” he said and grabbed his knees. “I know. I don’t know how to talk about it either.”
“It is logical,” Spock said, staring at him like he had been hoping Jim would stop him, “to state out that when my next pon farr occurs, I must have a bond mate or otherwise I will die. These are the two options that we have.”
“No,” he said, “you dying is not an option. I forbid it.”
“I’m your Captain, Mr. Spock, and I forbid it.”
Spock nodded shortly. “Very well, Captain. Then I might mention that had we not decided to marry, the logical solution would have been to attempt to find a Vulcan woman who would be willing to bond with me. However, our marriage complicates the matter, since I believe it would be considered socially inappropriate for me to engage in an activity of sexual nature with another being.”
“Yes,” Jim said and swallowed, “it would. But is that what you wish?”
“I do not wish to act in a socially inappropriate manner considering our marriage and my… Vulcan biology.”
“No, I know that. But do you wish that you could… find a Vulcan woman for your…”
He closed his mouth. Spock was watching him and he knew he was blushed, of course he was, there was no way he could talk about this without blushing.
“No,” Spock said, “I do not wish that. However –“
“So it has to be me.”
“Captain, I will not allow –“
“It has to be me, Spock. I’m sorry. Unless you want to find someone else, it has to be me.”
Spock looked like he was desperately trying to keep something from showing on his face. “Jim, that is unacceptable. Last time, I almost killed you. I will not harm you the next time this unfortunate… need occurs to me.”
Jim took a deep breath. Thank god he had had those beers. “You won’t harm me, Spock.”
Spock was apparently trying to cock an eyebrow at him but didn’t seem to be fully in control because the eyebrow stayed up.
“Or,” Jim said and cleared his throat, “I know that you might do some… I understand that you might not be in control of yourself and that you’re physically much stronger than me and that stuff like can be a little…”
“Stuff, Sir?” Spock asked in a somewhat shaky voice.
“Don’t call me sir when we’re talking about having sex,” he said and then bit his lip but it was too late. Spock was looking at him wide eyes. He stared right back. Damn it. “Sorry. That was a bit... blunt of me.”
“Well,” Spock said. Jim wished the man was still breathing because his voice surely didn’t sound like he was. “We are married.”
“Yes,” Jim said and swallowed, “we are. So, is it possible? Can you form a bond with me even though I’m not a Vulcan?”
“I believe so,” Spock said slowly. “We have partly melded multiple times when the situation has demanded it. I would estimate that our minds are highly compatible.”
Jim blinked. “Highly compatible?”
“Fine. So, I say that when it happens next time, we must get bonded and… whatever must be done.”
“Jim,” Spock said, “you do not know what you’re offering.”
“Well, the last time I accidentally offered to fight you to death. It can’t be worse than that.”
“Jim, the bond is meant to be permanent.”
He nodded and then nodded again. “I kind of figured. So it can’t be… cancelled?”
“It is possible, although quite unheard of, that two minds that have been recently linked together through the mating bond can be separated,” Spock said in a voice that hinted that he was panicking in his Vulcan way. Jim wanted to grab Spock’s shoulders and hold him but he had a hunch that it wouldn’t have helped right now.
“Spock,” Jim said and tried to make his own voice as calm as he could, “Spock, listen to me. I just married you. I can deal with a life-long bond in order to save your life. Surely you realize that.”
“That is illogical, Jim. Your wishes for life –“
“I want Enterprise and I want you,” he said, “not necessarily in that order. And I don’t really mind Bones telling me how reckless I am once in a while. But that’s pretty much it. That’s what I wish for my life.”
“You are very young, Captain. You will have other desires.”
“I’m not that young. And besides, isn’t it logical to admit that if a man can get a starship and his best friends there with him, that’s quite a lot? Surely I can give something else up.”
“I do not like this, Jim.”
“Well, it’s going to be quite awkward,” Jim said and stood up. Spock followed his example right away but hovered a little like he hadn’t remembered how to stand still. “But I’m sure we’ll be fine. And just think about how grumpy Bones will be.”
“I would rather not.”
“Well, I’ll think about it then,” Jim said and placed his palm onto Spock’s arm for a few seconds just to let him know he meant it. They would be fine. “I think I’m going to go to sleep now. Don’t worry about it, Spock. And that’s an order.”
Spock looked quite miserable. Jim smiled briefly and then went.
He folded his hands on the table and waited for Bones to say something other than damn it, Jim.
“Well?” he asked finally, when Bones had stopped swearing but hadn’t yet called him an idiot.
“Surely you realize that you’ve just agreed to both link your mind to Spock’s and have sex with him.”
“Yes,” he said and glanced around, although they were at his own apartment and Spock was at Headquarters. “I realize that. I’m not stupid.”
“And you think you can take it.”
“Care to specify that, doctor?”
“Jim,” Bones said but looked more frustrated than angry, “you don’t get to joke about this.”
“Only a little,” he said and sighed. “I know it’s not going to be like… like meeting a pretty woman on a shore leave. But last time he almost killed me. It can’t get worse than that. I’ll walk funny for a few days and then that’s that.”
“And you expect me to stitch you up afterwards.”
“I really hope you won’t have to.”
“Yeah, me too,” Bones said and glared at him, “but there isn’t much luck with that. You can prepare yourself to the idea that I’ll have to at least check you.”
“Fucking hell,” he said and stood up. He probably should have got a few beers for this conversation as well. He filled his glass with water and then leaned against the counter and tried not to look at Bones, who was clearly unhappy with the situation but also still weirdly calm about it. “Bones?”
“I knew it would come up to that.”
“Well, you wouldn’t let him die and you wouldn’t let him have anyone else.”
“What do you mean by that I wouldn’t let him have anyone else?”
Bones sighed. “Would you?”
“He doesn’t want anyone else.”
“Jim, you are a completely idiot,” Bones said, and Jim felt slightly better. “Actually you both are. I’m happy you found each other. Now, is there something more on your mind about you and Spock or could we perhaps discuss something else for a while?”
“He got the transfer. He's coming on Enterprise with us.”
Bones stood up with a pretty angry look on his face. “He got the transfer? And you’re only telling me now?”
“We got informed this morning,” Jim said and tried not to smile but failed. “Andrew Collins did a good job.”
“You asked Andrew Collins to fix this?”
“I only told him how much I want that ship and how badly I’m in love with Spock. Collins knows me well.”
“Clearly,” Bones said in a disapproving tone. “And have you told Spock yet?”
“Of course. He smiled.”
“Fucking hell,” Bones said and shook his head.
Chapter 4: Conversations and Falling Asleep
Here we go again, finally back on Enterprise! This story is going to have eight chapters in total, and also a short epilogue :)
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.
Chapter 5: The Definition of a Real Kiss
Thank you for the kudos and comments, I appreciate them so much! :) Today we have one very oblivious Jim Kirk and one very frustrated Doctor McCoy (and who can tell what Spock is thinking about), but oh isn't that like every single chapter of this story.
He tried to keep his smile friendly but politely distant, warm but not suggestive at all, and it was much more difficult than he had thought. He knew the woman wanted to kiss him. He saw it in her eyes. Okay, once or twice when he had been younger he had tried to talk to Bones about how he could somehow tell from a woman’s eyes if they wanted to kiss him, and Bones had glared at him and claimed that he thought every woman in the galaxy wanted to kiss him, dammit Jim. But he was older now and possibly slightly wiser too, and he was absolutely certain that the fourth princess of the planet Galogonia wanted to kiss him.
He kept his distance. Once or twice during their meetings he slipped to the smile he used when he really wanted someone to kiss him, but he corrected his mistake immediately every time and tried his best to look like he had been smiling at the wall instead. He was doing quite well. And it was infuriating because the mission itself was the worst, exactly the kind he hadn’t missed even if he had missed everything else from their first five-year mission. It meant endless dinners and diplomatic discussions and he had a vague feeling that if he only could have kissed the princess, the whole thing would have been solved in no time at all.
When they finally got the diplomats out of the ship, Jim took a few deep breaths and then spent almost two hours in the gym until he felt far too hot in his red exercise pants. He walked through the corridors back to his quarters hoping so much that the next mission wouldn’t include diplomats, and preferably not beautiful women of any sort. The door opened and he almost walked into Spock, who was standing in the middle of the room, hands folded behind his back.
“Spock,” he said and tugged at his red pants. He really needed to get to the shower. “You look serious. Is something wrong?”
“Negative,” Spock said and blinked, “Jim. You did not kiss that woman.”
Jim sighed. Spock really looked like he was going to talk about this and preferably right now. “No, I didn’t.”
“She attempted to signal you that she was willing to kiss you. You interpreted her signals correctly. It would have been sufficient for our mission if you had kissed her as she wished.”
“Well, you’re probably right about all that.”
“Also, you wished to kiss her.”
“You refrained from it because of me.”
“Well,” Jim said and stepped closer. He wished he had been wearing his uniform for this conversation, or at least a shirt of some kind, but then again, he had proposed to Spock without pants. “Yeah, I did it because of you. I married you so that we can be here, together. I’m not going to go kissing other people and ruin this.”
“I would not get transferred to another assignment even if you did kiss someone else and, as you might say, get caught.”
“No kissing,” he said and took a hold of Spock’s arms so that Spock would stop subtly avoiding his gaze, “I’m not going to go kissing people behind your back. And not in front of your face either. You know that.”
“Jim,” Spock said in a rather low voice, “you enjoy kissing.”
“Well, I enjoy this more,” Jim said and let go of Spock’s left arm so that he could gesture vaguely at both of them. Spock raised an eyebrow at him. “Us. I enjoy us more. Can I go to take a shower now?”
“There is no apparent obstacle for that, Jim,” Spock said. “However –“
Jim sighed deeply. He had already taken a few steps towards the bathroom. “Spock, I’m sweaty all over and I’m wearing my exercise pants. You can’t possibly want to keep me from that shower.”
“I do not mind your outfit nor your current state, Jim. I only wish to state that…”
“Yes?” Jim said when Spock was still staring at him and not speaking. Maybe Spock had finally realized how ridiculous Jim looked at the moment.
“It would be… highly illogical to ask you to refrain from something that clearly gives you enjoyment,” Spock said in a concentrated tone.
Jim rubbed his eyes and then regretted it when he got sweat into his eyes. “So, do you want me to kiss other people?”
Spock frowned at him in a way that hinted the man really disapproved of Jim asking that. “No, I do not. However –“
“It’s so practical that you can’t lie, Spock,” Jim said and tilted his head. “Come here.”
“Just do it,” he said and watched as Spock took a few steps towards him and stopped right in front of him. He placed one of his uncomfortably sweaty hands on Spock’s shoulder and one he kept lingering in the air right beside Spock’s face. “May I?”
“Specify your question,” Spock said with wide eyes, “please.”
“Would you mind if I kissed you, Mr. Spock?”
He saw Spock swallowing. “Captain, I am not familiar with the procedure.”
“I am,” he said. “I ask that you step away now if you don’t want me to… well, you know.”
Spock held his place. Jim placed his right hand gently onto Spock’s neck and Spock flinched but still stared at Jim like daring him to believe that absolutely nothing was going to make Spock walk away right now. Jim leaned in and kissed the corner of Spock’s mouth as gently as he could.
When Jim pulled his hands away and stepped back, Spock was watching him, one eyebrow raised and mouth slightly ajar.
“That was,” Spock said and swallowed, “that was a highly illogical line of action, Captain.”
“Well, you were talking about kissing,” Jim said, “and now I really have to get to the shower.”
This time Spock didn’t stop him. He walked to the bathroom, pulled away his pants and let the water run over him, and then he realized that he had kissed Spock. Fucking hell. He had kissed Spock. He had kissed Spock. He pressed the tips of his fingers onto his mouth and then drew them away, because damn he had absolutely no idea why he had kissed Spock and it wouldn’t help at all that he was tracing the line of his lips with his fingers and trying to remember what the kiss had felt like. Spock had been surprised, of course, or maybe logically confused or something like that, and hadn’t inched under Jim’s touch, but also Jim was pretty sure that Spock hadn’t minded. Well, he had tried to ask Spock. And Spock would never lie to him. And Spock wouldn’t stay in place and let Jim kiss himself if he didn’t want that. Surely he wouldn’t.
Oh fucking hell. Jim showered as quickly as he could and then realized he didn’t have the guts to go back to the room where Spock would be waiting for him, probably wanting to know what the hell Jim had just done and why. He leaned against the cold bathroom wall until he was getting very cold himself. Then he wrapped the towel tightly around his waist and opened the door.
Spock was standing right where Jim had left him.
“Spock,” he said and cleared his throat.
“Jim,” Spock said. Jim drew a deep breath. At least Spock wasn’t angry, he could tell that from the man’s voice.
“Listen,” he said and walked to Spock, and when he got there, he took a step back so that Spock wouldn’t have to worry about him kissing the man again out of the blue. Spock tilted his head to the right and looked like he was desperately trying to calculate the pattern of Jim’s actions. Jim opened his mouth and tried to say something, anything, but he couldn’t figure out what the hell that could be. He had kissed Spock.
“Jim, I believe that you are concerned about my reaction,” Spock said finally in his calm, considering voice that made Jim immediately feel slightly better. “I must say that I fail to see the logic in your previous act. However, if I was asked to guess, I would estimate that perhaps you were trying to somehow reassure me considering the subject we had been discussing. Your way of communication is, as I very well know, often illogical but fascinating.”
Fascinating, Jim thought and swallowed, Spock wasn’t calling the kiss fascinating, surely he wasn’t, Jim was just tired and confused and a little bit angry with himself because he had just kissed Spock. “So, you aren’t upset with me, are you?”
“Negative,” Spock said, watching him, “Jim.”
“Good,” he said and breathed out, “good. I think… I think your guess was quite good.”
“Jim, you are badly repeating yourself.”
“I know. I don’t know what to say. I was... a bit out of line.”
Spock raised an eyebrow.
“I’m worried that… it wasn’t a nice thing that I did. To you. Earlier. When I…”
“When you kissed me.”
“Yes,” Jim said and almost laughed out. He was really bad at this whole talking about kissing with your husband kind of a thing they were doing. It was probably good that he was alone with Spock and Spock would never tell anyone how clumsily his captain had addressed the topic. “Yes, that’s what I meant.”
“I am not certain whether nice is the right word,” Spock said, “but I trust that you acted out of kindness towards me as you always do. Jim, is there a problem with your mouth? Do you require medical care?”
Oh shit, he was tracing his lips with his fingers again. He drew his hand away as quickly as he could and then grabbed his own wrist so that he wouldn’t do anything like that ever again, not tonight at least. Spock looked almost amused but perhaps it was because of the light.
“No,” he said, “definitely not. I’m really… not in my best shape today.”
“I have no objections,” Spock said infuriatingly calmly.
“If you don’t mind,” Jim said, “I would like to go to bed now. Maybe sleeping will fix this.”
“I am rather certain that sleeping will not fix your personality, Jim, and I am glad about that.”
“I didn’t mean that,” he said although that was exactly what he meant. Maybe he would wake up the next morning being a complete different person, preferably someone who didn’t go kissing their first officer and now also husband without a warning. Although he had actually warned Spock. And Spock hadn’t objected. But he wouldn’t think about that now, definitely not, nor would he think about how brief the kiss had been, he had barely touched the corner of Spock’s mouth – fucking hell he was thinking about it again.
“I need to get to the bed,” he said and realized he still had the towel wrapped around his waist, and Spock was watching him. There was no chance that he would go naked right in front of Spock’s face, not now. “If you could excuse me –“
“Would you like that I go elsewhere?”
“Of course not,” he said quickly, shit, “just stay where you are. I’ll just go to the bathroom and –“
“I assure you that if you do not wish me to see you, you only need to tell me. As a Vulcan, I am fully capable of refraining from taking a peek as you might say.”
Jim opened his mouth, closed it and walked to the bathroom as fast as he could. When he got back, he felt slightly better. Spock had changed into his full-body underwear that covered pretty much everything besides his head, and Jim stared at him and then at anything else and then again at him, because surely Spock’s outfit had always been that tight. He must have noticed it before. There was absolutely no reason why he should realize only now that he could actually see the shape of, well, the shape of everything that was underneath.
“Okay,” he said and turned around. He definitely couldn’t be trusted today. “I’m just going to… good night, Spock.”
“I find myself rather tired, too, Jim,” Spock said, “so if you do not mind, I will join you.”
Jim breathed in and out. “You want to go to sleep? Now?”
“Is there a problem?”
“Absolutely not,” Jim said and climbed to the bed. He lay down where he always did, only usually Spock was still meditating or even elsewhere researching something when he went to bed.
“Fine,” Spock said and lay down beside him. He held his breath. Spock glanced at him and then turned his back at him, and he realized he was squeezing the sheets into his fists. This was really bad. If sleeping didn’t fix him, he would have to go to Bones and ask if there was something for impossibly stupid behavior around your own husband.
“Good night, Jim,” Spock said when Jim was still trying to steady his breath and stop being an idiot. It wasn’t going very well.
“Good night, Spock,” Jim said and closed his eyes.
“I kissed him,” he said and wondered why Bones didn’t look more surprised. He thought he had said it clearly. “I kissed him, Bones.”
“Yeah,” Bones said and sat down in his chair, “I heard you the first four times.”
“I kissed him,” Jim said and then took a deep breath. “I really kissed him, Bones. I kissed Spock.”
“Well, all things considered I think you could have chosen worse. I don’t know if you remember but you two are married.”
“And I don’t have a clue why I did it,” Jim said and sat down, “absolutely none.”
“Well,” Bones said, “you’ve always been kind of an idiot.”
“I thought I had a reason. I really did. It had something to do with proving a point. I was trying to make a point, like… he was asking me why I didn’t kiss that woman.”
“The fourth princess? I’m glad you didn’t kiss her. She was eyeing you like she wanted to have your brown-eyed babies and that might have caused a diplomatic conflict.”
“I think I tried to show him that kissing isn’t that important,” Jim said, “because he was being guilty about me not kissing other people, he said I enjoy it, and I tried to… what the fuck did I try to do, Bones?”
“I honestly don’t know, Jim, so there’s nothing new under the sun.”
“Or perhaps I tried to tell him that I could kiss him. But it can’t be that, because I didn’t marry him to get to kiss him, I married him so that no one could separate us.”
“Jim,” Bones said, “you seem really stressed about this. Maybe I should check your pulse.”
“There’s nothing wrong with my pulse,” Jim said and then bit his lip, “Bones, my heart is beating pretty fast. Maybe I’ve caught something. I just hope it isn’t a flu because I don’t want to go sneezing around.”
“Jim, your heart is racing because you’re panicking,” Bones said, “calm down. You managed to marry him with only panicking a little in the shuttle when we were getting there. There’s no reason for you to realize now what kind of a mess you’ve managed to build up.”
“But I kissed him,” Jim said and breathed in. He had managed to live through his shift being only slightly anxious. He had kept glancing at Spock and Spock had stared back at him with a calm face that didn’t seem to imply at all that Jim had just done something very weird. He kind of wished that Spock would have panicked a little so that he himself wouldn’t have felt so stupid about it. And then his shift had been finally over and he had walked straight to the sickbay and asked friendly and not desperately at all Nurse Chapel to please go somewhere else while he would talk with the doctor.
He really wasn’t talking, though. He didn’t know what there was to say. He had no idea why he had done it and the only thing that he was sure of was that he had kissed Spock. And perhaps he hadn’t really listened to what Bones had said to him in the last five minutes.
“I’m glad to see that you remember I’m here,” Bones said and sighed deeply. “So, what does Spock think? And did you just kiss him and surprise him or did you ask him first?”
“I asked. I’m pretty sure I said that I’m going to kiss him and asked that he would kindly step away if he didn’t want me to.”
“Okay,” Bones said very slowly, “so Spock wanted you to kiss him.”
“No,” Jim said and then frowned.
“No?” Bones repeated. His eyebrows looked very frustrated.
“Well,” Jim said slowly, “I can see how it could look like he did. But of course he didn’t.”
“Did he object?”
“No,” Jim said, “although he really didn’t kiss me back, he just –“
“Dammit, Jim, don’t you dare to tell me what Spock did when you kissed –“
“He didn’t do anything.”
“Well, that sounds like Spock,” Bones said and crossed his arms over his chest. “Jim, I will regret this as soon as I do it, but as your doctor, I just have to ask you. Did you like kissing him?”
Jim blinked. “You can’t ask me that.”
“I can,” Bones said, “and I did. Now tell me.”
“I just kind of touched his mouth. With my mouth.”
“Sounds like a kiss to me.”
“But it was very brief. Maybe he didn’t even notice.”
“Jim, for fuck’s sake,” Bones said, “you’re even more out of control than you usually are. So, you kissed him and liked it. It could be worse.”
“I didn’t say that I liked it.”
Bones sighed and raised both of his eyebrows.
“It was over so quickly. I couldn’t possibly know if I liked it or not.”
“Fine,” Bones said, “I’ll just say this very slowly. If you wanted to kiss Spock and Spock wanted you to kiss him, there’s really no problem except that you’re a bit surprised about what happened. Maybe you could now go to talk to Spock or something.”
“I can’t talk to Spock about this.”
“Just get out of my sickbay already. It’s like you’ve been here for hours.”
“Fine,” Jim said and stood up, “but Bones, can you believe, I kissed Spock –“
“I actually can,” Bones said. “See you later.”
I don’t know what I’m doing, Jim thought as he walked through corridors towards their quarters where he didn’t dare to go right now because Spock might be there. Then luckily Uhura called him from the bridge and said there was an unidentified object floating in space and he went to the bridge and found that Spock was already there. The object turned out to be a very imaginative holiday shuttle and they realized quite soon they didn’t want to know more about it. Jim kept sitting in his chair for another hour just to be safe until Spock stopped beside him.
“What is it, Mr. Spock?” Jim said and tried very carefully not to look at him.
“You are not on a shift nor am I. There is currently no reason for neither of us to be on the bridge.”
“Something could happen,” he said and waved towards the space that seemed totally peaceful and non-surprising at the moment.
“Captain,” Spock said in a low voice, “I ask that you accompany me to our quarters.”
Jim swallowed. Sulu and Chekov changed a quick glance but it was so subtle he wasn’t going to mention it. It had been quite clear for some time that his crew was going to keep glancing at each other and there was nothing he could do about that. “Mr. Spock, I am needed here.”
“You really aren’t, Captain,” Uhura said from behind his back. “Just go with him. You two clearly need some alone time.”
Jim definitely didn’t want to be alone with Spock. He was going to tell Lieutenant Uhura that her job didn’t involve commenting on the captain’s love life but luckily he realized on time that he couldn’t say the word love when Spock was standing right beside him. Also he had apparently blushed.
“Captain,” Spock said.
“Fine,” Jim said, “fine. I’ll go.”
He walked to the turbolift. Spock followed him. Uhura was surely watching them with a smile that was far too curious, but Jim wouldn’t think about that now. He had more urgent problems like the fact that he was now standing in the lift and Spock was right there.
Spock didn’t say a word until they were on the deck five. Jim walked to their quarters and then took a deep breath and froze again, because of course Spock was still with him. He walked to the nearest chair, sat down and covered his face with his palms.
“Captain?” Spock asked in a somewhat worried voice.
“It’s about the kiss,” Jim said and stared at Spock. “I can’t believe I kissed you. I’m freaking out.”
“That,” Spock said, “is completely unnecessary and also –“
“But,” Jim said and swallowed, “why did I do it? And why did you let me?”
Spock frowned. Jim let his hands fall into his lap and straightened his back. Spock was watching him with a patient look in his eyes, like there was absolutely no chance at all that Jim would have done something so stupid it couldn’t be fixed. Jim breathed in and tried to concentrate. It was kind of incredibly lucky that he had Spock with him, really, because no one else could have been so calm about getting kissed out of the blue.
“Jim, I have considered your questions and I find them surprisingly difficult to answer.”
“What questions?” he said and then remembered. “Oh. Of course you don’t know why I did it. I don’t know either. Maybe I was just curious.”
Spock raised an eyebrow at him. “That indeed is a distinct feature in your personality, Jim.”
“I didn’t mean to upset you.”
“I believe you are more upset than I am.”
“You’re right,” Jim said, “of course you’re right. You’re always right. Spock, could we just forget this?”
“I do not intend to forget what happened,” Spock said in a serious tone, “but I am willing to refrain from addressing the topic if you wish so. However, I wish that the next time you are experiencing a distressful emotional outburst regarding something that considers the two of us, you would discuss it with me.”
“I didn’t know how to. Sorry. And I didn’t want to… bother you with it.”
“You are welcome to, and I quote you with this, bother me,” Spock said and then paused, looking concentrated like he usually did when he was considering something very scientific and very difficult, “because I like you, Jim.”
Jim blinked. “You what?”
“I wish you would not make me repeat myself,” Spock said, “as you know how culturally difficult it is for me to make a statement like that. I was barely trying to comfort you in a way that I believe is customable for humans.”
“Of course,” he said and stood up. Perhaps he should squeeze Spock’s shoulders just to show that everything was going to be alright. “Sorry. It worked really well, though. I was so surprised that I forgot what I was so upset about.”
“You were upset because you are uncertain of why you kissed me.”
Jim laughed out. Spock looked a little disapproving but didn’t seem to mind when he walked to the man and placed his palms onto Spock’s shoulders. “Well, thank you for reminding me, Mr. Spock. Would you like to play a round of chess?”
“Affirmative,” Spock said eyeing him carefully.
He took a step back. “Great.”
He almost managed not to think about kissing Spock when they were playing. When Spock declared that he had just won, Jim realized he was currently tracing his lips with the tip of his tongue. He pressed his mouth tightly shut and Spock watched him with that patient, fairly amused but also quite gentle look that he only had when he was looking at Jim. Maybe it was because Spock liked him.
“Mr. Spock,” Jim said a little later, when he had somehow managed to play himself into a quite good situation and Spock was considering his next move, “I like you.”
Spock blinked and stared at him. He smiled. He also won that round.
He knew it was a trap but he was too comfortable sitting exactly where he was, watching Spock’s subtle hints of frustration or amusement over the table as someone in the rec room one said something exceptionally illogical. Also, he was pretty sure that their shoes were touching under the table. He didn’t want to move his feet to check if he was right, because then Spock might have pulled his away.
“Captain,” Uhura said with a smile that surely was a warning sign and sat down next to Jim. Spock raised an eyebrow at him. He stared at Spock and tried to tell the man silently that yes, he knew he should go right now and no, he wouldn’t, because really it couldn’t be that bad.
“Yes?” he said and turned to look at Uhura.
“Since none of us is on a shift right now,” Uhura said and winked, oh shit this was a mistake, “I was just wondering if you wanted to tell the whole story.”
Jim swallowed. “The whole story of what?”
Spock looked like he couldn’t believe how oblivious Jim was.
“The whole story of you and Mr. Spock,” Uhura said, “you know, it’s been seven years since our first five-year mission began, so we’ve been waiting for the two of you to get together for seven years. It would be very nice to hear how it happened.”
Jim took a deep breath and looked at Spock. Spock tilted his head to the right.
“That is a logical question, Captain,” Spock said.
Jim cleared his throat. “Excuse me, Mr. Spock?”
“Of course,” Spock said, “you may very well state that whatever happened is, how should I say it, private. However, I suppose it is logical that they are curious about the proceeding of... happenings.”
Jim tried to tell Spock with his eyes that later he would kill Spock for this, or of course he wouldn’t kill Spock but he would wear his best captain look and stare at Spock until the man flinched or something. And the he would beat Spock’s ass in chess, possibly multiple times. But Spock was almost smiling at him now, in his completely serious manner of course. Jim should probably consider the possibility that maybe Spock enjoyed seeing him sweating in his suddenly very tight shirt.
“Well,” he said and breathed in and out but everyone was still waiting, “it is private.”
“Oh, Captain,” Uhura said, “we aren’t asking what you do in that pretty room of yours. But if you wanted to share something with us, like, maybe your first kiss?”
Jim was blushing. It was absolutely unfair. He was thirty-nine years old and a starship captain and he was blushing, and Spock was sitting right in front of him and would surely notice, as would everyone else in the room.
“Our first kiss?” he asked in a surprisingly weak voice.
“Lieutenant Uhura,” Spock said in a perfectly calm voice, “my observations seem to imply that the topic you have required is making the captain quite uncomfortable.”
“I knew it would,” Uhura said and smiled at Jim, “sorry, Captain. It’s just that we all care so much about you two.”
If you cared about me, Jim thought a little bitterly, you’d let me get the hell out of here and bury myself and my blushed face into my own bed. But he really shouldn’t have thought about his bed because that was where he slept beside Spock every night, and wasn’t that weird, except that it kind of wasn’t anymore.
“As the captain is seemingly occupied considering something,” Spock said, “probably something that affects the safety of this ship, maybe I might answer your question, Lieutenant.”
“Of course, Mr. Spock.”
Spock was looking at Jim. Jim was looking at Spock. Everyone else in the room was probably looking at them, although Jim couldn’t be sure because he didn’t dare risk glancing around.
“Our first kiss,” Spock said in a tone that would have been perfectly fine for discussing the physics of time warps, “occurred in circumstances quite surprising and sudden. As you all might estimate to be highly probable, the captain made the first move. I believe that is a correct human term. The whole occurrence was quite fascinating.”
Jim blinked. Spock raised an eyebrow at him. He opened his mouth and tried to say something but found that he couldn’t. Also, the whole room had gone silent.
“Oh,” Uhura said finally. She sounded like she was going to either laugh or cry but couldn’t decide. “Oh, Spock.”
“Yes,” Jim said slowly, “oh, Spock.”
“Captain, if I may now ask you to accompany me to our private quarters,” Spock said.
Jim stood up. His knees were still steady so this is was actually going quite well, all things considered. He nodded at Uhura who was still smiling. He would find something that would make her drop that smile, he totally would, maybe he could make up a new language and then ask Uhura to translate it. He followed Spock out of the room and then took a deep breath the second they were in the corridor.
“I’m blushing, aren’t I?”
“Yes, you are, Jim,” Spock said, staring straight ahead, “badly.”
“You didn’t just -,” Jim said and then bit his lip, because surely he couldn’t say you didn’t just tell them about our first kiss.
“It is, as I said, logical for them to be curious. However,” Spock said in a tone with a hint of worry, “I wish you are not angry.”
“No,” Jim said, “I’m not angry. I’m just… you just told them.”
“It seemed to be a logical thing to do,” Spock said. He sounded subtly relieved.
“There’s nothing logical about this and you know it, Mr. Spock,” Jim said and then sighed. The corridors were empty and he was pretty optimistic about that his crew wouldn’t eavesdrop their captain’s private conversations through the monitoring system. “You made it sound like a real kiss.”
“Define a real kiss, please.”
“I can’t define that, I’d have to show -,” Jim said and then placed a palm onto his mouth. Shit.
“Jim?” Spock said and stopped in front of their quarters. The doors slid open.
Jim walked straight in. “Nothing. Just nothing.”
“You were about to define a real kiss.”
“No, I wasn’t,” Jim said and swallowed. “You’ll know. Or maybe you won’t, I don’t know, though actually I think I should know because we’re… married. Stop me, Spock, I don’t know what I’m saying.”
Spock raised an eyebrow at him.
“Maybe you’re right,” Jim said, and he was getting all blushed again but what the hell, Spock wouldn’t mind anyway, “maybe you’re right and it was a… real kiss. I surely spent the whole next day panicking like a teenager who had just, well, kissed someone for the first time. So, that should mean something, shouldn’t it?”
“Jim,” Spock said in a calm tone, “I haven’t researched the subject. I would not know.”
“Could we just play a round of chess or something?” Jim said. “Please?”
“That is acceptable,” Spock said.
Jim had to take his shirt off because he was still blushing and still too hot and certainly it was because the room was so warm and not because Spock was watching him over the chess board. He undressed his undershirt as well and Spock didn’t seem to mind. Soon after Spock went to pick up the duvet from the bed and got himself wrapped in it. Jim wondered if he might help with that but it seemed impolite to ask. They played four rounds of chess and probably were quite happy.
Chapter 6: Holding Hands
Hi there you all, I definitely wanted to post this chapter a bit earlier but a very busy week and a half got the better of me. But now it's finally here! Thanks for reading and for all the comments! This Chapter 6 is perhaps one of my personal favorites within this story, I hope you guys like it too!
“Captain,” Spock said and there was this undertone in his voice that hinted he was getting frustrated, “there is a probability of 93.4 percent that nothing on this planet possess a threat to our well-being. Therefore, I must again request a permission to briefly depart the landing party so that I may collect samples of the planet’s most fascinating plant life.”
Most fascinating, Jim thought and bit his lip. Spock was going to be bitter about this later. “Request denied. Everyone stays close.”
“Captain,” Spock said quietly, moving to walk so close to him that their shoulders brushed against each other, “your decision is utterly illogical. Should something happen, I am well capable of taking care of myself, and may I remind you that the possibility of something happening is less than –“
“I have a bad feeling about this place,” Jim said and ignored Spock’s raised eyebrow. “Perhaps you can collect your samples later. We’ll see.”
“Shut up and stay close to me.”
Spock turned to stare at him. He swallowed and then answered Spock’s gaze.
“Mr. Spock,” he added and Spock looked almost smug about how little it seemed to help his case. Everyone in the landing party was now trying to look like they weren’t surprised and possibly a little amused about the captain’s sudden outburst. “I apologize,” he said and Spock nodded, still intolerably smug.
“Apology is unnecessary, Captain,” Spock said in a tone that hinted it was, indeed, necessary, since Jim was acting once again so terribly illogically. Jim raised his eyebrows and Spock looked faintly amused.
“And I really have a bad feeling about this place,” Jim said, looking around at his crewmen who were now hiding their smiles a bit better. “I know it’s a beautiful purple forest and there’s no reason to believe we’re in danger but I have a hunch and I’m not taking any chances. So everyone stays close. I’m not specifically worried about Spock because we happen to be married, so you all can stop looking at me like that.”
“Captain, may I point out that no one is currently looking at you.”
Jim glared at Spock who was almost smiling. “You too, Mr. Spock. Stop looking at me and do your –“
He wasn’t exactly sure what actually happened. He grabbed Spock’s arm and pulled him closer, and then he realized grabbing his phaser might have been a more logical choice of action. Well, he had Spock to remind him about that later. And it wasn’t like there was anything to point at with his phaser, only the same purple forest that was now moving.
“Captain,” Spock said, “according to my observations, it seems possible that the forest is trying to close around us.”
“Yes,” he said, “great work, Science Officer. We have to cut through. Shoot.”
He was the first one to hit a tree, although he wasn’t sure whether they should have been called trees now that they were leaning towards them in a way that made him wonder if they perhaps wanted to strangle them. The tree screamed. He heard Spock muttering something that surely couldn’t be fascinating and then he shot again. The tree screamed again and then seemed to fall forward, only it wasn’t really falling but rather trying to grab his waist.
“Jim,” Spock said in a hasty voice and took a firmer grip of his arm.
“We’ve got to get out of here,” Jim said. The tree was trying to pull him in and Spock was trying to hold him in place. “Spock, you have to –“
“Spock to Enterprise,” Spock said, holding the communicator, “come in, just come in –“
Jim breathed out and the tree held him. Its purple branches were now reaching to get tangled over his chest and it was actually squeezing quite tightly. Breathing was getting a bit difficult. If Scott didn’t beam them up shortly, Jim might actually -
He took a ragged and pretty painful breath and opened his eyes.
“Jim,” Spock said, “just lay still. Please.”
Okay, he was alive and he could breathe again, although it hurt. But he was at the sickbay and he heard Bones’ monitors beeping so the situation didn’t seem to be too concerning at the moment. Also, Spock was holding his hand.
“Spock,” he said and foun that his voice wasn’t really working. He squeezed Spock’s hand instead.
Spock’s eyes went wide. Jim tried to laugh at the expression but it came out as a cough. Spock pulled his hand away.
“No,” Jim said, he hadn’t meant that, Spock could very well hold his hand, he didn’t mind at all, but when he tried to say at least something of all that aloud, he realized there probably were some regulations implying that the captain of a starship couldn’t ask his first officer to hold his hand. But then again, he was Spock’s husband. This was personal. And he really wanted to hold Spock’s hand again. Maybe he had been out for a long time, minutes, perhaps hours, and all that time Spock had been holding his hand -
And that was probably the last thing he should be thinking about right now.
“Is everyone alright?” he asked.
“Affirmative, Captain,” Spock said in a somewhat distant tone. “Everyone was successfully beamed up to the ship. You were the only one who was harmed. It has been four minutes since you lost your consciousness due to the unfortunate occurrence on the planet. We are still in orbit.”
“Great,” he said.
“I should have trusted your hunch, Captain,” Spock said. He looked like he wanted to grab Jim’s shoulders and shake him but also to walk away. Jim breathed in, flinched as it hurt, and tried not to think about how Spock would grab his shoulders and look at him straight in the eyes and say nice things about his hunch.
“No,” he said. It was still difficult to speak. He should probably wait a few more minutes before he would get back to the bridge. “Bones?”
“The doctor is in the next room. I told him I would stay by your side when your condition ceased to require immediate medical attention. I will call for him if you wish.”
“No,” he said, “keep him… from poking me with his… things.”
“Very well,” Spock said. He sounded glad. Jim smiled and was pretty sure that if smiling had been Spock’s thing at all, Spock would have smiled right back at him.
“Spock,” he said.
“Yes?” Spock said, leaning closer.
“You will make a full recovery,” Spock said in a voice that suddenly got more serious. “However, you suffered several bone fractures. You will have to refrain from physical strain for at least three point six standard days. You will not be permitted to do any lifting, running or jumping.”
“What? No jumping?”
“You have a tendency to jump over obstacles of physical essence, Captain. You will have to try to control that impulse.”
Jim grinned and Spock looked at him with a subtle disapproval. “Fine. No jumping. What about… the planet?”
“I strongly advice that we cease our attempts to search for the minerals until we have sufficiently researched the plant life of the planet in order to prevent further accidents.”
“Sounds good. So, what –“
“I wish to send a landing party to collect a few samples. I believe it can be done safely if the precautions are sufficient.”
“Fine. I trust you.”
“Very well, Captain,” Spock said. “I wish to stay in the ship. Lieutenant Harvey will be in charge of the landing party.”
“I was hoping,” Spock said and frowned, “that you would allow me to continue accompanying you in the sickbay.”
Jim blinked. Well, of course he wanted Spock to stay here, but they were orbiting a planet full of purple trees capable of hugging a person to suffocation. He was pretty sure that was more than fascinating for Spock.
“I do not believe the landing party would find this objectionable, since we are –“
“Married,” Jim said and took as deep a breath as he could before the pain got too bad. “Of course you can stay here if you want to.”
“Thank you,” Spock said. “Perhaps I could do some reading considering plants capable of strangling a human being.”
“Please, go ahead,” Jim said. Spock settled into a chair right next to Jim’s bed. Within a minute Spock was reading in an incomprehensible speed something that probably was a very scientific article. His right hand was resting on the edge of Jim’s bed. It looked a bit lost.
Jim bit back a smile. “Spock?”
“I happened to notice that you were holding my hand earlier. When I woke up.”
Spock turned to look at him and then at his own hand that was quite near to Jim’s left arm. “I apologize. I was only trying to… I do not know how to logically explain it.”
“You were worried,” Jim said. “Anyway, I was just wondering if you might do it again.”
Spock frowned. “Please, specify.”
“If you wish,” Jim said and tried to sound like he wasn’t a bit nervous about this, “I would like it if you held my hand.”
Spock’s eyebrow went up so quickly it couldn’t have been intentional.
“But only if you want to,” Jim added quickly. “I think it gives me emotional security.”
Spock blinked. “Of course, Captain.”
Jim closed his eyes and waited. He heard Spock shifting in his chair and then there was a cool hand holding his own, their fingers entangled. He breathed in and was happy to find that it hurt a little less now. He heard Spock breathing beside him in a pace that seemed a bit rapid for Spock. Maybe there was something interesting in the article.
“So,” Jim said when Bones had told Spock to go somewhere else for a change and Spock had glared at Bones in a manner that seemed to have contained multiple disapproving emotions, “can I get out of here?”
“I could let Spock take you to your own bed,” Bones said, staring at the monitor that was still beeping encouragingly, “so that you two can keep holding hands in private.”
Jim sighed. “You saw that?”
“Of course I saw that,” Bones said, “did you think I would let you go unmonitored after you almost let a tree strangle you? I only stayed away because he looked like he could use some privacy. With you. He was really worried.”
“Yeah,“ Bones said, “of course Spock, who else? He carried you to the sickbay with half of your ribs broken and your face white as a… well, almost as white as his but not quite as green. And then he kept driving me nuts by asking the same questions over and over.”
“He carried me?”
“Well, you weren’t exactly walking,” Bones said, “and he was in a hurry. Don’t worry. It didn’t seem very graceful and quite a lot of people saw it but everyone understands it was an emergency.”
“Did he… how did he…”
“Just the way you’d carry a bride over the threshold, only he was running. Stop obsessing about Spock carrying you and concentrate. Do you want to continue holding his hand here or in your own room?”
“It wasn’t like that,” Jim said.
“What, holding hands?”
Jim opened his mouth and then closed it again. Bones rolled his eyes but also looked like he was trying not to smile.
“That’s what I thought,” Bones said and then paused his medical hovering to look at Jim in the eyes. “You two can hold hands as much as you like. No one’s going to try to stop you and no one will mind.”
“I know,” Jim said, “it’s just…”
“You want to hold his hand, Jim,” Bones said, “and he wants to hold yours. God knows we all need all the comfort we can get, floating in space like this.”
Jim swallowed. “But –“
“Your room or the sickbay?”
“Our room,” Jim said after a moment of silence.
“Fine, then,” Bones said, “Spock can take you. I’ll even let you walk by your own feet if you promise not to jump over things.”
“I don’t jump over things,” Jim said and Bones laughed out like it was a joke of some kind.
“I heard you carried me to the sickbay today.”
“Affirmative, Jim. I assume that the doctor told you. I wish he did not make it sound like an ungraceful occurrence. It really was necessary.”
“Well, he did, but I know. I don’t mind.”
“You do not?”
“I was just wondering if perhaps the next time you would like to find a bit more masculine way to carry me.”
“I assure you that you were very masculine at the moment, despite of being unconscious.”
Jim laughed out but tried to keep it quiet because they were kind of trying to sleep. He had spent the rest of the day in their own room. Spock had brought a few samples of those purple branches and some equipment to study them, and then he had been sitting in the corner of the room, lips pressed tightly shut, forehead frowning, sometimes watching those samples so intently Jim had to call his name two or three times before he heard it. Jim hadn’t minded, of course. It was almost like being on the bridge and watching Spock bend over the science station.
“Jim,” Spock said, and Jim felt his back moving against his own as he breathed in, “I must point out that it is utterly illogical to be concerned about your masculinity due to being carried while unconscious.”
“Well, I wasn’t really worried. It’s just that I’m the captain. I have to maintain the image or something like that.”
“Would you have preferred to be dragged?”
Jim froze for a second and then chuckled. He thought he could feel Spock being very happy about himself. Maybe it was one of those things you learned when you were married for some time, reading your spouse’s moods from their back. With your back. “Well, you would have never let me be dragged.”
“No,” Spock said in a completely serious tone, “absolutely not. Jim, in case you are worried, I can assure you that I personally find you very masculine.”
“Oh,” Jim said, “thank you.”
“You are most welcome.”
“I also find you very masculine,” Jim said, although he really would have wanted to know whether they were joking or absolutely serious, “in case you were worried.”
“I was not,” Spock said and shifted so that their backs weren’t brushing against each other anymore. “Captain, I have always been under the impression that you prefer feminine company.”
“Don’t you go Captain on me now,” Jim said. “Are you really asking me that?”
“If you are unwilling to discuss the subject, I will of course –“
“No,” he said, “don’t drop it. You asked me. I’ll try to answer.”
The room was too quiet. He could hear Spock breathing steadily beside him and he had absolutely no idea what to say.
“I can’t answer that.”
“I understand. It was a personal question and –“
“I didn’t mean that. You can get as personal with me as you like, Spock, you know that. It’s just that… I don’t know how to answer. Aren’t you supposed to be a telepath?”
He felt Spock freeze on the other edge of the bed. “Excuse me?”
“I mean,” he said and swallowed, “if you ask me something and I really don’t know how to answer, can’t you just… read it on me or something?”
“Jim,” Spock said in a somewhat tight voice, “I must inform you that I value your privacy. I am slightly surprised that you would think otherwise.”
“I know that,” Jim said quickly and turned so that he could stare at Spock’s neck. “Sorry. Of course I know that. I only meant that… oh.”
“Please, specify,” Spock said. He sounded very uncomfortable and Jim wanted to touch his shoulder or something but this probably wasn’t the right moment.
“We held hands for a long time today. In the sickbay. And a bit more here in our… room. Isn’t that like... unpleasant for you?”
Spock shifted again. Jim considered whether he could ask Spock to turn around and face him, but well, then he would have to face Spock and maybe he would realize they were lying in the bed and talking about holding hands and that he had always been bad at things like talking about holding hands.
“Jim,” Spock said after a stretched silence, “I would not describe holding hands with you as unpleasant.”
“Well, great,” Jim said, “but really, isn’t it hard to block away my thoughts? I’ve been told that I’m pretty impulsive. Surely my thoughts are as well.”
“You are in correct that holding hands with you requires some,” Spock paused, “concentration. However, hard might not be the accurate term. I would prefer… intense.”
“But you don’t mind.”
“Jim,” Spock said and it seemed that his voice was getting lower, “sensing the… hints of your emotions through physical contact gives me emotional security.”
Jim swallowed. “Oh.”
“That, I believe, is a quite accurate description of the phenomenon.”
Jim closed his eyes for a moment. Spock was joking about it so surely they were alright. “Okay. So, tell me. If you asked me a question I couldn’t answer, couldn’t I just touch your shoulder or something and then you could pick up what I’m thinking about?”
“Jim, I believe your fellow humans would find communicating in that way highly insufficient. I have come to know that humans appreciate the ability to express every thought and emotion in words. However, I must say that your suggestion is rather creative.”
“So,” he said and pressed his fingertips onto Spock’s shoulder, “can I?”
“Okay,” he said and placed both of his palms flat against the fabric of Spock’s undershirt. “Ask me that question again.”
“Jim,” Spock said very slowly, “are you unhappy now that you have refrained from seeking female company due to the change in our relationship?”
Jim flinched. “That was not the question.”
“Of course it was.”
“Fine,” he said and kept his palms pressed onto Spock. He was pretty sure this wouldn’t work after all, because all he felt was confusion about why Spock would ask that. Surely Spock knew that he was happy now, here, and well, he might miss smiling at pretty women and perhaps he missed sex a little, but it had been ages since he had slept with anyone anyway and it wasn’t that big a deal. It really wasn’t. He could very well take care of himself alone in the bathroom when Spock and his excellent sense of hearing weren’t around, and shit this was exactly what he wasn’t supposed to be thinking and probably also why touch telepaths didn’t go around touching people.
“Sorry,” he said, “I hope you didn’t catch what I was thinking.”
“Jim,” Spock said in an almost soft voice, “I am not peeking into your thoughts. I am merely trying to understand the emotions you are experiencing over the question, as you wished.”
“Is it working?” Jim asked, mostly to distract himself from noticing the subtle trembling of his hands.
“It might help if you moved your left hand a little,” Spock said, now again perfectly serious, “perhaps to touch my neck. It would be easier to receive your emotions and in the same time control the current of your incoming thoughts if there was a bare skin contact between us. But only if you wish, of course.”
“Yes,” Spock said as Jim held his palm still on Spock’s neck. “That is very sufficient, Jim.”
“Thank you,” Jim said even though he didn’t know why.
“It is unnecessary to thank me,” Spock said. He sounded like he didn’t exactly know what he was saying, but that was impossible so probably Jim was misinterpreting. “Jim, this is… you are feeling a lot.”
“Just tell me if you need me to back off.”
“Negative. I can take it. Although it is a mess. I fail to see how you can be such an excellent starship captain with all those emotions.”
Jim laughed out. “Well, luckily I have you to help me out.”
“Indeed,” Spock said. “Jim, you are not unhappy.”
Jim swallowed. Spock had sounded surprised.
“Of course I’m not unhappy.”
“You miss… you miss something, but you are not unhappy. You feel warmth and… companionship and…”
“Affirmative. Jim, I do not know what to call these emotions.”
“Don’t worry, I don’t know either,” he said and realized he had begun moving his hand just a little. It was almost like he was caressing Spock who on the other hand didn’t seem to mind. “Spock, I’m going to pull my hands away now. So that you won’t get an overdose of my human emotions.”
“That is very thoughtful of you, Jim,” Spock said. He sounded a little sad.
“Well,” Jim said and withdrew his hands. Spock lay still. Jim took a deep breath and wondered briefly what Bones might have said about this, but of course it was no one else’s business. They were married, after all. Surely what they did in their own bedroom was their concern and no one else’s. His fingertips were kind of tingling, though. “I think I could go to sleep now,” he said, “or at least try. Tomorrow I’ll get back to the bridge no matter what Bones says. Are you going to meditate?”
“I suppose I will stay in my current location,” Spock said in a calm voice, “if you do not mind.”
“Of course I don’t mind,” Jim said and bit back a smile, “this is your bed as well, Mr. Spock.”
“I am aware of that, Captain.”
“I know. Good night, Spock.”
“Good night, Jim.”
The first thing Jim realized as he slowly woke up was that he was very comfortable. Next he realized his face was pressed against Spock’s back and he had his arm around Spock’s waist.
“Jim,” Spock said in a calm voice, “I request that you refrain from panicking.”
Oh shit, he thought. “You’re awake.”
“As I require considerably less sleep than you, that should not be surprising.”
“But you’re still here,” Jim said, “in the bed.”
“Your right arm is currently positioned around the midsection of my body,” Spock said, “and I did not wish to wake you up.”
Jim shifted so that he got his face away from Spock’s shoulder blades and his hand away from Spock’s stomach. Then he took a few deep breaths but it didn’t really help. “I’m sorry.”
“I assure you that your apology is completely unnecessary,” Spock said. “Your physical closeness did not cause me discomfort.”
“Fine,” he said and cleared his throat, “okay. Great. So, I think I’m going to… get up. And go to take a shower.”
“That is a highly probable cause of action,” Spock said, “since it is what you do every morning.”
Jim opened his mouth but didn’t really know what to say. He pulled his shoulders back, checked that his underpants were in place and then walked to the shower. He was pretty sure Spock wasn’t watching him. There was absolutely no reason why Spock would be watching him. And he wouldn’t get confused about this. They were married and all, which was actually pretty great, because otherwise it would have been against regulations to get entangled with your first officer without their explicit and preferably written consent. Although Spock had kind of said it was fine, or at least he had said it didn’t cause him discomfort, which was great. Really. Perhaps Spock thought Jim was lonely and that was why he tolerated Jim touching him. That kind of made sense. Spock would have probably approved of that line of logic.
Jim closed his eyes as the water ran over him. He would go to the bridge and concentrate on his job and not think about hugging Spock in his sleep at all.
A little later he realized he was thinking about it all the time. It seemed to be a quiet, beautiful day in space and nothing was really happening, except that the captain of the starship Enterprise was eyeing his first officer and husband and wondering why the hell he had woken up his face resting against the said husband’s back and if it might happen again, perhaps constantly, maybe even every morning, and what Spock would think about it. He supposed they could have asked for separate beds but perhaps it wouldn’t be necessary. He kind of liked sleeping beside Spock. And if they stopped sleeping in the same bed, the whole ship would know about it in an hour, and then they would have to explain that they weren’t breaking up, it was nothing like that, no one had a reason to get worried. So, it really was logical to stay in the same bed.
He blinked and turned to look at Sulu who apparently was speaking to him. “Yes?”
“We are approaching Ypsilon III.”
“Very well,” he said. “Standard orbit, Mr. Sulu.”
“Aye aye, Captain.”
Jim straightened in his chair and then glanced at Spock. Maybe they could build a wall of pillows if he got too clingy.
Later he felt pretty stupid about the whole thing. He had known that Ypsilon III was having some kind of a disagreement with the Federation and still he had walked straight to the trap. Damn, he had been smiling as he had walked there. He had followed that nice Prime Minister to the next room and then later he had woken up with a headache and no idea at all where he was.
Of course Spock saved him. He had no idea how Spock had done it, and he hadn’t been really mistreated, only he had spent at least one and half standard days in a tiny room with nothing else to do than to engage himself in the popular culture of Ypsilon III. Still he didn’t think he had ever been happier than when they opened the door and he saw Spock in the doorway with a raised eyebrow and a gently disapproving expression. He walked to Spock and kissed him.
Jim froze as well, and when he managed to put his thoughts together even a little, he took a step back and placed his hands onto Spock’s shoulders.
“I apologize,” he said.
“Apology is not necessary,” Spock said. He sounded like he wasn’t breathing.
“Captain,” Uhura said in a tone that only hinted of a smile, “please, do not hesitate in our behalf.”
Five other crewmen standing in the corridor nodded and Bones looked like he was completely done with all this and would retire at the first possible moment.
“Fine,” Jim said and patted Spock on the shoulder, “I’m happy you got me out. Is everyone alright?”
“Affirmative, Captain. It was a matter of miscommunication. Due to my observations also you seem to be functioning optimally.”
“Yeah, I am,” he said, even though he clearly wasn’t because he had just kissed Spock in front of his crewmen, who seemed to be very happy about having got to see it. He swallowed and took the communicator Spock passed to him. “Kirk to Enterprise. Scotty? Beam us up.”
Jim blinked and tried to smile at Uhura, who was eyeing him like she saw straight through that smile. Well, perhaps she did. Jim let the smile drop as the lieutenant sat down and watched him with sharp eyes and a tilt of head that was a bit intimidating.
“It’s not like you to spend time in the rec room,” Uhura said, “not this late in the evening. What’s wrong?”
“Lieutenant,” he said and opened his mouth. Uhura raised her eyebrows and he realized he had no energy left to try to figure out a story. He shook his head.
“Permission to speak freely, Sir?”
“Fine,” Jim said, “go ahead.”
“Perhaps you’re nervous about what Spock thought about you kissing him in public and that’s why you are sitting here and not getting to your own room like you should.”
Jim chuckled. “Okay.”
“Okay?” Uhura said. “You admit that I’m right?”
“You aren’t wrong,” Jim said and tried to soften it with a smile. He clearly wasn’t doing too well, because Uhura leaned in to pat him on his arm and watched him as if he were a sad puppy and not a very good starship captain.
“Well, I’ll give you a piece of advice then,” Uhura said, “just get there already and talk to him. He’s not going to hold it against you, not after he has been in love with you for years.
“No, he hasn’t,” Jim said and then realized he probably shouldn’t have told Uhura that.
Uhura rolled her eyes. “Of course he has. Just like you’ve been in love with him since, I’d say maybe the second year of our first mission.”
Jim opened his mouth to correct her but of course there was no point in it. Perhaps it would have been wiser to ask why Uhura would think that. Of course Jim and Spock had been really close back then, and of course they had spent a lot of their free time together, and sure, Jim had preferred Spock’s company over pretty much everyone else’s, and yes, he had always admired Spock deeply and cared about him and wanted to keep him safe and ensure his happiness, but being in love? Where the hell was that coming from?
“Captain,” Uhura said, her now almost soft but still a little amused voice cutting through Jim’s thoughts, “don’t look so worried. And it’s not like the two of you haven’t kissed in public before. Christine told me Spock held your hand for hours in the sickbay after you had that accident with purple trees.”
“Purple trees,” he said and then cleared his throat. “What did you say?”
“Surely you remember,” Uhura said. “From what I heard, you were awake for the most of it.”
“Yeah,” he said, “but you said something about kissing.”
Uhura looked a bit concerned now. “Captain, you married a Vulcan. Certainly you know the basics of their culture.”
“Yes,” he said. The neckline of his shirt felt suddenly very tight.
“The culture considering intimate relationships,” Uhura said slowly like she had wanted to make sure Jim really understood.
Oh shit, he thought. “So, holding hands counts as…”
“Well, not exactly,” Uhura said, “they kiss with their hands but it’s done a bit differently. Surely you know this, Captain. I was only trying to say that since touching hands is so intimate for them and he did that for hours with you in the sickbay, I don’t see why you should be so worried if you once slipped and kissed him in public.”
“Yes,” Jim said and stood up, “no, I don’t know. Absolutely. Thank you, Lieutenant. I think I’ll go now so that I can talk about this with my… Spock.”
“That is a very good idea, Sir,” Uhura said. She looked pretty happy with herself.
Jim rushed through the corridors to their room. When he stepped in, he almost collided with Spock, who was standing in the middle of the room his hands folded behind his back.
“Spock,” Jim said and stopped in front of him, “what are you doing?”
“Waiting for you,” Spock said in a calm voice.
Jim didn’t feel calm at all. “I’ve been away for hours. You can’t have just stood there for all this time.”
“I was prepared to stand here as you expressed it until my next shift begins,” Spock said. “However, I am glad that I may not have to. I wish to discuss with you, Jim.”
“Yeah,” Jim said and almost grabbed Spock’s hand before he could stop himself. Hands. He should remember it. Hands were out of the limit now, only it was Spock who had started holding hands in the first place. He felt like he didn’t understand anything and he didn’t like that very much. “What do you want to talk about?”
“Jim,” Spock said in a tone that suggested he really wanted Jim to do the talking.
“Okay,” Jim said. “I’m sorry I kissed you. Why did you hold my hand in the sickbay?”
Spock flinched. “Excuse me?”
“I just talked with Uhura,” Jim said, “she thought we were having a row or something and she told me to stop moping and talk to you. And she said that hands are an… intimate thing. For a Vulcan.”
“That is correct, Captain,” Spock said, “however –“
“No,” Jim said, “no however and no captain, not now, I’m your husband, remember? And I’m asking you why you kissed me for hours in the sickbay and didn’t tell me about it.”
“You did not think we were kissing. It is therefore logical to assume that the act we engaged in in the sickbay was not, indeed, kissing.”
“But is it true?” Jim said. “You do kiss with your hands?”
Spock looked utterly uncomfortable. “Affirmative.”
Spock stared at him. He stared right back even though he kind of realized now that he probably shouldn’t have asked that. But it was too late anyway, and they were married and he didn’t fucking know how his husband did the kissing.
Spock swallowed. “Do you wish me to show you?”
“Yeah,” Jim said and tried to look as captain-like as he could. “Yes. Go ahead.”
“Very well,” Spock said, watching him with wide eyes. “I need your hand, Captain.”
“Jim,” Spock said and held his own hand raised in between of them, two fingers pointing at Jim. “Like this. Please.”
Jim raised his hand and tried to copy Spock’s gesture. Spock looked more than a little shaken but they would worry about that later. Maybe they could play a round of chess. That would smooth things down. Jim tried to think about chess and not about how Spock was watching him now, like he was going to kiss Jim, which he of course was. And then Spock pressed his two pointed fingers lightly against Jim’s and slowly ran them downwards.
“Oh,” Jim said, staring at their fingers. His owns were shaking a little. Spock’s seemed steady. “And this is… kissing?”
“Yes,” Spock said breathlessly.
“Breathe,” Jim said, “this is an order.”
Spock took a deep breath. “Thank you, Captain.”
“You are welcome,” Jim said. “So, we are kissing.”
“You may now repeat what I just did,” Spock said, “if you want to.”
“Of course I want to,” Jim said and tried. Spock held his fingers steadily in place but the rest of him was kind of shaking a little. “Am I doing this right?”
“You like it.”
“And you don’t mind that it’s me who is…” Jim blinked, “kissing you. With my fingers.”
“No,” Spock said, staring at their fingers. “I would never.”
“Good,” Jim said even though he didn’t know if it was exactly good or only a little overwhelming, and he didn’t know what it meant, although surely Spock wouldn’t have done this if this wasn’t logical in some way. Perhaps it was only fair that they kissed in a Vulcan way when they had already kissed in a human way. “So, your hands,” Jim continued, and Spock fixed his eyes on him so intently he would surely be out of breath soon, “they are sensitive.”
“I have told you that,” Spock said, staring at him.
“Yes,” he said, raised his left hand as well and placed a few fingertips very gently against Spock’s palm, “but we were talking about telepathy, and this is… different kind of sensitive.”
“Yes,” Spock said, “that as well. Jim –“
“So this,” Jim said, held Spock’s hand carefully with one hand and run his fingers slowly on Spock’s palm and in between of his fingers with the other, “this should count as…”
“Yes,” Spock said, “this is quite intimate.”
Jim stilled his hands but didn’t let go of Spock’s. Spock blinked and took a breath sharp enough for Jim to hear.
“Do you want me to stop?” Jim asked.
“It would be logical to do so,” Spock said, “unless you wish me to… enjoy it.”
“Like,” Jim said and very gently rubbed the length of Spock’s fingers resting on his own palm, “like, if I do this –“
Spock cleared his throat but it didn’t sound particularly voluntary. Jim stilled his hands.
“Spock. I need your explicit consent. Do you want me to keep doing this?”
“If you wish –“
“Yes,” Jim said, “yes, I want to. If you want to. But it’s up to you. And don’t say anything about logic, just if you want to or not.”
Jim blinked. “Yes?”
“Fine,” Jim said, “okay. We should probably… sit down for this.”
He walked to the bed and sat down. Spock followed him probably because he was still holding Spock’s hand. His ears were ringing and he wasn’t sure what he was doing, only that this probably wasn’t just kissing anymore, not now that he swallowed a couple of times and then took Spock’s hand in between of his own as gently as he could. Spock was watching their hands with an expression that hinted it was scientifically impossible to figure out what was happening.
Jim closed his eyes for just a second. If he was completely honest with himself, he had to admit that this probably was sex. Vulcan kind of sex but sex anyway. With Spock. Jim and Spock. This probably was exactly the kind of a thing Bones would have referred to by a huge mess and dammit, Jim. But Bones wasn’t here, thank god, and Spock was, Spock was sitting right in front of Jim’s face, breathing quite hard and shaking just a little, and if Jim had a chance to make Spock feel like that, he definitely wasn’t going to pass. And besides, it wasn’t like they weren’t married or something.
“Just tell me if I do something wrong,” he said and rubbed Spock’s knuckles with his fingertips.
“I doubt that you would be able to do anything wrong,” Spock said, “Sir.”
Sir, Jim thought and turned Spock’s hand so that his palm was facing the ceiling. Okay. Fine. “Anything? Really? And what is a probability of that, Science Officer?”
“Oh,” Spock said as Jim pressed his fingertips onto Spock’s palm and followed the lines in it, “the probability is seventy-two and… and…”
“Yes? Science Officer?”
“I cannot… I cannot estimate the exact… probability. At the moment.”
“That’s too bad,” Jim said. He wasn’t exactly sure what he was doing with his fingers but it surely was working. Also his own pants were getting a bit tight, but he wouldn’t think about that now. He shifted in a way he wished was subtle. Spock didn’t seem to notice, probably because he had closed his eyes and was now seemingly concentrating on breathing. “Fine. If you can’t estimate the probability, Officer, I suggest that you focus on… how you feel.”
“Yes,” Spock said, “Sir.”
Jim smiled. He had been called Sir in bed before and he had never really liked it, but this time… with Spock… it just wasn’t possible that Spock wouldn’t have cared for him for what he was, no matter what his rank was or if he had a starship to command or not. And if Spock wanted to call him Sir when he was… well, it seemed that he was trying to get Spock off by holding his hand. And Spock could call him whatever he wanted.
Only he was a bit worried that he wasn’t creative enough for this kind of touching. He should probably ask Spock about his techniques later. Spock looked perfectly happy with Jim rubbing his palm and fingers and the back of his hand and occasionally his wrist but maybe there was something else, something special Spock would have wanted if only he had dared to ask.
Jim licked his lips and thought about kissing Spock in a human way, only because Spock’s mouth was ajar and he looked so concentrated on what Jim was doing with his hand and it was fascinating. And then Jim dropped his eyes onto their hands. “Spock.”
“Yes?” Spock asked, eyes still closed.
“I’ll just,” Jim said and swallowed the rest of it, and then he leaned down to kiss Spock’s knuckles.
Spock’s eyes drew wide open.
“Can I?” Jim said. He was still so close to Spock’s hand that his lips were touching Spock’s skin as he spoke.
Spock nodded. He looked utterly confused.
“Great,” Jim said, “I don’t really know what to do, so just tell me if it… hurts.”
Spock raised an eyebrow at him. Okay, that had been a stupid thing to say. This was Spock’s hand. Surely he couldn’t hurt Spock’s hand. And then he gave kind of a wet kiss on the middle of Spock’s palm and Spock groaned and he thought shit I hurt him, only it really hadn’t been that kind of a groan.
Maybe he was just good with this. Or maybe Spock actually liked him a lot. It was good, of course, because he really liked Spock, probably more than anyone else, and it was so good that they could share a thing like this, only he wished his pants had been a bit less tight at the moment. And he should have taken off his shirt before he had begun caressing Spock’s hand. And then he remembered that Spock had two hands and the other had been lying in his lap for the whole time, completely ignored. He leaned in to grab the ignored hand and Spock flinched as he accidentally brushed the man’s thigh. Well, he could understand that. If Spock had brushed his thigh now, he would have probably moaned. But he wouldn’t think about that now, not when this was all about Spock who was watching him behind half-closed eyelids, and he had never seen Spock like this, never, and he had thought he never would, and he had never realized he wanted to, and then he placed a kiss on the back of Spock’s hand and took Spock’s front finger into his mouth.
“Jim,” Spock said in a breathless voice, “that is… I can’t keep up my… shields.”
“It’s okay,” Jim said and kissed the tip of the finger that had been in his mouth, “I don’t mind. Don’t worry about your shields.”
“But I can feel that you are -,” Spock said and paused when his finger slipped back into Jim’s mouth, “excited, you are…”
Aroused, Jim thought, I believe the word is aroused, but he kind of had Spock’s finger in his mouth and he wasn’t going to give it up so that he could correct Spock in his choice of words. And Spock was now watching him intently like he was a curious phenomenon of which Spock wanted to know absolutely everything, and he liked it, he really did, he had always admired Spock, always loved -
“Jim,” Spock said in a ragged voice and grabbed his wrist.
He let go of Spock’s hands and Spock stared at them like he hadn’t quite believed what had happened to them.
“Spock,” Jim tried to stay calmly and confidently and it didn’t work out too well.
“You are,” Spock began, frowned and watched him over his still raised hands, “I believe the correct term is quite a lot.”
Jim couldn’t stop himself from smiling. “Well, thank you. Do you want to continue? You haven’t yet… well, I think you haven’t yet…”
“You wish for me to experience an orgasm,” Spock said. He was still out of breath but he surely sounded more scientific about it than Jim anyway, which seemed to make Jim’s pants still a bit tighter.
“Well,” Jim said and swallowed, “it would seem like a… logical outcome.”
“But you did not attempt to -,” Spock said and then stared at him like he had known the rest of it already.
“I didn’t attempt what?”
“You were not touching yourself,” Spock said and Jim realized he was blushing, a moment before he had had Spock’s finger in his mouth and he had been quite sure Spock could get off by it, and now he was blushing because Spock was watching him with that perfectly serious look and talking about touching.
“No,” he said, “you’re right. I wasn’t. I wanted to… concentrate on you.”
“I am,” Spock said and glanced at his own hands, “pleased. However, I think it would be beneficial for me to spend a few moments alone to… calm myself.”
“Spock,” Jim said and took a deep breath, “if you want to, I’d be glad to… I’d do it for you.”
“Thank you,” Spock said, looking at him like he wasn’t quite making sense, “I think I understand your offer and I want you to know that I appreciate it. But you misunderstand my attempt. I wish to meditate.”
“Oh,” Jim said.
“Perhaps another time,” Spock said.
Fucking hell, Jim thought. Spock raised an eyebrow at him, and he genuinely didn’t know if Spock realized what he had just said and why Jim was blushing and sweating or if he really was confused about Jim’s reaction.
“Is it possible,” Spock said, “that you would like to take a shower, so that I might spend a moment in private here in our quarters?”
“Of course,” Jim said, stood up and fought the urge to cover the front of his pants with his palms. “Sure. I’ll just… can I come back when I’m finished? With… the shower?”
“Obviously,” Spock said. “I believe I will then join you in bed. Perhaps we could discuss something interesting before we go to sleep. I have wanted to ask your opinion about the new time warp theory.”
“Sure,” Jim said and walked to the bathroom as calmly and as fast as he could before he would have to actually say something about that time warp theory. He locked the door and then unlocked and locked it again, and then he took off his clothes that were quite a mess at this point anyway and stepped under the running water.
He closed his eyes. The water kept running. He tried to hear Spock through the door but didn’t hear anything, and there probably was a quite good chance that Spock really was meditating. He took a few deep breaths and then wrapped his fingers around himself. Perhaps he thought about Spock’s hands when he tightened his pace but well, it wasn’t like he could help it. And it had really happened. And Spock had wanted it. And Jim had wanted it, too. He still did.
A little later he sat down onto the floor and stopped the water. He waited until his breathing had gone steady again, and then he pulled his shoulders back and went to discuss the time warp theory with Spock.
Chapter 7: Visiting Vulcan
This is the second last chapter, so after this there's one more and then we're yet going to have a tiny epilogue! I'm so happy that you guys are reading this story!
He was going to talk to Spock about what they had done. He really was. He just didn’t know how to say it. He had had remember when I had your finger in my mouth lingering on his tongue a couple of times but somehow it didn’t sound right. And then he realized a week had gone by and then another and he still hadn’t managed to talk about it. It seemed like a proper time to give up.
Everything was pretty much back to normal anyway. He and Spock were married exactly like they had been even before he had found out about the sensitiveness of Spock’s hands. He kept throwing quick glances at Spock like he had even before he had somehow managed to change a perfectly logical conversation about Vulcan kissing into sex. And he wasn’t thinking about that too much, either, only he couldn’t stop wondering why the hell he had done it and why Spock had let him and what would come out of it and why they weren’t talking about it and if it was possible for Spock to actually come from what Jim had been trying to do.
Okay, maybe he thought about it a lot, but not all the time. And no one noticed, except Bones who asked what the hell he had done this time and went quite pale when Jim said that he absolutely definitely didn’t want to hear about it. Then Bones said fine, don’t tell me and Jim told him but tried to be very subtle about it, only he had to tell Bones some details because they were so important. But he was subtle about those details.
Then he realized that Spock was actually touching his hands a lot. He always did it so carefully and briefly that Jim barely noticed, but he did it. Sometimes he came to stand beside Jim’s chair on the bridge and when he turned to walk back, he brushed the back of Jim’s hand so quickly Jim later wondered if he had imagined it. And sometimes when Jim was passing something to Spock, their fingers touched in a way that couldn’t be an accident. Besides, Spock always looked a little smug about those touches, so it seemed pretty safe to assume that he did it on purpose.
Once Jim knew he was being touched, he began touching Spock right back. It was only logical. If Spock had wanted to avoid the contact with Jim’s hands, surely he hadn’t placed his palm right onto Jim’s that one time when they were discussing tactics with Bones and Scotty. So, next time Spock came to stand beside Jim’s chair on the bridge, Jim brushed Spock’s palm just lightly with his fingertips. He almost laughed out when Spock jumped at his touch. Luckily no one noticed, except perhaps Uhura who then stared at them with a look of warm amusement on her face.
But all in all everything was back to normal between Jim and Spock even though they didn’t talk about hands anymore, not even after one particular night when Jim had been feeling exceptionally clingy and they had been lying in their bed and suddenly he just hadn’t been able to take it anymore, and so he had asked if he could hold Spock’s hand and Spock had allowed it. He had been pretty polite about it, though. He had only kissed Spock’s knuckles once.
He got almost surprised when Bones reminded him that he had been married to Spock for six months and perhaps he would like to do something nice to the poor Vulcan who had managed to bear with him that long. He tried to subtly find out what Spock wanted and it turned out that Spock wanted to play a few rounds of chess with him and then go over the results of an exceptionally interesting research.
The weirdest thing that happened between the two of them was probably when Jim somehow managed to talk Spock into dancing with him in a party on a quite boring planet where they were because of a diplomatic mission that wasn’t going very well. Of course he knew everyone was watching them and probably taking pictures but he didn’t mind. And Spock danced surprisingly well, much better than him anyway, and Spock’s arms felt quite strong on his waist, which was only logical because Spock was much stronger than him. Much, much stronger. He kept smiling for the whole time and Spock looked like he was wondering if perhaps Jim had hit his head, but also he didn’t seem to mind too much.
And then one day when he woke up, he realized Spock was sweating and looking at him like trying to dare him to run away right now.
“Okay,” he said and kept walking circles in the middle of the room. “We knew this was coming. There is no reason to panic about it now.”
“Jim,” Spock said, standing so still that Jim was a little concerned about whether he was even breathing, “if you wish to withdraw from the arrangement we have previously discussed, I support your decision totally.”
“No,” Jim said and stopped in front of Spock for a few seconds before he realized he couldn’t quite meet Spock’s eyes and kept on walking, “you wouldn’t, because that would mean that you would need to find someone else. And you don’t want that. You can’t possibly want that.”
“I do not,” Spock said. “However –“
“We aren’t going to discuss this again,” Jim said. “It has to be me. I won’t let you bond with someone else unless you tell me that you really want someone else more than you want me.”
“That is quite impossible.”
“Well, then. What do we do now? How much time do we have? Do we have to go to Vulcan or can we just… do it here?”
“Jim,” Spock said, looking very nervous in his quiet way that made something inside Jim squirm with worry, “we must go to Vulcan.”
“Like the last time.”
“I do not suppose you are planning to choose the challenge.”
Jim bit his lip but couldn’t stop the smile. “Well, you’re right about that. I think I can pretty straightforwardly say that I take you.”
“Yes, I know,” he said, “you’re worried that you’ll hurt me and you’re worried that I don’t know what I’m getting at and all that. But I won’t change my mind unless you break up with me.”
Spock shot him a look that clearly said come on.
“Okay, you don’t want to break up,” he said, “so just tell me how we do this.”
“You might want to consider the possibility of delaying the ship’s next task for approximately six standard days so that we can visit Vulcan.”
“I’ll do it,” he said. “I think we can go right away. Can we? Do we need time to… arrange something on Vulcan?”
“Negative,” Spock said even though he looked like he didn’t want to. “It can be done as soon as we get there.”
“Great,” Jim said, “let’s do this.”
“So,” Bones said, “I have some Romulan ale. If you don’t ask me how I got it I’ll share it with you.”
“I don’t ask anything I don’t want to know,” Jim said, sat down and realized it was pretty hard to stay still. “It’s almost funny. I didn’t know I was still able to get this nervous about sex.”
“Oh,” Bones said, passed Jim a glass and took a sip of his, “I’m pretty nervous about it every time. You’ve just been lucky. So, are you panicking yet?”
“No,” he said and sighed, “yes. A little. Don’t tell Spock.”
“I would never tell him anything,” Bones said with a somewhat grumpy smile, “unless there’s a good reason. Are you here to talk about it?”
“So that I can give you pieces of advice.”
“So that you can pick up my pieces after I’ve panicked for some time and then when I go back to him I can pretend everything’s alright.”
“Jim,” Bones said and sat down in front of him, “you should tell him you’re nervous. I know nothing about relationships and yours is the weirdest ever but even I get that you can’t hide a thing like that from him.”
“I kind of knew you’d say that.”
“Okay, talk to me first,” Bones said, “pretend that I’m not an old man who’s a bit confused about this whole idea. What are you nervous about?”
“I don’t know.”
“Is it -,” Bones frowned, “- the sex?”
Jim opened his mouth, closed it again and then took a sip of his glass. Bones did the same.
“I don’t,” Jim said finally and took a deep breath, “I don’t really mind the sex part. Like, even if it wasn’t a question of life and death, even if we were here, in our own bed, just the two of us, and he wanted to do it, I think I’d do it. Of course I’d do it. I like him, Bones. I trust him. If he kissed me and said that he wants to –“
“Dammit, Jim,” Bones said, staring at him with wide disapproving eyes, “I know that you like him. Can you please skip your fantasies and get to the point?”
“It’s a big thing.”
Bones looked rather shocked.
“Bonding with him,” Jim said, “the whole… whole Vulcan thing of it. Like, do we have to do it in the sand? I really hope no one’s going to be watching because I’m going to be… I don’t think I’m going to be at my best. I’d hate anyone but Spock see me like that.”
“Well, I’m sure they’d hate that too,” Bones said, still eyeing him pretty suspiciously. “So, you’re nervous about the details.”
“Yeah,” Jim said, “but he’s also not going to be very logical about it. And he’s very strong.”
“I know that.”
“Much stronger than me. Like, he could probably carry me by one hand if he wanted to.”
“Jim, you’re fantasizing again.”
“Sorry,” he said and took a deep breath. “But this is pretty important.”
Bones emptied his glass in one but rather determined sip. Then he looked at Jim over the glass. “Jim, that stubborn Vulcan thinks you’re the most fascinating thing in whole fucking space. As your doctor, I’m worried too. Being your doctor really is about being worried all the time. But Spock’s going to do everything he possibly can so that he doesn’t hurt you.”
Jim closed his eyes for a moment. “The most fascinating thing?”
“Name something he cares about more than he cares about you.”
“Fine. Bones, you’re a romantic.”
“Jim, you could try being a bit more romantic yourself,” Bones said, “since you’ve decided to bond with him. For a lifetime. Body and mind.”
“It’s either that or he dies.”
“That wasn’t romantic at all,” Bones said and sighed deeply. “Just get out of here and go talk to him so that I can drink my illegal alcohol in peace.”
His heart felt heavy and he could hear Spock breathing. They were only a few hours away from Vulcan and he should probably have tried to sleep now that he still could, only it seemed impossible.
“I do not like this,” Spock said.
Jim shifted so that his back was slightly pressed against Spock’s. “It’s not about liking. It’s the logical thing to do.”
“I do not wish to hurt you.”
“I know that,” Jim said and sighed. “We should have had sex earlier.”
He felt Spock freezing beside him. “Excuse me?”
“We kind of did,” he said, closing his eyes and trying to keep his voice steady, “once, do you remember, with our… hands. We could have done the whole thing. If you had wanted to. And then this wouldn’t be so… we would know what to do.”
“Jim,” Spock said in a low voice. Jim felt Spock holding his breath.
“But we’ll be alright,” Jim said more to himself than to Spock, “it can’t be that difficult, and in any case it’s going to be better than seven years ago because no one’s going to need to die.”
“Jim,” Spock said, “are you attempting to express that you would have… that you would have been willing to engage in an act of sexual nature with me?”
“Yes,” Jim said and tried not to sigh. “And I did. We did. And you liked it.”
“That,” Spock said, “is a very obvious observation and I refuse to compliment you on it.”
“I liked it, too, and you know that. We could have done it again. And we could have done it… in different ways. And it would be easier for us now.”
“I regret that I have… failed to consider this.”
“No,” Jim said and turned around. His nose bumped into Spock’s bare neck. Spock had been sleeping in his underpants for a few nights now because of the fever and Jim had realized right away he kind of wanted to touch Spock’s bare skin, which probably was good because soon he would. He definitely would. “I didn’t know what I wanted either. And I could have asked you. I should have talked to you about the… hand thing. But I didn’t know what to say. Can you turn around?”
“I am well capable of turning around,” Spock said slowly, “however, I am rather unwilling to face you right now.”
Spock turned to face him.
“And perhaps you could give me your hand.”
Spock did, even though he looked quite suspicious about it. Jim placed their fingertips so that they were gently pressing against each other and then he entangled their fingers.
“I do not understand the meaning of this,” Spock said.
“Yes, you do,” Jim said. “I’m trying to tell you that we’re going to be fine. Can I kiss you?”
Spock raised both of his eyebrows.
“I like to do some kissing before sex,” Jim said and Spock frowned at him pretty intently. “Do you object?”
“Negative,” Spock said, “however, I must conclude that this is your attempt to face the situation with humor.”
“Not really. Bones told me to be more romantic.”
“Jim, I wish you would not discuss our relationship with the doctor.”
“Just kiss me and you’ll know that I trust you.”
“That is exactly why I am logically concerned,” Spock said.
Jim already had an argument on his mouth. He didn’t have the time to say it, though, because Spock leaned forward and kissed him on his mouth, eyes wide open, whole body tense, fingers squeezing Jim’s hand more tightly than was comfortable. But he wasn’t going to complain. He closed his eyes and tried to prolong the kiss, which was quite easy because Spock seemed to have frozen in place.
It’s going to be alright, he thought as loudly as he could. He didn’t know how that touch telepathy thing worked exactly but they were kissing, surely Spock would pick something up.
And then suddenly they weren’t kissing anymore and Spock was watching him with his dark eyes that looked quite feverish and a bit sad.
“I thank you for your trust in me,” Spock said.
“Good,” Jim said and pulled his hand gently away. “Now, let’s go do this.”
It would have probably been difficult to stand in the heat and sunshine even if he hadn’t been so nervous. Spock kept glancing at him and he wasn’t sure if he liked it or not. The look in Spock’s eyes seemed to hint that he really wanted to both wrestle with Jim in the sand but also save Jim from exactly that. All that Jim really wanted was to get somewhere with an air conditioning, preferably their own room on the Enterprise.
Then it all began and it was weirdly alike to the last time, except that T’Pring wasn’t there and instead Jim saw Sarek and Amanda standing there and looking serious. He wanted to greet them but didn’t dare to move and Spock was breathing heavily like he was getting ready to… well, exactly what he probably was getting ready to do. Jim pulled his shoulders back and waited.
He hadn’t really thought about the bonding a lot. It had been the later part he had worried about, although it hadn’t all been exactly worrying. But when T’Pau asked him to face Spock and place their foreheads together, he was kind of surprised how he could have missed to consider this. T’Pau said something, Spock said something, Jim held his breath and waited and then the sun and the sand and the heat all vanished.
Spock was in his mind. Spock was calm and reassuring and utterly logical and Jim wanted to go to him but he didn’t suddenly know how to move. He tried to reach for Spock but Spock was everywhere, not only looking for certain information like he had in the times they had melded when the current task had demanded it. Now Spock could see everything. And Jim could see everything as well, if he only learned how to look. And it wasn’t really about looking, it was more about feeling, because in every inch of himself he felt Spock’s presence. And Spock loved him. Spock had loved him all along. It surrounded him, it got stuck on his skin, it warmed him up like the sun never could, and it was as clear as anything even though he couldn’t have said it aloud. And of course he loved Spock as well. He would have been lost without Spock. He wouldn’t have been him without Spock.
He leaned in and Spock held him in the bright silence that had to be his mind, or Spock’s, or them both.
When he fell out of it, he was gasping for breath. The heat was unbearable. The sun was too bright. The sound of the wind almost hurt. And everyone was looking at them with blank faces and he felt like the only two people who could fit into the universe were him and Spock.
He tried to stand straight. Spock’s eyes were following his every move. T’Pau said something, ancient words that the universal translator probably made clumsy and unfitting, but Jim didn’t really hear them anyway. He was breathless even though he had a feeling that it had barely begun. Be more romantic, Bones had said, but Jim had no idea how to do it when he couldn’t even fucking breathe.
But there was something still lingering in his mind, like a calm hand holding him when he wavered. He leaned into it and it let him.
“Kirk,” someone called him through the heat and the sun and the calm place in his mind, and he realized hazily that it was T’Pau, “Kirk, it is done. You will now be left alone with him.”
He wanted to say something, possibly thank you, but his voice came out so ragged he doubted anyone heard him. And then they were all gone and the bells fell silent and the wind grew stronger. He turned to face Spock.
“Jim,” Spock said, his fists clenched and skin glowing with sweat, “I do not… wish to…”
“Yeah,” he said, “I know, “ because someone was holding him in his mind, gently, calmly but with a longing he couldn’t quite understand since it felt like it went through everything that was in him and still left them both aching. He licked his lips and then looked around and saw that there were blankets at least, blankets and water. Well. That would have to do.
“Jim,” Spock said and took a step forward.
“Okay,” Jim said, “how do we do this? I would really like to have one of those blankets, not for warmth of course, I think I’m going to melt anyway, but for, you know, not to be dragged in the sand. Maybe I’ll just… get one.”
He drew a deep breath. He wasn’t sure if Spock had heard him or not, and when he turned around and started walking towards the blankets, he felt an almost aching pull in his mind. Only a few steps. They could take it. And then he would sit down onto one of the blankets and then probably lie down as well because wasn’t that how it was done, or perhaps Spock would want to have him on his knees.
Jim, Spock said but it came through his mind and ached.
“Just come here,” he said aloud because he didn’t really trust himself with this telepathy thing yet. He would sure mess up the whole message if he tried it. “We’re going to do it on the blanket. If you want me in the sand, you’re going to have to fight it.”
He heard something in his mind, maybe a groan, and then he could see himself with a ripped shirt, covered in sweat and dirt and in blood also, and he was fighting Finnegan on that weird shore leave years ago. He looked younger. He looked like he had been rolling around in the dirt. And Spock was watching him.
Oh, you didn’t, he thought and then felt Spock trying to pull back from his mind, but he leaned forward and Spock couldn’t leave him. And then he stumbled onto the blankets and stared at them and then at Spock who was standing frozen in place. He sat down. Spock began walking to him. He began taking his shirt off, because surely that was where this was going, but he couldn’t before Spock knelt down before him and grabbed his wrists.
“Really?” he said, and Spock let go of him and then ripped his shirt in two pieces. Fine, he would get a new one. He pressed his palms onto the ground and leaned into them and waited for something, and it wasn’t like he had come here totally unprepared, he had taken his time in the shower this morning because it had been kind of obvious Spock wouldn’t have the patience. He wondered if he ought to undress his pants, but maybe Spock wanted to do that, and oh now Spock was humming in his mind, a quiet wash of voice that only grew, and then Spock leaned in and placed a palm on the back of his head and kissed him, actually kissed him on his mouth.
He closed his eyes. What, he thought, but Spock’s presence in his mind covered him with calm quiet longing that had been there for ages, and Spock’s hands were now seeking for his bare skin under the ripped shirt and there was no logic in any of this but Spock’s mind still held his almost gently. He placed his palms onto Spock’s sides and then slid them around his back. He clutched into Spock’s shirt as Spock leaned forward until they both were laying down, not quite on the blanket but not wholly in the sand, and Jim had a hazy hunch that the time was running out and he wasn’t exactly sure if he himself had the patience to discuss about blankets either. So he didn’t. He kissed Spock the best he could and it had been years since he had kissed anyone like this, probably it had been in their last five-year mission, but when he tried to remember who it had been, there was an ache in his mind that went through everything and left him short of breath even though he kind of knew it wasn’t his. He tried to think about Spock, only about Spock, because Spock was what mattered now and also because Spock was tugging his pants down to his ankles and thankfully not ripping them. He laughed and then groaned when the pants were gone and Spock’s hand was on him, and oh, oh, he hadn’t realized Spock might touch him like this, carefully, almost unsure what to do, and then he tugged Jim’s underpants away as well and took him into his hand.
“Jim,” Spock said, “Jim, Jim,” and Jim tried to answer but he really was too out of breath.
Of course he ended up in the sand. He wasn’t sure if Spock was trying to wrestle with him or kiss him but he didn’t really mind either way. He found himself straddling Spock’s lap for a second until Spock grabbed his shoulders and rolled them over, and he probably had sand everywhere including his mouth and eyes but he really didn’t have time to think about that because Spock was kissing him again in the human way, just because he could, just because Jim was right here, right now, not going anywhere, and Spock’s mind entangled with his own felt familiar and still aching with a longing he thought he knew but couldn’t name, so he kissed Spock instead.
Finally he was lying on his back, his knees apart, his head resting against the sand, and it was still unbearably hot and his ears were ringing and Spock really didn’t have the patience but still he had to keep calling him, both in his mind and aloud, so that Spock finally pressed his fingers onto Jim’s hips and stayed still just a few inches apart from him. Come on come on come on, he said and Spock heard him.
The breakfast was quite good but he soon found that eating was difficult. It probably had something to do with Amanda and Sarek who were sitting in the opposite side of the table and watching him and Spock. He tried not to squirm in the chair and wondered how the hell he had managed not to worry about this beforehand.
“So, James,” Amanda said and smiled at him, “what do you think about the Vulcan climate?”
He swallowed a purple fruit he had been trying to eat and glanced at Spock. Spock looked perfectly calm and didn’t even bother glance back at him. He could understand, though. Spock was probably jumping with joy now that he was again able to be his calm, logical self. And just as he thought that, he felt Spock’s faint disapproval lingering in his mind.
“It’s odd,” Amanda said, not looking surprised at all that he hadn’t answered the question about the climate, “the bond. It takes some time to get used to it.”
“I apologize,” Spock said in a tone that hinted absolutely nothing.
Jim rolled his eyes and then realized Sarek wouldn’t probably approve a gesture like that. “Apology isn’t needed,” he said instead. “I like it already.” Although that had probably been a wrong thing to say too, because the bond was a Vulcan thing and liking wasn’t. Shit. He really wished they could have been beamed straight up to Enterprise where Bones would have done some frustrating hovering and then perhaps Jim could have taken a long shower, found a very soft pillow and played a round of chess with Spock. But of course it was only polite to visit his husband’s parents now that they were at this side of the galaxy.
“So, the climate,” he said, “is very hot.”
He felt Spock sighing in his mind.
By the time that they were leaving Jim was pretty sure Amanda had asked him about the sex at least twice but possibly four times. He had tried to be subtle about it, yes, all that rolling in the sand hadn’t been a good idea in the end, yes, there had been blankets, they had just been kind of distracted, yes, it was good that he was a starship captain and in a quite good physical shape, although it was true that Vulcans had much more strength than humans. He had even accidentally admitted having liked the last day and the part of the night and then he had almost spit out the weird Vulcan tea he had been drinking and Spock’s lingering presence in his mind had been quite shocked.
But when it was over, he was almost sad. He had never thought that he would have, well, a mother-in-law and a father-in-law, although he could never call Sarek, not even in his mind. Amanda shook his hand and he had a pretty good hunch that she actually wanted to hug him but didn’t dare because it would have been such an un-Vulcan thing to do. And then they were finally alone.
“Jim,” Spock said, and the sound of Jim’s name echoed in his mind in the place where Spock was.
“Spock,” he said and tried to sound as gentle as he could. He could feel Spock’s worry inside his head, and also he could see it in the dark eyes every time he winced.
“You are hurting.”
“Not really,” he said, “it’s not that bad. I’m fine.”
“You are trying to soothe me.”
“Well, sure I am, because I’m fine and you are worrying over nothing. Just go to my mind and see for yourself.”
“I mean it,” he said and looked at Spock until Spock answered his gaze. “I don’t regret any of it. And I don’t regret the bond. I wasn’t lying to your mother, I really like it. You will never again be able to claim that you don’t have emotions.”
Spock cocked an eyebrow.
“Come on,” Jim said and raised his chin, “take a peek. We have a few minutes until I have to call Scott. Please.”
Spock’s chest rose and fell as he took a deep breath and then stepped in front of Jim. Jim closed his eyes as Spock placed his palm in the side of his face and then slowly touched his skin, and it was weird, he had thought they wouldn’t need touching anymore, and just when he thought about that he realized that he knew they didn’t, it was just that Spock wanted an excuse to touch him. And then he could hear Spock swearing in his mind, or perhaps it was Spock’s mind swearing, and Spock began rapidly moving his own thoughts further away from Jim, and Jim wanted to laugh but didn’t remember how. And then Spock’s presence stilled and warmed and filled him and he stood still and waited for Spock to believe that he was fine.
When Spock pulled away from him, the hot air surrounding them felt suddenly cold. “You are a little sore.”
“Yeah,” Jim said, “a little sore. It’s nothing.”
“I regret causing you that.”
“I don’t. Can we get back on the ship now? Bones probably wants to check me, he’s being such a doctor about this.”
He felt Spock’s concern and maybe embarrassment through the bond.
“Don’t worry,” he said, “I’ll tell him it was good. He’ll try to get me out of his sickbay as quickly as he can before I can go to details.”
“Jim,” Spock said slowly, “I would appreciate if you didn’t share the details of what we did last night with anyone but me.”
“Of course. Are you ready to go?”
Spock nodded. Jim held his communicator and called the ship. He really tried not to sound smug.
“My professional opinion is that you’re still in one piece,” Bones said but didn’t pull that beeping device away. Jim was lying on his back, trying not to imagine what that beeping thing was telling Bones. “It’s almost surprising. Judging by the last time, I would have thought he’d go nuts the minute he’d see your pretty ass.”
“Doctor McCoy, that was completely inappropriate even for you.”
“Oh,” Bones said, not sounding worried at all, “I didn’t know this is in the record.”
“This is definitely not,” Jim said, “but it doesn’t mean you can joke about my… ass.”
“I’m just relieved you’re okay. And Spock too. I trust that he’s fine?”
“He’s a little worried,” Jim said, “but he’s going to be fine. Although he rolled in the sand, too. It’s too bad he refuses to let you fix that for him.”
“I can’t understand why the two of you couldn’t keep out of the sand,” Bones muttered.
“We were quite busy with other things.”
“Please, don’t tell me about it.”
“It was so good. He was so strong and –“
“Okay, you’re ready,” Bones said and stepped aside, “now get out of here.”
“Thank you. I’ll tell you the rest of the story the next time you feel the need to check me.”
“I don’t know how I put up with you,” Bones muttered as Jim smiled at him and walked away.
It was a long shift. It didn’t help that Spock kept watching Jim so intently that Sulu and Chekov began changing glances again. Spock also made a tiny mistake in interpreting the censor readings because he had been staring at Jim, and later he was so mortified about it that Jim could both see it in the way his shoulders dropped and feel it in his own mind. He tried to tell Spock it was fine but Spock seemed to refuse to listen to him through the bond. Even Uhura looked a bit worried but turned her gaze away when Jim gave her his best and the most reassuring smile.
And finally it was over. He told Spock to leave with him and they stood next to each other in the turbolift. Spock looked somewhere over Jim’s left shoulder and Jim felt him hovering in the edge of his mind, looking for a place, possibly looking for words too. Jim tried to reach him in his mind but Spock kept avoiding him. When they were on the deck five, he walked straight to their own quarters and was relieved to realize Spock followed him.
The door closed behind them. Spock walked across the room, turned around and then stopped in the middle of it. Jim took a deep breath and then pulled his shirt away.
“May I require what you are doing?” Spock said in a slightly hasty voice.
“It’s late,” Jim said, “we’ll probably go to bed quite soon. Or I will. And I hope you would too.”
“I require less sleep than you do.”
“It’s not really about sleep,” he said and placed his shirt aside. He felt Spock’s gaze on his skin and he felt Spock’s mind humming very quietly and more than a little nervously in his mind. He didn’t know what to say so he said what he could. “Spock.”
“Yes, Jim?” Spock said. He was watching the scratches on Jim’s shoulders, on his chest, on his arms -
“Stop that,” Jim said, “stop thinking you did something wrong. I’m sure you’re covered in scratches as well.”
“That is irrelevant. I am stronger than you. I should not have caused you this.”
“I’m going to take a quick shower,” Jim said, “and then I’m going to go to the bed. And I wish you would come too, because I want to hold your hand.”
Spock blinked. “Excuse me?”
“You heard me well enough. I want to hold your hand.”
“And for what purpose,” Spock said slowly, “do you want to hold my hand?”
“I’m not sure,” Jim said, “but I’ll figure it out.”
“That is completely illogical,” Spock said, and his mind leaned hesitantly towards Jim’s, “but acceptable.”
“Great,” Jim said and smiled.
Chapter 8: About Words
So, this is the last chapter! I have a small epilogue for you guys as well, I think I'll post it in a couple of days :) But today we have, once more, Captain James T. Kirk being impossibly clueless about what's going on. But I think he's finally getting there. It sure is about time.
The first thing he realized was that there was something new in his mind, like a warm place in the middle of the usual chaos. He leaned closer and it shook but didn’t fade.
The second thing was that he had his face pressed against Spock’s neck. He blinked. He should probably move now, but actually the rest of his body was laying quite close to Spock’s as well, so that when Spock breathed in, he felt it in his chest. And he had his arm wrapped around Spock’s waist quite tightly.
He told himself very quietly and with absolutely no inching at all that it was alright. There was no reason to panic. They were married, they were bonded for a lifetime, they had barely two days ago had sex in the sand for five hours and also Spock was his best friend. And it was surely possible that Spock was still asleep. Jim would now sneak into the bathroom and take a long shower that would make sure he wouldn’t think about the sex and the sand on the bridge today.
Jim froze and closed his eyes. He didn’t move his arm, though, nor did he pull away from where he had his waist pressed against the low of Spock’s back. “You’re awake.”
“I’m sorry,” he said. He wasn’t exactly sure why he still wasn’t moving.
“That is unnecessary.” Spock’s voice was low and calm but there was something lingering in it that Jim didn’t recognize. And Spock wasn’t moving either. Perhaps they both would stay here, exactly like this, unmoving, until someone came looking for them. It would probably be Bones who of course would never let Jim forget about it but it might just be worth it.
“You don’t mind.”
“Jim,” Spock said, “you do not need to ask me that. If you wish, you can seek me through the bond.”
“I’m not sure how it works.”
Jim felt Spock holding his breath. “You do not sense my presence in your mind?”
“I didn’t mean that,” Jim said quickly and realized his fingers were drawing lazy circles on Spock’s stomach through the fabric. But he knew Spock didn’t mind that, either. “Of course I know you’re there. It’s like… there’s a tiny place inside my head where you are. All the time. But I don’t know how to ask you anything.”
“You could come to me,” Spock said in a very quiet voice, “just come to me. I am right here.”
Jim breathed in. Surely Spock realized that hadn’t explained it at all. There had to be some logic in it. Maybe Jim could ask for a manual, how to communicate with your partner through your mind. He laughed out but his face was still pressed against Spock’s neck and so his mouth was kind of moving on Spock’s skin, and it would have been very easy to place a kiss there. He did. And then he held his breath and hoped that Spock wouldn’t mind, surely it wasn’t that big a deal, not after everything they had gone through together, and then he heard Spock calling him although there were no words said aloud.
Spock didn’t mind.
Spock was laying still, being held against Jim’s chest, because he was comfortable, and also a little nervous, and also almost warm for once, and overwhelmed and content and happy in a way that was hard to explain. No, it was impossible to explain any of that, because it wasn’t logical, it was only Jim, but Jim was finally everywhere.
Jim pulled back just enough to know where Spock ended and he began. “Okay, this is pretty intense.”
“Jim,” Spock said, sounding a little out of breath, “you may have observed that I am rather emotionally compromised when it comes to your presence through the bond we now share.”
“It’s alright,” Jim said, “don’t worry, it’s alright. I’ve been emotionally compromised my whole life.”
“Your mind indeed is illogical,” Spock said, “but also…”
Jim closed his eyes. Spock fell quiet. Spock’s mind fell quiet but didn’t pull away from him and didn’t avoid him either when he came closer. Of course he had known Spock trusted him. He had known it all these years. He wrapped himself around what he thought was Spock and Spock stayed still even though Jim’s presence surely was chaotic and unpredictable and completely irrational.
“Spock,” Jim said and opened his eyes even though he didn’t want to, he was too comfortable how he was but it was probably the morning already and he was the captain of a starship, “when do we have to go?”
“Approximately two point five minutes ago.”
“Yes, indeed,” Spock said in a serious tone. “I will now distance myself from you.”
“But the link still stays?”
“The link is permanent,” Spock said. “There is approximately nothing you or I could do to erase it.”
“Good,” Jim said and pressed a flat palm on Spock’s chest for a few seconds only to reassure Spock that there was nothing to worry about, and Spock breathed in under his touch and he realized he had been planning to say something, “good. So, can I tease you through it?”
Spock swallowed. “You are a highly creative individual in multiple ways, Jim. I do not doubt that you will find a way.”
“I’m sure you’ll like it.”
“That is an illogical statement, Jim,” Spock said. “Do you find the current intensity of the link sufficient?”
Jim closed his eyes and leaned towards the bond. It was there. It felt a lot like Spock’s eyes were following him through a room full of people. “Yes. It’s fine. I suppose I can work like this.”
“I believe I can withdraw further if you wish.”
“No. Of course not. Stay right where you are. Although I really need to take a shower before I go to the bridge.”
“Yes,” Spock said slowly, “it seems that we are obliged to excuse ourselves from the bed. That is unfortunate."
“But it’s only for the day,” Jim said, “we’ll be back here tonight.”
“Yes,” Spock said.
He was already in the bathroom when he began wondering if perhaps they had just agreed on a date. He and Spock. In their bed. He took a quick shower and kept his hands firmly above his waist, because surely Spock would know what he was doing if he did what he was thinking about, and also Spock probably knew he was thinking about it, and so he tried to think about something else instead. There was a hazy longing in his mind that didn’t feel like it belonged to him although he kind of recognized it anyway. He turned off the water, wrapped a towel around his waist and opened the door. Spock was already wearing his uniform. Jim placed the towel aside and then pulled his clothes on, and he knew Spock was watching him. His skin felt warm and his mind leaned into the spot that was Spock.
“Jim,” Bones said, “please just get out of here. I have real things to do.”
“But I really think we have a date,” Jim said and took a sip of his glass of water.
“Let me say this again,” Bones said, glaring at him, “you think you have a date with your husband in your bed.”
“There’s no need to sound so unbelieving. I don’t know how it happened anyway. We didn’t really want to get out of bed and then I said to him that we’d go back at night anyway and he said yes.”
“Jim, you’re kidding me.”
“I know. It sounds a lot like a date.”
“No,” Bones said pretty firmly, “you sound a lot like someone who doesn’t have a fucking clue. It’s not a date when it’s the place where the two of you climb every single night.”
“Bones,” Jim said and took deep breath, “I have to tell you something.”
“Don’t,” Bones said.
“I think there’s something going on between Spock and me.”
Bones blinked at him. Jim waited. He probably should have suspected something earlier, maybe after he and Spock had had sex with their hands. But it had felt so unlikely. They were married. They had known each other for years. They were so close and he cared about Spock so much and they spent pretty much all their time together. Surely he would have known if something was going on. And from the look on Bones face, Bones was thinking exactly the same thing.
“You think there’s something going on between Spock and you,” Bones said very slowly.
“I know it’s hard to believe,” Jim said, “but I think I’ve been kind of touching his hands for months now, and I think he likes it even though he clearly said to me that hands are an intimate thing for a Vulcan. And remember when we had sex with our hands? And two days ago, on Vulcan, when we were bonded and, well, you know, it didn’t exactly feel like we were just friends. I mean, of course we are friends, but he kept kissing me, on my mouth, like he really wanted me and not just… well, you know. And now he’s in my head all the time and I think he likes me.”
“I think so too,” Bones said.
Jim blinked. “Really?”
Bones nodded. “Well, he married you. It kind of gives it away.”
“Yeah,” Jim said, “but I married him as well.”
“Jim,” Bones said. He sounded suddenly very tired. “It surely sounds like a date. You and him. In your bed tonight. Just get there and wear something nice.”
He was oddly nervous about the date. He kept staring at the stars through the screen and didn’t realize the yeoman was waiting for him to sign the report before Spock said his name. There was a soft pull in his mind too, like Spock was calling him there as well, and he turned to look at Spock and then noticed everyone was trying to pretend they weren’t smiling. After that he focused on sitting straight in his chair and looking as if he was considering something really hard.
Of course it was not a date. He felt a bit stupid for the thought even having occurred in his mind. They weren’t dating. They were already together, only not in that way, although actually he wasn’t sure what the difference was. He folded his hands into his lap and glanced at Spock, who was bending over his screen. Maybe they should go on a real date sometimes. They both surely needed a shore leave after being on the ship for six months. Jim could take Spock to a very good vegetarian restaurant somewhere, preferably on a nice, warm planet. Spock would watch him over the table and raise his eyebrow at him, and he would smile and also he would feel Spock in his mind all the time, and he would know that in the end of it, they would come back on the ship and to their own quarters, to their own bed. But before that they would walk out of the restaurant together and then maybe stand facing each other, and it would be slightly uncomfortable because Spock was taller than Jim, and he would know his neck was going to hurt if he kept staring at Spock’s dark eyes for too long from the angle like this.
“Mr. Spock,” he would say.
“Captain,” Spock would answer and there would be something lingering in his eyes.
“Our date is going quite well,” Jim would say.
“Indeed it is,” Spock would admit, looking both confused and amused. “Fascinating.”
“So,” Jim would say, “I would like to kiss you.”
Yes. He would stand on his toes and kiss Spock.
“Captain, we are approaching an ionic storm. Will we keep the course?”
Oh fucking hell. “No. Change the course, Mr. Sulu. Circle it from the safe distance.”
“Is everything alright, Captain?” Uhura’s voice asked from behind Jim’s back. “You seem a bit distracted.”
Jim glanced at Spock. Spock turned to watch him over his shoulder and he drew a deep breath. “Yes, I’m alright. Just keep on doing… whatever you were doing.”
“Aye, aye, Captain,” Uhura said. Jim was happy he couldn’t see her face now, because she surely was smiling.
So, he wanted to stand on his toes and kiss Spock. That kind of explained a lot of things. He rubbed his temples and wished he wasn’t blushing, but maybe it was time to consider that he possibly wasn’t as subtle about all this as he had thought.
“Captain,” Spock said finally, finally, when they had passed the ionic storm long ago and Jim had spent some time imagining how he and Spock would get back from their date, both nervous but kind of excited, and he would help Spock undress his coat, only of course Spock didn’t wear a coat but that wasn’t the point. Jim would help Spock undress his shirt then, and then he realized the real Spock was standing in front of him, raising an eyebrow because his shift had ended and he was still sitting in his chair.
“Yes,” he said and stood up, “we’ll just… go then.”
“Very well, Captain,” Spock said.
In the turbolift Jim found that he couldn’t quite hold Spock’s gaze. He tried to but Spock was looking at him in a way that made him think he was being analyzed and he had to turn away. When he next turned to look Spock in the eyes, Spock tilted his head slightly to the right like asking what the fuck Jim was doing, only Spock would never say fuck, it just wasn’t a part of Spock’s vocabulary, and also it wasn’t where Jim’s thoughts should have been going. He took a deep breath.
“Jim,” Spock said.
“I’m fine,” Jim said and leaned in to pat Spock on the shoulder. Spock stared at him. He stared at his own hand that was now resting on Spock’s arm, and it felt right, as if Spock’s arm was exactly where Jim’s palms belonged to. He cleared his throat and then pulled his hand away, and then luckily they were on the deck five and he was able to walk through the doors and straight into their own quarters as quickly as possible. Spock followed him. Of course Spock followed him.
“Well,” he said, when the door slid shut behind them and he turned around just to see Spock standing so close to him that he could have placed his hands on Spock’s shoulders, “well. This thing in between us.”
“The bond,” Spock said, sounding suddenly serious. “I must assure you that the discomfort it may cause will ease when time goes.”
“No,” Jim rushed to say, “that’s not what I meant. Spock, I think there’s something I haven’t told you.”
Spock raised his eyebrows. “Really?”
“Possibly because I don’t know if I know it myself,” Jim said, “I might be wrong. It’s just that… I think we like each other.”
Spock turned his eyes away from him. “Jim –“
“Let me say this,” he said and tried to be brave about it. “I think we have feelings towards each other. Warm feelings. Almost… romantic feelings. Like we have a crush on one another or something. Or I think I have a crush on you and I really hope I’m not alone with this because we’re kind of married already. And bonded. And everything. But if you don’t feel the same, I understand. Of course. I would never try to pull you into something you don’t want.” He paused to breathe in and then realized his heart was beating madly and his ears were ringing and his hands felt quite sweaty. “Spock?”
Spock opened his mouth, closed it, frowned, watched Jim, watched the opposite wall and then opened his mouth again. “You have made an observation that we might have a crush on one another.”
Oh. Of course Spock was confused. “A crush is when you like someone, but not only as friend, but more as a –“
“Jim,” Spock said, “I am aware what the term means. I do have access to multiple dictionaries. However, I must inform you that your estimation of the situation is quite inaccurate.”
Jim blinked. Shit. He had imagined it all. Spock didn’t like him after all. There was nothing going on between them. Perhaps there also was a perfectly logical reason for why Spock had been subtly touching Jim’s hands for months.
“Of course,” Jim said and took a step back. “I understand. We don’t have to talk about it further.”
“Jim,” Spock said, “please.”
Jim considered that but Spock’s tone didn’t make any sense. “Spock?”
“I only believe a crush is an inadequate term for the… occurrence between you and me.”
“You think an occurrence is better?”
“No,” Spock said quickly and very seriously, “definitely not. Jim, I wish to remind you that I do not possess cultural knowledge of how humans verbally address this kind of a… situation. A crush is definitely insufficient. However, I do not know what would be sufficient. May I hold your hand?”
Jim bit his lip. “May you what?”
“You have allowed me to do it before,” Spock said, and there was something in Jim’s mind that was reaching for him, possibly trying to hold his hand so badly that the ache for it went through Jim as well, “multiple times.”
“Of course,” Jim said and cleared his throat. “Of course you can hold my hand, Spock.”
“Thank you,” Spock said.
He raised his hand and Spock covered it with his own.
Oh, his mind said.
“Spock,” he said in a voice that was shaking only a little.
It was all silent: the room, possibly his own heart, too. He felt Spock’s fear growing stronger in his mind, and it was illogical and chaotic and it filled him until he thought he shared it even though it wasn’t possible, Spock was afraid of an impossible thing, an unimaginable thing, because it simply couldn’t be that Jim wouldn’t love him.
“Spock,” he tried again, “Spock,” Spock, listen to me.
“A crush,” Spock said. His voice sounded hollow.
“No,” Jim said in his most reassuring voice, “no. I just didn’t realize.”
“Jim,” Spock said, staring at Jim’s hand in between of his own like it was the most fragile thing, “I think there is nothing in this galaxy that I could care about more than I care about you. I know this is illogical but it is also true. I do not blame you if you do not… feel the same. But I must ask you that you let me stay by your side.”
“Jim,” Spock said and then gently let go of Jim’s hands, “I apologize if I have misunderstood your affection towards me. I assure you that it is highly appreciated, no matter the exact nature of it.”
Damn it. Jim swallowed but it didn’t help at all. Spock wasn’t looking him in the eyes anymore. He had a vague feeling that Bones had once said something about a big mess he was getting into and possibly also something about him being an idiot. He pulled his shoulders back and took a step forward, straight into Spock’s personal space, and Spock allowed him there like he always did. He placed his hands onto Spock’s shoulders and then onto Spock’s neck.
“I would like to kiss you now,” he said.
“Jim,” Spock said, “I do not understand the logic behind your –“
“Damn the logic,” Jim said and leaned in to kiss Spock.
Please forgive me, he thought as loudly as he could, it seems that I’m an idiot. It’s not a crush. Of course it’s not a crush.
Jim, Spock’s voice lingered everywhere in Jim’s mind.
Yes, he answered.
“I’m still asleep”, he said and then felt Spock shifting beside him. Spock probably looked a bit amused now. Maybe Spock was even smiling, although he surely was at least at little frustrated at Jim’s illogical statement as well. But there was no chance at all that Jim would open his eyes to check.
“Are you satisfied with our current position?” Spock asked after a short silence during which Jim had almost managed to fall asleep again, but only almost because he didn’t want to miss waking up with his face pressed against Spock’s neck and knowing that what Spock thought about him was much more than a crush.
“Yeah,” he said and wrapped his arms more tightly around Spock’s waist, “sure. Are you?”
“Yes. I understand that the act we are currently engaging in is called cuddling.”
“Yeah. Do you like it?”
“I have come to conclusion that it gives me emotional satisfaction.”
“I’m glad to hear that, Mr. Spock. I have always liked cuddling and it seems that I like it even more when I’m doing it with you.”
“Captain,” Spock said, and his back tremored just slightly. In their minds he was laughing softly. “Are you attempting to flirt with me?”
“Definitely I am,” Jim said and held his breath mostly because he wanted to keep his face buried into Spock’s neck and breathing was becoming a bit difficult.
“But Captain, you know rather well that as a Vulcan, I am not capable of flirting.”
“You have been misinformed, Mr. Spock. Let me just tell you that you’re doing splendidly.”
“That is most illogical statement, Captain,” Spock said. He sounded really happy. “Also, please breathe. Your constant attempt to keep your face placed tightly against the back of my neck is beginning to affect your oxygen levels. Is your peculiar behavior typical to human relationships?”
“I don’t know,” Jim said but breathed in. It wasn’t like Spock was going anywhere. “Spock, I want to ask you something.”
The presence of Spock’s mind inside of his own tensed just slightly. “Jim, I wish you would specify your question.”
“How long you’ve known about the -,” Jim cleared his throat, “- crush?”
“Jim, I kindly ask you not to refer to it as a crush.”
“Yes,” he said, “no, sorry. I don’t know what to call it. I guess I meant to ask how long you have… known there was this… thing.”
“That is highly inaccurate,” Spock said, “in our future conversation we will need to define a more exact term.”
“Spock,” Jim said and ran his fingers on Spock’s stomach through the fabric, “I love it when you talk science to me but please, just answer me. I really want to know.”
“You might come to conclusion that I have withheld information from you.”
Jim breathed slowly in. “What information? Tell me.”
“As you know, I am not capable of lying,” Spock said. “However, from time to time I have chosen not to share all the details with you. This is something I have learned from you.”
“Spock,” Jim said, trying to pull him closer even though it kind of was impossible because he had already wrapped himself quite tightly around Spock, “just tell me how long you have liked me this way.”
“I can only offer you a rough estimation,” Spock said, and his voice hinted that he didn’t want to offer any kind of an estimation at all. “The problem with the estimation is that it is difficult to decide an exact starting point. However, the answer is, very roughly, two thousand seven hundred and two days.”
Jim frowned. “Two thousand seven hundred and two days?”
“Yes. If you wish, I might be able to calculate a more exact –“
“It’s alright,” he said. He found Spock’s wrist and placed his palm just above it. “That’s a… long time, though. You could have told me.”
“Captain,” Spock said, “I could have not. I valued your friendship above everything. I did not wish to risk it. There was nothing to gain from telling you and plenty to lose.”
“Okay,” Jim said, “fine. I get it. You were scared. I just can’t understand how I didn’t realize.”
“I also am quite confused about that. There were times when I was under impression that I had been quite obvious about it. But Jim, I have to apologize.”
“Absolutely not,” he said.
“I agreed to marry you without sharing essential information with you. Also agreed to let you help me with my… pon farr. I let you bond with me and did not tell you that…”
“But you really wanted it,” Jim said, “didn’t you?”
“Yes. I am sorry. I have deceived you.”
“Spock, listen,” he said and tangled his fingers together with Spock’s, “this is a good thing. I’m glad that you… like me. I just wish I had realized it a bit sooner. All this time we could have been kissing and… stuff.”
“Kissing and stuff,” Spock repeated in a tone that was still worried but also oddly absent-minded. Maybe it had something to do with Jim stroking the side of his palm with his thumb.
“Apology is unnecessary,” Jim said and kissed the skin right beside Spock’s ear, “that’s what I mean. There’s absolutely nothing to apologize for. And it’s me who got married to you and got bonded with you and never realized a thing.”
“Jim,” Spock said, “you realize plenty of things.”
“Sure. I was just incredibly slow with this one. Mr. Spock?”
“Yes,” Spock said, a bit out of breath, “Captain?”
“How much time do we have until have to get to the bridge?”
“One point one standard hours.”
“Good. So we have time.”
“Jim, I wish to inform you that whatever you are attempting to do with my hands –“
Jim held his breath. “Yes?”
“If it is not meant to cause me pleasure of a rather sexual nature, you might want to cease from –“
“That’s exactly what I’m trying to do,” Jim said, “although I’m also kind of trying to tell you not to worry.”
“Jim, I am not… worrying…”
“Yes,” Jim said, “worrying isn’t a very Vulcan thing, I know. I have a question for you, Spock.”
“Don’t take this the wrong way. I really like your underwear, all of it, from your toes to your neck. I was just wondering if perhaps you might want to undress it for now. I promise I’ll keep you warm.”
“Thank you,” Spock said. “I believe your suggestion is acceptable.”
“So,” Bones said, glaring at Jim, “just let me get this straight. You finally realized that you’ve fallen for Spock and then Spock told you that he’s been smitten with you all along and the two of you did that weird hand sex thing again.”
“Yeah,” Jim said, “that’s pretty much how it went.”
Bones looked at him like he was missing something. “Okay. What’s the problem?”
“Bones,” Jim said and then cleared his throat because he really sounded a bit too emotional about it, only not at all as emotional as he had this morning in the point when he had been doing that hand thing with Spock for something like half an hour and he had been kind of wondering if he too could get off with only touching Spock’s hands and then Spock had tucked his underpants to his ankles and -
“Jim, focus,” Bones said in a pretty sharp voice.
“Sorry. So, I obviously like him. And he likes me. Apparently he has liked me all along. I think we’re kind of together now.”
Bones blinked. “Jim, you utter idiot –“
“No, listen to me,” Jim said, “I think we’re really together now, like maybe we are a couple or something. But I don’t know how to call it, I mean, we’re already married and bonded and everything but now something has changed in between us and every time I try to speak about it I just keep saying that we have a crush. And Spock doesn’t really like it that I call it a crush.”
“Oh,” Bones said, “really?”
“Yeah,” Jim said, “I think he feels it’s not sufficient. And I kind of understand that, because, well, it’s almost like he is a part of my soul or something. I can’t imagine living without him. But I don’t know what to call it.”
“Jim,” Bones said and took a deep breath, “it’s not like I know anything about this sort of stuff. But I think you could call it love.”
Chapter 9: Epilogue
So, here is the epilogue! Writing this story has been so fun and a big part of that fun has been the support you guys have given me via kudos and comments :) Thank you, you're the best!
As Spock might say, there is a significant probability that I may write more fictional stories of approximately this kind in the future, and by that I mean K/S, but until then, feel free to say hi to me on tumblr, which is also a great way to find out if I post new stories AND get pictures of Jim Kirk to your dashboard.
“Jim, this is highly illogical.”
“Yes,” Jim said and placed his palm onto Spock’s back only that he would know right away if Spock tried to flee, “I know. I love it. I’ve always wanted to try.”
“I estimate that there is a significant possibility that thing is actually dangerous.”
“A significant possibility? Am I not going to get a number? Like, perhaps a few decimals?”
“Jim,” Spock said, “there are currently twenty-seven point two humanoids in the hearing distance of the two of us. I request that you refrain from flirting with me until we are in private.”
“Twenty-seven point two humanoids? You’re the one who’s flirting, Mr. Spock.”
“That is not the case, since I am a Vulcan and therefore incapable of flirting,” Spock said with a raised eyebrow that suggested he thought he had won this round, “Sir.”
“Don’t Sir me when there are people around, First Officer,” Jim said, “or the poor fellows will think that we’re flirting.”
“I fail to see how addressing you formally counts as flirting,” Spock said. His presence in Jim’s mind was grinning.
“You do?” Jim said, trying to look like he believed it. “Oh, let me show you how it works. Later, when we’ve returned to our ship, is there a chance that you would let me, say, stroke the back of your hand, First Officer?”
“Captain,” Spock said, “that is highly inappropriate –“
“Yeah. I know. And you’re blushing.”
“Jim, if I might ask that we save this discussion for later. We should focus on participating an illogical and possibly dangerous activity that you have kindly chosen for us.”
“Oh, yes. For our date.”
“I do not understand why you keep insisting calling it a date.”
“I kind of missed our wedding, Spock,” he said, “and our bonding as well. Let me have this.”
“Jim, you definitely were there for our wedding,” Spock said, “and our bonding.”
“Oh, I know. But I didn’t know I was in love with you.”
Spock raised an eyebrow at him. “That is indeed very surprising as otherwise you are more than averagely clever for a human.”
“Thank you, Mr. Spock,” he said. “Shall we go?”
“I fail to see why it would be pleasant to experience a fear of death in our free time when it is a constant part of our job.”
“I’m sure we won’t die. These things were pretty safe already back in the twentieth century.”
“As you constantly fail to assure me regarding their safety, I must assume that you are doing it on purpose.”
“Spock,” Jim said and turned to face him, “this is our first date and I really want to ride a roller coaster with you.”
“Usually I find it hard to resist letting you do what you wish with me,” Spock said but there was a hint of smile in his tone, or more than a hint, and a soft look in his eyes that suggested that he loved Jim, really loved, and Jim had a quite good idea that the look wasn’t new at all. “However, this time I find it rather easy.”
“Please,” Jim said.
“It’s made of wood,” Spock said.
“I am rather certain you will scream,” Spock said, “and that will be unpleasant for me since I have an excellent sense of hearing.”
“Just let me hold your hand,” Jim said, “and I promise I won’t scream. At least not much. I think screaming is the point of the whole thing.”
“Very well. But after this I wish us to attend the scientific museum I mentioned earlier.”
“I remember,” Jim said, “history of research of humanoid cells all packed into a four hour show.”
“I sincerely hope that you are not mocking me, Jim. It would be very rude of you since I believe your cultural customs regarding marriage suggest that you should be supportive of my interests.”
“Oh, I’m definitely not mocking you.”
“You are mocking me right now.”
“You’re becoming fluent in human, Mr. Spock,” Jim said and grinned.
Spock raised an eyebrow at him and then began walking towards the roller coaster that really looked quite dangerous. Jim followed. He soon realized that the roller coaster actually was quite frightening and that he couldn’t stop himself from screaming once or twice. It was definitely a good thing that Spock was there with him, holding his hand.