The captain is a highly sought-after individual. He is aesthetically pleasing to many races, but he possesses qualities which seem to be widely attractive, in nearly every race. He is smart- brilliant, genius even- he is capable, witty, charming, quick, and even kind. He is the paragon of universal want, embodying what nearly every being would look for in a significant other.
Vulcans do not care for traits that the captain exhibits. He is loud, he is brash, he is entirely too tactile, too loose, too brazen, informal, too much, all the time. He comes off as illogical, and that is the most undesirable trait to find in one’s mate, let alone bed partner.
Spock should not want him.
He can explain it- his want is based entirely in logic. The captain is loud, and his voice cuts through the chaos and clutter at all times, alerting the crew to his situation, pushing through to command even in the most dire situations. It is logical he would be loud. The captain is tactile, he touches his friends and strangers alike, making himself familiar with them, putting on the guise of closeness in very little time. He can use it to his advantage, making diplomatic relations glide along easily, defusing awkward situations, knowing the intention in someone’s body before they can carry out their movement. It is logical he would learn to know everything by touch as well by sight and sound. He only seems too loose with his words, with his emotions, with his secrets. However, it is only his persona- his surface mind, that is loose with what he does. A careless drop of a name to let the crew know he has been there before, a curse under his breath to indicate that like them, he has his frustrations. He charms their alien hosts with anecdotes that seem personal and close to his heart at first glance, which Spock realizes reveal nothing at all upon intense review. The captain is brazen, because he is spontaneous- the second things click together in his mind he is moving, words tripping to keep up with his thoughts, looking erratic when in reality, he has planned everything carefully- ten moves forward on the chessboard, at least, and ten days ahead in time everywhere else. He is informal only when he looks to forge friendship or a working relationship, and it works. He pulls out nicknames and asks to call others by their first names mid-conversation, and those at his attention preen, glad to be so close to the captain, happy to have his attention.
Jim is a student of logic in the highest order, concealing himself cleverly with the facade of the over-eager drunken farm boy from Iowa, who’s family tragedy is only a coincidence, not a genetic pre-disposal.
Why should Spock want him? Simple. There is no one better than the captain. Spock has looked at it carefully, from all corners, and he finds them to be nearly as alarmingly compatible. It is a combination of personality and time together, and it is not something Spock feels he could begin to create with someone else- not in the same capacity, anyway.
It is logical, therefore, that since Spock finds himself to be wanting for the Captain, he should pursue the Captain. Part of the reason the Captain comes off as ‘loose’ is his willingness to fall into bed with anyone and everyone, though this, too, is often case just part of the clever ruse he has built up. The ruse is one Spock has admittedly fallen for in the past, which is one reason it has taken him so long to come to the willful conclusion that he intends to bind himself to the Captain if he can. He believes that perhaps after so much time together, he’s finally come to understand the man behind the mask; a man he finds himself in want of.
From the research he has gathered, he has concluded that there is a 78% chance that Jim does return his affections, and a 51.2222% chance that Jim will happily commit himself to a monogamous relationship with Spock. The odds are with him, even if a mere .1% chance that he may be wrong is undesirable.
Scientifically, the odds are in his favor.
He begins his pursuit.
First officer’s log, personal, star date 3725.1
The captain, upon entering three minutes and fourteen seconds late for Alpha shift, declared that he was bored. This was after having sat in the chair for two minutes and three point seven seconds, fifty-nine seconds of which he spent listening as Lt. Uhura as she informed him he was, in fact, late.
This declaration lead into an impromptu conversation on the bridge amongst the command staff. I am uncertain at this time as to how they all knew that the captain’s statement was invitation of what the doctor referred to as a “bitch-fest.” I find it appropriate to note at this time that Doctor McCoy had no business on the bridge, but, consistent to past patterns, was present nonetheless.
One hour, thirty two minutes, and twenty seven seconds were then spent in open-conversation between the entire bridge, myself excluded, as they all began to share their various complaints and concerns of our current mission. This included statements from the Doctor, whom I must again stress has no business being on the bridge, as there was no medical emergency. I brought this to the Doctor’s attention, for what would be the thirty-second time, and he chose to reply that he was there to restore crew moral with his, I quote, “rugged good looks.” The scientific probability of his words being fact is… low.
Once this conversation desisted, the captain waited three minutes before turning to my person and asking, “And what do you think, Mr. Spock?”
I inquired as to what matter he asked after. He explained that he wished to know if I had any concerns on our current mission. I stated that I had none, as I am satisfied with my current routine. The captain went on to say that I was admirable, if also noticeably more robotic than the others.
I have understood this to be an exhibition of his caring for my well-being. Taking this cue, I planned to pursue a conversation as to our relationship as soon as Alpha shift had transpired. This plan was made impossible by the sudden, unannounced party that the captain proceeded to ‘throw’ in the mess, which he said was in relation to the ship’s one year, one hundred and thirty eighth day in space.
I did not see the logic in this. However, the rest of the crew seemed to be inexplicably in agreement to the meaning and significance of the party. It is to transpire in one short hour, and the captain has expressed that I am to attend.
The party is, of course, everything that Spock is made uncomfortable by. It is loud- everyone is touching and dancing and laughing at once. The music is old-earth and, because of this, completely crass. Spock is further disillusioned since he has been forced to wear a party hat- the elastic string fastening digging uncomfortably into the soft flesh under his chin, chafing the sides of his jaw whenever he turns his head.
He sits stoically at a table that has been pushed out of the way, watching Uhura and Gaila as they dance together. Dancing is a science, and they study it on Vulcan- however, it is an equation he has never fully understood, and the dance the women are performing makes even less sense to him than those on Vulcan. The two women move with abandon, laughing and prodding at each other like children, hands skimming together in fleeting Vulcan kisses as they come and go, an erratic beat to their steps, no real reason to the swing of their hips.
Captain Kirk suddenly swoops in between them with a trio of glasses, handing one to each woman. They throw the cups back at the same time, clear blue liquid sliding into their mouths. Gaila says something that they all laugh at. Jim takes their glasses and spins off on his own again, coming and going with ease to be sure that everyone is having a good time.
Spock wonders if it is possible that, in this manner, Jim is having fun himself. He is doing what he always does- looking over the crew, but there is an easiness to it when the lights are pulsing (non-regulation usage of lighting fixtures) and the music is blaring (unsanctioned choice of public broadcast usage of official Starfleet sound equipment) that makes Jim seem happier than usual.
“Like bulls in a china shop, every single one of ‘em,” Doctor McCoy mutters, dropping into the seat adjacent to Spock without prompting. “They’re just like little kids, I swear. Look at that- I can see at least eight different health code violations from here. My God.”
“Doctor, I was unaware that on Terra, humans would allow large mammals into their places of business. What purpose did this serve?”
“The day you get one of my metaphors is the day I die,” McCoy grumbles.
Spock raises a brow.
“At least someone’s enjoying this shit-show just as much as I am.” Doctor McCoy continues.
“I do not derive enjoyment from our current situation, Doctor.”
“I’m well aware.” He points at a couple- two ensigns, one in gold, one in red- who are kissing passionately against a bulkhead on the side of the room. “I have not signed off on those two, and the way things are heading, they’re going to need a signature and a bedroom before I’m sick.”
“Then perhaps you should inform them-“
“They know damn well.” He says. “They just don’t care- but they’re about to.” He stands, pushing up his sleeves, and heads into the throng, hand up and poised to begin berating the two with a few well-place shakes of his extended index finger.
Alone again, Spock begins to peruse the room once more, looking for the people he is better acquainted with. Chekov and Sulu are at the bar, where the former seems to be dramatically recalling an event to the latter, gesturing wildly with his hands. Uhura has left the unofficial dance floor to make her way to the bar as well, beaming wide when she catches sight of Scotty- one of their three bartenders. The other tender is a science officer whom Spock knows is working on a rather promising proposal about updating the air regulating unit, and the third is the there-and-gone-again Kirk, who is darting around the room to mingle between crowds at the make-shift bar.
Spock wonders when, and why, Jim learned to bartend.
He spots Gaila running across the room to throw her arms around Uhura’s waste, burying her face into the other woman’s neck. Uhura laughs and spins around to kiss her, and Scotty finishes making their drinks. Cardassian Sunrises, from the looks of it.
Jim is nowhere to be found, which is, admittedly, mildly concerning.
“Hey there, Mr. Spock.”
Spock turns as Jim throws himself down into the spot McCoy had vacated moments before. Jim is all smiles, face practically glowing. “What do you think?”
“The party. Crew morale was getting kinda down there. Think it’s back up?”
Of course. Jim always had a reason. And sometimes the reason was… less than logical (“I was sick and tired of that alarm blare, Spock! We go red like, every two days, it was grating. Much better without it screaming at us the whole time, right?”) but there was, of course, always a reason.
Spock has prepared several reasons, in fact, as to why he and Jim should begin their courtship. He has laid them out logically in a formal presentation that he is prepared to send to Jim’s PADD when asked.
Spock looks out over the room again. What Jim had said was true- the crew had been rather morose without anything to do, or see, with only the vast emptiness of space before them for so long. It had been a month without any incident, and while that was for the better, many of them began to suffer without variety or complication in the daily routine. It looked as though Jim’s party had done a thorough job of fixing the situation; excluding himself and McCoy, Spock did not think there was a person in the room who was not enjoying themselves.
“I perceive a palpable change in the emotions of the crew, yes.” Spock says.
Jim smiles, nodding, though his features slowly re-composed themselves into a serious expression. Though Spock does not know what the expression means, he feels himself straighten in apprehension even before Jim says, “Can I talk to you?”
“You may speak to me whenever you so desire it, Captain.”
Jim laughs- or rather, snorts, but Spock had been assured several times that was just one of Jim’s ‘many types’ of laughter. “Thank you, Mister Spock, but I meant… alone. Step out with me for a second?”
“Of course, Captain.” Spock stands, hands behind his back, and waits a moment for Jim to do the same. He follows the captain through the party, weaving between dancers and groups of chatting people, until finally they step into a lift.
It began up towards personnel quarters. Apparently, Jim has already been fulfilled by the party and is finished with it, even if only for the moment. Spock reaches up and gratefully divests his person of the ridiculous party hat Jim had managed to force him into, rubbing at the line it leaves in his flesh.
Jim catches the movement and beams. “Not your thing, huh, Spock?”
“Indeed, I believe this belongs to you.” He hands the hat back to Jim.
Jim laughs. “That’s not what I meant and you know it.” The lift stops and they step out into the quiet of the housing deck, proceeding towards Jim’s room.
They often spent evenings there, at the table or desk, playing chess, talking, going over papers or discussing shifts and crew rosters. Sometimes they spent the time arguing until the late hours of the night, until Jim finally exhausts his energy and puts the fight on hold to get some rest.
Spock wonders what sort of interaction is in store for the night, as Jim keys in his code and leads them inside. He makes his way directly over to the couch and sinks into it, sighing as he toes off his shoes. He gestures to the open cushion next to him, which Spock takes as an order to sit.
Jim leans his head back, eyes closed, and sighs. “I am not as good at that as I used to be.”
“Partying.” He explains. He quirks a grin, barely opening an eye to regard Spock. “I mean, I’m still the best at it, but running a party? Forget it. I can’t bartend and make sure there are no fights and that… you know. Things are running smoothly. And then I want to hang out with my friends and it’s hard to fit it all into one night, you know?”
“I understand, Jim.” Spock says. Jim had long ago requested that, when in his room or alone, off-duty, Spock refer to him by his name.
“Thanks for being there, though. I don’t know if it’s draining for you to be in that kind of atmosphere. I can never tell if you’re introverted or just, you know. Vulcan.”
“To be affected by social situations outside of one’s self is illogical.” Spock says. “Seeing as it does not directly affect my person, nor my mind, or status, there is no reason for such situations to have any direct correlation with my well-being.”
“Which is just a fancy way of saying, ‘No, Jim, I’m just Vulcan.’” He snickers.
Spock decides to ignore him. “Did you wish to discuss something with me, Jim?”
“Oh, yeah.” He sits up a little straighter. “We just got orders. A couple days from now we’re supposed to pass Delta VI, and Starfleet wants us to make a pit stop and play nice with the locals. Apparently relations have been a little rocky and they want to show off the flagship in a show of good faith or something.” He shrugs. “I’ll send you and the rest of the bridge a report, it’s pretty basic. I’m just trying to figure out if we should make it shore-leave for the rest of the crew or treat it like a diplomatic excursion. Party aside, it’s been a while since we were off ship, and I know it makes a lot of people antsy to be cooped up for so long, but…”
“Should any of the crew further damage relations with the locals, there will be repercussions.” Spock concludes.
“Exactly. Still, doesn’t seem fair to make everyone stay onboard when we’re docked planet-side, you know? I just don’t know how bad this situation with the locals is, so I’m not sure what to do.”
“Perhaps, Captain, it would be best to, as you say, ‘wait and see.’”
“Oh yeah?” Jim raises his brows, thinking about it for a moment. “So like, go in, test the waters, and then decide if everyone gets off. I guess I don’t really have to make an announcement about what’s going on until we get our feet wet.” He smiles. “Yeah. Yeah, that’s a good plan- let’s do that.”
“If that is what you wish, Jim.”
“Glad I have you to brainstorm, Spock.”
“You likely would have come to this conclusion without my input.”
He shrugs. “Probably. But it saves me a lot of time and pain to just talk it out with you, you know? Two heads is better than one and all that. Honestly, Spock, I don’t know what I would do without you.”
Spock realizes this is his chance. The captain has conveniently paved the way for a conversation about how it was best they did remain together, perhaps in a closer capacity than before. Spock thinks back to his presentation, waiting on his PADD, and then delves ahead into the conversation.
“Jim,” he begins. “I find myself similarly predisposed towards your own thoughts and presence. I estimate that with another commanding officer, work efficiency output would decrease by eleven point one percent.”
A logical way to begin- he had declared that he enjoys Jim’s presence and would not wish for another to fill it. By his people’s standards, it was an open declaration of love, and Jim was bright enough to understand it.
“Well thanks, Spock.” Jim laughs. “Glad to know you think I get the job done. Or, I guess, that you guys get the job done and I’m… well, the eleven point one percent boost the crew needs.”
Ah. He had accidentally included the crew in his statement. Of course Jim misunderstood.
Spock soldiers on: “I do not speak for the crew, but mys-“
“Scotty to Kirk.”
Kirk gives an apologetic smile and holds his hand up. “One sec,” he presses his comm badge. “This is Kirk.”
“Ah, not sure how to tell ye this captain, but, there’s a wee bit of a problem, see. ‘Parently scotch do’n’t mix so well with Vacarion stomachs, ye see, and, ah, how do you say…”
Kirk grimaces. “I’ve got a pool of alien vomit that needs a bio-hazard team to clean it up, don’t I?”
“Aye, Captain, that ye do.”
Jim sighs. “Alright. I’ll get on it. Kirk out.” He turns to Spock, moth twisted ruefully. “Captain’s duty is never done, huh? Sorry, Spock. We’ll talk more tomorrow.” He stands to leave. “See you on the bridge?”
Spock swallows back his disappointment.
It is illogical- he will have plenty of opportunities to profess his desire to Jim in the future; there is no reason to fret over a missed opportunity when there would be others. “Of course, Captain.”
“Lock the door on your way out- you know the key.” With that, he is off.
Spock sits in resigned silence for another three point one eight minutes before standing and making his way out, keying in the code behind him as per Jim’s request. He makes his way to his own quarters- through their shared bathroom- to meditate, unable to put Kirk’s trusting, easy smile out of his mind as he goes.
It only took Jim an hour to decide that he would allow the crew shore leave. While they did have some patching up to do with the locals, the Deinians were friendly and eager to have aliens on their planet. Even upon beaming down, Spock took notice of several different species in the immediate vicinity, casually walking about, conversing.
The Deinians were very humanoid in appearance- similar to humans more so than many other life forms on that particular side of the quadrant. They were different in small ways- they had hard, reddish plates protruding from the skin covering their spines, and did not have ‘pinky’ fingers. They also had longer thumbs, which were equipped with hooked claws that they gestured with whilst speaking. They were also either unable to grow facial hair or considered it a social taboo, as Spock had not seen a single person, either around him or in presentations, sporting hair on their faces- this included eyebrows and eyelashes. They also seemed to have small, clear inner eyelids that kept their vulnerable retinas protected.
They were a fascinating people, mostly rooted in peace, but only by mercy. They gave high regard to strength and ability, and though they did not intend to fight anyone, their culture demanded they have the ability to do so. In times of war, they would make great allies, but for the time being, they thought the federation rather deceptive to not be showing off their own strength and abilities. By advertising themselves as a peace-keeping armada and, in that light, “harmless,” they had lost the respect of the Deinians.
Jim would change that.
He was currently in a large sandpit, lowered on the floor next to the dining table where Spock was seated with other Deinian dignitaries. They were all watching him, clapping, laughing, and smiling, as he wrestled shirtless with one of their own. The Deinian in question, like the other wrestlers before him, had secured a leather-like cone over the talon protruding from his thumb. That was the only handicap they allowed Jim, and yet, the human seemed to be on equal footing with them. He had been a fighter for as long as he had been able to walk, if McCoy’s stories were to be believed, and he was having what seemed to be a good time fighting the Deinian down in the soft, cream colored sand.
Chest heaving, covered in sweat, Jim pushes a hand through his damp hair, grinning as he stands in victory. The Deinian he has beaten laughs loudly and praises him the victor before jumping out of the pit so that another Deinian can journey in.
Jim holds his hand up before they can start. “I’m only human.” He laughs. “I need a breather.”
“You exit the pit when you are no longer victor.” The Deinian informs him. “Those are the rules.”
Jim shrugs. “Well, if you say so.”
It would have been logical for Jim to simply throw the match so that he could leave the pit to watch, along with the others who had lost the title of victor. He does not. He fights to the best of his ability and manages to pin yet another Deinian. They seem delighted by his dedication to their game, and by his skill.
Spock is a Vulcan, and Vulcans do not get distracted. He simply notices the way Kirk’s face looks- flushed, grinning, hair flopping into his eyes, they really needed to get it cut- and of course, he notices only because of his concern for his Captain’s well being. That is the logical thing to do, at any point in time, but especially on an Alien planet. Kirk is used to Earth’s air, but the air on Delta VI is slightly more oxygen-rich, giving him the slight upper hand as far as the playing field goes.
“Your captain is very strong.” A woman to his left says.
Spock turns his eyes away from the show, knowing that sooner or later the Captain will slip up in his exhaustion and lose a match. He wants to watch, to know exactly how far the captain’s stamina will extend- not because of the way Kirk looks during the matches, strong, and controlled, and fierce…
“He is.” Spock says. “He is stronger than the average human due to intense training.”
“So he does train. We were speculating if this intense strength was that of all humans.”
“It is not.” He informs her. “However, humans are not to be underestimated. In times of desperation, they are capable of incredible feats. A human who, on average, can only run for ten minutes is capable of running all night during times of duress, if they are being pursued. It is… fascinating.”
She nods enthusiastically. “I am Tu-Chark. You are Commander Spock, yes?”
"That is correct.”
“It is pleasing to meet you. I have heard rumors of you!”
He raises a brow.
“Oh yes, you are surprised aren’t you?” She laughs. “I was talking to the members of your crew. They’re on shore leave, yes? I was asking them about their Captain.”
“I am not the Captain.”
“Oh, yes, I know this. It is simply when there is one, there is always another. It is the way here, too. You see?”
He does not. “I do not understand what you are implying.”
“How did he put it… ah, yes, he did not expect the captain to be so ‘in love’ with a Vulcan! And we were surprised as well. We did hear your people do not have emotions, like the machines, yes?”
“Vulcans simply control their emotions, so as not to be controlled.”
“Oh, oh, yes. But it is not this way for you?”
He narrows his eyes. “Explain.”
“Well you are so very in love with the Captain! That is the way it is. He said… I do think it was he, but perhaps a they. You do have the third gender as we do, yes? I am sure. But never mind this- he said that he witnessed a declaration of love. A human declaration.”
Now Tu-Chark has Spock’s full attention. “Continue.”
“He said that you were injured. You had… be struck by lightning.”
Spock remembered well. It was planet Gamma Trianguli VI. He had… not fared well that mission. He had been shot by fake floral life, struck by lightning, and knocked out. Of course, he had not suffered as a human would, but he had still found himself in sickbay by the end of it all, wondering when the week would be over so that he could return to his own quarters.
“And then,” she says, almost dreamily, “he carried you in his arms!”
He furrows his brow at her.
The Captain had, in fact, carried him. It was necessary; as injured as he was, Spock would not have been able to walk all the way back to the Vaal camp. What Jim had done was completely logical. How was he supposed to interoperate it as a declaration of love?
“The human assured me this is how they profess their feelings.” Tu-Chark continues, happily. “Close to bonding. Did you know that when the humans marry, it is custom that one spouse carries the other over the threshold of the room they intend to share? It signifies forever. What the Captain did for you was very romantic, I am assured. Yes?”
Spock knew about carrying over the threshold. Of course it would carry into their courting as well- human courting was just so complicated and illogical, Spock had never really stopped to consider its deeper traditions. Uhura had explained dating to him, and he had thought that was enough. Apparently, he had much to learn.
Did this mean that the Captain had been trying to court him, only for Spock to ignore his advances?
“But you are married now, I am sure.” Tu-Chark continues, easily. “And that is the source of the rumors I have come to ask you of- we are very curious. How is it that you are able to sustain a telepathic bond with a psi-null individual? I have heard much- that it is the Captain’s unique mind, and that you have biology capable of such an act, or that perhaps you are shielded, or simply so great a mind that you are able to handle his thoughts and emotions. I ask- how is this?”
Spock is so taken aback by the fact that she thinks he and the Captain are married that he does not respond at first. His mother and father were bonded, of course, so he knows how to answer her question- but he finds himself slipping around it, chasing after her mistaken impression for details. “The Captain and I are… not romantically involved.”
Her smile falls. “… Sexually?” She hopes.
“Negative. We sustain a professional relationship.” And a close friendship, but he is not going to tell that to a perfect stranger if she is not asking.
She furrows her brow. “But… the man said…”
“I was… unaware as to the significance of the Captain carrying me.” Spock professes. Maybe she can be of some help; she seemed genuinely happy for the two of them- he does not want to sour their mission by hurting her feelings. “You seem very interested in human courtship. Perhaps you could further explain it to me.”
She brightens immediately, enthusiastically bobbing her hands up and down, in the Deinian equivalent of a nod. “Yes, yes, that is my job. I understand sexual and romantic gestures of alien species so that my people do not wander into any propositions by accident. It is a complicated science, and I have only just been exposed to humans, but I believe they are very much like ourselves. What would you like to know?”
“You were excited over the Captain carrying me.” He says. “How should have I responded to his declaration were I aware of it?”
“Oh, that is simple! You must carry him, too. I have been assured that with humans, you must give as much as you get. I am certain that if you were to carry him now, he would understand. He carried you because you were hurt, so you must wait for an opportunity to do the same.
“Most insightful.” Spock marvels.
“Here he comes now,” Tu-Chark whispers, pointing. Indeed, the Captain has finally lost a match, evident by the way he limps towards them. “Go to him!”
“I have gained much from our conversation.” Spock says. He rises, flashing her the Ta’al before he hurrying to Jim’s side.
“Spock,” he says, grinning. “Chatting with the natives? What a good first officer you’re being.”
“Captain.” Spock says immediately. “Allow me to assist you.”
Jim laughs. “Oh, you don’t have to do that.”
“Allow me to carry you.”
Jim stops walking to blink at him. “… what?”
“You are limping, slightly. Allow me to carry you to your seat, Captain.”
“Uh…” He looks back and forth between Spock and the table, uncertain. “No… thanks? I’m not hurt, Spock, just a little bruised. I can make it five more feet.”
“Perhaps at another time, then, Captain?”
Jim looks bewildered. “Uh. I’m. I’m not sure how to answer that. I’m… going to go sit down.” He claps Spock solidly on the shoulder as he soldiers past.
Spock watches him as he goes, and then turns to look over at Tu-Chark. She is frowning, very openly and deeply, and shaking her hands in dismay. She hooks her long thumb over her shoulder, which translates to ‘sorry’ in a friendly sort of way.
Spock re-calculates the probability of the Captain’s interest in him to be 77.6 percent.
Frightening odds indeed.
First officer’s log, personal, star date 3725.8
Negotiations with the Deinian people continue. The Captain has managed to please the planet’s officials so far, and has become friends with many of the natives. Tonight he will be dining with the minister of planetary defense and her wife. While an invitation was extended to myself, it was with the misconception of the Captain and I being in a romantic partnership. It seemed appropriate to decline.
The Captain then demanded I go out for dinner with someone, so that I would, as he said, “not be lonely.” I have decided to invite Ensign Leeanne, who is currently working on identifying a strain of genetics in Bajoran sea-sponge that grants it near immortality.
Ensign Leeanne and I proceeded to dinner. We talked at length about her research, and then of her family, who are residing currently on Mars. She then proceeded to ask of my family. I informed her that my father is establishing relations with Earth and New Vulcan whilst my mother helps re-construct archives of material not lost to us.
From there, Leeanne went on to ask how the Captain was. I informed her that he was functioning at highest capacity, as is usual for Jim. She inquired as to what he was doing for the evening. I informed her. When she asked why I was not attending, I explained that I did not wish to give the impression that we were a couple when we are not.
The Ensign expressed shock at this. She had assumed the Captain and I were indeed engaged in a romantic relationship, stating evidence in the way I allow the captain to be tactile with my person in a way I would not allow others to be.
I did not comment on this particular insight.
Ensign Leeanne again displayed her intelligence, easily examining the evidence she had gathered on the Captain and I, and inferred that perhaps even though we were not in a relationship, it was not due to lack of interest.
I was reminded of why it is I do not often interact with others in a social environment. It is… trying. After attempting to abort the conversation, during which Ensign Leeanne ridiculed me with her laughter, she gave me the following tip: “Romeo him.”
Understanding this to be a direct reference to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, I intend to do just as the ensign said. As a human, she would understand what courting measures to be best for her own kind, and I will not take her advice lightly.
“What can I do for you, Mr. Spock?”
He had admittedly only skimmed through Romeo and Juliet, much more interested in the complex plot of Hamlet. He was sure he understood enough to Romeo the captain. “I wish to inform you that were you to fake your death, I would fake mine, as well, in order to further your ruse.”
“… Thanks, Spock.”
Spock decides that the best method of understanding how to court the Captain would be to go to a fellow alien in the process of human courtship. Gaila has always extended her hopes that one day Spock will “stop in and chat” and so as they set off at warp three away from Delta VI, Spock starts to her quarters as his shift comes to an end.
He presses the chime and flinches back slightly as he hears her scream, “HOLD ON I’M NAKED!” It is more information than Spock needs. He nearly turns around to leave right then and there.
But no. This is for Jim. He wants to be with Jim. And Gaila might have the answers he is seeking.
The door swishes open.
“Commander Spock.” Her eyebrows shoot up in surprise. “Hey. Uh, sorry about… that.” She blushes a dark green, rubbing the back of her neck, as she looks around him and into the hall, suspiciously. “Did you need something?”
“I wish to ask your advice.”
She narrows her eyes at him. “Did Scotty set you up to this? I thought Vulcans didn’t do pranks.”
“No one has sent me. I have come of my own accord.” He pauses. “Will you give me an audience?”
“Uh, sure, I guess.” She steps out of his way to allow him entry, swishing her arms open wide to usher him in. “Step into my office.”
Jim has used the expression enough that Spock does not feel the need to point out that they are in her quarters and that she does not, in fact, have an office. He steps inside, taking a second to look around and familiarize himself with her quarters. She has pink, flowing curtains posted at her window, and an orange lava-lamp on her desk. There is a fuzzy white carpet on the floor next to her bed.
“Cozy, huh? I bet your quarters are bigger.”
They are, but that is not what he has come to discuss. “How does one enter into a relationship with a human? I would have thought that it would not be difficult, as multiple persons have mistaken myself and the object of my attentions as having been in a relationship, and yet, I find that my approaches are futile. I ask for your assistance.”
She stares at him for exactly 4.78 seconds before slowly her eyes narrow at him. The expression is gone in an instance, and in its place Gaila puts up a visage of careful nonchalance. She shrugs her shoulders, delicately.
“You know.” She says. “If it’s meant to be, it will be, but…”
“Uhura and I are dating, Spock.”
“As in, there’s no way she’s getting with you, no matter what people think about you two, and I will physically fight you if you try, Vulcan nerve pinch be damned.”
Ah. He has miscalculated. “I can assure you,” he says, “I have no romantic intent on the Lieutenant.”
“Wait. What? Then who are you talking about?”
It is consistent with Gaila’s character to think of her girlfriend as the only desirable human on board, though illogical. He turns swiftly on his heal and begins towards the doors. “I have decided to seek help elsewhere.”
“Hey, whoa, wait!” She slips in front of him, throwing out her arms to block the door. “Now I’m really interested. You- you have… what. Like, real life romantical feelings?”
“I no longer wish to discuss this with you. Please step aside.”
“But now you’ve got me hooked! Come on, Commander, you can’t just drop a bomb like that and then leave. I can offer you real, genuine advice! I mean, there’s not, like, a soul alive that can withstand Orion charm, but Vulcan? You’re gonna need some help, honey.”
She does have a point. He allows Gaila to coral him over to her bed, where he sits stiffly on the edge, watching Gaila arrange herself beside him- knees crossed, pillow hugged to her chest.
He looks around for the spill. There is none.
She means ‘spill your secrets from your lips so that I might laugh at your misery,’ – something Uhura had explained to him previously. Were he inclined to sigh, he certainly would have employ the display. As is, he merely allows his eyes to close point one second longer than his usual blink. Spock stiffly begins to explain.
“There is a human.” He says. “With whom I wish to enter into a relationship. He-“
“He? Oh my god Spock do you have the hots for the Captain?”
He does not glare at her. He simply… looks at her.
“Hey, whoa, I’m not judging! I tapped that back in the academy multiple times and it was honestly fantastic. I mean, he’s a guy, so there was that- I’d take Uhura over him any day, but don’t tell him I said that. Cuz he’s really, really good, and if we shoot down that confidence his performance might suffer and I’m not robbing the galaxy of such a damn good lay.”
Spock has no idea how to reply to that.
“Anyway, Jim. If you were going to fall for anyone, he’s a good choice, because he really likes you.”
Chances of Jim returning his feelings: 84.7 percent and rising. Better.
“And he’s a genuinely good person, which is also rare. I mean, we only slept with each other when we got bored and there was no one else to tease around, but it was always worth it. And he really is a nice person. He never sticks with anyone because no one is really compatible with the real him, actually, not because he’s a hit and run guy. So… I don’t know. You want this to be long-term, right? I don’t want to give you advice on how to get into his pants; he deserves better than that, especially from you.”
“I wish to be with him as long as time shall allow us.”
“Oh, romantic. I like it. Okay. So all you’ve got to do is tell him you love him. It really is that simple, Spock. Everyone is always going on about ritual and habit and stuff like that, but when it comes down to it, that’s all you’ve got to say.”
He considers her words. It does not seem likely that there is no tradition, no phrase or act that would show Jim his intent and feelings, but Gaila would not lead him astray.
She pats his knee, carefully. “Good luck, Commander.”
He thanks her and leaves, hoping that she will not gossip about him to Uhura, because Uhura will be affronted at not having been Spock’s first choice of consult. He knows, of course, that the chances of Gaila not telling Uhura are very low- 22.3 percent, according to his calculations- but that is still something to hold on to.
He sets out to tell Jim Kirk that he loves him.
“Okay Spock, I know we have a major engine malfunction roughly twice a day, but I’m really gonna need you on this one.”
Spock looks up to where Jim is hanging upside down to see under a panel. “And Mr. Scott cannot handle this for what I’m sure are very serious reasons.” Spock surmises.
“He’s lost the ability to read.” Jim says, very seriously. “And if we don’t fix this fast and get out of here, the space anomaly’s gonna make sure we’re all in the same condition.”
This was not what he thought space exploration would entail.
“Plasma cutter.” Kirk says.
Spock hands it up to him.
Spock takes the plasma cutter and hands him the wrench.
“Shit. Cutter again.”
Spock trades him.
“Okay, uh, gimme the squeezey thingy.”
Spock raises an eyebrow.
Jim throws his hands out in exasperation. “You know what I mean, Spock, come on, hurry!”
Spock passes Jim the ‘squeezey thingy’. Scotty had never told him what he has named the tool, anyway.
Spock almost looses his balance as the ship lurchers dangerously to the side, but he corrects himself and passes the tool to Kirk. The engines give an ominous wine and Kirk winces.
“Oh, that can’t be good. Coder.”
“Keptin, ze ship cannot take much more ‘a thees!”
“Understood, Mr. Chekov, I’m working as fast as I can. Spock- hand me that screwdriver, the flathead. Thanks.”
Spock says, “Is there any other way I may assist you, Captain?”
“Usually I’d have you working on- ouch! Ah, another project, but this is our only hangup and if I can just- two sided wrench, please- if I can just fix it we’ll be golden so- coder again- it shouldn’t be this hard, damn it, why the hell did we put this panel all the way up here? Why is it upside down? Who built this thing?”
“The Enterprise’s design was the work of seven individuals. In alphabetical order-“
“Not now, Spock. Plasma cutter. Thanks. Ugh- remind me.” He wipes his brow on the back of his hand, blinking sweat out of his eyes. “Remind me to give Scotty hell for this when we’re through the storm. If I’m giving him full run of the ship he should have jimmy-rigged this to be easily accessed by now.”
“I will endeavor to do so, Captain.”
“Thanks. Coder one more time, I think I’ve got this-“
“I’m working on it Chekov!” The ship lurches again and Spock reaches up to steady the Captain’s shoulder. There’s a loud click and the lights in engineering flicker, before turning back on at full capacity.
“We have engines sir!”
“Great! Get us the hell out of here!”
The ship shudders to life, pulsing forward in one great bolt of motion. Jim sways dangerously from his line, grabbing onto Spock’s hand before he’s sent flying. Spock helps lower him to the ground, and for a second they just stand there, glad to be alive.
“Spock.” Jim laughs. “We did it again. How’s that for your odds, huh? We’re the best, we’re the best, we-“
“I love you.” Spock says.
Kirk stops talking for point two seconds, blinking. When he looks up at Spock, he has stars in his eyes. He laughs. “Aw, Spock! I love you too!”
He has done it. They are in a relationship. Finally, his efforts have come to fruition-
“Bone’s’ll never believe you actually admitted that you care about me, you know, even if I tell him. And… And I’m glad you’re comfortable enough with us, with our friendship, to say that.” He grins. “Another reason Bones wouldn’t believe me- even he won’t say he loves me until I’m on my deathbed, and even then not in so many words, and he’s not a Vulcan… It means a lot, Spock. You really are the best friend anyone could ask for.”
Spock understands why humans are so inclined to violence. He could throw the toolbox at his feet all the way across engineering- farther, if he had space that would allow it. Still, he dips his head towards Jim, who claps him on the shoulder. It is a wonder that the human race has continued for so long when they are so impossible to date.
“Listen to me, babbling like a moron. Come on,” Kirk says, grinning brightly. “Let’s get back up to the bridge.”
First officer’s log, personal, star date 3726.1
The Enterprise has successfully docked at Star Base Eleven for repairs. As per recommendation of the Captain, all personal have been suggested to take a day of leave while we are docked for the week. We are not the only Starfleet Starship docked, at the moment, as the Farragut has been scheduled for maintenance as well. The crew has been showing excitement at the prospect of potentially seeing their former classmates and other acquaintances from the Farragut, the Captain himself included.
The Captain has asked me to come to dinner with him in order to meet his high-school pen-pal, E’lao’tha; a member of the Par-Ma’tch species. According to the Captain, they were in the same year at sister academies- hers in the Gamma quadrant. They exchanged correspondence as part of a culture project, and have remained close since- E’lao’tha transferred to Earth in her final year, and has been assigned as the Lieutenant aboard the Farragut.
While I am disinclined to watch Jim socialize with another while I remain quietly at his side, as often is the case when he receives old acquaintances, I find I have no logical reason to refuse him, as I am currently between projects. The dinner should pose as an opportunity to glean more information of the Par-Ma’tch.
As it turns out, E’lao’tha has much greater insight on human behavior than Spock does, and it is immediately apparent. He is baffled for the first few moments, until Jim notices his look and says,
“Oh, E here was raised on a star base- mostly humans. Neat, right?”
It would make certain sense to be jealous of her, but Spock finds that he is merely frustrated with his parents. He is a child of two worlds, and yet, all he knows is Vulcan. He embraces his Vulcan heritage, and would consider himself fully Vulcan before human, but he wonders what it would have been like if he’d been exposed to humans other than his mother. While Amanda was a paragon of all that was good and wonderful in humanity, by the time he was old enough to understand her and study her, she had integrated herself so fully into Vulcan society that it had taken him great time to pick out what parts of her were human, and which were simply ‘Amanda.’
E’lao’tha, or, as Jim called her, E, has purplish skin and narrow, glassy green eyes. She has black hair and nearly black lips, and a smattering of black freckles on her shoulder and cheekbones. She also has gils on the sides of her neck, and thin webbing between her index finger and thumb. Her skin looks damp, and her nose is pressed into her face- Spock deduces that her species evolved to breathe through the slits in their necks rather than through their nostrils.
She is very beautiful, in a strange way, and by the manner in which she runs her hand over Jim’s arm with familiarity, Spock is certain the Captain thinks her lovely, too.
Jim orders them both a gem-splicer, which is a drink that Spock will not touch, never mind ingest. Jim also orders an orange spice tea, and three waters. Spock isn’t surprised that Jim knows what he likes- they are very close, after all.
He is surprised to see that Jim apparently does not know E’s tastes.
“Ugh- oh, Jim!” Her face scrunches up in distress as she sticks her forked tongue out, shaking her head. “That’s vile.”
“I thought you liked sugar.” He laughs.
“Sugar, perhaps, but this? It is like drinking syrup.”
Jim grins and sips at his drink, the layers shifting over each other like the rings about a planet as he moves his glass. “Wait ’til you get to the orange layer.”
She pushes the glass aside. “No thank you. How can you drink that resilatiant-ay?”
Spock tilts his head at the word- the translator couldn’t pick it up.
Jim gasps and reaches to Spock, covering the Vulcan’s ears. Spock makes an effort not to fidget under the attention. “E! Not in front of my Vulcan!”
Something inside of Spock warms at Jim’s words- teasing as they are, he can’t not help but repeat “my Vulcan” over in his head.
“Oh please.” She huffs. “If he is your Vulcan there is nothing I can say that will offend him. You take the cake, James Kirk- all the cake, when it comes to profanity.”
“Not anymore.” Jim says, proudly. “I’m the captain of a star ship now.”
Spock says, “Jim, you regularly employ profanity, so much so, that Chekov-“
“Spooooock.” Jim moans.
E laughs at them. “Looks like they found a first officer who can reign you in, huh?”
“On the contrary.” Spock says.
“Yeah, I’m a bad influence on Spock. Did you know Vulcans can lie? All it takes is-“
“Jim, please.” He does not wish to revisit that story, despite Jim’s eager enthusiasm to do so.
E laughs again. “You really have changed, Jim.”
“Oh please,” he says. “I haven’t changed a bit.”
“You have, though.” She softens, chancing a look at Spock, like she isn’t sure if she should say what she wants to in front of him. Whatever she is looking for to clue her in, she must find it, because she proceeds, quietly. “You’re… softer.”
There is a subsequent thirty seven point sixty four second gap in conversation.
“Well.” Jim coughs. For a human, thirty seven seconds is a long time, and Jim seems awkward, suddenly. “You know.” He shrugs. “Hard to stay angry at the world when you’re off-world.”
“So it seems.” She eyes Spock again. Her grin turns mischievous. “So. Jim.”
He groans. “Please no.”
“I haven’t even asked yet!” She laughs in delight.
“I know what you’re going to ask, and no.”
“Oh indulge me. I could be asking you anything.”
“So you’re not going to ask if I’m single?”
She narrows her eyes at him.
“Fine, fine, what?”
“Have you found yourself a significant other yet, James?”
“See! I did know!” Jim says. He rolls his eyes when E continues to laugh in delight, threading her fingers together as she leans forward to await his reply to her query. Spock, too, finds himself leaning in, knowing, of course, that the Captain is not seeing anyone, but wondering what his response will be, regardless.
“What?” Jim groans. “I told you already, dweeb. Single as a… well, me.”
“That’s no saying at all.” She says. “I remember, at the Academy, you were never between relationships for more than a few hours. A day at most.”
He shrugs. “Had to figure out if I was looking for anything. Turns out I wasn’t.”
“Or,” she says, “You just hadn’t found what you were looking for yet.”
Her tone gives Spock pause. He takes in her body language- attentive, loving, careful, friendly. It is possible she is implying that she is what Jim is looking for. By the significant looks she shoots Spock- twice, in the span of seven seconds- it is possible she wants him out of her way. He pretends not to see and scoots closer to Jim, wondering at her wicked smile; as though she has hoped for such an outcome.
She cannot have Jim.
… Unless Jim desires her. It is highly possible.
“Well,” Jim says, “If you find me the right fish, E.”
“There’s plenty of fish in the ocean.” She winks.
“Real one in for me if you see one.” He says- his tone indicates he is joking.
Spock pauses. Though he is possibly joking, there is still significance to his words.
Could this be it? The signal he was looking for? What would fishing have to do with human courtship? It makes sense, in a primal way. The same way a Klingon would swipe dinner aside with the leg of a linxta, to prove that they could provide for their mate, perhaps presenting a fish to a human would prove to them that their potential spouse was capable of providing food and love.
Spock had to catch a fish.
The problem with catching a fish was… It was everything.
Where was one to find a fish on a star base? How would one go about catching it? Did he present it to Jim alive, or was he expected to kill it? He would not kill a fish. Did Jim have to eat the fish? Did it even have to be a real fish?
He wanders the base for hours, lost in thought, when he happens upon a gift shop. It is rather large, with all sorts of plush animals and other gifts one might purchase for a spouse or a child.
He allows himself to roam the isles, stopping only to stare at the likeness of a large rainbow trout. It’s bead eye gleams dully in the light of the gift shop, its long body stretching out over the display. Spock reaches up and touches the soft, fake scales, wondering at their likeness to the real thing.
Would such a gift express his feelings to the Captain?
“Spock! There you are!” Jim suddenly appears at his side, slightly flushed, and smelling of alcohol. “Bones ditched me in the middle of bar-hopping. Wanna go do something?”
Spock points at the fish. “Would you like this fish, Jim?”
Jim squints at the toy for one minute and two point zero two seconds, as if he thinks it will change before his eyes, or perhaps speak. It would not be the oddest thing to have happened to the two of them, but at the moment was rather unlikely.
“The fish?” Jim asks, incredulous.
“Yes.” Spock lightly touches it again to prove his point. It is fuzzy. “Do you desire this rainbow trout, Captain?”
Jim turns to squint at Spock. “Is this some sort of… of test or something?”
“No, Jim. I simply wish to know if you would like to possess this toy fish.”
He turns back to the fish. He reaches out and touches it, but his expression does not change. “I… I don’t think so.” He looks back to Spock. “Did I fail the test?”
“It was not a test, Captain. You are certain you do not desire this rainbow trout?”
“No, you are not certain, or no-“
“No, I don’t. I don’t want the. The rainbow trout.” He laughs a little. “How long have you been wandering around here, Spock?”
“A time, Captain.” Two hours, forty one minutes, twenty seven seconds. Twenty eight. Twenty nine-
“Huh. Wanna go to a holodeck?”
“All the star bases have them. I haven’t tried one out yet. But it’s late, so they’re probably freed up. Wanna try one?”
“For what purpose?”
He shrugs. “I dunno. Been a while since I stepped on grass, I suppose.”
Spock relents. “If this is what you wish, Captain.”
“Jim,” he is reminded.
“Jim.” Spock repeats.
They make their way to the promenade, and to an establishment called Skruaq, where a man with translucent skin holds out a box of various programs to select from. Jim looks at a couple, picking them out of the box and holding them up to the light to read them. A certain program’s advert image catches Spock’s eye and he reaches out, pulling it from the rest.
Earth Camping 3.0- Now with bears!
“Captain.” Spock says.
Jim looks over.
“Is this to your liking, Jim?”
Jim smiles. “Hey, Earth! Yeah, that looks fun. Bears, huh?” He looks up at the man before them and says, “We can’t actually get hurt in there, can we? If I’m gonna go, I do not want it to be from a holographic grizzly.”
“No sir, nothing can harm you as long as the safety is on.”
Jim pays for the program and follows the man as he leads them to a suite, entering the program for them. “Enjoy,” he says, and steps outside, closing them in the room alone.
“What’s supposed to happen?” Jim asks. He looks around the room- four walls of metal and blinking green light. “Uh, Computer-“
The program materializes, suddenly.
Acres and acres of tall, green grass, and towering pines, sparkling blue water, and a blue sky as far as the eye can see. Spock smells the pines and feels the breeze on the back of his neck. It’s such an accurate simulation, he would not know it to be fake had he not stepped into the room before the holographic projection was rendered.
“Whoa.” Jim marvels. He crouches down in the grass, fisting it in his hands and ripping chunks from the earth. “It’s like… it’s like we’re really here.” He stands, so fast he seems dizzy for a moment before he shakes his head to clear it. “Come on!”
Spock follows behind Jim at a leisure pace, watching as the human excitedly runs up over the hill before them.
“Spock!” he calls, waving. “Look- we’ve got a little camp!”
Spock sees- it is primitive, and the tents hardly look safe, but Jim seems warmed by the image. He runs down to where a fire is crackling merrily in its pit, holding his hands out over the flame.
“It’s hot!” He grins up at Spock in glee. “It’s like it’s really real!”
Spock is looking out at the water. Fish. There are fish in the water.
“Spock?” He looks over at the water, grinning big. “Hey, cool, fish.” He looks back over to the tent, where there are fishing poles as well as several other implements. “Wanna go fishing, Spock?”
“Affirmative.” Spock reaches down to take off his socks and shoes, and rolls up his pant legs. He starts into the water.
“Which pole do you- oh.” Jim looks over and blinks in surprise when he sees Spock standing in the stream. “What are you doing?”
“Catching a fish.” Spock says.
He is patient. These fish are not real, but they are programed to act as though they are. They look real, and when he hands one to Jim, it will be real. He just has to wait for one to get close enough to him. The water cools him significantly, almost to the point of discomfort, but Spock does not move, aware of the way Jim watches him from the bank, waiting to see what he will do.
One of the fish brushes against Spock’s ankle. He sees the opening and strikes, chopping down into the water with his hand and grabbing the scaled thing before it has a chance to escape. He does not know what species of fish it is- it is red, and slimy- but he steps out of the water and presents it to Jim in both of his hands, kneeling in the dirt, uncaring of the water slowly rolling down his wrists and into his uniform sleeves.
It is the moment he has been waiting for.
“I have caught you a fish.” Spock says.
“Thanks.” Kirk says. “But we can’t eat a holographic fish. That was pretty cool, though.”
Spock throws the fish back into the water and proceeds to join Jim on a hike. He is definitely not “pouting” like Jim suggests.
Why, he ponders, in agony. Why is this so difficult?
Spock knows only of one other person in the entire universe who has been in his situation, almost exactly, at one point in time. However, it is… awkward to go to said person, for several reasons. Chief amongst them being that this person is his father.
Spock allows nothing to get in his way.
“Spock.” If Sarek is surprised to see him, he does not show it. “This is unexpected.”
Indeed, it is out of routine for Spock. He usually calls his family to update them and in turn be updated on their lives the last day of the month. His communications last one hour on average, staring at 19:00 and ending at approximately 20:00.
It is still nine days until the end of the month, and the time is only 13:00.
“If it is an inconvenient time…” Spock begins.
“Not at all, my son. What is it that you require?”
Spock does not fidget. Truly.
“Surely you have contacted me for a reason.”
“Affirmative.” Spock forces himself to remain still and ineffectual, Vulcan breathing exercises coming to mind even though it has been years since he required any such measures. “It is… a private matter.”
Sarek’s face remains impassive, or at least it would seem that way to all but Spock, and perhaps his mother. “Surely it is not yet your time.”
“Nothing so severe.” Spock assures him. “I have contacted you for your advice.”
“What is it that I may guide you with, Spock?”
“I stress again the manner of my inquiry- it is intensely personal. However, I find I have no other being I may turn to on this particular matter. You are, so far as I know, the only Vulcan who has ever successfully courted a human.”
Sarek blinks, understanding playing through his expression. “No,” he says, at length, “There have been others. You would not have heard of them simply because until you, these unions did not result in offspring.”
Spock nods his understanding.
“You wish, then, to begin a romantic relationship with a human?”
“Spock, there are… so few of us left. I do wonder…”
“I have calculated the odds of a Vulcan wishing to bond and create offspring with me to be below seven percent.” Spock says. “While this is a time of desperation for Vulcan, it is a time I find I am not entirely a part of. My human heritage has always been a source of contention in the eyes of other Vulcans, and now, when it is so important that Vulcans reproduce, I do not foresee any possibility of attempting reproduction with what others will see as an unfortunate genetic combination.”
Sarek nods his understanding. “It is something I had considered.”
“Regardless of this, I wish for none other.”
“Then you have made up your mind.” An expression Amanda had passed to the both of them.
“I would not have come to you otherwise. I have… tried, Father, to express my intent, but I find myself failing time and time again to make my intentions clear. I have concluded that as a Vulcan, you will be able to properly convey how I must go about this manner.”
Sarek is silent for a moment.
“Am I mistaken?” Spock asks, finally.
“It is not that I do not wish to help you, Spock.” Sarek says, and if Spock did not know better, he would say that his father sounds embarrassed. Of course, Vulcans did not get embarrassed. “I regret to inform you, however, that I am not certain I would be of much aid to you. Human mating rituals are… extremely bizarre.”
“I do not understand.” Spock says. “You courted my mother.”
“That is true. And yet, I am not so certain as to how I did such a thing.”
Spock blinks. “Are you saying… you do not know how it is you came to ‘date’ Mother?”
“I remember being in your position.” Sarek confesses. “Your mother sang me an old earth song with gave me insight. The lyrics, “If you want to be my lover, you must get with my friends” were the key to my success, I believe. I convened with her friends, who proceeded to force me to inject intoxicating amounts of cocoa, until I was no longer in control of my facilities.” His father pauses, as if to collect himself.
Spock can hardly believe what he’s hearing.
“I do not remember all of what transpired. I do recall yelling your mother’s name outside her dorm room window, uncouthly. It is beneath me to admit this, but it is the truth. I… threw small rocks at her window until she finally came from bed to see what the disturbance was. She was understandably surprised to find the source, and it was then I did what her friends called “boom-boxing her” as I serenaded her with another old-earth song using a portable audio device. I was then escorted from her campus by the police.”
Spock finds himself unable to speak for point nine seconds. “I see.” He says.
“Yes.” Sarek looks away from the screen, casually. “I have no advice to give you, my son, but for that which your mother inadvertently gave me. As ‘The Spice Girls’ said to me, I say to you- congregate with your intended’s friends, and they will guide the way.”
Spock nods at the wisdom. “Thank you, Father. This has been most insightful. I will take my leave of you, now.” He salutes with the ta’al. “Live long and prosper.”
Sarek returns the gesture. “Peace and long life.”
McCoy takes one look at him and says, “I'm gonna need a drink for this.”
“Doctor, I must object-“
“I clocked out. You can object ’til those Vulcan vocal cords of yours give out, but I’m still gonna have a drink, and short of neck-pinching me into oblivion, there’s nothing you can do about it.” He opens his desk drawer and produces a case of whisky and a glass, pouring himself a helping and then taking a long sip of it before he looks back to Spock. “What?” he says, plainly.
“I have come to seek your advice.”
“Great.” he groans. “And lemme guess- it’s not a medical question.”
“You have surmised correctly, Doctor.”
“Typical.” He sighs. “So which is it. Jim, Kirk, or the Captain?”
Spock quirks his head to the side. “I do not understand. All three of those names belong, in fact, to one singular person-“ he realizes that look the McCoy is leveling him is one of amusement. “Ah. You are teasing me.”
“Only took you a second.”
“It took me approximately-“
“What’s Jim done this time?”
“It is… not anything that Jim has done. Rather, something I wish to do.”
McCoy stares at him. “Okay.” he says, slowly. “I know you’re not saying what I think you’re saying.”
“I wish to engage in an exclusive romantic relationship with Jim.” Spock says.
“Jesus, Mary, Jospeh, and the camel, Spock.” McCoy slams the rest of his drink back before putting the whisky away and drawing out a container of Romulan ale. “Gonna need something stronger for this,” he mutters.
“Will you give me your advice?”
“On what? Seducing Jim ain’t exactly rocket science, Spock.”
“I am able to comprehend ‘rocket science’ as you say, Doctor. Seducing Jim, however, is a skill I apparently lack.”
“I’m a doctor, damn it, not a matchmaker.” At Spock’s look, he throws his hands up. “Fine! Fine. I can’t tell you much because I’ve been sworn to secrecy, but I’ll put it like this- you’ve got this real easy, okay?”
“Yeah. Kid’s nuts about you.” He looks uneasily to the side. “So just. You know. Sweep him off his feat.”
“I must sweep him off his feet?”
“’S what I said, isn’t it?”
Spock blinks. “That is all I must do?”
McCoy shrugs, taking another drink. “I’m gonna forget this ever happened. You- pining. Imagining it isn’t good for my system.” He points. “Now get out of my office before I catch feelings.”
Confused as he is by the curious saying, but pleased by the information the doctor has given him, Spock leaves the way he came.
He enters Jim’s quarters at the usual time.
“Ah, Spock.” Jim grins bright and straightens. “Just set the board up. Ready to lose or-“
Spock neatly bends and takes Jim’s knees into his hand, placing the other at his back, and lifts. Jim comes neatly off the floor, swept off his feet, and into Spock’s arms.
Spock stares at Jim’s huge eyes, waiting for Jim to signal that he is amicable to a relationship.
“You okay there?”
“Okay… so, you gonna put me down?”
“Would you like me to, Jim?”
“Um, yeah. Yeah that’d be good.”
Spock puts Jim neatly back on his feet.
He contemplates grabbing Jim by his shoulder and shaking him, demanding an answer, but reigns himself in. “Do you wish to say anything, Captain?”
“Uh… I set up the chess board?”
“You wish to play chess, Jim?”
Jim nods, slowly. “Yeah. Chess.”
The evening proceeds as usual. Spock, by some miracle of Vulcan self-control, does not tear his hair out in utter frustration.
They are on Tidus when he hears it.
Two of the crewmen, talking to one another.
“You know what they say,” the human says, sagely. “If you love something, set it free.”
It will never end.
Spock wrestles the urge to furrow his brow into submission, mind already whirling through how exactly it is that he must capture the captain and then subsequently release him in order to profess his feelings, thinking, privately, that his father was right- human mating rituals really are extremely bizarre.
Still, he has his instructions. One of these many, many rituals will surely have to succeed. Perhaps, this will be the one. He turns neatly, to where the Captain stands talking to M’Benga- McCoy left shortly after speaking with Spock for a brief vacation on Earth to see his daughter graduate.
The captain is open, easy, happy.
Spock waits until Jim waves M’Benga away to make his move.
He clamps his hand around Jim’s wrist, certain his grip will not hurt the captain, but also that it will not be broken unless he is phaser-stunned into unconsciousness. Jim makes no move but to look up at Spock with raised brows.
“You are captured.” Spock says.
Jim says, “Huh.” he pulls a little at his wrist, but Spock does not let him go.
Spock says, “Do you understand that there is no escape?”
“I mean, I guess.” He squints at Spock. “Are you feeling alright?”
Spock lets the captain go. “There.” he says. “I have set you free. You now surely understand my regard for you. Do you return my feelings?”
“Um… is this a test?” When Spock doesn’t answer fast enough, Jim says, “You’ve been so weird lately. When was your last check-up with McCoy?”
“You’d tell me if you were feeling off, though, wouldn’t you, Mr. Spock?” he grins. “Acclimating to tactile humans, huh?”
“Just you, Jim.” Spock says, quietly.
Kirk reaches out and clasps his shoulder. “You’ll get there, Spock.”
At this point, he doubts it.
He has exhausted his resources. He has tried everything. All that is left to do is go to Uhura and confess his failure to her so that she might rub his back and tell him lies of comfort, as human ‘best friends’ do.
He is just about to do so when he receives a transmission.
“Incoming from New Vulcan,” the computer tells him. “Doctor Amanda Grayson.”
“Display.” Spock says.
His mother’s face appears on the screen, kind and smiling, glowing in that way she does. “Spock,” she says. She smiles a little wider upon seeing him.
“Mother. I had not expected to hear from you.”
“You’re not busy, are you?”
“Your father told me you’re trying to date a human.” Her eyes twinkle with mischief. “And you didn’t even tell me. Who’s the lucky soul? Anyone I’d know of? Uhura, perhaps?”
“Negative. Lieutenant Uhura and I remain platonic friends.” He says. He debates dodging her question, but now that he begins to think of it, she is a resource he failed to exploit. Aside from his father, his mother would best know his situation, would she not? “I believe I have ‘fallen in love’.”
His mother beams, gasping in delight. “Oh, Spock! I’m so happy for you!”
“You know of him. His name is James Tiberius Kirk.”
She gasps again. “Your Captain?”
“Oh, Spock, he’s so smart- you’ll be a perfect match!”
“I am… uncertain we will be a match at all. I cannot, despite all my efforts, seem to make my intentions towards him clear. I have tried every human mating ritual possible. I have capture him and released him. I have spoken to his friends, as the Spice Girls recommended. I did indeed remove him from his feet. I assured him of my willingness to fake my own death, should he desire it, and I offered to carry him on several occasions. I was unable to ascertain the meaning of ‘boom-boxing’ but I did, at one point, offer him a box which he could, if he wished, explode. I caught him a fish, mother, and still my feelings have not been shown true.”
She stares at him for such a long time he wonders if the transition is faulty.
“I’m… just trying to let that all soak in. You… you caught him a fish?”
“It was red. Is this an appropriate color? I offered to purchase him the likeness of a rainbow trout as well, but he declined.”
She covers her mouth- clearly, she is laughing at him, but refusing to let it show. “Oh, Spock. Where did you even hear all of that?” She is laughing, then. “You- you told him you’d fake your death?”
“As Romeo once did for Juliet.”
She’s belly-laughing, then. “Oh Spock!”
“I’m sorry, dear, I’m not laughing at you- just.” She laughs even harder. “Why would you offer to buy him a fish?”
“To catch a fish-“
She shakes her head. “Spock.” She sobers. “Have you tried just… telling him?”
“I did. I told him I love him.”
“What did he say?”
“He was glad that I am so close to him as to be able to admit that our friendship is so strong.”
She shakes her head. “He misunderstood, dear. As did you, it seems. I really should have taught you more about idioms and metaphors. Never mind that. Just, sit down, and have a conversation- when it comes to relationships, you’ll be surprised how much us humans are like Vulcans. Just tell it to him exactly how it is. Your feelings, what you want, everything.”
“And this is an acceptable way to profess my regard? It will not seem… too unemotional?”
She laughs, softly. “Not at all. If you really want, I guess I could explain boom-boxing, heaven knows where you heard that term-“
“I will proceed in the Vulcan way.” he says, not wishing for any explosions of boxes or spicy girls or campus police. Talking sounds logical.
“Sounds good.” She smiles. “I love you, Spock. Tell me how it goes.”
“I will do so.”
She lifts her hand in the ta’al. “Live long and prosper.”
He returns it. “Peace and long life.”
Spock is not sure how to start the conversation, so he leads in with chess. It is illogical to stall, but it is equally so to be rushed. This is the attempt that will render results- he will not be misunderstood, and when he leaves Jim’s quarters, he will have his answer.
Jim says, “Check.”
Spock suppresses a sigh; a habit which the captain has nearly passed on to him. While Jim wins the majority of their matches, Spock at least usually lasts longer than the tentative thirty three minutes and fifty-one seconds it has taken Jim to check him. He reaches out and moves his queen to defend his King, but it is of little use. He realizes, after a thorough look at the board, that Jim will have him in six moves.
“You seem distracted.” Jim says. “You’re not getting bored with me, are you?”
“It would be difficult to grow bored with a player who continues to confuse and defeat me, Jim.” Spock says. “Perhaps when it is I who wins the majority of our matches.”
“That’ll be the day.” Jim chuckles. “Check.”
Spock should just tip his king over. Jim does not like to play that way, though- he likes to chase victory down to the very last move. Spock finds himself of a similar mindset, despite that mathematical certainty of Jim’s victory, and his own defeat. He moves his King out of the way of Jim’s bishop.
“You think you’ll get bored of kicking my ass, if you ever do, Spock?”
Jim grins. “Aren’t you going to tell me that when you finally figure out my strategy, there will be no point- logically, of course- to our matches?”
It is an invitation if Spock ever received on. “As it stands, Jim, I find that the pleasure of your company far outweighs any logical ‘point’ to our games.”
Jim blinks. “You mean that?”
“Vulcans do not lie.” He looks down at the bored, where Jim’s hovering, refusing to set down his pieces to end the game. “It appears you intend to put me in checkmate.”
Jim looks down at his hand and lets out a small laugh. “Take the fun out of it for me, won’t you, Spock?” he sets down the piece.
“It seems victory is yours, Captain.”
They do not move.
“You really do mean that, though?”
“Of course. You have checkmate-“
“No, the other thing. You… you actually… you know. Like me more than our games?”
He nods. It is illogical to experience nervousness- kaiidth; what is, is, what shall be, shall be. Yet, the weight of what he is about to do weighs on him nonetheless. Jim is a priceless asset to Spock, as a captain, and as a friend. The knowledge that he could damage the relationship they have in his attempt to change it sits uncomfortably in the back of his mind, making it difficult to go one. Nonetheless, he proceeds.
“Jim…” He looks at where he is clenching his hands in his lap- a nervous habit his mother had passed down to him. He forces himself to meet Jim’s eyes. “You may have noticed slight anomalies in my behavior, as of late. I wish to explain why that is so.”
“You’re not sick, are you?” Jim looks deeply worried, suddenly.
“Negative.” Love-sick, McCoy had muttered about him, but that has no bearing in his current conversation. “I find that I possess very little knowledge of human metaphor and simile in the way of romance. I had thought, erroneously, that such metaphors where to be taken as literal instructions in the act of human courtship.”
“I don’t understand.” Jim says.
“It is… difficult, for me to tell you this, knowing all that I stand to lose. However, I have been aware of the risks over the course of our misunderstandings, and in all that time have not found myself able to desist in my intentions. Captain… Jim. I will say plainly now what I have been attempting to communicate to you.”
Jim nods, almost wearily.
Spock presses on, heart beating faster in his side. “I find that my regard for you, while strong in regards to our friendship, has taken on an amorous quality. Quite plainly, Jim, I have fallen in love with you.”
Spock lets out a breath. “Have I made my feelings for you clear?”
“This…” Jim swallows. “This isn’t some kind of joke, is it? No one put you up to this?”
“No. To think that I would make such a joke-“
“You love me.” Jim repeats.
“That is correct.”
“You love me?”
Spock quirks his head to the side. “I believe I have stated-“
He is unable to continue his sentence. Jim stands and launches himself into Spock’s lap with an almost frantic sort of air to him, fumbling shakily for Spock’s jaw. He cups it and slams their lips together, messily.
Spock’s eyes go wide. He is not sure what he expected, but this…
Jim settles onto his lap, hands gentling as he cups Spock’s face, drawing back for a moment before pressing in softer, lips warm and wet against Spock’s.
Spock draws back. “Does this mean-“ he is interrupted by another hurried kiss, and almost forgets what he is saying, but he is determine not to let anything from this point onward be carried out in confusion or by mistaken assumptions. “Do you return-“
“Yes,” Jim breathes against him. He kisses with an open mouth, gentle, happy, warm. “I love you. I love you, I love you, I love you.” He presses kisses over Spock’s cheeks and forehead between each declaration, winding his fingers into the hair at the nape of Spock’s neck.
“You would enter into a monogamous romantic relationship with me?”
“Yes,” Jim sighs. “Yes, of course, anything.” He kisses Spock’s mouth again, and then laughs. “You love me. You really- are you sure?”
“I am as certain of my love for you as I am of the constancy of time.”
“Say it again.” Jim says. “Say you love me.”
“I have already communicated my feelings, and repetition would serve no purpose-“
“It would make me happy.” Jim says.
“I love you.” Spock replies. When Jim happily sighs and kisses him, Spock manages to say, “I love you," into his mouth, one more time, before they are pressing against one another with a delicate helplessness, unable to pull away.
Spock had thought that kissing was pointless- unsanitary and without purpose, at one point. The way Jim kisses him, though, strips him of all thoughts of germs and function- he shudders in pleasure as Jim’s tongue swipes over his lower lip, swells with pride at the moan Jim releases when his bottom lip is sucked on. The kiss is timeless and infinite, a combination of kisses that becomes just one, a collection of minutes that stretch on forever while simultaneously not being nearly enough.
It is the height of illogic, and Spock can finally realize why his father had once said he married for logic- to admit to love was to admit to a loss of control, of logic, in the way it rendered one completely vulnerable and open, but even Vulcans must love. And there is a sort of sense in love, a completion with the heart and world that Spock must meditate further on when he does not have a lap full of one James T. Kirk.
“I knows it’s fast,” Jim pulls back to say. His lips are swollen and shiny and Spock wants to bite them. “But I’ve been wanting this for. Forever, Spock. Wanna have a sleepover?”
The image brings to mind humans in ridiculous sleepwear, gossiping and painting each other’s nails- Uhura has educated him through many tasteless human movies. Jim takes his hand, though, and Spock gets hit with an onslaught of lust. Not, then, the regular kind of sleepover- Jim wants him in his bed.
“That would be amenable.” Spock agrees.
Jim stands, and Spock misses his heat immediately. Then Jim’s hands are pulling on his, he gets a wave of lovelovewantlustlovewant and must take a moment to collect himself before he allows Jim to guide him to the bed.
Jim flops down on the mattress, head on the pillows, and then drags Spock on top of him. He arranges Spock’s legs to his liking, so that he’s being straddled, and whispers, “Yeah.”
A nonsensical word without any other to accompany it in a sentence out of context, and yet, Spock finds he understands Jim’s meaning immediately. He agrees with a nod of his head, nose dragging against Jim’s.
Jim pulls Spock down to connect their lips again. It is soft, and sweet- the noise of it loud in the dim as Spock pulls back just barely to look at Jim. The Captain is flushed, eyes dark and dilated, his breathing elevated. It is a sight to behold that he cannot– and will not– imagine going without ever again.
“Shirt?” Jim asks.
Spock sits up, taking his off, while Jim worms out of his command golds. Spock is just beginning to fold his when Jim grabs it and slings it off the bed to join his own on the floor. “Later,” Jim says, kissing Spock’s jaw, “You can fold all the laundry you like. But until then, I think I’d like you to kindly have very thorough, logical, Vulcan sex with me.”
“Don’t overthink that.” Jim laughs. “I just want you to bang me.”
At least Spock is familiar with that metaphor. “Of course, Jim.”
Their pants and socks become casualties right along with their shirts, strung along the floor messily, and Spock cannot find it within himself to care about it. Jim throws a leg over Spock's hip, pulling their erections together. Jim hisses at the contact, throwing his head back.
Spock takes the bared flesh of Jim’s throat as an invitation, drawing the skin above Jim’s pulse into his mouth. Jim moans, rubbing his hardness against Spock’s, hands hot and damp with sweat where they hold Spock’s back.
“I want it,” Jim breathes. One of his hands shoot out and he fumbles for his bedside drawer, attempting to pull it open and failing. Spock reaches out for him, neatly opening it. Jim fishes a bottle out without preamble and shoves it into Spock’s hands. “You know what you’re doing, right?”
Jim lifts his hips. “Naked?”
“Your dictation seems to suffer under the influence of your arousal.”
Jim rolls his eyes, though he smiles, and comically growls, “You. Naked. Now.”
Spock pulls Jim’s underwear down and then his own, the last of their clothes kicked from the bed. For a second all he can do is stare at Jim- flushed and wet with his excitement, hard against his stomach. He would feel abashed for his rudeness if Jim were not in a similar state, eyes roaming hungrily over Spock’s flesh.
He whispers, “Jackpot.”
Spock does not know what that means. He takes Jim’s cock in hand and gives an experimental stroke- a little harder than what he generally likes, but he knows Jim’s body to be more prone to becoming overwhelmed by sensation than his.
Spock cannot help the curl of satisfaction Jim’s reaction brings him. He repeats the action, languidly pumping his hand up and down, watching Jim scramble to open the cap to the bottle of lubricant he had pushed into Spock’s hand.
“Use it.” He demands.
“In due time,” Spock says.
“No time like the present,” Jim retorts, and takes the lube into his own hand, applying a generous amount over his fingers before slipping his hand past Spock’s to begin prepping himself.
Spock thanks the stars themselves for his being half Vulcan and thus possessing an eidetic memory. The moment Jim’s eyes roll back into his head is one he will want to remember for the years to come.
“Like what you see?” Jim pants, steadily fucking himself on two of his fingers.
“Indeed.” Spock says. He takes the lube from Jim and applies some to his fingers, pushing Jim’s hand away. “Allow me to assist you.”
“Now you’re talk-“ he cuts off with a breathy moan as Spock presses two of his fingers in, slow and carefully, overly slick and easy.
Spock takes the act of preparing Jim slowly, and carefully. The thought of any discomfort on Jim’s part during their coupling distresses Spock nearly as much as Jim’s moans and sloppy kisses arouse him. Jim pants heavily, clinging to Spock’s shoulders, desperately mouthing words of pleasure against Spock’s lips.
“I’m ready,” he insists after several minutes, eyes glassy with pleasure.
It’s easy to ignore him. Spock knows, indeed, that Jim is slick enough, loose enough, but he enjoys taking Jim apart, little by little, until he is trembling, babbling, body shaking with need.
“Please Spock,” Jim begs, “Come on, come on, come on!” He throws his legs over Spock's hips, trying to draw them together, but Spock holds him down with one hand on his belly.
“Screw patience, I’ve waited forever for this!” He grabs Spock’s erection, hand still slick with lube, and messily jerks him off- the angle is awkward, and yet, Jim makes it work. Spock clenches his teeth against the sensation and gives in, knowing he will come if he does not.
He bats Jim’s hand away and lines them up, quirking an eyebrow when Jim draws out his “Yessssss,” wiggling his hips, pulling readily at Spock’s shoulders. Jim seems equal parts excited, aroused, and happy; it’s a combination Spock hopes to see more of in the future.
He presses in slowly, carefully, groaning against the tight heat. Jim’s overeager and tries to take him quickly, but Spock persists at an unhurried speed. They have forever, do they not?
Jim grabs Spock’s hand when they are fully joined. They still, for a moment, as Jim pants for breath. Through Jim’s skin Spock can feel the bleed of his emotions- not nearly as intrusive as he thought they might be. Instead, the feelings swell comfortably against Spock’s own, the pleasurelovewantyespleasemore a steady heartbeat of its own in the silence.
“I can feel you in my head.” Jim breaths.
Spock starts. “I had not intended.”
“It’s nice.” Jim says, quiet. “It gets a little lonely up there, you know?”
He begins to move when Jim pulls on his shoulders again. He begins rocking steadily into Jim, finding himself panting as well. Jim’s skin shines with a fine layer of sweat, his body soft in the low lighting of his room. They kiss again, slow and sweet. It’s enough to make Spock dizzy with the feeling of it all.
Within moments, Jim says, “Come on Spock,” and nudges Spock’s ass with his foot. “Give it to me, won’t you?”
“What is it you desire I give you?”
“That Vulcan dick.” Jim mutters, probably thinking Spock can’t hear him. Louder, he says, “Harder, Spock, come on-“ he cuts off with a muffled groan as Spock quickens his pace in earnest. “Yeah, yeah, that’s it, just like that, Spock, Spock, oh-“
Spock presses their foreheads together, feeling Jim’s orgasm building through their skin’s contact. His own not far behind, he reaches between them to take Jim into his fist, roughly jerking him in time to his thrusts. The gentleness fades under the wave of desperation for release, and Spock finds himself fucking Jim into the mattress, a little more with each thrust of his hips, nearly there, nearly there, nearly there-
Jim comes with a gasp, body rigid, jaw dropped open. His release and the sharp flare of pure pleasure that comes from it is enough to drag Spock into his own orgasm. He fucks Jim through it, until they are both spent and breathless.
“Fuck yeah.” Jim weakly cheers. He kisses Spock chastely.
Spock rolls to the side so as not to crush Jim, hissing as he pulls out. They lay like that, limp and exhausted- emotionally, and physically with the act- until Jim rolls over to cuddle into Spock’s side. Spock realizes it is unhygienic for them to press together after copulation, their sweat makes their skin sticky and Jim’s seed is growing tacky on their stomachs. And yet, he does not care.
He pulls Jim into his arms.
“Boyfriends?” Jim asks into the silence.
“T’hy’la.” Spock says.
“I like that.” Jim laughs. He cuddles closer. “It sounds more serious.”
“Tell me again.”
Spock quirks a brow. Still, he says, “James T. Kirk, I find myself in love with you.”
Jim grins. “Enough to buy me a rainbow trout?”
Spock gives into the urge and sighs. “Yes, Jim. Enough to buy you a rainbow trout.”