“So, what are you getting Spock for Valentine’s Day?” Bones asked him as they sat in the mess having breakfast.
Jim’s mouth dropped open and he stared at his friend. “Valentine’s Day?”
“Yeah, you know, that day for lovers to exchange gifts to show their undying love for each other.” Bones made a bit of a gagging noise.
He frowned. “I know what Valentine’s Day is, Bones.”
“It’s coming up. Soon.”
Jim shrugged. “What does that have to do with me and Spock?”
“Correct me if I’m wrong, Jim, but didn’t you just ask Spock to marry you?”
“Well, yeah. But I didn’t give him something last Valentine’s Day, did I?” Jim asked, frowning. He didn’t, did he?
“You didn’t get together until toward the end of March,” Bones said.
“Yeah? You sure about that? You remember exactly?”
“Jim, the day I found the two of you kissing inside the turbolift is etched into my mind. Trust me, I remember.”
Jim flushed. “Uh, yeah. Totally my fault. Spock was mad.”
His friend snorted. “Really? Was that before or after his tongue was down your throat?”
“Well, don’t tell me that hobgoblin was all affronted and blamed you for getting caught when he couldn’t keep his hands to himself any more than you could.”
“I didn’t mean he was really mad. Just annoyed.”
Bones snorted again. “When isn’t he annoyed? For someone who claims to have no emotions he seems to have quite a few. Especially where you’re concerned. And he forgets I was there when he was weeping over your injured body just before that.”
Jim rolled his eyes. “He wasn’t weeping, Bones.”
“Practically. He was plastered to your side the whole time you were in medbay and bit my head off when I tried to make him leave. For Spock that’s weeping.”
“Anyway, the point is, I didn’t get him anything last year.”
“You weren’t together last year,” Bones pointed out.
“Yeah, but, you know Valentine’s Day is really not my thing. And I’m pretty sure it isn’t Spock’s thing either.”
“You do have a point there.”
“And anyway what the hell would I give him? No chocolate. And I’m allergic to most flowers. Honestly, Bones, I don’t think I have to worry about it.”
“I did say Spock was the most unromantic being around.”
Jim knew better, of course. When Spock got growly and possessive and in those biting moods…well it sure was romantic to him. But let Bones think what he wanted. What he and Spock did was private.
“Speaking of the day of lovers,” Jim said, deciding a change of subject was in order. “Are you getting Shayla something?”
“Of course. We’ve only been seeing each other for a couple of weeks though, so I have to keep it simple.”
Jim finished his coffee. “Yeah? Why is that?”
“The rules of early relationships, Jim.”
He laughed. “There are rules, huh? What else is a rule besides nothing fancy for Valentine’s Day?”
“You never wanna be the first one to say I love you.”
“What?” Jim frowned. “Wait, I think I was.”
Bones rolled his eyes. “That doesn’t surprise me. And you don’t blurt it out during sex.”
His friend smirked. “Broke both of those, huh?”
“Yeah, but I didn’t know they were rules.” He shook his head. “You’re full of information.”
“I know it.”
“Full of something anyway,” Jim muttered. “Anyway, how soon is too soon? To say it I mean.”
“You didn’t say it your first time did you?”
“No,” Jim protested. “I already did…love him, though. But no neither of us said it for the first few months of being together.”
Jim remembered it well, actually. Spock had been injured by some creature with claws during an away mission. They’d brought him up to the ship shredded and with blood everywhere.
Bones saved him, which Jim would forever be grateful for. Their first night making love after Spock got out of the medbay, Jim couldn’t help but blurt out, “I love you.”
Spock had stiffened. For an ice cold minute, Jim thought he’d made a terrible error. And then Spock had held him so tight, Jim thought Spock might break his ribs. Spock had whispered, “I love you, too, Jim.” And Jim could breathe again.
Bones nodded. “You’re good then.”
Jim laughed. “You and your rules. I‘m gonna get more coffee.”
He went over to the replicator and ordered more and when he turned around, he saw Uhura had joined Bones. Jim grimaced. He really tried not to, but he still had trouble with her. It was one of the few points of contention between him and Spock. Spock didn’t understand why Jim was still jealous of her when he was with Jim. And Jim…well he still couldn’t get the image out of his head of her kissing Spock in front of him on the transporter pads before they’d gone off to fight Nero. It had been like she was throwing it in his face.
Plastering on his captain’s smile, he resumed his seat across from Bones. “Nyota.”
“Good morning,” she said pleasantly. “Where’s Spock?”
He squashed down his initial annoyance that she immediately brought up Spock. They were a couple. It was only natural to ask where his other half was. Right?
“He wanted to finish up a report so he told me to come ahead to breakfast. He’ll probably be along soon.”
She nodded. “What are you getting him for Valentine’s Day?”
“Wait, what? You too?”
“What?” Uhura exclaimed. “You are getting him something, aren’t you?”
“No,” Jim said. “I hadn’t planned on it.”
She stared at him with wide eyes.
“This is Spock we’re talking about. He doesn’t care about stupid Earth traditions.” Jim suddenly felt uncertain. Did he? “Well, when you were with him, did you give him stuff?”
Uhura shrugged. “Nothing big. Like romantic cards, a romantic dinner. But our relationship was never what yours is like.”
“And that is?”
“You’re really clueless sometimes, aren’t you?” She shook her head. “Let me explain something, Captain. Spock agreed to marry you. I think that says everything you need to know.”
Jim opened his mouth to respond, but wasn’t really sure what to say. She had a point. And then with an almost preternatural awareness of him, Jim turned to see Spock enter the mess. Spock’s gaze briefly flickered, not to their table, but to Jim himself. And yeah, maybe Jim was starting to get it.
Spock stopped at the replicator and chose his food. Then he came to their table and sat beside Jim.
Jim glanced at what he’d chosen. Tea, of course. Tea that sort of smelled like dirt to him. Besides tea, Spock had a bowl of fruit and some oatmeal. Jim smiled at him. “Get your report finished?”
“Affirmative and three other reports as well. Including your report on the last mission.”
His smile widened at the smugness he detected in Spock’s voice. “Thank you, Mr. Spock.”
“You are welcome, Captain.”
“If you two are gonna make eyes at each other, I’m leaving,” Bones grumbled.
“Good day, doctor,” Spock said.
“I didn’t say I was leaving, Spock. I said I would leave if you two didn’t stop.”
“How come you always take Spock’s side?”
“The captain is quite intelligent, doctor,” Spock said, taking a bite of his oatmeal.
Bones rolled his eyes and stood. “Okay, now I really am leaving.”
“I should be moving along, too,” Uhura said, also rising. “See you on the bridge.”
Bones and Uhura left leaving Jim with only Spock.
Spock looked at Jim, arched his eyebrow. “What?”
“What makes you think there’s anything?”
“I believe I know you by now.”
Jim sighed and lifted his mug to his lips. “Spock, what do you think of Valentine’s Day?”
“I cannot actually say I have any thoughts on Valentine’s Day.”
“Ah ha! I knew it.”
“Well, it’s just a made up day, right? To make people spend money on shit no one really needs. And for what? To prove they love you? Like an object does that anyway.” Jim shook his head. “Stupid, huh?”
“May I inquire why you are even bringing up the subject of Valentine’s Day?”
“Bones and Uhura brought it up.” He shrugged. “I guess it’s coming up soon.”
“And this is a day of significance?”
“I guess to humans. Women mostly. I think. Lovers are expected to give their sweethearts gifts to prove their love.” Jim finished his second cup of coffee. “Stupid, right?”
“Indeed it does seem illogical.”
Jim sighed with relief. “Good. I’m glad we’re on the same page about it then. You ready to go to the bridge?”