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Punch or Kiss

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Sometimes, Jim wanted to do anything just to make Spock shut up. It wasn’t that he didn’t like talking to him, they often talked for hours off duty. But his reports were so dry, and he always insisted on summarising them out loud. Probably because he suspected Jim wouldn’t read them. He was mostly correct there. Still, it was even worse when he started summarising a report on the bridge, when Jim had only wandered over to his station to break the monotony of a slow day.

Listening to a dry report about the specimens they’d sampled on the previous planet was not breaking the monotony, in Jim’s opinion.

Even slumping slightly against Spock’s side, breaking into his personal space, wasn’t shutting him up. That sometimes made him take a step back and re-evaluate whether Jim was even listening. Not this time. This report was particularly dry, as Spock detailed the chemical structure of something. Jim wasn’t really listening. He was already thinking of other ways to shut him up. Punch him in the face, or kiss him. He wasn’t picky.

Either would certainly break the monotony, even if both were highly inappropriate, and likely to land him in the infirmary.

“I really would prefer to be kissed, rather than punched, if you are going to resort to such barbaric means of 'shutting me up',” Spock suddenly said, and it took a moment for his words to filter through Jim’s boredom.

The dead silence on the bridge helped him get there. He blinked stupidly at Spock for moment.

“No, you did not say that out loud,” Spock said, raising one eyebrow to the exact height that indicated amusement.

Jim looked down. Sure enough, in his first attempt of shutting him up by invading his personal space, he had leaned against his side enough that their wrists were touching.

Feeling his face heat up, he pulled his hand back, so his thoughts were no longer open to Spock’s perusal. Clearing his throat, he glanced around the bridge, and everyone turned back to their instruments.

“I’m shocked, Mr. Spock,” he said, not looking at him directly. “One would think the former is breaking more regulations than the latter.”

He could see Uhura fighting a smile at her station, and scowled at her.

“Physically assaulting a high-ranking officer, even as Captain, is certainly a more serious infraction than kissing him,” Spock said, and Jim gave him a scandalised look, unable to believe he was actually saying that. On the bridge.

“Surely kissing a high-ranking officer without permission is classed as a form of assault,” he said, before thinking it thought. “With longer reaching consequences.”

Spock tilted his head, his eyebrow still at that amused height. “You assume lack of permission in haste, Captain, did I not just indicate permission?”

Jim couldn’t stop his eyes from widening. He was sure his face would be red. Had he stepped into some sort of alternate reality that morning? Was this even Spock? His calm and collected, logical, at least while on duty, First Officer?

“Surely when forced to choose between a kiss and a punch, it’s not the sort of permission that can circumvent regulations and prevent disciplinary action?” he said, his voice a bit weak.

Spock’s lips twitched, and Jim stared at him in shock. He’d not seen him look so openly amused outside of their off-duty interactions before.

“Surely an able Captain is not the kind to suggest something he is not brave enough to carry out?” Spock teased.

Jim made an embarrassing sound before he could stop himself. “Surely a capable First Officer is not one to take thoughts and hold a man to them!”

“Would a Captain rather face disciplinary actions for touching a Vulcan with his skin, without explicit permission?” Spock’s tone indicated no offence, but Jim still felt guilt twist his stomach. He broke that rule far too often, usually without even realising it at the time. “Which do you think the Admiralty would prefer to deal with? That, or a more personal breach of protocol?”

“Why, Mr. Spock, surely a Vulcan would prefer the former,” he said weakly. It was starting to sound like Spock was trying to corner him into kissing him. That was making thinking rather difficult.

Spock tilted his head to the side. “Why, Captain, I do believe you are exhibiting cowardice. Over a simple human gesture. How fascinating.”

Jim clenched his hands into fists, and his face grew hotter. Spock certainly had a tilt to his lips now that indicated a smirk. He was toying with him, and winning.

“Or maybe I was leaning more towards punching you!” he hissed.

Spock’s lips quivered, clearly wanting to smirk more openly. Usually Jim revelled in making him break that Vulcan mindset, and show his human half, but today he was completely thrown by it.

“How disappointing,” Spock said. “But the monotony is broken, is it not?”

“The mono—” Jim cut himself off. His voice was too high. And Spock looked entirely too amused, even if it was only by such minute shifts in his expression. “Mr. Spock! This is highly irregular!”

“But very educational,” Spock said. “That someone so brave could be so affected by such an innocent topic. I have witnessed this behaviour in other humans before, but thought you above it. Fascinating.”

Jim gaped at him. “I am shocked by your impertinence, Mr. Spock,” he said, regaining awareness of where they were, when Uhura sniggered. “Any more of this, and I’ll have to take disciplinary action.”

That only seemed to amuse Spock more. “Of a more official capacity? Or are we still discussing your indecision of how best to assault me into shutting up, as you put it?”

Uhura lost control, and let loose a peal of laughter. Jim was used to the bridge crew getting loose with regulations and propriety on particularly uneventful days, and often encouraged it, but he had never seen Spock so completely unprofessional while on duty before.

“Mr. Spock! Do we need to take this discussion of insubordination to the briefing room? You are setting a disappointing example to the crew!”

Spock tilted his head again, and he openly smirked. The sight had Jim’s pulse racing Open displays of emotion from Spock always had that effect on him.

“It would be a more appropriate location for an altercation between high ranking officers, so that the lower ranks don’t get ideas, Captain.”

Jim spluttered for a moment, truly torn between punching him for making such a fool of him, and shoving him back against the console and making him eat his words.

“Oh, I do prefer the latter option, Captain,” Spock said, and squeezed his wrist. Jim hadn’t even noticed him touch it. “If you must break regulations.

“Mr. Sulu, you have the conn!” Jim snapped, pulling his wrist free, and glaring at Spock. “Mr. Spock, proceed to the briefing room, so we can discuss your blatant insubordination in private.”

Uhura snorted, and Jim glared at her, as Spock turned and exited the bridge without a fuss. Jim stomped after him, glaring anyone who looked at him into submission. To be made to look a fool on his own bridge, he couldn't comprehend what had gotten into Spock.

As soon as they left the bridge, he could hear laughter break out, and his mood soured further. Spock was back to looking completely emotionless, and it only irritated Jim further.

As soon as the door of the briefing room closed behind them, Jim stepped close. “What the hell has gotten into you?” he snapped. “That was the most inappropriate conversation that has ever taken place on the bridge, and I am shocked that you were a part of it!”

Spock only raised an eyebrow, and Jim didn’t know what that exacting height meant, he hadn’t seen that one before.

“If you must touch me while we’re on duty, perhaps you should keep your thoughts on something other than all the ways in which you wish to ‘debauch me’,” Spock returned. “You had quite the imagery going before you started in on punches or kisses, Captain. Quite inappropriate for the bridge.”

Jim felt his face flush. He didn’t really have a defence for that, he had no idea how long their wrists had been touching. He usually tried to keep those thoughts buried deep whenever he touched Spock. When he was even aware he was touching him.

“Mr. Spock, if I breach protocol and touch you accidentally, the appropriate course of action is to break contact and reprimand me!”

Spock stepped closer, and Jim swallowed, and forced himself not to step backwards. Spock was completely unpredictable today, he couldn’t think straight.

“I was quite fascinated by what you wanted to do to my ears, I wanted to see you finish the thought,” Spock said, reaching out, and brushing the shell of Jim’s ear. “So many thoughts, that you have never acted on.”

“Mr. Spock!”

“Are you aware that Vulcan ears contain many more nerves than human ears?” Spock asked. Jim made a weak sound. All the times he’d thought of something like this happening, he never expected himself to be so completely thrown and unable to act. “Ah, I see you do.”

“Stay out of my head,” Jim mumbled, wondering if Spock was messing with him, and whether he’d find himself knocked out if he dared to kiss him. He’d been punched by Spock on more than one occasion, and he wasn’t sure it would be worth it.

“I like it in your head,” Spock said. “Why do you think I never reprimand you for touching me?”

Jim shook his head, and glanced about the room as if there was something that could save him from the embarrassment he’d landed himself in.

“Come now, Captain,” Spock teased, more open than usual, and clearly still experiencing Jim’s thoughts as he rubbed his earlobe between his fingers. “Where has your spine gone?”

“How illogical, Mr. Spock, one cannot—”

“All thought and no action, Jim?”

Jim shivered at the use of his name. He never could get used to that.

“I suppose, in terms of regulations, it is more appropriate for the lower ranked individual to initiate inappropriate proceedings,” Spock said, his eyebrow reaching that amused height again.

“Spock, if you’re messing with me, that is incredibly cruel,” Jim said weakly. “You clearly know how much I want this.”

Spock made an amused sound, and stopped playing with his ear. Jim just managed to stop himself from whimpering at the loss.

“I am most certainly ‘messing’ with you, Jim,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean it’s malicious. Or that it’s not something I too want.”

“Fuck, Spock.”

“In which way? You have thought of many.”

Jim mind was slingshotting around, and he wasn’t sure any of it was coherent, but Spock was still touching him, a hand on the side of his neck, experiencing it all, and still standing entirely too close, with his stupid eyebrow raised, and looking so damn smug.

“I suppose I should put you out of your misery, as they say,” Spock said. “Even if this is more enjoyable than I anticipated.”

That made Jim’s mind snap into focus. “No one puts me out of my misery!” he snapped, grabbing Spock by the back of his head, and pressing their lips together.

Spock’s grip on the side of his neck tightened for a moment, and then relaxed. Jim pulled back, and glared at him.

“Pleased with yourself?”

“Unendingly,” Spock murmured.

“You are being completely illogical today,” Jim said, taking a couple of breaths to steady himself, and hardly comprehending of the fact he had just kissed Spock, after wanting to for...well he wasn’t even sure how long it had been now. Long enough that he wasn’t sure.

“Seven months, six days, and three hours since the first time I saw it in your thoughts,” Spock provided, tilting his head. “I won’t bore you with the minutes and seconds. And since you manage to touch me at least twice each day, and often more, it’s likely that was the first time.”

“And you waited this long to do anything about it?” Jim asked, hating that his face was still hot, and likely red.

“A pleasant pink, is more accurate,” Spock said, his lips tilting into that half smirk again. “And I was rather curious how long it would take you to do something about it.”

“You are a fool, Mr. Spock,” Jim muttered. “And stop answering my thoughts. It’s creepy.”

“You can’t lie to me, Jim. I’m well aware that you like it. Perhaps a little too much.”

“Shut up.”

“Make me.”

Jim gaped at him for a moment, and Spock raised that damn eyebrow again in response.

“Yes, I quite agree,” Spock said. “Over the table is likely more comfortable than the floor.”

Jim swallowed heavily against the heat rushing through him. “I’m not sure how I feel about this side of you, Mr. Spock.”

Spock smirked again. “That’s not quite true, now is it, Captain?”