Sometimes he didn’t mind being alone. It wasn’t an unusual occurrence. Most of his childhood had been spent that way. At least until he got sent away. But before that, before Sam had left, Jim spent most days finding ways to entertain himself. Most of his classmates thought he was too smart or too cocky or too cute or…too something.
He’d made friends on Tarsus, but that hadn’t gone well.
And when he’d gone to the academy, well, he’d met Bones. He’d met a few others. Gary Mitchell, for example, but Gary went batshit crazy and decided he was a god with psychic powers.
Bones stuck with him though and that was good.
He got the Enterprise and he loved his crew, he did. And he was pretty sure he’d gained their admiration and trust, if not their love. His officers were friendly with him and occasionally he spent time with them.
It was all good.
And then there was Spock.
They were friends. At least Spock had finally admitted it while Jim was dying. And during his recovery he had acted like they were friends and things were good.
But once they got on the Enterprise, well, things got strange again. Spock wasn’t openly derisive like he’d once been. But he grew distant and spent most of his off time with Uhura.
Bones was great, he really was, but Jim supposed Bones needed a break from him every once in a while.
And so when they’d gone to Yorktown, Jim had spent his time there, before being called in by Commodore Paris, alone.
Everything changed with Krall, of course. All Jim’s doubts that had crept in about his place in all this disappeared.
He belonged with the Enterprise. He was the captain. And if it meant being alone the rest of his damn life, he had the ship. His beautiful lady.
There were still times he got bored. Still times he wanted to do anything but spend his time alone in his quarters. This was one of those times.
Bones was busy. There’d been a minor explosion on deck five that had caused a few injuries and as grumpy as Bones could be, he was grumpier still when he had casualties to tend to.
So he found out via the computer that Spock was in lab 6, so, after some contemplation, he headed there.
He’d made it to the outside of the lab when he heard the low murmur of voices. Uhura and Spock.
Damn, he hadn’t intended to interrupt a date or whatever.
“Spock,” Uhura’s voice suddenly rose. “You need to tell him.”
“Of course it is. But he needs to know. You can’t go on like this. We can’t go on like this. So the only thing to do is tell him. He needs to know your decision.”
Spock was going to leave.
Bones had told him about Spock maybe going to New Vulcan before all the Krall stuff happened. He’d heard that Spock and Uhura had even ended their relationship over it, briefly, as they were back together, obviously.
Which probably meant they would both leave.
“I cannot. To lose him as a friend—”
“You won’t. He won’t react that way.”
Of course Jim wouldn’t. He would support Spock leaving if that was what he wanted. But he couldn’t hear anymore. It was too much.
He turned around and went back down the corridor and to the turbolift. He willed away the tears that sprang to his eyes.
He was the captain. And he would get through this just like he got through everything.
By the time the turbolift opened on to the deck with the captain’s quarters, Jim had himself together.
If Spock wanted to leave, then okay.
After all he’d never had the friendship with Spock that the ambassador alluded to when Jim had met him on Delta Vega.
He’d started to, after they’d faced Khan, after Jim was revived. He’d had the hope. Spock came to visit him and they’d played chess and they shared meals together. A time or two, Jim had even gotten Spock to laugh. He’d treasure those times.
When the Enterprise went out for her five-year mission, Spock went back to, well, being Spock. The friendship was there, somewhat. He was great on landing parties and always had Spock’s back. Facing Klingons, Romulans, former friends who turned into demigods. Spock was great.
But there were no more chess matches.
Barely any meals together.
If Spock and Uhura left, would it really be that different?
Maybe he was just trying to talk himself up to accepting it. Because honestly the thought of not seeing Spock anymore—
God, he had a headache.
What was the difference?
He entered his quarters and for a long time he just stood in the center of the main room.
When had this happened? How long had he been—
No. He would not give voice to it. It wasn’t possible that he wouldn’t have realized it before now.
Sure, he thought Spock was pretty great. And sure he’d grown to freaking love his bowl cut.
No. He did not just use that word.
It was just a hairdo.
And so what if he noticed the way Spock’s brown eyes changed color saturation with his moods. Sometimes more milk chocolate, sometimes more dark chocolate. So, Jim loved chocolate.
Liked. Liked chocolate. Hell, really, vanilla was a better flavor.
The way his lips quirked up at the corners when he was trying not to show his amusement. Anyone would notice that.
His terminal beeped indicating he had a message. Jim clenched his fingers and faced away from it. What if that was the notice from Spock? And Uhura. Right. Both of them.
This is to inform you that I will be resigning my commission as a Starfleet officer. I will, obviously, be resigning as your first officer and your science officer. This resignation is effective immediately. You can shortly expect the resignation of Lieutenant Uhura. She will be accompanying me to New Vulcan to bond with me and become my wife.
His stomach hurt. Or no. It was much higher than his stomach.
He couldn’t even walk over to his terminal to actually read whatever message he’d actually received.
Stop it, Jim.
Stop it and get yourself some food. You haven’t eaten since breakfast.
Jim stepped out of the middle of his quarters, breaking the spell he’d been under. He went to the replicator and ordered a chicken sandwich and coffee.
He even ate it too while looking at his terminal and finding it was just an ordinary message from his mother telling how her day went. And if a tear slipped down his face while reading it, well, he wouldn’t tell anyone.
There was nothing remotely sad about her message.
The sandwich and coffee sat rather heavy in his stomach and when he’d done all he could to distract himself, Jim went and took a shower. A long, hot one.
He took himself in hand, something he almost never did now. To feel desire, to want, to need, that was something Jim rarely let himself feel these days.
But he did now. And as his fingers curled around his shaft, sliding up fast and sure, a bowl cut with milk chocolate eyes flashed before him. He came hard, shooting all over the shower stall, and he collapsed to his knees, panting in the shower.
He felt weak and drained when he got out, but his mind was clear enough to attempt sleep, so he entered his quarters and collapsed on the bed, willing it to be over and his brain to shut down for slumber.