It's hot. Indian summer, Mom calls it. Jim calls it a bitch and a half -- it's late September but it feels like mid-August, everything sweaty and sticky.
It does have its advantages -- Spock takes to wandering around the farm in clothes that would get him arrested for indecency anywhere else, for one thing. For another, when noon comes around Jim can knock off work and ride home on his bike and feel cool for the first time all day, the wind slipping through his hair and inside his jacket.
And for another, he comes home to this.
"Mmm?" Spock replies, or rather doesn't reply.
Jim can't help grinning. Spock is swinging gently on the hammock, his hat tipped low on his head, reading. He's not wearing anything except his hat and a pair of very worn sweatpants which Jim's pretty sure belong to him. It's an absurd and gorgeous picture. "I asked what you were reading," he says, pulling off his jacket and dumping it on the ground. He tries to calculate how best to get into the hammock without tipping anybody over into the dirt.
"A collection of ancient Greek poetry," Spock answers, turning a page. "And I am not confident that this hammock has the structural capability to support both of us."
"Hey, I set this up. It's safe as houses," Jim says. Any second thoughts he might've had are pushed aside and he carefully puts one knee on the hammock, his hand on Spock's shoulder to balance him.
Spock, for his part, doesn't move, but Jim can feel the tension under his hand, braced for disaster. He laughs and manages to tumble into Spock's side without anything worse than a soft grunt as they collide.
"See? No problem."
"Indeed. It is perhaps fortunate that I am not in possession of a spleen, since I believe you would have ruptured it just now."
"You're so melodramatic. Let me read."
"This is your book. One would assume you would have had ample time to--"
"Spock, my dad had like ten thousand books, no way could I read all of them in a million years. Come on, give it up," he says, reaching for the book still in Spock's right hand, dangling over the side of the hammock.
With a sigh that Jim wouldn't have noticed if he weren't flush up against him -- and that's pretty nice -- Spock surrenders. It's an old book, the spine crackling in his hands as he smooths a hand over the open page. He flinches and tries to hold it more delicately, and realizes--
"This isn't Standard," he announces.
"I was aware. It is written in ancient Greek. It appears that your father either knew the language or simply thought the binding was attractive."
"There's a joke there about judging books by their cover, but I can't figure it out," Jim says. Spock laughs, or as close to laughing as he can, a kind of cadenced exhale. "So what does it say? Can you read this? Translate it for me." Jim looks up from his shoulder, almost too close to really see Spock's expression, but it's definitely a smile, amused and affectionate.
"It is called Six Fragments for Atthis," Spock replies, taking the book back. "It is the collected pieces of what we may assume is a larger poem written by the poet Sappho approximately twenty-eight hundred years ago."
"What's Atthis?" Jim asks, shifting to get comfortable. He manages to wrap himself around Spock pretty effectively, knocking his hat off. Spock sighs but doesn't try to get it back.
"Atthis was Sappho's lover. Again a conjecture, but a fairly safe one, I believe." Spock begins to read.
"I loved you, Atthis, years ago,
when my youth was still all flowers
and sighs, and you -- you seemed to me
such a small ungainly girl--"
"Are you calling me ungainly?" Jim demands.
"This is not a poem about you, Jim," Spock chastises him mildly. Jim subsides, resting his cheek on Spock's shoulder again, drowsy with warmth and the gentle swing of the hammock. Spock continues.
"Can you forget what happened before?"
"Before what?" Jim is basically just being an asshole now, but it's fun to scratch his nails lightly through Spock's chest hair and watch Spock wrestle between irritation and pleasure.
"If so, then I shall remind you how, while lying
beside me, you wove a garland of crocuses
which I then braided into strands of your hair.
And once, when you'd plaited a double necklace
from a hundred blooms, I tied it around
the swanning, sun-licked ring of your neck."
Spock's voice is different when he's reading something aloud -- slower and deeper, like his RPMs have been slowed down about twenty-five percent -- and Jim's having trouble concentrating on the words when the feel of them is sending shivers down his spine. His hand drifts down Spock's stomach and Spock shifts under him, but keeps reading.
"And on more than one occasion (there were two
of them, to be exact), while I looked on, too
silent with adoration to say your name,
you glazed your breasts and arms with oil.
No holy place existed without us then,
no woodland, no dance, no sound."
Spock's arm is curled around his shoulders while the other hand holds the book; just as Jim's about to turn and kiss him, he feels Spock's first and middle finger tracing around the shell of his ear. It's something he's only started doing after he went to visit the colony last year -- Jim calls it Vulcan kissing and loves it almost as much as that thing Spock can do with his tongue. Jim kisses the nearest skin he can reach, right under Spock's chin. He's rewarded with a hitch in Spock's breathing and a twitch of his hips. If he looks down, he'll see that Spock is getting hard -- from the way Jim is touching him, from the way he's stroking Jim's ear, from the poem, from the heat, who knows.
"Beyond all hope, I prayed those timeless
days we spent might be made twice as long."
Jim gives into temptation -- willpower is overrated, he feels -- and slides his hand under the waistband of Spock's pants. Spock's whole body shivers, and Jim twists his neck around to look at his face. Spock's got his eyes closed and he's breathing heavier, and when Jim licks along the pulse in his neck he can feel it practically vibrating against his tongue.
"Jim," Spock whispers. "I--"
"Mmm," Jim replies. He wraps his hand firmly around Spock's dick and sets the rhythm to the sway of the hammock, lazy and sweet.
"I prayed one word," Spock groans, thrusting harder into Jim's hand, clutching the book like it's some sort of lifeline.
"Come on," Jim urges, his thumb slicking over the head and squeezing the shaft. "Come on, yeah, that's it." Spock is already close, worked up like he's been, and it'll take another minute, tops, before he's coming. Jim tightens his grip and tries not to gloat, but it's hard not to revel in this one thing he can do to make Spock fall apart, every time. He's jealous about it, he'll admit, resentful that everything about him is laid open while Jim has to rely on Spock's clumsy words, but in these moments at least, he's as powerful as any telepath in the galaxy.
"I want," Spock says, and Jim can't tell if Spock's still reciting or what.
"Me, too," he mutters into the hinge of his jaw, and bites down right where it always makes Spock lose it a little, and Spock is gone, coming with a low, pleased sigh. Jim laughs and keeps his hand where it is, patient for the moment even though his own cock is hard and aching against Spock's hip. "Nice poem," he says, and Spock slits open his eyes, practically purring already. He raises the book again -- bastard didn't even lose his place -- and finishes.
"Someone, I tell you, will remember us,
even in another time."