“So, you really consider yourself happily relationshipped forever more?” His best friend, Leonard “Bones” McCoy asked Jim as he eyed him over the rim of his third glass of whiskey.
The place was crazy crowded and he was there with Bones, Gary Mitchell, Hikaru Sulu and his boyfriend, Ben. The others were around somewhere but Jim couldn’t be bothered to remember where. The place was swarming with Academy cadets as the bar was very close to Starfleet Academy.
“Well, what does forever mean?”
“Sounds like the answer is no,” Bones said with a smirk.
“No. I mean. I live with him, Bones.”
“As of last week.”
“Yeah.” Jim picked up his own drink. “Obviously it’s serious.”
“So he’s your significant other?”
Jim winced. “No. I mean, that term. Don’t like it.”
“We try not to put a label on it,” Jim insisted as he took a drink.
“You try not to or he tries not to?”
“Both. I mean, fuck, Bones, he’s a Vulcan. If it wasn’t serious, he would never have asked me to share the apartment with him.”
“Hmm. Not sure I get this thing you have with him. Being a Vulcan, he only does serious. And you only do casual. How does that work?”
“Obviously one of us is compromising.”
Bones shrugged. “But which one?”
Jim rolled his eyes. “Me obviously. I don’t know that Vulcans are even capable of compromising.”
“No labels, huh? I don’t know. Before you came home a month ago looking all dreamy-eyed, I didn’t even think Spock liked you.”
“Well, admittedly he’s kind of grumpy and has a hard time showing you that he likes you. Me. He likes me. Not you.”
Bones barked a laugh. “Thank God for that. But this whole moving in thing was pretty fast, right? It was, wasn’t it?”
“You two have moved pretty fast since the beginning, but still.”
Jim nodded. Fucked on the first date. Three times. The first time he’d been straddled on Spock’s dick while Spock sat on a dining room chair. Best damn night of his life. And the sex…yeah. Orgasmic didn’t even begin to describe it.
“It is what it is, Bones. We just, you know, fit, I guess.” But even he heard the uncertainty in his own voice. The doubt that had crept in. That he couldn’t even begin to deny or dismiss.
And Bones knew him too damn well, even in their short acquaintance. He was staring at Jim with far too much knowledge for someone who’d drank more than their fair share of whiskey and should be three sheets to the wind by now.
Jim sighed. Shook his head. Took another sip. “We had a fight. A bad one.”
Bones frowned. “When?”
“Tonight. Before I came here.” Jim took another gulp of drink.
“About what? You wouldn’t put out?”
Jim snorted. “I always put out for Spock. No worries there.”
“I wasn’t worried,” Bones said dryly. “What then?”
“He didn’t want me to come. At all.”
Jim had been faced with more icy disapproval from Spock than he’d faced prior to their couplehood.
“He didn’t want you to come out with us tonight?”
“Yeah. He’s…he doesn’t like drinking. Or a lot of drinking. And he didn’t want me to go. He was in a really bad mood to begin with. I think he got bad news.”
“Yeah? What was it?”
“I have no idea.”
Bones downed his drink and gestured for another. “You want one?”
“Make that another for both of us,” Bones told the bartender. “He wouldn’t tell you?”
“I didn’t ask,” Jim admitted. “Spock’s really private, Bones. He doesn’t really share a lot with me.”
“You really have the oddest relationship.”
Jim thought maybe that was true. It wasn’t like he had a whole helluva a lot of practice with romantic relationships. Bones was right. Jim did casual.
Until Spock, anyway.
He was still a little perplexed at himself when he answered yes when Spock had asked, “I request that you move into this apartment with me. Since you are here every night, it only makes logical sense that you move your belongings here as well.”
Not the most heartwarming invitations, to be sure.
But Jim had stared at Spock, mouth hung open like he was going to catch flies, and then, suddenly he snapped it shut and said, “Okay.”
Spock had nodded, said nothing, and moved on to something else.
Yeah they really were the weirdest couple. Jim had thought maybe they worked, anyway. But then the fight.
“You could have just messaged me that you couldn’t come out tonight,” Bones said as he picked up the new drink he’d been given. “I would have understood.”
“I wouldn’t. Look, I didn’t move in with Spock to have him control me. I have to be able to continue living my life and sometimes I want to go out with my friends. He’s the pain in the ass who doesn’t want to come along.”
“Whoa whoa.” Bones put up his hands. “I’m not Spock. I get it.”
Jim groaned and buried his face in his hands. “Sorry. I guess I’m still kind of sore about it.”
“Maybe later when you two make up or whatever, which I so don’t want to know what that entails, you can ask what made him so surly.”
“Like I said, he tends to be grumpy most of the time.”
“Okay, so if he’s grumpy, does that make you dopey? Because I’m obviously doc and you clearly aren’t bashful.”
Jim rolled his eyes. “You’re hilarious.”
“I try to be,” Bones cracked. “Grumpy and Dopey. That’s some sort of twisted fairytale.”
“Shut up, will you? Doc.”
And Bones laughed. Which got Jim laughing. And pretty soon they were laughing and falling off the stools, getting themselves hysterical over something Jim figured wasn’t that funny if he wasn’t far too drunk to think about it.
It was that moment Gary saddled up to join them. He put an arm around Bones’ shoulder and—
“Hey!” Jim yelped. “Did you actually just pinch my ass?”
“Knock it off, Mitchell,” Bones grumbled.
“Eh, I was just playing around anyway,” Gary said. “I know he’s a bitch for the Vulcan.”
“Just messing with him.” Gary rubbed his knuckles over the top of Jim’s head. “Jim knows how much I adore him.”
“Stop touching me,” Jim said, swatting him away.
“Me and the guys want to get out of this place. It’s boring. There’s a place a couple of blocks from here we want to try.”
“What place?” Bones asked with a frown.
“I know that place. Gets kind of rowdy,” Jim said, finishing off his drink.
“Exactly. And they have topless dancers.”
“You’re a pig,” Jim told him.
“Yeah whatever. So were you until you met that dude with the stick up his ass. Let’s go.”
Bones looked at Jim. “I don’t know. Maybe Jim, you should go back home.”
Gary rolled his eyes and laughed. “Oh is it past his bedtime according to Spock?”
“No,” Jim snapped. He slammed his drink down. “Okay, Reynaldo’s it is.”