They'd been orbiting Salas IV for approximately six point four standard Earth days, and had been undergoing negotiations with the inhabitants for the past four days. It had been hard work for everyone involved, because the Statians were weary of the “round-ears”, as they called the humans, and would only really talk with the alien life aboard the Enterprise. That meant that Spock was forced to overtake much of Jim's usual tasks, leaving the Captain to co-ordinate between all the away teams and the Enterprise.
Now, Spock should have realised that because he didn't sleep for 3.5 days, Jim wouldn't either. Ever since they had bonded, both had found it difficult to sleep without the other beside them. It was why Spock now kept a more human schedule, even though he still didn't need to sleep as long as his human bondmate. Mostly he would sit in bed in their shared quarters and do his paperwork, or go over anything that needed the First Officer or Captain's eyes and signature. He'd often sit and watch Jim sleep, too; the human was rather adorable when he slept, not that Spock would admit that to anyone other than Jim. And only when Jim gave him what Doctor McCoy referred to as “puppy dog eyes”.
Spock had only just become aware of Jim's exhaustion. They'd blocked the bond when planetside, as they always did, but Jim's concentration had begun to waver 9.9 hours ago. Spock hadn't thought much of it until some concerning feelings had washed over his mind from Jim's side of the bond; amusement, exhaustion, mild pain, and other feelings that Spock didn't bother to examine too closely. He was mostly concerned about the words now filtering through.
Jim wasn't purposefully sending any thoughts Spock's way, so they were a mix of things that Spock understood, and things that Spock were sure no other being, aside from Jim, would ever understand. Words mixed together, or Jim using them out of context, forced Spock to abandon the paperwork he was going over in favour of finding his mate. Jim had left Spock in their quarters about six hours prior, and Spock had already changed into his pyjamas, under the assumption that Jim would join him when he was done for some much needed rest.
Alas, that was not to be. Because Spock could tell that his t'hy'la had “lost the plot”, as a human would say, and was currently making an ass out of himself on the Bridge.
Spock sighed as he stepped into the turbolift. He was worried, and told himself that there was no time to lose. Which was why, when he eventually set foot on the Bridge, he was still wearing his pyjamas. Luckily Jim was too out of it to notice.
Jim giggled again at his own joke, one that had been incomprehensible to everyone else, including Uhura, whom the crew assumed spoke a million languages. Alpha shift had just started, meaning that Uhura, Sulu, and Chekov were all in their seats. The Captain wasn't supposed to be on duty, his First Officer having forced him to take two days off following their negotiations on Salas IV. Jim apparently hadn't gotten that message, and was slouched in his Captain's seat, legs spread wide and arms lax on the armrests.
'Hey, did ya hear me?' Jim asked. He wasn't looking at anyone, so nobody replied. 'Ah, you're a bunch of spoil sports!' Jim pouted. He slouched further down in his seat and grinned. 'Did I tell you guys the one about the Orion girl and the Klingon warrior?'
'Please, not again!' Uhura begged, but Jim ignored her.
'An Orion slave girl walks into a bar-' Jim began, but Sulu thankfully interrupted.
'Um, Captain, where's Commander Spock?'
Jim blinked rapidly at him, and then narrowed his eyes. 'Uh... doin' science?' he guessed.
'Perhaps you should try and find him, Kepten?' Chekov suggested. If anyone could hope to understand the Captain- or get him to rest- it was Spock.
'Nah!' Jim flapped a hand. 'Spock's cool. Can take care of himself. And he's hot. Uhura!' He spun his chair too quickly, and ended up doing two rotations before finally stopping and facing her. 'Uhura agrees with me, right?'
'Er...' Uhura cleared her throat, 'well, not anymore, Captain.'
'Pshh!' Jim waved his hand again. 'Come on. Ya broke up with him, sure, but he's still sexy! All calm and pale and... and pale. And that hair!' A dreamy look overtook his face, and Sulu faked throwing up behind Jim's back. Despite the current topic, Uhura had to suppress a smile. 'Did you know...' Jim said slowly, having difficult getting the words out, 'that when you two were together, I spent abso... abso-leetly ages staring at his ass!'
Chekov giggled, the Lieutenants working off to the side grinned, and Uhura raised an eyebrow.
'Gots the best ass in... in Starfleet!' Jim declared with a dopey grin. 'I like grabbin' it when we-'
'Alright, Captain!' Uhura interrupted. She was okay with Jim and Spock's relationship, but she didn't want to hear about it.
'It's awesome,' Jim grinned again.
Uhura stared at him. Jim's hair was all over the place, and there were dark bags under his eyes, as well as dark blonde stubble covering his face. He was only wearing trousers and a black undershirt. Nobody knew where his boots had gone.
'Hey!' Jim suddenly declared and spun back around on his chair to face the observation window. 'We should sing!'
'Please no,' Sulu groaned.
'You have already sung, Kepten,' Chekov tried to remind him. 'And we begged you to stop. Please do not start again.'
'Ninety-nine bottles o' beer on the wall!' Jim sang anyway, grinning despite the groans from his crew. 'Hey, why would someone put ninety-nine bottles of beer on a wall? Makes no sense.'
'We don't know, Captain,' Uhura sighed. 'And we didn't know the first time you asked us. Perhaps you should go get some rest?'
'Nah.' Jim waved both hands, this time. 'Spock's off doin' somethin'. Can't sleep without him, ya know. Too cold.'
'Aww.' That came from Chekov, and the young genius blushed when all eyes turned to him.
'Yeah, we're adorable bastards,' Jim agreed. 'Even Spock says so. Wait,' he frowned, 'I wasn't supposed to tell you that.' He put a finger against his lips and said, 'Shh. Don't tell Spock. He likes everyone thinkin' that he's a big badass Vulcan. He is, but not all the time. I know better.' He tried to wink, only used both eyes, so the gesture was lost on absolutely everyone but Jim. 'Where are we?' Jim suddenly demanded.
'Er...' Sulu glanced at Chekov before continuing, 'orbiting Salas IV, sir.'
'Oh,' Jim blinked.
'And you're currently on the Bridge, Captain,' the helmsmen added.
'Right, right,' Jim hummed, looking very serious. He clapped his hands together and said, 'Hey, we should sing!'
'Oh Lord,' Uhura sighed. 'Where the hell is Spock when you need him?'
'Hey, Spock!' Jim suddenly shouted.
Everybody looked up just in time to see the turbolift doors opening, revealing their much needed Chief Science Officer. Various eyebrows flew up when everybody realised that Spock was wearing pyjamas; the standard-issue black pyjama bottoms, coupled with a black t-shirt. Spock wasn't even wearing socks!
'Hey, Spocky,' Jim grinned widely, and stupidly. 'There's my sweetheart!'
'Indeed,' Spock deadpanned, one eyebrow going up. 'Jim, are you aware that you told me you would be returning to our quarters three point nine hours ago?'
'I did?' Jim blinked, and Spock inclined his head. 'But I had stuffs to do, ya know... important stuffs.'
'I do not believe that “stuffs” is a word, Captain,' Spock said as he approached Jim's chair.
'Is,' Jim pouted before grinning once more. 'Hey, I can see your toes!'
Spock glanced down at his feet. 'When I realised the amount of time that had passed, I felt it prudent to find you. There was no time to dress appropriately.'
'I love your toes,' Jim said, completely ignoring his bondmate's words. 'They're so cute!'
Spock simply raised an eyebrow, while those present snickering into their sleeves.
'I like you naked more, though,' Jim tried to whisper; of course everyone heard him.
'Indeed,' Spock mused. 'Jim, please accompany me to our quarters.'
'No!' Jim snapped. 'I've got-'
'Stuffs to do, yes, so I have heard,' Spock interrupted. 'However, it would be prudent for you to rest. It is recommended that humans sleep an average of six to nine hours a night, and you have not slept for close to three point seven days. Please accompany me to our quarters now.'
Jim pouted again and spun his chair around. He got a good seven spins in before Spock forcibly stopped him. Jim couldn't combat a Vulcan's strength when he was well-rested; he had no hope in his current state.
'Party pooper,' Jim huffed. 'Why don't you join me?' A leer overtook his pout as he patted his lap, and Spock actually sighed.
'Captain Kirk,' Jim interrupted.
'Captain Kirk,' Spock echoed with a raised eyebrow.
'Better,' Jim nodded.
'Captain Kirk,' Spock repeated, 'as your First Officer, I feel that I must insist that you rest. You are in no state to command the Enterprise at this time.'
'Mutiny!' Jim shouted and jumped to his feet. 'I knew you wanted my ship!'
'I have no wish to lead a mutiny,' Spock defended, 'nor do I wish to captain the Enterprise now or in the foreseeable future. I simply wish for you to rest.'
'Lies, all of it!' Jim declared. 'Sulu, where's your sword?'
Sulu jumped at suddenly being addressed and turned slightly. 'Er... in the gym, Captain.'
'What the hell's it doing there?' Jim frowned. 'I need it to stop my mutinious First Officer!'
'Mutinous,' Spock corrected.
'That's enough outta you!' Jim waggled a finger at Spock, a grin on his face.
'I agree,' Spock said. And with that he bent down, wrapped an arm around Jim's waist, and hauled the younger man up and over his shoulder.
'Gah! Spocky, put me down!'
'I refuse to do so when you continue to use the nickname “Spocky” despite my dislike of it,' the Vulcan replied.
'Bastard,' Jim huffed. 'If you weren't so goddamn sexy, I'd put you in the Brig. Ooh, Captain/Prisoner fantasies! Spock, to the Brig!'
'Negative,' Spock said as he walked around the Captain's chair.
'Positive!' Jim retorted. 'Hey, Spock, you have a nice ass.' He slapped aforementioned ass, making Spock jolt, a delicate green spreading across his cheeks.
Uhura couldn't help but laugh, and Spock said, 'Not a word, Lieutenant, or I shall put you on Gamma shift for the next three days.'
'Yes, Commander,' Uhura responded, though she was still grinning. Spock internally sighed. He and Jim were never going to hear the end of this.
'Someone call Scotty!' Jim shouted as Spock walked towards the turbolift. 'I wanna put Spock in a red shirt. I can save him from the evil local aliens and have my wicked way with him!'
'Perhaps later, Captain,' Spock said.
'No, now!' Jim whined. 'Or you can be the local alien who I've captured and put in the Brig, and you seduce the poor, clueless Captain of the Enterprise. Yeah, that one. Captain Kirk to Scotty!'
Thankfully the turbolift opened before Jim could announce any more fantasies to the Bridge crew, who all burst into laughter as soon as Spock and Jim were out of sight.
'Crew Quarters,' Spock said, and the turbolift moved immediately.
There was silence before, 'Hey, Spock?'
'Is it sleepy time now?' Jim seemed to have calmed down, now that he wasn't on the Bridge. Spock could feel his complete exhaustion, and how difficult Jim was finding it to keep his eyes open.
Spock's lips quirked as Jim yawned, and said, 'Yes, Jim. It's time for you to rest.'
''Kay,' Jim replied, followed by a jaw-wrenching yawn. 'Ya gonna... gonna sweep wid me?' he asked through another yawn.
''Kay,' the Captain repeated. 'Hey, Spock?'
'Call Scotty later, 'kay? Wanna put ya in a red shirt.' Spock made a soft noise that might just have been a laugh, and it made Jim grin. 'Captain out!' he declared before promptly falling asleep.
Spock felt Jim's mind relax through the bond, and let a small smile pull his lips up. 'Sleep well, t'hy'la,' he sent over the bond, and felt Jim's love in return.
16.2 hours later, after some much needed rest, the Captain was found ordering a red shirt in Commander Spock's size from a blushing Ensign. Spock refused to comment, and refused to acknowledge Jim's constant leers and eye waggling during their next shift on the Bridge.
Jim didn't understand why Uhura, Sulu, and Chekov were all grinning knowingly, or why Spock refused to have lunch with him. Maybe he should review the security footage from the last Alpha shift? He vaguely remembered stopping by before going to bed, but couldn't remember exactly what had happened.
When Spock merely gave him the Vulcan-equivalent of a glare, Jim pulled the footage up on his PADD, fingers tapping along the Captain's chair.
“Ninety-nine bottles o' beer on the wall, ninety-nine bottles o' beer... hey, Sulu, who keeps ninety-nine bottles of beer on a wall?”
'Oh, God,' Jim groaned as the footage continued to play.
“I love your toes. They're so cute!”
Sulu and Chekov both burst out laughing.