Sleeping together quickly became a habit after their first time having sex. Making love, Jim supposed. Although that wild fucking against the wall might be hard pressed to be called that, except that even though it had been hard and fierce and frantic, there had been love even then.
It had begun that first time together. The sleeping, not just the sex.
They’d been playing chess in Jim’s quarters and he’d only been paying half attention to the game because for the first time since they’d began to play, after the whole Altamid fiasco, and getting the new Enterprise, Spock had come to his quarters wearing a very soft looking navy colored robe. Jim had nearly swallowed his tongue. Spock had never ever done that before.
And for about five minutes, Jim had tamped down his raging lust and stampeding heart because Spock was taken, and then he remembered, with a dawning shock, that no. No he was not. Why hadn’t he remembered Spock and Uhura had broken up?
It had actually ultimately ended, according to both their versions, on Yorktown, during their leave between Altamid and when the new Enterprise would be ready. Which when Jim thought about it was some time ago. They remained friends and still spent a lot of time together so maybe that was why Jim had sort of put it out of his mind. And anyway, Spock had never given him the slightest indication that there was any reciprocal interest.
Until that night and that robe.
Why had Spock come to his quarters dressed so casual? He never had before. And so Jim had kept his attention on Spock and was roundly defeated in rapid course. It didn’t end up mattering though because as soon as the game ended, Jim attacked Spock or Spock attacked him, what did it matter, and they’d had that wild against the wall sex that left them both shaking and shattered.
And when they’d picked themselves up from all that, Spock had crawled into Jim’s bed as though it was the most natural thing in the world. The strange thing was, that he had never left after that. And what was even stranger was that Jim didn’t want him to at all.
In the beginning, every night had been a sex fest, really. When they’d discovered their mutual attachment to each other it was difficult to restrain themselves physically. Jim had quickly become addicted to Spock’s kisses and Spock had quickly become addicted to Jim.
But eventually their schedules and missions took a toll on them and their passion for each other had to be cooled at least a few times a week. Jim had been absurdly pleased when Spock had shown up to Jim’s quarters to take his place next to Jim in the bed anyway on those nights.
Jim remembered mentioning it to Uhura one morning over breakfast. Spock had to excuse himself early to supervise a lab experiment. He had been unable to keep the awe and wonder out of his voice.
Uhura had just rolled her eyes at him. “That’s what couples do, dummy.”
Jim frowned. “Are Spock and I a couple?”
She laughed. Then she sighed. “You’re actually serious? Captain, you and Spock have been a couple even before you starting sleeping together, in every sense of the word. You definitely are now. Welcome to an adult, mature relationship.”
Jim guessed she was right and he ought to probably get over himself. But he also thought maybe he should apologize or something.
“Does it, you know.”
“Bother you? I mean I’m talking to you about a-a-a—”
“Relationship. Go ahead and say it,” she said, far too amused.
“Relationship with your ex.”
“Who do you think Spock talks to about you?”
She buried her face in her hands. “Spare me the two of you. Yes, of course me. I’m not in love with Spock, Jim. I love him. A lot. And I always will. And he loves me. That’s not going to change no matter who each of us is in a relationship with.”
“I know,” Jim said, sounding defensive to his own ears.
“I hope you do. Because I am not going anywhere. I’ll always be part of Spock’s life. But no, it does not bother me when you talk about things that pertain to you and Spock.” She shrugged. “I’m human, though. It did at first. When he would speak of you with that lovesick glint in his eyes.”
“Wait. Spock had a lovesick look in his eyes when speaking of me?”
“Focus, Kirk. Listen, there was a time I really thought I would be spending my life with Spock and realizing that wasn’t the case was painful. And I almost lost Spock as a friend, too, because being friends with someone you loved as much as I did Spock, well, it’s not easy. Especially when you see them moving on with someone else.”
“Anyway, the point is, I don’t even know what the point is,” she admitted. “Relationships are work, Kirk. You learn a few things when you’re together as long as we were. You can’t just be yourself and go on with life the way you have been because now there’s Spock and he’s not like anyone you’ve ever been with. You’re going to have to work as hard as he does, more really, because there will be times when you want some emotional response out of him that he’s just not going to give you. And there will be times when he needs something out of you that you may be unwilling to give, but you have to.” She sighed. “I don’t even know why I’m talking to you about this. Just don’t…screw it up.”
He swallowed. “I won’t.”
Uhura smiled wryly. “And we are both now overdue on the bridge. Let’s go, farm boy.”
The funny thing was that for months of sleeping together, both ways, they never exchanged words of love. Jim had come to the conclusion that though both of them very much felt it, it was not so easy to express it.
Perhaps Spock would never say the words and perhaps Jim would not either. But it was there. Jim did not doubt that.
The time Jim knew they were well and truly stuck with each other came about nine months in.
They were forced to participate in a diplomatic mission, or Jim was anyway, with two factions of warring planets and several admirals onboard. It went on for hours and by the time Jim was allowed to retire, he was dead on his feet.
Admiral Kittredge slapped him on the arm. “Great work today, Jim.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“You look exhausted. Go on to bed. And get some sleep. We won’t need you until after lunch, so I recommend you get those missing hours.”
“I will, sir. And thank you.”
Jim had made his way to his quarters in something of a daze. He stopped before Spock’s door, thinking to join his first officer. In nine months they hadn’t been alone a single night. He didn’t really want to be this night either but he didn’t want to wake Spock up breaking into Spock’s quarters, so he forced himself to continue on to his own.
The sight of Spock asleep in his bed was so sweet that it almost made Jim cry. Yeah, he was tired. But there he was. His Vulcan asleep in his bed. Their bed, really. After nine months, it wasn’t his alone anymore. He didn’t know what he had expected. He guessed he had thought Spock wouldn’t come when he didn’t have any expectation of a time for Jim to return. But there he was. Wearing one of his soft cuddly robes.
“I love you,” Jim whispered. Because he could say it when Spock wasn’t listening. Stupid he knew.
As quietly as he could, Jim stripped out of his uniform and pulled on his favorite pajama bottoms and got in beside Spock. He was asleep in seconds.
In the morning, Spock briefly woke him with a kiss, Jim explained he wasn’t needed until later, and Spock let him return to slumber. It was one of Jim’s favorite mornings.
As their relationship continued there were times when they could not be together. Missions that required them to be absent. A leave Spock took to go to New Vulcan to visit his sick father (who ended up being fine). They came back to each other every time.
Jim could recall the worse time they had been parted.
He’d come to his quarters, their quarters now, officially, after their marriage and formal bonding, and the bed had been empty. Untouched. Unmade.
Jim closed his eyes. His heart hurt. His head too. And the thought of crawling into that bed by himself was just too much. No matter what Bones said.
He turned and left and went back to the medbay.
Nurse Chapel began to speak when he approached the biobed. “Captain, Leonard said—”
Bones laid a hand on Christine’s arm himself and shook his head at her. She smiled and nodded.
Bones came over to where Spock lay, unmoving, paler than he should be. “I’ll have a bed set up for you here, Jim.”
Jim nodded, his eyes filling with tears.
“He’s going to be okay, Jim.”
Bones squeezed Jim’s arm. “Be right back.”
Jim leaned down and kissed Spock’s cold forehead. “I love you.”
And Spock came out of his trance three days later. And once more lay beside Jim in their bed.
There were other injuries, other separations. In the end they never mattered because they would be together again. Always.
“Jim, it is time to get up.”
He opened his eyes to gaze upon his husband and bondmate. “Morning already?”
“Yes, ashayam. I would let you sleep but you are due to give a lecture in Lieutenant Jenkin’s class today.”
Jim nodded and yawned. Why had he agreed to that again? Oh. Because retirement did not suit him. Not really. He supposed someday he would be forced into it. But he’d always thought he’d die in space, not in his apartment in San Francisco.
“There is no need to think of dying,” Spock said with extreme disapproval. “There are many years left for us.”
Jim swung his legs out of their bed. He smiled. “For you anyway.”
“For us both,” Spock maintained.
He went to the window in their room that overlooked the city. The day was overcast, misty. Spock came up behind him and put his arms around Jim’s waist.
“What are you thinking, Jim?”
“How lucky I am. To have found you. To have had the life I have had.” He shook his head. “I love you, Spock. So much. And I don’t think I have ever told you that.”
Jim turned in his arms. “Have I? I mean I know you feel it in the bond but—”
“All the times you have whispered it to me when you thought I could not hear, I heard.”
“Yeah? But you never said.”
“I wanted you to have your secrets.”
Jim laughed. Touched Spock’s face. “And I know you love me.”
“More than the universe itself. More than mere words can convey,” Spock agreed. “And what else are you thinking?”
Jim kissed him. “I can’t wait to go back to bed with you.”
Spock arched his brow. “You have hours before that will happen.”
“I know. But I love our time in bed.”
“Yes, you have never been shy in showing that.”
He laughed again. “No. I mean, yeah, duh, sex with you is transcendental. But just, I love you next to me, sleeping, breathing. From the very first time, I’ve loved it. And I hate it when you aren’t there. And it’s weird, because, never in a million years would I have ever expected that my favorite thing is to sleep with you.”
“Ashal-veh.” Spock kissed Jim then, rather thoroughly. So that when they pulled back, both were breathing hard, and Jim thought of returning to bed for another reason.
“Do we, uh, have time?”
“But?” Jim grinned.
Spock took Jim’s hand. “We will be late.”