Jim announced tiredly as the automatic door hissed shut behind him. He stowed his outer jacket and briefcase on the entry table with a sigh. Teaching was something he loved doing, and was something he considered one of the greatest honors of his life; but some days felt much, much longer than others. Especially when those days were packed with back to back meetings and never-ending lectures. Even with the late nights, early mornings, and inevitable headaches the cadets gave him, Jim wouldn’t trade his job at the Academy for anything.
Running a hand through his hair, Jim stepped into the kitchen, eyes searching. Despite his exhaustion a broad smile broke out on his face as he took in the domestic scene. The lights were dimmed to give the room a romantic glow, with electric candles dotting the set table. Jim noticed with excitement that his favorite libation, Saurian Brandy, was poured and the scent of his favorite dish punctuated the air. Spock’s naturally well-thought out plan was unmistakable.
The man in question was setting a large platter on the table and he turned gracefully at Jim’s light footfalls. "T'hy'la, you’re home late. It took you approximately eleven minutes and twenty-seven seconds longer to arrive than usual. As it is your birthday, I had hoped they would have let you off early today.” Jim chuckled and cocked his head to the side, enjoying watching Spock float around their kitchen.
“Ah, turning 60's not that big a deal...”
“Birthdays are incredibly important in your culture, Jim. I wanted…to surprise you.”
Spock set down the last of the food on their table before rotating to look into Jim’s eyes. Not immediately receiving an answer, his mind became preoccupied with replaying every minute detail, earnestly hoping that what he’d done was acceptable and an appropriate approximation of the earth celebration. They had marked a number of Jim’s birthdays together, but this was the first year that they’d both been on planet, without prior engagements, and totally alone. He’d wanted to make sure the night was one to remember.
Jim soaked in his husband’s earnest gaze, enjoying how Spock’s eyebrow quirked up in the way he absolutely adored.
In the retired captain’s humble opinion, the night was perfect. Every aspect exquisitely planned. The candles, the meal, the drinks, the eventual dessert…just, perfect. Spock truly did know how to make him feel special, even after all these years.
“Thank you. Truly. I am the luckiest man in all the galaxies,” Jim replied, waltzing closer to Spock and resting his hands on the taller man’s hips. He didn’t think he could ever get enough of moments like this one.
It's absolutely perfect.
Shifting a bit closer, Spock interlocked his fingers behind Jim’s head, forearms resting on broad shoulders. He relaxed into the physical contact and close proximity, having learned rather quickly that touch was the way Jim showed affection. Spock rather enjoyed it, too. Staring deeply into his husband's eyes, Spock allowed himself to dive beneath the surface of those brown orbs, feeling at home within their effervescent patterns, still fascinated after decades by their swirling depths. If it were possible, he loved Jim more today than he had every day before. And while it wasn’t logical Spock knew he’d love him even more tomorrow.
With a contented sigh, he rested his forehead delicately against Jim’s. The rational side of him knew that he’d never be able to adequately express the intensity of his love for his husband. So, he tried to show him instead. Fingers toying with the feathery wisps of Jim’s hair, Spock guided his emotions through their connection, attempting to convey the profundity of his admiration. He heard Jim’s small gasp in response. It was warm and bright and bursting, too difficult to put into words and completely abstract in every sense. Punctuated with happy memories, joy exploding around them. Intimate, surreal.
After a few moments Spock pulled back, letting his gaze wander over Jim’s face. The years showed in the lines around his eyes and on his forehead, tendrils of gray streaking from his temples back through his auburn locks. Weathered, and yet still so full of life. The man in front of him was as handsome as he’d ever been.
Pausing, a small tuft of hair between his fingertips, Spock couldn't help the chuckle that escaped his lips. It really was gray. Unwittingly, his mind journeyed back to when they were both much younger, remembering the conversation they’d had about time, stress, and gray hair. It was neatly tucked away and filed very importantly in Spock’s memories, for that discussion had been the first time he’d let his husband know of his true feelings.
“What’s so funny?” Jim queried, eyebrows knit in confusion. Spock just shook his head and gave him a loving smile.
“As I told you so many years ago, t'hy'la, I liked the gray,” the Vulcan murmured, emphasizing his words by running long fingers gently through Jim’s hair.
“Ahh,” Jim replied, understanding coloring his words. His mind also jumped back to that day in sick bay, remembering how he’d almost lost the one person he knew he could never live without. Leaning into the touch, Jim let his eyes slip shut and revel in the feel of Spock’s fingers against his skin. “Well, I don’t know if that’s exactly what you said…”
“I meant it then, and I mean it now,” Spock interjected softly. “It’s been an honor sharing this life with you.” The admission, so very like the one said so many years ago, brought tears to Jim’s eyes.
No, growing old hadn’t been bad at all with Spock by his side. Sure there were more aches than he cared to admit, much more gray than he liked, and he was reminded almost daily about how he wasn’t a young man anymore. But it had been one hell of a life so far. Jim opened his eyes, response catching in his throat. The passion emanating from their connection seemed to illuminate the air around them, pulsating and vibrant and magical.
“Our life together is only just beginning, t'hy'la.”