„Bones, I swear, I will find you a perfect date,” said Jim once, few months into their unlikely friendship, and Leonard – heavily hangover and not even slightly enthusiastic about the plan – simply groaned in annoyance, hoping it will get his message across.
Sadly it failed and seemed to only cement the challenge Jim set out for himself. For a kid with absolutely no romantic inclinations he was dead set on giving his friends an old-fashioned happy ending. Leonard was still naive enough to think it would pass. Jim would get bored or maybe even finally get a hint and let the whole thing go without a fight. Now he realized that this uncharacteristic optimism was mainly a clear sign that he hadn't known Jim Kirk well enough back then and severely underestimated his determination.
„Bones!” called out Jim about five years later, interrupting Leonard's lunch.
Leonard looked up from the pad he was browsing the reports on, while leisurely enjoying perfectly replicated scrambled eggs with bacon. Jim was grinning down at him in a way that never meant anything good, the kid's enthusiasm could be downward deadly.
„You won't mind if we join you, right? It's getting a bit crowded.”
He sat down, not waiting for Leonard's reply and motioned to the girl sliding into the seat beside him:
„This is Meagan Henson, she's one of our engineers”
Obligingly Leonard looked at the girl he was being introduced to. She seemed nice and cute as a doll with shiny dark hair thrown over one of her shoulders and dimples showing in her full cheeks, whenever she smiled.
She looked great and completely not Leonard's type, but he knew Jim still haven't quite nailed his type, which was a small blessing in the whole mess. Once Jim realized how easily Leonard fell for smart-asses with loud attitudes and infuriating smiles, Leonard would be caught like a two-legged kitten on a tall ass tree.
„We've met,” he said instead of mentioning any of his thoughts out loud.
She blushed and Leonard frowned slightly not seeing a good reason for it. Nothing that embarrassing about a broken collarbone. She even had a good excuse of an unexpected attack on the Enterprise, while she was repairing some cable connections in the Jeffries tube.
After a moment he finally connected her with her previous visit to the medbay, when she was admitted with an intimate rash she caught from one of the girls in the linguistic department. He almost forgot all about that, to no surprise of his own, if he kept track of every sex related health problem he helped with on the Enterprise he would go mad few weeks into the mission. Sure, with his dying breath he'd probably manage to snatch the title of the gossip king, but he was happy to leave it to Sulu unchallenged .
„Great!” Jim's enthusiasm was as always very hard to kill. „Did you know she's from Georgia too?”
Oh, great. The homesick angle. That was new.
Generally Jim compensated for not knowing well enough who Leonard would find attractive by trying various different angles of what could interest him in a person or generally make this match a succesful one. There was a „fellow doctor” angle, which happily died down as they started the mission, though not without a few hints about M'Benga, which Leonard will probably not live down as long as M'Benga knew him.
Then there was „maybe that's your type” angle, with all the girls who somewhat resambled Jocelyn. The „shared experiances” angle, which led to Jim finding him fellow divorced parents. „Sharing dislikes” angle, because Jim was sure that what Leonard needed was someone to complain about space with. Quite frankly, he would much rather enjoy the company of someone he could complain about Jim with.
He kept on coming up with those constantly, though still, when he run out of ideas he fell back on the good old „I really, really like them, so you should too” plan of action. That made Leonard somewhat wary of Spock – Jim's new favourite person in the whole galaxy – but so far it seemed unfounded. Thank heavens. He had his fair share of being accidentally set up with people pining over Jim, but he felt this one would be most awkward of them all.
Jim's com beeped suddenly and he completely failed at pretending it was unexpected.
„Oh, sorry guys! I promised Spock I will be on call, if we hear any news from the admiralty,” he said already standing up. „I'm sure you two will have plenty to talk about without me.”
He threw them one last apologetic smile and was out of the room before they've managed to react or respond. Bones just sighed, rolling his eyes and going back to his lunch.
Meagan blinked in shock at first, but also grinned, showing off her dimples again.
„He does it a lot?” she asked, obviously not fooled at all by Jim's shenanigans.
„Yeah,” Leonard agreed. „He shows he cares in some really weird ways.”
She snorted and started on her own lunch, letting the silence fall on them for a few minutes, before asking where exactly in Georgia was he from. She turned out to be not only gorgeous, but a great person to talk to, and Leonard somewhat regretted he was not interested in her at all. He might've been years over Jocelyn and how she left him broken down to dust, but he was still somehow stuck getting over his best friend, who either failed to ever notice or had a vast experience of ignoring the signs and hoping for the best. Both were equally possible, when it came to Jim, but Leonard was usually just happy they somehow managed to navigate around the awkwardness of it and stay friends. Pain in the ass as it often was.
„Some actual serious captain stuff came up?” asked Leonard, somewhat intrigued. The Enterprise was sailing smoothly towards their next mission, still four days of travel away, and no troubles were expected until then at least.
„Nah,” dismissed Jim easily, flopping into the chair next to Leonard's desk. „I was just talking to Spock and it got-”
He waved his hand.
„Illogical?” suggested Leonard, speaking from experience.
„Kinda,” allowed Jim. „Did you know he thought we were a couple?”
Leonard looked at Jim, shocked and Jim gestured at him as if he was proving Jim's point.
„Exactly! It's ridiculous!”
„He thought we were dating? Why the heck he would think that?” asked Leonard, slowly realizing he really was to blame for all his troubles and once again was proving it instead of laughing the issue off and forgetting it ever happened.
Then again, he could also blame Spock, who started this nonsense in the first place. Bloody hobgoblin. Pretending to be naive like a prostitute at a family dinner.
„I don't know! I was just telling him how I thought maybe you will actually like Meagan and he did this head tilting, brow furrowing thing he does, when he is confused, and he asked me to clarify, because he thought we were in a relationship, so why am I trying to get you laid with someone else.”
Leonard rose his eyebrows.
„Not in those words exactly, I guess.”
Jim waved him off.
„He says we spend prolonged time together and express fondness and protectiveness characteristic for the romantic couples.”
„Kettle, pot,” grumbled Leonard and Jim suddenly glared at him. „Sorry, kid. I know you're as aromantic as they come, but the whole staring lovingly into each other's eyes and finishing each other's sentences might give people ideas.”
„Except for Spock,” exploded Jim. „Who apparenlty thinks I'm dating you!”
Leonard shrugged and drunk his drink, mostly tuning out Jim's rant and not offering to share the booze either, until the kid asked or gave any sign he wanted some. His stash of good booze was slowly tinkering down and he was not willing to waste alcohol on failed matchmakers unless forced.
„Bones, are we in a threesome with Spock?”
Leonard's lungs did not appreciate the scotch he accidentally inhaled and he sputtered out, glaring at Jim who was grinning like he just discovered his comedic talent.
„Don't you drag me into this, kid. He's all yours.”
„Actually, I think he is still pretty much all Uhura's, but thanks.”
„I no longer think he is, but I'm sure if you'd accidentally talked yourself into that threesome, you'd probably notice.”
„Oh, yeah,” said Jim, somewhat dreamily.
Leonard simply rolled his eyes.
„Speaking of hot topics, why is Meagan not here and I am not interrupting anything?”
„Because you suck as a matchmaker.”
Jim kicked him on the sheen like the kid that he was and grabbed an empty glass, motioning to Bones to pour him scotch. Leonard considered ignoring him, but figured indulging him would help move the conversation away from the whole matchmaking business.
„I'm thinking of updating some vaccines for another group of the crew, but it might lower their immune systems enough to have a bit of flu epidemic. You think it's gonna be calm enough next few days to risk it?”
Jim clearly saw it from the change of subject that it was, but let it slide as he usually did, when Leonard used his captain duties as a distraction. Now Leonard just got stuck overseeing the vaccination for a few dozens of crewman, he only planned to get at, when they were done with the stoke taking. Well, it seemed Chapel was not going to be happy with him this month either. What a novelty.
Leonard fully expected him to drop by on more or less believable excuse and bother him until it ended just being less disruptive if he took an early lunch break and took Jim away from his team.
He did not however expected to be interrupted by Spock.
„Doctor,” the Vulcan nodded. „Could I converse with you or is that a disruptive time? I understand you are finished with this series of vaccines.”
„And I don't even want to know how you figured that out, but fine.”
Leonard motioned towards his office, thinking he had absolutely no idea what was going on, but experience thought him to always move possibly unexpected and interesting conversations away from the crowd, because gossip was Enterprise's main fuel. Considering Spock came to him during work hours and not for a health-related reason it already ranked high enough in a gossip currency. He could already see a few nurses listening closely, while still pretending they were fully focused on their job.
He closed the door of the office for good measure too, though if it was anyone but Spock it would only probably add to the flying rumours.
„Let's hear it, then,” he finally said and Spock turned to him, nodding in agreement.
„I am not certain if the captain shared this with you, but he informed me recently that he has no romantic inclinations in general and the two of you are not romantically involved despite my previous assumptions.”
„I'm shocked you needed an official statement,” grumbled Leonard, unhappily. „Frankly, Spock, I don't see how that's any business of yours, though.”
„Understandable, doctor, however my visit is directly related and so-”
„How the hell is your visit related to me and Jim not dating?”
Spock just looked at him and Leonard was willing to admit he might have had overreacted a bit, but he really was not prepared to rehash the whole issue. Especially not with Spock. He wondered if it was going to end up being some speech about how if Leonard was not interested than could Spock date Jim. Perhaps a questioning in regards of whether or not it was even possible to date Jim. Leonard had already quite enough of those conversations, thought he was willing to admit Spock probably had better chances than most of the previous candidates. He really did not look forward to explaining that to the Vulcan though.
He waved a hand at him to continue and get it over with.
„Perhaps this is not an appropriate time...” stalled Spock and Leonard just shook his head.
„Just say what you came here to say, Spock,” he said, prepared for the worst.
„Would you like to have dinner with me?”
„I understand that it is a standard activity in the process of initiating a romantic relationship among humans as well as Vulcans.”
Well. He did not expect that.
He looked up again to see Spock, eating calmly on the other side of the table. Perhaps that's how it would go. They would eat in silence, it will be painfully awkward, they will never speak of it again, until it'd be time to bring up all embarrassing stories on Spock's and Jim's wedding and Leonard will be drunk enough to share.
He just had to sit here silently and let it pass. It'll be over soon enough.
„I thought you would've asked Jim,” he said and cursed at himself for always being the first to dig his own grave.
Spock rose his eyebrows in question, meeting Leonard's eyes, so Leonard glanced back at the dinner instead, uncomfortable.
„When you found out we're not together,” he clarified. „I thought you would've ask Jim out, not me.”
Spock inclined his head as if to agree with him.
„I admit, I find captain's personality... captivating,” he admitted and Leonard just made an agreeing sound, because that was sure one way to call it. „However it would be illogical to initiate a romantic relationship with a person who is not inclined to enter one.”
Leonard nodded, falling back on his chair and looking at Spock coldly.
„So I'm a second best choice, huh?”
Spock shook his head.
„On contrary, I believe you are much more beneficial choice.”
„Logical choise, just not as captivating, yeah, tell me about it.”
Spock frowned as he often did before they got into one of their discussions.
„I assure you, Leonard, you could have never been considered a logical choice.”
„Hey!” protested Leonard automatically, trying very hard to ignore how weird and personal it sounded, when Spock called him by his given name.
„I believe you are one of the least logical beings I have ever encountered and chosing to court you could only be classified as such as well.”
„You're really selling it, you know?” Leonard grumbled, but fell silent as Spock met his eyes once again.
His gaze steady and serious, intensely focused on Leonard.
„However I do find you highly captivating and most fascinating. It would only be illogical not to inspect further the relationship with someone who possesses such drawing presence.”
„Oh,” said Leonard again, shocked by Spock's words once again this evening. „So you found a way to logically explain this? Dating someone you constantly fight with?”
Spock rose his eyebrows and honest to heaven smirked.
„If I am not mistaken both of us tend to enjoy most of those discussions.”
Fair enough, thought Leonard, wondering when exactly Spock so completely took over this conversation, as well as their... „courtship”. If there was the smallest chance this thing between them would continue, Leonard refused to be constantly thrown by Spock. Especially since, he started suspecting Spock was doing that on purpose, once again trying to have a one over in a discussion. Leonard was determined to give back as well as he got.
„Not much point in arguments without the angry make up sex,” he said cooly, sipping his wine – wine, because apparently they were being classy and you're supposed to drink wine on a date – and steadily meeting Spock's eyes.
Spock and his bloody smirk recovered far too quickly.
„Another benefit of entering a relationship,” he answered in a deep voice, not breaking the eye contact and raising his own glass, almost as if to cheer Leonard's sound plan.
Leonard watched Spock's long throat as Spock swallowed a generous sip of wine and he thought of biting it and kissing it roughly enough to mark the skin. He shuffled on his chair awkwardly, swallowing thickly and rather enjoying Spock's intense, heated gaze...
The door suddenly swiped open without a warning and Leonard sat up straightly as if hit with the breeze of cold air, moving his gaze away from Spock as they both turned to stare at the intruder.
„Bones, you'd never said what Sulu said you're up to...” said Jim entering before his brain caught up with what he was seeing. „Oh. … Hi, Spock.”
„Captain,” nodded Spock and Leonard really wanted to strangle him. Why between those two he was always the only one being embarrassed by any given awkward situation?
Jim recovered far too quickly for his tastes as well.
„Sorry, didn't mean to interrupt. I'll catch you later, Bones, I'm just gonna go give Sulu far too much credits and take it out on you later. Have a nice... evening.”
He grinned brightly at them and left as quickly as he came.
„Perhaps an additional security on the door could be found useful,” said Spock mildly.
„Feel free to add it tomorrow,” agreed Leonard and enjoyed how Spock seemed surprised and looked at him questioningly.
„I think we can find something better to do tonight,” he suggested and this time rather enjoyed the bloody smirk.