Jim's private life is just that until he comes Captain of the Enterprise and everything changes. Suddenly it isn't just ship gossips that talk about him but conversations stop when he enters rooms and he knows that he has become the focal point of just about every coffee break and meal hour. It wouldn't bother him normally, because he's James Kirk dammit and he likes attention but Leo and Nyota don't. Well, Nyota likes attention when it comes to her accomplishments and intelligence just not about who is in her bed at night. Leo doesn't like it but he's quite capable of telling someone what he thinks of them and making their next medical as painful as possible. Nyota's hard outer shell hides a soft interior and Jim knows it is all getting to her. No one questions her abilities but her mind tells her that people now doubt she can do her job and the gossip that follows her to her work station and back again confirms it.
The three of them have been in a relationship for over a year. Leo and Jim had been together longer but something had always been missing, a calming influence and a different vibe in their relationship. Nyota is perfect for them both. She calms Jim and she relaxes Leo and in return Jim can make her joke around and Leo can debate things with her long into the night over a glass of whiskey while Jim sleeps like a baby between them. They are hardly the first poly relationship in Starfleet history and not the first to work together on a ship but now Jim is Captain and that makes things different. He would never use his position to his advantage other than actually getting his lovers on the same ship, one because Leo would never let him and two because Nyota is far too passionate about her work to accept help like that. She has proven so much herself already and Jim isn't stupid enough to jeopardise that. He respects her too much. Plus, despite what a lot of people seem to think of him Jim is actually a pretty good guy that likes to do things the right way. That unwinnable test thing just happened to wind him up, that is all.
He's sick of it and he hates that there is nothing he can do about it other than try to be as professional as he can be. It isn't like he can ban staring and gossiping about co-workers or use his previous tactic of shutting people up that tended to involve a brawl in a bar somewhere while Leo stood in the background and shakes his head. If it was just Jim and Leo, no one would accuse him of things. if it was just Jim and Nyota, no one would accuse him of things. It is only because they are a three, rare and people get it into their heads that it makes them different, unpredictable and dangerous. It is like they believe three makes a militia or some shit and it pisses Jim off. Leo says it will all blow over, that there is nothing in the rules against it, and if Jim hadn't been chucked out of Starfleet for his previous antics the fact that he is sleeping with two people isn't going to do it. That is his Bones. Nyota agrees but Jim can still see the hurt in her eyes when she overhears something and that is what gets to him and makes him grind his teeth at his chair. She has been through enough recently, in his eyes, losing her best friend and this is the last thing she needs or deserves. Five years is a long time when you're squirming to get away from it all for a bit. Jim is used to being talked about and looked down on because that has been his whole life story. He's the son of a hero, someone who will never rise above twelve minutes of his father's life no matter what he does. What bothers him is that it is impacting the people that he loves, and he does love them both, deeply. Love from Jim is hard to come by and trust even rarer but dammit if he wouldn't walk on fire for and put his life in the hands of both of them.
It is all just because they don't fit the boxes the humans throughout the galaxy have created for themselves. It wouldn't be blinked at it if they were a different species but not even humans trust groups of humans so the minute Jim takes command of the ship it explodes. Plus, they probably think Leo and Nyota are too good for him. A few dared to mention it when they were still at the Academy but it is just those sorts of looks now. He doesn't give a damn what other people thinks, never has, and that is probably what has got him through life but it still lingers at the back of his mind. He hears the gossip just like they do and while Leo rolls his eyes and Nyota frets, Jim scowls and questions himself a little bit more. He doesn't even start to think of what his Captaincy can do for them like they think he will but instead starts to question why he's in the relationship at all, just like in the beginning with Leo and then again with Nyota. They are so perfect, respectable and functional and he is so fucked up and unpredictable after growing up on Tarus V. No one can figure out his next move if he doesn't know himself and that is why he was still alive when the ships arrived to rescue who was left. Then again, the three of them are all poly with a string of failed relationships that lacked something they have together. There is a reason they are in a threesome , because they need that something different that a poly lifestyles brings to their lives. For some reason Jim makes them happy and he keeps telling himself until he is as stubborn as he was before Narada. Everyone else can fuck themselves and stay quiet because he is Captain, does have two lovers and those are the only two facts anyone aboard his ship needs to have and the second is stretching it.
He needs balls like Leo, the ability to shut it out all, but then even Leo is flawed and Jim knows that better than anyone because he is the one who makes sure his lover can never get his hands on more than half a litre of alcohol at a time. Jim just cares too much. If he has many flaws it can be wrapped up into that one tight little ball. He wants to be respected, cared, and looked up to by his staff. He wants to go home to his rooms and find Bones crumbling about the standard of coffee and have to drag Nyota along with him from the Bridge before she can stay and check 'just one more little thing, Jim, really'. Then he wants to play chess, read the latest comic on his data pad and tickle Nyota's feet when she's trying to concentrate on things. For all his life is extraordinary Jim craves a little piece of normal. They need to find a way to protect that, even if they shouldn't have to protect it. Jim will find a way though. For all it screwed him up Tarus V taught him how to defend what is his with tooth and nail and he's lucky to have them. He won't lose them to the strain of gossip and certainly not on his own damn ship.