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4 Times Jim's Hand Shook and the 1 Time Spock Did Something About It

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1.

 

They were running, running, almost there. So damn close and this felt like the first mission in a long time that they hadn't lost somebody. This whole week had been awful, actually. Spock didn't want to think of the last mission they'd had. All had been going fine when they beamed down, and as usual, everything went to hell, as Jim would say. Now they were almost to the shuttlecraft, being chased by some crazy indigenous mammals.

 

No one looked back until it was too late and there was a snap, that turned out to be security officer Lula's arm. Once she went down, all of the animals went after her. A science officer that had come down with them rushed in to try and save the girl, not thinking straight. Before anyone could stop him, he'd gone in like a brave idiot and they were on him as well. The rest of the party all stopped, looks of horror crossing their faces before self-preservation instincts kicked in and sent them running again. When they finally got to the shuttlecraft, Spock and Jim ran to the front and both started working on the wires while the one other person still left guarded the craft. They were working as quickly as they could, which was pretty damn fast, especially when they worked as a team.

 

Jim had to do the last wiring before the shuttlecraft would be ready to fly out of here. Spock was looking out at the security detail making sure they were still safe as Jim did this. From the corner of his eye, he saw Jim's right hand begin to shake. He pretended not to notice as Jim sighed frustratingly, making his hand into a fist so it steadied and he was able to put the wire back into place. When Spock looked back, Jim nodded curtly that they were ready. It was strange because they'd lost so many people, so many in fact that they were expecting at least 4 out of 5 missions that not everyone would make it out alive, but the ship usually dealt with the aftermath pretty well. Jim had been doing pretty well with terrible shit like that, but this week, as before mentioned, had really sucked and gotten to him.

 

Later that night, safely back on the ship, sitting on the floor in a meditation pose, Spock's mind wandered back to that shaking hand. For some reason it made him feel...disquieted to see Jim like that. He squashed that feeling down as quickly as it had come, deeming it illogical and not relevant as the event had already occurred. Despite his mind insisting on this, he got up and went to the door of his and the Captain's shared bathroom and stepped in after he didn't hear anyone. He knocked on the door to Jim's quarters and waited, a strange feeling tugging at his heart.

 

Jim opened the door a moment later, clearly surprised. “Hey Spock, what can I do for you?” He asked, smiling slightly, although not as bright as it usually was. “Would you be averse to continuing our game of chess from last night?” For some reason, Spock felt illogically nervous as he waited for the response. It was irrational of him, considering they played chess all the time. Jim smiled wider when he heard this, and stepped aside to let Spock in, a clear invitation.

 

They played in companionable silence and occasionally talked about ship business and some personal stuff, but neither mentioned the mission. Jim smiled softly at him before saying quietly, “Checkmate”. Spock looked down at the board, not having even noticed he was trapped by Jim's knight. He had been staring at Jim's face most of the night, not that the other man had noticed, too busy trying to look anywhere but at Spock. Neither of them seemed to be very into the game that night, anyways. They both rose at the same time and Spock's eyes smiled at him before uttering a good night. Right before he reached the door, Jim added, so softly that Spock barely heard it: “Thank you”. Spock turned back to him, not knowing what else to do, and so accepted the gratitude with a small nod and a tiny smile of his own. That lit up Jim's whole face, which was what Spock had been going for.

 

2.

 

The Enterprise was in orbit around New Vulcan, in the process of dropping some supplies off. Kirk and Spock were already down on the planet, having just finished their meeting with the High Council. The old Spock or whatever, Jim wasn't really sure what to call him, had offered them a tour around the city. Now he wouldn't stop looking at them out of the corner of his eye, obviously amused and delighted at them, at least for a Vulcan.

 

Jim shot Spock a questioning look before returning his attention to the beautiful sands of New Vulcan. The planet, Spock had said, was almost the same temperature as Vulcan. 2.3 degrees less, to be exact. It was definitely still too hot for Jim, this walk had gone on way too long for his liking. With all the looks he was getting from both Spocks, combined with the heat, he wouldn't last another five minutes. Spock, younger Spock, seemed to sense his mood as he watched him from the corner of his eye, unaware of the fact that his older counterpart was watching him as well. When Spock looked at Jim once again, he was struck by how...beautiful Jim looked with the bright rays of sunlight casting over him, like a protector. He shook himself of such illogical thoughts.

 

“Perhaps we should beam back aboard the ship before the heat rises. It is fast approaching night”, Spock spoke, stopping Jim short by grabbing his arm. Spock, willingly touching him. That had been happening a lot lately actually, now that he thought about it. The older Spock stopped as well, turning around to look at them. He looked at Spock's arm before quickly averting his gaze. “You mean it gets even hotter?” Jim almost whined, almost. Amusement flashed in both Vulcans' eyes at his comment. “Yes Captain”, Spock replied indulgently, before turning to his older counterpart and offering him the ta'al. Jim did the same, feeling foolishly proud of how it turned out. He wouldn't admit it but...he'd been practicing. He noticed Spock still hadn't moved his hand, and suddenly it vanished. “Thanks for the tour”, Jim told him.

 

Old Spock gave them the ta'al and a small smile. “You are most welcome, Jim. It was very pleasant to have the two of you here. Have a safe journey”, he told them. Jim grinned in return and Spock nodded his head before the Elder walked away. They were getting ready to go up when a Vulcan walking by stopped directly in front of them. Jim looked up at the Vulcan in surprise. He was tall and his face looked blanker than any Jim'd ever seen. He retained an aura of coldness, Jim noticed. “I am Stonn. Captain Kirk.”, Stonn nodded at him and looked at Spock before he could even blink. “Spock. I wished to offer my congratulations before you departed”, the Vulcan told him in a cool, calm voice with a touch of condescension. Spock quirked an eyebrow at him in what Jim could tell by now was annoyance.

 

“Congratulations on what exactly, Stonn?” Spock asked in a clipped voice, subtly stepping in front of Jim. Both Jim and Stonn noticed, however, but neither said a word. Jim knew he should probably be a little peeved, considering he could take care of himself just fine. But he was honestly touched by the fact that Spock was protecting him, it was...sweet. Oh god. Jim would have smacked himself on the head if he wasn't in public. “Your position as First Officer aboard the U.S.S Enterprise. T'Pring also would like to offer her congratulations. We are sure you are fitting in quite well with those...humans, as is your nature”, it seemed like he spit the word humans, even though his facial expression didn't change a bit. Working with Spock, however, Jim had learned the art of subtlety quite well.

 

Jim could sense Spock tense up at the same time he did when Stonn said this. Who the fuck was this guy that thought he could talk to Spock like that? Jim's anger boiled up. Spock, on the other hand, felt strangely calm about the situation with Jim by his side. He gave him support he didn't even know he needed. He answered with one word in a placid tone: “Indeed”. A muscle in Stonn's face twitched, but that was the only outward sign indicating he was surprised. Jim knew Spock was handling this fine, with maturity and all, but he still wanted to hit Stonn. His hand was shaking with the effort not to, he hadn't even noticed it was until now. Spock sensed it as well, and was overcome with that strange emotion he had the last time this had happened.

 

He took his communicator out and told the Enterprise to beam them up immediately. Now Stonn was definitely not subtle in his surprise, and Jim still wanted to slap him, but the white light was around them in a matter of seconds. Jim looked at Spock, who was looking at Jim's...hand? They both noticed it was still slightly shaking. “I just really wanted to punch him”, Jim explained, shoving his hands in his pockets and giving Spock a sheepish smile. Spock's lips curled up into the tiniest of smirks at that, and Jim's smile turned into a full on grin. “Oh come on, like you didn't want to. He was being an ass. No one should talk to you like that”, Jim said with a huff, getting off the transporter pad. “Thank you, Jim”, Spock said, a little too much emotion bleeding into that simple statement than he'd like. Jim turned to him in surprise, because Spock really did sound like he appreciated what Jim had just said. He gave Spock a brilliant smile, and Spock could swear his heart stopped (if that wasn't so illogical as it was physically impossible).

 

3.

 

He ran his hand through his hair, as it seemed to shake of its own volition. Spock was laying on the biobed, breathing heavy and still in his healing trance. McCoy was checking his vitals again, and glancing worriedly between them and Jim. “You need to get some sleep, kid. I promise you he's gonna wake up soon”, Bones told him, coming over to put his hand on Jim's arm. “I know. I'm just...worried is all”, Jim answered, never once taking his eyes off of Spock. He was sitting in the chair next to the bed, had been ever since Spock had been stabilized after surgery.

 

Bones watched the two of them, shaking his head. When the hell are they gonna figure it out? He pretended to be checking something while Jim continued staring at Spock, and found the hypo. As much as he wanted to move Jim, he knew he'd hate leaving Spock's bedside. So he did the next best thing. “You're welcome, Jim”, he muttered before sticking it in his neck. “Ow, Bones!” Jim yelped, bringing his hand up to his neck. “It's for your own damn good”, McCoy told him, as Jim's eyes were already starting to close and he leaned forward closer to the biobed. “Hate you”, he mumbled as he was resting his head down near Spock's arm.

 

“You can use Spock's arm as your pillow”, Bones said to an already asleep Jim, and brought his face up to rest on Spock's arm. He'd love to see how they reacted to waking up in that position. Bones rolled his eyes at the picture the two made. They made a cute couple. Not that he would ever ever admit that out loud. It was a real damn shame they couldn't see it themselves, considering they were pretty obvious to everyone else. Jim was already fast asleep when he heard a rustling near the entrance, turning his head. It was Scotty and Uhura. When they walked in and saw the position their two commanding officers were in, they both stifled their laughs and then smiled warmly.

 

Bones sighed loudly at their reaction, rolling his eyes for what must've been the seventieth time that day. “Couldn't get Jim to leave, so I had to hypo him. Spock's still in his healing trance, should be waking up in a couple of hours”, he explained to them. Spock and Uhura had broken up about a month after the whole Khan incident, and she surprisingly wanted them to figure their shit out and get together as much as everyone else. Spock and her both knew they'd been wrong for each other, and she had gone into the relationship knowing it wouldn't be a long-term thing. They were so much better off friends, she'd come tor realize. And she was happy for Jim and Spock. Even if they weren't together yet. It also helped a lot that she had Scotty now.

 

The doctor didn't seem inclined to have a conversation, so they took their leave. He heaved a sigh before looking back at the two idiots. He shook his head fondly before getting up and going to his office to finish up some paperwork.

 

It was late into the night when Spock began to stir. The first thing he registered was the warm presence of...Jim? He opened his eyes and was surrounded by darkness. Once his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he looked down and found Jim resting on his arm. In the darkness and silence, he allowed himself a smile. He gently carded his fingers through the blond's soft hair, careful not to wake him. He sank into a peaceful meditation with his fingers still tangled in Jim's hair.

 

When the morning arrived, Bones was back, running a tricorder over a still meditating Spock and a sleeping Jim. Spock must have heard the tricorder, because suddenly his eyes opened and were peering at the doctor. It made Bones feel unnerved, but then he remembered that Spock's hand was still caressing Jim's hair. He pointedly looked at it, and Spock's cheeks tinged a dark green. But he didn't remove his hand. “I am offering the Captain...comfort”, Spock tried to rationalize his actions, but Leonard merely rolled his eyes. “Sure, Spock”, he drawled out, “You're the one who just got injured, but okay, whatever helps you sleep at night”.

 

Spock and McCoy fell into an oddly comfortable silence, as he was checking over Spock's fast healing injuries. Jim stirred a few minutes later, and felt Spock's hand in his hair, which he was caressing again. He could just sense it was Spock. Also, logically however, who else would it be? Since he'd fallen asleep (been hypoed) right next to Spock's bed. He really didn't want to lift his head, Spock's hand felt so good. He never wanted it to stop. Jim hmmd at Spock's touch, and he could practically feel Spock and Bones gazes snap to him. Oops. Spock's hand suddenly stopped, but he didn't remove his hand until Jim lifted his head to meet their eyes, quite reluctantly.

 

Although Spock wouldn't exactly meet his eyes. “Mornin' sunshine”, Bones drawled, hovering over him with a tricorder. Jesus, it wasn't like he'd been the one to get injured! Although Jim would never admit it, he liked Bones' mother hen attitude. He'd never had that as a kid growing up, it felt kind of nice to be taken care of. “You hypoed me”, Jim stated, glaring at his best friend before turning his attention back to Spock. “And you, never do that ever again! Thank God you're okay! But really Spock, next time an archaic bullet comes flying towards us, just tell me to duck! I don't want you getting hurt for me”, Jim finished his rant, and before he could think he grabbed Spock's hand. Spock's eyes flew down to his hand, which was unfortunately the moment Jim remembered how sensitive Vulcans hands were. And the way he was clasping Spock's hand right now, well, by Vulcans standards they were probably making out.

 

The thought made him giddy for some reason. He blushed, and pulled his hand away. “Sorry I'm just...really glad you're okay”, he said, feeling Spock's heavy gaze on him as he looked toward the ground. He noticed Spock hadn't flinched or pulled away when he did grab his hand, but still. He was just used to Jim's tactile nature by now, right? Bones snorted at them before walking out. Jim looked up at Spock finally, and trying to get past his own stupid awkwardness, gave Spock two raised eyebrows at McCoy's attitude. Since he could never do one eyebrow, dammit! The Vulcan's eyes were staring at him so intently that Jim wanted to look anywhere else, it felt like he was looking straight into Jim's soul. But he forced himself to keep looking, besides, he didn't mind Spock looking into his soul as much as he probably should have.

 

4.

 

Everyone on the bridge was in a relaxed mood, crew members working quietly but contentedly at their stations. Their last mission had gone surprisignly well for a first onctact mission. There had been no casualties, in fact there hadn't even been any sort of major conflict. Which was an extremely rare thing for the Enterprise. It wasn't as loud or boisterous as it had been at the beginning of the mission, which was a given, considering what they'd been through since then. Still, it was nice. They were currently en route to Starbase 12 to get some supplies needed for the ship. The call came in when Jim was on the bridge, looking over a few reports. “Sir, you have a message coming through your private channel”, Uhura called over to him. He looked up from his paperwork in surprise. He could count the number of people who had called his private line before on one hand. “I'll take it in my ready room, Lieutenant”, he answered, standing up.

 

He handed the conn over to Spock who watched him go in silence, longing evident in his eyes only to Uhura. She caught his eye and gave him a knowing look. He straightened immediately and went back to his work. If the Captain needed him, he would comm him, Spock chastised himself. Jim walked to the ready room, his mind wandering to who it could possibly be. When he opened the message, he certainly hadn't thought it would be her. Good thing it was just a message or he probably would have run out of the room screaming. He probably should have seen this coming. Everything had been going pretty well lately, so he probably should've known better. He fell into a seat with a defeated sigh and turned on the message his mom had sent. She looked older, a lot older than the last time he'd seen her. And that had been...when he was seventeen.

 

Let's just say they had never been...very close. Things hadn't ended well the last time they'd seen each other. She hadn't called once since he'd left that wretched house, and neither had he. She hadn't even called after Nero or Khan. Bones knew some of the story, but when it came to his family, Jim was a pretty private guy. After Spock and Jim had been playing chess for a few months, Spock had started to open up to him. About his childhood, his parents. And the first night, Jim had sat there, stunned and listening, not sure how to process the new step their relationship had taken. After Spock had shared some of his youth, he hadn't looked at Jim expectantly, exactly, just...patiently. Like he knew Jim didn't want to share, which felt weird.

 

He figured it would have been kind of rude to not share at least a little since Spock had been willing. Spock, who was the most private person he knew, other than himself. Jim had told him trivial things at first, just some stupid stunts he'd pulled as a kid. But as they'd gotten closer they started sharing more and more. He didn't share eveyrhting obviously, he especially didn't mention the huge gap in his file. Or his stepdad. Hed said he was an asshole, but never really gotten into too many details. God forbid. Their forms of privacy were different, however. Spock had also realized Jim was just as private as he was, only while Spock was “openly” private (as illogical as that sounds), Jim was more subtle in not telling people things. The way he talked and acted sometimes made it seem like he wasn't hiding anything, like he was an open book. Spock found he was the complete opposite, which had both fascinated and baffled him.

 

"Hi Jim. It's me, your mother", she smiled weakly, looking smaller than he remembered. He tried to swallow around a lump in his throat. "I'm-I'm sorry this is the first time I've called, honey. I should have... I just found out your brother is getting married, through a friend of mine. And I just realized how long it's been, I've missed you guys so much. I wish I could fix this... I want to start over, honey, I really do”, she paused a moment, composing herself. “I don't expect you to forgive me Jim but please think about what I've said at least. I hope you can give me a call back when you have a chance. I never got to tell you how proud I am of you becoming a famous starship captain. I love you, sweetie", the screen flickered to black and Jim could only stare. He knew Sam was getting married, they sill kept in touch sometimes. He'd talked to him a couple months ago, actually.

 

He didn't know what to think. What the hell should he do now, give her a call, ignore her? Did she even deserve a call...she was his mother, though. It's not like she's ever acted like one though. Not until now, apparently. Maybe she didn't even want to reconnect , maybe she just needed money. Or a favor or...who knows. He slumped down in his seat, feeling exhausted all of a sudden. He sat there for a few more minutes, his mind oddly blank. He didn't feel anything really...just numb. No horrible flashbacks of his childhood, if he could even call it that, just emptiness.

 

Well this was getting depressing. He was up and out of the room in one swift motion. Distraction. That's what he needed now. He could mope around all he wanted when he got to his room, but he did have a job now. A very important one. He could get back into the relaxed and calm mood of the ship easily... Or he could go get a drink. No , he thought sternly. Damn, he couldn't even drink anymore, at least not on duty. Even if they weren't doing anything. He was slow on his way back to the bridge, pushing away thoughts of his mother as hard as he could. When he got back to the bridge, everyone turned to him. "Keptin on the bridge", Chekov announced and Spock got out of the chair. They all looked at him curiously, so he just smiled back. If it was slightly forced, the only one who picked up on it was Spock. He wondered how long he'd been gone, then realized he didn't really care. He took a seat in his chair and went right back to his paperwork, feeling Spock's heated gaze on him for the rest of the shift.

 

Spock watched him closely, it was obvious whatever call Jim had gotten hadn't been good. He wasn't sure what he was accomplishing by watching, but he didn't stop. The Captains' hand was resting on his chair, as he read a report. Due to Vulcans stronger eyesight, Spock could detect the slight tremor in his hand. Jim felt his hand shaking, and started tapping his fingers quietly to quell the shaking. He really needed to go see Bones to find out how he managed to have the steadiest hands on board...and also get a drink. Fuck . He shook his head slightly in hopes of clearing it. It didn't help. Spock minutely frowned at Jim's clear distress, although he seemed to be the only one who noticed. He was certainly the only one looking close enough. Jim suddenly looked up and locked eyes with Spock from across the bridge. His hand stopped and he grabbed another padd with it. They both quickly averted their eyes.

 

The rest of their shift went by smoothly enough with no big problems. Jim didn't even notice as everyone got up when it ended, still too deeply engrossed in his paperwork. If he was forcing his concentration a little, nobody mentioned it. Spock came up to him quietly, and tapped him on the shoulder when he still hadn't looked up. “Would you be interested in heading to the mess for dinner, Jim?” He looked up then, startled, before answering. “Sure, Spock. Sounds great. Just give me a sec...”, he trailed off and quickly finished the last line of his report. He got up and gave Spock a small smile that didn't reach his eyes. Spock didn't want to pry, and he still wasn't sure if he'd earned the privilege to ask yet. They did talk about personal matter frequently, though. And he needed to know what had caused Jim's distress, no matter how good he may be at hiding it from everyone else.

 

They walked to the mess, Jim unusually quiet. He still felt oddly blank, his thoughts weren't exactly a mess, it was more like they were just patiently waiting for him to pry them open. Like he'd even go near it with a ten-foot pole. Spock kept a surreptitious eye on him, while thinking of different topics he could bring up. He'd never been very good at small talk. When they were getting their meals, Spock finally broke the silence. “Jim, is something...troubling you?” Jim visibly hesitated as they carried their trays over to where McCoy was already sitting. Before he could really form a response, the good doctor was already grumbling about the inane ensigns he'd had to deal with that day who'd came in with the most ridiculous injuries he'd ever seen.

 

He didn't stop until he looked up and met Jim's eyes. “Jesus kid, you look like you've just seen a ghost”, he said in a grumbled yet concerned tone. Jim chuckled darkly at that comment. Oh, he had no idea . Why did he have to sit with the two people who knew him best? “Don't be so dramatic, Bones. I'm fine, just tired”, he muttered, rolling his eyes. He pushed some of his food around, looking down at it. He didn't have much of an appetite tonight. He'd gotten pretty good at tricking people into thinking he'd eaten when all he'd really done was shove some of his food around after Tarsus. It became a sort of habit. He'd learned at the Academy, however, that it didn't bode well with his best friend and doctor. Speaking of the disgruntled doctor, he was staring Jim down, recognizing the trick, and waiting for him to eat. Jim rolled his eyes again and regrettably took a bite. It went down like acid in his churning stomach.

 

Spock watched all of this, curiosity clear in his eyes. “Now, Jim, tell us what's really wrong. I know that look”, McCoy said in a softer, gentler tone. Jim sighed, defeated, and nodded his head. His eyes darted around the mess before speaking. “You guys think we could take this somewhere more...private first?” He belatedly realized Spock might- probably- didn't want to come and added to him: “If you...uh want to come, I mean-”, he didn't have a chance to finish his stumbled sentence when Bones grabbed him and Spock by their arms and pulled them up with him. “You know he wants to come, you idiot”, McCoy said on their way out, giving them an exaggerated eye roll.

 

“Where are you taking us, Doctor?” Spock asked as they entered the turbolift, choosing not to acknowledge that previous statement. “Just somewhere quiet”, he said, right as the doors opened up again. “The holodeck?” Spock asked, lifting an eyebrow, which Jim just shrugged to. They walked into the thankfully empty room and McCoy locked the door behind them before they all sat down. “Okay this seems way too dramatic. My mom just called, it's not like the world ended”, Jim had the words out before he even knew what he was saying. Bones turned surprised eyes on him, as did Spock. Bones' earlier comment came back to him and he cringed. Jim stood up and walked over to the hologrid. “What'd she say?” McCoy asked after a moment of silence, as Jim scrolled through the different projections. He thought about picking Iowa, but then decided it probably wouldn't be the best under these circumstances. He picked the ocean instead, before sitting back down and answering McCoy's question.

 

“She said she wants to 'start over', whatever that means”, he answered, looking out at the ocean instead of meeting either of their eyes. Spock didn't have all of the details of Jim's childhood, but he knew Jim had never gotten along with his mother. During shore leave once when Jim had gotten very drunk after a terrible mission, he'd told Spock his mother couldn't even look him in the eye for more than two seconds without thinking of her dead husband. “Why now?” McCoy asked honestly, before he could censor himself. Spock gave him a dark look but Jim didn't seem to mind the question. “She just found out about Sam's wedding from a friend, and she said it made her realize how long it's been”, he shrugged, trying to appear nonchalant. It didn't fool anyone in the room. “Are you planning on calling her back?” Spock asked after a few beats of silence.

 

Jim didn't answer for a long moment. He finally looked away from the ocean and made eye contact with Spock. They stared at each other for a few moments before Jim finally nodded. “Yeah I...I think I am. I can't live the rest of my life resenting her, ya know? I'm too tired”, he answered frankly, twisting his lips into a wry smile. “If you're sure that's what you want, Jim”, McCoy moved over to where Jim was and wrapped his arm around him. Spock tried to ignore the irrational jealousy building up in him at their closeness. A comfortable silence came over the room as they sat there. McCoy's communicator chirped after a few minutes, making all of them jump. “Shit. I gotta go, Jim. Sorry. Spock, you keep an eye on him. I'll talk to you guys later”, McCoy told them before rushing out of the room to go to tend to one of his patients. Jim and Spock locked eyes again, the room heavy with silence.

 

"I would like to...thank you, Jim, for sharing that with me as well. As most humans say, I 'have your back'”, Spock said, his lips twitching upward. Jim smiled slowly, and this time it reached his eyes. “Thanks, Spock”, he said, before standing up. Spock stood as well. “So you ready for me to beat you at chess again?” Jim asked, as he went over to turn off the simulator. He could feel Spock raise an eyebrow at him. “'In your dreams' is the correct yet illogical human phrase for this situation, I believe?” Spock asked as they walked out together. Jim laughed wholeheartedly and slapped his shoulder lightly. “I think you're getting a pretty good hang on those illogical human phrases, Spock”, Jim told him, walking into the turbolift. “'Hang on', Jim?” Spock deadpanned, but his eyes were alight with amusement.

 

+1

 

Scotty came rushing onto the bridge the next day, panting with a panicked look in his eyes. Jim turned

to his Chief Engineer immediately, already worried. “What is it, Mr. Scott?” He asked, eyeing the Scotsman as he came to stand next to Jim's chair. “It's the replicators, sir. I din't think it was cause for trouble at first, but it seems th' problem's only gotten worse”, Scotty told him, looking awfully apologetic. Jim's stomach twisted at this, his nerves already on edge. He knew it was probably just a small malfunction, he spent enough time in Engineering to be intimately familiar with those damn flaky replicators.

 

He tried to keep his mind from running wild with thoughts of running out of food, of a repeat of...Tarsus. He was being ridiculous, right? He was just a little paranoid, always had been around food since that disaster. He realized he hadn't said anything when Scotty was still standing there, looking at him inquisitively. He caught Spock's eye from across the room, before turning back to Scotty. “Okay. Let's go”, he said, already standing. “Cap'tn ye re-”, Scott started but Jim cut him off, telling Spock he had the conn. He could feel Spock's eyes trained on him as he walked out.

 

He wondered if he gave something away in his voice or something. He thought he sounded pretty calm. Because there was absolutely nothing to worry about. Jim and Scotty spent the rest of alpha shift trying to find out what was wrong. When they did their rounds to check which replicators were working a few hours later, they found none were now. Jim tried, really hard not to freak out. They obviously wouldn't run out of food, they had rations, if it ever came to that. Which it wouldn't, since they could easily hail another ship to help them out. So he should really stop over thinking all this. Everyone had their rations for dinner tonight, anyways. All would be back to normal by tomorrow.

 

Jim went back to his room after a late night of working with Scotty, who promised he'd finish the rest by tomorrow. When Jim reached his room, he lay flat on his bed, staring up at the ceiling. His stomach growled. He hadn't had time to eat dinner. He went to his bedside table and upon opening the third drawer, he remembered. At the beginning of the mission, he'd hidden some extra rations in his drawer. He'd brought them on board with him, so it's not like it was against regulations or anything. Well...even if it was, he didn't want to know.

 

Spock heard the shower turn on in the Captain's quarters from where he was laying on his meditation mat. He thought about Jim's behavior from earlier and decided he would go see him after his shower. It was only logical considering he needed to see how his Captain and friend was doing since he hadn't seen him since he'd left the bridge. He tried to focus on his meditation while waiting, and failed spectacularly on focusing on anything but Jim. When he deemed it appropriate, he knocked on the Captain's door. He heard some ruffling going on before the door opened and Jim appeared in front of him, hair still wet from the shower, with a pair of sweats and a black shirt he'd just slipped on. Spock kept his hands behind his back so he wouldn't tug at Jim's hair, because he looked so adorable- Spock stopped his train of thoughts there, not even wanting to think about what he had just thought. Completely, utterly illogical.

 

“Hey Spock, what's up?” Jim asked, with a smile plastered on his face. There was something crazed in his bright blue eyes, however, and as good as Jim's poker face was, Spock usually manged to see past it, and vice versa. “Jim. May I come in?” He asked, and Jim quickly stepped aside. Spock walked in the room and turned around to face him. Jim's eyes darted around nervously before landing back on Spock. They both stayed silent for a moment too long. “So, um, not that it's not good to see you, but was there something you needed?” Jim asked, not moving from his spot. He felt glued there by Spock's intense stare. It seemed like Spock was staring at him a lot lately, not that he didn't stare at Spock all the time. “I merely wished to...”, Spock felt strangely shy about what he was about to say next but pushed it down. “See if you are well.”

 

Jim stared at him, unsure of what to say. He certainly hadn't been expecting that. Jim noticed Spock becoming increasingly uncomfortable and decided to take pity on him. “I'm fine, Spock. Why wouldn't I be?” He forced a smile out of somewhere as Spock studied him silently for a few moments. “Fine has variable definitions. You seemed oddly...anxious after you left the bridge”, Spock finally told him, taking a seat on the couch. Those blue eyes that haunted his dreams were unflinching as they studied him, bright-eyed with calculations. Spock cared about him. He wasn't really sure what the appropriate response would be here, since the only person he really had practice with was Bones. But that was different. This was...Spock.

 

He found himself blushing a little and cursed inwardly before giving Spock a crooked smile. “Thanks for checking up on me, Spock, but I'm fine”, he paused for a second before asking, in an almost tentative voice, “But if you wanna... I don't know, stay, and play chess or something...”. Jim seemed to be preparing himself for a rejection, although Spock had no idea why. He could never refuse Jim anything. “Of course, Jim”, he responded, settling himself in the chair he often occupied on one side of the chessboard. Jim took the seat across from him and tried to regulate his breathing. He was still worried about the replicators, and now Spock was making him even more nervous (don't even ask why). Why had he asked him to stay? Oh, that's right, he was an addict.

 

They began to play, Spock giving Jim surreptitious looks from across the board, trying to determine what was wrong with his Captain. When he mentioned the replicators, Jim paled considerably and mumbled something incoherent and escaped to the bathroom. He knew this was coming, had felt it the moment Scotty had told him on the bridge. They didn't happen very much anymore, and considering his position as Captain, he didn't think the Admiralty would take it very well if he ever had a panic attack in the middle of a diplomatic mission or something. If he ever felt like he was too stressed or anxious, he'd usually go to Bones and get some meds or alcohol. But he'd been so damn busy all day with, well, what was causing the panic attack.

 

Spock stared after Jim, a dumbfounded look crossing his features for a moment. He could now see he'd been accurate about his concern over Jim. Something was wrong and obviously troubling him, and Spock had that strange tugging at his heart again, making him stand up and go to the bathroom door. He knocked lightly, once, and waited. Jim, currently breathing heavily over the sink, trying to calm the bubble of panic quickly rising in his chest, ignored it. Even if he'd wanted to say something, he couldn't, since he was having a bit of trouble breathing at the moment. He contemplated his gasping reflection in the mirror and briefly wondered if it would be ridiculous to flee through Spock's quarters. He heard the door creak open, with Spock standing there, looking almost sheepish.

 

Jim composed his face into what he thought was a seemingly calm one, but apparently it didn't work on Spock. It never had before. “Jim. What can I...do for you?”, Spock asked, panic starting to overtake him as well as he saw Jim's face. He took a step into the room. Jim still didn't have enough oxygen to answer intelligibly, although he didn't know what he would have said to that even if he did. The way Spock sounded...his voice tightened and he took an aborted step back when Spock drew closer. Spock noticed the shaking hand again, and this time- no, he would not allow it. Jim, on the other hand, hadn't even noticed it was shaking in the first place, until Spock's hand flew forward and grabbed it. An electric current ran through their skin when they touched, it literally felt like sparks were flying. Spock's breath hitched at the contact, as he felt Jim's mind buzzing against his own, so close, just waiting to be explored.

 

Spock hold on Jim's shaking hand tightened, softly enough that it didn't hurt but strong enough to calm the tremors. Jim looked down at their hands, his heart fluttering like crazy. He desperately tried to push away any pathetic thoughts of not only having those hands everywhere on him, but just holding them, laying in bed all day together. Kissing them sweetly and giving them all the attention they deserved. Ironically, he didn't know Spock was thinking the exact same thing about his hands. He realized, quite suddenly, that he'd never craved a being as much as he craved Spock. He would give him everything, hell, he'd already done that but Spock didn't even know, he'd taken his heart and his soul and...just everything. He didn't care how sappy that all sounded, all he could really focus on is the feel of Spock's hand on his. Spock jolted at what he felt through their touch, so much never-ending love and warmth from Jim. He illogically hoped Jim could feel his just as strongly. “Jim”, he breathed out when he also felt the panic and disjointed thoughts from Jim, the words can't breathe getting through.

 

Before Jim could move again, he took one last quick stride forward and his lips met Jim's. Jim was frozen to the spot for a moment, but when he started kissing back, Spock promptly pulled away. Jim looked at him in shock, terrified that Spock was disgusted at what he'd just done and completely regretted it and was going to resign and oh god- Jim's thoughts were stopped by Spock's soothing hand still in his, now running smooth circles over it. “Do not fret, ashayam. There is nothing more that I would rather be doing than kissing you right now, but you were in the middle of a panic attack. It was recommended in an article I once read that if someone is having one of these attacks, they should hold their breath. Logically, to make you hold your breath, I kissed you”, Spock explained calmly enough, despite his cheeks quickly tinging with green as Jim caressed his hand back. Of course, it was logical to kiss Jim.

 

Jim laughed breathily despite himself, shaking his head slightly. Only Spock. He was right, of course, his breathing had slowed down and he didn't feel like he was suffocating anymore. He was still buzzed on the too-short kiss now anyways to really think about any of that, all he wanted to do was kiss Spock again. “Very logical indeed, Commander. Now that I'm better though...”, he trailed off, moving his mouth up to Spock's delicious looking neck. Before Spock could say anything, Jim flicked his tongue over the skin, before bitting down lightly. Spock couldn't suppress a shudder at that. But, he tried to rationalize, he needed to know what had caused Jim's panic in the first place. He needed to take some more deep breaths and probably needed a glass of water and...the last thing he should be doing is kissing Spock's neck.

 

“Jim”, Spock's voice almost broke, as Jim's bites got harder and harder as he trailed down his neck. He tried again when Jim didn't seem to be paying any attention to him, too lost in Spock's everything to stop and listen. “Please. We should discuss what caused your-”, before Spock could finish that sentence, Jim shoved him against the counter and pressed their groins together. Spock groaned, his head falling back, giving up on trying to speak with Jim. With the hand that wasn't holding Jim's, he did something he'd wanted to do again ever since he'd been in sickbay. Jim groaned when Spock tugged at it. Spock brought Jim's face back up to his and smashed Jim's lips against his. It was rough and needy as their tongues battled for dominance, after the months of sexual frustration finally getting to them both.

 

They somehow managed to get to Jim's bed, mouths still locked together. They grabbed at each other's clothes urgently, and both sighed in contentment when all clothes were off. Spock pushed Jim down onto the bed and loomed over him, desire lighting up his eyes like fire as his eyes travelled down Jim's body. His breath caught in his throat at the sight that lay beneath him. Jim's lips, red and swollen from their desperate, needy kisses, his hair ruffled, staring up at Spock with the most intense blue eyes he'd ever encountered. His lips latched onto Jim's neck, wanting to taste every part of him. Jim's hands trailed down Spock's body at the same time, feeling everything he could reach as Spock marked him, as Jim had done earlier. Spock's licks and nips went all the way down to Jim's penis, stopping a mere inch away from it. Jim could feel Spock's breath over it, and made a needy noise in the back of his throat.

 

Spock licked the tip, slowly, teasingly. He slowly moved further down, making Jim moan and writhe helplessly beneath Spock's hands, keeping him pinned down. “Oh come on, Spock”, Jim most certainly did not beg. Spock finally took pity on him and took it in his mouth, making Jim's hips jerk upward. Spock put his hands on Jim's thighs, steadying him back down. Spock stared at Jim as he made more helpless noises come from the human's mouth. Jim took one of Spock's hands and brought it up to his lips slowly, and watched as Spock's eyes widened. Oh yes, he was aware of how obscene this was to Vulcans. He brought one finger up to his lips, as slow as Spock had been with him, and licked it. Loving the look on Spock's face as he did that, he did it again, before he began sucking on it. Spock let out a muffled groan, still sucking Jim off. He added another finger in his mouth and then Spock's mouth was gone, as he let out a hoarse moan. Jim whimpered at the sudden lack of contact when Spock's mouth was gone, but it was gone as soon as he saw what Spock was doing. He was grabbing a bottle of lube from Jim's drawer, which, who knew how Spock knew that was there, but what the fuck ever.

 

Spock spread some on his fingers, still watching Jim, who was watching him in return. Spock positioned Jim so he could easily slide his finger in to prepare him. Jim gasped when he felt the coldness of it. It'd been way, way too long. All this time he'd waited for Spock, which he was immensely glad of, as was Spock since he'd been doing the same. Spock slipped another finger in and watched Jim struggle to keep quiet by biting his lip. That had always turned Spock on like crazy, and he leaned in to Jim's lips and bit on them himself. Jim tried not to push on the fingers, but it felt so damn good he couldn't resist. When Spock slipped a third in, he almost lost it. Jim broke the kiss to gasp out: “S-Spock, I swear I'm gonna come if you don't-”, Spock shut him up with a blazing kiss as he took his fingers out and replaced them with his penis.

 

Jim groaned and gripped Spock's shoulders, still kissing him ardently. Spock pushed in slowly, as impatient as he was, he didn't want to hurt Jim. After the third slow slide in, Jim growled out, “Faster, Spock. I'm not gonna break”. Spock thought he would come right then and there at Jim's growl, but he didn't want this to end when they'd barely started. He began thrusting faster and faster into Jim, making both pant heavily. Their lips met again in a tangled, heated mess. “Jim...may I?” Spock asked roughly, bringing his hand up to Jim's face. Jim understood and nodded immediately. Spock whispered the words urgently, and then they were both completely lost in each other. They could both feel what the other was feeling, physically and mentally, as well as themselves. Spock latched onto Jim's mind, so happy to be back in his beautiful mind.

 

He knew from the first meld they'd ever shared (not the one his older counterpart had done) that he never wanted to be parted from this mind. He could feel Jim reciprocate that thought through the bond and his mind began to attach to the golden threads welcoming him in Jim's mind. Spock's thrusts became erratic as their bond completely and it pulsed to life. Jim was nearing his climax as well, and they both came at the same time, still wrapped around each other in their minds and body. When Spock pulled them out of the meld, they were both breathing heavily and their limbs were still tangled together. Spock looked down at Jim, whose head was now resting back, his chest heaving slightly. Spock leaned impossibly closer to catch Jim's lips in a long, languid kiss. Spock's eyes were smiling when he pulled back and saw Jim's brilliant smile.

 

Spock moved next to Jim and wrapped his arms around him. Jim turned to him, nuzzling his neck. “Wow, Spock”, Jim murmured against his skin, eyes bright as he looked up at Spock. “That was...the best sex I've ever had”, he finished, bringing his hand up to run it through Spock's chest hair. Spock eyes twinkled with amusement and he raised his eyebrow, taking his own hand and running it through Jim's hair. “Thank you, Jim. The feeling is mutual”, Spock answered, amusement clear in his tone. Jim smiled again, and gave Spock a quick peck on the lips. “You know how in love I am with you right?” Jim asked as he rested his head on Spock's chest.

 

“That feeling is also mutual, t'hy'la”, Spock purred out, kissing Jim on the forehead. That word...Jim had heard it in the bond, and it made him feel all warm inside, as corny as that sounded. He nestled closer to Spock as they both drifted off to a peaceful sleep. They knew there was a lot to talk about, like Spock still wanting to know what had caused the panic attack and what their new bond meant and how they should deal with telling everyone (including the damn Admiralty). For now, though, they were happy to just fall asleep in each other's arms.