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You Of All People.

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“You of all people should know that.”

Jim could still heat the echo of it in his mind. In his dorm, laying on his back, staring at the ceiling, Jim’s vision was thick with water. He was bitterly reminded that he didn’t want to be here. He didn’t ask to be here. He hated this place. He hated the xenophobia in a place like this. He hated the human-centric superiority. He hated the people who have the audacity to make fun of him for being clever, they didn’t know Jack shit about being hungry or in pain or genuine grief. He hated being reminded that he just looks so much like George.

Fuck, he hated this place.

He would have been gone months ago if it hadn’t been for Pike. Pike and his tampering. Pike and his philosophical views. Self-righteous bastard. And he knew he was gonna get chewed out, just because some pointy eared bastard’s got it out for him. He didn’t cheat, he used his knowledge to assist him.

And now, any chance at a successful life was likely fucked, because of him.

Because of Spock.

He picked up a notebook from his bedside table. He used it for notes in Spock’s class. It was old-fashioned, but it worked. He may not be expelled, but his compromise was that if he didn’t get an B+ or higher in Spock’s class with a written recommendation to move on, he would be.

But Spock wouldn’t forgive him. Vulcan’s don’t forgive. Opening the book, he picked up his pen. He had to get this out, or he would fuck it up even worse.

‘Fuck you. Fuck you and your stupid ears and your dumbass unbeatable test and your “unbiased” Vulcan perspective. You are gonna fail me in this course, and I know it. You are going to expel me no matter how hard I try. And the fucking worst part? You don’t even know what you’re condemning me to. A life, stuck on a farm, getting drunk and getting laid and never having something purposeful, forever being known as the one that lost it all after one mistake. My mother wanted so much for me, despite her never looking at me, because I looked too much like Dad. Despite Frank beating Sam and I every day. Despite Sam leaving me to run away and live with his best friend while Frank cussed him out for a good two miles while I cried for my brother to stay, until Frank clocked me and I walked home with a fractured nose. Despite dumping me at the boarding school on Tarsus IV when she realized what Frank had done, leaving me to fight and fend for myself and seven other kids. There had been ten, but three died. Did you know that blood doesn’t dry, it congeals? Did you know that after days of not eating, you stop feeling hungry? That’s your body deteriorating. Wasting away. Leaving you too weak to fight off Kodos’ soldiers. Fading in and out of consciousness as you are dragged to a cage, strapped to a car. Waking up in a Federation hospital, your Mom and your older brother at your side, crying, because they both left you, and you almost died. Developing an eating disorder. Crying on the bathroom floor, being held by your mother after you’ve thrown up your dinner because it was too much at once after days of not eating, and you’re so hungry, but you can’t be satisfied. God, you are so quick to judge, Spock. You must think I’m some asshole who just wants to get chicks and get drunk and party, but all I want, all I have ever wanted since the day I was born, was to survive. I want to make enough money so that my future children will never have to worry about when their next meal will be, will never have to beg on the streets in the city so they might get enough money for dinner, because their drunk bastard of a father will have spent all the cash on booze. I want them to be happy and safe and loved and full. I want them to never see what I have seen. To never know what starvation and death feels like. And now I’ve lost that chance. Thanks for nothing, you bastard.’

Tears hit the page and smudged the ink slightly. Jim couldn’t tell how he felt. Angry? Definitely. Afraid? Probably. Sad? No. He wasn’t sad. He was… Hopeless. He was going to fail. And he still had to try.

 

He never once missed a class. Always sat in the same seat, never spoke out of turn, each presentation was masterfully crafted and organized, showed Spock the utmost respect, always met his gaze, and each 0% he got on every project, every assignment, everything, made it that much harder. But nevertheless, he persisted. Never slacked off. Never gave Spock another reason to judge him.

That is, until the near end of his semester, when he left his notebook on his desk.

He was so tired. He had lost several hours due to working on the final project that he was busy perfecting, other classwork, and maybe eating a meal or two somewhere in there. Bones said he looked sick. Even Spock seemed to see the paleness in his skin; he didn’t call him out as much (and that pissed him off, greatly. He’d just spent hours going over this shit to have it on lock, and Spock didn’t even look at him). Working off of a five-hour energy shot and a dark roast coffee pumped full of sugar, Jim was attentive during the class, writing things down in a messy scrawl outside of his normal, neat handwriting. And then he remembered his lunch appointment with Bones as the bell rang, and he scooped up his bag and left, pen and notebook still perched upon the desk.

Spock didn’t notice it until a few minutes had passed, and he suppressed annoyance. Adding messy to the long list of things that Jim was, Spock grabbed the notebook, setting it on his desk. He allowed his curiosity to wander as he opened the notebook, wanting to compare the difference between when Jim had tried to pass, versus the present, where him passing was an unlikely possibility. The notes in the beginning were well structured, color coded, questions written in the margin and answers written below them, small drawings in the corners when Spock allowed them a moment’s break to process information. He flipped through each one, almost smiling at a few. Drawings of Starships and constellations and planets, most unfinished.

It was then he found a page, with no breaks in it, not color coded, and not drawn upon. Written in black ink, smudged and wrinkled in certain areas. Running the pads of his fingers over it, he couldn’t figure out what they were. It was only when he read it that he realized what they were.

Tears.

And justified, at that.

The words dripped with grief, with solemn experience. Jim’s suspicions were true. Spock had made judgement on him, believing him to be, as the humans said, a “player”, someone who did not hold himself to high expectations because he did not wish to put in effort, only to succeed. But Spock was… wrong.

Jim held himself to high standards. Some arguably higher than his own. Jim had seen more than his fair share of pain. He was not afraid of death not because he was ignorant, but because he had seen it many times.

And suddenly, Spock understood why Jim did what he did. Failure was not simply failure. Failure was more often than not a matter of life and death. It was real for him. Jim was stuck in survival mode. And Spock was worsening it.

Guilt chewed away at his shields, daring to make itself known, especially when he turned the page and saw notes. Color coded. Perfectly structured. Accurate definitions. Questions in the margins, answers below them.

There was a severe lack of drawings.

 

Jim walked into class the next day, paler than before, approaching Spock’s desk, the class taking their seats behind him.

“Professor, I seem to have misplaced my-” Spock took the notebook out of his desk, handing it to Jim without looking up from his PADD. He took it. “Thank you.” Spock noticed the quietness of his voice, and lifted his head to see Jim walking away and taking a seat, flipping open the notebook. Spock stood, lifting his PADD, gaze lingering on Jim a moment before looking away, and beginning his lesson.

 

The bell rang as Spock finished announcing the homework, and the class calmly packed up.

“Cadet Kirk, if you could stay behind a moment?” Jim looked to Spock, and nodded.

“Yes, Professor.” The class left, obviously curious about what was about to happen between Jim and Spock, but didn’t ask.

“When you left your notebook here, I looked through it,” Spock admitted, and Jim’s eyebrows furrowed as Spock pulled out a page. “I… Found this.” He handed the page to Jim, whose fingers began to shake when he recognized it.

“Professor, I’m…” He looked away from Spock. “I’m sorry. I was emotionally compromised when I wrote this, and I have since accepted my fate. I do not hold any ill feelings toward you-”

“That, Cadet, is a lie, and we both know it.” Jim fell silent after that, still not looking at Spock. “Cadet… Jim.” He suspected that after having learned the Cadets’ darkest secrets, it was only fair to call him by his name. “I understand why you did it, now.” James met his dark eyes, questioningly. “Had you said this to me before your hearing, I would have…” He pursed his lips. Regret was a human emotion. But Jim was finally looking at him. “I would have dropped the charges. I have plans to speak with the council to get your sentencing revoked.”

“I don’t want your pity. What I did was wrong. I deserve this.”

“No, Jim, you deserve a hot meal and eight hours of sleep.”

“Why?” Jim asked, eyes narrowed. Spock could see the beginnings of tears within them. Humans really were fascinating.

“Because you stopped drawing,” Spock replied, calmly. “A crucial part to Captainship is creativity. You have stopped looking up at the stars, and started looking down at your shoes.” Spock took a seat beside Jim. “I… misjudged you. I believed you to be reckless and unprepared. I believed you to be inexperienced and childish. Never once did it occur to me that your unabashed confidence was the longest, biggest lie you have ever carried.” Jim laughed bitterly.

“I’ve had time to perfect it.” He sighed. “Either way, once the ruling gets redacted, I will have officially failed this class.”

“No, you won’t. Your work has been nearly perfect. You have answered all of my questions and met impossible standards, even if your motivation was spite, you have completed the test.” Jim raised an eyebrow. “I realize you have inadvertently taken it. You faced undoubted failure, and you still tried to survive. You have quite a strong, unbending will. And for that, I give you an A minus.”

“Professor…” Jim held himself back from an emotional response, knowing that Spock would find it distasteful. “…Thank you for giving me this chance.” Spock nodded softly.

“It is a small price to pay for your forgiveness… I apologize for my initial presumptions.” Jim shook his head softly.

“It’s alright. I don’t really talk about my past.”

“This is evident. I recommend you eat something, and soon. Doctor McCoy has messaged me his worries, and I must say I agree with them. You are… Pale.” Jim shook his head once more, smiling.

“How lucky I am, to have someone who looks out for me.” Jim seemed to mumble this to himself. But it still made Spock realize that Jim truly never had that. Jim didn’t give him time to ask, as he slid out of his seat and stood, holding the notebook, and the page. “I believe I will comply with your and Bones’ worries. I’m gonna get something to eat, and then I’m gonna take a good ten hour power nap.” Jim was smiling again. He was exhausted, but he was smiling. Spock felt the guilt lift off of him at that. Jim raised his hand in the ta'al. “Live long and prosper, Professor Spock.” Spock returned the gesture.

“Peace and long live, Cadet.” Jim walked out of the lecture hall, leaving Spock to mull over everything he’d learned through their conversation. But, as promised, Spock walked to his PADD and entered Jim’s true grades, leaving him with a 92.3% in the class. He then began to write the letter to the council to expunge Jim’s sentencing.

 

When Jim told Bones and Scotty the news, they wanted to drink until they forgot their names in celebration. Jim settled for a virgin margarita; he had class tomorrow. He had been given a chance to change, and he didn’t want to blow it. He didn’t want to disappoint Spock. Sipping it, he made it to their dorms at 9:49, Bones and Scotty loudly shushing each other. He got Leonard into bed and settled down, then got Scotty to his own dorm. After wrestling the Scot into bed, he put a glass of water and a hypospray on his bedside table, and left him, with a trash can beside him if he needed to throw up. After getting back to his and McCoy’s dorm, he gave his friend the same treatment, turned out the lights, showered, changed, and got into bed, and promptly passing out the second his head hit the pillow.

 

Bones woke with a grunt, eyes looking around to find his roommate gone, presumably getting coffee before his next class. Luckily, Bones had no classes, only a midday shift at the hospital, which was in two hours. He gave himself the hypospray and drank the water, grateful the Jim had been thoughtful enough to leave them out. Grabbing his communicator, he texted Jim.

Bones: Thanks for the hypo and water, but if you get coffee, I’m gonna knock you the fuck out.

Jim’s communicator beeped as he stepped into the coffee shop. Laughing a little as he read the text, he responded.

Kirk: dont u worry, bonesy, im getting black tea

Bones: I want pictures.

Jim shook his head, chuckling before approaching the counter. “Venti black tea, three sugars, to go, please.” Gaila rung him up.

“That’ll be $6.28, Jimmy,” She said. Shit. He’d spent his money paying off the tab last night. He only had five dollars. Looking at the sign behind her, he saw in bright letters;

Two Venti Teas for $4.00!

“Actually, I’ll take another Venti tea… What do you recommend?” He asked, and Gaila raised an eyebrow.

“Black tea, orange infused,” She responded.

“I’ll get one of those,” He said, smiling. “Thanks.”

“That’ll be $4.47.” Handing over a five dollar bill, he took his change and put it in the tip jar before walking to the other side of the shop. It was then that the panic sprung him. Walking into class with two cups of tea would look weird. He only knew one person in that class, and she hated green tea. Bones didn’t like it either. He knew Christine did, but her first class was Xenobiology, and that was on the other side of the school.

Maybe Spock would want it. He seemed like a tea guy. He was sure he’d read that somewhere.

“Venti black tea and a Venti orange infused black tea for Jimmy,” a man called, and Jim out the sleeves onto the cups before thanking him and making his way toward his class. Dear stars, he hoped Spock wasn’t there when he arrived, so he could just deliver the cup without looking at him.

Walking toward Spock’s classroom, he found himself keeping Spock’s tea close to his chest, as if it would preserve the heat. A few people saw him and began to murmured, and Jim only sighed, he was used to it, now. After hacking the test, everyone knew who he was. He simply sped his pace.

This caused him to be several minutes early. No one was in the lecture hall yet, and Jim thanked the stars as he set down the tea and sat down in his seat, flipping open his notebook, and sipping his tea.

Slowly, more students began to file in, Spock walking in with his PADD in tow as the bell rang, setting it down on his desk and pausing when he saw the drink. Jim pretended not to notice, merely studying over the notes from last time to try to get into the headspace to focus. But he saw Spock read the order off the side of the cup, then take a tentative sip, then took another, longer one. He set down the drink, lifted his PADD, and began the presentation.

 

It became a recurring coincidence. Jim justified it by saying it was cheaper, but then the sale stopped, and Jim no longer had an excuse. And then he ordered it by accident. And then that became a recurring coincidence.

Spock never did find out who kept giving him cups of tea. Not until Doctor McCoy sent a mass communicator message to all of Jim’s professors, explaining that he was Jim’s primary care Doctor, and he was keeping Jim from going to class for the next four days due to a 104.8 degree fever, and asked for his work. Spock sent the presentation link to the message, along with the link to his homework, and the next day, there wasn’t any tea on his desk. Not the day following. Or the day after that. Only a link sent to him over his PADD, which was Jim Kirk’s homework. Sending Jim the presentation and the homework, the dots connected, and he realized Jim was trying to be kind.

Spock suffocated any emotion that could have risen to his face. But his class could have sworn the saw the slightest olive hue to his skin.

 

It was 16:30 when Spock was released from his lectures. Walking to the coffee shop on campus, he ordered a venti black tea with three sugars, and a venti orange infused black tea. Looking up Jim and Doctor McCoy’s dorm room, he took the teas, and made his way toward the dorms.

Spock pressed the bell, and faint arguing and a sharp “Stay in bed, you corn-fed infant, I’m answering the damn door, and that’s final!” The arguing ceased and a displeased, tired, red-faced man opened the door. Behind him in a cot was Jim Kirk, red-nosed and cross-armed, a box of tissues in his lap, hair mussed from wavering consciousness, and a trash can beside his bed.

“Can I help you?” The man asked.

“I was… displeased to hear of the Cadet’s condition,” Spock said, looking back to him. “This is for him.” He handed the tea to McCoy who took it, eyebrow raised.

“Professor Spock?” Jim asked, voice rough, and McCoy sent a glare toward him, and the man quieted. It was only when McCoy turned away that Spock saw the faint smile on Jim’s expression, looking at his blankets. He remembered what Jim had said about Doctor McCoy, that he was lucky he had someone who looked out for him.

“Hello, Cadet,” Spock responded, realizing that Doctor McCoy and Cadet Kirk must be… Romantic. He was surprised that McCoy wasn’t more protective over his mate.

“Thanks. I’ve been meaning to get more tea; used all of our replicator disks for the month on medicine. The boy’s allergic to damn everything .” Bones handed it over to Jim, who took it in both hands.

“Thanks, Professor,” He said, then sipping it, letting out a soft hum as the tea soothed his sore throat.

“I will see him in class Friday, yes?” McCoy nodded.

“I’ll have Jimmy functioning in twenty four hours or less, Lieutenant Commander.” Spock nodded.

“Then I will take my leave.” Jim raised the ta'al, despite being rather distracted by the warm sweetness that assisted his healing process better than those horrible tasting cough drops and painful hyposprays. Spock almost found it endearing. Returning the gesture, he left, and McCoy closed the dorm room doors. Spock ignored his human half, knowing it was distressed, because Jim was not interested in him.

 

When Jim returned, Spock was glad to see he looked much more healthy. He was nearly mortified to see a cup of tea on his desk. Jim was mated. This was not appropriate. And still, Spock raised the cup to his lips, and sipped. He disliked most Earth fruits, but the tartness of orange was appealing. Mixed with the herbal warmth of the black tea, unsweetened, it was relaxing.

But that guilt intensified with each cup of tea he found on his desk and drank. Spock finally had enough two weeks later, when Spock saw a 'Jimmy’ written on the side of the cup, and was reminded of Doctor McCoy. He didn’t touch the tea, and when the bell rang, he called for Jim to stay behind. The human didn’t question it, the class filing out much more eagerly than when they filed in.

“Cadet, you must cease acquiring me tea,” He said, simply. “It is inappropriate.” Jim looked… Shocked.

“Professor, I did not mean to make you uncomfortable,” He said. “There was a sale, and then it became… Normal. I thought you appreciated it, you kept drinking them…”

“You are mated, Cadet, I should not need to remind you of this. If Doctor McCoy makes you unhappy, you should not use me as a reason to end things-”

“I’m gonna stop you there, before you dig yourself into a hole too deep to climb out of,” Jim chuckled. “I am not 'mated’. Bones is my best friend. I am single, Bones is literally the straightest guy I know, he’s dating Christine Chapel, and… He isn’t really my type. And even if he was, I wouldn’t cheat on him. I wouldn’t cheat on anyone, but especially not Bones, he’s a great guy and his daughter’s basically my niece, he’d be-” Jim shook his head, laughing. “Doesn’t matter. We are just friends, and I’m not interested.” Spock was constantly baffled by the complexity of human friendship.

“I see.” He looked to the cup of tea on his desk.

“I’d heat that up if I were you,” Jim said as he grabbed his stuff. “Black tea’s pretty gross when it’s room temperature.” He slung his bag over his shoulder, tossing his empty cup into the trashcan next to Spock’s desk. “So, can I keep ordering my usual?” Spock glanced up at Jim.

“I am… Amenable to that.” Jim’s face brightened at his words. It was subtle, but it was pleasant to see.

“Great. I’ll see you tomorrow, Professor.” He left, putting his hands into the front pockets of his red cadet jumpsuit, the door swishing shut behind him. Spock stared at the cup, and sighed. He couldn’t tell if he enjoyed the fresh tea in the morning, or if he liked the man who delivered it to him.

He pondered this as he reheated the tea to steaming.

 

Jim couldn’t deny the happiness he felt when he saw Spock drink the tea he gave him. With only three weeks of class left with Spock, he realized that he wouldn’t be able to give it to him anymore. He would move onto the next semester of classes, and Jim wouldn’t have Spock as his professor anymore. It did make him… solemn. He didn’t want to stop his routine. He liked giving Spock something to look forward to each day.

And then things changed.

Jim rolled out of bed early, packed up his things, got the tea, and made his way to the classroom, but this time, Spock was there. Calm as ever, flicking through something on his PADD absentmindedly. Every other time, Spock had conveniently not been there. Jim never had to look the Vulcan in his eyes when he set down that cup of tea. And now it was too late to turn back, because Jim’s in the door, and Spock is lifting his head to meet his gaze.

“Good morning, James,” He said. Jim turned a faint pink. Everyone called him Jim, or at least some form of it. Spock had even called him Jim on occasion (though it was mostly Cadet, or Cadet Kirk). But hearing his extended name, falling from those lips, it made things… different. Perhaps not to Spock, but most definitely to Jim.

“Morning, Spock,” He said, hoping his voice didn’t sound strained. He walked over and handed the tea to him. He was moving to set it down on the table, but Spock raised his hand and grasped the cup, and the sides of their palms brushed. Jim felt white-hot electricity flow through the touch, but it wasn’t painful. He heard a sharp intake of breath, and Spock released the cup. The electricity was gone, and Jim felt… cold. He set down the cup. “Sorry.”

And then he walked to his seat and sat down. Spock sipped his tea, students filed in, and the class began.

And they didn’t talk about it.

 

“You didn’t talk about it?!” McCoy exclaimed. “Jim, you really need to take a Xenoculture class!”

“Fucking hell, Bones,” Jim grumbled as he got ready for work. He was a waiter at Teleths. “It’s not like he fucked me over his desk.”

“Okay, one, gross,” Bones said. “Two, he may as well have. Hands to Vulcans are like… mouths to us. Not really super sexualized, but everyone knows what mouths can do. You pretty much kissed the dude.” Kirk froze in the mirror, looking over to Bones, comb still in his hair, mortified.

“No.”

“Yes.”

“No.”

“Yes.”

“Fuck!” Kirk yanked the comb through his hair and slammed it down onto the counter, blushing darkly. “Dammit, Bones… I like him.”

“Uh, yeah, that was kinda obvious-”

“He’s brilliant and a great listener and offers wonderful feedback and is startlingly sexy and-”

“Jim, I love you, but shut up. Trust me, I know. Everyone knows. You go all doe-eyed for him. Do you know how many people come out of that class, talking ‘bout how it’s more like an hour and a half of you and Spock having a conversation while you stare longingly at each other?” Kirk opened and closed his mouth.

“That obvious?” He asked.

“That obvious, kid.” Jim sighed. Bones pursed his lips a little, then walked over and clapped a hand on his back. “You’re a catch, Jim. Anyone in their right mind would love ya. Give Spock some space, things will be alright.” Jim smiled at him.

“Thanks, Bones.” The Southerner chuckled.

“No problem, Jim. Now get to work, before you’re late.”

“Oh shit-” Jim pulled on his jacket and grabbed his keys, wallet, and helmet before running out, leaving Leonard chuckling.

“Damn kid.”

 

Jim was right on time when he stumbled into work, pulling off his jacket and helmet (and people said hovercycles were unreliable). He waved to Scotty, who was working the greeting-and-seating station. Scotty waved back, and Jim made his way to the back to tie an apron around his waist. His uniform consisted of a light green t-shirt with the logo, a lakeside view, printed on the upper left corner of his chest, black skinny jeans, and converse. Pinning his nametag on the right and putting his things into his locker, he grabbed his PADD, and made his way out to the tables. He saw a few people in his area, and when he got closer, he saw that he recognized a pair.

A man and a woman.

A Vulcan and a woman.

Spock and Nyota Uhura.

The jealousy rang in his ears, but he swallowed it down. He had a job to do. He could be angry about it later. When he approached, they seemed to be speaking in thick Vulcan, but ceased as he got to the table.

“James,” Spock said. Jim detected a hint of surprise. He forced down his blush.

“Hello, Professor.” He smiled, allowing his confidence to mask over once more. It felt like a thin jacket after being caught in a rainstorm. He looked over to Nyota. “Hello, Nyota. What can I get you two?”

“Plomeek soup, and a glass of Aulrean tea,” Spock answered, voice… distant.

“Caponata Flatbread, and a water, please,” Nyota followed up. Jim quickly entered it into the database, then looked up.

“Wonderful. Your food will be out soon.” He stepped away, making his way toward the next station, internally panicking. Spock was on a date. Spock was on a date. Spock was on a date - and it wasn’t with him. They basically kissed earlier, what the Hell?! Jim tried not to think about it as he put in the orders of the other people at one of his tables.

But it was fucking hard not to. A few minutes later, he held a tray with Nyota and Spock’s dishes (this was one of the last restaurants that cooked their food, rather than replicated it), and when he walked over, he saw Nyota’s hand on top of Spock’s forearm, and as far as Jim was concerned, that was too close to his hand. A faint, jealous red was beginning to crawl up the back of his neck as he walked over.

“Alright, We had the Plomeek soup and Aulrean tea for the Professor,” He said, setting down Spock’s meal gently before him, and Nyota’s hand moved away from Spock’s arm. Good. “And the Caponata Flatbread with a glass of water for Nyota.” He set them down just as gently, knowing that pissing off Nyota Uhura was a generally bad idea (She had a bit of a reputation in the academy). He flashed a smile. “Enjoy.” He stepped away, smile fading. He took his break, sitting in the back room, eyes downcast.

Maybe it didn’t mean as much to him.

 

Jim walked into the dorms, soaked to his bones. He’d gotten caught in the rainstorm that hit San Francisco in a matter of moments, and his hovercycle broke down halfway home.

“You look like crap, Jim,” Bones commented as Jim threw his helmet onto the bed and shucked off his coat.

“Thanks, Bones,” He grumbled. He grabbed his pajamas and stepped into the bathroom, changing into the dry clothes, then making his way back out, towel-drying his hair.

“What’s wrong with you?” Jim sighed.

“Spock was on a date with Nyota Uhura. At my restaurant. I had to serve them.”

“Shit, kid…” McCoy went to stand, but Jim shook his head, making his way to bed, picking up and holding his helmet more carefully.

“Then my hovercycle broke down. Got caught in the storm.” His friend went to the coffee machine he’d bought since their replicator was still off-limits, poured Jim a mug, and walked over to hand it to him. Jim shook his head. “I don’t need to get addicted to that again… I’ll just have water. Thanks, though.”

“You really must be fucked it you’re worried about yourself.” McCoy sat down, putting the mug of coffee on Jim’s bedside table.

“I really like him, Bones,” He sighed, nose burning as tears began to fill his eyes. “I like him and he likes her. I can’t even blame him, Nyota is the whole package. Smart, sexy, multi-linguistic, knows more about Vulcan culture than I do, never hacked his test, probably not as fucked up-”

“Hey, you’re not fucked up.” Bones wrapped an arm around Jim’s shoulders. “It’s his loss, Jim. There are plenty of fish in the sea.” Jim shook his head a little.

“But none like him.” He let his friend tug him into a hug, burying his face into McCoy’s shoulder, crying softly.

“Shit… You really love that sonuvabitch, don’t you?” Jim nodded into his nape, hiccuping softly. Then that was that. It’s time to meddle.

 

McCoy walked into Spock’ lecture hall the following day, a cup of spiked coffee in his hand, thoroughly unimpressed. He couldn’t believe he was going to do this. The things I do for this boy… this better fucking work.

“Doctor McCoy,” Spock noticed, the students filing out. “Is Jim ill again?”

“Nah,” He replied. Jesus, how did he not notice his worry for the kid? “I just wanted to tell you to stay away from Jim. He’s mine, and I plan on asking him out tonight. Do not get in the way.” Take the bait, take the bait, take the bait- Spock’s eyes narrowed slightly, and he stood up.

“I do not appreciate what you are insinuating, Doctor. I do not date my students.”

“He ain’t gon’ be your student for much longer, and I’m quite sure you’ve realized that.” Spock turned a faint green, but Bones saw his fingers twitch closer together.

“Doctor McCoy-”

“He’s mine, Lieutenant Commander.” Bones saw something snap in Spock’s eyes, and he made his way over in three large strides, grabbing him by the collar of his scrubs, and pulling him close.

“Stay away from my t’hy’la, Doctor, or you will find yourself regretting having spoken to me. James has told me that he does not possess romantic interest in you, and I have allowed you to remain close with him because I know that is what he desires, but he is mine, should he choose to stay with me. I will not allow you to exploit his trust in you by ruining it through your sex-crazed advances.” Spock suddenly seemed to calm down, and that was probably because Bones was fucking terrified. He hadn’t expected it to go that far. But now wasn’t time to be afraid, it was time to diffuse this mess.

“Listen, you ‘emotionally detached’ Vulcan,” Bones snapped. “I lied. I needed to know if you were willin’ to fight for him.” Spock took a step back, eyebrows furrowed.

“Why?”

“Because last night he came home and cried against me until he passed out because you went to dinner with Nyota Uhura. He thought that you didn’t feel the way that he did. But if you don’t tell me why you went to dinner with her, I’m never letting Jim near you.” Anger sparked in Spock’s eyes once more, but Bones beat him to it. “I have known him longer, I know all about Tarsus IV and Frank and his Dad, Mom, and Brother, I know all of that shit, he is my best friend, the kids’ practically my little brother, I have a right to protect him, and if you try to take that from me, then we’ll really start brawlin’!” Spock nodded in understanding.

“Nyota and I went to dinner last night because I needed advice on how to move forward with Jim. I assume he told you that our hands-”

“Touched while he was handing you tea? Yeah, he came back upset because you two didn’t talk about it. He said he felt literal electricity.” Spock’s eyebrows raised.

“He felt the bond.”

“The what?”

“It is complicated, and a conversation I would only have with James.”

“Agreed. Look, just stop making him doubt himself. He’s a good guy, and he likes you a lot. Seriously. He thinks about you all the time and it’s really annoying.” Bones could have sworn he saw the corners of his mouth twitch a little, but it was gone as soon as it came.

“I will make my affections clear to him.” Bones nodded, and took a swig of his coffee.

“Good. And make sure it’s in the human way. Jimmy’s kind of oblivious.”

“Noted.” Bones made his way toward the door, pausing and turning around after a moment.

“One last thing.” The Vulcan looked up from his PADD. “If you ever hurt a hair on the kid’s head, I’ll teach ya the difference between beggin’ for your life, and beggin’ for your life to end.” Bones saw Spock’s eyes widen, just a little bit. He smiled. “Have a blessed day, Lieutenant Commander.” The Georgian promptly left, echoes of his shoes hitting the marble bouncing off the walls as he left.

 

Jim walked into class the following day, tea-less. He slid into his seat, the only one in the lecture hall. He’d gotten there early she he would have a quiet place to study, and upon finding that Spock hadn’t waited for him, he was torn between being upset or relieved. Burying himself into his notes, he didn’t look up when the door opened. He knew it had to be Spock. He didn’t expect an acknowledgement of any kind. He only looked up when a cup was set before him. He read the side.

Black tea, three sugars.

Panning his eyes further up, he saw a familiar set of black eyes, thin lips, and beautiful pointed ears. A scarlet rose on Jim’s face.

“Your Doctor came to visit me.” Jim’s stomach dropped.

“Spock, I’m sorry for whatever he said, I-” Spock raised a hand to stop him. Jim’s mouth promptly closed, and he saw something flash in Spock’s eyes. It was only there for a millisecond, before Spock managed to reel it back in.

“I made you cry. That is a heinous thing.” Spock reached down, the pads of his fingers brushing against Jim’s jaw before gently cupping it. “You mean much more to me than I ever thought you would, James… You challenge me. I am not one who normally enjoys such a thing. But ever since the test, it seems you have… found the limit. And you have stayed within it. You have respected me despite every obstacle I put in your way… There is no way I can completely make it up to you. One does not treat their t’hy’la in such a grotesque manner. I am sorry, James.” Jim had a feeling he shouldn’t talk just yet, only leaning into Spock’s touch gently. Spock sighed, eyes softening as he brushed his thumb over Jim’s cheekbone. “You can feel my requests without being telepathic, and you trust me enough to comply… Intelligent… Full of curiosity and awe… The epitome of beauty… You would make a wondrous mate, James, and I promise that I will never betray you like that again.” Jim’s eyes widened, but before either of them could say anything more, Spock dropped his hand and the door opened, Jim taking hold of the cup to be sure no one caught on that it had been set before him.

“Professor Spock,” Pike said, then glanced to Jim. “Jim. It’s early. What are you doing here, kid?”

“I had some questions on the notes from yesterday,” He said, lifting the PADD with a grin. “Didn’t get a chance to ask yesterday.” Spock’s gaze was set on Jim, face unreadable, but eyes soft.

“Ah. Well, it’s good that you are here to listen to this,” Pike said as Jim took a swig of the tea. “We’ve reviewed Spock’s reasoning to revoke and expunge your activities, and we have come to a verdict.” Jim set down his tea, remaining quiet, but he was sure that Spock could hear his pounding heart. “We found that Spock’s logic is, as per usual, sound, and the records have been sealed.” A bright smile lit up Jim’s face, and he stood up, reaching over to shake Pike’s hand.

“Thank you. Thank you both, it really means a lot. I swear to God I will never pull that shit again,” He laughed, joyous tears in his eyes.

“Good,” Pike chuckled, clapping Jim on the back as they released their hands. “Maybe you’ll actually become the youngest ever Starfleet Captain. But there is one thing.”

“Anything,” Kirk said, listening carefully.

“You have to take it again, with the same crew. And you have to fail.” Spock watched Kirk’s face fall, jaw tightening and becoming pale. He didn’t say anything for a long moment, eyes fixed on the wall just over Pike’s shoulder.

“...Okay,” He replied, voice decidedly resigned.

“Captain Pike, I did not suggest this-” Pike cut Spock off before he had the chance to say anything else.

“The Kobayashi Maru test is more than just how one looks at failure. It’s also a very real simulation. He may have wormed his way into your heart and you allowed him to pass your class, but he hasn’t passed that test.”

“Captain-”

“Spock, there’s no-”

“Stop,” Kirk hissed through his teeth, and the two men looked to him. “I’ll do it, and I’ll fail, and then we can all move on. Okay?” Spock could tell he was distressed, and Pike seemed to take pleasure in his willingness to submit. He remained quiet at the fact.

“Okay, Jim.” Pike placed a hand on his shoulder. “You’ll be fine.”

“Yeah.” Jim didn’t look at Pike, and the older man just sighed and walked out.

“James…” Spock murmured, stepping into his personal space. “I am sorry.” Jim shook his head softly.

“S’not your fault, Spock,” He replied.

“Look at me, ashayam…” Jim hesitated before looking up with big blue eyes, heavy tears in the corners of them. Spock’s hand raised and rested on his cheek. He could feel Jim’s worry. “I know you believe failure equates to death. But I promise you, your crew is very much alive, you are very much alive. I would not put you in a situation so dangerous that it would question your safety.” Kirk sniffled softly. “Afterward, we may go to the coffee shop and get tea. Everything is going to be alright.”

“Spock, may I…?” He stepped a little closer. “I know that Vulcans are adverse to touch-” Spock drew him in and held him, the hand on his cheek sliding to rest on the back of his head, his left arm wrapping around Jim’s waist. Spock felt Jim‘s hands gather the front of his shirt gingerly, as to not create wrinkles that would last. Jim tucked his head against the nape of Spock’s neck, and Spock fought a gentle smile.

“Not when it comes from our t’hy’la.” Jim didn’t leave the embrace until it was five minutes to the bell.

“Thank you, Spock,” He said quietly. “I am… very glad to be your t’hy’la.” He assumed that it was the equivalent to ‘boyfriend’, but until the semester was over, he thought it would be inappropriate to say out loud. Spock smiled faintly, placing his forefingers against Jim’s forehead.

“As am I.”

 

When the day of the Kobayashi Maru test came two weeks later, Jim felt like shit, but he knew what to do. Taking his place in his seat, he looked at the screen, then to Bones. He nodded softly, and the lights dimmed. The test began.

“Captain, a distress signal,” Nyota spoke from her workstation. “It’s the Kobayashi Maru crew. Starfleet has given us orders to rescue them, sir.” Jim suppressed the shiver that went down his spine, focusing at the task at hand.

“Two Klingon vessels have entered the neutral zone and are locking weapons on us,” Bones reported.

“Red alert. Shields up, prepare the phasers.” His crew got to work, a sinking feeling in his stomach feeling more and more like an ulcer as the loud whirring of the Red Alert sounded.

“Three more Klingon warbirds decloaking and targeting our ship.”

“Begin evasive action.”

“They’re firing, Captain,” the Helmsman reported.

“Return fire. Lieutenant Uhura, put medical on standby for potential injuries and casualties on all decks.” Uhura got to work.

“Captain, damage reported on all decks.” Jim’s jaw clenched.

“Evacuate where possible,” He replied.

“Shields down to sixty percent.”

“Helm, set a course for mark 18.”

“Course set- A warbird has taken evasive maneuvers to block our course.”

“Klingon warbirds fired. Down to forty percent.” Jim’s mind went whirring, and he stood up, everyone looking to him. There was one other option.

“Lieutenant Uhura, hail them.”

“Captain?” Jim looked to Uhura.

“Please, Lieutenant.” Nyota nodded and hailed.

“Audio only, sir.”

“That’s fine.”

“You are Federation scum,” A thick Klingon voice hissed. “You will perish where you stand-”

“And start another war in the process,” Kirk replied, beginning to remember his History class. “We beat you before, and if you do this, we’ll beat you again. The Federation is not a union, it is an idea, an idea of freedom for everyone, not just for those who are deemed worthy by the ideals of a single person. So maybe you win this battle. And you might win the next one, and the one after that, but know this-” His eyes narrowed as he stepped forward. “Nobody wins forever.” He paused again. “You of all people should know that.” A small gasp could be heard from Uhura, Bones letting out a soft Jim. “So I give you the option to call this a draw, and we both walk away, before this becomes something bigger than either of us.” A silence pregnant with an anxious anticipation lasted longer than a few moments.

“Klingons do not accept draws.”

“Then I hope you know what you’re damning this universe to.” He motioned for Uhura to cut the hailing frequency. He looked to the Helmsman. “Set a course for mark four-point-seven. Be ready to hit at warp eight on my word.”

“Captain, that is the direct coordinates of the captaining ship-”

“Help won’t get here fast enough. We won’t be able to stop them.” He looked back to the screen. “But we can stall them. Lieutenant Uhura, send a message to Starfleet, telling them that four Klingon ships are headed their way, and to be prepared. And tell them-” He paused for a moment, looking around at his crew. “Tell them I take full responsibility, and that commendations are to go to everyone aboard the ship.” Uhura finished diligently, even as the Klingon ships slowly worked at their shields. Kirk sat back down. “Engineering, full power to the photon torpedos.”

“Captain?” Bones asked.

“We’re blowing a hole through those shields.”

“Full power to photon torpedos, Sir,” The helm informed.

“Fire at the third ship.” Two large blasts hit the same spot on the shields of the ship before them, and an opening just big enough for their ship appeared. “Warp eight, Helmsman.”

“Aye, Captain.” A lurch was felt, then white covered the screen, and then it went out. The lights came back on, and the crew was staring at Jim, in shock. Jim stood up calmly, saluted his crew, and the professors who watched from windows above them, and left.

 

Jim found himself in Spock’s classroom two hours later, having taken a shower and changed into a pair of jeans, a black v-neck, and sneakers. He’d ignored several messages from Bones on his comm. He was sat at his desk, PADD in hand, glancing through an article about the new adjustments that would be made to the current active Starships when Spock walked in, seemingly unsurprised to see Jim there. He glanced up, turning off his PADD and tucking it into his messenger bag as he stood. Making his way toward the Vulcan, his face was unreadable, until Jim promptly wrapped his arms around Spock, burying his face into Spock’s shoulder.

“Ashayam,” Spock whispered softly, arms surrounding him and holding him tight. “It is over now.” Jim merely whimpered, wanting nothing more than for Spock to completely engulf him in his warmth.

“I’m sorry,” He replied, tears in his voice. “This isn’t… This isn’t very Captain-ly…”

“You are not a Captain to me, James. You are not a Cadet, either. You are my T’hy’la, and I am lucky to have you at all.” Jim felt his heart flutter at the words. “You are the only person to have ever tried talking to them. The only person who used history against them.”

“Did we pass?” He asked, lifting his head to look at Spock. Spock wiped his tears.

“As you say, ‘with flying colors’.” Kirk smiled at him.

“Tea?”

“Lead the way, t’hy’la.”


The two were hesitant to advance further into their relationship physically until the semester was officially over, as to be sure that the law would be on their side, if something were to happen. When Holiday break came around, Jim had two days before he shipped out to Iowa to meet his mother, brother, sister-in-law, and nephew for the Holidays. The two had officially been in a relationship for the majority of the month, and when Spock explained what t’hy’la meant, Jim suddenly understood why it felt much longer than that.

Basically, they had a bond. This bond was undeniable, and Spock had recognized it the moment their fingers touched that day. It was a warrior bond, shared by two people who were as compatible on the battlefield as they were in love. Jim had also managed to get out of Spock that, apparently, they were also extremely compatible in bed. Jim had spent many a shower imagining spectacular sex with his t’hy’la. Fuck, he couldn’t wait for the holidays to get here.

He’d found that his mother was Jewish, so he insisted that his gift was one for Hanukkah. He lit the menorah with Spock at Spock’s apartment, and even though it was late, he knew that Spock appreciated it. It would also make Holiday planning in the future much easier than he thought it would be. If Spock and he spent Hanukkah on Vulcan with his family, they could get back in time for gift-giving with their group of friends (who, surprisingly, took Spock easier than Jim thought) and Christmas with his family.

So the day they were let out, Jim was incredibly excited. Spock told Jim that they were not going to Vulcan that Christmas, which meant that Jim could be with Spock for as long as he wished, so long as Spock was comfortable with it. Jim made his way over to Spock’s apartment with excitement, wearing a blue knit sweater that McCoy’s mom knit him (and had modeled off of Bones, so the sleeves were a little long on him), a white undershirt, a pair of black jeans, and black sneakers, two cups in his hands, and a dark blue bag with white tissue paper haphazardly crumpled into it hanging off the crook of his left arm (he was utterly shit at wrapping). He buzzed the doorbell, and Spock opened it, wearing a white button-down shirt and black slacks with black socks.

“Good evening, Ashayam,” Spock hummed, stepping aside for Jim to walk in. The human stepped in, toeing off his shoes on the mat to be sure he didn’t track any dirt in, and set them in a small basket beside the door. The lights were dimmed (he knew that Vulcans had a sharper sense of seeing, bright lights most likely disturbed them), and a fire was going, making the already warm room even warmer. He handed Spock a cup.

“They ran out of black tea, so I got you an unsweetened apple cider, because your regular cold brew is insane in this weather.” Spock took it, the corners of his mouth twitching upward as the door closed.

“Thank you. What did you acquire for yourself?”

“Hot chocolate.” He drank from his cup, Spock looking at him with a raised eyebrow. “What? Just because you can’t drink it without getting white chick wasted doesn’t mean I can’t drink it.” He grinned at him, Spock squinting a little - the Vulcan equivalent of rolling his eyes. “C’mon, I’ve got a gift for you.” Hopefully two, if everything goes to plan. He led Spock to the couch, carefully setting his cup on a coaster, and easing the bag off his arm to settle it in Spock’s lap. Setting down his cider, Spock carefully removed the tissue paper, uncrumpled each one, and folded it carefully. Jim nearly groaned in impatience, but let Spock do his thing, knowing that particular argument would be futile. Spock lifted out a pile of forms, and he raised an eyebrow at the human. “Just read the bottom… out loud,” He chuckled. Spock looked down at the forms. They were health forms, the ones he had put in when he enlisted two years ago.

“In case of emergency, please contact…” Spock went quiet for a moment. “... S’chn T’gai Spock. Relation… Bondmate.” His voice sounded a little breathless.

“I haven’t sent them in,” Jim said, a little anxiously. “So if it makes you uncomfortable, no harm done. I just thought that if I ever got hurt, you’d be the first person I call, because you’re always so calm and collected, you’d know what to do-” Spock looked over to him, gently taking his hand, and suddenly Jim’s breath was knocked out of his chest.

“You constantly astound me, t’hy’la.” And then, Jim was gone. The human leaned over and kissed Spock, deeply. Spock didn’t seem all that surprised. He probably knew Jim was going to do it before he did it, but Spock cupped Jim’s chin, setting the forms and bag aside to pull him closer. Jim promptly straddled his lap, placing his hands on the back of Spock’s neck. The Vulcan’s hands rested on his hips, gladly taking what Jim was giving him, and matching it. Jim could taste the apple cider on his breath as Spock took control, pushing into his mouth and the human momentarily thought that Spock was trying to consume him. Oddly enough, that was just fine by Jim.

Spock pulled back, suddenly unhappy with the thickness of Jim’s sweater and shirt, because he yanked it off in a swift tug. Jim squeaked as Spock lifted him up, hands under his thighs, and he scrambled to grasp onto Spock’s shoulders and wrap his legs around Spock’s waist, but Spock seemingly didn’t have a problem with his weight at all. Spock was smirking at him as he walked toward his bedroom, and Jim blushed faintly.

“Hey,” He murmured, grinning.

“Hello, James.” Jim turned a darker shade.

“You have no idea what the does to me, do you?” He asked. Spock raised an eyebrow. “Everyone calls me Jim or Jimmy, but you call me James, and it…” He bit his lip. “It has made its appearance in several fantasies.”

“Fantasies?”

“I’m only human.” He shrugged, smiling as Spock laid him onto soft sheets. “Hey, Spock?”

“Yes?”

“Are you comfortable… forgoing the condom? I’m clean, I’ve been checked.” He flushed a deep scarlet. “For our first time… I want to feel you.” Spock’s eyes grew dark.

“I am also clean… and I am very amenable to those terms.” He smiled up at Spock, reaching up to unbutton Spock’s shirt, gently guiding it off his shoulders and arms and onto the ground. Spock gently unclasped Jim’s legs from his sides (who tried to hold him tighter, but stopped with a playful glare) to remove Jim’s socks and jeans, leaving him in plaid boxers Jim unbuckled Spock’s belt and shoved down the slacks, revealing Spock’s navy blue briefs. Spock took Jim’s hands and helped him stand, momentarily being distracted by the rather ginger kiss Jim placed on Spock’s lips. He then pulled back the comforter and Jim slipped into it, Spock getting in beside him. They faced each other, their fingers threaded together.

“I love you,” Jim murmured, and Spock leaned close, and spoke quietly, as if telling him his darkest secret in a crowded area.

“I love you as well, t’hy’la.” Jim held onto that. Spock wasn’t one to admit his emotions all that easily, but he’d gotten him to say it, and suddenly Jim felt all that more important to Spock. Jim pressed his forehead to Spock’s, gently brushing his nose against his lovers’.

“You complete me,” Jim sighed contently, gently dragging his fingers up Spock’s arm, to cup his cheek.

“And you, me,” Spock hummed, moving his hand to rest on Jim’s hip. “In several different ways.” Jim smiled at him, then kissed him deeply. Spock returned the gesture, moving to settle between Jim’s thighs as the human turned onto his back, parting them for him. He kissed down to Jim’s neck, sucking a mark into his skin, watching in fascination as blood rose to the top of the skin. A dark, primal part of him wanted desperately to see Jim with a mark that properly claimed him as belonging to the Vulcan, and this would most definitely do. Something that Jim could easily cover in front of his family this Christmas, but when he came back to California, it would be just warm enough for Jim to put it on display. Perhaps someday he would make it more obvious. Perhaps when it was summer, and Jim was forced to wear tank tops and shorts, lest he risk overheating. He remembered seeing pictures of Jim letting his hair grow out, watching it become impossibly curly, and become long enough for him to tie back. He imagined Jim with purple bruises decorating his neck and collarbone, wearing them proudly.

“Woah,” Jim whispered, and Spock looked up, silently asking what he found so interesting. “Your mind is… wow. It’s… beautiful.” It was then that Spock realized his shields had dropped, and was projecting those images to his partner. Spock was surprised to see that Jim was so comfortable with him being in his mind, then remembered that if Jim hadn’t wanted it, it would have hurt (and Spock would have stopped, undoubtedly). He didn’t think Jim would be so receptive. It must be the t’hy’la bond.

The bond.

“Jim,” He breathed. “If we do this… we will become bonded. It will be unbreakable. You cannot change your mind once it is done-”

“We aren’t already bonded?” Jim cut him off, tilting his head softly, and Spock’s heart melted.

“No, Ashayam, we are not. It is a permanent thing, should I ever be put onto a ship, your schooling would pause so you could come with me, for as long as I outrank you. When you become a Captain and get assigned, I will go with you, as your Lieutenant Commander. It is Vulcan law that we are never parted too far away, if it can be avoided. Our minds would be linked. I will feel what you feel, I will hear what you think, and vise versa. I can teach you to shield these things from me, but I will always be present.”

“Promise?” Spock cupped his cheek softly.

“Jim, I care for you more than speech allows me to express. But you must think about this-”

“I already have,” Jim promised. “And I won’t lie, it did worry me for a few days. Good things don’t just… happen to me. And then I realized that you are, literally, my soulmate. There is no denying it. The universe is offering me a chance at something good on a silver platter, and if I don’t take it while I still can, I really will be an idiot.” He laughed softly, smiling up at Spock. “For what may very well be the first time in my life, I feel wanted… I wouldn’t give that up for anything. As for you someday being my Lieutenant Commander, there isn’t anyone else I would ever trust by my side as much as I trust you.” Spock gently ran the pads of his fingers over Jim’s cheek.

“You are beautiful, Ashaya.”

“Prove it.” Spock leaned down to kiss him, pushing off his and Jim’s undergarments, then taking both of Jim’s hands, threading their fingers together and pressing them to the mattress, gently. Jim arched into the coolness of Spock’s skin, the feeling of that electricity was back. Spock’s hips dipped to press against Jim’s, and Jim shivered softly at the friction, moving slowly with him. The two grinded in a perfect sync, slow and always touching, not rushed, not frantic, the world slowly drifting away. Jim wasn’t sure when his eyes closed, but when they did, each movement suddenly became more intense than the last. “Oh, Spock…” The Vulcan reached down, taking hold of his own cock to slick his fingers with his natural lubricant.

“James, I am going to prepare you.”

“Would you be surprised if I told you that I already did?” Jim asked, looking up at Spock.

“Oh?”

“I… wanted to be prepared, just in case. I’m not gonna see you for a week, and it’ll be the first week after having first been intimate with you… I wanted to spend as much time as I could with you. Not that I expected this from you, though I am very grateful, because I know full and well that this is a privilege-” Jim was quick to add the last sentence, but Spock silenced him with a lift of his brow.

“You speak too much, Ashayam. But I still would like to be sure you are prepared enough.” He watched as a bright scarlet dusted at Jim’s cheeks, and a loud thought seeped into Spock’s mind, something along the lines of Holy Hell, is he really that big? Spock fought a grin as he reached down, gently prodding at the sensitive flesh, feeling how easy it gave way under such a delicate pressure. He watched Jim’s eyelids flutter, the apple of his throat bob as Jim swallowed when Spock pressed in further, adding a second finger. Slowly, he scissored Jim open, then pressing in a third finger and crooked, sliding them in deep and pressing against Jim’s prostate.

“Sp-” The name gave out in a heady breath. “Spock, oh fuck-” Spock smirked faintly.

“Maybe later, k’diwa.” First I will make love to you. Jim’s cheeks turned a faint pink as Spock removed his fingers. Spock made his way back up to be eye-level with his love, placing a soft hand on Jim’s left thigh, coaxing his legs to part further, easing it to wrap around his waist, doing the same with his right. Cool hands rested over the hot skin of Jim’s hips, and Spock gently eased into the human. Jim let out a soft mewl, eyes fluttering shut, tilting his head back and grasping Spock’s shoulders. Minemineminemine- Spock’s mind stuttered, leaning down to suck on the flesh that Jim had exposed to him.

Yours, Jim’s voice echoed in his mind as Spock pressed all the way in. Always yours, Spock. T’hy’la. Spock slid a hand up to take Jim’s, kissing his knuckles, then pressing a kiss to his human’s lips, pressing Jim’s hand into the pillow. Spock’s hips found a gentle rhythm, Jim rocking with him.

Jim couldn’t tell you how long they were in that position. Jim’s legs spread with Spock happily residing within them, kissing slowly, falling with the motions and letting the pleasure slowly climb, like the heat on a day just in between winter and spring. It could have been minutes. It could have been hours. They wouldn’t truly know until it ended, and the thought of it ending made Jim incredibly sad. He found Spock’s presence, in his mind and his body, was perfectly calming. Beautiful Spock, with his interesting facts and dark eyes and pointed ears and sensitive hands, with his soft lips and the sexy underlying instinct to claim and take Jim as his own, to let it be common knowledge that Spock had tamed the wild human, that Jim was off limits and to be adored and cherished by Spock and Spock alone. He could feel in that fiery need the passionate love and want to make sure that Jim knew how cared for he truly was, that he had far more than just Bones looking out for him, like heat radiating off a lava flow. Spock’s love for him was volcanic; powerful, unstoppable, and inevitable.

Oh, Ashaya, you are beautifully poetic, even in mind.

A swell of bashful pride resided in his chest at the praise. He was sure it reflected into Spock’s.

Spock… please, meld with me. Seal our bond.

Are you sure, James?

Absolutely.

Jim felt Spock’s fingers brush against his cheeks, flattening against his psi points.

“My mind to your mind. My thoughts to your thoughts…” And then Jim was falling, falling, falling down and down, and a warmth caught him, enveloped him, engulfed him and surrounded him, protected him from the abyss, gave him a universe to explore. He could feel all sorts of pleasure, unsure which was his and which was Spock's. But in this moment, it didn’t matter. They were one. They were whole. Bright blues and muted oranges flashed within his mind, the smell of spice infiltrating his nose vaguely, steam on his cheeks, and suddenly it changed. It was before Frank, sitting across from his brother at family dinner, being chided to not throw his food by his father, and his mother promptly throwing a meatball at his father, starting an all out food-war, instead of eating it. They were up until ten cleaning it up. Jim smiled, and he was drawn into another memory.

Brown meets blue.

Spock meets Jim.

And everything changes.

Jim could feel the tingle of his own fingers as the memory of their ‘first kiss’ played through Spock’s eyes. Bright lights fade into a dim candle. They’re in Jim’s dorm room. McCoy isn’t there, and Jim’s whispering Spocks’ name, arching into his own palm, and suddenly there’s an explosion of bliss. The human can vaguely hear himself cry out, and he knows he’s come, and by the cool sensation in his rear, so has Spock. He feels Spock pull out, and he’s being eased onto his side, but Spock’s fingers are still on his psi points, keeping them connected.

Parted from me and never parted.

Never and always touching and touched.

T’hy’la.

The word echoed through both their minds, even as Spock’s pulled back, and their eyes open to meet each other’s. A pleasant buzzing was left in Jim’s head, like a good high. He reached out and felt their bond, watching Spock’s expression soften and and honest to God smile fell over his face.

“I cherish thee.”

“I love you too.” Spock’s arms wound around Jim and held him close, feeling the human rest comfortably against his chest and settle down. “We’re definitely having morning sex,” Jim yawned.

“I am amenable to that,” Spock mumbled, Jim’s tiredness leaking through their connection.

“Goodnight, Spock.”

“Sleep well, T’hy’la.”

“I know that I will,” Jim murmured. “I’ve got you to protect me.” He felt that passionate love radiate hotter, and Spock gripped him softly.

“Always.”