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Weekend Lover

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They’re touching, barely. Forearms brushing together whenever either one of them breathes too deeply. The world is quiet, Riverside not a big enough town for there to be noise at all hours of the night and day. The occasional car passing by the hotel, the hum of the practically ancient neon sign outside. The deep, steady breathing of the Vulcan stretched across the other side of the bed.   

There’s something about the dead of night, laying next to someone you know you’re never gonna see again, that has words scratching at his throat. Desperate, clawing, pathetic things. Begging to be spoken into existence at least once. Yearning for recognition. Or maybe that’s just Jim. 

He could say anything, right now, and never have to deal with the repercussions. The Vulcan, Spock, leaves tomorrow. Likely off to some far flung star base, never again to set foot in this shitty town. Jim could tell him anything and there’s no chance it’d be spread all over Riverside by the next afternoon. He wouldn’t have to put up with Spock attempting to console him, either. Everyone knows Vulcans don’t do feelings - incapable or just allergic, Jim doesn’t know.

The harsh glow of the street lights seeps in around the edges of the curtains, sinking the room into a murky twilight. Jim tilts his head enough so that he’s staring at Spock instead of the ceiling; a much more appetising sight. The longer he stares at the Vulcan, the less inclined he is to break the silence with words. It’d only make him feel worse in the long run, opening himself up to someone, being vulnerable. Might make the weight on his chest feel less like it’s crushing him, but only until tomorrow’s sunlight hits his eyes. 

Why bother speaking when he could use his mouth for something better. More productive. He wants to bite at Spock’s pale skin, follow the line of hair down his chest right to his genital slit, plunge his tongue in until Spock unsheaths. Maybe if Jim times it right, he can go from eating Spock out to giving him a blow job in one smooth movement. Spock’s dick is big enough that Jim’s already gonna be feeling him for days, more than enough to choke Jim, make him breathless and desperate and get him completely out of his own mind.

Jim looks back at Spock’s face and the other man’s already looking back at him. His face is impassive, but his eyes are staring at Jim with a familiar hunger. It’s a distant cousin to the lust he’s used to seeing, harder somehow, more calculation than he’s used to - more intelligence too, but that says more about the collective lack in Riverside than anything else. Spock looks like he’s thinking about taking Jim apart in the name of scientific curiosity. Jim’s pretty sure he could be into that.

A quiet, monotonous beep breaks the silence before Jim can lunge face first into Spock’s crotch. It cuts off after a few seconds, and then repeats. A regular beeping of a padd receiving a comm call, echoing from Spock’s bag on the other side of the bed side table. For a moment, Jim thinks Spock’s going to ignore it. Let it ring out. He doesn’t know what it is about the man’s face - blank as it is - that gives him that impression. He’s wrong, anyway. Spock stands from the bed, taking the few short steps it takes to reach his bag. Jim has no shame in watching the man walk, the way his strong muscles shift under all that pale skin. 

And he is strong. All Vulcans are, stronger than humans by a factor Jim doesn’t even try to remember, too busy pressing a finger against a bruise Spock accidentally pressed into his skin. The man had done his best to keep his grip human appropriate and Jim had done his best to get the Vulcan to hold him harder, fuck him deeper. 

Spock bends to retrieve his padd. Jim hopes they fuck again before Spock kicks him out. He wants to eat Spock out in every conceivable way. That hope dwindles when he has the dubious pleasure of watching every muscle in the man’s body tense as he stares at the device in his hands. It looks painful, especially with how relaxed he’d been before. Jim hadn’t realised just how relaxed Spock had been until faced with this sudden juxtaposition. He’d been tricked into thinking nothing had changed, Spock holding himself in stiff Vulcan lines even as they basked in the afterglow. Well, Jim basked. He can’t say what Spock was doing. 

Now he feels like an idiot for letting his own preconceptions about Vulcans stop him from seeing what was in front of his face. 

Despite his curiosity, Jim doesn’t bother asking. He’s not here to make a friend, or involve himself in the life of someone who’ll be out of his as soon as the hotel door closes behind him. He’s not looking to involve himself in anyone's life, period. The padd continues to beep as Jim sits up and swings his legs off the bed, facing Spock’s back. Spock answers the call without further delay, uncaring that Jim’s watching, listening. Curious, despite himself.

The voice that spills from the speakers is male, formal, and midword. A group call? 

“-tomated message for the members of the house of S-”

The message cuts off with one quick, controlled flick of Spock’s hand. Too controlled. Jim wonders if all Vulcans feel anger or just the one in front of him. Wonders if he should start searching for his clothes or see if he can get a fight in to balance out his night. Spock places his padd back into the bag, turning to look at Jim. This time, even his eyes are blank. Complete control over his facial expression, over every inch of his body. Despite that, Jim thinks he can see the edges of the other man’s anger.

The sharp look in his eyes, the firm line of his mouth, the way the fingers of his hands are slightly splayed, as if making doubly sure they won’t clench in an obvious display. Then again, he’s known Spock for about an hour and a half, and all of that knowing was biblical. Maybe he thinks he knows because he watched the other man unravel, piece by piece, less than ten minutes ago. Maybe he’s fucking delusional.

“Want me to go?” Jim offers. Spock says nothing. Does nothing but continue to stare at Jim for long enough that it’s an answer all in itself. He stands, spying his shirt on the far side of Spock, which - how the hell’d it get there? His jeans are probably by the foot of the bed somewhere and his underwear might be a lost cause if even his shirt had ended up so far away. Spock’s head tilts, following Jim with his eyes as he crosses the room.

“Watching me bend over doing something for ya?” Jim asks as he picks up his shirt, giving his ass a light tap as he stands. It’s a taunt more than an attempt to be enticing, Jim not quite comfortable being watched when the show’s over, but never willing to admit it. He hears the quiet sound of a step being taken and when he turns around Spock’s closer than he was. He still looks stretched taut enough to break, but his eyes have lost that knife edge that Jim’d seen before. 

Looks like Jim’s got plans for the rest of the night.

“Would you be willing-” Spock starts and Jim interrupts him almost immediately, dropping his shirt back where he found it. He’s more than willing to help Spock work out all that tension. Maybe there’s some oil tucked away somewhere and Jim can give him a massage. Dig his thumbs into the knotwork Spock just made of his back muscles, rut up against the man’s firm ass as he does. 

“Hell yeah,” Jim takes a step towards Spock, “That’s not important?” He doesn’t particularly care, but makes a vague motion towards the bag and stowed padd anyway. 

“...My father can wait.” Spock says. Jim can’t help the bark of laughter that rips from his throat. 

“Good old daddy issues,” They’re universal, apparently. Spock doesn’t seem to find the same humour, somehow straightening further, lips pulled into a severe line.

“I do not appreciate such conjecture,” Spock informs him, eyes closing off again, and Jim’s always been able to smell the opportunity for a fight. Can find a raw nerve at fifty paces, knows how to dig deep and make it hurt. For a second, a brief second, Jim thinks about letting it go. Apologising. Sinking to his knees and licking up the slit that’s intrigued him since the moment he ran his hand along it. He didn’t get a chance to taste before and he’s pretty sure that whatever natural lubrication Spock produces has some sort of colour to it, though he can’t tell which in the low lighting.

Jim can kind of get behind Spock’s scientific look now; wants to know more about the alien anatomy that’s being offered to him. But then, he’s never been able to let go of a fight, never been able to back down. He’d have had fewer broken bones if he could. He’d be dead already, if he could. For the briefest moment, Jim can taste it at the back of his throat. The scent of rot; rotting plants, rotting corpses, rot festering deep inside himself-  

“Daddy issues are a dime a dozen ‘round here, Spock.” Jim says, knows his grin has shifted into obnoxious. Poking at other people works wonders to distract him from his own weak spots, from the phantom hunger that still gnaws on his bones.

“Do not equate me to the pedestrian issues of your backwater town.” Spock snaps back, for a given definition of snapping. 

“What, too good to admit that your daddy doesn’t love you?” Jim’s hoping for a reaction and he’s not disappointed. He wasn’t expecting anything loud, for all that Jim’s starting to suspect that maybe the Vulcan lack of emotion is preference rather than psychological lack. Spock proves him right; no grand explosion. Instead he goes very still. Dangerously still. He hasn’t moved a muscle but there’s an atmosphere around him now, not quite violent but heavy with the possibility.

The situation’s almost familiar. How many times has Jim been run out of someone’s bed - or bar or life - because he couldn’t shut his mouth? He’s lost count. Lost count of the bruises and concussions it’s brought him as well. Sick as it is, he’s kind of looking forward to it. To the pain, the distraction. Spock was a great fuck, but Jim’s been on edge since he smelt the frost on the wind yesterday morning. It doesn’t have the tang of fungus underlaying it like he still expects, but it gets his back up anyway.

He’d been looking for a fight when he’d seen Spock and by some happy coincidence, he’s about to get what he was originally aiming for.

“Cease your useless speculation,” Spock’s voice is harsh and it’s too late to go back to the sex portion of the evening, but he kind of wants to hear it spoken against his ear anyway. He’s never quite been able to detangle sex and violence the way he should. 

“Useless?” The smile that stretches across Jim’s face is automatic, unthinking, a taunt and flash of teeth all in one.

“I’d say more… accurate.” One of Spock’s fingers twitches, a small movement. If he was standing with his arms behind his back as he had been when they’d met and the entire time they’d walked back to Spock’s hotel, it would’ve been hidden. Who’d’ve thought a Vulcan would have such an obvious tell. 

The silence between them is heavy. Spock’s eyes narrow slowly, the mild, Vulcan cousin to a glare. Jim can feel his pulse pick up, ready for whatever Spock decides to throw at him. Figuratively or literally, even though a single, serious punch from Spock would probably break a bone or rupture something. Jim’s not worried, he’s always been fast.

“Accuracy?” He asks, voice low like the first warning of thunder. “Then we should probably talk about your own issues.” Oh, Jim is ready. He’s heard everything already, growing up in Riverside in the shadow of a dead father and absentee mother. Spock doesn’t even know Jim’s last name. He’s missing an entire field he could try and needle Jim with. 

“You’re enjoying this.” Spock continues and Jim’s brain stalls. Just for the briefest moment. He doesn’t think anyone’s ever noticed that, before. Put his attitude down to a hundred other things - his parents, well known piece of shit Frank, the way he came back from living off world too thin and wild around the eyes, his own natural delinquency. Jim’s fought and fucked his way through Riverside and no one’s ever noticed. This bastard gets it in one shot. The man hums, tilting his head slightly, eyes still narrow and mean.

“Do you want my anger, Jim?” The way his voice curls around Jim’s name makes something inside of Jim twist, pleasant but disconcerting. “Do you feel as though you deserve it?”

Jim can feel his hackles rising.

“Don’t try that pseudo psych-”

“You do. Interesting.” Spock steps closer, closing the distance between them, looking more like a predator than anything else. His broad frame, the thick hair on his chest, the way his eyes reflect the light as he steps through a thin beam of it sneaking through a gap in the curtains.

“Let me guess, next you’re gonna ask if I want to be punished?” Jim throws out, standing his ground as Spock comes closer, starts to tower over him in a way that shouldn’t be possible, given they’re almost the same height. There’s something in his posture now that makes him seem huge, imposing. He fills the space around them, danger in every line of his body.

“No. You don’t want to be punished.” One of those long fingers glances across the back of Jim’s hand, the lightest of touches. “You just want to hurt.” 

There’s no stopping the way his jaw twitches, teeth grinding together for a fraction of a second. Spock’s hand skims up Jim’s bare arm, hand coming to cup the back of his shoulder. The touch is so intimate Jim has trouble reconciling it with their current situation, the anger starting to thrum in his veins. There’s no pressure in touch, he’s not trying to force Jim to move anywhere yet. There’s just the overwhelming heat of his hand.

Spock takes a step forward, so close to Jim that there’s no option but to step back as well. One step, two, three, forced backwards by Spock’s heavier mass and close proximity until Jim’s back knocks against the wall. It’s cold; sharp contrast to the line of heat that is Spock pressed against his front. The hand on his shoulder slides down, the barely there touch leaving goosebumps in its wake, hand coming to rest lightly at the small of Jim’s back.

“What do you hope to achieve by needling me? Did you want to be thrown out? Put on your knees?” Spock’s nose ghosts against the outer shell of Jim’s ear. He’d wanted to hear that voice spoken right against him and it’s just as good as he’d imagined. 

“...Hit?” Jim swallows. Spock nips a sharp bite against the soft skin beneath Jim’s ear.

“You don’t know how to ask for what you want, so you goad people into it.” Spock’s mouth comes to rest on Jim’s pulse point, the faintest drag of a rough tongue before he continues.

“Troubled childhood? Never anyone to listen, was there Jim?” A basic read, one that any idiot in Riverside could - and has - come up with. The only weight it has is given by Spock’s mouth on his neck, the rasp of breath against skin, the fingers leisurely making their way towards Jim’s already fucked out hole.

“Starved of-” Jim reacts before he thinks, foot around Spock’s ankle, shoulder to the chest. Easy, except for the too quick thud of Jim’s pulse. Spock, caught off guard, lands heavily on his back. He stares up at Jim, one eyebrow slowly raising, and Jim takes a breath. Attention, Spock was obviously going to say. Starved of attention, or affection, or love. A basic read. Nothing like what had Jim reacting on instinct, adrenaline and anger and fear shooting through his system.

The reaction has a bubble of what would probably be too wild laughter catching in his throat. Jim swallows around it, doesn't let it escape. Looks down at Spock, laying still where he was thrown, knees bent, feet against the wall. The head of his gently barbed cock visibly pressing against his folds. Despite the surge of adrenaline, maybe because of it, Jim’s hard too. He sinks down onto his knees, stradling Spock’s hips. One of Spock’s hands comes up to curve around Jim’s thigh, the fingertips of the other brushing against Jim’s knee. 

“You couldn’t help yourself, could you? Where’s that famed Vulcan control?” There’s something wary lurking in Spock’s eyes, barely, but it’s enough for Jim to see. To pursue. He runs his thumb along Spock’s genital slit, parting the muscle enough that the glans slides free. 

“You were so good at it earlier. Straight back, straight face, even as I choked around your cock.” There’s enough room to slide another finger inside; Jim wonders if there’s enough space that he could fuck it. For all that Spock’s clearly waiting for whatever taunt Jim’s going to spit next, he relaxes whichever muscles are keeping his dick sheathed. It’s covered in dull three pronged barbs that felt so good scraping at Jim’s insides, a faint ridge where the glans would flare on a human’s penis, and thick. Holy fuck is it thick. 

“You like sex that much? Maybe it’s me,” Jim pretends to think for a moment, keeping eye contact as he rubs the base of Spock’s exposed dick. The fingers of his other hand press past the base, one part scientific exploration, ten million parts Jim wants to lick the taste of Spock off his own skin. 

“Or maybe you’re just defective.” Oh, that’s a direct hit. The hand curled around his thigh clenches, five points of sharp pain where his nails have dug in, close to breaking the skin.

“Petty and vindictive,” Jim adds. Spock loosens his hold almost immediately and Jim passes up the opportunity to lick his fingers in order to cover Spock’s hand with his own. He presses his fingers over Spocks, applies pressure, and the man acquiesces, even as he shivers. His nails bite into Jim’s skin again and there’s a flush shading along the Vulcan’s cheekbones.

Jim leans forward, bracing himself on his forearm on Spock’s chest. He knows there’s something about Vulcan hands, but xenobiology has never been an interest of his. He doesn’t want to sink his nails in, unwilling to risk any sort of permanent damage, so Jim just rubs the pads of his fingers against the back of Spock’s. It seems to do the trick, Spock’s hips twitching in an aborted thrust. 

“So caught up in your emotions,” Jim presses their foreheads together, “You’re almost human.” This close it’s impossible to miss the way Spock reacts. His eyes widen by the smallest margin, a sharp intake of breath that speaks of some type of emotion. Anger, maybe, considering the way his nails have just split the sensitive skin of Jim’s thigh. He can feel the blood well against their interlaced fingers. Wonders what it feels like to Spock.

“Goading me again,” Spock breathes into Jim’s mouth, lips brushing in a pale imitation of a kiss. 

“You’re easy to rile. So reactive. Do you like it, having an excuse to feel? Pretending that it’s my fault instead of your own failures?” Spock releases his thigh, tangles his fingers with Jim’s in a way that it would be almost impossible to escape from, even without Spock’s superior strength. He pulls away from Jim’s leg, lets their joined hands rest on his own stomach. 

“Failure, Jim?” Spocks voice is deceptively mild. He snaps at Jim’s lower lip instead of kissing him. The pain is sharp and unexpected and Jim bucks his hips at the sensation. His dick grazes against Spock’s and it only takes a small adjustment before Jim has them pressed hip to hip, grinding them together.

“You’re chasing pain to blot out things you don’t want to think about.” That glint in his eyes again. Spock looks almost assessing, like he’s weighing his words. Wondering whether the next step will be safe, or if the ice’ll crack under his weight. He’s loosened his grip on Jim’s hand, enough so that Jim could slide it free if he wants to. Jim doesn’t want safe, doesn’t want to be fucking coddled.

“Do you think your father is proud of you, Spock?” Jim says. He thinks that twitch of Spock’s face could have been a smile. “Giving in to base lust, to anger-”

“Do you still feel the hunger, Jim?” Spock bites back. “Does it eat at you from the inside?”

“Do you disappoint your mother, too?”

The cheap carpet of the hotel room burns as Jim’s back is forced against it, sliding a few inches with the sheer force of Spock’s momentum. He digs his teeth deep into Jim’s shoulder, one hand still linked with Jim’s, pinning it to the floor. The other has Jim’s waist in a grip just shy of crushing. Jim arches into it, his moan of mixed pleasure-pain fading into a laugh. At least they’re far enough away from the wall that they can stretch their legs out now.

“Touchy!” He grins up at the ceiling as Spock licks over his own teeth marks. He didn’t draw blood, but Jim kinda wishes he had. As it is, he’ll bruise deep. 

“Where was yours when you starved?” Spock drags his fingers from Jim’s waist to his hip, leaving welts in his wake. His teeth nip at Jim’s shoulder with every harshly bitten out word. His question reminds Jim of an old ache, buried deep in his chest. His mother who can’t stand him, her neglect and indifference, the sight of her back as she left again and again until she just… stopped coming back.

“Galaxies away,” He answers, unaware that he was on the edge of a precipice until he’s already tumbled down it. “Hoping I’d die so she’d never have to look at my face again.” There’s no levity in his tone, none of the previous jokes or taunts. He feels gut punched by saying it, but knows it’s true. He’s only ever been a reminder of the things she’s lost. 

Spock’s thumb brushes against Jim’s, a barely there caress. 

“My father views me as a failed experiment. A blemish to his house and his name. Illogical. Despite this apparent failing, I still cannot give my mother the affection she craves." He sounds as raw as Jim does. Jim taps their temples together, slightly harder than he intended, and Spock lifts his head. 

“Defective,” Jim calls him, the hint of a smirk on his lips. Spock stares at him and Jim wonders if the Vulcan will even understand that Jim’s trying to break the tension or if -

“Unwanted,” Spock accuses. Jim smiles up at him through the gloom. 

“Your mother should have invested in a post-natal abortion,” A childish taunt, but Jim thinks he sees the edges of Spock’s eyes tilt upwards, just slightly. A miniscule smile. 

“Your mother should have swallowed.” Spock’s voice is dry as a desert and Jim can’t help but laugh. God, what they fuck are they doing? This is the weirdest one night stand Jim’s ever had and that is not a low bar. Spock buries his face against Jim’s neck again, tongue chasing the vibrations of Jim’s laugh. Jim runs a hand up Spock’s broad back, the other still trapped within Spock’s own.

“We’ve got problems.”

“I’ve been informed that humans advise therapy.” A thumb rubs over the crest of Jim’s hip.

“What about Vulcans?”

“Kolinahr, the purging of all emotions.” Jim laughs again, fairly sure Spock just told a joke. Vulcans don’t have a sense of humour, factoid rather than fact, you heard it here first. 

“You know, sex therapy is a thing.” Jim says, arching up against Spock, gratified when the man bears down on him, pressing him firmly into the carpet.

“I would speculate that that is for a different issue entirely.” Spock’s hand slides down from Jim’s hip to his thigh. His eyes travel with it, catching on the dark stains on Jim’s other hip. Blood, smeared across the skin from Spock’s fingers. Spock looks at their joined hands, fingers entwined, more blood painting pale skin. He looks back at Jim, face solemn like he’s going to say something serious, so Jim lurches up and sinks his teeth into Spock’s neck. Pinned by the hand and thigh as he is, it’s an awkward angle to work with, but Jim does his best. He worries the skin gently between his teeth, applies suction, licks his way up Spock’s throat until he has to cling to Spock’s shoulder with his free hand to keep his balance.

“If we’re not gonna fuck for therapy, then I just can’t see the point,” Jim tells him, nipping at Spock’s jaw before letting himself fall back against the carpet. It’s rough against his back and is going to feel even worse when he’s being fucked on it.

“I understand.” Spock says, sitting up. He lets go of Jim’s thigh, untangles their hands, leaning back onto his heels like he’s gonna get up and leave Jim here. He reaches out, hands scrambling against smooth skin until he manages to grab Spock's arm. The Vulcan doesn’t budge and Jim ends up pulling himself into a sitting position instead of drawing the other man back down.

“Spock-” Jim’s protest dies when he’s close enough to see Spock’s eyes clearly through the low light. His face is calm but there’s something in the slant of his eyes...

“You’re laughing at me, you little bastard.” 

“I assure you, my parents were married at my birth.” Spock places one hand over the mouth shaped bruise on Jim’s shoulder and pushes him down once more. It aches so good under the firm touch and Jim wraps his legs around Spock’s waist. 

“Let me guess, you’re not little either?” Spock grinds slowly against him, their previously flagging erections beginning to get back into the spirit of things. Even at what’s probably something like half hard, the barbs on Spock’s dick are firm. The sensation of having them rub against his own cock sends shivers up the entire length of Jim’s spine. He’s never been so aware of being fucked before, the barbed alien cock demanding his attention with every thrust. It’s an addictive feeling and he can barely wait to feel it again.

“You already knew that.” 

“I’ve got a bad memory, you’ll have to remind me.” He wants Spock in him, right here. He knows the friction from the carpet will rub his back bloody and that the lube and condoms are over on the nightstand but it doesn’t matter. Jim’s not unwrapping his legs from Spock for anything. He’ll take it rough and raw and probably too dry so long as Spock fucks him right now.

Maybe Spock can read something in Jim’s body language or maybe his brain to mouth filter has been loosened by the sheer amount of lust he’s feeling. Either way, Spock seems to know what he wants and then doesn’t give it to him. 

“We need proper lubrication and prophylactics.” Sure that sounds sensible but Jim’s not moving. Sensible isn’t really getting a look in right now. He’s stubborn enough to get what he wants, too. Now he just needs to convince Spock.

“I want you to fuck me like this. Want to feel every barb without a barrier, scraping against my prostate.”

“That sounds painful.”


“And dangerous. Sexually transmit-”

“I’m clean. Got my check back four days ago and I don’t fuck without a condom anyway. I’ll hack into the clinic’s records if you want physical proof.” That sounds like such a line, ‘I never do it otherwise so now is fine,’ but it’s true. The last time Jim had sex without a condom he was probably about seventeen. He’s reckless, not an idiot.

“That’s highly illegal.”

“More middle of the road illegal.”

“I do not believe the Iowan justice system would agree with you.”

“Yeah, we don’t tend to agree on a lot.” The look on Spock’s face is a vague shadow of disapproval but he’s still grinding against Jim. So slow it’s almost cruel; a delightful torment.

“While I am also free from all known-” Jim grabs Spock’s hand, brings it to his mouth and then licks down the length of his forefinger. Slides his tongue along the metacarpal arch of Spock’s hand, teeth barely scraping against the base of the Vulcan’s fingers as he goes. Spock’s eyes are dark, pupils blown out, and that sense of Spock being larger than he is crashes back down over Jim. It makes him feel like he’s completely surrounded, being crushed into the floor in the best way, even though Spock’s braced above him.

He grazes his teeth against delicate skin again. Spock’s free hand digs into his thigh, pulling at the already cut skin, clotted almost scabs tearing away to make way for fresh blood. The sting of pain goes straight to Jim’s dick, has him arching up, moaning around the fingers in his mouth. It’s not the first time Jim’s pretended to fellate fingers but no one’s ever been as into it as Spock is. 

He’s back to watching Jim like a predator watches its next meal. Jim tilts his head back, exposing his throat. Their species are both millennia removed from such a thing having much meaning but Spock’s already lavished so much attention there that Jim thinks he might have a thing for it. He’s right. Spock wastes no time in putting his mouth on Jim’s neck. 

Jim’s gonna have a ring of hickeys so bad work’ll make him take a dermal regen to them before he starts his shift and it’s so fucking worth it. If the brief, dull sting of pain from the tiny cuts on his thigh had him moaning before, then Jim doesn’t quite know how to classify the sound he makes as Spock digs his teeth in hard. Maybe he’s trying to beg for more. He wonders if Spock knows how much he likes having his mouth full, if he can understand with whatever sort of telepathy Vulcans-

Touch telepathy. The pieces click together suddenly. Of course; it makes so much sense. Vulcans are touch telepaths and Jim has one of Spock’s most important sensory organs in his mouth. Jim runs his tongue along the side of one as he pulls the fingers out of his mouth in order to press a kiss to the tip of each finger. Presses another kiss to the palm, takes the meat at the base of Spock’s thumb between his teeth as gently as he can, just to feel Spock shudder against him. He wonders what would happen if he gave Spock a hand massage.

“Fuck me.” Jim demands again.

“Not without proper lubrication, for which you will have to release me.” Half a concession. Spock said nothing about a condom. Jim doesn’t ever care that he’s gonna be annoyed as fuck trying to clean himself out later. He wants to feel it, feel everything.

“I’m still good from last time,” Jim lies. Spock shakes his head slightly, lips rubbing against the skin of Jim’s bruised neck. 

“There is a difference between pain and injury.” Spock’s voice is firm, unyielding, and Jim wonders if he has the patience to out-stubborn a Vulcan. Maybe, but arguing for the next twenty minutes is not what he wants to be doing. Then again, he won’t need to if he can find a work around. Luckily, Jim’s thought of one. Jim reaches down between them, works Spock’s dick for a few moments - the barbs feel so weird against his hand. Not as firm as they felt in his ass or catching against the delicate skin of his dick, much more giving than he’d assumed - before pressing his fingers inside of Spock. He’s so slick inside that Jim’s fingers shine in the light when he removes them.

The force of will it takes to offer up his wet fingers as a compromise instead of finger fucking Spock’s Vulcan genetalia until the man came apart on top of him is truly herculean. 

“Insufficient.” Spock rasps out, eyes locked on Jim’s fingers. 

“The thought of fingering me open with your own slick’s getting you hot, huh?” Jim taunts and Spock’s eyes snap back to Jim’s. He looks close to his breaking point. Jim’s so close to winning.

“There is a divide between fantasy and reality which cannot always be breached.” Jim slides his hand from Spock’s shoulder to the nape of his neck, nails scraping gently against the skin.

Jim’s not sure whether his best bet will be to argue that a hypothesis needs thorough testing before it’s accepted as fact or if he should just start fingering himself and flat out beg for it. Throw his head back as he moans, make a production out of it. Spock’s dark eyes are already burning into him, hungry and wanting. He opens his mouth, slick hand already sliding towards where he wants stimulation the most. 

Spock makes a cut off noise, deep in the back of his throat and absolutely devastating to hear. And then he just. Stands. Jim can’t see, curled around Spock as he is, but he can feel the way Spock’s thigh muscles bulge, feel the contraction of his abdominals. The motion is quick and smooth, easily executed even though he’s got all of Jim’s weight clinging to the front of him. 

“Oh that’s hot,” Jim breathes, presses himself tighter against Spock’s chest. God, Spock could move him any way he wanted and there’s not a thing Jim could do about it. He’d known it before, in the context of a potential fight, but the realisation hadn’t quite carried over. The knowledge sends a pleasant shiver down his spine and he doesn’t resist when Spock peels him away and drops him onto the bed. Jim lets himself go lax across the covers, muscles relaxed and pliant as Spock bends one of his legs up against his chest. His hand is large and firm and, just for fun, Jim pushes back against the hold.

His leg doesn’t move. He presses harder and there’s still not the slightest concession from Spock’s hand. Spock looks up from where he’s working the lube open one handed. Their eyes meet, Spock’s dark gaze just as unyielding as his hand and Jim shivers again. Jim tries to kick his leg out, making a serious effort to shake loose of the hold, and Spock presses down. The back of his thigh burns at the extra stretch, the skin under his knee feels tight with pressure of a slowly forming bruise and Jim’s dick throbs. 

“It does make sense that you would have this particular paraphilia to accompany the others.” Spock’s voice makes an attempt at the level, assessing tone he’d used hours ago. Jim bares his teeth, uses his free leg to kick at Spock’s shoulder.

“Hurry up and fuck me,” he orders. Spock raises an eyebrow, head tilting to the side after a moment. He doesn’t move. Jim squirms, wriggling against the hold for a few moments before he reaches down to tug at Spock’s hair. He doesn’t bother to push at the hand holding his leg captive. There’s no way he could move it and he doesn’t want it to; he just wants Spock to fuck him.

He tugs at Spock’s hair, yanks at it when Spock still doesn’t move. Jim lets go with a low curse and a particularly harsh pull, free leg kicking at Spock’s shoulder again, and goes to grab his dick. If Spock’s not gonna do anything but watch, then Jim’ll give him something to watch. 

Spock catches his hand before he can make contact; lube slick fingers finding immediate purchase on his wrist and keeping his arm still even as Jim tries to tug away. Jim thrashes about a bit, straining at the hold Spock has on him, cursing all the while for Spock to just fucking do something. He stops after a minute or two, going limp. Spock places Jim’s arm on the bed next to him and Jim doesn’t bother to move it. Hot as it is to struggle against someone so much stronger than you, Jim’s keen to move on to the next part. If he has to be still and patient for that to happen, then… he’ll do it. Reluctantly.

Jim’s always been an instant gratification kind of guy. 

Spock’s slick fingers trail a leisurely path from Jim’s hip to his inner thigh, touching nothing especially sensitive but leaving fire in his wake nevertheless. His thumb starts rubbing circles into Jim’s skin, small but getting larger until the edge of his thumb starts to press against the very edge of Jim’s hole.

“What’s it like to finger someone as a touch telepath?”

“You do not have the right senses to understand any explanation I could give.”

“Try me.” Jim challenges.

Spock presses his thumb inside, instead. It’s easy, Jim already fucked out and ready. He loses the inclination to press the previous line of thought, just tilts his hips towards Spock the best he can with his leg held in place. Spock hooks his thumb around that first ring of muscle and pulls, gently. Opens Jim enough that he can see the clench of Jim’s insides. It’s not something Jim’s ever been too turned on by, but he’s had enough men do the same now that he knows it’s common enough. 

“No sign of abrasion or blood,” Spock says, as though that’s why his eyes are focused on Jim’s ass so intently. He doesn’t wait for Jim to reply - probably wise, given Jim’s impatient mood. The only things likely to come out of his mouth now are goads and taunts; something to get Spock to react. Spock removes his thumb and inserts his fingers instead. Jim takes the two fingers easily, tries to bear down on them, take them deeper. Spock doesn’t cooperate. 

It feels good, of course it does. Spock’s fingers are long and dextrous, giving pleasure even when he’s not actively trying. He doesn’t change his pace or angle no matter how hard Jim whines and bitches. Spock just keeps spreading the lube inside of Jim in a methodical and perfunctory way. By all accounts, it should be boring. It’s not, even though Jim’s complaining like it is. Spock’s other hand is still tight on the back of his knee, not quite a warning but enough to thrill. Clenches down real hard, maybe even involuntarily, whenever Jim clenches down on the fingers inside of him. 

The undercurrents of the interaction, getting fingered open by a touch telepath while held effectively immobile, give the entire thing an edge that Jim wasn’t expecting. 

There’s no warning when Spock pulls his fingers out and even less when he hauls Jim off the bed. The rapid change of position makes Jim’s head spin and by the time his vision clears, his back is hitting the cold hotel room wall, Spock’s bulk pressing him against it. Spock let go of his thigh at some point and now it’s caught in the bend of his elbow, leaving him with almost no leverage on that side of his body. He could wrap his other leg around Spock’s hip, pretend as though he has some control. 

Instead he lifts his leg, nudges Spock’s arm out of the way with a knee. Spock obliges him, dark eyes curious as he watches Jim stretch his leg up until his calf is resting on Spock’s shoulder. It’s not a position he’s going to be able to hold for long, the stretch is already starting to make itself apparent, but -

He wants it to start like this. Pinned open so thoroughly between Spock and the wall. Spock leans closer - the stretch up the back of Jim’s leg intensifies - and taps their foreheads together. Spock shifts, foreheads still touching, and then Jim can feel him. He presses in slowly, slow enough that Jim thinks he can feel each individual barb as it slides inside, innocuous from this angle. Being held open like this makes it feel like Spock’s reaching deeper than he had before and Jim’s breathing heavy by the time Spock comes to a stop.

“Is this that old tortoise and the hare thing where slow and steady wins the race? Not what I was hoping for but I guess it’ll do.” 

Spock tilts his head, eyes narrowing and they catch the light just right again; eye shine so alien in this moment that it makes him shiver. Spock seems as though he’s going to reply for a long moment, before the very corner of his mouth tilts up in the tiniest smirk Jim’s ever seen. 

He pulls out slowly, horrifically slowly, and by the time he thrusts back inside of Jim with enough force to make the wall creak, Jim’s lost.

He might black out, just the smallest bit. Being folded in half and fucked so hard tends to drive the breath from you. By the time he was on the edge of orgasm, the edges of his vision were starting to spot black, just the tiniest bit. Spock’s stopped moving when Jim regains enough sense to tell up from down. He just stands there, keeping Jim pressed against the wall without thought, sweaty skin sticking to sweaty skin. 

Jim hates how much he likes it. The weight keeping him anchored, the quiet intimacy of Spock’s head pressed against his shoulder, listening to the other man slowly regaining a regular breathing pattern. Spock’s dick is slowly sliding out of him, gravity or gradually being retracted back inside Spock, Jim doesn’t know. It’s an odd sensation. Just as foreign as the feeling of Spock’s come gradually submitting to that same gravity, leaking out around Spock’s soft dick. The natural lubrication produced by Spock had been viscous between Jim’s fingers and he can feel that Spock’s come is similar. 

He thinks it’s probably a fairly different texture to the feel of human come but couldn’t even say that for sure, considering he doesn’t make it a habit to let people come in his ass without a condom.

It’s easy to think about the practical realities of the situation - come against skin, making time in his week to head back to the sexual health clinic for another check, the pins and needles feeling in his feet when he stretches them out, knees still hooked over Spock’s elbows. He can ignore the creeping sensation of closeness, the false binding that shared orgasm brings, the want to press his nose against Spock’s skin and inhale the scent of him. Lick the sweat and sex off his skin, nose up his neck just to be close.

This is why he usually rolls away to enjoy the afterglow. Or leaves. That works just as well. Hard to do either when he’s kept in place by a Vulcan. He doesn’t want to show his hand by squirming away or asking to be put down, either. Spock’s already seen through him too much tonight. No need to give him anything else. So Jim waits, listens to Spock breathe, grits his teeth and forces back a scowl when he realises he’s tracing absent minded patterns against Spock’s skin. Lets his fingers keep moving because stopping would be too big a tell. 

Spock doesn’t let him go when he moves away from the wall. Takes Jim with him, places him on the mattress instead of dropping him. Jim stretches out on the bed, trying to work out the ache in his legs. He falls still at the touch of Spock’s hands. By all rights, Spock should be heading to the bathroom now. They’ve fucked twice, done their best to tear each other apart with words, so now’s when Spock walks away to have a shower and leave Jim to dress and limp out in peace. 

Nobody told that to Spock, apparently, because those long fingered hands are pulling Jim’s slowly cramping legs onto his lap. Jim lets himself be moved, curiosity winning out over the caution stirring in his gut. Without a word, Spock begins to massage the ache out of Jim’s muscles. It’s a hard massage, finger tips pressing deep and painful. The muscle left in the wake of Spock’s hands feels like liquid. 

Jim stays put instead of throwing himself towards the door in desperation. This one night stand cannot possibly get any weirder, no matter what he does. He’s never had a post sex massage before, or a regular massage. Every massage he’s ever given or received has been foreplay. It would be the cherry on top of this entire odd situation - if Jim were capable of keeping his mouth shut. 

He’s not. The silence on top of everything else is getting to him; words surging up his throat again like they never left, like they were just lying in wait for him to let his guard down. They’re thick like vomit crawling up his throat. Jim could swallow them down again. For all he’s never comfortable with silence like this, silence that echoes as though there’s meaning to it, he could bite his tongue. 

Looking at Spock’s profile, shadowed and dark, Jim takes a breath. Looks at the ceiling. 

“Ever heard of Tarsus IV?” He asks. Spock’s already seen through him, even with so little to go on. What the fuck does it matter if he sees the rest? He’s gone in a few hours. Off to whatever far flung space station Starfleet sends him. He’s never coming back to Riverside and Jim… he doesn’t exactly have anywhere else to go, nowhere to run to. He’s never gonna see Spock again. They’re ships in the night, if ships fucked hard and fast and bit hard enough to bruise.

“I have.” Spock’s fingers don’t pause in their task and his voice is level. 

“That’s where she shipped me off to when she decided I was the problem in her failing marriage.”

“That seems an illogical assumption to make.” 

Jim’s not expecting to laugh. He’s so surprised that he barely even realises the quick, sharp sound is coming from his own throat. 

“Easier than admitting to your own faults.” Jim shrugs, shifts his leg up to grant Spock better access to the back of his thigh, the one with the cuts. His fingers apply slightly less pressure, here, wary of re-breaking the skin. Spock makes a small sound of possible disapproval, but whether it’s in regards to Jim’s words or a scab breaking open again, he doesn’t know. 

All the words that Jim thought he had, so willing to be heard that he’s telling them to a stranger, have deserted him. He hasn’t talked about Tarsus in years. Not since he got off the ‘Fleet ship, leaving the mandated psychologist behind. He’s not even sure if Frank knew, if anyone told him. His mother probably would’ve, if she’d come home at any point in the year and a bit between Jim coming back and Frank leaving for good. Not a long conversation; she’d have to care for that. Maybe they had a video call.

Jim always assumed that she was too far away to make those calls, since she never called him. But then, maybe she just didn’t want to see him. He wouldn’t be surprised. 

“There were a couple of us that survived to the end, from the unwanted half. They called our next of kin from the ship that rescued us. She almost hung up when she found out the call was about me.” This laugh is bitter, expected. 

Jim’s out of things to say, though he’s hardly said anything. For all he’d ached to talk about it, he’d never actually expected to. He thinks of the other kids, frostbitten and crying and quiet and dead. The fungus, the violence. Kodos’s smooth words, his genial smile, the sad set to his brow as he told them they had to die. Thinks of killing a man to stay alive. Remembers staring at his corpse and wondering if it’d be worth it, to feel full again. He doesn’t have the words to do any of that justice; to showcase the mounting horror and desperation and how many nights he’s jerked awake with a scream cut off in his throat because such a loud noise would’ve been death.

“I grieve with thee,” Spock says. The words are simple but they hit Jim like a freight train. Spock finishes with one leg and moves on to the next. 

“How do you say that in Vulcan?”

“S'ti th'laktra.” Vulcan sounds good, rolling of Spock’s tongue. The silence settles once more. Jim thinks of about a thousand things to break the tension with, discards them all. He thinks of Hoshi Sato, old and kind and whip smart and unwilling to let him get away with anything. She’s the first person he ever heard speak Vulcan. He can’t quite remember her voice anymore. There are probably voice recordings of her, somewhere. She was famous, once, so there would have to be at least a couple of audio files of her speaking or teaching that still exist. Jim could find it, no matter where it was hidden. Find it, listen to it - to her. Block out whatever the recording was actually saying and remember the way her voice sounded when she spoke to Jim, back before everything went to shit. He already knows he won't go looking.

Spock’s hands have reached Jim’s knee before the silence is broken. 

“I have two siblings,” Spock says, voice so unexpected that Jim almost flinches. 

“My elder brother denies the common teachings of Vulcan. He is V’tosh ka’tur, a Vulcan without logic. My older sister is adopted, a human. By her very nature she is illogical. Despite this, I am the biggest failure in the eyes of my father.” Jim wonders whether he’s saying this because he feels obligated to balance out Jim’s confession with one of his own. Maybe the words have been eating away at Spock, the way they have been with Jim.

“Why?” Jim asks, even though Spock was kind enough to let Jim talk at his own pace. He didn’t ask any questions, took only what was offered. Jim’s always been greedy, always wanted more. He prods for more before he even realises what he’s done and then it’s too late to take it back. Spock doesn’t seem to mind or if he does, it’s carefully tucked away before Jim can see. 

“Would you like the list alphabetised or would you prefer what I believe to be order of importance?” Jim can feel the smirk twist his lips. Spock’s dry comments are amusing, sense of humour aligning quite nicely with Jim’s own. 

“Order of importance.” Jim decides when one minute stretches into two and it becomes clear that Spock is actually waiting for an answer.

“I refused acceptance to the Vulcan Science Academy in favour of Starfleet. Publicly.” 

“That eager to fuck a human?” 

“Yes. As you said when you first approached me, studying convergent evolution personally is vital to interspecies relations.” Spock deadpans, keeping Jim’s leg still even as the blond man cackles with laughter. 

“Don’t forget about the merits of comparative study!” Jim reminds him. He looks over at Spock in time to see the man’s dark gaze drag from Jim’s legs all the way up to his face.

“You have made a convincing argument in its favour.” Jim won’t be able to get hard again for a while but that does nothing to stop the want that suddenly burns in his gut. After a long, electrified moment, Spock looks away, focusing on massaging Jim’s legs again.

“The VSA insulted my mother. My father indicated that my rejection of the VSA brought dishonour to our family, as he decided my reasoning for doing do was unsound. I told him that he was an unfit husband.”

Jim can feel his own eyebrows raising. From what he knows of Vulcan culture, those are some fairly harsh insults being thrown around. Spock, watching Jim from the corner of his eyes, inclines his head.

“We have not spoken since.”

“What about that message earlier?”

“To remove me from the family registar entirely would be to invite even further disgrace to our house, as it would be publicly known.”

“I wasn’t aware that Vulcans cared about things like that.”

“No matter what else we are, Vulcan’s are proud.” There doesn’t really seem to be anything else to say, after that. Spock finishes his massage. He finally disappears into the bathroom but Jim’s relaxed enough that he doesn’t move yet. Not even sure if he could walk with how his legs currently feel more like jelly than muscle. He hasn’t moved an inch when Spock reenters the room, though the Vulcan doesn’t seem surprised. 

Anticipated it, considering he carries a damp hand towel with him. He cleans the mess clinging to Jim’s ass and thighs efficiently, silent again. Spock walks back into the bathroom and now is when Jim should get up, get dressed, make his way home in the dark of the night. 

He’s still there when Spock comes back. Sleep’s weighing on him heavily. He’s got to go now, before he gives in to it. Spock touches Jim’s hand, briefly, as he moves past the bed. A clear signal to move. Get up, get dressed, get home. Put something on his cuts and bruises if he has the energy. He probably won’t. More likely to collapse on the couch as soon as he gets in, too tired to bother with the stairs. He’ll wake up mid morning with a stiff back, fear clinging as he gains consciousness because the couch blanket fell off hours ago and he’s cold.

At least he probably won’t be able to differentiate between the couch based sore back and the general ache that’s already building from being well used. 

Jim watches Spock unroll some sort of woven mat from his suitcase and settle onto it. The Vulcan goes still, almost impossibly still. The low lighting throws his face into deep shadows, making him look nothing at all like the man who’d spent the past few hours fucking Jim. That’s cue enough to leave - yet another cue and Jim’s determined not to pass this one up. He pulls his eyes away from Spock and tries to corral his legs into reforming into muscle.

“I’ll be out of here in a minute.” Jim promises, to make sure he does actually leave instead of falling asleep where he is. 

“Stay or leave at your own discretion, it matters little.” Spock intones, apparently ready to cloak himself in that bullshit Vulcan stoicism again. Jim looks back over at him. His eyes are closed, face perfectly still. He’s impossible to read once more. Jim wonders if that’s the trick for all Vulcans, the eyes, or if they all have individual tells. He’ll never be around enough Vulcans for it to matter, but it’s food for thought. Stark contrast to popular thought about the species, too.

“If you stay,” Spock says slowly, one eye opening to fix on Jim, “I will fuck you awake in approximately five and a half hours time, once I complete my meditation.”

“That a threat or a promise?” Jim asks, throwing Spock a cocky grin. Spock closes his eye in response, settling properly into his meditation pose. 


Jim stays.

He’s a light sleeper. Jim’s always been that way, made worse by the time he spent starving and running for his life on Tarsus. He lost the luxury of a slow wake up; of the world and his own thoughts being out of focus. So when a weight presses down the edge of the mattress, Jim’s awake. Spock, he categories as a large, warm hand slides up the length of his spine.

“Mornin’,” Jim greets.

“It is. Oh six sixteen.” Spock informs and Jim’s glad that the pillow hides his smile. 

“I was promised a proper wake up.” Jim reminds, as Spock climbs onto the bed, throwing his legs either side of Jim's own. Spock drops the lube next to Jim's hip. Before he can reach for it, a slick finger is rubbing at his ass. Pressing in, gauging how open Jim still is. He wonders again what it feels like to Spock. Indescribable, probably, since Jim apparently doesn’t have the senses needed to understand. Spock adds a second finger and a third in quick succession. It’s quicker than before, when Spock made Jim wait for it, patience stretched thin. He presses all the right places to have Jim rocking back into him, eager despite the ache already coiling through his hips and back.

“You shall receive it.” His hand’s gone, replaced by the thick cockhead that Jim's become familiar with over the past however many hours. No matter how many times he takes it, it still feels so thick. He feels split open in the best way. Inch by inch, Spock sinks in slowly. The almost ridge that would be the glans on a human, the barbs that lay flat and non-intrusive on the way in.

Spock doesn’t give him time to relax, or adjust. Or taunt. Instead, almost as soon as their hips are flush, he’s pulling out again. Jim feels every one of the pronged barbs, whines at the feeling. He’s fucked out and sore, verging on oversensitive and if Spock stops Jim’s gonna scream.

“More,” he begs. Spock obliges, grabbing Jim’s hip and pulling him to his knees effortlessly. His fingers press more bruises into Jim's hips as he fucks him hard, pushing and moving Jim about easily, changing their positions on a whim. It’s great and overwhelming and Jim gives as good as he gets. Sinking his teeth into Spock’s forearm when it’s in reach, nails biting into flesh. The blood that wells is green. It smears across his mouth and hands as they roll around together. Jim’d thought they’d been wild last night, going from the floor to up against the wall, but it’s nothing like this.

It ends with Jim riding Spock, half a snarl on his face as he forces his tired, sore body into action. His nails score green welts down the Vulcan’s hairy chest in protest when Spock grips his hips, uses his superior strength to control the pace. His hands are firm and Jim doesn’t move an inch unless Spock wants him to. 

It’s frustrating. It’s unbearably erotic. 

Pre-dawn light starts to shade the room around them, watery light adding to the feeling of unreality that Jim thinks he’s been submerged in since the door closed behind them. Why else would he have cut himself open and let Spock see any of the rot inside? The morning light brings clarity and Jim hates it. If he were a different man, he might think they have a connection. He knows they don’t. It’s nothing more than chemicals, a byproduct of sex, of being too open with a stranger. 

Despite the reality threatening to shatter the calm Jim found pressed against Spock’s skin, he doesn’t look away. Keeps eye contact as Spock makes him ride slow, more of a deep grind than anything energetic. Runs his fingers across the thin, sensitive skin across the back of Spock’s hands, doesn’t bother to muffle any of the noises that escape his throat. 

Why the fuck not, Jim thinks to himself and pretends, just for a few minutes.

They’re a mess when they finish. Sunlight’s started to stain the walls a weak, wintery gold and Jim wants to stay where he is. Wants to fall forward, collapse on Spock’s chest as their breathing evens out. Longer. 

But the world’s waking up and they both have places to be. 

Spock stares up at him with hooded eyes and Jim wonders which of them will forget the other first.

The farmhouse was red, once. Now the paint is faded to almost-pink, peeling so much that there’s more wood left than paint. Jim fucking hates it. Not the paint, the house. The town. The porch steps that groan under his feet and the front door that creaks when it opens and slams when it shuts. It’s the only noise in the house, empty but himself for years. Jim doesn’t bother to flick on the radio as he walks into the kitchen. 

He starts his usual post one night stand routine. Drinks glass of water. Makes himself a sandwich, unsure whether he’s actually hungry or if the hunger is nothing more than a persistent memory. He’s slept enough that he bypasses the couch and heads to the back of the house for a shower. To the family bathroom rather than the master bedroom ensuite; he mightn’t be tired enough to pass out on the couch but he’s sure as fuck not climbing the stairs right now either.

Jim catches sight of himself in the mirror as he strips. Black and blue all over, not much of a change from usual except for the shape of the bruises. There’s no large, solid contusions from fists and feet. It’s all fingertips and open hand shapes and teeth marks. Some of the hands are dark enough, deep enough, that Jim thinks he could probably pull a usable print. 

He could definitely do it for the teeth marks on his shoulder. Jim hadn’t thought that Spock broke skin but looking at it now he’s not too sure. Runs a finger along that first, deep bite on his shoulder and - yeah. Right there, where the incisor would be. It’s barely a puncture, probably didn’t even bleed. Jim doesn’t need to look at himself in the mirror to know his eyes are blown wide. 

He aches everywhere. Not just his shoulder, thighs and hips like he knew he would, but everywhere. There’s a bruise in every place that Spock held him for longer than a moment or two. The one on the back of his thigh, where Spock held him in place, is especially vivid. Jim looks himself over as he waits for the shower to heat up. Bruise on bruise on bruise. Even the ankle he’d had up over Spock’s shoulder is bruised. Lightly, just barely starting to darken, the shape of Spock’s hand ringing his ankle completely. 

Jim forgets about the small cuts high on the back of his thigh until he’s in the shower, wash cloth ripping the scabs away for the nth time. He takes two of them with the first pass. Knows he should stop and wash gently around the other three. He doesn’t. If he bleeds from it, it’s not enough to be noticed under the cascade of water. 

The smartest thing to do would be to cover them when he gets out of the shower. Disinfectant is as far as he goes, making doubly sure they’re clean. Jim stumbles naked down the hall to the guest room he half lives in and decides he’ll put some plasters over them when he wakes up. 

The mid afternoon sun is warm and bright when he wakes up. There’s barely a minute between Jim waking and Jim reaching for his cock. He lifts his leg just enough that he can paw at the slowly reforming scabs as he works himself over. He comes with jerky hip thrusts ten minutes later, fingernail catching in one of the small cuts, making it bleed again.

Jim doesn’t bother to lie to himself as he pulls on jeans before heading to work. He’s not gonna cover the tiny cuts. They rub against the denim with every step he takes, hyper aware of their presence, of the slight discomfort they’re causing. By the time he’s peeled his jeans off, hours later, they’ve bled enough that disrobing tears the small scabs open again. 

If Jim was smart, he’d bandage them up. Forget about them for a week or so until they’re healed. He’s never claimed to be smart. Intelligent? Sure, off the charts in a backwater place like Riverside. But smart? 

The cuts heal slow, picked open whenever they scab. Used to help Jim orgasm just about every night or so for the next week and a half. They leave small scars in their wake, semi-circles of silver that dot across the back of his thigh, one just under where thigh turns to ass. 

A perfect match to the nails of a man Jim’s never gonna see again.

Not smart at all. 

The house stays as empty as it’s been since Frank fucked off, unable to handle a stepson that can no longer be beaten into compliance. Winter comes and goes, bringing and taking the worst of the nightmares with it. It never snowed on Tarsus, though the frost sunk into their bones and killed more than its fair share of kids. Logically, it should be summer that Jim hates but summer on Earth, in Iowa, is different enough there’s no comparison. Summer in Iowa is all soybeans and cornfields. 

Summer on Tarsus was death. The scent of rot and decay. The screams and sobs. Hunger that hollowed out their bones, replacing the marrow with fear and desperation. Terror licking up the back of his spine. Frost creeping in at night, sinking into small fingers and toes. Shivering, crying it hurts JT, so much better than what came later, the numbness. 

Winter’s always bad.

This winter’s different. The nightmares come on schedule, stirred up from their resting place, but it’s muddled. Terror mixes with arousal, with the memory of a deep voice telling him he’s a starved runt who should open his mouth, if he’s so hungry. The dreams aren’t any less intense, but his heart isn’t trying to beat out of his chest with fear and anxiety when he wakes up. The confusion of old memories blending with new ones adding enough confusion that the edge is dulled.

He comes all over his hand once, thinking about Spock saying the same thing to a younger version of himself, skin stretched painfully tight over bones, desperate and willing to do anything. It’s fucked up. A therapist would probably have a field day. It’s fucking weird. The nightmares turned sex dreams turned headfuck. Thinking about Spock coercing a young teenage version of himself into sex and getting off to it. Still thinking about Spock at all when he’d only met the man once, months ago. 

The past is, there’s nothing more to it, nothing to be done about it. Jim’s known this since he was a child. Despite this, Jim’s never quite been able to let it go, no matter how much he wants to. This is the first time he’s been unable to let go of a living person. The first time he’s ever leant so heavily on the memory of someone. He’s never had the luxury before. Too busy surviving to get caught up in his own head. Too needed by others. And then he didn’t have anyone who needed him anymore and there was no use remembering anything when stuck alone in Riverside.

No use in remembering when he’s gonna dream and scream about it later anyway.

Once he adjusts to it, to thinking of a Vulcan he met once, there’s something almost… nice... about it. This memory of Spock, that he can think of and change, idealise. Spock’s long gone, disappeared into the dockyard last year before Christmas, back to his ‘Fleet posting. He’s probably months in space by now. Jim’ll never have to see him again; will never be confronted with the reality of Spock. He can lean on the memory of Spock and the man will never know. 

It’s perfect, in a way. Keeps him grounded in one part of himself even if it means that he sometimes wakes up from what were once nightmares with a hard on. He’s still restless, has been restless since he touched back down on Earth almost a decade ago. He used to deal with it by chasing an adrenaline rush, fighting or fucking. Something to get him moving. With the memory of Spock kept close at hand, however, the people of Riverside have become even less appealing.

Luckily or unluckily - Jim hasn’t quite decided yet - he doesn’t stay in Riverside for long after Spock goes back to his life. Not even six months. Chris Pike’s a bastard, but he figured Jim out almost as fast as Spock did. Maybe it was just Riverside that couldn’t see past the front Jim put up, the shadows he stood in. And Jim’s not an idiot, he knows when he’s being baited. He’s not stupid enough to let reverse psychology work on him.

Pike knew that, too. 

Jim’s never quite been able to walk away from a challenge.

He’s been bored for so long that having so many things to do is an honest to god delight. Classes to sign up and study ahead for. Places to scope out. Room assignments to illegally alter.

“How in the good goddamn are you my roommate.” It’s not a question or, if it is, Bones’s accent flattens it out. Makes it sound more like an aggrieved statement than anything else. Jim doesn’t do anything but grin at his new roommate. 

“Luck of the draw, Bones!” Jim chirps and Leonard McCoy has never regretted throwing up on a person more. And less. More because he knows he wouldn’t have snared Jim’s attention without it. Less because the fucker deserves it for all the shit Leonard already knows he’s gonna pull in the future. Which Bones is gonna get dragged into because they’re damned roommates.

“These are the medical dorms. For med track students. And don’t call me that.”

“Well, ain’t that just a head scratcher for ya. Bones.” Jim says the last word in an over exaggerated manner. Leonard’s pretty sure he’s gonna develop an eye twitch at this rate. Maybe a pulsing neck vein. Some sort of physical tick that’ll only provoke Jim more. Like a red flag in front of a bull. 

“Someone’s gonna notice.” Leonard tells him, pulling two cups down from their new cupboards while Jim unpacks the singular bag he has. 

“Will they.” He can’t see Jim’s face, making coffee as he is, but the sure, smug tone in his voice tells Leonard everything he needs to know. Jim Kirk is a world of trouble and if Leonard leaves now, he can probably make it to administration before all the room assignments are set in stone. Jim sits down at the table, everything he has unpacked in less time than it takes to make two instant coffees, fingers of one hand drumming on the surface. Leonard places a cup of coffee in front of him. Jim gives him a grateful smile as Leonard takes his own seat.

“If you don’t graduate in three years, you’ll be kicked out in two.” Leonard predicts, hiding a reluctantly fond smile behind his own coffee. Reluctantly fond already, dear Jesus and all his saintly apostles, Jim’s gonna have him wrapped around his little finger in less than a month, he can already tell.

“Is this a challenge accepted moment, or-”

“Jim I swear to god-”

“We are never. Ever. Going to a bar together again.” This is his one night off this week. For some fool reason Leonard had thought that it’d be okay if he let Jim drag him out of the apartment.

“What? Why not!?” Jim sounds so sincerely baffled that Leonard can’t do anything but stare at him. He’s perched on their bathroom vanity, blood drying on his face and shirt from what’s thankfully not a broken nose.

“The brawl, Jim.” He says slowly, like maybe too many knocks around the head has permanently damaged the kid’s memory.

“Yeah, that was pretty fun.” Jim smiles dopily, concussion in full force, and Leonard closes his eyes. Takes a deep breath.

Fun is not how I would describe it.”

“Looked like you were having fun.” 

“You need to get your sight checked.”

“You laughed when I hit that guy with a chair!” ...Shit. He’d hoped Jim hadn’t caught that.

“It was ridiculous!”

“You’re ridiculous.”

“You’re- No.” Jim pouts, as though Leonard refusing to argue like a five year old is a bad thing.

“No more bars.” Leonard declares and Jim rolls his eyes but agrees. 

To be fair, Bones only said no more bars. He didn’t say anything about cocktail lounges, dive cafes and diners, beer gardens, inns, pubs or clubs. 

“No more damn brawls,” Bones grouses, the pair of them staggering back to campus, bruised and beat up but - very importantly - victorious.

“You didn’t have to join in.” 

“Don’t try and pin this on me.”

“I wasn’t! Just saying you had a full whiskey, you could’ve stayed out of the way.”

“If you think I didn’t finish my whiskey before stepping in, you’re a damn sight more foolish than I thought.”

Jim’s laugh rings through the misty night.

“You wanna talk about it?” Bones’ sleep rough voice surprises Jim, who looks up and over at the other bed in the room.

“Nope.” He can hear Bones shifting, rolling over maybe. Hopefully not sitting up.

“Alright. I’m here if you do.” Bones, he’s pretty sure, is his best friend. 

“I know Bones.” For the first time, there’s no automatic ‘don’t call me that. ’ Jim waits for it, can feel the grin spitting his face when it just… doesn’t come. The carpet muffles his footsteps as he walks across the room.

“Bones,” He says. The man’s on his back, eyes closed but face turned in the direction of Jim’s bed. 


Jim throws himself onto the bed, cackling at the alarmed shout Bones lets out, the loud, colourful swearing. The older man grabs a hold of his sleep shirt, tugs at him until he’s not being crushed beneath Jim.

“You’re a goddamned menace.”

“I’m your best friend.” Jim says, completely confident.

“You’re out of your damn fool mind.” Bones snaps, but he doesn’t push Jim out of the too small bed.


Jim usually shows interest in Leonard’s coursework. Damn kid’s curiouser than literally anything he’s ever met before, constantly poking his nose anywhere it could conceivably fit. They usually study together at their combined lounge/dining room table, dinner spread out between them while they do readings or assignments. Every so often - presumably when Jim reaches a break point, or maybe just gets bored with his own study - he leans over to interrogate Leonard about what he’s learning.

He’s always interested, always curious, even if he doesn’t always remember the information in depth, or at all. How he can remember any of it on top of his own stuff, Leonard doesn’t know. So it’s not surprising that, when Leonard gets to the Vulcan section of his Intro to Xenobiology course, Jim leans over to ask questions.

What is surprising is the way he can practically see Jim’s ears prick up when he says which species he’s studying. He asks questions, as always, and some are easy. Like, which Vulcan senses are more advanced than humans. The rest are things Leonard can’t answer and are… oddly specific.

“What’s the average jaw strength of a Vulcan?” Jim asks, as though that’d be in a basic xenobiology textbook. 

“Do all Vulcan dicks have tridente barbs, or is there some variation there?” Leonard did not know that Vulcan penises had barbs and he really wishes he still didn’t know.

“Exactly how sensitive are Vulcan hands?” The textbook, it must be said, does not go into great detail on Vulcan physiology. It’s the smallest section in the book and reads more like ‘don’t ask further questions, moving on’ than anything truly informative. 

“The male Vulcan genital slit, does that have a proper name, ‘cause-”

Leonard’s got a pretty good idea why Jim’s managed to formulate these increasingly specific questions about Vulcan sexual anatomy. He doesn’t want to know anymore. He does “ -not need details, Jim, Jesus H. Christ and all his disciples .” 

It’s called the si-guv-kruslar, in case you were curious. Jim looked up a pronunciation guide just so he could say it right. When the program finally congratulated Jim on his successful pronunciation of the Vulcan term, an expression that was some sort of horrendous mix between wicked and wistful passed over the kid’s face. 

Leonard has moved past not wanting to know. He just blatantly does not know. He refuses to. Ignorance is bliss, as they say, and Leonard plans to keep said ignorance by hook or by crook.

Almost a year. About eleven months, roughly. A relatively short amount of time, considering Jim never expected to see Spock again.

The second hand bookshop is tiny; not quite wide enough for two people to stand shoulder to shoulder. It’s long instead, starting out as a single aisle, shelves on the walls, before they start to intrude on the path at more or less ninety degree angles, turning the path into a zig-zagging monstrosity. It’s haphazardly set out, the dewey decimal system only a passing thought and all the books are second hand, if not fourth or fifth. The ‘real’ antique books are kept locked up in a case behind the counter, leather bound and in great condition, but Jim’s not here for them. 

He’s here for the junk, as it’s known from an investment point of view. 

He comes every couple of weeks, even when he can’t afford to buy anything. He likes the atmosphere, the classical music thumping quietly in the background, the feel of paper beneath his fingers. Even the scent of the place, must and dust included. It’s a whole experience and he takes his time browsing the stacks. Winding his way through the shelves, avoiding the stacks of books piled on the floor where the shelves are too full for anyone to fit them back in. 

It’s a Friday afternoon and he’s right at the back of the shop, flicking through some outdated physics texts. The information in them is useless, at least a century gone, but the paper still shines under the soft store light. Someone has scribbled all through them, notations and drawings and at least three absentmindedly doodled but impressively anatomically correct human dicks that Jim’s seen so far. The corners of both books are dogeared to hell and back and the spine of one was taped together at some point. 

He’s gonna buy ‘em. They might not be considered a collectors item, but half the comments appear to be a running commentary on a disliked teacher and the single caricature he’s seen so far made him chuckle.

Purchase in hand, Jim turns around and starts to wander back towards the front of the store. Some attempt at organisation has been made for a few shelves. Natural science turning into applied science, before it shoots off completely into an assortment of dictionaries and biographies of long dead people Jim’s never heard of. Maybe he’ll get one of those just before the end of semester, when he doesn’t have such a large course load. A few stacks later it’s maths and mysteries, then music. Reprints of early modern sheet music, opera play books and posters of classical bands shoved haphazardly next to some philosophy books. 

Jim turns the corner and a near collision brings him up short.

“Sorr-Spock.” Holy shit. “Wow. I didn’t expect to see you here.” That’s the understatement of the millennium, Jim’s sure. Either the man’s ship’s come in to dock or he’s working his way up some sort of paperwork ladder. Both, maybe. They skipped all the small talk questions, last time.

“...Likewise.” Spock says, face and voice blank of inflection. His eyes are maybe slightly too wide, though. Or maybe Jim’s just projecting. Misremembering tells.

They stare at each other for a moment and Jim takes in the visible changes. Or, the lack of them. Spock looks exactly the same. Same haircut, same Vulcan style robes - literally, Jim’s pretty sure - same eyes. Those eyes flick down to the books in Jim’s hands and one eyebrow quirks by a fraction.

“It is illogical to buy an outdated text.” A statement of fact and, had it come from anyone else, Jim wouldn’t have given it a second thought. It’s Spock, though, and Jim hasn’t forgotten how hard and fast he’d dug into all of Jim’s tender spots. How accurately. This isn’t a targeted barb but Jim doesn’t think it’s innocent small talk either. Or maybe it is and Jim’s reading too much into it, too eager to sink his teeth back into Spock’s flesh to assess the situation through an appropriate lens.

What an appropriate lens for this conversation would be, Jim doesn’t know.

He looks down at the aged orange and white paper back that’s wedged between Spock’s upper arm and his ribs. It’s extremely visible against Spock’s dark clothes. Jim doesn’t bother to stop the smirk that curls at the edge of his mouth.

“I would imagine most Vulcans view paper books as illogical, no matter the content.” Spock sends him a dead eyed look before slowly raising an eyebrow. Properly raising it, instead of the brief flicker from before. 

“Do you have something you want, perhaps, Jim.” He’s almost forgotten about it, the way Spock could turn his presence into something towering without moving at all. If he’d wanted to maneuver around the other body in the aisle it would have been awkward, before. An uncomfortable sliding against a stranger’s body to get past. Now it seems impossible, Spock’s presence filling the space almost completely.

“Use your words, Jim,” 

“Wanna fuck?” He offers bluntly and has the distinct pleasure of watching green tinge the tips of those pointed ears, bloom across his sharp cheekbones.

“I-” Spock pauses, takes a breath, “That would be a satisfactory outcome, yes.” Jim steps forward, a single step all it takes to get close enough to feel the Vulcan’s higher body temperature. 

“Ever gotten a blow job in public?” Spock’s upswept eyebrows immediately crease into a small frown. A strong hand cups Jim’s elbow, the pressure enough to ensure he’d hurt himself if he actually tried to drop to his knees. Jim rolls his eyes.

“Do not feign innocence now.” Spock chides and Jim shrugs.

“I could’ve been joking!”

“You were not.” Well, he’s got Jim there.


“Attempts to rile me will not work.” Jim shifts his arm, still within Spock’s firm grip, and leers at the other man.


Spock’s expression clears and he releases Jim’s arm. Takes a step back, too, which is the opposite of what Jim wants. Then again, Spock’d done the same thing back then, too. Taken a step back, feigned disinterest, just to watch Jim squirm. Maybe it’s the same, maybe not. There’s too much time since he last saw Spock - the real Spock, not the memory of him - for Jim to guess what’s going to happen.

“This is a bad idea.” Spock states. Jim wonders what tipped him off. 

“It’s a fun one.”

“Fun is-” Jim cuts off whatever logical, Vulcan-esque rebuttal that Spock was forming.

“Do you wanna see the scars you left on my thigh?” The only noise for the next minute is the deep base of the store music, the tempo reminiscent of a thundering pulse. Appropriate. 

“I extend my sincere and formal apolog-”

“Bullshit, Spock.”

“Permanent damage wasn’t my intention.”

“The idea’s getting you hot, though.” Jim steps closer, so that he’s pressed up against Spock. The warmth of him, the feel of his body, is too familiar for something he only experienced for a single night. 

“Is that a Vulcan thing, arousal at permanently marking your bed partners? Or is it specific to you?” Jim tilts his head so that he can scrape his teeth against Spock’s jaw. He wonders if Spock can remember the way Jim sounded when he called him defective, the way Jim still hears Spock’s voice in his head.

Spock turns his head, nose running along Jim’s cheek, inhaling deeply as he goes. That is a vulcan thing, Jim now knows. Better sense of smell, Jim’s learnt from Bones’s xenobiology course. Potentially an alien relative of the jacobson organ but, as Bones bitched almost constantly when Jim plied him with questions, information of Vulcan anatomy is scarce.

“Do not test me.” He murmurs, breath hot against Jim’s skin.

“If I make you angry enough, are you gonna fuck me right here?” Spock makes a warning sound, a subcocal rumble deep in his chest. It makes the short hairs on the back of Jim’s neck stand on end. He runs his hand along Spock’s side, fingers hooking into the loose fabric, tugging Spock impossibly closer.

“My control is-”

“Slipping.” Jim interrupts, knowing that it’ll only aggravate him more.

“Your tactics are juvenile.”

“They’re working. What does that say about you, that I can get under your skin like this?” 

“It’s physically impossible for you to get under my skin.” Jim knows Spock’s aware of some Earth idioms, knows the man’s smart enough to identify when one’s being used. He’s intentionally missing the point, trying to derail the conversation, but Jim’s not gonna let him. 

“You want to get under mine. Already have. Left those scars.” There’s heat in Spock’s eyes, the faintest hint of predatory intent that Jim plans to lure out. Spock doesn’t say anything, just watches Jim. He must really want to see those scars; Jim wants him to, too.

“You can see ‘em right now if you want.” Jim’s free hand makes an obvious, telling path as he slides it between them, fiddles with his fly. Spock’s eyes narrow, looking like something about to pounce for all that he doesn’t move otherwise. Jim starts to ease down his zip. Spock’s hand catches his wrist, pulling his hand away from the fly entirely. Jim grins, wide and pleased.

“Scared that if I drop my pants to show you, there’ll be nothing stopping you from fucking me against the books?” Not the strongest goad Jim could have used but Jim, for all his talk, doesn’t actually want to get fucked in the bookshop. Don’t misunderstand - if Spock pushes him up against the stacks he’ll go willingly and happily - but he likes this bookshop. Getting banned for literally fucking around in the back would be terrible. 

Jim’s dorm room is too far, there is an alley near here but he already knows Spock won’t go for it, so a hotel room. There’s got to be one somewhere close. Jim has faith in San Francisco and the amount of people who want cheap hotel rooms for a quick fuck that live in it.

“I still remember what you feel like.” Jim’s voice is quiet, intimate. “The lube in my wallet won’t be enough, you’ll just have to fuck my thighs instead.” 

Two large hands grip his waist too tight, filling Jim with satisfaction. The book Spock’d been holding thumps softly to the floor.

“You would take me dry and moan around every inch,” Spock snarls into Jim’s mouth, cutting himself off by sealing their lips together. The kiss is ferocious, more teeth than anything else. Jim can feel his lips swelling with the harsh attention, leans into it. Spock pulls away after a moment, taking a deep breath, regaining his composure. His hands stay where they are. 

“You have an aptitude for finding me when I am of a negative disposition.”

“Think of it as a stroke of good fortune.”

“Luck and all its related avenues are illogical.”

“So is threatening to fuck me dry in a bookshop.” A pause and Spock slides his hands off Jim’s waist, leaning down to pick up his discarded book. He picks up Jim’s, too, and Jim isn’t even sure when he dropped them.

“I do not make idle threats.” He warns, voice dark enough to send a shiver up Jim’s spine.

“So what, stop annoying you or I’ll get exactly what I want? Where’s the incentive?”

“My apartment has a bed.” 

Spock’s apartment is fairly spartan, furniture serviceable and plain. The kitchen, lounge and dining are all one room which is about the size of Bones and Jim’s entire small student apartment. There’s a door past the lounge that probably leads to Spock's bedroom and Jim makes a beeline for it. 

“Remove your footwear.” Spock tells him. Jim walks back to the door, kicking his shoes off next to where Spock’s taking his off. The two pairs are the only ones there and Jim doesn’t know if this means that Spock only has one pair of shoes or if he keeps the others somewhere else. 

“Race ya!” Jim calls over his shoulder, running through the apartment, clearing the low table in front of the lounge in a single bound. Jim makes it to the door first - not that Spock’s trying, still standing by the entrance - opens it and throws himself on the queen sized bed he finds. The bedroom is just as sparse as the rest of the place. The only hint of personality being the meditation mat in one corner and a small, weird cactus on the windowsill. 

Jim toes his socks off and shucks his jeans and underwear with great efficiency. By the time Spock’s appeared in the doorway, Jim’s naked and waiting. Impatiently waiting. 

“What took you so long?” Considering the small bag with his book in it is no longer in his hands, he probably took a small detour. Maybe he even put the books Jim had dropped on the floor on the table as well. 

“Your desperation is gratifying.” 

“I’m not desperate.”

“You offered to perform oral sex on me in a bookshop. And in an alleyway.” 

“Then you’re just as desperate as me, considering what you offered. Threatened. Whatever.”

“Perhaps.” Is all Spock says, the bastard, before he steps into the room and shuts the door behind himself. There’s something vaguely erotic about watching Spock grab the skirt of his robe and lift it, even if he’s wearing light pants underneath. Makes it more enticing when the thick fabric rises high enough that skin is revealed, weather too warm for an undershirt this time. Inch by inch the dark robe is lifted and Jim decides that his first mission should be putting his tongue and teeth all over that haired expanse of chest. Spock’s nipples aren’t especially sensitive but Jim wants to suck on them anyway. 

Last time Spock folded his clothes meticulously and Jim didn’t particularly care either way. Now, waiting for Spock to finish hanging his robe, he wonders if this isn’t some sort of payback for trying to goad Spock into doing something illicit in the elevator. Robe hung, Spock finally reaches for his pants, pushing them to his ankles with no fanfare. Whatever underwear he was wearing went with them. When Spock puts them in a hamper instead of wasting more time, Jim wants to thank… someone. Some god or deity or maybe just Spock himself who’s walking towards the bed with clear intent.

Jim moves forward until he’s sitting right on the edge of the bed. He reaches out once Spock’s close enough, reels him in with a hand on each thigh and presses a kiss to Spock’s chest. It’s the first in a trail of kisses interspersed with quick, sharp nips. Spock’s large hands slide up Jim’s arms, cup his shoulders, fingers rubbing softly against his skin. It feels too intimate, too close. Everyone probably feels this way when they have sex with Vulcans, or with Spock - it’s not just Jim that feels it, wants to press close, fold himself up against Spock’s side and stay.

It can’t be.

Jim breaks away from his kisses to send a cheeky smile at Spock. He pulls away, repositions himself on the bed until he’s at just the right height to lick up Spock’s si-guv-kruslar. There’s half a thought to pull back again, to try and impress Spock with his increased knowledge of Vulcan anatomy, but Jim dismisses the idea before it can fully form. He’ll impress Spock a lot more using his tongue like this than repeating basic anatomy terms.

Spock leans into his touch and Jim presses his fingers in as well. Slick and growing slicker. Jim moves his head away so that he can look properly. Bright blue. He blinks for a moment, looking at his blue tinged fingertips, the blue folds of Spock’s genitals. He’d forgotten about that, his suspicion that whatever natural lubrication Spock produced was of a non-human colouration. And now he gets to see it close up, afternoon sun shining through the window. 

Jim spreads him further. Vivid blue slick over green internal muscle, Spock’s dick nestled away inside. Jim leans forward and licks in as far as he can. He just manages to catch the head of the hidden member. Spock jerks underneath his tongue, dick suddenly pressing further forward, head butting up against Jim’s lips. 

“Eager.” Jim laughs, before wrapping his lips around the head of Spock’s dick. He rubs what he can reach of the shaft with his fingers, alternating between stroking it and the slick, tight muscle of Spock’s insides. It doesn’t take especially long for Spock’s dick to slide fully free. Jim doesn’t waste time looking at it, there’ll be time for that later. Now he just stretches his mouth wide around it, takes it deep as he can, fluttering his tongue against the barbs.

One of Spock’s hands leaves his shoulder, trails gently up his neck and slides through his hair. Jim’s eyes flutter shut. He bobs his head, doing his best to suppress his gag reflex but it’s hard when there are barbs to catch at the back of his throat if he takes Spock too deep. Spock’s hand moves down, curves around his jaw, and Jim looks up. Spock’s staring at him, lips a firm line but eyes burning. Jim makes a sound, tries to make a sound. It’s muffled by the dick he’s trying to press into the top of his throat. 

Spock pushes him away. His hands are still an inexorable force. Between the one on his shoulder and the gentle pressure cupping his jaw, Jim has no choice but to be moved. He doesn’t have to wait long before Spock takes the hand from his shoulder and, very carefully, places his forefinger at Jim’s lips. Jim opens his mouth instantly, tongue coming out to lick at the offered finger. Spock presses it in with the same careful control he’d used to insert his dick into Jim’s mouth. He wonders which is more sensitive. Scrapes his teeth against the soft pad of Spock’s finger just to hear the punched out little sound he makes. 

Another finger joins the first and Jim grabs him by the wrist; holds Spock’s hand steady as he takes as much of those long fingers into his mouth as he can. His lips touch the base of Spock’s fingers easily. He works his tongue against the fingers in his mouth, rubs his thumb over the base of Spock’s palm.

Jim doesn’t know where he wants to look more. Spock’s dick, so much pre-come gathering that it’s starting to drip, or his face. His eyes are thin slits, mouth gone slack as he watches Jim fellate his fingers. 

Jim pulls back eventually, saliva smeared across his lips and chin. Smeared further when Spock uses that same hand to grab his face and pull him close, biting kisses against Jim’s lips. They move up the bed then, Jim spurred on by Spock’s hands pushing him. Spock stops herding him when they’re in reach of the bed side table, opens the first draw. Lube is placed next to Jim, but no condom. 

“I was not expecting company,” Spock says, more explanation than apology.

“I’m clean.” Jim hasn’t had much time for fucking since he got to Starfleet. All his free time he spends researching or with Bones. He was thinking about getting back into the scene soon, now that he’s started to find his feet in organised schooling again. Meeting Spock’s blown those tentative plans out of the water.

“Are you not going to offer to illegally hack medical records to prove it to me?”

“The romance is dead.” Jim announces. The smallest quirk to Spock’s lips, almost non existent. Probably unnoticable if they weren’t so close. 

“I, too, am free from sexually transmissible diseases and infections.”

“Great. Cause I don’t think human condoms work so well for you anyway.” Jim hadn’t thought about it until almost a week after Spock had left but he’s pretty sure human standard condoms weren’t made to hold up to a Vulcan dick. Neither of them had noticed at the time, so maybe the structural integrity had held, but Jim’s not willing to put his money on that happening twice.

“Your hypothesis is intriguing, but theoretically sound. I do not personally know the specifics of mass produced human proph-”

“Not important right now.”

“I disagree. Now that you have raised the-”

“Spock. Fuck me.” Jim’s order’s sharp enough that he’s pretty sure he could’ve gotten some of the other cadets to salute him. Spock doesn’t so much as twitch. After a moment he blinks, before nodding. Jim grabs the lube, slicks his own fingers up and wastes no time pushing them into himself. Spock leans back onto his heels, watching as Jim opens himself up. It doesn’t take long, Jim focused on results rather than teasing himself or Spock with a show. 

He doesn’t need to say anything. As soon as his fingers are pulling out, Spock’s hands are lifting Jim’s legs, slotting his hips between them. He lines himself up and presses in.

“Fuck,” Jim breathes. It’s been months since he had anything larger than his own fingers and he’d forgotten how thick Spock was. Just on the right side of too thick, almost overwhelming. Spock presses in steadily. Head, ridge, every single barb. Jim shivers as Spock bottoms out; can’t help his moan when Spock pulls back. If anyone made Vulcan dick dildos they’d make a fucking fortune.

Before Spock can fuck back in and distract him completely, Jim presses his fingertips to Spock’s chest. The Vulcan obligingly pauses. Jim lifts his leg, displaying the back of his thigh, and he knows the moment Spock understands. He makes that sound again, the hair raising one that Jim didn’t even know he could make. They’re not large scars, but they’re bright against Jim’s tanned skin. Spock touches each mark, lingering over them for long moments before he pulls out of Jim completely and bends to press his lips to them instead.

There's something almost reverential about the way Spock caresses his scarred thigh. Not reverential, that’s the wrong word choice, it’s - something. Jim doesn’t know what, but it’s something. Reverential is just wishful thinking on Jim’s part; just his mind running away with him, not wishful. Regardless of what it is Spock’s doing, it’s hot enough that Jim doesn’t try to hurry Spock. Just lets the man run his teeth along the soft skin of his thigh. For a moment, Jim thinks Spock’s gonna bite down hard enough to give him another scar.

Tells himself he’s not disappointed when Spock pulls away with nothing more than a scrape of teeth.

Spock settles himself back against Jim, wasting no time before sliding back into him. They set a fast pace, egging each other on to go harder, faster. Spock does his best to fold Jim in half, holding his knees up in the vicinity of his shoulders, and Jim grabs a fistful of Spock’s dark hair; runs his teeth along one pointed, sensitive ear. It’s not long before they lose the rhythm, orgasm approaching swiftly for both of them. It slams into Jim hard enough that his hearing fades out, just for a moment. He doesn’t know what sound he makes, just that he can feel it echoing in his throat.

Spock bites into Jim’s calf as he comes, hard enough to bruise. 

They breathe with each other for a few moments, skin against skin, before Spock peels himself off of Jim and sits up. He slowly lowers Jim’s legs, giving them a quick work over with his fingers as he does. Jim waves him off and Spock settles easily into the space next to him. Their arms press together, fingers tangling. The sun’s lower in the sky than when they started, not by that much but enough to have warm orange painting Spock’s skin. And Jim’s too, he supposes, but it’s not himself he’s staring at.

“If we can return to the proposed idea regarding human made condoms, Jim, I have a few suppositions that I would like to share with you, should you be amenable.”

“Hit me.”

A long pause. 

“You have gotten better at asking for things, Jim,” ...He’s not too sure, but he thinks that might be faint praise in Spock’s voice. It’s something he’s hearing more frequently now he’s at the Academy but when his teachers praise him it doesn’t feel like this. This stuns him. Makes something in his chest twist up in a way that’s both pleasant and too much. Takes him by surprise so much that he doesn’t correct Spock’s incorrect reading of the conversation in time and Spock slaps him across the face.

It’s a relatively gentle hit, especially considering his true strength. An obvious testing of the waters, but it makes Jim’s head ring. Out of shock more than anything.

“Hit me is also a human idiom.” Is what Jim says, instead of the half a dozen things crowding his tongue, like again and harder next time and choking, yes or no? 

“Interesting. I apologise for striking you, Jim.”

“No apology needed. We’re absolutely going to come back to this once I can get hard again.”

“I will keep that in mind. What does the human expression of ‘hit me’ mean in a colloquial setting. Predominantly, this one.”

“Uh, it means something like, hit me with the idea. Give me your ideas. There are other uses but that’s what I meant.”

“So you do want to hear my thoughts on the potential incompatibility of human condoms and exobiology? With a focus on the Vulcan species?”

“Absolutely. You were saying before that you didn’t know the composition of condoms but I know more or less what they’re made of, so I can help you out there.”

“Convenient. Now…”

Spock has the entire weekend off, Jim discovers in the course of their post-coital conversation. Convenient, Jim had parroted back at him. He’s about two weeks ahead on all his course work, nothing due on Monday and Bones has a weekend full of clinic shifts. Jim’s previous plans had been a coin toss between making new friends and reading the most recent edition of Xeno-Anthropology Quarterly.

“Am I to infer that you wish to remain here for the duration of the weekend?”

“Yep. A weekend full of sex, how’s that sound?” Spock thinks for a moment.

“Acceptable, though I would like to retain my regularly scheduled meditation hours.”

“That’s acceptable to me, too.” They shake on it, kind of. Jim holds out his hand and Spock slowly closes the distance between their fingers. He runs two of his fingers across the top of Jim’s forefinger, then down. Jim returns the gesture, pleased when Spock gets that particularly intent look in his eyes again.

“Have you recovered sufficiently enough that we might revisit the previous topic of conversation?” Spock pushes himself up onto an elbow, leaning over Jim. The sunset’s starting to stain the room pink and gold and it lights up Spock’s eyes. Jim had thought they were black, but they’re just a brown so dark it looks endless. Gorgeous.

“What was the previous topic?”

“Your masochism and how you would like me to cater to it.” It seems more like Spock’s looming over him now, ready to fall upon Jim like he’s a prey animal. Jim shifts further onto his back, tilts his chin up so his throat is bared. His teeth are, too. If Spock wants him to go down, he’ll have to put him there.

The hint of teeth that Spock flashes, just for a brief moment, indicate that he’s looking forward to the challenge.

By the time they emerge from the bedroom for dinner, Jim’s throat is ringed by light bruises and his ass feels hot enough to fry an egg on. Spock matches his pace as they approach the lounge, watching but not hovering as Jim cautiously sits down and hisses at the pressure being placed on his new bruises. Due to the open plan, it’s easy enough for Jim to watch Spock walk into the kitchen and take out the beginnings of their dinner. Spock already refused Jim’s offer of assistance, back when they decided that it was time to eat.

It means that Jim gets to watch Spock move around the kitchen half-dressed. It’s an enjoyable view. He’d pulled on another pair of lightweight pants; Jim hadn’t bothered with anything more than his underwear.

“What’re you making?” Jim asks, realising that he can’t identify most of the ingredients being laid out on the counter. That’s going to be a problem.

“Pok tar.”

“Do you mind if I try a little bit of what’s in it? I have a, uh, a couple of allergies.” Jim stiffly levers himself up off the couch before Spock answers, groaning at the movement. It takes him a few seconds longer than it normally would to cross such a short distance.

“Which allergies do you have? I will be able to tell you whether or not there is any potential genetic relation or similarity.”

“It’s kind of a long list. My personal physician,” by which he means Bones, “says it’d probably be quicker to list the things that I’m not allergic to.”

“That is extremely illogical. For that to be possible, you would have to be allergic to more than half the contents of the entire universe.” Seems that way sometimes, Jim doesn’t say.

“I’m allergic to five hundred and something things. I don’t remember the exact number cause it keeps going up.” Spock stares at him blankly for about half a minute, before he starts to pack up the food in front of him.

“I believe it would be prudent if we order food that we are certain will not incite an anaphylactic reaction in you.”


“It is illogical to apologise over this, Jim.”

“If you say so. What do you want to eat?”

“I am amenable to most cuisine found in this area of San Francisco, so long as a vegetarian option is available.”

“You’re vegetarian?”


“Huh. I’ll look up local vegetarian places.” Spock’s apartment is slightly too far away for Jim’s regular take away to be convenient. They probably deliver, but it’d cost too much to justify it. 

“You do not need to abstain from meat on my behalf.”

“It’s no drama, I eat vegetarian half the time anyway.” His stomach can’t handle meat all the time, too fucked up from Tarsus. He can get away with a big, juicy steak about once every six months if he’s extremely lucky and also hasn’t had any allergy flare ups recently. He does eat a lot of fish, though. 

Jim heads over to where he’d dropped his bag. The space he’d put it in is empty. His books are gone too, but they’re not on the table. Looking slightly further afield, his and Spock’s shoes are gone as well.

“There’s a cupboard in the wall.” Spock advises. Now that Spock’s said it, the way the wall juts in a square shape is pretty telling. Jim just had other things on his mind when he’d first seen it. Even knowing it’s there, the latch of the cupboard door is hard to see. Intentionally hidden to match the minimalist decor of the rest of the apartment, probably. Jim opens the door to see a shoe rack half full, his own shoes on top. His satchel is hanging from a hook on the back of the door and his books have been carefully placed inside. How Spock managed to tetris them in there in such a short amount of time, Jim doesn’t know. 

Jim grabs his padd and shuts the cupboard behind him. There’s a message from Bones asking if he’s home for dinner. Jim replies in the negative and tells him not to wait up for the rest of the weekend before he starts to look for a place with a detailed online menu. That's a good thing about the restaurants in San Francisco, Jim’s noticed. Detailed menus, with ingredients listed. Saves a lot of time and back and forth on the phone if he can see whether a dish has got something he can’t have in it before he orders.

Jim sits back down on the lounge. Spock joins him a few moments later, kitchen neat as it was before Spock began preparing for dinner.

“This place looks like it won’t kill me.” They have at least two dishes that Jim can eat, which is a delightful wealth of choice.

“That is preferable.” They place their orders and then there’s nothing to do but wait. The silence between them isn’t awkward, it’s just boring. Jim can’t quite think of anything to say and Spock’s apartment doesn’t offer a wide range of conversational topics. It’s not like he has any books on his table or anything. Actually -

“Hey, where’d you put that book you bought? I don’t see it anywhere.” It hadn’t been in the cupboard, either. Spock leans forward and pulls at what Jim had thought was a solid side of the table. It opens easily at his touch. Spock’s place is big enough, devoid of almost any personal touch, so he doesn’t exactly need hidden storage. The newly revealed draw isn’t stuffed full of things either. It’s not even half full. There are a couple of paper books, two thick cushions and what appears to be a traditional chess set.

“What are the cushions for?”

“Sitting.” Makes sense, considering how low the table is in relation to the lounge. Trying to use the table while seated on it would be a recipe for a bad back.

“You play chess?”

“I am a Grandmaster.”

“Holy shit, really? That’s awesome.” Jim pulls the board out and starts setting it up on the table. While he does, Spock pulls out the cushions and shuts the drawer. He places the cushions on either end of the small table and Jim grimaces as he changes places.

“I have a small dermal regenerator, should you like. Or some pain medication?” Spock offers, when Jim shakes his head to the first offer. 

“Nah, I’m good.” He’ll probably have to use the dermal regen before he heads back home, though. If Bones spots the bruises on his neck, which he will, or clocks how stiffly Jim’s walking, which he definitely will, Jim’s done for. Bones’ll lecture him until they’re both old and decrepit and Jim will never get to have sex again.

The board is set up, Spock turns it so that Jim is white and they begin. Jim’s not surprised that Spock’s good. Better than good. He’s great, talented, keeps Jim on his toes until their game is interrupted by the arrival of food. Spock continues to stare at the board for several seconds after the knock at the door, long enough that Jim shifts, preparing to get up himself. Spock stands instead and soon has their delicious smelling food in the kitchen. He carefully upends the takeaway containers into bowls and then returns to the table, cutlery sandwiched between one of the bowls and his hand.

They’re halfway through their meals before Spock breaks the silence.

“Your style of play is illogical.” He says. Jim shrugs. 


“It is hard to counter.” Spock informs him and Jim raises an eyebrow. That’s quite the compliment.

“Flattery will get you everywhere. Also, it’s your turn.” He gestures to the board and the game is on once more. The bowls are stacked and set to the side once they’re empty, neither willing to leave the game for the length of time it’d take to put them in the kitchen. It’s riveting, watching Spock think. 

Spock wins, eventually, but it was a hard game. Harder than Spock had expected, maybe, considering the slightest crease between his eyebrows.

“Again.” The Vulcan says, leaving Jim to reset the board as he takes their dishes into the kitchen and rinses them. 

They play again. This time Jim wins and he doesn’t even try to stop the huge grin that spreads across his face. 

“What happens when you beat a Grandmaster?”

“You play him again.” Spock says and resets the board. It’s not quite the night of wild sex Jim had envisioned, but he doesn’t mind.

They fuck after they’ve draw even for a second time, right next to the table. Jim knows it’s gonna happen as soon as he realises they’re headed for a stalemate. There’s that heavy presence in the air again, even though Spock’s carefully keeping his entire face blank, eyes included. Stalemate is reached and Spock’s on his feet not even a second later. He stalks right past Jim, headed for the bedroom. Jim grins, grimaces a moment after when he realises he has to get up and his legs have gone numb in addition to his bruised ass.

He’s barely on his knees when Spock comes back, lube in hand. He pushes Jim down onto the floor, hard enough to jolt him but soft enough he can catch himself before his head hits the ground. He’s laid out next to the table, close enough that Spock has to shoulder the entire thing to the side to get as close as he wants to Jim. Which is, for the record, extremely close. Chest to chest, Jim’s knees hooked up around Spock’s waist, Spock’s arms bracketing Jim’s head. 

The sound of chess pieces falling to the floor in ones and twos is overshadowed by the slick sound of them fucking, Jim’s moans and Spock’s heavy exhales and short, sharp Vulcan exclamations. 

Jim gets carpet burn on his back and loves every minute of it. 

Less so when Spock has to peel his boneless body off the carpet. He does it without difficulty, even when Jim whines at the sting of it. It hurts more than he expected it to. Spock’s arm under his back is enough to irritate it and Jim’s glad when the man lays him face down on the bed. The man disappears into the ensuite and reappears a few moments later with antiseptic cream and the dermal regen.

“You don’t need to bother,” Jim protests. Spock ignores him. He gently massages the cream into the stinging friction burn on Jim’s back. Runs the regen over it long enough that Jim’s mostly asleep by the time he’s done. He listens with half an ear as Spock returns the items to the bathroom.

Spock helps him under the blanket, Jim’s body easy and pliant with sleep and satisfaction, but doesn’t climb in next to him.

“Sleep?” Jim asks. Spock shakes his head.

“You may sleep. I need to clean up. Once I have finished, I will meditate. Then I will sleep.” Actions explained, Spock leaves the room, turning the light off as he goes. Jim drifts off to the quiet sounds of Spock picking up chess pieces and washing the dishes. 

He wakes up briefly, when Spock pases the bed to unroll his meditation mat. And again however many hours later when Spock climbs into bed. His eyes shine like a cat’s in the dull light coming in through the window. Jim migrates closer as soon as Spock’s laid down, drawn to his body heat like a moth to flame. 

He’s asleep again within seconds.

They play chess again over a late lunch on Saturday after they share a too hot shower and Jim declares they need some stakes.

“Betting does not usually occur during chess,” Spock observes.

“I was thinking more along the lines of strip chess.”

“I do not understand the premise.”

“Lose a piece, lose some clothes.”

“There are more pieces on one side of the board than clothes shared between us.”

“In that case, once you're out of clothes to surrender… if you lose a piece, you do what I tell you. Or vice versa.”

“In what way?” Spock attempts to clarify but Jim just sends him a wink and makes the first move. They both know that Spock could refuse to move until the rules have been clearly outlined but the Vulcan plays along instead. They’re more or less evenly matched but Jim makes sure to get in first, even though he knows it’s a detriment to his long term game. Spock’s only wearing those loose trousers, whereas Jim’s got his underwear on as well as one of Spock’s knitted jumpers. They’re made from soft wool or wool like substance, handmade, and he’s got four of them. It must’ve cost a small fortune.

Jim only needs two pieces to Spock’s three before he can tell him what to do.

“I have no more clothes to remove. State your terms.”

“Finger yourself,” Jim says. Spock complies. There’s no build up, not even the hint of a tease. He plunges two fingers into himself easily, though not especially deeply; Jim almost climbs over the table to watch. He leans on it instead, careful not to disturb the board. Spock lets him watch for another minute or two before speaking. 

“What is the duration of these forfeitures?”

“Until your opponent takes a piece.”

Spock reaches out with his free hand, takes Jim’s castle. Shit. He knew it was gonna come back to bite him, being more eager to order Spock around than concentrate on the game itself. He can’t be too mad about it, though, because Spock’s fingers are sticky with his own bright blue slick when he removes them. Jim wants to lick them. 

“Underwear off.” Spock says. Jim almost falls over as he stands to take them off, thrown completely off balance by watching Spock lick his own fingers. His green tongue is meticulous in its job. Jim’s oddly jealous. Whether he’s more jealous of Spock’s fingers or his tongue, he’s not quite sure. It doesn’t matter either way, considering that emotion is completely overshadowed by arousal.

Jim sits down, naked but for bruises and bite marks now, and makes a move. He doesn’t manage to capture anything. Spock takes mere seconds to make his next move, taking a pawn as he does. They make eye contact over the game as Spock decides upon what he’ll ask of Jim. 

Any concentration Jim was saving for the game is blown completely out of the water when the corners of Spock's eyes crinkle. His smile is miniscule but Jim feels his mouth go dry anyway. 

“Jim,” He says, “sit here.” And then he pats his lap.

Jim loses the game. Badly.

From the moment he sits down in Spock’s lap, facing the game board but leant back against Spock’s broad, hairy chest, he knows he’s lost. When Jim manages to take a piece again, ending his time in Spock’s lap, he doesn’t move. 

They’re two or three moves from checkmate when Spock gently slides Jim from his lap and bends him over the couch cushions. Jim turns his face so he can look over his shoulder at Spock, head butting up against the back of the lounge. Spock runs his hands from Jim’s waist down to his thighs. He leans to press a kiss to Jim’s lower back then, without warning, spreads Jim and starts to eat him out.

Spock’s tongue is hot and Jim’s been on edge for what feels like forever, being teased by Spock, teasing himself at Spock’s command. It doesn’t take long before he’s attempting to thrust against the side of the couch and press back against Spock’s mouth. The Vulcan’s hands are firm against him, keeping him in place and spread open. Jim’s close, teetering on the very edge of coming, nails catching on the fabric of the lounge as he scrambles for something to hold onto.

Spock pulls away before he can, the bastard, turns Jim over so he’s seated on the very edge of the lounge. The man rises on his knees and slides into Jim before he can find the breath to complain about the change in position. Jim’s gone before he knows it, back arching off the couch, coming over his own stomach as Spock fucks him through it. 

Keeps fucking him til he’s oversensitive and on the edge of tears, unable to do much more than twitch and whine. Jim loses track of time, letting himself be used, shivering at the feel of it. Jim’s somewhere between good oversensitive and bad when Spock pulls out. Lifts Jim’s leg up and leans down to put his mouth on the back of Jim’s thigh. Gone are the soft kisses from Friday afternoon. Spock bites down, sucks dark bruises on top of old scars. Nips and licks his way to the junction of Jim’s thigh and groin.

He’s merciless, sliding two fingers back inside of Jim as he works the sensitive skin between his teeth. Spock draws away, sitting back on his heels so that there’s room for him to pull Jim off the couch and into his lap.

“No,” Jim says, words thick in his throat, tears starting to slip down his face, “‘s too much.” He admits, feeling overwhelmed and too many things. He wants Spock back inside of him but he also knows he can’t take it. Spock doesn’t try to make him. He moves Jim from his lap to the floor, straddles his supine body and takes himself in hand. The tangle of dark emotions that had been building in Jim’s chest with his admission of weakness is swept away. 

Jim stares up at Spock, watching him fuck his own fist. He looks beautiful like this, shifting muscles, hands tinting with blue, cheeks and chest flushed green, brown eyes intent on the sight of Jim below him. Spock comes over Jim’s chest, bright blue against tanned skin already streaked with white. He drifts to sleep without realising it, staring up at Spock as the man watches him in return as he catches his breath.

When he wakes up, the sun is just starting to kiss the horizon. The bare, off white walls of Spock’s apartment catch and reflect the light. Spock’s laid out next to him, eyes closed, asleep as well. The man’s snoring, just a bit, quietly. It’s cute. 

“I wish to request a rematch,” Spock says when Jim’s on his way out late Sunday morning. He’s showered and his clothes are clean but there’s no disguising the way he’s well fucked and languid with it. Jim pauses in the hallway, Spock standing just inside the apartment door. He doesn’t think about it before he nods. He’d have given the same answer even with a week to think about it.

“Sure. You want my comm or should I just turn up next Saturday?”

“An exchange of numbers would be sensible.” Spock decides and a few minutes later Jim’s gone. 

“You look chipper,” Bones grouses when he gets back from shift sometime after dark.

“Beat a Grandmaster at chess.”

“Congrats. I’m gonna sleep for thirteen hours and if you wake me up any earlier than five minutes before my first class, I’ll… do something.”

“Wow, you must be tired if you can’t even finish a threat.”

“Twelve hour shifts should be illegal.”

“Absolutely. Hey Bones, do you think it’d be possible to test me for allergens against Vulcan food?” Bones pauses, halfway stripped out of his clothes, and sends Jim a disconcertingly shrewd look. Then he shakes his head, throws his pants over his desk chair and climbs into bed.

“Ask me again after I’ve had three cups of coffee and I’ll consider it.”

Jim sends Spock a message on Thursday and they decide Saturday morning at eleven. Jim knocks on the door the second the time on his padd clicks over, Spock opens it half a breath later. Spock offers tea. Jim accepts. They sit on the pillows at Spock’s low table and play chess. Every click of the pieces against the board seems to echo in the silent room.

It’s so awkward. So horrifically awkward. Jim doesn’t understand how or why but it is. He hates it. 

“How was your week?” Jim had asked

“Acceptable. And yours?” Spock had replied.

“Yeah, fine.”

And then nothing but silence. The dull tap of Jim’s fingers fidgeting against his knee. The sound of a tea cup clacking against the table. Chess pieces moving. Jim’s pretty sure he could hear Spock’s deep, calm breaths if he concentrated hard enough. The silence continues and deepens as they draw closer to what Jim’s pretty sure is going to be another stalemate. Jim patience runs out.

“This is fucking ridiculous.”

“I assure you that move is highly regarded.”

“You know I’m not talking about chess.”

“...I am aware.”

“Why is this so awkward? You ate me out last week until I cried, right there.” Jim points to the exact spot, less than half a foot away from where he’s currently sitting.

“Perhaps that is why.”

“It’s bullshit.” Jim sulks. He moves a piece. Spock thinks for a minute before moving a piece. Jim tilts his head, surveying the board.

“Barely saw my roommate this week. Classes and the clinic job really screwed him over.” Jim moves a piece.

“Perhaps he should schedule his time better.” Ha! Yeah, Jim’ll make sure to pass that on.

“Made it easy to fuck myself to the thought of you.” Spock’s finger pauses, hovering just above the piece he was about to move.

“I have no appropriate response to that.”

“What about an inappropriate one.”

Spock withdraws his hand, turn untaken. He regards Jim for a long moment, as Jim has noticed he tends to do. Jim thinks he’s turning potential outcomes over in his head, weighing pros and cons or percentages or something like that.

“In the past week, my time spent masturbating has increased by significant factor.”

“How depraved.” Jim’s leans against the seat of the couch. Against the exact spot he’d just pointed out.

“Are you going to attempt to anger me again?” Spock asks.

“Thinkin’ about it.”

“Do you want me to hit you again?”


“Have you ever considered that you could have a similarly intense reaction to the opposite?”

“What, to pleasure?” Jim’s eyeroll is cut short as Spock stands, rounding the low table.

“You misunderstand.” Spock moves to sit on the couch and Jim follows his example. He places a hand on the back of the lounge, right next to Jim’s shoulder, and leans over him. He’s doing that thing again, where he seems larger than he actually is. God, Jim wants to be pinned under him immediately. He still hasn’t been able to figure out how he does it, whether it’s a Vulcan trick or just something particular to Spock. Bones’s xeno-bio texts are next to useless. 

“Strip.” Spock orders, his looming presence a non verbal cue for Jim to stay seated while he does so. He sheds his shirt first, arms brushing against Spock’s chest. Unzips his jeans, lifts his hips to push them and his undies down. Uses his feet to draw them down his legs and push them all the way off. Spock’s eyes are intent on him when he looks back up and those long fingers brush against Jim’s cheek lightly.

“Good, Jim,” he says. Jim can hear the approval in his voice, faint but unmistakably there, and he can feel his throat catch around nothing. It reminds him of last week, when his chest had done that weird thing when he’d thought Spock was giving him praise.


Oh shit.

Jim gets back from his booty call, or whatever the hell it is, and there’s a smile a mile wide on his face. There’s also a bruise forming in the unmistakable shape of a hand around his throat. Leonard takes a deep breath, holds it. Bites down on his initial reaction.

Jim’s squirrely, sometimes. If you didn’t know him real well, you wouldn’t notice it. He’s so open and cavalier about almost everything that it’s easy to ignore the things he doesn’t say. If pressed, Leonard could probably hazard a guess at several things in Jim’s past that the kid wouldn’t want anyone to know.

Leonard doesn’t try and guess. The kid’ll come to him about any of that if he wants to. They’re friends, not doctor-client, so it’s not Leonard’s job to push and prod. He still wants to, don’t get him wrong, but Leonard knows the value of boundaries. Of patience. 

Of not shouting at your best friend when they come home with handprints bruised into their throat and - Jesus Christ Jim - all over their goddamn fool hips. Whoever Jim’s fucking is either not human or close to overdosing on strength enhancers. Considering the spacing of the fingers, Bones figures non human is a safe bet. 

“How’s your Vulcan friend?” Bones asks, giving up on clinging to ignorance. It wasn’t working too good anyway and he’d rather be here if Jim wants to talk than bury his head in the sand.  Jim leans out from their small bathroom, shirtless. He’s got the dermal regen in one hand and a puzzled look on his face. Leonard rolls his eyes as he gets up from the kitchen table.

“How’d you know?” Jim asks as Leonard snatches the equipment from his hands, grumbling about being a qualified professional as he does.

“I ain’t an idiot and you’re not as subtle as you think you are.” Jim, unsurprisingly, pouts.

“He’s good. Told me the best place to buy Vulcan food so we can start our allergen tests.” Dear lord, Leonard is not looking forward to that. A whole afternoon of ‘see how many times Jim can react to an allergen and get a hypo before he has to go to hospital.’ Can’t wait.


“Yeah. Turns out he’s based in San Francisco now. He works for Starfleet.”

“What’s his division?”

“Never asked.” Why is Leonard not surprised? Jim chatters about the work he’s doing for his command track diplomacy course while Leonard heals his throat and makes vague agreeing noises. Jim doesn’t let him heal the bruises scattered dark and obvious across his hips. Leonard doesn’t want to know what he looks like under his jeans, except for the part where he really does. He can’t make an accurate diagnosis if he can’t see the potentially affected area, after all. 

“You’re being safe, sane and consensual?” He asks and Jim shrugs.

“I’d say we’re more risk aware consensual kink.”

“You terrify me sometimes, kid.” Jim laughs, loud and bright, heads out of the bathroom while Leonard packs the regen away. Jim’s rummaging through the fridge when Leonard comes back out and he leans against the doorway to watch him pull out the container of rockmelon they’d cut up Friday morning before class.

“Ever stops being consensual, I’ll make sure that green blooded bastard regrets it.” 

“I would pay to see that fight.”

“Jim.” Leonard’s serious and now Jim knows it, too.

“Thanks Bones.” The kid says, softly, smiling over his shoulder. Leonard ruthlessly kills the urge to go and ruffle his hair. Jim’s a damn menace, that’s what he is.

“What time do you leave for your date?” Bones asks. Jim rolls his eyes.

“It’s not a date, Bones!” 

Bones mutters something that Jim’s one hundred percent sure is derogatory and goes back to studying.

“Today is the day of my birth.” Spock says, halfway through their Saturday game of chess.

“Happy birthday Spock!” 

“My mother informed me that humans like to be aware of such things for the purpose of their social rituals. I have no intention of having a party but she was insistent that I inform my friends regardless.”

“Your mother’s a wise woman.” Spock inclines his head in agreement and takes Jim’s bishop. Motherfucker. He needed that. His next move is weak and he knows Spock can scent blood in the water.

“You know, parties aren’t the only human birthday tradition.” Jim’s voice is suggestive but the Vulcan doesn’t react. Spock thinks for a few moments, eyes flicking between pieces, and he moves before he replies.

“I am aware of most American birthday traditions. Their illogical nature suits humans but I remain indifferent to them.” 

“So that’s a no on the birthday blow job?” Jim pretends to be studying the board. He can feel Spock’s eyes on him. His moves are limited and he can see checkmate looming on the horizon.

“Are you sure this is not an attempt to derail the game you’re currently losing?”

“Dual purpose blow job.” Jim grins up at him and takes Spock’s black bishop. Spock raises an eyebrow in return, moves a knight. Fuck. 


Jim drums his fingers on the table, looks at his options. He contemplates flicking his king over before moving it instead. 

“From where does the tradition of ‘birthday blowjob’ originate?” Spock asks, chasing Jim’s king across the board in an attempt to corral him into a checkmate before Jim can force a draw. 

“I have no idea. Porn, probably.”

“Interesting. Checkmate.” Jim groans, over exaggerated, and begins to crawl around the table towards Spock.

“For clarification, is this my victory blowjob or my birthday one?”

Jim would like to clarify that it’s not a thing. They just… have a routine. It’s not as though they’ve spent every weekend from Friday to Sunday evening together since they ran into each other in the bookstore. Half the time they’re busy on Friday and meet up on the Saturday morning. They’re both busy people. Spock has his ‘Fleet job and Jim has the Academy. They haven’t met up at all this month, actually. Which is fine. 

The month-long hiatus due to Spock’s work commitments ends on a Friday morning. Jim’s got a class he should be in, but he’d told Spock to let him know when he was back in town and Spock had. He slips out ten minutes before the end of a lecture; knocks at Spock’s apartment over an hour later. The door’s barely closed behind Jim before Spock has him up against it, the seams of Jim’s clothes tearing under Spock’s hands. Jim’s just as eager. He could’ve gotten to Spock’s apartment in half the time but he took a detour back to his own first.

Spock’s fingers find the reason why, the plug Jim worked inside himself as quick as physically possible so he wouldn’t have to wait once he saw Spock. The Vulcan makes that quasi-growl sound again, the one Jim rarely ever hears. Deep and menacing, making Jim’s hair stand on end, sending a jolt of arousal straight to his dick. 

Spock sets a ruthless pace and Jim encourages him. Scratches at his back, sets his teeth to Spock’s sensitive, green tinged ears, moaning all the filthy things he’s done to himself in the last month. They collapse together on the couch, afterwards. Spock’s long fingers brushing through Jim’s hair, tracing the length of his spine. Jim orders lunch for the pair of them from the restaurant that’s starting to know Jim’s dietary restrictions as well as the one Jim and Bones order from.

But to clarify - Bones - they’re not dating. They’re not in that type of relationship. They play chess and discuss the things Jim’s reading in class and the scientific papers Spock’s working on and Spock’s fridge contains a wide variety of things that Jim can eat. And whenever the mood strikes them, which is extremely frequently, they fuck. They’re friends with many benefits, Jim would say.

It’s convenient and uncomplicated. Easy.

Leonard, for his part, wonders at the collective stupidity of a Vulcan and the man who hacked Starfleet just so he could get his preferred room assignment. Their combined I.Q’d be something ridiculous but Leonard’s willing to bet that their collective emotional quotient is roughly about two. If he’s being generous. He’d love to say that he’s washed his hands of it - wished he’d stuck with the head in the sand route - but he can’t. Because Jim won’t stop telling him things. Leonard’s not supposed to be learning more Vulcan anatomy from his roommates sex stories than his xenobio text book.

And, yeah, also because Jim’s his friend and he doesn’t want to see the kid get hurt. Maybe if he harps on enough, this won’t end in tears and Leonard breaking his hand on a Vulcan face. He’s not usually inclined to violence but he’s pretty sure watching Jim cry his heart out would get him there.

“Say hey to your boyfriend for me,” Jim’s on the way out the door when Bones says it and Jim whips his head around so fast he almost gives himself whiplash. Spock isn’t his boyfriend. They’re not dating - Jim wouldn’t even know how to date someone! The mere thought of dating Spock has his heart beating harder. It’s a terrible idea and an even worse joke.

“We’re not dating.” Jim says and Bones raises both eyebrows.

“The fact that you're serious is killin’ me.”

“I have no idea what you mean by that.”

“I mean you’re thick as a box of bricks and that Vulcan you live with for almost three days a week ain’t any better.”

“Rude.” Jim says, before crossing his arms in front of him in a giant X.

“We’re not living together! Why would you even say that?!” The argument Jim gets into with Bones takes a full twenty seven minutes to get through and makes him late. 

“You’re quite adept at programming,” Spock tells him, climbing into his side of the bed. Not that he has a side of the bed. The whole bed’s his. It’s Jim who doesn’t have a side. He ignores the detritus scattered across the bedside table closest to him. His padd charger; a cool, shiny rock he’d found on his way here a fortnight ago; the glass of water he needs because Spock keeps his entire apartment hot and it dries Jim’s mouth out. The little penguin book Spock had been buying when they met at the bookshop and which Jim’s currently reading. 

Not the point. Spock’s meditation mat has been neatly rerolled but the smell of Vulcan incense is still heavy in the air. His mother sends it to him, Jim knows. Spock settles close enough to look at the screen.

“That’s a neat way to say hacking.” Jim grins over at him. Spock flicks an eyebrow up in inquiry.

“Bones’s padd’s gonna give him a wake up call at about five forty five tomorrow morning.”

“Is this related to the state of agitation you were in upon arrival?” 

“Yep.” Jim nods his head. Spock makes a small humming noise.

“If I may make a small suggestion,” Spock says, reaching for Jim’s padd. The blond scoots closer, so his side’s plastered against Spock’s, readily handing over the padd. Spock runs a hand through Jim’s hair after he’s settled and Jim tilts his head back against Spock’s shoulder. He’s excited to see what bells and whistles Spock’s gonna add to his revenge plan.

Spock isn’t the sort of person to sleep in, Jim knows. He wakes up a few minutes before his morning alarm, turns it off seconds after it begins to trill at him and then goes for a shower. That’s much less true on weekends, if only because Jim’s there. He can get back to sleep after Spock’s alarm easy, but it’s better to roll over and press himself up against Spock’s sleep-warm side. 

There’s something captivating about Spock when he’s just woken up. He doesn’t snap awake immediately like Jim does. The few minutes before and after his alarm he’s bleary eyed, face creased from the pillow, hair messy. He lets himself be moved this way and that without complaint, smiles easier. Jim got him to laugh, once. He’s fresh from sleep and soft with it in a way Jim’s never seen before.

The only people he can remember watching wake up were the other kids and they were the same as him. Jerking awake at a sound or from the horrors of their own mind. Terrified and silent, adrenaline pumping through their veins, awake instantly. Spock comes to consciousness easily and slowly. 

Spock’s mouth is soft. Jim runs the pad of his forefinger along his lips and smiles as Spock tilts his head into the movement. His eyes are barely open but his tongue flicks out to press against Jim’s finger. There’s no rush. Jim takes his time moving across the bed, moving up Spock’s body until he’s got a knee either side of Spock’s shoulders. He brings his pillow with him, props Spock’s head up on it and watches with delight as the Vulcan opens his mouth.

Jim presses his half hard dick into Spock’s waiting mouth. Spock closes his eyes fully, one hand brushing against the back of Jim’s thigh before he drops it, content to stay lax and boneless against the bed as Jim fucks his mouth in careful, shallow thrusts. 

They cover the Kelvin in class on its anniversary. Of course they do. It doesn’t set Jim’s teeth on edge like other things could - he’s pretty sure a third year course covers Tarsus IV and Jim’s already figuring out a work around for that. It’s not the content matter that gets to him the most, it’s the other students. Their side eyes and whispers. It reminds Jim too much of Riverside. Birthdays spent in mourning. His mother. 

He doesn’t give Spock a chance to say anything, when the man opens the door on Friday afternoon. 

“Still a disappointment to your mother?” He asks, slamming the door shut behind himself, kicking his boots off with vicious intent. Spock’s eyes go dark and dangerous almost immediately. 

“At least my mother can look me in the face.” Spock’s voice is even, flat and that enrages Jim further. Spock turns his back on Jim, walks further into the apartment. Jim stalks after him. 

“Had my birthday this week,” Jim says once Spock’s fucked the anger out of him. 

“Happy birthday Jim.” A pause, “Did you want your blow job now or at a later time?”

The months seem to go quickly. The end of Jim’s first year at the Academy is fast approaching. Unlike some of the students in his track, he’s not panicking. Despite all the weekends he spends playing chess and fucking, Jim also spends a significant amount of time studying. Bones is also not panicking, but that’s because Bones only panics over ridiculous things. Like the great vacuum of space and the diseases they could potentially catch.

Time’s also against his extremely pregnant lecturer and their three beleaguered T.A’s, who have been frantically attempting to prepare for the professors upcoming parental leave. Not quick enough, as it happens. His extremely pregnant Command and Control professor is currently in the process of becoming less pregnant and it’s caught the T.A’s off guard. Judging by the series of emails frantically sent between them - which Jim’s about 99.99% sure the class itself wasn’t supposed to be cc’d into - they’ve become trapped in some sort of comedy of errors. 

While amusing to read about, it also means that Jim’s suddenly got a free block instead of C&C, so he’s using it to harass Bones. They’re on their way to a shared lunch, something that only ever happens when a class has been cancelled or there’s some sort of holiday due to their conflicting schedules. He’s looking forward to seeing how many weird Southern phrases he can get Bones to swear in before they have to go their separate ways. 

“Professor!” Someone calls from behind them where they’re walking across the wide common near the cafeteria. It’s a frequent refrain heard all over campus. Students sighting a very busy teacher at a distance and doing their best to run them down before the professor disappears back into the crowds. 

“Professor Spock!” The same student calls. Jim nearly trips over his feet, attention snapping towards the shouting student. Wow, he was not prepared to hear that name bellowed across campus today. Or ever. What a coincidence, Jim tells himself even as his pulse skyrockets. 

Jim looks over his shoulder at the student who’s hurrying towards them. Easy to spot, with his frantic waving and quick pace. His eyes are locked onto his target and Jim follows his gaze. 

Well, that’s certainly a coincidence, alright.

Spock is standing about twenty meters to the north west of Jim. If the student hadn’t called out, they never would have noticed each other. They’ve noticed each other now. Spock’s looking straight at Jim instead of the student who’s hurrying past him. For a brief moment, their eyes match. Wide, stunned. Then Spock blinks, face returning to its usual impassive setting as the student hurries past Jim.

Jim watches the student approach and immediately begin throwing a barrage of questions at Spock, who stands still and straight backed; quiet until the student finishes talking. Jim doesn’t realise he’s come to a stop to stare at them until Bones elbows him in the side.

“What’s up with you?” Jim can’t do anything but wheeze out a pale imitation of a laugh for a good few seconds. Bones face goes from curious to concerned, eyebrows furrowing. Concern tends to look a lot like annoyance on Bones’s face, Jim’s noticed.

“What was that you said about getting expelled in two?” Bones blinks at him, eyes narrowing, before he turns his head to look where Jim is. He stares at Spock, obviously Vulcan - obviously an instructor, in that charcoal uniform. He’s standing a professional distance from the student in front of him, speaking firmly but calmly.

“Oh no. Jim. No.” Bones says, voice firm as though that’s all there is to it. This is not happening, Bones has declared and thus it will not happen. The student’s face lights up, nodding frantically. Whatever problem he’d had, Spock has solved it. The student waves his arms in a jerky and stilted manner which probably means he’s attempting to restrain himself in the face of his Vulcan professor.

Because Spock’s the Vulcan the Academy employs. The Vulcan Jim’s heard of here and there but never really cared about because he has his own Vulcan to entertain himself with. The student bounds off into the distance, probably to ruin someone else’s life.

Spock and Jim make eye contact again and Jim can hear Bones mutter, “you got the worst luck, kid.”

Yeah, no shit.

We need to speak, the message says. It hasn’t even been a full minute since Bones pulled Jim into the cafeteria. He lets Bones steer him into a chair as he stares at his padd. 

Want me to come round? Is what Jim sends. He doesn’t know what else to say. His entire chest feels tight. He’s gonna lose this, he knows. He likes Spock, likes his company and his small smiles and his dick. They’re friends. And Jim’s about to get a reply somewhere between ‘that would be unwise’ and ‘we should discontinue our association immediately. Having a cadet at my residence-’

Jim’s attempt at predicting Spock’s reply is interrupted by his padd beeping.

I will be home from five forty.

See you then, Jim sends and then shoves his padd to the bottom of his bag. Bones stares at him from across the table. 

“Wanna talk?” He asks, looking unsurprised when Jim’s answer is to drop his head against the table and start swearing extremely loudly.

“So, here’s the thing.” Jim says, back in their shared room that same evening. Untouched. Unfucked. He’d barely spent half an hour at Spock’s, the both of them completely blindsided by this turn of events. 

It’s an easy enough mistake to make, Jim supposes. He never bothered to ask what Spock does at Starfleet and Spock had assumed that he was bouncing and serving bars, same as he had been in Iowa. They’d talked about the things he was reading for class, but never why he was reading them.

Bones actually deigns to close his textbook, focusing his attention on his best friend.

“We’re going to be chess buddies.”

“...Lord give me strength.”

The lounge feels like a landmine. Jim’s been fucked and fingered and eaten out and come all over it. It’s the only seating Spock has, apart from his cushions and his bed. All three spots have memories attached, but the cushions have the least of them. As long as he focuses on the chess game in front of him, it’ll be fine. 

It’s a Saturday morning. Jim arrived at nine thirty on the dot. It’s mornings only, from now on. No more afternoons or evenings and absolutely no nights. Why they decided mornings were the least offensive time, Jim doesn’t know. He associates mornings in Spock’s apartment with lazy morning sex and Spock loosening his Vulcan restraint. 

There’s none of that softness now. Spock is somehow sitting straighter than usual. His face is blank, eyes shuttered. 

The last time it was this awkward between them, it had devolved into exploring Jim’s then unknown praise kink. Spock had lavished Jim with light touches and soft words. A week ago Spock had done the same. Spread Jim out on the bed, told him how good he was, how special, how pretty. 

Spock took him apart and Jim had cried. Ugly crying, nose turning stuffy and eyes swollen. Spock had fucked him slow and gentle, held him close. Kissed him deep. Made Jim’s heart skip a beat in a way that Jim was not thinking about. He couldn’t think about it then, unwilling to change anything between them, unsure if he was actually feeling anything or if it was a byproduct of Spock tearing him open.

He can’t think about it now, either. They’re just friends. Chess friends. Who don’t fuck. Just chess. Not strip chess, or chess where they fuck at the end of it. No victory blowjobs. 

Because Spock’s an Academy instructor and Jim’s a cadet. He’d had to talk Spock down from reporting their sexual relationship; arguing that Spock had never taught or marked anything Jim has worked on or been involved in. He talked the Vulcan down from career suicide, thankfully, but it also marked the end of anything more there could have been between them. The rules are strict and clear about fraternisation between Academy instructors and students.

Jim would know. He spent the five hours and twenty eight minutes between finding out Spock taught at the Academy and arriving at his apartment reading through the rules. 

The match ends in a stalemate. Jim leaves after the single game they share, chased away not by the awkwardness but by the knowledge that he can’t reach across the table and run his fingers over Spock’s. Spock won’t look at him from under thick, dark lashes and curl his fingers around Jim’s. Little Vulcan kisses shared between them even when they’re not angling for anything more than a game of chess. 

“See you next week,” Jim says out of habit as he’s leaving and Spock agrees. Which means Jim’s locked in for another Saturday morning of awkward, unhappy chess. Great. 

He almost doesn’t go. Wakes up on Saturday morning and picks up his padd with the intention of sending Spock a message to that effect. Pretending something came up last minute and then never reschedule their missed chess game.  He puts the padd back on his desk, message unsent, and goes to take a shower. He bumps into Bones when he walks into their kitchen/dining area. The man slides him a cup of coffee, pats his head roughly.

“Sorry ‘bout it, kid.” He gruffs, putting a lid on his own travel mug of coffee and then he’s out the door, heading to the clinic. Jim broods over his coffee. Scowls at the wall. Drums his fingers on their cheap formica table before he throws the rest of the coffee back and grabs his bag.

“So, my interspecies ethics class had me do this reading,” Jim says in lieu of a greeting when Spock opens the door. Jim’s kind of worries that the reminder as to why they’ve - not broken up. They weren’t dating - would make things worse. It doesn’t. At the prospect of conversation, Spock’s shoulders relax from their painfully straight posture and back into their standard firm posture. 

“Assigning readings is common for all subjects,” Spock says. Jim relaxes at Spock’s rejoinder, starts to take his shoes off as Spock walks into the kitchen to begin making tea.

“Ch’aal?” Jim asks hopefully, smiling when Spock takes the purple tin from the cupboard. 

“Which reading are you referring to?” Spock asks, setting the water to boil. Jim tucks his shoes away and wanders into the kitchen to lean against the counter. It almost feels like everything’s back to normal, except for how Jim can’t reach out and touch. 

“First contact, ethical dilemmas, by Th’wal Dah.”

“It has been some time since I read that particular article. Should I refresh my memory as we drink ch’aal?”

Jim breathes easy for what feels like the first time since he saw Spock standing there in his Instructors uniform.

Studying with Spock - actually studying with him in between rounds of chess, rather than meandering conversations bouncing back and forth between subjects? It’s gonna bring his grades up from perfect to flawless.

Jim doesn’t think it’s worth what he lost. 

Cooking with Spock isn’t as fun when he can’t lick Spock’s fingers clean just to watch his eyes go dark with lust, that’s for sure. But they’re cooking together again, which is nice. Just lunch, after which Jim leaves. He tries not to linger too much after that. It reminds him too much of before, when he spent whole weekends here. What did Bones say that one time? That he spent half of every week living here? Jim hadn’t wanted to hear it at the time but it was true. Past tense, unfortunately.

They get their groove back after that second week. Playing chess, talking, arguing over different things they’ve read. Joking - not that Spock would admit to that, but Jim knows him. They don’t scrape at each others emotional wounds, don’t cut each other open in a way that feels oddly like healing. Don’t touch. Or, they try not to touch. 

There’s been a few close calls when packing away the chess pieces and working in the kitchen. Fingers not quite brushing, hands quickly moved away. Spock stares at him when he thinks Jim’s too focused on something else to notice. Jim doesn’t know how he could ever miss it. He does his best to ignore it, no matter how much he’d love to meet Spock’s eyes.

If he locks eyes with Spock when the Vulcan’s looking at him like that, Jim’s gonna drop his padd to the floor and crawl into the man’s lap. He thinks Spock’d let him. Would sink his teeth into Jim’s neck, press bruises into his skin again. But that’d be it. This would end. No more chess or conversation. Their friendship would be over and Spock would probably cart himself off in front of the Academy’s disciplinary committee. Ruin his entire career because Jim Kirk couldn’t keep it in his pants. 

So he ignores the way Spock looks at him and does his best not to look at Spock the same way when the man’s focused on his next move. He probably fails but it’s the thought that counts, right? 

It’s probably better this way, anyway! Spock’s such a great study help that Jim aces his exams. It’s definitely better than spending every Sunday morning rolling around in bed with Spock. There’s hardly even a competition. 


I’ve got a question, Jim messages at three thirty on a Saturday afternoon. Jim left Spock’s place about two and a half hours ago. He absolutely had not spent the time in between debating whether or not to message Spock. 

I looked you up on the academy index and it says you’re good at languages. Not exactly what it said but easy enough to extrapolate.

Yes. What is your question?

I just signed up for a language course next semester and I was wondering if you’d help me out? Better to do this by message where he couldn’t accidentally blurt out something about how talented Spock was with his tongue or make one of the hundred oral sex jokes that he thought of.

Of course. Which language did you choose?

And now they message during the week, which they never did when they were fucking, except for when they needed to change the time or day they were meeting up. Yet another positive thing to come from not fucking. There’s a whole host of them. Jim could list off a hundred of them - so long as you don’t need the list now. 

It doesn’t snow in San Francisco. It’s Christmas time and there’s no snow, barely even any frost. The memories still bubble to the surface. Frost has little to do with it when it’s still the anniversary of Kodos’s takeover. It doesn’t always fall in the winter time but this year it does. Tarsus IV had a different calendar to Earth, longer years. About two and a half Earth years to every one Tarsan year. 

It’s winter, the sun is warm in the sky and Jim ropes Bones into drinking for a full day. Bones is on his off rotation and watches Jim drink like a fish in their apartment with no small amount of concern. He wasn’t overly concerned at first but that changed about half way through the seventh shot Jim threw back like it was water. Jim had mumbled something about bad memories when Bones raised an eyebrow. The other man didn’t pry. Jim likes that about Bones.

“I like that about you Bones,” Jim says, potentially slurs, accidentally changing the subject completely. If asked, he wouldn’t be able to tell you what they’d just been talking about for love or money.

“Like what?”

“Your friendship.” Jim decides, his earlier thought already slipping through his fingers. He doesn’t know what the time is now, but they’d started as soon as Jim came back from the shop with bags of alcohol some time this morning and now the warm winter sun is trying to paint the walls of their bedroom golden orange.

“Spock’s place looks nicer at sunset.” Spock’s skin looks good at sunset, too. Shading him in all sorts of pretty sunset colours. Gold and orange and pink. Jim loves chasing the colours with his mouth, his hands.

“I’m sure it does.”

“I like to lick it.”

“I do not want to know.”

“This is important Bones!” Jim enthuses before throwing the last of his drink back. “It’s like… it’s like… wow. So pretty.”

“Uh huh.” Bones stands up and Jim stares after him as he goes. 

“Booooones!” He calls out, finding it mighty unfair that Bones can just get up and walk out when Jim’s stuck here on the floor, legs like jelly. Jim tries his best to find his feet but gives it up for a bad job before Bones gets back, cup in hand.

“Drink.” Bones says, helping Jim hold the cup. Jim does as he’s told. Eurgh. Water. That’s not what he wants. He goes to tell Bones so, but the words don’t form right in his mouth.

“You’ll thank me in the morning.” Bones says and Jim pouts. 

“I’ll thank you now.” He says, contrary, and Bones chuckles.

“Sure you will kid.”

The hangover fucking sucks. His alarm goes off too early, because it’s now a Saturday and Jim has a standing chess appointment. He’s not gonna miss it just because he drank too much yesterday but he’s not happy about getting up, either. He must truly make a pathetic sight, rolling around and groaning in his bed, because Bones jabs him with a hypo that makes being conscious tolerable. He’s gonna get a bruise on his neck, Jim can already feel it. He may have spent some time the day before bemoaning his current lack of bruising but this isn’t what he meant and Bones knows it.

“I don’t think you’re supposed to have those on hand.” He’s pretty sure those hypos are doctor office only type deals.

“Y’think you’re the only one who breaks the rules?” Jim gasps, absolutely delighted.

“Bones! You’ve been holding out on me!” Hangover beaten back by Bones’s ill gotten hypo, Jim jumps from his bed to drag the other man into a hug. 

“I do something nice and this is what I get.” Bones complains but he hugs Jim back anyway.

The shower makes Jim feel almost human again. The hangover is not quite gone by the time he gets to Spocks. The man looks as he always does, wearing the Vulcan style clothes he seems prefers to wear when not in uniform. Something about Jim’s appearance must not be up to scratch because an eyebrow is raised as soon as Spock sees him.

“Late night?” He asks, tone carefully blank. His eyes flick from Jim’s tired eyes to his neck and back up. There’s the shadow of something on his face but Jim can’t place it.

“Drinking with Bones.” He says and can’t help noticing the way Spock relaxes with the information. Jim doesn’t quite have the brain space to think about it too hard, the last, stubborn remnants of a headache that hypo couldn’t cure throbbing dully at the base of his skull.

“Can we make sheekuya na’na?” He asks, toeing his shoes off, shoving them into the cupboard. 

“I have all the ingredients at hand.” Spock agrees, leading Jim into the kitchen. The Vulcan style not quite iced tea is delicious and refreshing, orange-mint flavoured except it’s a mint flavor Jim can have without getting hives. Thank god for alien food. Drinking sheekuya na’na is gonna deal with the rest of his hangover, Jim knows it.

Making it’s easy, he’s done it with Spock before, back when it was summer. Of course, they’d both been stripped to their underwear, then. Jim had stolen Spock’s cup before he could drink from it, tangling their fingers together as he brought the cup to his own lips. Now they stand a carefully measured distance apart, no chance of their hands or sides brushing. 

Jim chops the birkeen into tiny, tiny pieces and then scrapes them off into the water. It’s not traditionally included in sheekuya but the sweet herb’s there to replace an ingredient that Jim’s allergic to. He thinks Spock likes the taste of this better anyway. The fingers he’d used to push the birkeen off the small chopping board are now liberally dusted with the herb. He licks them off, absent minded. Not thinking about it at all. 

That presence, suddenly. Spock larger than he should be, entire being seeming to crowd Jim against the counter even though the Vulcan hasn’t moved. Jim stares at Spock, whose eyes are locked on where Jim’s licking his fingers clean. Neither of them move, stuck in a terrible, aching limbo. 

Jim pulls his tongue back into his mouth and the moment breaks. Spock looks away. Jim washes his hands in the sink. They finish making the chilled drink in silence. Spocks pulled the non-physical presence thing he does back, away from Jim, but it hasn’t disappeared entirely. It hovers there, close to Spock’s skin. Jim wants to get close enough to feel it press up against him again. He doesn’t. He’s got self control. He’s not gonna fuck this up for them, no matter the temptation.

He spills the sheekuya as he pours it into their cups. It was an accident - mostly. Probably. The slightly sticky mixture clings to Jim’s fingers. Jim lifts his hand up to his mouth as though he’s going to lick it. The tension ratchets up again. He stops his hand just before it reaches level with his mouth, holds eye contact with Spock, before he turns away and washes his hands properly.

The tension doesn’t break, this time, and Jim takes a deep breath.


“So, here’s the thing,” Jim bursts into their apartment like a tornado. Bones heaves a sigh from his desk. “It’s stupid. It’s so stupid. I should just not, right Bones? Keep doing what we’ve been doing, no one gets hurt, no one has to report themselves to the Academy, it’s all fine. That’s what I should do, right Bones?”

“Kid, I got no idea what you’re talking about.” 

“I’m gonna seduce him.” Jim declares, all pretense at trying to convince Bones to convince him that it’s a bad idea flying out the window.

“Well, that didn’t take long.”

“Don’t try to- what? You say that like this was inevitable, Bones.”

“It was.”

“I happen to have impeccable self control!”

“You happen to be in love with him.”

Jim scoffs. Then decides that the noise didn’t accurately express his feelings and scoffs again, louder and more exaggerated. 

“I do not.” In love. Pah. He’s not in love with Spock, he just loves the feel of the Vulcan’s body against his own. His heart’s got nothing to do with it. 

“Uh huh.”

can you send me that text on ancient vulcan battle tactics? I can’t find it anywhere in the academy library

I know ive seen it on your padd befpre


The Academy library does not have access to the publication. It remains mostly exclusive to graduates of the VSA.

then why do you have it? Also the title was in english??

My sister translated it to further her comprehension of old Vulcan academic language. I graded her on it and it appears that I never deleted the file.

oh ‘it appears’ does it?

Would you like me to send you the file?


How to seduce a Vulcan, that is the question. It’s not, actually, because Jim knows how to seduce Spock perfectly well. If he’d licked his fingers for the second time last weekend, that would’ve done it. It had been something of a revelation for Jim. He’d known that all it would take was one too long look shared between him and Spock for Jim to break. To throw out all good sense and self restraint and throw himself at his ex-lover. 

He just hadn’t realised that it was the same for Spock. 

The knowledge that Spock was holding himself back as much as Jim was gratifying. It instantly eroded all his self control. Thus, the plan for seduction. But seduction isn’t the hard part.

He wants more than a single, last fuck. He wants what they had before. All the friendship in addition to the physical benefits. A distinctly Bones-like voice in the back of his head is muttering the word boyfriend, but Jim ignores it. That’s not what he’s trying to do, okay? He’s not in love with Spock. He doesn’t want to date him. He just wants their old dynamic back, plus all the extra stuff they do now, like message whenever the mood strikes and study together. 

None of that counts as dating. That’s not the goal here. 

Jim spends the rest of the week plotting. He comes up with plans, back up plans, plans from a to z. Emergency plans, contingency plans. They all go out the window when Spock says, cup of ch’aal paused halfway between his mouth and the table, 

“Ah yes. Professor Van.” Jim takes in the dead flat tone, the hands and cup paused midair, the thin lips, and cackles.

“You hate him too!” Jim is fucking delighted. The wrinkled old prune is the worst teacher Jim’s encountered so far at the Academy. How he has tenure, Jim doesn’t fucking know.

“Vulcans do not hate, Jim. Such an extreme emotion would be illogical.” Spock takes a sip, places his cup back down on the table.

“Having an eulogy written for such a venerated, aged elder, however, is only logical.” His eyes are barely creased and the corner of his mouth has tucked up the smallest amount. Jim laughs again, unable to contain it. Laughs along with Spock’s own, quiet amusement and thinks:

Fuck, Bones was right.

“Why didn’t you tell me earlier!?”

“I did.”

“Tch. No you-”

“We had an argument on a Friday afternoon before I went to my shift at the hospital and I didn’t see you again until Monday morning. You spent the entire weekend at Spocks. I marked it on the calendar.” Sure enough, when Bones flicks his hand across the holo calendar on the wall, back three and a bit months, there’s an event on a date that holds no meaning for Jim. Bones opens it. 

Told Jim He Loves Spock, it says.

“...Why would you even do that.”

Instead of answering, Bones flicks back to the current date and creates an event.

Told you so, he types, hits save. The event notification pops up almost immediately. Told You So, complete with a little chime. When he looks at Bones, there’s a smug smile on his face. That rat bastard.

“Bones. Do not.” Jim warns but he can’t quite keep a straight face. His best friend’s a stone cold bastard and Jim loves him. He also loves Spock, apparently. He’s not quite sure the knowledge has actually sunk in yet, except for how he feels it with every beat of his heart.

There’s silence for a moment and then,

“You gonna listen to me now?”

“Probably not.”

“Yeah that’s about what I expected.”



It’s Saturday again. Jim’s forgotten about all the seduction plans he’d come here with last week. He thinks maybe he should be nervous but he’s not. He feels calm, decided. He has a goal and nothing’s going to keep him from it. The only losing scenario here is if Jim stays silent.

Spock opens the door, letting him in. Jim takes off his shoes. The ch’aal is waiting to be made and the chess set is already set up, as it always is now. Spock pads barefoot into the kitchen and Jim follows him. Keeps walking even after Spock’s stopped to flick the kettle on, ends up pressed right against Spock’s back. He’s so warm. 

Spock doesn’t move. Doesn’t speak until Jim slowly, hesitantly, slides his arms around Spock’s waist.

“Jim,” Spock sighs, listing back into Jim’s embrace. “We cannot.” He reminds, as though Jim’s forgotten. As though he hasn’t been thinking about it constantly for weeks. Jim goes to step away. Spock stops him, hands coming to rest on Jim’s arms. His thumbs slowly start to rub circles against Jim’s forearms. 

“I miss waking up beside you.” Jim’s voice is quiet. His mouth’s pressed against Spock’s shoulder, almost enough to muffle his voice but not quite. Spock’d hear it even if it was, with his sharp ears. Spock sighs. Jim shifts until he can look up at Spock’s face. His eyes are closed. Jim can’t see from this angle, but he’s willing to bet there’s the smallest furrow between Spock’s brows.

“You look so good when you wake up. Do you even know how open you are when you’re sleep warm and soft with it?” Jim tightens his hold on Spock, clenches his fingers in his Vulcan robes. 

“This is not a conversation conducive to maintaining our friendship along the guidelines we established.” 

“Guidelines probably wouldn’t want you to stare at me the way you do, either.” Spock stiffens slightly, caught out.

“Looking was never prohibited.”

“It goes against the spirit of the agreement, the way you do it.” Jim rubs his cheek against Spock’s shoulder. Thinks about shifting his head enough that he can get his mouth on Spock’s neck. Stays where he is for now. Spock doesn’t appear to have anything to say to that, either in defence of himself or to point out that Jim’s no better.

The kettle beeps, water boiled. Neither of them move. 

“I miss you.” Jim finally says. 

“Ashalik,” Spock says, sliding his hands down Jim’s arms until his fingertips can twine with Jim’s own. “Ashayam. I am here.”

“I want you.” Spock opens his eyes, finally, tilting his head so he can look at Jim properly. There’s a wealth of emotion hidden away behind them that Jim can’t quite decipher. He rubs his fingers over Jim’s own, the gentle rasp of skin against skin sending Jim’s heart thundering in his chest.

“You have me,” Spock tells him, but still he doesn’t move anything other than his fingertips. It still feels like they’re locked at an impasse. Jim untangles their hands, pulls his arms away. Spock’s grip tightens for a moment but he lets Jim go without a word. Lets Jim step away, put some space between them. Spock turns. They stand not even a metre apart, face to face in Spock’s kitchen as Jim tries to think of a way to bridge the gap that’s still between them.

He doesn’t even know if the distance he feels between them is real or if he’s just feeling too vulnerable to tolerate anything less than Spock reaching back with both hands. 

“I’m in love with you,” Jim throws out there, words casual like he doesn’t particularly care about their reception. Spock’s eyes widen, eyebrows arching up - he’s never seen Spock so shocked, even when they stared at each other across Academy grounds for the first time. Jim doesn’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing so he keeps talking.

“It kind of hurts, which I didn’t expect.” Spock’s still silent, dark eyes gone still and watchful. The nerves Jim hadn’t felt before? They’re here now. Turning his stomach and beating against his ribs. Or maybe that’s his heart. He might not need it after this so maybe it’s trying to get in one last workout in.

“Do you, I mean, not that you need to answer. I’m fine to drink ch’aal and play chess. Probably should have just done that in the first place. We should do that. Now.”

“I watch you sleep. You always stir when I come to bed, I do not know if you are aware of it. You relax when you look at me, fall back asleep almost immediately. This trust is invaluable to me. I believe this to be comparable to your earlier statement.”


“I no longer enjoy the silence of this apartment when it’s empty of your breathing. Is that more acceptable?” Spock asks, raising an eyebrow. 

“Perhaps you would like me to detail all the ways in which I have thought about you since I last had you in my bed. The list is long and, against my better judgement, I have formed an opinion on what you look liked dressed in your cadet reds.”

“Getting a bit kinky there, Spock,” Jim taunts, breathless. Spock takes a step forward, then another. They’re not quite close enough for Jim to feel Spock’s body heat, the scant inches between them still too many. 

Spock raises a hand between them, first two fingers extended while the rest are curled against his palm. Offering a Vulcan kiss. Jim accepts, eagerly. Runs his fingers across Spock’s slowly, letting a nail scrape against Spock’s skin. He’s not sure if that’s the equivalent of adding teeth to a kiss, but he hopes so. Spock certainly reacts the same way for both.

“Jim,” Spock breathes, shifting forward, removing the distance between, trapping their hands. “T’hy’la. I love y-”

Jim probably should have let him finish but he’s always been an instant gratification sort of guy. Spock already said the most important part and he’s standing so close, staring right into Jim’s soul with those gorgeous brown eyes. Jim kisses him, kisses the words from his lips, licks and bites his way into a mouth he’s missed desperately. Curls his free hand around Spock's neck and does his best to fuse them together at the mouth.

“Eager,” Spock says between kisses, untangling the hands trapped between them so that he can hold Jim’s hips with both hands. Spock lifts him, easy as breathing, and Jim wraps his legs around Spock’s waist.

“Yeah,” Jim agrees, “I’d let you do anything.”

“I have reason to believe that is not a new development.” Spock’s eyes are warm as he carries Jim to the bedroom. Jim shrugs, unable to deny it. The bed’s just the same as he remembers when Spock throws him on it. Jim scrambles to undress but stops after his shirt’s on the ground and Spock hasn’t moved. He’s just standing there, staring at Jim.


“I have also… missed you.”

“Only realising that now that I’m in your bed?” Jim teases, unbuttoning his fly. Spock’s eyes don’t follow the movement of Jim’s hands. They’re locked onto Jim’s own; predatory.

“No. I simply thought it prudent to tell you now as I find it unlikely that you will be receptive to conversation after this moment.”

“Why’s that?” Jim throws his jeans off the bed, in the vague direction of the clothes hamper. He leaves his underwear on. Kind of hopes Spock wants to rip them off. He’s never told Spock that he’s kind of into the wanton destruction Jim’s clothing that sometimes happens, always too caught up in something else that happens. Like now, when Spock derails Jim’s thoughts with a single sentence.

“Being fucked unconscious generally inhibits speech.” That larger than life presence unfurls from Spock again. Jim shivers at the touch of it. Fuck that’s hot. Spock closes the space between them, climbing up onto the bed, looming over Jim.

“Sure you can?” Jim taunts, stretching out beneath Spock. He knows he looks good, miles of tanned skin displayed on dark sheets. He’ll look better after he’s all bruised up.

“T’hy’la,” Spock says again. Jim doesn’t know what it means but he loves how Spock says it. His voice is warm like Jim’s never heard it before.

“I love you,” Spock says. The words send shivers up Jim’s spine. It’d turn his knees weak if he were standing. He wants to wrap himself around Spock and never let go. 

“Love you too.” Jim mumbles, not quite embarrassment tinging his cheeks pink. Spock leans down for a gentle, devastating kiss. 

“Will you be good for me tonight Ashayam?” He asks and Jim quivers. He feels like a live wire already and Spock’s barely touched him.

“Yeah,” Jim nods. Spock sits up, runs a hand across Jim’s chest, up his neck. The gentlest of pressure before he moves on, fingers skimming across Jim’s jaw. He rubs a thumb against Jim’s lips, tapping gently.

“Open your mouth.”