It's been three months since Nabrici, with its purple sky and its army of moons. Which means it's been three months since an away mission to Nabrici's southern continent, where wind swept through deep canyons, carrying a heavy load of pollen that had… interesting medical consequences.
"Sexpollen," Bones had dubbed it, much to Kirk's chagrin. Nurse Chapel had protested. She'd tried to convince him that he couldn't give the substance such an unscientific name when it would be going in his official report.
"I'm the first Starfleet doctor to analyze the stuff," Bones had insisted. "I can name it whatever the hell I want."
It's been three months since James T. Kirk and his first officer got a potent whiff, just as an inconvenient ion storm kicked off low in the planet's atmosphere. The storm cut off communications and transporter locks. Naturally.
An atmospheric ion storm looks a whole lot like an oncoming thunderstorm. Dry and bright, as chaos and lightning shatter above heavy cloud cover. Not that Kirk and Spock were paying much attention to aesthetics at the time.
It's been three months since Jim Kirk fucked his second in command, but that's not the problem. In fact, it's amazing how many planets come equipped with overpowering natural aphrodisiacs. Kirk has experienced six of them first hand, and since he rarely leaves the ship without Spock, well…
The fact that he's fucked Spock six times isn't the problem, either.
No, the problem is a territorial itch just beneath Kirk's skin. Because the thing is, they never talk about it. Not beyond whatever brief exchange is necessary to establish that no one is hurt, that neither of them feels their working relationship has been compromised. They're good at regrouping from what, for some people, might be an awkward situation. It's almost becoming routine.
But they've never been particularly intimate otherwise. They never flirt, never get caught staring at each other, never let a touch linger longer than it should. Kirk spends an inordinate amount of time wondering what it would be like. Having Spock in his bed instead of against some wall, some floor, some sandy alien landscape.
What would it be like to have Spock touch him and mean it? Would the same heated desperation still twist between them? Would Spock's hands still be rough and frantic? Would he hold Kirk down with the same greedy strength, or would cooler instincts soften his touch?
Despite the façade of stoic Vulcan logic, Kirk doubts the instincts beneath are cool ones.
But Spock has never made a move, and Kirk is damn well not going to be the one who takes that leap. He can't even be sure Spock is interested. And he's the captain, for fuck's sake. He can't go hitting on his second in command just because he wonders what it might be like.
Even if his second in command is Spock. Even if Kirk knows what he tastes like, knows his most intimate sounds, knows what he looks like when he closes his eyes and comes. Even if Spock and Uhura aren't together anymore—though they still were the first time an away mission went to hell in that particular way. She decked Kirk in the transporter room after, though as far as he can tell she hasn't held a grudge.
Three months is more than enough time. Three months should make it easier to put thoughts of Spock out of his head. But instead Kirk finds his distraction more and more of a problem with every passing day.
"How long's it been since you got laid?" Bones asks him. The question comes out of nowhere, but he keeps his voice low in deference to the crowded recreation deck.
Kirk almost answers him without thinking, then realizes what he would be admitting. Jesus, it's been three months. Has he really not slept with anyone since Nabrici? And how long before that? A month and a half, and that was Spock, too.
Kirk shakes his head instead of answering. It's only long practice that keeps his expression blank, as he tries to figure out how he became monogamous without actually being in a relationship.
"Look," Bones says, his expression far too sympathetic. "Far be it from me to stick my nose in other people's business."
Kirk scoffs and rolls his eyes. McCoy is the king of Other People's Business, and they both know it.
"We put in at Starbase Nine next week, don't we?" McCoy continues, unperturbed. "For the love of god, Jim, while we're there? Get some."
"Is that your professional medical advice, Doctor?"
"Maybe." McCoy nudges him pointedly with an elbow. "You, my friend, seem to require sex the way plants require photosynthesis."
"I'm not nearly that bad," Kirk protests.
McCoy doesn't even bother with a retort. He hides his expression behind a long swallow of coffee, and sets his mug down empty.
"Ari Shaw just got assigned to Starbase Nine, didn't she? Maybe you oughta look her up."
"Maybe I will," Kirk mutters.
And maybe he does. He's not in a relationship, after all. He's a free commodity, and a man has needs. Maybe he calls her up the very first day the Enterprise hits spacedock. Maybe she's between cases, and has just enough time amid her JAG duties to give him a thorough tour of the base's facilities.
She invites him to dinner, and things progress predictably but pleasantly. She's as gorgeous as he remembers, and as warm as the last time he saw her.
Kirk spends three days in her company, leaving the ship maintenance protocols in Scotty's capable hands. Scotty prefers it that way, and knows how to find Kirk if there's trouble.
There's no trouble, of course, and Kirk returns to the Enterprise only when it's time to depart.
He transports back aboard his ship, satisfied contentment humming beneath his skin. Spock doesn't meet him in the transporter room, which is… weird. It's not out of line—there's no reason the first officer needs to be present to welcome his captain aboard. But it's practically a ritual for them, and Spock's absence feels startling and conspicuous.
"Report," Kirk demands of the officer manning the transporter controls. She looks flustered for a moment, as though Spock's absence has thrown her off as well.
"Seven crew members not yet back from Starbase Nine," she recovers quickly. "All are scheduled to return within the hour. We've been cleared for departure at oh-nine-hundred hours."
"Thank you, Ensign."
The corridor outside the transporter room is busy. Busy enough that no one notices when Kirk moves to the nearest wall console, presses several lighted panels, and says, "Computer, location of Commander Spock."
The computer's coppery voice answers, "Commander Spock is in Hydroponics Bay Two."
Kirk wants to contact him, but as he has no legitimate reason—nothing beyond his own irrational disappointment—he refrains.
- — - — - — - — -
Spock is quieter than usual on the bridge.
Starbase departure procedures go flawlessly to code, and the Enterprise distances itself from Starbase Nine. When Checkov asks for a heading, Kirk chooses nearly at random. He might as well say 'Out there. Thataway,' for all that the direction matters. Wherever they go, there will be improbable discoveries waiting for them.
Kirk turns in his chair, towards the science console, intending to exchange a look with Spock. But Spock isn't looking at him. Spock sits hunched over the main sensor readouts, expression tight with focus.
There's something deliberate in the way he avoids eye contact. Whatever data the main deflector is projecting on the screen, it can't be that fascinating. This is hardly uncharted space. Besides, Spock's shoulders are too tight. His face isn't just blank. It's empty steel, guarded like a fortress. Kirk can usually read the nuances in Spock's expressions, but suddenly—perhaps for the first time in their entire acquaintance—Kirk reads absolutely nothing beneath the calculated neutrality of Spock's profile.
It's disconcerting, and seriously unpleasant.
It's worse a week later, when Spock's shields are still up so high Kirk can't get a glimpse behind the wall.
Kirk resents the unexplained interference in their relationship. When he and Spock crossed the line from rivals to friends, they locked instantly into each other's orbits, sound and solid in a way that (up until now) nothing has truly challenged.
Spock's stubborn quiet is starting to get under Kirk's skin at the worst moments. They're not the same instinctive, nonverbal team they used to be. Kirk can't look at Spock in a scrape and know there's a contingency plan. He can't read the wordless assessment in Spock's eyes when a room full of hostiles threatens the safety of an away team.
The situation is more than inconvenient. It's dangerous.
"Spock." Kirk intercepts him at the turbolift as alpha shift ends. Consoles change hands behind them as he asks, "Got a minute?"
"Of course, Captain." The formality of title. There's nothing new in the words, but something in the way Spock says 'captain' this time feels purely and inexplicably wrong.
"Conference room," Kirk decides as they step into the lift. No other crew members follow, even though several are clearing the bridge. It's like everyone can feel the underlying tension. They know something is not quite right between captain and first officer. Kirk presses the turbolift control and the door slips shut. Two decks flash past as glinting indicator lights, and then Kirk leads the way out of the lift, down the corridor. Busy again. The Enterprise corridors are always busy.
Conference Room C is closest, and empty, and the door hisses smoothly shut behind them.
Kirk stands motionless for the briefest span of seconds before moving farther into the room. Spock stands at enough of a distance from the door to keep from inadvertently activating the motion sensors, but otherwise he makes no move.
"So," Kirk says. He crosses his arms and leans back against the broad conference table. The smooth edge digs into the backs of his thighs, not enough to be uncomfortable, but enough to ground him a little.
"Captain?" Spock prompts when Kirk doesn't elaborate.
Kirk bites absently at his lower lip, suddenly unsure how to proceed. Beyond the obvious 'We need to talk,' he's not sure what to say. He has the strangest sense that he should be apologizing for something, but for the life of him he doesn't know what.
"Is everything all right, Captain?" Spock asks. He finally steps further from the door, closer to Kirk, and his head cocks fractionally to the side. There's genuine concern hovering at the periphery of his expression, brightly highlighted by the garish conference room lights. It's the most Kirk has been able to discern on Spock's face in weeks.
"I think that's my line," Kirk says.
One of Spock's eyebrows flies up, and his back straightens. He clasps his hands behind him, and the maddening blankness settles back across his features.
"I don't understand," Spock says. Kirk doesn't buy it for a second.
"Don't play dumb," he admonishes. "You're too smart to pull it off convincingly."
Spock doesn't protest again, but he also doesn't respond to Kirk's question. He simply stands there, stubborn and silent and utterly motionless. Watching, like he's waiting for Kirk to make the first move.
"Did I do something wrong?" Kirk finally asks. "Because if I did, I'm sorry. And it'd be a hell of a lot easier to avoid repeating the mistake if I knew what it was in the first place."
Spock stiffens at the query. His eyes narrow for an instant.
"You have nothing to apologize for," Spock says. He sounds perfectly calm.
"Then why are you…?" But Kirk doesn't know how to put the question into words. It's not like Spock's behavior has changed overtly. It's not as though he addresses Kirk any differently, in public or in private. There's no single, tangible thing for Kirk to point out.
"Captain, I intend no disrespect, but is there a point to this meeting?"
"Yes," Kirk snaps. Anger flares irrationally in his chest (more self-inflicted frustration than actual ire). Kirk closes his eyes and wills the sensation away. He inhales slowly, uncrossing his arms and dropping them to his sides. His fingers curl tensely around the table's smooth edge.
When he opens his eyes, Spock is watching him. Something bright and unreadable flashes across the Vulcan's face, there and then gone so quickly Kirk doubts his own senses.
"We're a team, Spock," Kirk finally says. "We're a good team. And when something fucks that up, I want to know what's wrong so I can fix it."
Spock has the decency not to contradict him, but he doesn't open up, either. Heaven forbid he paint a clear, simple roadmap. Fuck this, Kirk can't fix a problem he can't see.
"God damn it, Spock, talk to me! You've been weird since—"
Kirk stops himself abruptly, and Spock goes stiff (a barely perceptible shift in posture, but Kirk is watching him closely, doesn't want to miss anything). Starbase Nine was completely uneventful. Nothing happened while the Enterprise was in spacedock, nothing important. The only thing that did happen on Starbase Nine was Areel Shaw, and Spock can't possibly be upset about that.
But Spock looks away.
His gaze drops to the floor, a full retreat, and Kirk stares in amazement.
A sharp breath catches in Kirk's chest. He's trying not to jump to conclusions here, but Spock's shoulders are a fierce line of tension and his throat moves in an uneasy swallow. So many tells, obvious enough that Kirk would see them even if he weren't staring at Spock like his life depends on it. Intensely as he's watching, the signs are spelling something out in bright, gaudy neon. If only Kirk could decipher the script.
His gut is insisting (adamantly) that Spock is jealous. And with anyone else, Kirk would trust his instincts. But Spock is different. He's more complicated, and he's a hell of a lot more important.
But they've just hit a sharp-edged impasse. Kirk can feel it like a cliff's edge, raw denial in the air between them, and one of them has to stick his neck out if they're going to get anywhere.
"Is this about Ari?" Kirk asks. He tries to keep the question light, but his spine feels tight and his hands clutch harder at the table's edge. Spock's eyes stare even harder at the floor. If Kirk were wrong, he would have denied the suggestion instantly. Which means his silence is as clear a confession as Kirk could have hoped for.
This conversation just got awkward (except who's he kidding, it was already awkward as hell), and Kirk tries to relax before he strains something.
"You've made no secret of your sexual proclivities," Spock says, startlingly direct despite the way he's still not meeting Kirk's eyes. "I have no grounds on which to feel…"
"Territorial?" Kirk offers wryly.
Spock doesn't answer. Too direct, then. Or maybe he's gathering his thoughts together, trying to come up with an explanation that will let them both off the hook. This conversation has already gone too far for them to go back and pretend away later.
But Spock is silent, and Kirk is impatient.
"I'm going to guess Vulcans aren't big on sharing," he finally says. It seems a safe enough surmise.
"Vulcans generally mate for life," Spock confesses. His voice is graveled with tension, but smoothes deliberately out when he continues, "The analysis is academic, however. You are not my mate."
And this is one of those moments Kirk should look before leaping, or at least keep his mouth shut, but some tightly coiled instinct snaps loose in his chest and he hears himself say, "But you want me to be."
Spock doesn't answer. Jesus, of course he doesn't answer, why would he admit that, even if Kirk is right? The silence drags out from uncomfortable to damn near unbearable, and an apology is there on the tip of Kirk's tongue.
Before he finds the right words, Spock raises his eyes from the floor and locks Kirk in a look so open that everything else flies out of his head.
"I do not know what I want."
Kirk flounders, thoughts messy and confused as he struggles to process the admission.
"You've never looked at me that way," Kirk says, forcing himself not to flinch, no matter how overwhelming Spock's expression is. "Not when we weren't under the influence of microscopic pollen or molecular interference or experimental chemicals. You've never touched me of your own volition." Never touched him like that anyway. Spock has touched him plenty of times in all the innocent ways that don't count.
Except then Kirk really thinks about that, and realizes, Spock doesn't touch people. Innocent or not, the fact that he touches Kirk at all… That means something.
Spock's posture is still rigid, and his face turns more guarded now. Not closing down entirely. Maybe it's too late for that. But the intensity banks, the practiced Vulcan calm is back, and Kirk feels a little less like he's going to implode under the scrutiny.
"You are my captain," Spock says. As though that's all the explanation necessary.
"And that means you can't be attracted to me?" Kirk presses. "Are you attracted to me, Spock?" Stupid question. He can't take it back now, though.
Spock tilts his head a fraction, and gives Kirk a look that says the absurdity of the inquiry hasn't escaped him.
"Nearly everyone is attracted to you. Why should I be an exception?"
"I still don't get it. So you're attracted to me, why's that such a big deal? A little sexual tension's not the end of the world."
But Spock's gaze falls away again. Hiding, Kirk thinks. Not quite quick enough to mask a glimpse of something he should be able to decipher. A darker sentiment, something…
Guilt, Kirk realizes. Spock feels guilty for wanting… whatever it is he wants from Kirk.
"Six times, Spock," he says, feeling his own heart rate kick up a notch in his chest. "You've fucked me six times, and I've never complained."
"Irrelevant." Spock is staring off in the direction of the far wall. "You would never hold someone accountable for indiscretions beyond their control."
Okay, that's true. Kirk knows a thing or two about culpability.
"I don't hold anyone accountable for their fantasies, either," he points out. God, he wants to ask if Spock fantasizes about him. He wants to know if Vulcans have the capacity to imagine. He wants to know if Spock ever imagines him the way Kirk's own mind sometimes wanders.
He can't ask. But he can offer a different sort of olive branch. Hell, the way this conversation has gone so far, he's already screwed if Spock decides to write him up for harassment. Why not see how much more trouble he can cause?
"Did it ever occur to you that I might want things, too?"
Vague. Imprecise. If they were talking about anything else, Spock would call him out on his failure to convey useful, concrete information.
He expects a retort at best, uncomfortable silence at worst. Something in keeping with the surreal tone of their exchange: confessions and retreats and a stubborn, restless stillness.
He's not expecting Spock to move, certainly not as abruptly as he jerks forward, and Spock is before him faster than Kirk can process his approach. Spock crowds into his personal space. He places his hands on the table to either side of Kirk's body, bracketing him in. Muted fury flashes for an instant in his eyes, before banking and disappearing behind the precise mask of Vulcan control.
"Do not taunt me, Captain," Spock warns tightly.
His voice is a rumble of heat, and it goes straight to Kirk's dick. They're on dangerous ground. If Spock touches him now, there will be nothing gentle about it. It will be possessive and vicious. It will be Vulcan strength bruising human skin, uncontrolled violence and desire.
Kirk wants it so badly his bones ache.
"What do you plan to do about it, Spock?"
A low sound rumbles from Spock's throat, a heavy growl that works its way right under Kirk's skin. Spock's eyes narrow, and he reaches for Kirk. Strong fingers in his hair, yanking his head back so that Spock can claim his mouth in a wrenching kiss. Sting of teeth on his lower lip, then Spock's tongue taking advantage of his gasp, darting past his parted lips to steal a deeper taste.
Kirk thrills at the rough handling, the sharp press of Spock's body jolting him against the table. The unyielding edge digs uncomfortably into his thighs, and Kirk raises his hands to twist his fingers in the blue fabric of Spock's uniform. His eyes fall closed as he submits to the kiss.
Spock breaks away too soon, touch falling gentle in the moment it takes Kirk to catch his breath. Spock doesn't retreat from his space (small miracle), but drops his forehead onto Kirk's shoulder with an inelegant thump.
"Vulcans are above these urges," Spock says in a surprisingly soft tone.
"You're half Human."
"Yes," Spock concedes without straightening up. "All the more reason I should control my baser passions. Emotion is dangerous, Captain. I could hurt you."
Another thrill beneath Kirk's skin at the implication. It's possible his sex drive is wired a little wrong.
"Do you want to hurt me?" he asks carefully.
A pause. Damning. But then Spock draws upright and looks him in the eye, genuinely considering.
"That is not… precisely what I want." But he doesn't deny it entirely. His hands are still on Kirk—one at his hip, the other sliding now to the base of his skull—and his touch isn't quite as gentle as it was a second ago.
"It's fine," Kirk blurts. "All of it. Everything. Whatever you want."
"You would let me," Spock whispers, and it could be a question or an observation. He offers no clarification. He requests no specific permission. It's a blanket revelation, hopeful and tinted with a hunger Kirk doubts anyone else could decipher in Spock's guarded gaze.
And instead of words (because words are useless, words aren't what's gotten them here), Kirk tightens his grip on Spock's shirt and yanks him down into a second kiss, jumbled and uncoordinated. Spock's fingers tighten at the base of his skull, curling around the nape of his neck. Spock surges against him, grappling for command, and Kirk concedes. He loosens his fingers and slides his hands up Spock's chest, slipping his arms around Spock's shoulders.
Their bodies are flush, heated friction, and Kirk is achingly hard. He can feel a matching hardness pressing against him, and it's so, so good but it's also not enough.
"Jesus," Kirk gasps when Spock shoves him abruptly down onto the table. He squirms, wants to get close again. But Spock holds him down with one hand, fingers curled around Kirk's shoulder and keeping him still like it's no effort at all.
Spock's other hand is at the clasp of Kirk's pants, clever fingers, oh god, and his eyes glint as he pulls Kirk's cock into the cool air of the conference room—
"Oh, fuck," Kirk breathes, remembering where they are. "Computer, lock door!"
A beep as the computer complies, and Kirk's head spins, careless, too goddamn careless. But no one came through the door. No one saw them. He can't spare any more brain cells for concern when Spock's strong fingers are working the length of his cock, stroking and wringing a ragged groan from Kirk's chest.
Spock's fingers are dry and a little too rough. Kirk arches against the perfectly smooth surface of the table, hips bucking forward, cursing aloud when Spock does something especially clever with his thumb.
Surely Spock doesn't plan to make him come like this. It's too soon, and too fast despite Kirk's efforts to hold his orgasm at bay.
"Spock, wait!" Kirk gasps. "I'm almost—!"
His orgasm spills in a rush over his stomach (and fuck, that's going to be awkward, gold shirt slick with unmistakable evidence) and over Spock's fingers. He hasn't come this fast since he was a teenager.
But Spock seems unperturbed. If anything, he looks like all is still going to plan, and he doesn't give Kirk time to catch his breath.
Spock's hands are strong, and even if Kirk wanted to put up a fight he'd be helpless. Spock yanks him closer to the edge of the table, flips him onto his stomach without warning. Kirk's feet scramble for purchase on the floor, but Spock is already dragging pants and briefs down Kirk's hips, baring his ass. Then he kicks Kirk's legs farther apart.
Kirk's movements are limited by the fabric bunching and stretching around his thighs, and a moment later he's pinned even more securely when Spock's palm flattens against his back, holding him down.
Kirk's dick, entirely spent only seconds ago, perks up at the sensation of being held in place. His hands can't find purchase on the table, and he presses his own palms flat to the cool surface.
He's on the verge of saying Spock's name when two fingers, slick with the remnants of Kirk's orgasm, slip between his cheeks and penetrate him without warning. Spock doesn't pause partway in or give him time to adjust. Those fingers are insistent, a harsh pressure twisting deeper inside him, and Kirk would spread his legs wider if he could. Spock draws out almost entirely, touch retreating, then fucks his fingers in again, burying both digits to the final knuckle.
Kirk gasps a string of curses, his blood heating and pooling south. His spent erection is rising to the task, and he twists beneath Spock's hands, desperate for friction.
Spock takes ages opening him up. At least, it feels like ages. Kirk likes to consider himself a patient lover, but he can't help that he's coming to pieces now. Spock's fingers are igniting sparks inside him, deliberate torment, and just when Kirk thinks he can't survive another second—
The fingers vanish, yanked out of him too fast, and Kirk inhales sharply. He doesn't even have time to wonder how Spock will take him, Spock's inside him so fast. Kirk's breath slams out of his chest in a shuddering shout, pleasure with more than a shadow of pain surging through him. Spock fills him in a single, relentless thrust, crushing Kirk against the table with the weight of his body, the force of his hips.
"Jesus fuck," Kirk gasps, and then Spock is in, all the way in, flush against Kirk's body and breathing heavily against his throat. Spock's hands are bruising control, one at his hip, the other slipping between Kirk's stomach and the table to clutch him close against Spock's chest.
They hold motionless for a long moment. Trembling potential. They're overpowered and lost, all jagged edges and greedy heat, poised to tear each other to pieces. This isn't just sex. It's more than Kirk is capable of processing right now.
"Spock," he breathes, and the stillness shatters.
Spock presses a quick kiss below Kirk's jaw, and then his hips shock to motion. Again there's no preamble. Spock isn't teasing anymore.
He fucks Kirk in earnest, driving hard and fast. The unrelenting rhythm draws embarrassing noises from Kirk's throat, unmasked pleasure in his voice. He can't swallow the sounds, can't do anything but accept the force of Spock's thrusts as they pound into him.
He aches somewhere so deep he can't imagine walking after this, and it's deliciously, unbearably perfect.
Spock curls possessively over Kirk when he comes. He clutches Kirk to his chest as he spills, sticky and slick within the tight heat of Kirk's body. He says Kirk's name (not 'Captain', but 'Jim'). The feeling, or maybe the way his name sounds in that moment, drags Kirk over the edge himself. His entire body jerks with the force of his orgasm, never mind that Spock hasn't put a hand anywhere near his dick since flipping him over.
The world fades irrelevant in the face of overwhelming sensation, and he might say Spock's name, might say any number of filthy things. He can't be sure. Observation requires focus he can't spare just now.
Exhaustion wraps around him after. His body is slow to quiet from the rush of physical satisfaction, and it takes him an extra moment or three to realize that Spock has (more gently) turned him on his back and taken the time to make both of them decent again.
Nearly decent, anyway. Kirk's yellow uniform shirt is a mess. He'll have to ditch it, think of some disaster to chalk it up to if anyone stops him in the corridor and asks.
Things could be awkward now, but they aren't. Mutual satisfaction suffuses the air between them, as Spock offers Kirk a hand and pulls him to his feet. Spock's face is the same neutral gauge it always is, but Kirk doesn't think he's imagining the hint that could almost be a smile in his eyes.
"Are you all right, Captain?" Spock asks. This time there's something nearly teasing in his use of Kirk's rank. "I may have been overzealous."
Kirk laughs, and his ass gives a twinge of discomfort. He'll be feeling this for days. Sitting still in the center chair tomorrow is going to be hell, unless he fesses up to Bones and asks for a little help.
"Come on," Kirk says, pulling the yellow tunic over his head and smoothing down the black shirt beneath. "I'm starving. And I think my quarters will be a hell of a lot more conducive to continuing this discussion."
They move for the door, but before Kirk can unlock the conference room, Spock grabs him. His hands are quick and strong, spinning Kirk in place and shoving him back against the wall. Kirk's spine presses to the cool bulkhead, and Spock looms close.
"There's one thing you were especially right about, Captain," he says. His voice, cool and smooth, sends shivers along Kirk's skin.
"And what's that?"
Spock interrupts his own thesis with a kiss. Deep and claiming, but all too brief. Distracting enough that Kirk has already forgotten they were talking about something, until Spock speaks again.
"Vulcans do not share."