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It Only Leads to Trouble and Seat Wetting

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It's a hot, hot summer day and, although, his mom said that she wanted him to do something productive today—like, let’s say helping out around the farm—Jimmy lounges around the house instead. After eating as much ice cream as his stomach can take, Jimmy curls up on the couch and does his best impression of a loaf of bread for the rest of the day. 

He watches TV for the better half of an hour before starting to feel bad for not at least picking up the junk in his room. He might be a little shit sometimes, but even Jimmy understands what it means to give someone a hard time. They aren’t even fighting right now, so he might as well do as she says for once.

Jimmy tells himself that he'll get up and do something eventually, but the heat has him effectively stuck to the cushions. His mom's current boyfriend is an asshole, yeah, and Jimmy hates his guts, sure, but at least he believes in air conditioning. Sweat trickles down his forehead, but he feels equal parts glued to the couch and heavy with lethargy, so he does nothing to wipe it away. 

Feeling himself sink a little into the couch, Jimmy surmises that he’s, like, literally melting. As that thought crosses his mind, on cue, the Wicked Witch of the West shrieks as water is dumped on her head. Oh, boy, how Jimmy can relate to her anguish right about now. What he wouldn't give for a cool breeze...

BANG!

Sam comes flying into the living room like a bat out of hell, carrying a huge gust of arid wind behind him. Jimmy feels his heart jackhammer in his chest as he jumps up, completely startled. The older boy looks absolutely panicked—like, accidentally singed off an eyebrow before a big date, called a Klingon’s mother ugly, kind of panic. Jimmy sits up on the couch quickly, any trace of lethargy gone as he's taken aback by his brother's explosive entrance. 

Watching Sam race to his upstairs bedroom, Jimmy nearly falls off the couch in his attempt to follow after his brother. Because of course Jimmy’s gonna follow him. What the hell...? Jimmy wonders, surprise and curiosity making him ignore the way his stomach does several uncertain flips. He just has to know what could be making Sam act so weird.

Jimmy gets his answer upon throwing his brother's door open.  

Sam's standing in front of his mirror with this horrified look on his face and that alone should have been all Jimmy needed to see. Instead, the younger blond lets his eyes travel to Sam’s pants and underwear, which are pooled in a crumbled heap around his shaking ankles. It barely registers that Jimmy is staring at his brother’s naked ass—instead, what does register is the gruesome sight in the mirror in front of him. Black and blue and glistening with a thick, viscous gloss are what look like boils covering Sam’s thighs and groin. 

Jimmy feels his vision swim for a second and he has to grab the doorknob to keep from falling flat on his butt. The sound gets Sam’s attention because he catches Jimmy's gaze just over his reflection's shoulder and spins around quickly, "don't tell mom!" Sam says, threateningly but he sounds so scared out of his wits that it loses all heat. 

Looking at Sam’s situation with his own eyes, Jimmy is completely at a loss. This would fuel his nightmares for years to come, Jimmy knew. Feeling Sam’s worried eyes on him, the younger boy’s own gaze snapped up and, somehow, he manages to nod his head. "O-okay?” He agrees, “b…but what is that?" His voice croaks as he gestures to the mess between Sam’s legs. The older boy clamps his hands down to shield his dick from his little brother’s eyes and his blunt nails accidentally catch the edge of one of the blisters. Both of them nearly jump out of their skin when it POPS and out oozes thick almost pastel yellow puss. It’s like some kind of nightmarish crème from the Devil’s Twinkie.  

Jimmy noticeably gags, gripping the doorknob until his knuckles blanch.

Sam turns bright red, glowing like a neon sign. Yanking his pants back up, he gestures for Jimmy to close the door. "Look, I'll tell you everything, but you have to promise NOT to tell mom—no matter what," Sam cringes as his pant leg sticks to him, soaking up the foul smelling fluid leaking from his blisters. 

Jimmy shakes his head, "we’ve got to tell someone. That doesn’t look like it’s gonna clear up by itself." 

"And we will, but NOT mom. I don’t want her to freak out."

"But..."

"As many secrets as I've kept for you, Jim, you'd better not tell her about this!" Jimmy is stumped by this and Sam quickly presses his advantage. "We keep this between us," the older boy says sternly, making absolutely sure Jimmy won’t renege and tell their mom anyway.

And this is how ten year old James Tiberius Kirk learned about sexually transmitted infections. More specifically, ones of the alien variety. 

They make it to a clinic that's far enough out of the way that no one will recognize them. Sam is fidgeting in his seat, trying to hide the puss stains on his pants—because of course the rest of his blisters had decided they wanted to make a mess off his pants too—while trying not to get sick on himself.  

Jimmy, for his part is eerily calm, but only because he's so squicked out of his mind that he can’t react. Sitting in the reception of the seedy clinic, Jimmy almost doesn't believe that their predicament is even real. Hell, for all he knows, this is probably just a hallucination brought on by the heat. Yeah… that’s it. He's probably still on the couch, right? The Wizard of Oz was probably off now, but Jimmy was planning on watching My Fair Lady afterwards anyway. Who knows, maybe it’s to the part where Eliza finally says the Rain in Spain Stays Mainly in the Plain correctly—

The nurse pops out from the back, bringing him back to the present as beckons them to follow her. At that moment, Sam looks like a bunch of disagreeable rats stuffed inside a human suit; he’s so twitchy and jerky that if Jimmy didn't know better, he would've thought that Sam had been swapped out with an imposter.  

As they follow the nurse down the long, nearly endless hallway, Jimmy feels his eyes drawn to the patients lining the walls—how they seem to just stare at his older brother. They looked... disgusted. Snapping away when he catches the eye of a particularly mean looking old man, Jimmy barely stops himself from running Sam over. Belatedly, the younger boy realizes that they'd reached the examination room. Feeling his heart drop into his stomach, Jimmy reaches out and takes his brother’s hand. Sam is beyond comforted. Apparently, Jimmy wasn’t the only one picking up the vibes being cast in Sam’s direction. Everyone seemed to be disgusted to be in Sam's presence. 

The doctor herself is no better. She outright scolds Sam as she jabs him in deltoid with a small handful of hypos. Apparently, whatever he caught is pretty virulent and takes more than one bullet to kill. Sam doesn't seem too put out by her chastisements, for whatever reason, going so far as to agree with her and condemn his loose lifestyle.  

“You’re young, so there’s no use telling you to go and get hitched—but, for the love of God, don’t poke everything that’s got a pulse, Kid,” the Doctor says somewhat distractedly as she tries to remember which order to do the last two hypos in, “the galaxy is teeming with babes, but it’s also teeming with diseases and not every single one is curable.” 

Sam nods, “I know, I know… I just thought I was invincible—that it couldn’t be me, y…OUCH…know?” 

“Yeah, but it was you and you have to be more responsible next time.” 

Sam promises that there isn’t going to be a next time for a long while. Jimmy looks at him like he’s a stranger—Sam not bringing a different girl home every other hour? Who is this guy and what has he done with George Samuel Kirk? Jimmy wants to believe that maybe his brother is saying all this because he’s extremely grateful the doctor could actually cure him... and that she didn't tell their mom.

On the way back home, Sam makes him swear secrecy. Naturally, the preteen happily agrees because having to talk about this experience again ranks a solid three on Jimmy's list of the top five mentally-scarring things he's ever seen. Things blow over the following day and Sam is mostly back to being himself—mostly because Sam is suddenly no longer interested in the hot alien girl that just started working at the convenience store in town. Their mom doesn’t seem to notice that something has changed with her boys, or if she does, she attributes it to the fact that they actually cleaned something and not the fact that Sam secretly had a Sexually Transmitted Space Infection—wait, no, that makes it sound like his space was infected… well, if space, in this context, meant junk than that’s not inaccurate, just weirdly worded.  

In spite of trying to remain unbothered, Jimmy can't help but—unintentionally—stare at his brother's crotch and wonder if it still looked like a half cooked blueberry muffin with smallpox.

Chapter Text

Fast forward some years after that whole ordeal—don’t give Jim the follow up to “the Talk”—and watch how, even when Jim’s sat between two sexy babes in a relatively nice bar with awesome ambient music, he doesn’t want to jump their bones. It’s not that he doesn’t find them attractive, he’s been chatting them both up for the better half of an hour, peeking down the shorter one’s top whenever she leans into his arm and squishes her boobs into him, and it’s not like he wouldn’t want to get a little threesome action going on, it’s just that… well, shit, it’s hard not to get a little twitchy when he remembers that afternoon at the clinic and the awkward ass conversation on the drive back. Okay, so he’s still a little traumatized from seeing his brother’s dick—that’s bad enough on its own—looking like it was on the verge of being swallowed whole by a moldy sea slug, sue him.

Though, to be truthfully frank, it isn’t just the matter of being careful—it’s the 23rd century, prophylactics have come a long way and all that—but the fact that, well, Jim isn’t a kid anymore; being a virgin isn’t cool for a dude, especially one his age. Shit, the way he’s been pouring on the seduction all thick and smooth like, there’s no way Jim can see things working out in his favor if he were to tell these lovely ladies the truth. They’d laugh at him at best AND they’d probably ask for the money they’d spent on his drinks back too.

It’s kind of a curse to be this funny, handsome, and charismatic—he’s the whole package of awesomeness, if Jim does say so—but to also be so sexually immature on top of it; it’s like winning one of those fancy, antique cars but not being able to drive. What was the point!? It’s times like these that Jim thinks that, perhaps, he’d done something in his past-life to warrant being dealt such a bad hand.

Feeling both women pressing against him on either side, twin pairs of black eyes drinking him up hungrily as they purred in unison at him to come home with them, Jim wonders if maybe he could bullshit his way through it. He was good at bullshitting…

Jim shudders, suddenly remembering how, the first and only time he’d gotten to second base—in Jr. High, and that’s only because the girl he’d gotten frisky with wanted to make her girlfriend jealous—it’d been terrible for both parties involved. Okay, so no bullshitting. Maybe he could pretend to be sick and go home?

“Come on, Jaaaaames,” the taller one crooned airily, “let’s get out of here.”

Her twin agreed, squeezing his arm tighter and whining in an octave that made Jim’s ears tingle.

Shit… Shit…

Out of the corner of his eye, Jim catches a red Starfleet uniform. Turning fully, he is met with the beauty wearing it. It takes all of three seconds to come up with his plan. Feigning alarm, Jim shakes off the twins and bellows conversationally, “HEEEEEY!”

The woman startles, looking from the bar to Jim like a deer caught in headlights. She smoothly recovers though, brows knitting together in a displeased scowl, “can I help you?”

Jim takes this opportunity to weasel out of the twins’ clutches. They are reluctant to let him go, but at the same time, they are wary of the scowling cadet. “Don’t you remember me?” Jim says, quickly putting his back to the girls and making a pleading expression at the brunette before him. ‘HELP ME’

She raises a brow before peeking over him and staring at the waiting women. She scoffs, rolling her eyes and wondering, if only for a second, what trouble this stranger was trying to get her to help him out of. “I have never seen you before in my entire life,” she says flatly, her words feel like daggers in Jim’s chest. She turns away from him to hail the bartender over and just when Jim feels himself being reeled back by the hungry twins, the cadet throws her ponytail over her shoulder and fixes him with a look that says this better be worth it. “Though, judging by the filthy jacket, you must be Robert’s friend,” she lies so effortlessly that it takes Jim a second to latch onto her story.

“Uh… Robert—yeah, Robbie… I know ‘em. That bastard was supposed to meet me here tonight and I totally forgot,” Jim adds, turning towards the twins and flashing them an apologetic smile, “sorry ladies. I’m taken for tonight.”

They hiss—literally hiss, like geese or something—before stalking off.

“You’re welcome,” the cadet says with another roll of her eyes.

Jim feels himself grinning from ear to ear as he orders a ‘thank you’ drink for her. “You’re a real life saver, lemme just tell you that. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“Probably get your ass kicked,” she responds with a hint of amusement in her tone. “And on that note I do have to ask, what was that about? I feel that it’s only fair you tell me because I saved your life.”

“I don’t even know my savior’s name and yet she wants to know my whole life story,” Jim deflects, hand-pressed to his heart humorously, “oh, how you wound me!”

Before the cadet can get in a word edgewise, the bartender appears, placing a glass of fluorescent liquor down onto the counter in front of her. She puts her chin in her hand and just stares at Jim for a minute.

“What, the celebratory drink isn’t enough?” Jim gestures to the glowing drink, almost offended that she doesn’t want it.

“You are a god damned mess, you know that?” She isn’t insulting him, not quite—the cadet’s too amused at the moment to mean any ill will toward him… he hopes, anyway—throwing her ponytail to the other shoulder, she chews her lip in deliberation before finally, she says: “It’s Uhura, by the way.”

Jim’s face lights up like a Christmas tree, “last names only, huh? Well, I’m Kirk.” Uhura looks at him expectantly and the blond has to fight the urge to fidget when he remembers why. Jim’s laugh sounds more like a sigh than anything, “I’m not in the mood for that kind of company tonight,” he explains, almost sounding silly for saying anything. Here he is, a wildly attractive, immensely interesting, red-blooded human male at a bar and, yet, he doesn’t want to hook-up.

“Is that your play, then?” Uhura probes, picking up the drink Jim had bought her and swirling the nauseously bright fuchsia fluid around in the glass. “The two extremely attractive, and willing, twins weren’t enough of a challenge so you decided to bother the Starfleet cadet instead?”

Jim bites down on the urge to say something in his defense. It’s better if Uhura thinks he’s a womanizer. Anything is better than her knowing the truth. Leaning against the bar, he smiles cockily at her, “you read me like a book.”

Uhura laughs, finally taking a sip, “as if you had enough character to fill more than a page.”

“Just try me!” Jim announces brashly.

“Nyota!” Comes the call of a few other cadets as they filed into the bar to collect their classmate.

“Nyota, huh?” Jim teases much to Uhura’s chagrin. She nudges him with her elbow before spinning completely in her chair and hailing her classmates over. Draining the rest of Jim’s drink, she bids him farewell. “Hey, wait, where are you going?” Jim asks, standing with her. It’s at the exact moment that he reaches out to grab her arm that one of her classmates—a big, surly-looking fella—clears the crowd and sees him.

Jim didn’t expect the night to end in a brawl—and by brawl, he means, being used to clear the counter and a few tables—but, then again, before Uhura appeared, he was probably going to be eaten alive by those goose women, so… all things considered, this is the better alternative.

Jim’s nursing a busted lip and cradling his aching head against his knee, sitting outside on the curb while Uhura scolds the guy who did that to him. A few nosy cadets are gathered around but the rest are doing a good job at keeping their heads down and filtering out. “I can take care of myself, God damn it!” Uhura fusses, “you can get kicked out of Starfleet for fighting like that!”

Her tirade is ended by a superior officer dismissing them both. Jim doesn’t have to look up to know he’s being assessed by whomever it is. He ends up doing so anyway because whomever it was. Christopher Pike. Offering him an opportunity to step outside he’s father’s shadow.

Chapter Text

Starfleet is nothing short of an exhilarating experience. His hometown, in spite of all the technological and social advancements of their time, had been pretty small and pretty backwater-y. Its pretty safe to assume that Jim was one of the smartest people for miles. At the time, it was cool as hell, but contrasting the feeling of being a big fish in a little pond with the exhilarating challenge of the academy makes Jim all the more eager to excell in his courses. 

His first week at Starfleet Academy, he met back up with Uhura and when she didn’t shoo him off, Jim took that as permission to become her friend. It’s nice as hell to have a friend as smart and as well connected as Uhura. And, okay, not that he’d ever say it aloud, but it was nice to have friends at all. Sam had been his one and only friend for a long time, and ain't that just pathetic?

It was especially cool when Uhura had started affectionately referring to him Iowa. Only ever in the company of friends, of course, but it was pretty cool. He’s still trying to come up with a nickname for her that won’t make Uhura glare daggers at him or roll her eyes—so far, nothing'll stick and it’s gotten so bad that she actually doesn’t mind him calling her Nyota. Any plans to call her Grumpy dissolved, however, when he met Leonard McCoy. Bones’ the grumpiest person he’s ever met, but Jim supposes that that’s a part of his charm.

Funnily enough, in the short span of time between starting school and really getting into the swing of things, even though only two people actually knew him in the academy, word seemed to spread quick that James Tiberius Kirk was a ladies man. Of all the things to be known for, Jim guesses he should count himself lucky that this doesn't have anything to do with his dad. And, hell, he certainly doesn’t hate being popular, even if he’s somewhat infamous.

But, then again, keeping up such a scandalous rumor is hard when there's little to no proof that he's actually sticking half of the school. Jim doesn't try to be so surprised when he gets called out on his bluff. He really does expect his accuser to be an Orion.

Gaila, one of Uhura's friends, breaks into his room and corners him, fresh out the shower. There's shampoo in his eyes and a blush redder covering his exposed skin, Jim just knows he has absolutely no chance of convincing this girl that he isn't one hundred percent dork. All she has to do is take one good look at him and the jig was up.

Her face twists into knowing smirk and Jim sighs, knowing that there would be hell to pay. Tugging his towel closer, he sits down on his bed, “this is going to sound ridiculous, but I’d prefer it if my secret stays… y’know, a secret.

“Uh-huh… I’m sure you’ve got a good reason for leading half of Starfleet Academy on,” Gaila twitters, marching over to the bed and dropping down beside him.

Jim looks smug at that ‘Only half?’ he thinks.  

“but... I really don’t care,” Gaila shrugs his cockiness off, “I just need a favor and since everyone wants to hook up with you, I was thinking you could help me out.”

He tries not to look so suspicious.

Whatever it was Gaila wanted aparently involved temporarily jeopardizing his and Uhura’s friendship, on the account that the Orion's plan involved the brunette walking in on them. For her part, Uhura doesn’t seem all that upset, but she doesn’t talk to him for days afterwards which sucks.

Chapter Text

“Uhura—Nyota, wait!” Jim calls after his friend as she huffily storms off from him. Okay, well not huffily, Uhura looks every bit as elegant and cool as usual, but he knows how to read her moods. The tightness of her posture, the way she refuses to look at him in the eye—the fact that she told him to drop dead for hooking up with her best friend—is a dead giveaway. Trying not to cause a scene, Jim takes off after her as discretely and as quickly as he can manage. “Nyota,” he  hisses, ignoring the looks he’s getting around the campus as he follows Uhura from one end of the premises to the other. 

They are about to enter the cafeteria, Uhura has one foot up on the stairs, before Jim finally catches up to her and grabs her by the shoulder, spinning the brunette around to see the barely perceptible smudge of usually immaculate eyeliner around her eyes. WhoaShe’s obviously upset—like, almost out of character upset, and it’s YOUR fault Jim. He feels his heart drop into his stomach as Uhura avoids his eyes and clenches her jaw. “I did it as a favor,” he blurts out, immediately wishing he could kick himself for being so ridiculous. 

Uhura’s eyes snap up to meet his and Jim nearly lets go of her, the heat of her gaze is nearly scorching. “She’s MY friend, Jim!” She looks and sounds like some kind of wrathful divinity, forcing Jim to literally take a step back as she pokes him hard in the chest. “She’s OFF LIMITS! I told you she was off limits!” 

Uhura is seething, but upon realizing that they have started to gain an audience, the brunette turns to sweep away. Jim grabs her again, this time mustering up his best ‘I’m a sad, sorry little puppy’ face, “look, that’s… not what I meant. Can we go somewhere private to talk? Please,” he says quietly, batting his lashes to get Uhura to agree. 

“I swear, Kirk, I don’t know why I put up with you,” Uhura grumbles, snatching her arm away but letting the blond lead her away from the growing crowd. 

--

“What? Why would she do that?” Uhura looks flabbergasted, hurt even. Uncrossing her arms to brace herself against the nearest desk, the brunette sits down heavily. “She usually tells me everything…” 

Jim shrugs his shoulders, “she didn’t tell me and I didn’t ask. Sorry,” he says honestly, looking around the empty classroom and then taking a seat on the adjacent desk. He’s tempted to give her a consolatory pat on the shoulder, to squeeze her hand or something, but he and Uhura aren’t as touchy-feely as he and Bones are, so he settles for a smile instead, “heeey, it’s not all that bad.”

Uhura rolls her eyes, “you’re about to say something stup—” 

“You at least got to see me in my underwear,” Jim winks as he gestures to himself like he’s some kind of prized treasure, seemingly proud of the fact that his friend had seen him nearly naked. “That’s gotta count for something,” he jokes, hoping his lightheartedness would cheer Uhura up. For the most part, it actually does. A smile cracks across her face before she quickly smooths out her features. 

“You’re squishier around the middle than you were three years ago,” Uhura remarks playfully, “Bones might want to change professions if being around him is making you fat.” 

Jim pretends not to be at least a smidge bit insulted, although he starts smoothing his hands across his stomach reflexively, “in his defense, I don’t listen to him—” 

“You don’t listen to anyone,” Uhura corrects.

“What can I say?” He shrugs coolly, “I’m the kind of guy to go with the flow—make it up as I go and all that.” Uhura is about to rag on him about that too, but hesitates all of a sudden. It's as though a light's just come on in here head. Watching her have an epiphany before him, Jim scrunches his face up in confusion, “uhhh, did’ya short circuit there?” 

The brunette’s eyes widen and, suddenly, she jumps up off the desk, “wait a minute! Why didn’t you sleep with Gaila?” 

Jim is taken aback, “uh… what?” 

“Why. Didn’t. You. Sleep. With. Gaila?” She asks, slowly and clearly as if talking to a small child. 

Jim feels his throat dry a little. Uh oh. Trying to keep his cool, he shrugs his shoulders, “I’unno…?” 

“Is that a question or a statement?” Uhura probes. 

It’s Jim’s turn to stand up next, “I’m wondering why you’re interested all of a sudden.” 

“Because three years ago you turned those twins down too and I’m trying to figure out what your M.O is. All I can think is either you’re harboring feelings for me, or if you’re horribly xenophobic,” Uhura is giving him a look that says she isn’t going to take no for an answer. After all, this is the determined young lady that is at the top of her classes, the one that never seemed to get intimidated. Jim feels like his balls are in a vice as those brown eyes bore into his brain through his eye holes. This is the stare down of the millennium, he thinks.  

Unconsciously, Jim’s eyes break the connection with Uhura’s, drifting to the door over her shoulder as he tries to come up with the right excuse. 

“…”

She knows too much. Abort. Abort.  

Jim doesn’t realize that she’s still talking until he catches the tail end of her last statement, “are you gay?” 

“W-What?” he sputters, looking back at her quickly, watching as her expression softens at his reaction. 

“It’s perfectly fine, Jim, its 22—” 

“I know what year it is, Nyota.”

“There’s no need to get defensive, Jim. You’ve been my friend for three years, I’m not going to get mad at you for being yourself.” 

“I’m not gay,” Jim declares unconvincingly. The sympathetic smile on Uhura’s face makes him want to disappear into the floor. Cmon, just tell her the truth. “I mean… shit, I don’t know…” he feels the heat creep up his neck but refuses to let himself get flustered. Staring back at the door, he pushes through the knot forming in his throat, “like… like, don’t you have to have sex first to figure out who you like and all that?” 

Uhura scoffs, “sexuality is far more complex than th—wait…” 

Jim really, really wishes the floor would eat him up right about now. Uhura’s face is unbearable, the way it morphs into this warm, almost sisterly expression as realization dawns on her. “James Tiberius Kirk—” 

“Don’t say it!” 

“—is a virgin!” she gasps amusedly, “wow.” 

Embarrassedly, Jim buries his face in his hands, “Mhm, yeah… wow,” he says into his palms, “so funny.”

“I didn’t say it was funny!” Uhura clarifies, even though she’s giggling, “I’m just surprised, is all. You play the role of insufferable flirt very well, I have to admit."

"..." Jim is wholly unimpressed. 

"So, how’d that rumor…” Uhura starts to wonder aloud.

Jim drops his hands down onto the edge of the desk, interrupting her with an incredulous look in his eyes, “what, you didn’t start it?” 

“Don’t flatter yourself, Jim.” 

“I’m so going to kill Bones.”

Chapter Text

Uhura and Gaila make up about a week later, which is cool because Jim doesn’t need anything distracting him from beating the Kobayashi Maru. And, okay, sure, it’s supposed to be an unbeatable test, but Jim is a certifiable genius so it’s not like hacking the damned thing is impossible.

He owes Dominic from Software Engineering a huge favor, but it’s sooooo worth it to see the look on Uhura and McCoy’s faces when the lights went out and everyone gave a collective gasp. It’s at that point that neither one of his friends wanted anything to do with the Kobayashi Maru nor Jim, knowing all too well that the blond had done the unthinkable. After managing to deflect the many questions his fellow cadets had on how he beat the simulation, Jim is cornered out in the hallway by Uhura, who looks fit to explode, no thanks to him.

Bones’ there too, his face drawn up with judgement. But other than stern looks, he lets Uhura do the talking.

“You can’t just rewrite the whole script because it doesn’t agree with you,” Uhura disputes with a stomp of her foot.

Jim shrugs his shoulders, brushing her off as he plays with his half-eaten apple, “it’s a no-win scenario. What’s the point of making us do it, if we lose?”

“Maybe it’s like that to teach us humility?” Bones cuts in, earning himself a sharp look from Jim. “What? I’m not the one who hacked into Starfleet’s simulation because I didn’t want my fake crew to get fake killed.”

Jim sighs long-sufferingly, “Ahhh, you two have no sense of ingenuity!”

“Your ingenuity is going to get you expelled,” Bones threatens.

Uhura nods, crossing her arms, “why do you have to be such a God damned mess, Jim?”

Predictably, Jim’s accused of cheating by the simulation’s creator. There’s a hearing and everything planned. Honestly, Jim has never seen Uhura so pissed off and worried at the same time. On the way to the hearing, he’s intercepted by the brunette, Uhura catching him by the crook of his arm and pulling him off to the side, “just go in and apologize. Promise to take the test again. Don’t make this into a big deal, Jim.”

He’s taken aback by the fact that she looks like she hasn’t been sleeping very well. The blossom of guilt in his stomach is almost enough to make him acquiesce. Squaring his shoulders, Jim doubles down instead. “I’m going to make that bastard eat his words, actually,” he says fearlessly.

Uhura’s hand tightens its grip around his elbow, “don’t be a jerk, Jim. Let it go, just this once.”

“Let it go and what? Let this asshole and his unbeatable test continue to terrorize cadets for generations to come? I think not,” Jim pointedly looks away from the pleading look in Uhura’s eyes, “I’m not just doing this for me, Nyota. I’m doing this for future-me and future-you—and think about poor future-Bones? That guy would never stand a chance.”

Uhura shakes his arm to get him to focus back on her eyes. She fixes him with a well-meaning look instead of her customary-“stop being a little shit, Jim”-glare, “standing a chance is not the point, Jim. Dragging this out only proves that you aren’t ready for that kind of responsibility,” Uhura explains, softer this time, hoping that comparison would get her results where reprimand hadn’t. “And, on top of that, how do you think the person who made the simulation feels? He was probably specifically chosen by Starfleet to make an unbeatable program and here you go breaking it. Are you at all surprised that he wants you to pay for making a fool out of him because you refuse to lose?”

Jim scoffs, “I’d almost think you knew the guy, the way you’re sticking up for him.”

“Oh, come on, Jim,” Uhura sighs, loses her patience, “for once, don’t think just about yourself—”

“I’m not,” Jim interrupts, surprising both Uhura and himself with how forceful that came out. Clearing his throat, he quickly apologizes, “I’m sorry… I didn’t mean… look, this isn’t just about me. It’s about you. It’s about Bones too. I can’t stop thinking ‘what if?’ What if the Kobayashi Maru were real? If we were really in that kind of scenario? I can’t lose you guys. But I can’t let anyone just die if I had a say-so.”

Uhura softens tremendously, going so far as to hug him. It’s a rare gesture between the two of them, so he soaks it up the best he can. “I don’t know how you did it, Jim, but you’ve somehow made your arrogance endearing,” squeezing him a little tighter than necessary, she cautions Jim softly, “go then. Dispute your right to cheat. Just don’t get expelled, okay?”

“Cross my heart and hope to die.”

Chapter Text

Mr. Spock is an asshole.

He’s also Vulcan.

And he’s also the creator of the Kobayashi Maru.

Normally Jim wouldn’t be so xenophobic as to add someone’s race into an argument against them, but it’s not exactly a secret that Vulcans are incredibly anal-retentive.

Standing in a room with the guy for longer than two seconds is like the ultimate test of wills. A test that Spock is trying so desperately to make Jim lose with every snippy remark and every hard look out of the corner of his eyes. And, sure, Jim doesn’t think of himself as one of the most patient, level-headed people in the whole world, but he’s never lost his cool so quickly before. He counts himself lucky to able to conceal his fists behind his lectern.

Spock crosses from an asshole and a snitch to an insensitive, insufferable, ‘I hope you go die in a hole somewhere’ prick when he brings up Jim’s dad. The Vulcan almost looks self-righteous as he talks down to Jim like he’s a child or something. The blond very nearly hears his jaw click at the force with which he’s grinding his teeth.

Somehow, though, through all the blind rage that’s coiling up in his stomach at Spock’s never-ending onslaught of insults, Jim’s thoughts of jumping Spock take on a completely different connotation. And, whooooa, boy, that’s not okay. Not when he wants to beat the crap out of Spock for talking about his dad like that, for talking about Jim like he’s the scum of the earth. Jim’s childhood, while not exactly rosy, must’ve been more fucked than he remembered if someone being mean to him made Jim like them.

Right when their discussion starts to get superheated—like, right when Jim is about to risk it all for a chance to see Spock’s eyes fly open with surprise right as he punches him in his pretty Vulcan face—they’re interrupted by a distress signal from the bastard’s home planet. Had he been religious, this would definitely be one of those “God works in mysterious ways” sort of moments.

Uhura is long gone by time they get to the hangar and Jim really shouldn’t be surprised about being put on academic probation, but he can’t stop himself from pouting about it. Which seems to make Bones swoon like a school girl because one minute, the other man is getting ready to board the U.S.S Enterprise alone and the next he’s sticking hypos into Jim’s neck and taking him aboard. Sometimes, it’s hard to believe that Bones isn’t absolutely in-love with him.

“You must want me to have alllll your babies, Bones. Hehehehe, baby bones,” Jim titters, completely out of his mind.

The nurses look at him both confused and wildly entertained. Bones glares before jamming a hypo full of sedative into his neck. “Shut the hell up, Jim.”

--

Shit immediately hits the fan upon awakening.

Jim has never seen a situation go so far south so quickly—and he was kind of born during a worst case scenario, so Jim’s pretty much an expert on calamity. The lightning storm is a trap. In spite of their efforts, Vulcan is still destroyed; Spock’s mom still dies; Pike is still captured. Being stranded on Delta Vega is the least of his worries, knowing that Earth is about to be destroyed next.

Oh, hey, did Jim mention that he’s having a helluva bad day, right now?

Between being stranded with one barely insolated jacket on a planet that the yeti would think is too cold and being chased by what can only be described as giant fucking monsters, Jim feels like he’s in line for some sort of reward for worst day of his life. His lungs feel like they’re about to collapse from all the running he’s had to do, but he doesn’t stop until he’s tripped by the creature’s tentacles wrapping around his leg. As he’s being dragged across the rough cave floor, Jim is pretty sure he’s a shoe-in for said that ‘horrible day’ award. Feeling suction cups slowly tearing through his pant leg, Jim scrambles to find something to grab onto, praying to whatever deity that ruled over this planet that he didn’t find out just what this thing was going to do to him.

At best, it’ll eat him, but he has a feeling that tentacles aren’t a multicultural fetish for no reason. Does it count as your first time if it’s with Cthulhu and no one’s around to see it?

He doesn’t realize that the creature has let him go until Jim is being helped to his feet. The cave does a little waving dance before his eyes and Jim staggers, so out of his mind fatigued that he almost misses it when his savior calls him by his name. “James T. Kirk…

Jim finally gets the chance to appraise the other man and is taken aback by the old Vulcan looking staring down at him. If, for no other reason, it’s because what are the odds? Who in their right mind wouldn’t think that this whole circumstance is suspicious as hell; some random alien in some random cave just happens to know his name.

“How do you know my name? Who are you? What are you doing here?” These are the questions Jim wants to ask, but they come out more like gibberish on the account that Jim is slurring the hell out of his words.

The old alien beckons for Jim to follow him and upon sitting in front of the Vulcan’s fire, Jim tries to speak again, “who are you?” He asks more clearly, to which the other man smiles.

“I am, and shall always be, your friend.”

Not. Cryptic. At. All.

Jim scrubs his face with his hands and startles when he looks up to find the alien reaching out for his face.

“Uh…?” Personal Space Much? Jim jerks away, “what are you doing?” 

The Vulcan doesn’t seem at all discouraged. Grabbing Jim’s shoulder and rooting him to his spot, the alien explains in the most nonchalant way possible, “it’s easier to show you.”

Yeah, that isn’t the spooky at all.

Jim has absolutely no idea what’s happening right now, but it’s not like the Vulcan is really giving him an out. He’s got all kinds of reservations about the facing-touching thing and he’s incredibly hazy on the specifics of what the old man is going to do to him, but Jim tries to just go with the flow. Taking a few calming breathes before agreeing to let ‘Creepy’—it’s his nickname because the old alien is … well, Creepy—do whatever it is that he’s going to do.

Easier to show him than tell him, Jim’s ass.

Jim feels more punch drunk than when he’d been dropped on his head by the monster earlier. His brain feels like scrambled eggs and he nearly crawls into the fire trying to get away from Spock… Wait—Spock? No way. How?

“W…what… was that?” He slurs, grabbing his face where Spock had touched him, expecting to be able to reach inside his meld points and touch that intangible part of himself that the other man had.

“I am sorry, Jim,” Spock apologizes, advancing on him again, “I did not expect you to be so affected by the meld. I shall endeavor to lessen the severity of the emotional transference,” Spock explains coolly.

Oh, god, he’s going to do it again?

Jim doesn’t get the chance to flee before Spock melds with him again and, admittedly, it’s not as bad the second time around. Jim is just starting to acclimate to the feeling of Spock inside of him—oh, God… that sounds sooooo bad. But there’s really no better way to word it; it literally does feel like Spock is inside him some kind of way; under his skin, in his pores, looking through his eyes, tucked safely underneath his rib cage in the spot where his heart ought to be—when the old Vulcan seems to up the ante, pushing more and more into Jim’s virgin mind.

There’s a bad, tasteless joke floating around in his head all of a sudden and Jim hopes, belatedly, that Spock doesn’t hear it. See it. Feel it. Whatever… everything is confused.

It’s like Spock’s hit some raw nerve inside of him that drowns Jim completely in emotion and, distantly, the blond feels his knees collide with the ground. Suddenly, Spock frees him and Jim returns to himself even slower, swearing now that he’s blind.

In reality, his eyes are closed. And when they finally flutter open again, he sees the Vulcan’s cheeks are glowing green in the firelight.

If there’s a thought to tease him about it, Jim doesn’t pay it any mind. He’s got a much more pressing problem thanks to all the disturbing imagery Spock has just implanted into his mind. Blushing at the fact that now he’s sporting a pretty obvious erection, Jim clumsily tries to make himself decent. For his efforts, he earns a humored—oh, cool, he can read Spock’s barely changing expressions now—eyebrow raise from Spock.

“There is no need to be ashamed, T’hy’la, we are old friends,” Spock assures softly.

Jim tries to roll his eyes, but then one Spock becomes two and he realizes that his eyes have gone crossed. Scrubbing his face embarrassedly, the blond mutters almost under his breath, “I know what that word means, y’know.” And I know damn well you two weren’t just friends! He shakes a little bit at that notion, not sure how to process this newfound knowledge. After all, in spite of his weird attraction to Spock, they pretty much hate each other. Mentally, Jim swears in at least fifteen different languages as his traitorous mind starts to playback all the downright pornographic images that were shared with him.

“Ssso ‘m all caught up, what’do we do now?” Jim asks, changing the subject.

Spock nods, “there is a Starfleet outpost not far from here. We need to get you back onto the Enterprise.”

They go over their plan twice before Jim feels like he’s in one hundred percent control of himself. As he goes to stand, Spock places a stabilizing hand on his lower back and Jim shoots him a look as he feels the hair rise on the back of his neck. “Yeah, thanks, but, I’m fine,” when the old Vulcan doesn’t move his hand, Jim brushes it off, “look I get that you and… I guess the other-me… were together and all that, but please knock it off with the touching?”

Spock nods, “very well.”

There’s a pang in Jim’s stomach at the almost-wounded look in Spock’s eyes. He didn’t know Vulcans were capable of looking so adorably pitiful. No, stop. You aren’t supposed to think he’s cute. Neither Spock is cute. Get your head in the game, Jim. The blond grumbles in frustration before pointing an accusatory finger at Spock.

“What the hell did you do to me when you were poking around in my noggin?”

Chapter Text

Spock Prime’s master-plan for getting Jim in control of the enterprise is to have the blond provoke him. Okay, so, like, there’s a million and one reasons why Jim is hesitant to put this plan into motion—number one being that Jim is allergic to dying—but Spock Prime gives him little room to argue, reminding him of Earth’s impending fate if he doesn’t do what he’s told.

So, after narrowly rescuing Scotty from being turned into a human smoothie, Jim is more or less forced into the worst confrontation of his life. When Spock hits him the first time, Jim is so surprised that he barely has the time to block the next attack. Oh, boy, and he’s glad he did because Spock’s arm crashing into his own is like being hit with a steel pipe. His ulna—or maybe his radius? Shit, both probably—feels like it’s been cracked in half. The pain has tears building in his eyes, but he pays it little mind as Spock hits him square in the chest, knocking the wind out of him and sending him staggering backwards like a chicken with its head cut off.

Spilling over someone’s workstation, Jim makes a mental note to kill the other Spock if he ever gets the chance, those big dark puppy eyes be damned.

When that surprisingly soft hand—Jim, get. your. head. in. the. game—clamps around his neck, Jim wonders if maybe talking about Spock late mother was too far. If he ever gets out of this, he’ll apologize. After he kills the other Spock.

There’s shouting all around them, but Jim can only hear the ringing in his ears and the wild grunting of Spock above him. He’s on the verge of losing consciousness when the lights come on behind Spock’s eyes. Somehow, the Vulcan snaps out of his bloodthirsty rampage, and Jim is sooo god damned grateful. Coughing and moaning gratefully, Jim desperately tries to catch his breath. Well, what d’ya know? This Spock can take his breath away too. Annnd that thought kinda makes Jim want to end himself by smashing his head through the console underneath him.

When Jim finally forces himself to sit up, he feels like absolute death. Not just physically, but emotionally as well because watching Spock return to himself, Jim gets hit in the gut with guilt. The Vulcan looks so totally ashamed of himself, his voice actually wavers when he starts to dismiss himself. Jim feels like the worst person in the entire universe, taking in the way everyone else on the bridge seems to be looking at Spock as though he’s a three-headed monster with molten lava for eyes and plastic baby dolls for feet.

As Spock and Sarek sweep from the bridge, Uhura appears at his side and assesses the glowing red hand-print on his neck. “What the hell is wrong with you, Jim?” She hisses, still shaking.

Jim clears his throat, trying to get his voice working, “it’s Captain,” he corrects hoarsely.

“Have you lost your damned mind?” Bones barks.

That’s… debatable, Jim thinks, disorientation making the trip to the captain’s chair more of a chore than it ought to be. Uhura looks at him warily, but doesn’t object when he sits down and coughs a little. “I hope you have a plan,” she tries not to sound as hopeless as the rest of the crew looks, but Jim knows that they’re all nervous. Why wouldn’t they be?

“Me too,” he admits. 

-- 

Their plan, more or less, relies on blind luck. Considering that he and Spock are actually working as a team—and doing a pretty damn good job too—gives Jim hope that Lady Fortune has had a change of heart and has finally decided to stop kicking him while he’s down. When they find their way onto the other Spock’s ship, Jim is pretty sure they’re going to make it. He actually lets himself think it’s cute that Spock suspects him of knowing something the Vulcan doesn’t. Spock’s general badassness during the execution of the plan almost makes up for the whole ‘he stranded you on Delta Vega’ thing. Almost because Jim is still miffed about it.

When they’re back on the Enterprise and Pike is taken by the medical crew, Jim is prepared for everything—well, except Spock outright telling him to kill Nero—but he’s prepared for literally everything else. Nodding to Spock, the blond orders for the Narada to be obliterated. As soon as the feed to Nero’s ship is cut, without thinking, the blond turns and hugs Spock. And he has no idea why he does that, but for whatever reason it feels like something he should’ve done… so, yeah, he hugs Spock.

Over the Vulcan’s shoulder, he catches Uhura looking horrified, gesturing for Jim to let Spock go. For some reason—despite his better judgement telling him to listen to her before Spock really did decide to kill him—Jim doesn’t listen. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s literally seen himself and the other Spock hug a bunch of times (and he’s also seen them play naked twister), maybe it’s the fact that he knows that they were, for all intents and purposes, married. Regardless of the reason, he does it and has no reservations about it. After all, one hug wasn’t going to melt the guy.

Spock is stock still, hands raised as he refuses to let their skin touch. Jim doesn’t care to notice, reconciling in his mind that this hug is him than it is for Spock anyway.

And because he can’t have anything nice, Sulu interrupts him with the whole-‘uhm, Captain, the ship is about to be ripped apart by the black hole’-thing. So, it’s back to reality and responsibility and ohjesusfuckingchrist everyone is going to die if they don’t figure out how to get out of the way. He has no idea what the hell Scotty’s solution is, but he’d agree to set himself on fire if it meant the U.S.S Enterprise and her crew getting to safety.

When everyone opens their eyes and realizes that they’re not dead, there is an audible sigh of relief followed by a series of whoops and hollers. They survived, holy shit. The crew start hugging each other all over the place and Jim collapses back into his seat both smiling and shaking at the same time. Chancing a look at Spock, he catches the barely concealed look of relief and smiles all the brighter.

Chapter Text

Not that he would ever say it aloud, but for the first time in his entire life, Jim finally feels like he’s moved out of his father’s shadow. Standing before esteemed members of Starfleet, with his medal pinned to his chest, Jim feels euphoric. Relieving Pike from his duty has them both tearing up a little, but Jim is all smiles and elation.

The metaphorical sun is beautiful, bright… It warms him in a way he’s never felt before.

While the Enterprise is being repaired and outfitted for its next voyage, Jim is left to go over the roster and pick his crew. Obviously, there’s no doubt in his mind who he wants. Uhura and Bones will never not have a place on his ship; he owes Scotty for being alive, so he’s definitely in the crew; and, well, shit, Sulu and Chekov have really grown on him, so why not bring them along too? All that’s left is convincing Spock, but that is a much, much larger undertaking than he knows how to handle.

In spite of everything, there is still this niggling feeling that Spock hates his guts—or at the very least doesn’t like him.

Jim sighs for the umpteenth time and Uhura drops down onto the couch beside him. “I’m guessing you haven’t heard a single thing I said,” she scolds, nudging him with her elbow to get him to sit up straight.

He tries not to look guilty as scoots over to give Uhura space, “I totally did,” Jim retorts childishly, “but if you want to repeat everything you said, I won’t object.”

“Urggh, Jim, why don’t you just ask him?” she asks exasperatedly.

Jim claps his hand over his mouth to try and hide his growing blush, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Uhura is unamused. “You know, Jim, I want to be really, really pissed at you for liking Spock.”

The blond startles off the couch, immediately starting to pace around the lounge. Uhura stands and grabs him by the arm, stopping him mid-stride. “You’re not just a mess, you’re a sad sack too.”

“Me? A sad sack? How?”

Uhura’s eyelashes flutter, but she seems to resist the urge to roll them completely. “Here you are, James Tiberius Kirk, son of an overworked widow; your only friend for twenty something years was his big brother; you got beat up by your crush to save the planet; you—”

“Okay, okay, okay…” Jim interrupts, bright red, “I get it.”

Uhura sighs, but this time it’s not brooding or irritated… it’s a thoughtful kind of sigh. “And I get that you’re going to make a God damned mess as captain unless Spock is by your side,” she quickly adds, “I don’t exclusively mean as your First Officer.” 

Jim glows even brighter, “I don’t need relationship advice, Nyota.”

“Of course you don’t,” she says skeptically, “but… what you need to do is stop being so afraid.” Jim puffs up, but doesn’t get the chance to deny the obvious truth. Uhura pokes him hard in his abdomen, finding a tender spot on the first try, “you’d better do it before I do. Spock is absolutely amazing and I’m not going to wait around for you to make up your mind if you don’t do anything.”

“Are we, like, love-rivals or something?”

“Shut up, Jim.”

Chapter Text

Saying goodbye to Spock Prime is surprisingly difficult.

If for no other reason, it’s the fact that Jim can still feel the old alien’s essence rattling around inside his head. It’s impossible to stop himself from tearing up, but initially Jim does a pretty well enough job until Spock Prime does that Vulcan hand thing and suddenly Jim’s being flooded with a bunch of memories that can’t belong to either one of them because no way could Spock have seen himself die.

It’s terrifying to have that thought, terrifying to think that Spock (any Spock) is even capable of dying.

Jim has to hug Spock Prime—he’s hugged his own Spock already, so… why not?—because he really doesn’t want the other man to see him crying. It’s always been hard for Jim to say goodbye, but this is on a whole other level of heartbreaking. Unlike his own Spock, the older Vulcan hugs him back, going so far as to squeeze his shoulders. Even though he’s sniffling loudly, Jim can hear the sounds of Spock Prime breathing in the scent of his hair—and, okay, the sniffing is a little much, but it’s soothing in a weird way so he doesn’t put a stop to it.

“There is no need to be upset, T’hy’la, we shall cross paths once again,” Spock Prime assures, petting Jim’s hair.

“I know…” Jim mumbles into the fabric of the older man’s shirt. Geez, his voice hasn’t wavered this bad since puberty. “I don’t know why I can’t stop crying…” he hiccups truthfully.

Spock Prime lifts his head then, cradling Jim’s jaw softly and gently wiping his tears away with broad sweeps of his thumbs. Jim is paralyzed by dark eyes staring down at him, feeling creeped out and endeared at the same time. All of a sudden, the urge to kiss Spock Prime becomes overwhelmingly strong, but Jim knows that the feelings isn’t his, and so he brushes it off. Just like he brushes off Spock Prime.

Ignoring the lecherous twinkle in Spock Prime’s eyes—and that’s never going to stop being weird; how expressive these ‘emotionless’ creatures are—Jim gently disentangles himself from the older man, clearing his throat as he does so. He feels awkward as he swipes at his face. “I guess this is goodbye,” he says a little unevenly, forcing himself to smile before extending a hand to Spock Prime to shake.

The old Vulcan takes Jim’s hand in both his own, softly squeezing it like it’s something precious to him. “For now, Jim.”

That, honest to God, makes Jim smile. Smoothing his other hand across the outside of Spock Prime’s, he gives the old Vulcan a genuinely warm grin, “You take care of yourself Spock.”

When they go their separate ways, Jim feels bereft, unable to shake his other self’s memory. Yeah, sure, Spock Prime’s presence in this timeline alters the course of history, but could he… would Spock still die that like? He wants to cry just thinking about it. Damn Spock Prime. Jim sniffles and wipes his eyes with his sleeve, remembering that he forgot to at least shove the old Vulcan for messing his brain up.

--

“Father!” Spock calls out across the hangar and is genuinely surprised when the Vulcan that turns around is not Sarek. His older self is a lot more liberal with his emotions: his words, his posture, his expression, the air around him even; he is a completely open book in this regard. Upon being accused of lying to Jim, his older-self stares warmly at Spock in a way that is incredibly reminiscent of his (their) mother. Spock does not know what to think of all this, does not know how to process his older self’s laxness or the encouragement to befriend Jim. He is aware, however, that not all of his questions could be, or would be, answered if he did choose to ask. His older self has a clear agenda, and although Spock does not know what it is, he knows himself to be too stubborn to convince him to divulge more information than he wants to.

Carefully, Spock picks his final question to himself. “I do not understand how Kirk and I being friends benefits me in anyway,” he says plainly, “perhaps, the Kirk of your timeline is more emotionally mature and, perhaps, he is less reckless. The Kirk of my timeline, however, is a nuisance.”

His older self looks like he’s about to smile, “rest assured, my Jim was a nuisance as well. I did not mind it. To speak openly, I rather enjoyed his antics.”

Spock feels a pang of curiosity and his fingertips itch to reach for his older self’s meld points. He wants to know what is making the older Vulcan’s eyes shine with such fondness.

“And you shall too, in time,” the older Spock assures.

Spock is about to let his other-self leave when something occurs to him, “you and the Kirk of your timeline were more than friends.”

“Good luck.”

Chapter Text

It’s a little while before the roster is finalized and Jim is pulling his hair out trying to figure out how best to ask Spock if he wanted to be his First Officer. Wait, no, not his First Officer, the First Officer; Spock doesn’t belong to him, after all. His face burns at the thought of Spock in a collar—of him in a collar. Jim’s brain has officially turned to mush.

He sighs, burying his face in his pillow and wondering what he could have done to make Spock not hate him so much. Maybe if he didn’t cheat on the Kobayashi Maru? Threatening mutiny wasn’t a good idea either. And, shit, talking about Spock’s recently deceased mom, of all the despicably desperate things to do...

Murmuring into the pillow sham miserably, Jim almost misses the chime at his door. Ruefully, he sits up and, without thinking, he grants his visitor entrance. It’s probably Bones, he thinks, coming to drag him out of the doldrums and take him out on the town. The good doctor probably would rather be spending time with Joanna, but his ex-wife is being difficult for whatever reason and won’t let him visit until the last possible day. 

Jim’s throwing his legs over the side of the bed when Spock enters his bedroom, prim and proper as usual. “Jesus, don’t come barging into people’s rooms!” The blond squawks, pulling his pillow onto his lap to cover his boxers. He really regrets sleeping-in now. 

Spock adverts his eyes, but other than that, it’s business as usual. “When you granted me permission to enter, I did not anticipate the possibility of you being undressed. My apologies,” the Vulcan says courteously. 

“Uh, no problem… I shouldn’t have—” Jim clears his throat, trying to push past the feelings of butterflies exploding in his stomach. Realizing that Spock’s just standing there, he tries to change the subject, “… what are you even doing here, anyway?”

“I have come to request the position of First Order,” Spock explains, jumping on the opportunity to talk about anything other than Jim’s nudeness. His fingers twitch reflexively and Spock feels the need to thread them together to keep them still. “If it has not already been taken, that is,” he says evenly.

Jim tries to wipe the look of absolute shock off his face, but only succeeds in morphing his expression into that of an excited puppy who’s about to be taken for a walk. “What? No—no! The seat hasn’t been filled! I wouldn’t let anyone else have it,” Jim realizes he’s yammering, but he can’t stop himself, “it’s yours’, Spock, it will always be yours’.”

The Vulcan, against his better judgement, turns to examine Jim and feels his eyes drawn to that golden skin. Spock clears his throat when he realizes his mistake. “Very well,” he eventually says.

Jim can’t tell if things just got really awkward, or if the reason he can’t breathe is because he’s just so happy to see Spock. “We’re happy to have you, Mr. Spock,” he smiles, unable to fight back the warmness in his chest as he stands and extends his hand for a shake.

Spock’s eyes widen just a fraction, “Captain?” 

“It’s Jim, there’s no need for the formalities. We’re not even on the ship yet,” the blond corrects, trying to sound teasing even though he was nervous as hell all of a sudden. Why wasn’t Spock taking his hand? Did he still hate Jim, did he think his fingers were grubby and gross? 

Spock nods, still not taking his hand, “very well, Jim.” 

Feeling extremely vulnerable, Jim hugs his pillow tighter and does a cursory glance around the floor for his discarded pants. Quickly pulling them on, he tries to be friendly, “hey, let’s celebrate. I know place around here—” 

Spock interrupts him with a shake of his head, “that will not be necessary.” 

It feels like he’s been kick in chest. “Oh…” Now Jim feels awkward. 

They both stand for several moments before Jim decides that either he or Spock need to get the hell out of his room. Looking for his shirt, Jim figures that he’ll be the one that leaves because he’s clearly the most uncomfortable. Spock just so happens to be in front of his dresser and Jim ends up having to brush past him.

The Vulcan catches him by the wrist and suddenly their positions are being switched and Jim is being pressed into the drawers. “Jim,” Spock says tersely, almost like he’s having trouble breathing. The blond certainly is, feeling half like this is a repeat of the bridge incident and half like he’s about to be fucked within an inch of his life. Neither of these thoughts should be associated with his Vulcan First Officer—then again, his Vulcan First Officer shouldn’t be manhandling him in the first place, so… there goes propriety and professionalism. 

Even though he’s somewhat terrified, Jim also kind of feels warm and fuzzy inside. “Spock,” he breathes, realizing that the Vulcan’s face is rather close to his own all of a sudden. His eyes dart to Spock’s lips and then his eyes and he’s unsure as hell where this is supposed to be going. The Vulcan looks … not unsure, but uneasy. Like he wants to do something, but doesn’t know if he should. “Spock?” Jim tries again. 

“I am going to kiss you, Jim,” Spock announces and, shit, who is Jim to complain? 

He has no idea what to expect—and, yet, somehow he does—and is pleased as Punch when Spock’s mouth presses into his just right and sends tingles up and down his spine. The hand that the Vulcan isn’t holding lifts, his fingers twining themselves through Spock’s immaculate hair. The grip on his other hand tightens, but not out of reprimand, but approval. Jim moans lightly, opening his mouth and transforming the kiss into something far more primal than regular lip-on-lip contact. 

Jim gasps at the feeling of the inside Spock’s mouth, of his tongue tracing his top lip before dipping into his mouth. Spock’s other hand rests on his lower back, pulling him closer. Whoa… whoaJim feels like he’s being overwhelmed as Spock devours his mouth and starts grinding their hips together.

This. This is his first real kiss and Jim is both happy that it's with Spock and kind of disappointed that it's taken this long. Jesus, to think he could have been doing this years ago? What the hell was his problem? 

Spock growls almost inaudibly into his mouth, kissing him deeper and harder, and Jim's thoughts fly out of his head, that deep guttural sound unsettling something deep within Jim’s abdomen. His hand slips out of Spock’s hair and goes to clumsily grip the front of Spock’s shirt, balling the once neat fabric into a mess of wrinkles. Jim is incredibly tempted to try and get it off, but at the same time, he’s equally wary about what comes after there’s no more clothes between them.

If his inexperience shows through in the way he hesitates to touch—despite really wanting to—or the way he needs a moment to adjust to every single thing, it doesn’t matter. Spock drinks him up regardless, threatening to consume him entirely. Jim hears himself distantly moaning and keening at the way Spock is trying to dry hump him through the wall. He’s almost taken aback that he could make any of those noises. But then, there’s Spock making some pretty interesting sounds too and it’s really pretty awesome that he’s not alone in making absolute fool of himself.

Feeling somewhat emboldened by the panting Vulcan against him, Jim sneaks his hand between them, his fingers barely grazing the skin of Spock’s stomach before his wrist is captured. Jim thinks he’s committed some faux pas. Because of course you did, you big dummy! Blushing, he’s prepared to apologize when Spock boldly presses Jim’s hand up directly against his straining erection.

Too hot. Too hot. Abort, abort— 

Wrenching his mouth free from Spock’s, Jim buries his face into the Vulcan’s shoulder, moaning embarrassedly as he comes in his pants.

Fuck, he could die…

For whatever reason, Jim expects to be ridiculed—because, obviously, that’s what anyone else would do in this situation—and is pleasantly surprised when Spock kisses him gently and pets his quaking back.

--

It’s the day after he gave Spock a bad case of blue balls that Jim feels confident enough to face him—and confident enough to ask about their relationship status. Because, obviously, they aren’t exactly adversaries anymore. "So, are we, like... are we dating?"

"I believe that is the Terran terminology," Spock replies coolly.

Jim grins and his sheepishness melts in increments. Grabbing one of Spock's hands, he affectionately squeezes the Vulcan’s fingers, "does this mean we get to use cute pet-names? Wear matching outfits? Should I get a tramp-stamp of your name on my lower back?"

"Jim," Spock huffs, interrupting the blond's juvenile train of thought, "desist in stimulating my fingers."

Jim doesn't stop, even if the rejection niggles at his mind, "why? It feels nice, doesn't it?" 

Spock’s jaw noticeably tightens, like he’s trying to restrain himself. Jim ignores the clear and obvious warning and brings Spock’s hand to his cheek to nuzzle his knuckles, “since we’re dating and all, there’s nothing weird about being lovey-dovey,” the blond reasons. 

“I am not… against romantic gestures,” Spock says tightly, trying to free his hand, “But I must caution you not to continue to stimulate my fingers if you do not wish to engage in intercourse.” 

"O...oh," Jim turns fuchsia, letting go of Spock's hand immediately in spite of the spike of arousal in his stomach at the Vulcan's admission. As Spock visibly relaxes, the blond becomes noticeably twitchier. Without thinking, Jim asks, "...are your hands, like, sensitive or something?" 

Spock nods, "very."

Cool, Jim thinks and then his eyes light up with realization. He. Is. Going. To. Kill. Spock. Prime. "No way, I shook his hand!" he says in horror.

Chapter Text

Before their five year voyage begins—wow, they’re really doing this… five years, huh?—they decide to visit Iowa together.

It’s half because Spock has all his affairs in order with New Vulcan, and half because Jim is dying to introduce Spock to his mom and brother. After all, he is Jim’s first everything. They’d had every intention of getting a hotel room for the duration of their stay, but Spock just would not let Jim say no to his mom’s request for them to stay at the farm with her.

Jim suspects that the Vulcan is trying to live vicariously through him.

So, that’s how they end up boarding in his childhood bedroom. And if Spock has any objections to being in such close quarters with Jim, he keeps them to himself. However, not even his Vulcan stoicism can hide the leery looks he casts towards the one, twin-sized bed. Jim laughs to himself when he catches Spock’s murmured, “fascinating...”

There's a little back and forth about the bed not being able to accommodate two fully grown humanoid men, but Jim quickly wins the disagreement by pointing at that, “hey, you wanted to stay with my mom.”

It was late when they had arrived, so after a brief conversation with Winona (which consisted mostly of her making googly eyes at Spock), Jim’s eager to go to sleep. They had a big day ahead of them tomorrow; Sam and Aurelan would be visiting with their three sons and Jim wanted to be well-rested to handle all the chaos they were sure to bring with them.

After showering, Jim crawls heavily into bed, preparing to fall into a blissful sleep. His lids start to droop when he realizes that Spock is standing at the foot of the bed. “You checking for monsters?” Jim asks dreamily, sitting up on his elbow and wiping the sleep from his eyes.

Spock shakes his head, confused by Jim’s assertion that, one: there were imaginary creatures underneath the blond’s bed that wished to harm them, and two: he was looking for them. Chalking it up as an illogical-human-thing, the Vulcan assures his lover, “I am waiting for you to fall asleep so that I may meditate.”

“You’re not tired at all?” Jim says while yawning.

Spock nods, “no, I am not.” Turning swiftly and moving towards his luggage to retrieve his mat, he adds, “Vulcans require less sleep than humans. You are free to use the bed for the night.”

Is that what this is about? The blond rolls his eyes, “I’m not buying it,” Sitting up fully against the headboard, Jim is quick to continue before Spock can change the subject, “You’re half Vulcan, so that means half of you still needs to bring his ass to bed." His crudeness is rather effective. Spock’s ears go a little green. Jim laughs quietly at how cute the other man looks not-fidgeting. Pulling up the covers, Jim teases him, “oooh, would you look at that? There's suddenly room for you, who’d’a thunk?" Patting the mattress, the blond continues goading his motionless First officer, “aw, come on, Spock… I’m promising to be your little spoon! Are you really going to pass up that opportunity?”

Spock doesn't budge, but now he's virtually glowing like he’s radioactive. Okay, no, this is the cutest he’s ever seen Spock.

“I fail to see how cutlery has anything to do with—” Spock starts to say in his usual way of taking things waaaaay too literally while simultaneously ignoring the intent of the given statement.

"It’s a Terran expression. S'bout how two spoons fit together perfectly in a drawer,” Jim interrupts him, “now you're all caught up. Stop stalling and come here before I freeze to death waiting."

He really ought to expect Spock to give in, but the blond still turns a little pink when the Vulcan comes around to the vacant side of the bed and climbs on. As the mattress dips Jim’s bravado almost completely dissolves, leaving him to squirm like a virgin sacrifice. Except, no, stop thinking like that, you perv... Spock isn't going to do anything to him. Spock respects his situation too much to try and force the issue of consummation. Jim's honor will remain intact until further notice.

There’s a brief adjustment period as they shift and shimmy around the bed until they find a suitable position for both of them. Jim tries to mask the hitch of his breath as he feels Spock press close against his back. He swears he can feel every muscle in the Vulcan's torso as Spock curls around him like a giant teddy bear.

Jim squirms and squirms and squirms—when did he get so damned squirmyJesus, it must be torture for Spock to have to deal with all his moving—at their closeness. “Y’know… my brother and his wife are coming to visit tomorrow," Jim announces, trying to distract himself from the way his nerves are singing. It's impossible, however, to ignore the spike of his pulse. Their other-selves were very acquainted with this position and although many of the memories lodged inside of Jim’s head are of a companionable nature—some of the cuddling was strictly for survival—there were quite a few that made him superheat.  

Shifting underneath the solid arm Spock has wrapped around his waist, Jim fake-yawns. Fake because he’s way too wired now to even think of sleeping anymore. With a blush, Jim tries to ignore his boiling blood. “I think they'll like you,” he rambles, trying to hold perfectly still in spite of desperately wanting to line their hips up. And, good lord, for someone who was basically steered away from sex as a kid, Jim’s libido seems to be eager as hell to start playing catch up. “I mean, my mom loves you already.”

Jim nuzzles into his pillow, talking uselessly for a whole half hour before realizing that Spock has fallen asleep. Well, well, well… so much for that 'we Vulcans are superior to you silly humans. We are highly logical and incredibly advanced and have basically become supercomputers. Unlike you, we are not slaves to our basic biological needs’-shit. Jim would be smug if his insides didn't feel like jelly. 

It takes him the rest of the hour to calm down enough to go to sleep too.

Jim dreams of a red earth. The ground is dry and cracked, beautiful and familiar between his toes. The winds are hot and arid as they blow through his hair, parching his mouth and stinging his eyes, tasting like spice and something exotic. He feels so warm that he has to shed his clothes; clothes that are coarser than any fabric he’d usually wear, not unlike wool but still foreign underneath his fingertips. There’s hands on him, turning him away from the horizon and gathering him close. He feels complete in this embrace. He feels like he’s found his home. It’s precious in every way possible. Jim wants to cherish it forever.

He can’t. No matter how hard he tries to hold onto to it, that amazing terracotta world crumbles when the sun comes shining in through the pale white curtains of his bedroom.

Jim opens his eyes and has to blink a few times to remember where he is. The furnace against his back is no longer the scorching warmth of a brilliant sun, but his first officer.

Jim starts to turn over, to say something silly to wake the other man up, but Spock's hand clinches around his stomach and he's being pulled back into position. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that that is not a rocket poking into his lower back.

“Oh,” the blond hiccups aloud, painfully aware of their 'guest' this morning. At his vocalization, Spock’s breathing changes almost undetectably. Well, the rest of him is awake now. Playing off his reaction, Jim starts to move again, like he’s trying to get up. “I promised mom that I was going to cook this morning,” he explains.

Spock’s hand releases him and Jim goes nearly breaks his neck running down the hall to the bathroom for a long, cold shower.

As it turns out, they’d slept-in and Winona has already finished cooking by time they come downstairs. Jim scowls when he realizes that breakfast is completely vegetarian. Sure, Jim appreciates that his mom when the extra-mile for Spock’s sake, but a fan of rabbit food he ain’t.

Poking what looks like tofu with his spoon, Jim sighs to himself and wonders if either will be offended if he runs to the store for a sandwich. For his part, Spock seems rather pleased with breakfast, going so far as to compliment Winona’s culinary prowess—which only further fuels Jim’s wild speculations that Spock is trying to steal his mom because, seriously, the food’s not even that good.

Sam and Aurelan arrive around noon. The couple—and Winona—spend the better half of an hour interrogating Spock for any clues as to why, after all these years, he’s who Jim has decided to bring home. Jim decides to make himself scarce and entertain his nephews while his family give Spock the third-degree, only returning when the youngest starts to whine and whimper for food.

Re-entering the living room, Jim purposefully interrupts a barrage of questions about Spock’s hobbies with a loud announcement: “the kids are hungry. And, while, yes, I am the world’s greatest uncle, even I need a break.” Jim doesn’t wait for Aurelan to move, walking straight to Sam, he deposits his youngest nephew into his brother’s lap before dropping onto the couch besides Spock.

Sam looks confused as to why he’s suddenly holding a crying baby, but doesn’t wait for the little guy to start screaming at the top of his lungs before he’s getting up to feed him. “Don’t think you’re off the hook, Spock,” Sam cautions, herding the rest of the boys into the kitchen.

Jim smiles impishly at his big brother, “careful now, you might scare him off,” he jokes.

“Vulcans do not get scared, Jim,” Spock clarifies with a raised eyebrow, “additionally, we are a very possessive species. As you and I have already agreed that we are in a monogamous relationship, it is not at all likely that I would let your family dissuade me from remaining with you.”

Jim has to cough into the bend of his elbow to hide his surprised expression. Way to put yourself out there, Spock, he thinks, cheeks flushing as he watches his mother and sister-in-law’s expressions light up at the Vulcan’s admission.

“Looks like you’ve got yourself a keeper,” Winona chuckles.

Aurelan nods at her mother-in-law as she rises from her seat. “What a romantic,” she teases, winking at Jim before heading to the kitchen, “hey, Sam, you’ll never believe what Spock just said!”

Aside from the fact that everyone has now made it their mission to embarrass Jim, the rest of the day is fucking fantastic. Spock gets along rather well with his family and that’s more than Jim can ever ask for.

Chapter Text

Even though it’s Jim who has all the hang-ups about sex, Spock is the one who shows restraint. 

It’s the final day of their holiday and the blond has had enough of all the inadvertent teasing they’d been doing, cuddling and kissing for the past two weeks. Touching and being touched by Spock is a pleasant torture—and, no matter how pleasant it might be, it’s still torture. Jim reaches his breaking point when he walks in on the Vulcan in the shower. And how could he not, when Spock is so perfect naked? Green-flushed and glistening, lithe and lean, dark hair wet and disheveled. 

Jim has no idea why his mother opted for such an archaic shower design (what was the benefit of using glass? You could see completely through it? Well, other than the obvious reason), but he was absolutely grateful as his eyes commit his boyfriend’s body to his memory. 

Watching Spock as he does, Jim gets this bright idea that it would be better to touch him than to just look. And, temporarily, his reservations are lost. Pure desperation spurs him into stripping clumsily from his clothes. How Spock doesn’t hear him is a wonder, but Jim’d probably lose his daring if the Vulcan were to turn around now and see him ravenously undressing. 

As soon as the last piece of clothing hits the tile floor, the blond grabs the shower-door handle and pulls as gently as his shaking hands can manage. The humidity hits him like a mushroom cloud, taking his breath away and making Jim nearly take a step backward. “Wow, that’s hot,” Jim gasps, feeling his skin break out in a thin sheet of sweat. 

Spock clues-in finally and turns noticeably greener. Slicking his dripping fringe back and away from his forehead, he blinks water from his eyes and casts a surprised look to the blond. It takes Spock, maybe, half a second to notice that Jim is as naked as the day he was born—the other half is used to realize that Spock’s staring at him because of it“Have I been showering for too long? By my calculations only ten minutes and forty seconds have elapsed since I have begun—Jim?” Spock interrupts himself, stepping backwards when the blond climbs into the shower with him. The Vulcan isn’t exactly inviting Jim into the shower with him, but he’s exactly trying to touch him either. 

“You’re fine, Spock,” Jim assures, smiling dreamily at him. They’re, like, in arm’s-reach of each other and all he wants to do is cover that space and plaster himself all over Spock. So, he does. Wrapping his arms around the Vulcan’s neck, he pulls Spock down to kiss him greedily on the mouth, not at all caring how messy it is when he presses forward into that warmer-than-usual-body in front of him. 

Spock doesn’t resist. As soon as their chests touch, he’s kissing back just as intent on ravaging Jim as the blond is on ravaging him. Those sneaky Vulcan hands—which have, more or less, become an obsession of Jim’s since he’d learned of their heightened sensitivity—start groping and grasping at all of Jim’s newly exposed skin. The blond twitches and hiccups into Spock’s mouth at feeling the other man’s fingers skirting over every unexplored inch they can reach. 

It’s so hot. Hotter than the first time, but eventually Jim’s able to think through the haze of his lust and realize that Spock isn’t doing anything. Like, he taking things any further than touching. Jim wants so much more than to be caressed, though, especially when he feels Spock’s bare erection brushing against his hip. He wants the Vulcan to fuck him, he’s dying for Spock to fuck him. After all this time, he feels entitled to it.   

Somehow, Jim separates their mouths, prepared to ask for what he desperately needs. Looking up at those dark eyes, though, the blond feels his tongue turn to cotton. Self-doubt and anxiety hit him like a sock in the stomach. No way is he going to let it ruin this, he can’t. Jim quickly distracts himself from the growing knot in his throat, twining his fingers through Spock’s hair, he presses a bunch of kisses along the Vulcan’s jaw. Spock purrs in appreciation, fingers digging into Jim’s lower back possessively. 

Encouraged, Jim trails his kisses all the way to Spock’s ear, where he scrapes his teeth along the very tip. Spock says something Jim couldn’t decipher if he’d had years to do so before he backs the blond into the wall. 

Jesus, the tile is cold, but Spock seems to be super-heated, so Jim doesn’t complain. Spock claims his mouth again and Jim can’t stop his chest from heaving in excitement. For whatever reason, he can’t seem to breathe—maybe it’s because Spock is basically crushing him, maybe because he’s starting to have a panic attack, Jim doesn’t know. 

Instead of telling Spock to slow down—instead of slowing himself down—Jim lets his insecurity convince him to keep going. Twining their fingers together, Jim squeezes and tugs Spock’s hand in a way he just knows will make the Vulcan squirm. And, again, he is rewarded with Spock getting aggressive. 

Jim gasps as he’s pulled completely from the floor, but his brain nearly shorts out when Spock situates himself between the blond’s parted thighs. There seems to be no going back from this point onward. And this is the exact moment when reasonable Jim would have realized that, okay, maybe they should slow down now. It’s impossible to ignore the way he’s shaking now. Jim isn’t being reasonable, though. He continues writing checks with that he can’t cash, grinding into Spock and kissing him again and again. 

Obviously because Jim isn’t listening to his instincts, Spock has to do it for him. 

Spock disentangles them entirely, setting the blond carefully onto the floor. His flustered expression smooths out quickly, leaving only the faintest traces of concern behind. It really is truly amazing the level of control the Vulcan has over his face, Jim thinks, sure that he, himself, looks like a deer in headlights. “I do not understand why you would persist in attempting to engage in intercourse when you are clearly uncomfortable,” Spock asks owlishly, making Jim feel foolish. 

“I… I don’t know,” Jim admits meekly, crossing his arms and then letting them drop to his sides. He can’t seem to meet Spock’s eyes anymore. He must look pathetic. “I mean, I don’t feel uncomfortable. And you don’t make me feel uncomfortable, if that’s what you’re wondering. I’m just… nervous.” 

Spock nods before remembering that they’re in the shower and the water has been running the entire time. Shutting it off, the Vulcan gestures for Jim to step out. “I believe this conversation requires a change of location,” he explains. 

In their room, Jim is able to breathe, but he feels somehow more lightheaded than before. They talk about his feelings of inadequacy mostly, although Spock makes an effort—which fails because Jim is embarrassed enough as is, but there’s always next time—to ask about Jim’s mild repulsion to sex. 

“I’m broken, I know,” Jim admits with a self-deprecating laugh. 

“I assure you, Jim, you are just fine,” Spock sits beside him carefully and is a little surprised when Jim drapes himself across the Vulcan’s lap. 

The blond shakes his head, “you probably hate me.”

“That statement is illogical for several reasons. Namely that, if I did indeed feel negatively toward you, I would not let you into my personal space,” Spock counters, “furthermore, Jim, I have made it abundantly clear to you and your family that I am quite fond of you.” 

Jim definitely doesn’t wipe his eyes because at that because he totally isn’t crying. Spock seems to take his silence as skepticism. Rubbing Jim’s shoulder consolingly, he tries again: “although I am aware that our relationship has not reached desirable maturity by Terran customs to be able to discuss the formation of permanent attachments to one’s partner, as I was brought up as a Vulcan, I do not prescribe t—” 

Jim turns onto his back to meet Spock’s eyes, “what…?” 

“Am I saying that I love you, Jim,” he explains plainly, somehow making that Vulcan deadpan tone of his sound like the most romantic thing in the whole world. 

Jim stares at him for a long time, wondering if Spock was going to yell ‘SURPRISE!’ at any moment. Eventually, he convinces himself that Vulcans are incapable of pranks and the realization that Spock’s just confessed his feelings makes Jim swell with emotion. “You’re right, I was not at all ready for that,” he laughs, embarrassed and pleased at the same time. There’s a beat and then Jim feels like he ought to say it too, “I love you too.”  

-- 

“You WHAT?” Jim barks, hitting his hands on the table. 

Sam laughs at how animated his brother is, “yeah, it was an allergic reaction to the flowers that were in her mom’s garden. The doctor messaged me about it a week later, saying that there had been a misunderstanding.” 

“Hell yeah, there was a misunderstanding,” Jim pushes away from the table to round on his brother, “all these years you made me think you caught something! And to think, you were allergic to pollen?” 

Sam shushes him, “the kids are in the other room. And who knows when Aurelan is getting back. Don’t go shouting that I have an STI when I don’t—and I didn’t.” 

“I’ll tell her you’re part donkey if it makes me feel any better,” Jim counters, prodding his brother in the chest, “I can’t believe you didn’t tell me!” 

Sam smacks Jim’s hand away and moves across the hotel room to get away from him, “I was an asshole back then, Jim, I didn’t think it was that important to tell you at the time,” he explains apologetically, “but now I’m realizing that I should’ve said something.” To save face, the older Kirk musters his best apologetic expression, “I’m sorry, Jim.” 

“Yeah, you are. The sorriest person I’ve ever met!” 

“What’s got you so worked up about this anyway? It was years ago! And it’s not like we got in trouble anyway,” Sam gives him this look like he’s diffusing a bomb. “… Does this, by any chance, have anything to do with Spock?”

Jim colors, giving himself away, “what? No. Why would it?” 

Sam looks at him knowingly and, wow, he knew his brother had paternal instincts? Jim always suspected Aurelan was the only competent person in their relationship, but here Sam is, giving him the talk. They talk for maybe five minutes, but it’s surprisingly helpful. So much so, that Jim is left feeling like he’s stepped into some sort of alternate universe. 

“Most of all, just remember, you guys love each other,” Sam explains, getting himself a cup of coffee, “so, liki, what’s there to lose if it totally sucks the first time you do it?” 

Jim scowls, “stop acting like a reasonable adult.”

Chapter Text

Jim expects things between them to be incredibly awkward for a very long time—or, at least, he expects to be incredibly around Spock for a very long time. He expects it to get so bad that they'll probably breakup. What he doesn’t anticipate is the fact that being a starship captain is busy work and that it takes major precedence over his personal life. One minute he’s fretting over whether or not Spock will want to leave him, and the next he’s worrying over the four hundred individuals that reside on the U.S.S Enterprise. It happens without him even noticing; Spock goes from being his boyfriend to his second-in-command with one formal nod and an utterance of Jim’s new official title, “Captain.” Not to say that his First Officer isn’t still the most important person to him in the world, but that now their interactions are much, much more professional. 

Captain. It really is the captain now. It’s official. There was a ceremony and everything. All his boyish troubles are shelved for a later date because Jim has to be James and James is responsible for the U.S.S Enterprise and her crew. And it goes without saying that Jim’s job is stressful as hell. He never really thought about it until he was sinking into the captain’s chair officially, but, shit, aren’t they, like, the youngest crew in history? (Well, not Bones; Bones is old) Taking this into account with the fact that they’re the crew of Starfleet's Flagship, Jim is hard-pressed to be surprised by the special amount of scrutiny they are under.

The general anxiousness of the crew has everyone working themselves to exhaustion those first few weeks of charting unexplored space and making first-contact with potentially hostile peoples. 

Jim tries to keep morale high, he pokes fun at everyone’s seriousness and goofs off as much as he is able, but he’s not been sleeping properly since he left Iowa. Shit, as long as there are reports on his office's desk, Jim hardly spends any time in his quarters. Knowing that Spock is just a wall away doesn’t help in the slightest. Even though he’s being super responsible and professional, Jim isn’t a robot—he knows his work is suffering because he and Spock have been spending a lot less time together—he really misses sharing a bed with his boyfriend. Nearly two months have gone by with barely any physical contact whatsoever and Jim is at wit’s end. Not that he’ll admit it. 

It’s two A.M San Francisco time—Jim, for whatever reason, still operates on the Academy’s clock—when Uhura finds Jim sitting on one of the observation decks. He knows he should be sleeping, but so should she. Jim knows his reprimand will fail, however, because, one: he’d look like a hypocrite telling her to go to bed when he clearly won’t, and, two: somehow, Uhura looks somehow less browbeaten than the rest of the Alpha-shifters

Knowing fully well that Uhura knows him better than he knows himself at times, Jim drops all pretenses, not even bothering to try and pretend that he isn't falling apart at the seams. Yawning, Jim scoots over to let the brunette lean on the rail beside him. “Lieutenant,” he greets with a tired smile. 

Uhura's hand on his shoulder is warm and Jim feels his eyes droop a little, her concerned expression keeps him from letting them close all the way though. “We're both off duty, Jim,” she reminds him, “and you should be in bed.”

“So should you,” Jim retorts pettily, looking away from Uhura and toward the endless expanse of space. 

Uhura hums in agreement, “yeah, I know… it hasn't been easy,” her exhaustion is leaking through that perfect veneer of hers’, making Jim feel a little better about looking like hell itself, “to be honest, I've been having nightmares about that 'little purple planet.' I know there was nothing we could do, but I can’t get their distress call out of my head...”

The planet she is referring to was formerly a mining colony with a tentative alliance with Starfleet. The Enterprise had been sent were a simple mission of diplomacy, but when they'd gotten in orbit, they were suddenly engulfed in pandemonium as their communications were bombarded with distress calls telling them to leave. It was, maybe, the week and a half mark into their five year long mission and the entire crew of the enterprise had to watch helplessly as a colony of over three hundred thousand people burned to death. Uhura had had to sift through thousands of horrified messages to find the one that belonged to the colony’s manager. 

She was shaking when Jim appeared at her side, “there was a malfunction in the air filtration system. A fire broke out,” her eyes were shining with unshed tears, but she remained eerily professional. 

Jim grits his teeth at the memory, clenching his hands into fists around the rail. Starfleet had responded to his report about the incident with this smug, 'we told them so'-attitude that would sicken Jim for years to come. Don't get him wrong, he doesn't regret joining the federation, not by a long shot, but that doesn't mean he can't scream himself blue in the face about the bureaucracy of it all. Those people should have gotten help a long, long time ago; Starfleet let them die because they didn't want to lose control of their natural resources. 

"We were already too late," Jim explains exhaustedly, letting go of the rail to scrub at his eyes, "and I get the feeling that we'll be late for a lot of these kinds of things. Don't... beat yourself up about it," he says flatly, disbelieving of his own advice.

Uhura turns so that they are facing opposite of each other. With an examining look at Jim, she grabs his wrists and lowers his hands, "don't give me advice you aren't willing to take yourself," she cautions, making Jim smile faintly. 

They share a companionable silence for a short while; Jim contemplatively looking at the passing stars and Uhura closing her eyes and leaning back against the rail. Eventually, she stands up straight and looks expectantly to the captain, "go to bed, Jim. Or else, I’ll tell Leonard that he’s got a hypo with your name on it."

Jim's so tired that he listens. 

--

His bed is softer and cooler than he remembered. Jim sinks into the mattress and sighs in relief, wondering why he's been avoiding it so much. As soon as his eyes drift closed, he gets his answer. All at once, he's smacked hard by the overwhelming grief of watching millions of lives being lost. It's not the purple planet, this pain and suffering belongs to Spock—Prime, but still—and this is his memory of Vulcan being destroyed. 

Jim jolts awake, feeling the tear-dampened pillow underneath him fling itself onto the floor as he moves into an upright position. He remembers now why he can't sleep. It's not just the stress of captaincy, but Prime's memories still running amok in his head as well. After sleeping so well with his own Spock back in Iowa, Jim is at a loss as to how he’s supposed to go back to sleeping alone. 

His mind’s made up before he’s even off the bed. Even in his sleepy haze, Jim knows the reason why he's been hesitant to get back into the habit of sharing a bed with his boyfriend, but at the same time, he remembers what Sam said; what Prime had shown him; what his own Spock means to him. 

He loves you... And you love him too, don't you? What's there to lose?

Jim doesn't bother adjusting the brightness settings in the room, his eyes are well enough acclimated to the darkness that he can make it to the bathroom with no problem. There's a moment where he debates trying the door, but the desperate need to sleep gives him the courage he needs. Hitting the button, the blond is simultaneously surprised and endeared when the door slides open—it isn't locked. Spock’s expecting him. Spock's room is noticeably warmer, but it isn't a problem at all for someone who sleeps in their boxers only. 

Speaking of the Vulcan, Spock is sleeping when Jim enters his quarters and the blond is thankful for not having to explain his sudden visit. Carefully, Jim climbs onto the bed and under the covers and he feels like a kid as he slides as close as he dares to the other man. Spock's arm goes over his waist instinctively, pulling him close, and Jim doesn't tense. At this point, tiredness has him too loose-limbed to squirm. In fact, as soon as his and Spock's breathing started to sync up, Jim falls asleep. It's just like back in Iowa, peaceful and fretless and Jim never wants to wake up again. 

Except, when he does, Jim still feels just as complete as he did in his dream world. He doesn't feel bone-tired like he has been; doesn't feel helpless and useless and like he's constantly trying to impress and be approved of. 

It's probably the euphoria of having slept so well, of being so close to Spock again, but Jim turns in the Vulcan's arms and nuzzles his neck unabashedly. “When does Alpha start,” he murmurs into the soft skin in front of him.

“An hour,” Spock answers in a long, deep rumble that sounds sleepier than the Vulcan probably wants. 

Jim kisses him slowly, feeling so warm and fuzzy that he wants to crawl into Spock and never, ever separate. “I love you,” he breathes, lifting his hands to twine through Spock's surprisingly neat bed hair. This is probably what people mean when they say love is a fever; Jim feels out his mind as he gives into his affection for Spock. After spending a month and a half like near-strangers, Jim feels absolutely starved for this kind of intimacy. He feels selfish, not wanting to imagine—but still having something of an idea of—how Spock felt. 

“And I you,” Spock replies between languid kisses, slowly caressing up and down Jim's back, not demanding anything more than what was being offered. 

This time, Jim doesn't push himself, doesn't try to rile Spock up. When the blond moves to straddle Spock, the only thought in his mind is to show the Vulcan how much he loves him. Even if he fails miserably, he wants to try. Spock sits up against the headboard, unwilling to free Jim's mouth, even as the blond writhes in his lap. It's much slower, everything is much slower this time: there's no rush to undress; there's absolutely no urgency in their touches or the grinding of their hips. It's like they have all the time in the world and Jim uses this to his advantage, studying Spock's every reaction and drinking in every single hitch and groan his boyfriend lets slip.

Eventually, though, Jim lets Spock guide him down onto the mattress and together they remove his boxers. It's much, much better slower—not to say he'll never want a quick, rough fuck, but, as the saying goes, you've gotta learn how to crawl before you can run—and Jim feels himself shivering delightedly when Spock rains kisses all over him. 

When Spock's mouth latches onto the insides of his thighs, Jim's chest starts heaving. Not from panic, but sensory overload. Jesus. “Spoooock,” he gasps, clutching the sheets and twisting them in his fists, wanting so bad to bring his knees together but not wanting to trap Spock's head between his legs either. On second thought, he might want to do that. “Spock,” he hiccups when the Vulcan gives him matching hickeys on the insides of both his hipbones. 

Spock sits up momentarily, meeting Jim's eyes, “I would like to perform oral sex on you, Jim. Would you like that?” he asks unreasonably calm, in spite of looking the exact opposite of that.

Without thinking, one of Jim's hands latches onto Spock's hair, “yessss... plea—” Jim nearly chokes when Spock takes his entire cock into his mouth. How he is expected to last at all when the Vulcan brings out his A-game is beyond Jim, but he tries so hard not to come, even though Spock's mouth is virtually wringing pleasure from Jim's DNA. At this point, his moaning might as well be their personal soundtrack because it's loud and seemingly endless. Jim doesn't care, doesn’t stop the stream of praise falling from his mouth because it makes Spock do more and more of these things to him that make him shake apart with pleasure. 

The knuckles of the hand gripping Spock’s hair are aching really badly—which can only mean the poor Vulcan is suffering too—but Jim can relax to save his life. Not when he feels like he’s going to come any second now. It probably hasn’t been more than two minutes, if it’s even been that long, and Jim wants to make this last forever. “Sp…Spock…” he gasps through gritted teeth, eyes shooting open but remaining trained on the ceiling above them. “Spock…” he groans when the Vulcan hums in acknowledgement, the shockwaves making Jim draw in on himself. 

Spock’s hands grasp at his thighs, keeping them nice and spread in spite of Jim’s involuntary response to snap them shut like a flytrap, and that in of itself crumbles a good portion of Jim’s resolve not to come.

“Spock… oh, my God…” Jim whimpers, somehow finding the strength to free his other hand from the sheets. Together with the one already in Spock’s hair, he pulls at the Vulcan until Spock finally gets the message to stop. 

The Vulcan’s eyes are almost unrecognizable, wild as they are, but Jim finds himself captivated by them. “Fuck me, Spock,” the blond says resolutely, “I want you to.” 

Spock kisses him, animalistic and claiming, but most of all like Jim is the most precious thing in existence. 

When Spock presses his fingers inside of Jim for the first time, the blond gasps and curls into him, murmuring something irritatingly unfunny as was his style. Neither of them pay his poorly timed humor any mind as Spock finds his prostate easily and makes Jim forget that he was ever uncomfortable. His bad jokes dissolve into moans and Spock looks like he’s about to lose it. Jim realizes belatedly how sensitive Spock’s fingers are and can’t help but to laugh—albeit it doesn’t sound like a laugh, but a strangled huff. He decides to leave the teasing for later, so eager to feel Spock inside of him that he has to kiss the Vulcan to suppress his excitement. 

Before Spock finally, finally, fucks him, the Vulcan’s other hand skitters across Jim’s face and the blond knows what Spock intends. “Do it,” he pleads, “yes, please, Spock, do it…” 

So, Spock does. 

This isn’t anything like the meld Spock Prime had done. His Spock isn’t just inside of his mind—he’s also literally inside of Jim’s body too—and he isn’t just sharing his thoughts and memories, but he’s also taking Jim’s too. It’s like they’re exchanging bits and pieces of themselves, but, no… that doesn’t describe it either. It’s like Spock is unraveling him at his very core and then putting him back together—no, not even that is entirely true, it feels like Spock is rebuilding him and then some. Every thread of Jim’s feels like it’s being tied to Spock’s, like a patchwork quilt. 

Jim almost can’t feel his body, almost can’t feel Spock’s punishing thrusts, he’s so wrapped up with what’s going on between his ears. But it’s impossible not to feel it, impossible not to be crying out at every push and pull of Spock’s body against his, impossible not to be overwhelmed. 

Jim feels like he’s going to implode; like his brain is about to melt out of his ears; like he’s about to blink from existence. It’s too much, but in the best possible way. And then, suddenly, he no longer feels weirdly detached from his body; Jim can see and feel what’s right in front of him in hyper-detail. Without completely understanding what’s just happened, Jim knows that it’s complete. 

We are one, Th’y’la, Spock says, except he doesn’t say it, he thinks it. 

Jim gasps, eyes trained on Spock’s lips and realizing that they haven’t at all moved. Meeting his eyes, he wonders, how… am I hallucinating? 

No, you are not, Jim. Spock’s eyes are twinkling and Jim feels like his heart is going to burst. 

Jim tries to open his mouth to ask how it is that he can read Spock’s mind, but moans instead. Squirming in the sheets, Jim pushes into Spock’s hips and moans again when his cock rubs hard against the blond’s prostate. He loses his train of thought, focus narrowing on feeling that explosion of pleasure again and again. 

Th’y’la, open your eyes. Spock thinks softly to him, making Jim’s eyes flutter open. The Vulcan is dressed now, standing at the edge of the bed with a barely suppressed look of pride on his face. “Alpha Shift began approximately forty minutes and sixty seconds ago,” Spock announces. 

Jim wants to sit up quickly, but his body is waaaay too sore. Sore in a good way—a good, good, good way. Slowly, he manages to prop himself up on the headboard. With a groan, he rubs his eyes and notices that the covers have pooled in his lap, bearing skin that is noticeably covered in hickeys. “You’re an animal, Spock,” Jim says with a hoarse laugh. 

The Vulcan raises his eyebrow, but doesn’t refute the comment. Instead, he walks around the bed and presses a gentle kiss to the top of Jim’s head, “Doctor McCoy has ordered that you remain in your quarters until the next Alpha Shift.”

“What?” Jim asks, watching suspiciously as Spock retreats to the door, “Why?” 

Spock pauses before he leaves, with a glance over his shoulder, he explains: “you will need your rest, Jim.” 

For what? Jim wonders, slowly climbing out of bed, hoping for a quick shower before he kicks Spock out of his seat. He’s barely to his feet before his thoughts are assaulted with highly explicit fantasies that are definitely from his Spock. Jesus. Jim feels his body throb pleasantly and, okay, maybe he won’t relieve Spock. Yet.