It’s all his fault, really.
Even James “T for thickheaded” Kirk isn’t so dumb as to not admit when he’s so clearly at fault. There was no one else he could blame but himself.
It all starts because Jim decides he wants to spice it up in bed.
Don't get him wrong- Spock is fantastic. His husband is the single best thing that ever happened to him and later, after this whole episode has passed, he will kick himself ruining what was already perfect. But somehow, he manages to fuck up the best thing that ever happened to him because he is a little shit who likes to smile at pretty girls.
He usually is a bit of a flirt, and Spock is okay with it because he knows that, at the end of the day, Jim is all his. It should have, by all means, ended the same way it always ends- sex and bond reaffirming. But in all fairness, Jim’s never pulled a stunt like this before.
The plan should have been simple- shield from Spock, flirt with a cute girl, have awesome, hot, possessive Vulcan sex. Steps one and two had been executed flawlessly-shore leave had begun, and all of them had beamed down to Lymphria V. Jim had taken Spock out at a nice bar. He’d seen his target as soon as she walked in- a blue-eyed, dark-haired Betazoid girl in a too tight purple dress. She was playing her part well- she was already bit drunk, and throughout their conversation, she downs four more drinks. Jim manages to go twenty minutes without sneaking a glance at Spock, but when he finally couldn’t resist the temptation,, what he saw gave him pause.
Spock was staring openly at him. Not like usual, this time his expression was… aching, full of pain, hurt echoing in his eyes in a way Jim had sworn to never see again.
An uneasy feeling settled in Jim’s gut. Something wasn't right here.
In that minute, he decided to be done. Something was on Spock’s mind tonight, and Jim was kicking himself for not noticing his husband’s somber mood earlier. He dropped the shields, eagerly anticipating having his t’hy’la in his head again - only to find that Spock had shielded instead. Jim let out a small gasp and turned his body to look fully at Spock, ignoring the Betazoid girl.
They both hated shielding, hated not being able to feel one another and hated the empty spot left in their heads when the shields were up. Jim supposed he had asked for this, in hindsight, it was pretty stupid-
but he doesn't expect Spock to get up and leave.
Panic floods his chest because something is wrong. Spock never leaves without him like that, not without telling him. Not without at least talking to him. He needs to ditch the lady, ASAP. Turning to her, he sees her giggle and lean into him, batting her eyelashes.
“James,” she purrs, her accent thick and heavy. “James, I feel quite strange.”
“That's called being drunk, darling,” Jim responds soothingly, then he leans her against a wall and kisses her cheek.
He looks up at the bartender, and gestures to the woman. “Will you make sure she gets a cab?” he asks, holding out a credit chip. “That should cover it.”
The man nods, and Jim barely has time to acknowledge him before he's running out of the bar.
He doesn't know where Spock went, that's the only problem. Spock is just gone and Jim can’t feel him through the bond. He forces himself to walk slow- it's not like Spock’s in any danger. He’s probably at the hotel.They’ll handle it like mature adults- Spock will calm down and they’ll talk and kiss and make up, just like they always do when one of them gets upset with the other. Hey, they’re not perfect. Jim fucks up, Spock fucks up- they’re not particularly experienced at the whole “relationship” thing. Spock's one and only relationship before Jim went down in spectacular flames (and that was an amicable, mutual breakup), and Jim’s history speaks for itself. This is the first time either of them has been involved in anything serious, and while Jim couldn’t be happier, he’s so worried, so afraid of wrecking the best thing he’s ever had.
So he arrives back at the hotel, just to see Nyota storming into the lobby. The look on her face is scary, but she’s the most likely person to know where Spock is so Jim swallows, and gathers up his courage
“Nyo-” is all he manages before a fist slams into his jaw, quick as a whip, so fast he didn’t even see it coming. He draws in a sharp breath and rocks back onto his heels, reeling.
Okay , he thinks, blinking away stunned tears. I deserve that.
“Nyota?” he manages before he’s dodging a knee to the groin. “Lieutenant!” he says, his voice becoming angry and sharp.
“Captain,” she spits. “What did you do to Spock?”
“Flirted with a Betazoid?” Jim says meekly, and he has to duck to dodge the next punch. “Nyota!”
“You asshole,” she seethes . “ It’s bad. He’s bad. You better go and fix it!” she snaps.
“Where is he?” Jim asks, and she huffs, a fierce, protective look of disgust on her face before tossing him the room card, the room number plaimly stamped on it.
The elevator is out, which Jim supposes he deserves, as he huffs up to the thirty-second floor of their massive hotel. When he finally reaches his destination, out of breath, he leans against the banister, panting, and mentally decides to up his treadmill time in the gym, maybe even listen to Bones and eat more salads.
Spock is gently placing a room service tray outside of his door, staring at Jim’s bent form.
“Are you alright?”
“Just gotta-” Jim wheezed, “catch my breath. I- shit. Maybe I didn’t need to run up the- the steps.”
Cool hands grab his arms, help him up. Spock brings him into the room, sits him on the bed. He comes over with a glass of water, and Jim is acutely reminded of exactly how much he loves his husband.
Spock, ever merciful, waits until Jim isn’t huffing and puffing like the big bad wolf to ask, “why did you run up the stairs?”
“I was scared of Nyota. She kind of... punched me.”
Spock flinches minutely. “I did not ask-”
“I know,” Jim assures him. “But I was also really worried about you. Why’d you run off?”
Spock doesn’t answer, looking away, his jaw clenching.
“Spock? Hey, if this is about that girl, I would never- I was never going to-”
“I am aware,” Spock says tightly. “But you blocked the bond.”
Jim winces. “Yeah, I know. I wanted to get you jealous, and have really hot sex. I’m sorry. I’m kind of an idiot,” Jim said lightly, trying for humor.
Spock doesn’t answer, still not meeting his gaze.
“Spock?” Jim stands and moves to rest his hands on Spock’s shoulders.
“Hey, I’m sorry. Really sorry. Please look at me, sweetheart?”
Spock finally turns, and Jim’s heart jumps into his throat at the look on his husband’s face.
“You have never blocked the bond before, not like this,” Spock whispers, and Jim feels his throat tighten.
“I’m sorry,” he says, leaning up to kiss Spock on the jaw. “I’m sorry. It was a stupid plan, really. I wanted you to be possessive.”
Spock finally looks at him, eyes narrowing. “Do you doubt the fact that I think of you as mine?”
Jim blanched. “No, no, no- it’s- it was stupid, okay?” His eyes soften and he gives Spock his best puppy-god eyes. “Forgive me, sweetheart?”
Spock’s shoulders slowly lost their tension- not all of it, but some of it. “Jim, I am not mad at you for... cultivating better options.”
Jim begins to relax, for one instant, before Spock’s words sink in. Wait- what?
“No, Spock-” Jim has to stand on his toes to press his forehead against his husband’s. “Spock, there is no one else for me but you. I love you more than anything. I'm sorry I flirted with her, it was just... a joke. It didn’t matter.”
And suddenly, the tension returns, and Spock steps back, out of Jim’s arms.
Jim is confused.
The sadness in his Vulcan’s eyes threatens to break Jim’s heart, and he swallows. “Spock, baby, you're scaring me.”
“Have I ever told you about my very first relationship?” Spock asks abruptly.
Jim blinks. “With Nyota?”
“No, it was not Nyota. Or T’pring.” He looks away, throat flexing. “His name was Soltek. He was in my class. I was… fourteen.”
Spock closes his eyes for a brief moment, then opens them slowly, turning his dark, soulful gaze on Jim.
“He approached me one day, asking for help on a project. He claimed he supported Vulcan-Terran relations, and he…” Spock bows his head. “He became my friend. My first friend. And then he-”
Spock breaks off, with a noise that could have been a sigh, or a whimper. He looks Jim in the eyes again- but his beautiful browns are distant, broken, in a way that makes Jim think of a scared kid who was bullied his human eyes and of a man who had lost everything, standing broken on the transporter pad.
“We began... dating, or at least the Vulcan equivalent of such- a month or so later. He managed to convince me that… that he cared for me, that he would even bond with me. He was kind to my mother, and the first time someone teased me after we began our… tryst, he comforted me afterward.” Spock goes quiet, eyes roving down to stare at the floor, hands held behind his back as if he were giving a report. “After three months, just before I was to turn fifteen, I went to meet him after school. I found him with a group of bullies who teased me quite frequently-” Spock swallowed. “And his… girlfriend. For several years. They spotted me, cornered me. They all… laughed. Described the experiment they had conducted, on the positive emotions of halfbreeds- the next day, every secret I ever told Soltek was spread around the school, and everyone knew everything-” Spock’s voice cracks, and he suddenly squeezes his eyes shut, clenching his jaw as if he were about to cry.
Jim stares and stares, trying to comprehend the pain that Spock must have gone through. And then fury, white hot and blinding, wells up in his chest and he sees red.
“... That bastard!”
Spock’s head snaps back to Jim. “On the contrary, his parents were-”
“That bastard- that goddamn motherfucking dick!” Jim snaps, and he looks at Spock with fury coursing through his veins. “Is he alive?”
“This Soltek asshole! Is he alive, because if he is, he’s about to not be when I get my hands on his filthy fucking face! I swear to god I’m gonna find that little shiteater and I’m gonna rip his throat out!”
Spock blinks, like Jim was speaking Deltan. “... Jim, he never ate feces.”
“Spock!” Jim rages, feeling the need to punch something, preferably Soltek.
“I do not know if he is alive,” Spock says softly, looking away again. “I apologize for upsetting you.”
That cools Jim’s jets, a little. Setting Soltek aside to be hunted down later (with his granddaddy's glock and a bat and maybe a crowbar or a knife or maybe his creepy mirror counterpart that they’d met that one time?), Jim steps forward and grabs Spock’s hands.
“Hey- hey. Look at me, that’s an order.”
Spock meets his eyes, and Jim holds his gaze.
“First and foremost, I’m so sorry that happened to you, sweetheart. I’m sorry that guy was an asshole to you. Secondly, you didn’t upset me. That story did. The idea of someone doing that to you-” His grip tightens on Spock’s wrists. “It makes me want to do very mean things to that person. Thirdly-”
Jim suddenly grabs Spock’s face and drags him forward so their foreheads are pressed together. “I will never do that to you. Never. I would never, I will never, I could never. Not to you. I would sooner die than betray you, betray our bond.”
“Jim,” Spock swallows. “Jim, I- I know you-”
“I know, but it needed to be said.”
Jim relaxes his fingers a little, giving Spock the ability to pull away if he wants to. But he didn’t, grabbing Jim’s hips, pulling them closer.
“Finally- and this part’s important and directly relates to point three- I love you. I love you more than anything. You’re more important to me than anything. You’re everything to me. My whole entire world. Everything that matters to me in the entirety of the universe is right here between my hands.”
“What about the Enterprise?” Spock asks softly.
Jim shakes his head. “Meaningless. Without you, she’s just a bunch of metal and rivets and computers. An empty shell.”
Jim leans up to kiss his husband, long and slow and sweet. The tension finally eases from Spock, and he seems to melt in Jim’s arms.
Jim pulls away and whispers fiercely, “And if you ever- and I mean ever- think I could feel anything towards you but love, you are not half as smart as I tell everyone you are.”
Spock swallows thickly and nods, closing his eyes and resting his forehead against Jim’s, as if his head was just too heavy to hold up anymore. Jim’s hands slide down Spock’s face to grip his shoulders, and Jim tugs him down so that Spock’s head is cradled in the juncture between Jim’s neck and shoulder. Jim turns and kisses the side of Spock’s head, the tip of his pointed ear, his temple, holding him close. Spock sighs deeply and wraps his arms around Jim’s waist.
“Oh, baby,” Jim murmurs into Spock’s ear, nuzzling his nose into Spock’s hair, so dark and soft. “You’re so precious to me, so amazing, I can’t believe- you deserve the entire universe, Spock.”
Spock shakes his head minutely, and Jim kisses his neck. “No, you do.”
Spock raises his head just to gaze at Jim- in that way that he always does, like Jim is some sort of god and Spock is eternally reverent to him.
Jim leans forward to kiss him gently. Spock quietly accepts it, hands still at Jim’s waist, eyes fluttering shut.
“I love you,” Jim repeats between kisses. “I love you.”
And all of a sudden, out of nowhere, the mood shifts. Suddenly, Jim is pressed up against Spock fiercely, and their kissing like their shooting towards a black hole and they're about to burn to a crisp, about to die and become a singularity like they were always meant to be.
They stumble backward until Spock hits the bed. Jim glances down, a question clear in his eyes. Spock nods and sits, pulling Jim down with him to lay on the mattress, leaning forward to steal another kiss.
Jim ends up straddling Spock, pinning him to the mattress. He kisses Spock once more, beginning to tug at Spock’s shirt.
“Jim…” Spock whispers, his voice ragged, as Jim kissed his jaw.
Jim sits upright, nothing if not a gentleman. “Not tonight? That’s okay, love. Whatever you want.”
“No, I-“ Spock falters, and Jim leans down, kisses his jaw again, silently prompts him to take his time.
Spock bites his lip, flushing a light green. “I merely… As overwrought as I currently am… I do not believe it will be-
“Good?” Jim finishes, because he knows Spock better than Spock knows himself.
Spock nods, and flushes a deeper green.
But Jim just rolls his eyes. “Stupid. It’s always good with you.”
Jim leans forward, his breath warm on Spock’s neck, and his stoic, solid Vulcan shudders in a way he hasn’t since the beginning of their relationship.
Jim starts to undo his shirt, leaving a trail of soft kisses in his wake, pressing his love into Spock’s skin.
Spock shudders again, and Jim starts to undo Spock’s pants.
“I love you.” Jim whispers, “I love everything about you. I do.”
Spock picks up his head to look at Jim. Jim smiles up at him.
“Jim.” Spock mumbles quietly. “What you said earlier, about hunting down Soltek-“
“I meant every word.” Jim says, kissing Spock’s clothed knee. “Don’t you know I’d die to protect your honor?”
His voice is more teasing this time, and it works- Spock gives him that look he always gave him when he was internally rolling his eyes. “I should hope not. I prefer you alive”
“You love me too.” Jim grins
Spock’s eyes went soft as melted chocolates, and he sits up so he's straddling Jim’s lap. “Yes.” He whispers, leaning in slowly. “That much should be… obvious…”
And then only atoms were between their lips, and then there was none.
And Jim thinks that yes, he deserves whatever he gets tonight. He hurt Spock after all, and that is unforgivable.
(And if, one day in a few months, one Soltek of Vulcan had the fear of God put into him, well, that's only fair. He’d hurt Spock.