Sexuality was still a pretty under-wraps thing, even in the 23rd century. No one was overtly open about their sexuality unless they were absolute certain, which wasn't very often. From asexuals to omnisexuals, they generally kept to themselves. Okay, the omnisexuals sure as hell didn't keep to themselves, but that just seemed to be them.
Aboard the Enterprise, Captain James Tiberius Kirk tried to foster acceptance and openness in his crew, urged them to come out to their crew mates, trying to ease them out of hiding.
What a fucking hypocrite he was.
See, Jim Kirk was deep in the closet, so deep he'd claim to be in Narnia if he'd been born 300 years earlier. As a teenager, he came to the realization that he was bisexual, in the loosest definition of the term. He'd tried telling Sam about it, but Sam had just laughed at him and told him he was confused. Three months later, Sam had left. Since then, he kept his sexuality well enough to himself. He still tried to pick up masculine flings, but he usually took home feminine ones. It was rare a masculine took him back somewhere for a fling, because he usually ended up going after the taken ones or the homophobic ones.
Some crew members had come forward about their sexualities, even finding partners because they did. The navigator and the helmsmen had found each other, and it warmed Jim's heart. Chekov and Sulu made a pretty great couple, and it translated well to their working relationship. Rand and Chapel had found each other as well, which was nice. The yeoman and the nurse complemented each other well, even if they didn't necessarily need to work alongside each other. Others had found each other, including three polyamorous ensigns who worked in engineering. The ship really had fostered closeness and openness, but Jim was still scared to talk about his sexuality in an open setting, even with close friends.
Spock, despite being partially Vulcan, still wrestled with his sexual orientation. His human half sought labels for things, labels to help him fit with human society. He had done extensive research on human sexuality, as well as typical Vulcan bond patterns, and he thought he'd found a label.
Asexual. Defined as a lack of sexual attraction, Spock believed it to be the best Standard term to describe how he felt. He had never seen a person and thought 'I would have sexual relations with them', and most of his non-platonic feelings towards others were simply romantic in nature, which only solidified his belief.
He had only come to realize this after the start of the five-year mission, after Nyota had ended their romantic relation because he 'didn't want to have sex'. Nyota, like most human women of her orientation, crazed sex in an intimate, exclusive relationship, and Spock just did not want to give that to anyone. The termination had prompted him to look in to human sexuality, coming out of his research with an answer. It satisfied him, and not much could do that.
Spock knew the Captain was accepting of anyone's sexual or romantic orientation, but Spock just kept his to himself. He believed it was no one's business but his own and anyone he would begin a new romantic relationship with. He was not the type to share things for no other reason than to share, so he kept quiet.
Of course, sooner or later, people were dragged out of the closet unwillingly or hesitantly. Jim and Spock were no exceptions. At different times, they were uncomfortably outed in ways they didn't like, but once everything was out in the open, it felt like they were complete, that they didn't have to hide.
Jim's outing happened during shore leave on Earth. They'd returned to the planet to relay new information to Starfleet and deliver a few artifacts and samples they had collected from a planet called Shari XII. He had gone to a bar with some of the senior bridge crew after doing his diplomatic and professional stuff, just to relax. Spock had opted to stay on the Enterprise, as he had experiments to work on. Looking back, Jim was grateful he had.
A few drinks in, Jim was buzzed, trying not to start a fight with one of the other patrons. He had been viciously harassing Sulu and Chekov for dancing with each other, which only got worse after they shared a cute little kiss. Jim was fiercely protective of his crew; they were the only real family he'd ever had, so when someone was harassing them, he fought to defend them.
With the amount of alcohol that was in his system, he wasn't really paying attention to his words, besides the ones about defending Sulu and Chekov's honour. The man didn't want to back down, raising a fist as if to swing at the Captain.
“Why d'you care so much?” the man asked, preparing a swing. “Why care about a couple of insubordinate queers?” he sneered.
Jim's words landed him in Sickbay with a busted nose, much to McCoy's disappointment.
“Because I'm one of them.” Jim had snarled. “I'm queer, as you so politely phrased it.” He hadn't realized he'd said it until the fist connected painfully to his nose, breaking it in no less than three places. The pain had caused him to go cross-eyed, his body dropping like a sack of potatoes. Despite the shock of what Jim had said, Chekov and Sulu sprung into action, getting the Captain up off the ground and between them so he could be brought to Sickbay. Uhura, McCoy, Scotty, Chapel, and Rand trailed behind, processing what he had blurted out.
When Jim was finally back to himself, he returned to the bridge, where the group from the bar was sitting and chatting quietly about what they had heard. Spock was nowhere to be seen, another thing Jim was grateful for. Taking a deep breath, he cleared his throat so he could get their attention. Once they turned to face him, with various forms of shock on their faces, he spoke.
“I wasn't lying.” he muttered, looking at his feet as he tapped one on the ground.”I am queer. Bisexual.” he sounded almost ashamed, with his quiet voice and vulnerable body language. Chekov wanted to go over and hug the poor guy. What horrors had he suffered as a child to make him feel like that about his sexuality?
Uhura was the first to speak up about it. “Captain...” she trailed off. “There's nothing to be ashamed of. Sulu's bi, and we like him alright.” she said, attempting to make a sort of joke to cheer him up. “You talk about accepting others, why not accept yourself?” she added, voice barely above a whisper. It was probably out of line, but Jim looked so sad and dejected she needed to say it.
Jim looked up at his senior staff to see similar expressions of acceptance on their faces. He slid into his chair, conveniently near where they were sitting, and sighed. “Thanks.” was all he could think the mutter. The last person he told about this was dismissive and rude; his senior crew was as accepting as they had been when Sulu and Chekov got together at the beginning of the five-year mission.
Spock's outing occurred in a different sort of setting, in a different context. His was more personal, a quieter affair. Nyota, civilized as always, had requested to sit down with him and converse about their failed relationship. He would deny such a request, as it was logical for her to want to know. Of course, his stubborn human side didn't want her to know, but his Vulcan side kept his human side quiet and at bay during the conversation.
As the conversation to went, Nyota started babbling. She babbled about how she felt like she wasn't enough for Spock, how he probably didn't like her all that much if he didn't want to have sex with her. Everything she was saying was illogical, but his mind did the illogical thing to do and blurted out a comment.
“Nyota, I am asexual.” His eyes widened a fraction when it left his mouth, the urge to clap his hand over the offending body part poorly kept at bay.
Uhura seemed to almost relax at that statement, looking at him with a new gaze, one of understanding and... relief. “God, Spock... You had me worried.” she murmured. “I thought it was maybe me that you didn't like.”
“Negative.” Spock shook his head. “I have recently come to realize I do not feel sexual attraction, nor crave sexual release. I did not wish to cause you to doubt yourself, and for that, I apologize.” He sounded almost ashamed of himself, but Uhura couldn't tell. She may be the communications officer, but Vulcan emotions and how they were portrayed were still beyond her.
Within three days of Jim's reveal, the entire ship knew of both revelations. Well, the entire ship minus the commanding officers, it seemed. They had been busy with 'Fleet and Federation business, not paying attention to the ship's gossip. It took another week for one of them to find out about the other, and it had been Spock found out about Jim.
One of the science ensigns was talking to his sister, an engineering ensign, about idle gossip he had heard regarding the Captain. She seemed to accept what he was telling her, and he seemed to believe it.
“I wonder if I have a chance with the Captain.” he had told her idly as they walked past Spock's table in the mess. His ears perked ever so slightly at the comment, Vulcan hearing allowing him to hear the rest of the conversation.
“You? A chance with Jim Kirk, legendary womanizer?” his sister all but snorted, sliding into a table not far away.
“Hey, I heard from Mitchell the Captain's bisexual.” the brother said, nearly drawing a frown to Spock's features. The Captain was bisexual? he pondered as he ate Would he not be open about this, not letting it fall to idle gossip?
After finishing his lunch, Spock hurried off to find the Captain. He normal did not seek validation on ship gossip, but there was something about this piece of gossip that tugged at the heart in his side. He had been wrestling with an attraction to the human for quite some time, and something in the idea of actually having a chance had him walking towards Jim's cabin and knocking softly.
Upon hearing Jim call out 'come in', Spock slipped inside and went to find the man in question. He was sitting on the edge of his bunk, legs folded beneath him, as he filled out paperwork on a PADD. When he heard footsteps approach, he looked up and smiled. “Mr. Spock, so nice to see you.” he said, voice teeming with happiness. Jim enjoyed Spock's company, even if he acted all aloof and cold.
“Captain.” Spock greeted with a curt nod. “I have come to hear idle ship gossip and immediately came to you for validation or denial.” he said, getting straight to the point.
A frown starting to form on his face, Jim motioned for Spock to pull up a seat. “What gossip would that be?” he asked.
“Two ensigns were conversing in the mess hall.” Spock began. “One brought to attention a rumour about yourself.” he went on. “He stated that Lieutenant Commander Mitchell informed him that you are bisexual.” he finished, trying not to let the hope he was feeling inside bleed into his even tone.
Jim's reaction was to sigh and run a hand down his face. He'd told the senior crew it was alright to talk about it, but he hadn't realize it had spread that far. Looking up at Spock, he nodded slowly. “Yeah, it's true.” he muttered. “The senior crew found out during our last shore leave.” he told him, blue eyes locking with deep brown as he spoke. Those deep brown eyes, unknown to their owner, were very expressive. There was hope dancing in them, hope and content.
“I see.” Spock muttered. He contemplated whether or not to tell Jim of his orientation, but his mind seemed to have other ideas. On an accord not his own, Spock stood, moving closer to Jim. He laid a hand over top of Jim's, which was splayed on his knee. When their hands connected, a jolt of pleasure worked its way of Spock's spine. Jim, on the other hand, let out a quiet gasp. Human hands weren't as sensitive as Vulcan ones, but he could definitely feel the emotions not his own surging through the touch.
A slow smile spread across Jim's features, causing the corners of Spock's mouth to twitch upwards in an almost-smile. Jim was not pulling away, which was a good sign. Such contact to a Vulcan was the human equivalent of a passionate kiss, and he believed that Jim knew that.
Leaning forward, Jim placed a kiss to Spock's lips, a very human one. It was soft and delicate, a test to see how Spock would react. Spock reacted the best he knew how based on his previous experiences with Nyota, reciprocating the kiss and squeezing Jim's hand.
When Jim pulled away to take a breath, the smile returned to his face. He had developed feelings for his First Officer around the time of the Khan debacle, and he hoped this meant it wasn't one-sided.
“So you swing my way.” Jim joked lightly, locking eyes with Spock. Spock knew many euphemisms relating to human sexuality thanks to his research, and that one was the most confusing. It suggested sexuality was like a door, if he read into it correctly, which it wasn't.
“Not quite.” Spock muttered, eyes trailing down to Jim's lips. “I identify as asexual, which I believe your euphemisms would classify as 'swinging nowhere'.” he informed Jim. “In regards, however, I complementary identify as biromantic.”
Jim's smile became softer and wider. At least Spock understood what he meant, and made a sort of joke himself. “I should also inform you that casual relationships are not something I am interested in.” he added as an afterthought.
“Good.” Jim said. “Casual was never a thought I connected with you.” he added, placing another kiss to Spock's soft lips.