Pairing: Kirk/Spock slash
Rating: NC-17. Graphic m/m sex. Romance. Established Relationship.
Disclaimer: Not mine, more's the pity.
Word Count: ~8000
Summary: Jim is determined not to enjoy Christmas, but his lover is just as determined to change that. Written for the K/S advent calendar.
“No, see Chekov, you’ve got this all wrong. Fencing is an art, like dancing. It’s not just swinging your arm around randomly and hoping you hit something. Look, just wait until after shift’s end on Christmas day; when you open your present I’ll show you what I mean – “
“I am not certain I like ze sound of zat – “
“Don’t be such a chicken, you’ll love it if you just give it a chance – “
“You two don’t stop harping on about this and I’ll show you chicken,” Jim muttered, crossing his ankle over his knee and doing his best to ignore his two officers bickering loudly below him. They’d been at it all morning, back and forth, back and forth, and the sheer repetitive nature of it was beginning to grate on Jim’s nerves. Or maybe it was just the cheerful way they went about it as each of them tried to outmaneuver the other into decamping to their side of the debate. Sulu has begun, Jim was sure, with vague ideas of keeping Chekov’s Christmas gift (surprise surprise, a beginners fencing blade) a secret, but he’d let his passion for the subject run away with him, and the nature of the gift had shortly become known. Jim wasn’t certain this was a bad thing, as he couldn’t imagine what the endless dispute would have looked like if they’d had to talk in circles on top of everything else.
Not that this could possibly go on indefinitely. Chekov was going to lose; it was inevitable. He may be a genius, and Jim had never doubted that, but the kid couldn’t argue his way out of a wet paper bag. Too raw, by half, and young enough that Sulu’s opinion mattered more to him than his own appreciation for his free time –
“I haf never been wery good with weapons, or with ze combat training – “
“About time you learned then, isn’t it? Won’t always be able to calculate yourself out of a fight – “
They sounded a hell of a lot like him and Sam used to, before they’d gone their separate ways, Sam to study xenobiology and Jim to do what Jim did best – screw up. It had been years since they’d spoken, monthly letters giving way to yearly ones, and Jim found, with a jolt of shock, that he could barely remember what his older brother's face looked like.
Listening with half an ear as Chekov and Sulu continued to jockey for conversational dominance made Jim miss his brother with a sharp intensity he’d been hoping wouldn’t crop up until well after the holidays. Nostalgia which, until now, had lain quite dormant, flared with stomach-clenching intensity. Christmas had never been a great time of year - maybe the hardest time of all for his mother and brother, who’d both been old enough to at least remember George Kirk – but it had always been that much worse after Sam had gone, leaving Jim alone to face the sorrow of his mother and the bitterness of his uncle.
Jim could not remember a single Christmas in his life that hadn’t ended up with someone, somewhere, in tears, and he’d learned to dread the winter holidays with a passion.
Which made it that much harder to listen to his two officers playing the parts he and Sam used to inhabit with such ease. He wished Chekov would learn to lose arguments faster.
“You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch,” he murmured under his breath, slumping with depressing bitterness into his seat.
“Your pardon, Captain?”
Startled, he swiveled his head sideways to see Spock peering at him from his seat on the elevated bridge level, and Jim could feel his face heat in surprise as his lover blinked at him with innocent inquiry. Oops. He’d forgotten about Spock’s sensitive ears. He did that, sometimes (unless they were in bed, and then he always took full advantage of it).
Lechery beat out his minor embarrassment at being caught Grinch-ing, and he smirked as thoughts of how else he could take advantage of Spock’s, ah, sensitivities, marched through his admittedly dirty mind.
“Nothing, Spock,” he assured the Vulcan, winking conspiratorially. “Nothing.”
But Spock was too used to Jim’s antics to be moved by the gesture, particularly in public, and he only raised an eyebrow in gentle scolding and stared at Jim with unusual intensity. Some of the brightness faded from Jim’s smirk and he stifled a sigh, tuning into his staff still arguing below.
“Mr. Sulu!” he rapped, pushed beyond the limits of his annoyance. “Status.”
“All scans negative, Captain,” his helmsman responded, instantly professional and efficient. “Nothing on long range sensors and all stations report normal.”
That sounded about right, seeing as they’d gotten stuck patrolling the Klingon border this rotation, and Jim knew both he and his crew were beginning to go stir crazy from the inactivity. At least the rest of them had Christmas to sink their teeth into, while Jim was stuck avoiding the festivities as much as he possibly could without arousing suspicion. Sometimes being a known partier was a real bitch (particularly when he’d rather be about anywhere else).
“Thanks, Sulu,” he said, feeling just a little guilty at letting his own bitterness interrupt someone else’s fun. “As you were,” he added, forcing himself to grin.
Sulu smiled; Jim could see the shadow of it in his profile. “Aye, sir.”
Though Jim busied himself with requisition requests for the rest of the shift, he had the strange and discomforting feeling that Spock’s raised eyebrow continued to arch in his direction the entire, interminable time.
Jim was exhausted by the time he finished up in the gym after shift. He was usually full of pent up energy after sitting in a chair all afternoon, and the gym was a great way of blowing off steam. He’d suggested other ways of energy consumption, but Spock had locked him out of the lab the last time he’d tried it, which Jim thought was just a mite unfair. How could he possibly have known that substance was unstable before he’d knocked it to the ground with the intention of using the countertop beneath it for a more, ah, practical application of science?
Still, while an afternoon interlude might have appealed to him, going to the gym really hadn’t, today, but he’d stuck with it. Now he was paying the price for his lack of concentration, and his neck spasmed, reminding him of it. He grimaced, rubbing at it and nodding stiffly to a crewman as he slumped his way back to his quarters. Christ, what a mess.
He keyed in his personal access code and barely waited for the doors to swish closed behind him before he was hopping out of his sweats, stripping down as he went, and leaving the pieces scattered behind him.
“Computer,” he called, muffled only a little as his elbow got in the way of his t-shirt. “Lights to half.” They dimmed as he turned on the water shower and trudged in, one explosive breath of pleasure escaping him as the pounding liquid sluiced away the sweat, grime, and stress. Sonics were all well and good for a quick morning ablution, but nothing beat standing under a deluge of too-hot-and-not-hot-enough after a rotten day followed by a rotten workout.
He lathered up, running soapy hands across his arms and chest. His nipples peaked slightly at the contact and he leaned his head against the wall, regarding his half-hard cock with tired consideration. Well, it was the quickest and easiest way to a nice long nap before Spock got in, and he was still young enough (and randy enough) to be up for round two later. Grinning, he wondered when he’d started contemplating the merits of jerking off before actually doing it. Must be too much time spent with Spock (not that that could ever be a bad thing).
He dropped his forehead to the wall and took himself in hand, beginning a slow, lazy stroking. Pleasure spiked all the way down to his toes, even though he’d gotten off just this morning (did that make his planned romp with Spock round three?) and he mumbled appreciatively under his breath. The water poured down his shoulders, tickling as it went, and dripping down over his hand. He pulled back a little to let it fall along the shaft and head, shuddering at the sensation and bracing his feet a little apart for balance. His nipples ached for a little attention, but he left them alone, enjoying the feel of the steam curling through the air until it was so heavy it might have been a blanket of heat pressing against his skin. Taking himself in two hands, he tightened them and began a continuous rhythm at as languid a pace as he could stand. He was flushed and blood-heavy, feeling almost drunk on endorphins and lethargy. When he came, it was with barely a quiet moan and only a little stagger into the wall, riding the waves of orgasm until they sharpened so that he had to step away from the shower spray.
After that, he could barely force himself to wash his hair before vacating the shower in a sleepy jumble of clumsy limbs.
He certainly hadn’t been expecting visitors, so he was a little startled when he had to greet one with only a small towel slung over his shoulder and hair. But then, it was just Spock, and his lover could certainly have no cause to complain about his lack of attire (except if they were in the lab, of course).
“Spock,” Jim said blankly, staring at him from his left eye, the right hidden in the folds of the towel. He was fully aware of his own nudity, down to the water dripping off his toes and the flaccid state of his satisfied cock. He saw those black eyes sweep down, taking it in, and a tingle of arousal made it twitch, though it was half-hearted. Jim grinned down at it, daring it to get hard again so soon after such a thorough reaming, and he thought it just might have complied if he weren’t so tired.
“Damn,” Jim commented, continuing to the bed, aware of his lover following his every move and sashaying his hips just a little at the welcome attention. “If I’d known you were leaving the lab early I’d have waited for you.”
“No need. It appears you have used the time wisely to recuperate from the day.”
Pulling out a pair of briefs, he smiled at Spock over his shoulder, although it was a little rueful. “Yeah, well, it would have been more fun recouping with you, I think.”
“Indeed,” Spock acknowledged, a gentle smile in his eyes. Jim reached for a light t-shirt, seeing as it didn’t look like he was going to get his nap, but Spock’s voice forestalled him.
“Do not get dressed. I would like to assist in the latter half of your recuperation, if you are agreeable.”
Never one to turn down just such an invitation, Jim nonetheless hesitated. “Not that I don’t appreciate the offer, Spock, but I already got started on that in the shower. Sorry, but I didn’t know you’d be out here. This might be a case of the spirit being willing, but the flesh being weak, you know what I mean?”
“I do not.”
Jim frowned at him, opening his mouth to explain when he caught the teasing glint in the Vulcan’s eyes. He snorted, sitting down on the mattress. “Sure you don’t.”
“Do not trouble yourself, Jim. I am quite aware of your activities in the shower.”
Laughing and feeling just a little heat bloom in his cheeks (damn, had he lost his touch, to be blushing at the words of a Vulcan?), Jim shook his head. “If you knew, you should have joined me. You know I love sharing showers.”
“I, however, do not.” That was true. Spock was like the proverbial cat. If he hadn’t been a Vulcan, Jim was certain he’d have been hissed at, the first time he’d playfully splashed his lover with water from the shower unit. The look Spock gave him just then reminded him that that incident hadn’t been forgotten, and Jim grinned sheepishly, shrugging.
Spock gestured to the bed where Jim was already seated. “Lie down on your front, if you would, and I will begin.”
Wondering what the Vulcan had planned, Jim reclined, rolling over until he could comfortably situate himself face down. Two steps brought Spock to the edge of the mattress, and Jim felt the tips of two very hot hands (actually, they felt about as hot as the shower had, if somewhat drier) settle at his hips, tugging at the briefs he’d just slipped on. Wondering what Spock could be thinking, but willing to oblige, Jim lifted up without complaint and allowed his lover to pull them off. He settled back into the bed, reaching down to adjust himself until he could sprawl like a big, fat piece of overcooked pasta, boneless and content.
“Mm, Spock, I don’t think whatever it is, is going to work. I’m about done in.”
“Relax, Jim. While a sexual response may result from this, it is not required. Do not concern yourself with it.”
“What – “ Jim began, and then gasped, slumping into the mattress with an almost involuntary shudder of pleasure. Implacable, hard fingers, incongruously gentle for all their strength, pressed firmly into his shoulders, gliding on the surface of some slick substance (he had a moment to wonder if it was the lube they kept in the nightstand drawer, but surely Spock wouldn’t stoop to using that for this) and turning his muscles into mush.
“Oh,” Jim bleated, too shocked with mind-numbing enjoyment to be embarrassed at the noises he was making (not that he would have been embarrassed anyway). “Oh, God. Why didn’t you tell me you could do this? You – mmph – “ Capable Vulcan hands hit a rough patch low on his left shoulder blade and broke up the knot there with ruthless intensity. Jim lost whatever it was he’d been about to say. It wasn’t until several minutes, and a few muscle groups later, that it came back to him.
“You’re really good at this,” he grunted, his head swimming as Spock worked his way slowly down Jim’s back, avoiding the ribs and sides when the Human squirmed to avoid him.
“Be easy, Jim. Relax.”
“I am relaxed,” Jim protested blearily, but obligingly settled, closing his mouth except for the occasional puff of air escaping him on a frankly obscene moan.
Spock glided his hands in powerful strokes all the way down his legs, digging into the haunch of his thigh with expert brutality. He handled the Human’s body was such easygoing and casual possession that Jim knew the proprietary air of it would have gotten him hard in seconds on any other night. Now he could only lie, helpless, beneath the onslaught of Spock’s precisely measured care, trying his best not to fly apart at the incredible sensations. He’d gotten massages before, sometimes even from professionals, but it had never been like this.
Hazily, he wondered what the difference could possibly be, and it was only when Spock began his upward journey, when his elegant fingers slid atop Jim’s ass and dug in there, that the answer began to form. Though Jim had protested his ability to respond in the beginning, he was hard now; not so hard that he had to do something about it, but hard enough that when he felt Spock continuing to move onward and upward, he couldn’t help but be a little disappointed his lover hadn’t spent a bit more time on his previous location. He didn’t say a word, but he felt the fingers, which up until then had avoided any overt sexual gestures, correct their navigation and return to their work on his ass. Realization was slow and sluggish, but more than welcome.
“You’re reading my thoughts, aren’t you?” he asked, beginning to rock his hips so that his cock rubbed gently at the sheets below him. The sensation was exquisite – he was still sensitive enough from the shower to take a little care with it, but his system was so high on endorphins that he doubted he could have stopped himself if he’d wanted to.
“Your mood, only. Be silent.”
“Yes, sir,” he teased gently, gasping when those fingers spread him wide, exposing him to the air and Spock’s eyes. Without warning, one of them pressed an even circle around the entrance of his body, slipping inside with an ease that was almost shocking. Jolted, Jim jerked forward, biting his lip at the sudden intrusion to keep in the yelp of surprise. Spock didn’t withdrawn, and Jim was dimly aware of his own intense pleasure, but his focus was all for that finger, moving into him with surety and mastery. He felt suddenly, achingly empty, and pressed back, needing more.
Spock, not to be hurried, smoothed one hand down his right cheek, pressing until Jim’s hips were flush to the bed, and then began to rock, the gentle push and pull forcing Jim to slide into and away from the surface of the mattress. The first finger was joined by a second, both of them quirking downward until they brushed against his prostate, making Jim whimper involuntarily.
“Spock,” he groaned, feeling the tingling of deep arousal gathering at the base of his spine. He tried to speed up the proceedings, thrusting faster, but a hand curled around his hip, coming so close to Jim’s cock that he jerked, shuddering.
“Touch me,” Jim demanded, forcing himself to return to the even pace they’d been on before. The hand moved away, until it was once again guiding his rocking from on high.
“I am touching you.”
Jim would have said something rude to that, but the words caught in his throat as two fingers became three, and they began a steady, rhythmic pressure over and through him. Getting with the program, Jim went with the flow, letting Spock guide his motions until it was fluid and languid and just this side of mesmerizing.
The pressure built slowly, and Jim made no move to hurry it this time, letting Spock set the pace and taking the time to enjoy every second of it, every nuance of that incredible attention devoted to him. Orgasm gathered like electricity in his feet, sliding like a tongue up his thighs and into his chest and he shuddered with impending release.
“Spock,” he breathed, ready to come, but not wanting it to end. Sex had never felt like this before. He wondered if it was Spock in general, the empathy arching between them, or just the fact that he loved the Vulcan as he might never have loved another partner in his life. It could have been all that and more.
“Come, Jim,” Spock murmured in his ear, taking the lobe between his teeth and biting down just as those three slim fingers pressed all of their considerable length inside him. “Come for me.” Jim had never been any good at taking orders, but this was one he agreed with wholeheartedly, and he was more than happy to oblige.
Afterwards, the haze of pleasure and languor was so great that Jim though he might actually have fallen straight into sleep for a second there (he hadn’t passed out though, Jim Kirk did not pass out after sex, not even amazing sex). It took him a minute to realize that he was now lying on his back; he’d been cleaned up and tucked under the thermal sheets with gentle care. He blearily turned his head, searching for and finding Spock, perched on the side of the bed. Though his limbs felt like lead, Jim reached out and settled a clumsy hand on one firm thigh, squeezing with as much strength as he could muster (and that wasn’t much).
“Thank you,” he said sincerely, conveying through his hand and eyes just how very grateful he was. He’d never been good at saying the words – but then, neither had Spock, and the look on his lover’s face told him he understood.
“What about you?” he asked, vaguely disturbed to realize that Spock had never actually removed his clothes, though his uniform shirt was hung over the desk chair. He slid a hand as far around the Vulcan’s thigh as he could comfortably reach, ready to return the favor. The hand’s journey was halted by a gentle, but implacable grip.
“Do not concern yourself, Jim. You are tired. Sleep.”
“But – “ Jim protested, some part of him unnerved to have received such pleasure while giving nothing in return.
“That was for you. I do not require reciprocation at this time. You may, ah, ‘return the favor’ when you are more rested.”
Jim snorted, amused that Spock could talk about an orgasm in terms of ‘reciprocation’.
“Thank you, Spock,” he murmured, a yawn mangling the Vulcan’s name. Jim allowed his sleepy eyes to close, the thrum of pleasure and satiation so strong in his veins that he felt as though he were on some sort of natural high. Driven impulsively to offer his lover a rare endearment, he tightened his grip on that hotter-than-Human leg and whispered, “Love you.”
“And I, you.”
Jim smiled, and he was on the verge of sleep when he felt the Vulcan lean down over him, the motion of his breathing stirring the hair around Jim’s left ear.
“Jim,” Spock whispered, tenderly touching his shoulder where the Human was turned toward him. “Who is Mr. Grinch?”
Jim chuckled, barely aware of his own mouth forming words, fading as he was into dreams. “Jerk. Anti-Christmas killjoy. Hates it.”
There was a moment’s pause and it took a slight shake to bring Jim around to vague consciousness again. “Mmm?”
“Why do you hate it?”
“Dead dad, mis’rable mom. Always wanted t’know what it would’ve been like,” Jim breathed, incoherent, turning until the heat of his cheek touched the heat of his lover’s as he began to sink back into sleep. “Family on Christmas. The snow and the tree, lights, presents, fireplace…”
There was another, longer pause, and black eyes glittered in the low light, watching the other man drift into slumber with a piercing, curious expression.
“Good night, Jim,” Spock said, but the Human was already sleeping.
The last week before Christmas, Jim was like a bear with a sore head, and the worst part of it was that he knew it, but couldn’t seem to find a way to change it. He felt horrible about it too, because he could see that his lack of holiday cheer was more than obvious to his rambunctious crew, and their repeated inquiries about his health only managed to sink his mood lower and lower.
It was with a heavy heart, but a bright, rubber-stamped smile, that he attended the Christmas party his crew had put together. Not ten seconds after entering, though, he knew he’d made a mistake – he should have declined the invitation and begged Spock to take his place. Seeing everyone mingling, exchanging small gifts, laughing and having a good time, was proof all over again for Jim that he had no idea how to go about Christmas the way it ought to be done. He was used to brooding and narrowly avoiding unfortunate emotional scenes – his crew, on the other hand, obviously wasn’t. He knew it was horrible of him, but from the moment he arrived he couldn’t help counting the minutes until he could leave. He was nearly at the point of escape when a jovial, bantering voice boomed behind him.
“Jim! Glad you could make it!”
Damn. Much as he loved joking around with Bones, now was really not the time.
“Me too,” he forced himself to say, saluting the doctor with his half-empty glass of eggnog. “You guys got quite the turnout.”
“Nothing to do with me; Uhura did most of it. You hear her singing carols earlier?”
At this, Jim really did smile, recalling that clear, ringing tone rising above the general crush of conversation and music. Damn, but Uhura had one hell of a voice. No wonder he’d been infatuated with her for so long. He had good taste in women, obviously. And men.
“Yeah, I did. Surprised you could, though; I seem to recall spying you having a very involved conversation with our Nurse Chapel in the corner, over there, about the time Uhura got up on stage.”
McCoy scowled, glowering at him darkly. “Not what you’re thinking, Jim-boy, more’s the pity. She’s got her sights set a mite bit higher than yours truly, not that anything will ever come of it. But you try telling her that; I know I have.”
It was Jim’s turn to scowl, remembering more than one occasion where he’d found the pretty blond nurse standing in close – too close – proximity to his lover. Not that she could possibly know she was stepping on her captain’s toes, but it bothered Jim nonetheless. Which was ridiculous, really, since he’d never been the jealous type and it was too damned late in life to be changing that now. Maybe it was just that he’d never had a relationship he cared to hold exclusively before.
“Well,” McCoy continued when no comment was forthcoming, “I’m glad you decided to stop moping around and drop by for a bit. God knows, we all knew Spock wasn’t going to, so at least one of you made it.”
“Leave Spock alone,” Jim snapped, a little more irritated than was warranted, but this conversation was the last thing he needed after trudging through one very long, very uncomfortable week. “And leave me alone, too. I’m not in the mood, Bones.”
“Jeez, Jim, lighten up, would you? What bug crawled up your ass today? It’s Christmas Eve, for God’s sake. The way you’ve been acting lately, you’d think someone had died!”
Someone had, but Jim could hardly blame his CMO for rubbing salt in wounds that had been around for as long as Jim had been alive.
“Butt out, McCoy,” he growled, sipping at his eggnog and grimacing at the gritty taste it left in his mouth. The food processors were normally very good, but they’d gotten the aftertaste of this one just a little bit off.
The silence beside him took on a slightly muted quality, the doctor’s craggy good cheer dimming just a little. Jim sighed, scraping a hand through his hair roughly, aware that he was way out of line. “Sorry, Bones. I’m just not the best company right now, and I’m really not up to our usual version of verbal kick-boxing, all right? It’s nothing personal.”
“Look, Jim, is there something you want to talk about? Something’s been riding you all week long. I’m your friend, you know, not just your doctor.”
Warmed by this show of gruff concern from his cranky friend, he met McCoy’s bright blue eyes with a smile, smaller than the one he’d walked in here with, but far more genuine.
“No,” he replied, though it was just a little bit tempting. Old habits died hard, however, and talking about his dead father and the resulting disaster of his family life was about the last thing on Jim’s to-do list this Christmas. He was suddenly very grateful to have Bones with him on the Enterprise, even if the man drove him absolutely around the bend sometimes.
Reaching out to clap his friend on the shoulder, he gave him an apologetic shake. “It’s getting late and I’m turning into a grouch; I think it’s time I turned in. Make my excuses for me, would you, and thank Uhura for putting this together? Oh, and don’t let Scotty spike the punch again, like he did at Thanksgiving.”
“But that was the best part!” McCoy protested, though his eyes continued to glint with a worry that Jim pretended he couldn’t see.
“I know,” he told his friend with a smirk, remembering a good time and a rowdy crew that had probably not been up to snuff the next morning. He didn’t want that again – he remembered thinking to himself that if an enemy had chosen that day to attack, with his crew at half – or even quarter – efficiency, the Enterprise would have been royally screwed. He’d smartened up since then, allowing his crew just enough leeway to have some fun, but not enough to hang themselves with. It was a delicate balance, but one he generally enjoyed maintaining.
“Mind the store,” he instructed, setting his drink on a convenient table and tugging at his shirt. “Don’t let them do anything I wouldn’t do.”
“That’s not hard,” the doctor informed him. “Most of the crew wouldn’t dream of doing what you’d do.”
“Fine,” he sighed. “Then don’t let them do what Spock wouldn’t do.”
“That would mean cancelling the Christmas party here and now.”
Laughing almost involuntarily, Jim waved a hand at McCoy, noting with deep affection that even in the depths of bitterness, his friend could pull a smile out of him.
Spock wasn’t in, but Jim hadn’t expected him to be. His lover had been in the lab to all hours every night of this week – must be onto something important, because he’d been particularly evasive about it, and Jim was usually the one who had to put the breaks to the techno-babble before he ended up feeling like a complete dunce. Sighing, he trudged into the sleeping alcove, shedding clothes as he went (he knew that habit annoyed Spock endlessly, but that was half the fun of doing it). At a loss for anything to do, since normally he’d be the first one out and about the crew activities, he sat disconsolately at the edge of the mattress, missing his lover intensely and wishing he hadn’t been locked out of the lab indefinitely. Tonight would have been great even to visit, not for sex, per say, but just for – closeness. Intimacy. He doubted it would be the most entertaining thing in the world to watch Spock do his science shtick while the Vulcan essentially ignored him, but somehow, in that moment, it seemed like the most wonderful and worthwhile thing Jim could ever have contemplated doing.
Annoyed with his own depression, he snapped irritably at the thermal sheets, snagging a book from his bedside table as he settled in. He glanced at the cover, frowning as the words came into focus.
Oh, that just figured. ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, by Dickens.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” he muttered, momentarily considering burning the damn thing. “Isn’t that the damn truth.”
Oh well. It could have been worse. It could have been ‘A Christmas Carol’.
“Mmph! G’way,” he muttered, batting at the hand smoothing his hair behind his ear. Long, strong fingers caught his before they could tuck underneath his cheek again and, recognizing the grip, he felt a smile break over his face, turning over to view Spock staring down at him with gentle eyes.
“Hey,” he said, sleep clogging his voice until he cleared his throat to try again. “Hey.”
“Good morning,” Spock greeted, leaning forward so they could share a brief kiss. Jim kept his lips tightly closed, feeling the disgusting grit of morning breath clinging to his teeth. He smiled with appreciation as the Vulcan straightened, moving their hands until he could interlock their fingers with ease.
“Oh,” he said, suddenly wide awake as memory returned. “Merry Christmas!”
“It is, yes.”
Jim grinned, more than aware of his logical lover’s complete lack of appreciation for the holiday. It was a lack he could definitely appreciate. Tugging until he could straighten himself up, the sheets pooled around his waist, and he shivered in the cool air, his nipples hardening into points. Spock’s eyes drifted down, taking them in with controlled desire. The look on his normally impassive face made Jim’s breath catch in his throat. Delighted, he smiled, a veritable ‘come hither’ expression.
“We could,” he purred seductively, licking his lips. “There’s probably time. How long do we have?”
“What?” Jim blurted, looking around for a chronometer before remembering that he hadn’t yet had one installed in his quarters. Asking the computer was just too convenient to really need one and it was only habit that made him search for one now.
“We are due on the bridge quite shortly. You have time for a quick breakfast, if you wish.”
“I do wish,” Jim informed him, a little irritated to have slept so late. He thought for sure he’d set the computer alarm to wake him at 0700. He’d wanted to catch Spock before shift-start so they could exchange gifts. They’d agreed on nothing terribly expensive (actually, it had taken a bit of wrangling to get Spock to agree to anything at all, but Jim had guilted him into it and not felt one ounce of shame afterwards), but Jim had been looking forward to spending the first hour of the day with his lover, hoarding memories to help hold the bitterness at bay. Now it seemed that would be denied to him.
Annoyed, he scooted up so he could get out of bed, surprised when the Vulcan didn’t move out of his way. Spock, unlike Jim, was already dressed immaculately, and the Human searched his mind for any indications that Spock had come to bed last night. There were none. Had Spock pulled an all-nighter? On Christmas Eve? And actually, come to think of it, Spock was a very early riser (on the verge of 0430, which was just flipping ungodly) and didn’t normally hang around in the morning; this was the first time in their relationship that the other man had actually woken Jim from sleep. A small suspicion niggled at the back of Jim’s mind, but he dismissed it. There was no reason for Spock to have disabled the alarm. For all that the notion of waking a lover in person on Christmas morning might be romantic to a Human, it just wasn’t practical, particularly as it was so late in the morning.
“Spock…?” he questioned, waiting for his lover to get up so he could begin gathering Captain Kirk in place of Jim Kirk.
Spock was looking at him, and something in his expression made Jim stare at him a little more closely. He couldn’t rightly identify what it was about the impassive face that made him suspect it, but he could swear that Spock looked – nervous.
Which was pretty much impossible. Right?
“Something wrong?” he asked anyway, certain he was mistaken. Spock hesitated (and that was another thing Jim hadn’t seen him do often, and certainly not with regards to so innocuous a question), but then stood with fluid ease, tucking his hands behind his back and heading for the door.
“If you will inform me as to your meal selection, I shall retrieve it for you, so that you may begin preparing for the day.”
“Something quick and easy,” Jim called, heading for the bathroom facilities. “Oatmeal, or a muffin. Surprise me!”
“Very well,” Spock said, watching his partner disappear into the fresher, and then he, too, was gone.
Thirty minutes was enough time to get ready in, but not enough time to do it in leisure, and Jim had to really hurry to get in a sonic shower, fresh clothes, and food, in that order. He would have checked his messages too, but that would have to wait until he got to the bridge.
“You could have woken me sooner,” Jim grumbled as both he and Spock double-timed it down the corridor. “And how did you know I needed waking, anyway? It’s lucky you did – but still.”
“I confirmed your location and condition with the computer before heading to our quarters. It appeared you were still sleeping at the time.”
“Funny, that. I was sure I set the alarm.” He watched closely, just to see if there’d be any reaction to that. There wasn’t, but, seeing as Spock was a Vulcan, that really didn’t mean anything.
“You could have just com’d me,” Jim offered, as they entered the turbolift.
“I could have,” Spock acknowledged, saying nothing further. Jim grinned, more pleased than he’d ever willingly admit out loud.
“Thanks,” he said softly.
“Do not thank me yet,” Spock said, and, with a jerky motion, quite as though he hadn’t thought it through before doing it (which was impossible, as Spock considered everything in triplicate before committing thought to action), reached out suddenly to halt the lift. Confused, Jim watched him enter the access code, taking in Spock’s pensive countenance with surprise as the Vulcan turned to face him.
“Jim. I would like to give you your Christmas present now.”
“My Christmas…? Spock, are you nuts? We have something like four minutes to make it to the bridge before we’re late!”
“Three minutes, forty-seven seconds – “
“My point exactly!”
“ – And, as time is short, it would be best if you allowed me to finish without interruption.”
Jim snapped his mouth closed on the rest of the words that had been about to tumble out and mimed zipping his lips shut, thoroughly bemused.
“I would like to inform you – that is, I am uncertain if this is a gift you will appreciate. In light of that, I had thought it wise to preface this occasion with an explanation of my intentions, which, I assure you, were only to give you the most appropriate gift that I could conceive of. I am aware, however, that my choice is unusual, and I may have – exceeded the boundaries of our relationship. Therefore, if you find the manner of my delivery to be inappropriate, I would like to apologize in advance for any discomfort it may cause you.”
Jim waited to see if any further information was forthcoming, but it seemed that was it. “Spock?”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“We did agree to exchange Christmas gifts, did we not?”
“Yes, we did, and mine is in our quarters, where I thought we would do this later! Why are you bringing it up now?”
“The choice as to the timing was initially my decision, but it is now beyond my influence. I simply felt that I should express my concerns before the opportunity to do so had passed.”
Dazed, Jim could only stare at him. “What?”
“We now have one minute and twenty-six seconds before we are due on the bridge. Do you understand the manner of my preemptive explanation?”
Spock paused, thinking for a moment. “Will you accept it, nonetheless?”
“For love of God Spock, yes, all right? You’re insane to be doing this now, but hurry up and give it to me before we’re late.”
Spock nodded, the silence between them alive with tension, and then he turned and reactivated the turbolift without another word.
Jim forcefully suppressed the urge to tear his hair out in frustration.
“Spock, what the hell is going on here – “
But just then the turbolift doors swept open and anything else Jim had been about to say was lost as the Enterprise Bridge became visible. Or as visible as it could be, anyway, covered as it was in – snow.
Beyond words, Jim stepped slowly beyond his Vulcan lover and onto the bridge of his ship, which looked so bizarrely and jarringly different that it might as well have been another world.
Snow – or what appeared to be snow – was strewn over just about, well, everything. It was white and fluffy, looking soft and unassuming as it spread over each available surface (and many of those that weren’t). Someone – Jim couldn’t even begin to speculate as to who – had begun to shape a large lump of it into a vaguely snowman-shaped pile near the helm station, but the rest of it was untouched. Transfixed, Jim walked forward as though hypnotized.
On the top level, just next to the clear divider, there was a Christmas tree, below which was a small stack of neat-looking, colorful presents, in a variety of shapes and sizes. The tree was decorated in red and gold garland, with tinsel and small, twinkling lights peeping out from between branches. There were no ornaments – only a star, which had been laid flat and modified to mount a miniature Enterprise atop it.
Jim stepped forward, utterly bereft of words, and felt the not-snow slip underneath his shoes. He bent down, bewildered, and scooped up a large handful of it. It was light and fine, like a white powder, with just enough volume to count as flakes instead of dust. Looking around in astonishment, he could see strings of tiny bells looped around the railing between each of the bridge levels, and on the view screen – an enormous, fake fire crackling and popping away as merrily as could be.
Feeling as though he were in a dream, Jim turned to his command chair, only to see that it, too, had undergone some sort of transformation. Where normally the center seat was a combination of polished white metal and black fabric liner, now it was all red – and it had been draped in a fabric that gave it the illusion of having side skirts, much like a throne.
Standing scattered on the bridge was his senior command crew – all other stations were empty – and it was only as he met the eyes of his best friend and CMO that anyone dared to break the ephemeral silence that had fallen over the room on his arrival.
“Merry Christmas, Jim.”
As though this had released him from the paralysis that seemed to hold him, Jim turned, slowly but surely, to face his lover, standing as impassive and imposing as ever at his shoulder. Spock gazed back at him, without expression, every inch of him Vulcan, but Jim could read a world of emotions in his eyes. And the first among them was fear. Fear that he had done something so impulsive – for maybe the first time in his life – that he now stood on a precipice of insecurity – Spock, who was never insecure about anything. The Vulcan had thrown logic by the wayside to give a gift to his lover that surpassed all practical concerns, and he was waiting on tenterhooks to see whether his efforts would pay off – or blow up in his face.
“How…?” Jim asked.
“The snow was the easiest component of the scenario to manufacture – it is a simple combination of water and an Earth-based polymer. Many of the decorations were already on hand and being used by the crew. They did not appear pleased when I commandeered several of them yesterday evening. The tree was somewhat harder, and the pine scent in particular took very precise programming to replicate – “
Spock stopped, cutting his eyes to the side, and Jim knew then, that the Vulcan had likely spent every waking hour of this last week putting this together – and no wonder he’d been so scarce. Planning this, creating this, conspiring with his crew to do this behind his back, must have taken so much time, and effort.
Warmth and astonishment spread through Jim like bubbles rising through the air. “Why did you do this?” he asked softly, feeling his heart trying to crawl its way out of his throat and beating it down before it could come spilling out in a horribly embarrassing scene, here, in front of everyone.
“I have been aware of your – reticence, during this time. I elicited relevant information as to its source some time ago, and believed that I may be able to alleviate some of it, given the cooperation of the crew.”
“When did you…?” But Jim remembered, and it was only command training and his own iron will that allowed him to push the heat in his cheeks back where it belonged. The very last thing he needed was to accidentally let slip the details of his sex life anywhere near the vicinity of Bones, who would no doubt hound him with it until the day he died.
Speaking of which….
Jim stared at Spock. His Vulcan lover had to be the most private and reserved person he knew. Even if he’d been aware of what Spock was planning, he realized, he would never have suspected the man of this in a million years. It was just so public, so exposed. So perfectly open, and Human, and – wonderful. Looking around, he realized that the only people on the bridge were the people they might both identify as friends, or in some cases – Uhura to Spock, and Bones to Jim – family.
Spock, he wanted to ask, are you trying to tell me something? But that was too personal, by far, and Jim never had been able to say the words with ease. Not even when his lover did something that felt so much like a declaration that he needn’t have used words at all.
“I just got you a sweater,” he finally said, and if his voice was a little rougher than normal, no one was so cruel as to mention it. “Cashmere, sure, but – just a sweater.”
“That is all right, Jim. I did not purchase anything at all for you.”
“Yeah,” Jim said, overwhelmed, and greatly, greatly daring, reached out to brush his middle and index fingers over the hand of his lover, in the presence of their friends, their family.
“Well, come on then, people!” McCoy’s brash voice interrupted the moment, and Jim was both grateful and chagrined. He turned, taking a deep breath to settle his emotional center, and saw the rest of his senior officers passing out gifts from beneath the tree. “Time’s a wastin’! We’ve got an hour and a half before the rest of the alpha shift shows up, so snap to it!”
“An hour and a half?” Jim asked blankly. “Alpha shift’s already started!”
“No way, Jim. If I had to start at 0630 every morning, I’d eat my hat. 0800 is bad enough.”
“Indeed, Jim,” Spock said behind him, and Jim felt a warm hand settle at his lower back for a moment before it was gone. “I knew you would have no need of the alarm this morning. I thought it best to wake you well ahead of schedule so that the bridge could be cleared by the time the morning shift arrived.”
“And the night shift?”
“Dismissed, on my orders. There are enough personnel present to suffice for minimal functionality in the case of an emergency.”
“Snow, a tree, a fire, and family. Spock,” Jim said at last, joy suffusing him until he felt light and incredulous and – happy. “I don’t think you could have given me a more perfect Christmas gift if you’d tried!”
“I was not attempting perfection.”
“That’s too bad,” Jim said, as he joined his crew at the Christmas tree, seeing that even the gifts he’d wrapped for the rest of his friends – alcohol for both Scotty and Bones, earrings for Uhura, a parachute for Sulu (an old tradition between them), sword oil and cloth for Chekov (with a minor aside not to let Sulu injure him too much during the fencing lessons) – were there. “Because I think you achieved it, Spock.”
And then, beneath his breath where he knew sensitive Vulcan ears would hear him, he whispered, “I love you.”
“And I, you.”
A/N: Aw! Those two are just too cute for words! *glomps them*