Jim was wrung out. They’d decided to have a memorial get-together of his senior bridge crew for Chekov once everyone had arrived back on Yorktown.
They’d gone to dinner, a place on Yorktown Chekov had loved, and more than one of them had ended with tears in their eyes.
Jim had been forced to give a speech, which had had not wanted to do, but Bones asked him if not Jim, then who? So he’d talked about Pavel and how much they’d all loved him.
And now he was just a little bit drunk and a lot sad.
Bones was over in the corner of a bar they’d gone to talking to Scotty and Keenser. They were sharing a bottle of scotch between them. Spock and Uhura were standing by the entrance or exit he supposed as he suspected they were going to leave any second. Uhura was crying and she had her arms around Spock’s neck and his arms were around her waist.
At the table with him were Sulu and his husband Ben. They’d gotten a babysitter for Demora, figuring the little girl didn’t need to experience something this depressing.
“What’s next for you, Jim?” Ben asked him.
“After this place?”
“Back to my hotel room I suppose to crash for the night.”
“No company?” Sulu wondered.
Jim shook his head. A random hook up wasn’t really something he was interested in. It wouldn’t numb the heartache. Not by a longshot. “Nah.”
“How’s your boy?”
Jim smiled at the mention of David. “Good. I miss him already. Saw him just before I got here though. He’s adorable.”
“Too bad you don’t have him with you on Yorktown. We’re taking Demora to the zoo tomorrow. It would be fun to have them both.”
“It would,” Jim agreed. “Next time maybe. And now I really am tired, so if you guys will excuse me, I’m going to head back.”
The Sulus bid him goodnight and Jim left the bar, not failing to notice that Uhura and Spock had indeed left. As he stood on the street outside the bar he almost gave into the sadness, the loneliness that threatened.
He’d vowed though he no longer would let his unrequited love make him miserable. He shook it off and headed for his hotel.
When it was in sight, he was surprised to see Spock standing by himself overlooking the big water fountain right outside the hotel. The Vulcan looked pensive and for a moment, Jim decided he wouldn’t bother him, but then his legs carried him over there, almost against his will. Constantly drawn to Spock it would seem.
“Good evening, Captain.”
“Surprised to see you out here. Thought you and Uhura went back to the hotel.”
Spock’s gaze stayed on Jim’s face for mere seconds before moving away. “Nyota has returned to her room.”
Jim almost asked ‘her room?’ as he had assumed they were sharing, but really it was hardly his business. But he did say, “You didn’t want to join her?”
“Nyota and I are…experiencing difficulties in our romantic relationship.”
Jim looked at him sharply. “You are? Since when?”
Spock shrugged slightly. “Before the events of Altamid, actually.”
“I thought you reconciled.”
“We did,” Spock said softly. “But the reconciliation has not gone well.”
He turned to fully face Jim then and Jim saw a faint green handprint on Spock’s cheek. Jim frowned at a flash of the memory of Uhura slapping Spock.
“Did she slap you?”
“She is not pleased with me,” Spock admitted.
“I’m sorry, Spock. I’m not sure what to say.”
“Nyota wishes for elements in our relationship I am unable to share with her,” Spock replied, turning away once more.
“You wanted to bond and she didn’t?” Jim asked before he could stop himself. He winced. “Uh, sorry. I know it’s not—”
“It was Nyota who expressed an interest in bonding with me.” Spock’s cheeks were bright green now. “When I expressed reservations, she…she ended things between us.”
“She did? Oh, Spock. I’m sorry.”
He shook his head.
“After all this time together, I can’t believe she would end it.”
Spock exhaled slowly. “Most romantic partners hope for an advancement in their relationship. I do not fault her.”
Jim wanted to ask him why he would not bond with her. He recalled just the other day Spock saying that they weren’t at that level in their relationship and Jim had wondered when they would be. Apparently Uhura had too.
“What prompted her bringing up now?”
“She has been bringing it up for a while,” Spock replied. “But the recent death of Ensign Chekov prompted her to renew her appeals for us to either bond or wed in the Terran way. She did not appreciate my continued reluctance.”
Jim had to admit he didn’t especially get it either. “What are you holding out for, Spock? A Vulcan bonding? I mean with a Vulcan female? You were thinking of leaving to settle on New Vulcan and make babies, right?”
“I was, yes,” Spock whispered. “But no, that is not what is holding me back, as you say.”
But Spock fell silent then, clearly not intending to go on an reveal to Jim what was preventing him from committing to Uhura. As far as Jim knew they’d been together for years. Since their academy days. Surely you didn’t spend that amount of time with someone unless you loved them. Fuck, Jim wouldn’t.
It occurred to him that the first part of the vision he’d had in the field back at his mom’s place had come true. He’d seen her slapping Spock. Maybe the other part where Spock was distraught over someone in the medbay would too.
Would it be Uhura? Jim hoped not. He didn’t like the idea of a member of his bridge crew so injured. But who else would Spock be so distraught over? It had to be Uhura.
“Maybe it will still work out, Spock. I bet it will. You two obviously love each other.” Jim placed his hand on Spock’s shoulder. He smiled, or did an imitation of one anyway. “I’m so damn tired right now it’s a wonder I’m still standing. So I’m going in. Goodnight Spock.”
For longer than seemed usual, Spock simply stared at Jim, like he was looking right through him or something.
It occurred to Jim, fleetingly, that if they’d truly broken up it was possible Uhura would ask for a transfer. But then the other part of his vision wouldn’t come true. He’d never had a vision that was only partly right.
“Goodnight, Captain,” Spock finally said, rather faintly. His green color had risen up all the way to the tips of his ears and Jim almost asked if he was all right, but of course he wasn’t. Probably had a broken Vulcan heart.
He squeezed Spock’s shoulder and turned and went into the hotel.