To say Jim was startled when he entered to see Spock already waiting there would be an understatement. It was true that he was a few minutes later than he’d said he’d be. He could chalk that up to Bones, who took ten minutes longer than usual to tell some story Jim had already heard before. It was a funny story though and with Bones latest embellishments, added for purely showing off purposes, it had amused Jim even more.

But he had told Spock they could play chess at 1900 hours and clearly Spock had taken him quite seriously.

It was unusual for Spock to access Jim’s quarters when Jim was not there though.

“Oh. Hi, Spock.”

“Hello, baby.”

Jim blinked. He could not have just heard what he thought he’d heard.

“Uh. Give me a moment, okay? I want to get out of this uniform.”

Jim pulled off his tunic and walked over to the laundry chute. He felt Spock’s gaze on him, and wondered at it. He shook his head and dropped his tunic into the chute. Then reached for the hem of his undershirt.

As he did so, his gaze fell on the open heart-shaped box of chocolates lying on his desk. At least half of the wrappers were empty.

Jim turned quickly to stare at Spock and almost ran into him, for he’d moved a lot closer.

“I can assist you with that,” Spock murmured.

“Spock, have you been eating those?”

Spock followed Jim’s gaze. “I received them as a gift.”

Jim frowned. “From whom?”

He was not jealous. At all. Because he completely did not have a right. Spock could receive gifts from whomever and Jim had nothing to say about it.

Spock shrugged. “Anonymous.”

“Anonymous,” Jim repeated.

“I suspect that they are from Nyota, however.”

“Wouldn’t she have just put her name on it?”

“There was no name, but they are similar to chocolates she has presented me with in the past.”

“Oh.” Jim turned away and pulled off his undershirt. “I wasn’t aware you guys were, um, you know. Still exchanging gifts for you know, that stupid day.”

“You believe Valentine’s Day is stupid?”

“Pretty much.” Jim dropped his undershirt, so he bent over and picked it up. Spock’s hand landed on his butt. Jim froze. “Commander.”

“Yes, baby?”

Jim laughed, straightened and turned around. “Have you really eaten all those chocolates? I guess you have. Why would Uhura give you those of all people? I mean she has to know.”

Spock nodded. “She does. They are for courage.”

“Courage, huh? Take it from me, Spock, using intoxication for courage is never a good thing.” Jim stepped over to his wardrobe, took out his t-shirt, and pulled it on over his head. Then he went back to where Spock stood. “Baby, huh?”

Spock looked unexpectedly intense and sincere as he stared into Jim’s eyes. “I will use whatever your preferred endearment is.”

Jim smiled. “You don’t need endearments. You know why I keep inviting you over for chess?”

“To improve your obvious lack of finesse in playing?”

He laughed. “No. I don’t even really like it much. I used to play with Sam before he left and before I took up with you, I hadn’t played in years.”

“Then why—”

“To spend time with you,” Jim said, carefully. “Baby.”

Spock straightened a little, but green had splashed across his cheeks. “I apologize for my earlier assault of your person.”


“My accosting of your…derriere.”

“Oh.” Jim nodded. “It’s only assault if I object. And I don’t.”

“That is good to hear.” Spock made an odd sound between a burp and a choke.

“Uh.” Jim stepped back. “I think you might want to sit down, Spock, while I get you a trash can.”

“But I wish to—”

“Yeah, me too.  It’s going to have to wait, though, honey.”

Oh.” Spock’s eyes widened. “I like that better.”

Jim laughed again. “Sit down. I’ll get the trash.”

Spock nodded, staggered toward the bed, suddenly covered his mouth, and with a pained cry, threw up all over the coverlet Jim’s mom had sent him.

“Damn.” Jim eyed the half eaten box of chocolate. “This is definitely going in the trash.” He stepped over to it. “After I try one, of course.” He took a bite and closed his eyes. “Oh, my God. No wonder you ate so many.”

“Jim,” Spock moaned, sagging to the floor next to the bed.

“Oh. Um. Yeah. Sorry.” Jim went over to Spock. “Are you going to barf more?”

Spock shook his head.

“Okay, then, um, let’s get you cleaned up. And the bed obviously, too.”

“I am sorry.”

“No, no, it’s fine.”

“But my declaration—”

Jim smiled. “Was perfect. I’m not a subtle guy, Spock. Patting my ass and calling me baby is the kind of blunt declaration I go for.”

He helped Spock to his feet and started toward the bathroom. “Hang on.” He leaned Spock against the wall and hurried over to the chocolate, popping it into his mouth. “These things are insanely good.”

“I thought you wished to throw them away.”

“Er, yeah. But um, why waste food?” Jim brushed hair out of Spock’s eyes. “You’re beautiful, you know that?”

“Even with vomit—”

Jim laughed. “Well, not as beautiful.” He rolled his eyes. “Come on, Mr. Romance. Let’s clean you up.”