This continues the story, by popular demand, of the Kirk and Spock from Strip Poker and Tropical Drinks Fame
They ended up going for a walk after finishing their drinks and fries. Jim couldn’t stomach the idea, honestly, of having one more sweet, fruity, tropical drink. Together with the fries, he felt as though he had gained ten pounds.
When Jim had turned toward the sandy beach next to the bar, Spock had hesitated briefly, before, seeming to collect himself with a short nod, and following after Jim.
There was an unexpected breeze coming off the Risan Ocean, and though it wasn’t exactly freezing, Jim found himself grateful he hadn’t worn only a bathing suit. For one thing, the idea of wearing only that in front of Spock had him feeling somewhat, unexpectedly, shy.
Jim felt a little at a loss now. He hadn’t really believed that Spock might have feelings for him, not like that anyway. When he’d accidentally, really it was, called Spock “babe” after poker, he was certain Spock had called him the same as a joke to lighten the mood. And…it had worked.
Everything had returned to normal. Or normal for them, anyway.
Then shore leave on Risa had come and Jim had thought it was a great opportunity to forget his troubles. Because, like it or not, his affection and lust for his first officer, had been one of those troubles. He had planned on getting laid on shore leave. Then Bones had opened his big trap.
Jim became aware that Spock was now shooting him furtive glances.
“Pretty, huh?” he asked, as he stopped next to the shore.
“I have never seen an equal.”
He dared a look at Spock and, definitely, the Vulcan had not been looking at the ocean. At least until Jim looked at him and he switched his gaze.
“Ever been to Risa before, Spock?”
“I have not. It always seemed far too…”
Spock shrugged slightly. “I was going to say frivolous. Early on in my courtship with Nyota, she desired to come here, but I…was not amenable to the planning of it.”
“I was honestly surprised when you appeared in the bar,” Jim said.
“In truth, I was not seeking out Risa, but you specifically, Captain.”
He smiled faintly at the ‘captain’, but decided not to correct Spock this time. Spock called him Jim when he felt like it and Jim had gotten used to it.
But he wasn’t exactly sure what to reply to that, so in true Jim fashion, he remained quiet.
“Where did Doctor McCoy go?”
He nodded at that, figuring that seemed like a reasonably safe topic for them, and he wondered briefly why they needed a safe topic.
“He had a massage appointment.”
“And you did not wish to accompany him for one?”
Jim shrugged. “I don’t find them pleasant to be honest. The muscles in my back are a knotted mess and have been since…”
He’d been about to say Tarsus, but he’d never brought up that subject, not with anyone, and now standing on the beach in Risa, well, it didn’t seem the time for such a conversation. And maybe someday there would be a time, with Spock, but it wasn’t today.
“Anyway, since I was a teenager, basically. Whenever I have had a massage it just makes it worse and causes me a lot of pain.” He smiled in Spock’s general direction. “So, yeah, I skip those. And sorry for the long explanation.”
“I am sorry for the discomfort, but I am gratified that meant you were left to your, as you might say, to your own devices.”
Jim let out a steadying breath and turned to Spock. “What’s really going on here, Spock?”
“I guess, I don’t know. One of us is giving the other mixed signals and maybe it’s me, but I kind of think it’s you. Are you, how would you put this, romantically interested in me or what?”
Spock stared at him, eyes widening slightly, mouth open, gaping a bit like a fish. Jim had clearly thrown him with the direction question, but Jim was glad. Spock needed to be thrown sometimes. He was all too together most of the time.
His mouth hung open for a minute or two, mirroring the way he’d done so, back before Khan and Marcus had betrayed them, and changed everything, and just like then, Jim felt a bit of frustration.
And by the time Spock answered, Jim had nearly forgotten what he’d asked, and so now he was the one standing there, staring at Spock. He saw the light of hope in Spock’s dark eyes dim to be replaced by a careful mask of non-emotion. But the dread of disappointment had shown first.
Spock looked away. Not out to the sea, as Jim might have done, but toward shore, and Jim would guess, the safety of the ship.
“I apologize if my advances are unwelcome,” he said softly, his cheeks showing just the slightest hint of green.
Jim recognized even before it spilled out that laughter was the wrong reaction for his stiff Vulcan first officer, but it bubbled forth anyway. Spock instantly became stiffer, how that was possible, Jim didn’t know, and he turned as if to walk away.
He stopped him with a hand on Spock’s arm. “Spock, no. It’s not unwelcome. It’s just, well, there haven’t been any advances. That’s why I laughed.”
Spock’s brows furrowed and Jim could tell he was going over their interactions as though to see why he viewed them as advances and Jim did not.
“This is a terrible place to have this conversation.” He let go of Spock’s arm, turning away to pinch the bridge of his nose. “This is just much harder than it should be.”
“You should go back to the ship.”
“You are sending me away? Because—”
“No. I mean. We both should. There’s just…” He gestured to children playing not that far from their position. “No privacy at all. I have a hotel, but it’s-it’s not at all right for you.”
It was cheesy and sleazy and meant to be used to have wild, crazed sex with anonymous lovers and that was so absolutely not what Spock was, if he was going to be something, and Jim wasn’t really even sure, because there were things he had to say, had to make sure of, and so nothing between them was at all guaranteed.
“Let’s just go back to the Enterprise and my quarters or yours. Whichever. What you-what you feel comfortable with.”
Spock opened and closed his mouth then and he nodded and made to turn once more to go back to the shore, but then he stopped, turning back once more to Jim.
“Before we proceed, I need to know, if you share any similar feelings for me?”
“Yes, Spock. I do.”
And he saw the relief in Spock’s eyes, and Jim, really, ought to feel better about this, about them, as Spock seemed to, but Jim still felt like a ball of lead sat in his stomach.
But he turned and followed Spock up to where the transporter would take them to the Enterprise.
And yes, there is a part four coming, on June…7th. Yes, I am afraid you must wait that long!