This is the conclusion of the fic that started with the Strip Poker, moved onto Tropical Drinks, The Beach, and now this one, Don’t Break My Heart.

Spock felt a spark of illogical hope as Jim accompanied him back to the Enterprise. A part of him had delayed going down to Risa after Nyota had encouraged him to do so, because he had been afraid that Jim would have already secured himself temporary companionship.

He’d been so relieved when he found that not to be the case, and indeed, the captain had been alone.

And despite Jim’s somewhat aloof behavior, which frankly over the last few months, Spock had become used to it, Jim had admitted he shared the same romantic feelings for Spock as Spock did for him. That was a place to start anyway.

Jim had left it up to Spock about which quarters were chosen for their talk, and ultimately, though not without trepidation, Spock chose his own. Because, as Jim had suggested, comfortable surroundings seemed pertinent just then. Though Spock was not even certain why.

Once inside their quarters, Spock respectfully lowered the temperature to more human tolerable warmth and watched as his captain paced back and forth, looking far too out of his normal element. This began to concern Spock.

“You-you did say my interest in you was not unwelcome,” Spock said.

Jim moistened his lips. “It’s not. It’s just that…” He shook his head and resumed his pacing.

“Your current behavior is concerning. If you do not share—

“Spock, I share it. God.” He laughed and wiped his hand over his face. “I’m crazy in love with you and have been for, I don’t even know. I’m the one who called you ‘babe’, remember?”

Spock did not allow the relief and hope to surface this time. “Then, may I inquire into the source of your reticence?”

He was surprised when Jim suddenly sat down heavily on Spock’s bed.

“I’m scared, Spock.”

He stiffened at the words that were such a reminder of a trying time, but this was not the time to dwell on such unpleasant recollections.

“Of me?” Spock dared ask, dreading the answer.

“No. Yes.” Jim looked up and must have seen Spock’s crestfallen expression. “I don’t think you’ll physically hurt me, Spock. That’s not at all what this is about.”

“I do not understand.”

Jim closed his eyes. “I love you so much. I don’t know…it’s been so long, it’s hard to remember when I didn’t.”

Spock opened his mouth to reply.

Jim held up his hand. “I’m exaggerating. I know. But basically, until very recently, the time I’ve loved you and known you, has been while you were Uhura. And you-never…” He stood up again. “This is crazy.”

“Jim, please speak plainly.”

“All those years and you never…you didn’t commit to her. I mean no marriage, no bond, and eventually you broke up and I just…”

Spock felt his heart twist. “Jim, sit.”

He swallowed heavily as Jim returned to sitting on the bed. He looked unhappy to do so, but he did sit.

Spock knelt in front of him. “You do not believe I am capable of the level of commitment you require.”

“Well.” Jim wouldn’t meet his eyes.

“Because Nyota and I never took those steps. Marriage. Or a…bond.”

“I know I have no right to expect—”

Spock reached up and placed his fingertips on Jim’s mouth. “I am in love with you. Deeply and completely. I will never leave you, unless you demand that I do. Nyota and I were committed to each other in our own way and that worked for us until it did not. Until neither of us could deny that we were no longer romantically in love with each other.“

When Jim sucked in a breath, Spock realized it was the wrong thing to say to his panic-stricken captain.

“What if-what if you decide that you are no longer in love with me. You have before. And-and, Spock, I’m sorry, but if this is temporary, if a few years from now, you’re going to decide not to be with me, then I’d rather not now.”

“No one can predict the future.”

“But I can. I’ve seen you in action. You likely will fall out of love with me, and who could blame you, who would want to stay with me?”

“Breathe, ashayam.” He brought Jim’s hands to his lips and kissed both palms and each finger after, then held them tightly in his. “I have never loved anyone as deeply as I love you. And while it is true, I cannot predict what will happen, I know that my devotion to you is absolute. We can bond immediately if that will ease your mind.”

“But—”

“Jim, our-our counterparts had so little time together, considering everything, and I would rather not be them.”

“They were together?”

“And bonded, my love. But for only twenty years before your death. Perhaps that is to be our fate too, I do not know, but whatever time we are to have, I wish to begin it now.”

Jim smiled a little.

“And perhaps it never worked out between Nyota because it was always meant to be us.”

“Fated lovers, huh?” The smile grew crooked. “That’s quite a bit of pressure.”

“It need not be. We love each other and both are committed to each other for the rest of our lives.”

“You make it all sound so…”

“So what, Jim?”

“Appealing.”

Spock took a chance. “Do not break my heart.”

Jim leaned forward and pulled Spock up and over him onto the bed. “And don’t break mine.”

Spock covered Jim’s lips with his. “Never.”