It felt good to be waiting to meet with Jim, Leonard thought, as he waited in his seat at the restaurant he’d arranged to meet Jim in while Leonard was briefly in San Francisco.
He hadn’t seen Jim since the last time he’d been there, a year ago, when Leonard had left Starfleet to return to Georgia to set up private practice and finally stay grounded on Earth, where he could attempt to have a relationship with his daughter.
But he’d come to San Francisco to pick up some medical equipment he needed in person, and honestly, it had made for the perfect excuse to catch up with Jim.
Just then the door to the restaurant flew open and Jim breezed in, literally, as it was quite windy outside, and his friend came in with a gust.
Jim was laughing, his face lit up by a smile, which was great to see, honestly.
Leonard stood and motioned him over, pulling Jim into a tight hug. “God, it’s great to see you.”
“Sit.” Leonard gestured. “Wow, you look—”
“Fat? Ugly?” Jim joked.
And it was true. Jim looked well rested, tanned, his blue eyes sparkling. He wore a burgundy long-sleeved T-shirt that seemed molded to him, and his slacks, black dress ones, looked pressed and expensive.
Jim laughed again, and Leonard was struck how he seemed…happy. “If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were flirting with me.”
“You do know better,” Leonard said, dryly. “I took the liberty of ordering us a bottle of wine. Should be here any time.”
“Fantastic. And speaking of, you look pretty good yourself. Leaving Starfleet agrees with you.”
“Are the rumors true?”
At the moment the wine sommelier arrived with their bottle and for the next five minutes they were occupied with tasting and then pouring glasses for each of them.
“Back to rumors,” Leonard said. “I’ve heard through sources that they’re finally going to make you a full admiral, Commodore.”
He snorted. “You say that like it’s nothing. You’re a big deal, Jim.”
“If you say so. And yeah, I guess they are true. I’m torn. Part of me wishes I could go up again, command of a ship—”
“Ten years wasn’t enough?”
“Oh, hardly. Anyway, I guess they want old men like me to be in charge of the brash young ones.”
“Which you were at one time.”
Jim sipped his wine. “Mm. Great choice.”
“Glad you approve. Still in that apartment?”
“Big place for just you.” Leonard shook his head.
“It’s not that big and who says it’s just me?”
Leonard lowered his glass to the table. “Damn! You’re with someone?”
Jim blushed. “Well.”
“No wonder you look so damn happy!” Leonard grinned and slapped the table. “That is good news. Great news in fact. I never thought you’d settle down, Jimmy boy. When did this happen?”
“Is that all you can say? Within the last year, I’d guess.”
Jim shifted. “Little longer.”
Leonard frowned. “You were with her when I saw you last year?”
“But…wait. You were together on the Enterprise?”
“How in the world were you with someone on the Enterprise and I didn’t know?”
Jim was bright red. “We kept it a secret, Bones. For, um, for a while, actually.”
“How long?” Leonard asked, dumbfounded.
“Last three years of the mission.”
“Plus this whole last year?”
Leonard felt hurt. He supposed he didn’t have a right, but…he did. “Why wouldn’t you tell me? Was she an ensign?”
“No. God. No. Nothing like that. For a long time, we just, it was so weird for us, everything, and I wasn’t even sure if I could get it right, Bones. And then we did and it was so private and intimate between us that for a long time neither of us wanted to spoil it.”
“Okay. Okay. Maybe. I get that. But what about the last year?”
Jim winced. “Well. Um. Actually, Bones, who I’m with, well, I included them for dinner. And uh—”
The door opened to the restaurant and Leonard turned around to look. Standing there, looking windswept, was Spock.
For a moment, Leonard’s brain didn’t catch up, and he wondered what Spock was doing there, and what a coincidence that he would be at the same restaurant he and Jim met at, but then Spock looked in their direction and walked toward them.
And it all made a strange sort of sense that he didn’t even think about before, but now, it was all he could think of. Yes. Of course. Spock. “Bones,” Jim said with a smile as he took Spock’s hand. “Spock is my husband.”