This takes place after the mission, but before The Motion Picture. TOS, obviously.

Jim nodded. “Okay. So.”

“So,” Spock repeated, tonelessly.

Jim looked behind him at the crowd bustling past them in the shuttle bay. Going about their business without thought to anyone else. Certainly not an idiot Human and an awkward Vulcan.

“Guess.” He cleared his throat. “Guess I should let you be on your way. Don’t want you to miss your shuttle.”

“Yes.” Spock moved to turn around.

“Goodbye, Spock. Good luck with everything.”

Spock looked back at Jim. “And you as well, Captain.”

Jim smiled faintly. “Jim. You’re not even in Starfleet anymore.”

“That is true,” Spock acknowledged. “Jim.”

“Give my best to your parents.”

“And to yours.”

“Will do.”

This time when Spock turned around, Jim didn’t say anything to stop him. But he did watch his former first officer’s retreating figure until he could no longer see him.

Everything was changing, Jim mused. He was no longer in command of the Enterprise, which was being redone anyway. They’d just promoted Will Decker to Captain and it was his ship now. Jim had been promoted. Basically against his will. But it was what it was.

Bones had retired. Soon Jim’s crew would be scattered all over the galaxy.

And Spock?

Kolinahr, from what he’d said.

Purging oneself from every emotion made some sick sort of sense at the moment, Jim thought, as he turned to leave.

As he caught transport back to HQ, Jim tried to forget the sight of the marks he’d left all over Spock’s skin the very night before.

As Spock would say, Kaiidth.