A little TOS, post-mission, pre-Motion Picture

“Are you going to stop him?”

Jim smiled faintly. “Stop him? No.”

Bones made a frustrated sound. “Why not, Jim? You’re just going to let him walk away? Leave Starfleet? Walk away from you?”

Jim looked at Bones. In the last year of the five year mission, Bones had been looking older, more haggard. They probably all did. The last five years had taken their toll on all of them. He wasn’t at all surprised Bones had announced to him that he planned to retire. He was done with space, he said.

“Yes.”

“I don’t get it, Jim. Why don’t you call him back right now?” Bones grimaced. “I can still see the back of that stupid hobgoblin. With his Vulcan hearing—”

“No, Bones.”

“But don’t you want to tell him how you feel?”

At this Jim deflated some. “I’m guessing he knows and is leaving anyway.”

Bones made an ugly face. “Wait. What? He knows?”

“I’ve not made my feelings a secret for the last year. I can’t give Spock what he wants.”

“Which is?”

“A life devoid of drama and emotions.” Jim shook his head. “That’s not me. We both know it.” Jim shrugged. “So.”

“And what do you intend to do now?” Bones demanded. “If you aren’t going after him.”

“I’m not. Why are you so passionate about it anyway? You’ve never even liked Spock.”

Bones scowled. “Well. I don’t dislike him. And if he made you happy…but now, well, you’re saying he doesn’t?”

Jim put his hand on Bones’ shoulder. “I’m saying, let it go. I’m not going to force Spock to be with me, Bones. And as for me? I have a promotion ceremony to attend.”

“Still can’t believe you’re going to be Admiral Kirk.”

“Me either. But I had little choice. Come on, Bones. There’s time for us to have a drink.” Jim paused. “I really need one.”