“How long is this going to go on?”

Jim tilted his glass back and took a large swallow of the burning whiskey. “Hmm?”

Uhura sighed and took a drink from her own glass. She flicked her head in the direction of the group across the room. “How many days?”

“How many days what?”

“Captain, you’re so tedious like this. You and Spock not speaking. How many days so far?”

“You’ve got your nose all up in everyone’s business. You probably know.”

She snorted. “Four days.”

He smirked. “See?”

“You know he only spoke up because he is your friend and is concerned for your safety as both your friend and your first officer.”

He finished his drink. “Are you through?”

She sighed again. “Yes.”

“Excellent.” Jim rose from his seat and without looking back at Uhura he went up to the table where Spock sat with a group made up of his science department. “Commander.”


“Can we talk?”

Spock excused himself and they moved to the side of the room. Jim shifted awkwardly, not looking at him.

“So, uh, listen. I guess maybe I overreacted, so for that, I’m sorry.”

“I accept,” Spock said quickly, “and offer my own apology for stating my point in an abrupt and insensitive way.”

Jim nodded. “Okay. So, if you, I don’t know. Want to play chess—”


Jim glanced at him. Nodded again. “We could do it in my quarters or—”


Jim blew out a breath. “Uh. All right. See you there in a few minutes then.”

He left the rec room and headed for his quarters. It felt better to be talking to Spock again, but he couldn’t deny he still felt…stiff and awkward. Kind of like they had just before it all went to shit on Altamid.

He dreaded returning to that non-friendship.

Only a moment later, Spock appeared, requesting entry, so Jim let him in.

“Spock, I think we need to talk more,” Jim said as soon as Spock entered. “Look, I feel that…things are kind of off with us. Maybe that’s why it was so easy for us to get into that big fight, I don’t know. But I really don’t want to return to the way things were with us when you wanted to leave.”

“I did not want to leave. I felt it was my duty to—”

“Yeah, I know. That’s semantics, Spock.”

Spock’s dark eyes darkened, if that were possible. “You wished to leave also.”

He nodded. “I did. And…I just don’t want us to reach that point again. Where we’re barely friends.”

“I do not wish that either.”

“I know I have an issue, Spock, and I am working on it.”

“An issue, Captain?”

Jim exhaled. “I have these feelings surrounding you and I’m…I know they need to go away or at least be controlled.”

“What feelings?”

“Lord, you don’t intend to make this easy, do you? Soft ones. Feelings that go beyond friendship, I guess, and I’ve had them a long time, so I know a whole bunch of this is my fault because of my inability to deal with it, but I don’t want it to be awkward between us because of unwelcome feelings on my part.”

Spock sucked in a breath. “And if they are not?”


“If your softer feelings are not unwelcome, what then?”

Jim’s jaw dropped open. “Spock, what are you saying?”

Spock stepped close, but his hand on Jim’s face. “I share your softer feelings.”