Spock found his captain ruminating on the observation deck, where he could usually be found after a problematic mission. Fewer missions were these days, Spock mused. The crew and her officers being far more experienced than their first years. Still, like now, there were times when missions went terribly wrong.

“Hi, Spock.”

He was not surprised Jim knew of his presence even before his footsteps sounded on the floor in approach. Their link was strong, deep, and impenetrable by outside forces now.

“Doctor McCoy advised you insisted on being released.”

“Nothing wrong with me that a few days of sleep won’t cure.”

“Jim, the mission…”

“I know, babe. It’s just…that one was a little rough.”

“Ensign Davers was quite young.”

“Yeah. And will never get older now.” Jim sighed. Turned to look at Spock. “I’m grateful you’re safe.”

“As I am filled with gratitude for your apparent health.” Spock paused. “Come to our quarters. It has been too long since you’ve had anything proper to eat. And you could use a shower.”

“Saying I smell?”

“Certainly not. But your muscles are ill-used. I would like to pamper you. Cleanse you. Take care of you.”

Jim blinked rapidly and Spock knew he was trying to keep the moisture that threatened at bay. He didn’t hesitate any longer. He pulled his husband close, wrapping his arms around Jim and holding him as tightly as he dared.

“Thank you,” Jim whispered. “I love you. So much.”

Spock closed his eyes. “I love you too.”