After the Events that dealt with the Melkotians (The OK Corral one where Chekov is killed but is revived at the end of the episode). Now served, AOS Style.

Despite what probably a lot of people thought, Jim actually second and third guessed himself quite a bit. And now as he stood in Spock’s quarters, this was definitely one of those times.

“Spock, come on. It wasn’t your fault.”

“Perhaps not directly, Captain. But I was convinced since it was all an illusion by the Melkotians that Mr. Chekov would be returned to us.”

Jim rubbed his chest, where the ache over the loss of the young ensign made it frankly hard to breathe. He’d thought so too. And he had begged the Melkotians even as they informed the party they’d be sent back to the Enterprise. To no avail. Chekov was gone.

If it was anyone’s fault, it was surely Jim’s.

“Hoping that they’d have the integrity and morality to return him to us is hardly worthy of any blame on your part, Spock,” he said, gently.

Spock studied him through furrowed brows. “Nor do you bear responsibility.”

“Well.” He shrugged.

“Jim.”

“As his captain, I bear some. But ultimately, I know it was the Melkotians, Spock. I accept that, because I must.” He paused taking a deep breath. “But if there is one thing that all of this has taught me is life really is…I mean…there’s so much time we waste on nothing and I…just don’t want to do that anymore.”

Spock frowned minutely. “Captain…”

“I don’t want to go another minute without telling you that you…” He paused to gather his nerve. “You mean the world to me.”

“You are quite important to me as well.”

Jim smiled. Nodded. “Yeah. I mean, that’s great, and I know. But you mean, well our friendship…and I’m really glad about that, Spock. I am. And in the past, maybe just yesterday, I would have just gone, cool, that’s great. I’m glad we’re on the same page, but you mean more to me than anyone I’ve ever known, Spock. You aren’t just my-my best friend, though you are, and my most trusted officer, you are that, too, there’s just no one I admire more than you. Your intelligence and integrity, your will power. You’re just amazing. And I get to know you and care about you and it’s just…it’s everything.” Jim bit his lip. “Are you getting this?”

“I believe that I am.”

“Yeah?”

“And it is the same for me.”

Jim laughed, shook his head. “No. I’m trying to say I’m in love with you.”

“I know.”

“And I’m not trying to make you uncomfortable or anything and I definitely don’t expect you to…what?” Jim stared dumbfounded at Spock.

Spock arched a brow. “As I said…it is the same for me.”

“Are you saying…”

“I believe I am speaking Starfleet standard.”

Jim took a step toward Spock who took a step toward him.

“Spock.”

“Jim.”

He rushed at Spock then, who seemed to rush at him. Then they were kissing, and yeah teeth clacked together, it wasn’t exactly smooth. His fault, of course, because this was Spock and oh my God.

He laughed and pulled back, touching his fingertips to Spock’s lips, which bled a little where Jim’s tooth pierced it.

“Sorry, got a little eager.”

Spock’s lips turned upward. “I am not really complaining. I have waited a long time for that. For this.”

Jim’s smile brightened. “Yeah? Me too.”

“How about I show you?”

And Spock pulled him close, lips gentle on his.