Spock sat before the terminal in the captain’s quarters. In the corner by the closet, Jim was pulling off his command tunic and undershirt, and reaching into the drawer for a T-Shirt.

“Hey, babe?”

And that still took some getting used to. It was not unpleasant. Not at all. But the casual way Jim used an endearment for him was…exhilarating in a way he wouldn’t have imagined.

Curious.

It did not matter whether Jim called him babe, baby, honey, sweetheart, or whatever silly thing he came up with, Spock liked it. And he found that he liked it, craved it even, was completely and utterly illogical.

“Yes, Jim?”

“You think the crew knows about us?”

Spock paused before he answered, choosing instead to watch as Jim struggled into his T-Shirt, admiring the exposed chest and abdomen of his lover.

“Spock?” Now Jim smirked at him, clearly noticing Spock’s admiration.

“You refer to their obvious observation of us earlier in the mess room?”

“Uh-huh.”

“Yes, I suspect that at least some of them have surmised we are together.”

“Does that bother you?”

“Not in the least. Does it you?”

“Nah. I mean they were going to find out eventually. I’m not going to want it to be a secret.” Jim came over to the desk and looked down at what Spock was doing. “Reports?”

“They are past due.”

Jim sighed. “I know. But you shouldn’t have to do them for me. I can do them if you want to move.”

“I don’t mind attending to them, ashayam. Go ahead and have your video conference with your mother. I will work on these.”

“Yeah?”

“Of course.”

“Ashayam? That’s new. What is it?”

“It is…babe.”