The Children Shall Lead is my absolutely least favorite episode of any Star Trek series but it has this moment, and thought I’d work with it. I have left it rather vague as to whether this is pre-slash or slash, you can decide.

Jim had been avoiding Spock ever since the events surrounding their rescue of the children from Triacus and their being controlled by Gorgon.

He was embarrassed, frankly, by his loss of control in the turbolift when he clutched Spock and wailed that he was losing control. He felt decidedly…unmanned. And in front of the worst possible being he would want to feel so inferior to.

So every chess match Spock had suggested, every meal he usually took with his first officer, Jim avoided it. Avoided Spock.

How could he face Spock after that?

But if there was something Spock was, it was determined.

And on the fourth night of Jim avoiding all personal interaction with the Vulcan, there was a persistent buzz at his door.

Somehow even before he asked the computer to identify his visitor, Jim knew.

“Let him in.”

Spock entered as soon the door slid open, stepping inside with hands linked behind his back.

“Captain.”

“What can I do for you, Mister Spock?”

“I came to inquire about the continuance of our chess game.”

He almost said he had given up the game, but no.

“Very well.”

They got into their respective positions, and remained silent for the first half, but eventually Jim’s mouth runneth over and he heard himself apologize.

“Spock, listen, I want to apologize.”

“Apologize, Captain?”

“For…my recent behavior. In trying to avoid you because I was embarrassed.”

“What were you embarrassed for, Jim?”

“In the…turbolift. I may have…I did have a bit of an emotional overreaction, which I appreciate your assistance with, but I may have gotten a little too…touchy feely.”

Spock quirked a brow. “I have never expressed dissatisfaction with your touches of my person.”

Jim smiled a little. “No. But if I made you uncomfortable, I’m sorry.”

“You didn’t. Those were extenuating circumstances,” Spock replied. “With some seriously challenging children.”

Jim chuckled. “Yes. Thank you, Spock. I feel much better about things.” Spock nodded. “Very good, Jim. Checkmate.”