Jim was moving rather slowly around his quarters, looking a little bleary-eyed. Spock had brought him coffee. And breakfast. Jim took a few sips of coffee and ate a bite of the toast, but otherwise stood in front of his wardrobe without taking out his command tunic. He did, at least, have his trousers and boots on.

Spock pushed him gently aside and pulled out an undershirt, which he handed to Jim.

After another hesitation, Jim nodded, and pulled it on over his head.

“I am guessing perhaps I serviced you rather too enthusiastically last night and you are uncharacteristically tired,” Spock commented.

Jim slow blinked and turned to stare at Spock. “You what?”

“Last night, I think I wore you out.”

Those blue eyes turned to shards of glass and then narrowed. “You…what?” he repeated.

“Bridge to the captain.”

Jim wrenched a command tunic off a hangar and pulled it on over his head as he made a move to the comm on the side of his wall.

“Kirk here.”

“We’re close to making orbit around Zetya 4, Captain.”

“I’ll be right there, Mr. Sulu.”

And then, like that, Jim turned and exited his quarters, Spock trailing behind him.

Spock could admit he was, perhaps, slow to understand Humans and their subtleties. And he didn’t understand that entire day that he had, in any way, miscalculated.

Even when Jim stopped outside his quarters, gaze still unexpectedly hard, and said, “I’m going to go to bed early after getting some reports done. Goodnight.”

Spock thought the behavior odd, yes, because since they had become a couple, he’d spent every night with Jim, sometimes only sleeping, and so to be basically told he was not welcome to spend the night with Jim, was not the norm, but it did not give Spock undue pause.

In the morning, he found that Jim had already risen and been to the mess before Spock had left his quarters and Jim was on the bridge.

And did not turn around even to look at him.

Strange but not entirely alarming.

But after shift, when Spock expected to accompany him to the mess for the evening meal, Jim let him know that wasn’t going to happen.

“I’m having dinner with Lieutenant Barkley.”

Spock paused, considering. “Lina Barkley?”

“That’s right.”

Lina Barkley was a particularly attractive female who Spock knew had a thing for Jim. He didn’t think they had ever been intimate but Spock didn’t know for sure. He didn’t know all of Jim’s paramours.

“Perhaps I could join you,” Spock suggested.

“I wouldn’t want to make you uncomfortable. See you.”

And that was such an obvious dismissal Spock was taken aback.

Later, when he went to see about spending the night with Jim, all comms and attempts at the door were soundly ignored.

That was now two nights he was not allowed to stay with Jim. In the two months they had been together there had never been such an occurrence.

Spock was getting to the point where he was going to have to ask for Nyota’s advice as to what he had done to displease Jim. But first, he thought he would try the simplest thing and ask the man himself.

So after shift on the third day, he accompanied Jim to his quarters, ready to speak to him about it.

But when they got to the door, Jim turned abruptly and looked at Spock with that same hard glint.

“Sorry, Spock. I don’t need to be serviced tonight. See you tomorrow.”

And the door was closed in his face.

Spock closed his eyes and leaned his forehead against the closed door. He knew that Jim wasn’t going to open the door willingly. Jim could be so stubborn.

But neither could Spock leave it this way between them.

He didn’t like to cross to Jim’s quarters via their shared bathroom, but he didn’t think he had a choice this time.

And when he walked into Jim’s quarters from the bathroom, predictably, Jim turned sharply. He appeared to be in the middle of pacing and he stopped short, eyes narrowing, jaw clenching. He was definitely bracing for a fight.

He would not get one.

“Jim,” Spock said softly, gently. “If it has been a few days since I told you this, then my lack of sensitivity is at fault, but not my deeper feelings, which have not changed. I cherish you. I love you. More than I ever thought it possible to love another.”

Jim blinked, clearly not expecting what Spock came to say.

“You are my heart. I would do anything for you. You are my leader, my friend, my lover, my mate, my home. And if my foolishly spoken words of a few days caused you to doubt that, I humbly apologize. They were meant to be lighthearted, but I see that you did not take them that way.”

“Spock…”

“I service you, you service me, there is no shame in that, and it was not meant badly. Loving you is a pleasure and never ever a chore. Will you forgive me?”

“Oh, Spock.” Jim huffed and then rushed at him, embracing Spock and pulling him close. Spock began to relax. “I’m the one who’s sorry. That word…it just…it has bad memories and I took it completely wrong.”

“I will not use it again, I promise.”

Jim nodded and pulled back to look at Spock. “And for the record, I feel the same. I love you so so much. Loving you is a pleasure for me. And you’re my home.”

Spock hugged him, allowing himself the full feeling of relief. “May I stay here tonight?”

Jim laughed. “Yeah. I’ve missed you. God, I’m such a self-punishing idiot.”

“I ask only that in the future should I say something to distress you, please tell me.”

“I’ll try,” Jim said. He pulled back but grasped Spock’s hands. “Want to have dinner?”

“Yes. But can we eat in tonight?”

Jim smiled. “Yeah, I don’t want to see anyone but you.” And he pulled Spock with him to the replicators to make their choices.