A Shore Leave Thing

Originally Posted June 13, 2015. Some people were disappointed that Spock needed nudging by Bones in this story to go to see Jim for shore leave, but in my opinion, Spock’s behavior was in character.

Mylocka provided artwork

Jim signaled to the bartender for another one and tried not to let his disappointment get to him. It was what it was. Just because he’d had other plans didn’t mean he was going to say a word. There’d be other opportunities. Not as good as this one, maybe.

“Jim?”

He forced himself to smile at Bones when his friend sauntered up to him at the bar just outside the transport station on their shore leave planet, Sedonia. 

“Hi Bones.”

“Where’s Spock?” Bones asked with a frown.

“Oh.” Jim gestured to where Spock sat in a booth across the room with a group of other Vulcans. “When we got here they were here. Spock got excited to see them.”

“Spock got excited?”

Jim smiled. “Yeah. Well, more than usual, anyway. They’re only here for a couple of days. Staying at the hotel just down the street. They invited Spock to join them.”

“And he accepted?”

“I could see he wanted to, so I told him to go ahead.” Jim sighed.

“But-but the mountain and the cabin.”

Jim’s stomach rolled over. “It wasn’t meant to be.”

Bones knew Jim had planned this time with Spock at this snowy cabin—Sedonia boasted many areas similar to Earth—and Jim had hoped to tell Spock he was in love with him. As far as Jim knew, Spock didn’t suspect his romantic plans. He had just thought Jim invited him because Bones would be busy with Carol. Jim had let Spock believe that.

Jim had spent a lot of time second guessing his plans anyway. He’d told himself that there was an eighty-five percent chance Spock had a thing for him, too. After all, since Spock broke up with Uhura, he and Spock had been spending even more time together.  But as the time for shore leave got closer, Jim began to wonder if he had calculated wrong. After all Spock had informed him he would be staying on the ship and not going on shore leave.

Jim had then advised Spock he wanted to invite him to the mountain cabin. Spock had not experienced snow and had informed Jim he was unsure he ever wished to do so. With a little whining, Jim had finally gotten Spock’s agreement. But it had been reluctant. Jim decided he most certainly had calculated wrong about Spock returning his feelings.

And then they’d run into the Vulcans and Spock had suddenly gotten excited about shore leave.

Bone squeezed his shoulder. “I’m sorry, Jim. I know you were looking forward to this.”

“Ah, well. It’s almost time for my transport if I’m going to make it there tonight.”

“You know if you don’t want to do that by yourself, I’m sure Carol won’t mind if you come with us.”

And Jim was just as sure she would mind. But would pretend she didn’t for Bones. Nope, no way.

“Bones, I’m fine. You and Carol go have a good time.”

Bones seemed reluctant, but he said, “Contact me if you change your mind. And check in with me at least once a day.”

“A bit excessive don’t you think?”

“No.” Bones sighed. “See you soon.”

Jim smiled. “Yeah.” After Bones left, he paid for his drinks, and headed out to the transport, where a superfast train would take him up to the mountain resort. He’d spared one last glance at Spock, but his first officer was deep in conversation with the other Vulcans. Obviously not sparing a thought for Jim.

****

By the time Jim arrived at the cabin that would be his for the next four days, he had stopped at a store for provisions, including food, coffee, and some firewood. Some alcohol, too. Something had to keep him warm.

As he was putting his groceries away it had begun to lightly snow. He started a fire after that and settled down into the couch to read one of the books he’d brought with him.  

He could have changed his plans and gone with Scotty, Chekov, and Sulu. They had no romantic plans and planned to spend their time in the party town of Sedonia. Which is what Jim would have normally done.

Four days of no one but himself for company didn’t exactly appeal and Jim wondered if he wouldn’t be so bored after the first or second day, he’d just return to the Enterprise.

He eventually put his book down, made himself some dinner, and then after watching the snow fall for a bit, he went to bed…alone. As usual.

****

By the next afternoon, Jim was ready to give up and return  to the Enterprise. He’d read, he’d gone for a long walk in the snow, he’d played some computer game on his PADD, he’d checked in with Bones. He was bored and lonely and sad. Not that he wouldn’t be on the Enterprise. Some. But at least he’d be with his lady there.

He looked up the transport trains for the next day, figuring he’d tough it out one more night. There was one leaving at ten the following morning. Jim planned to be on it.

It was just getting dark and Jim had been wondering if he should get up and make dinner. He had little enthusiasm for the idea. He’d already finished half a bottle of vodka. Or what passed for vodka on Sedonia, anyway. He was lying on the couch, staring at the ceiling. It had been snowing heavily most of the afternoon and promised to continue well on into the night. As a kid he had loved the snow. Which was one of the reasons he had hoped to share this with Spock to show him how romantic it could be. What an idiot he was.

He started to half-doze when there was a knock on the door to the cabin. At first he ignored it, thinking he was hearing things. But after three persistent knocks, Jim stumbled up from the couch and to the door.

Spock stood on the other side, his cheeks looking slightly green and storm whipped. His dark hair was dusted with snow. He held a small bag in his hands.

Jim just stared at him. Maybe he was still asleep and he’d conjured him up in his dream.

“I believe I was invited,” Spock said when Jim still continued to stare at him.

“Uh. Yeah.” He stepped away so Spock could come into the cabin. He closed the door and leaned against it. “I wasn’t expecting you.”

Spock’s eyebrow shot up. “Who were you expecting?”

“No one.” Jim frowned. “Weren’t you supposed to be staying with those Vulcans you met?”

“Actually I was supposed to be staying with you. I am gratified you allowed me to visit with them for part of our shore leave.”

Jim shook his head. “Allowed? You don’t answer to me when you’re on shore leave. You can do whatever you want. You could have stayed with them.”

“That would have been unfair to you as I had already agreed to come here.”

He smiled without humor. “Spock, it was all right. You didn’t have to come. Really. I’m planning on returning to the Enterprise tomorrow morning anyway.”

“You are discontinuing your shore leave?”

Jim shrugged. “It wasn’t what I hoped it would be.”

Spock put his bag down on the floor. “You are unhappy.”

“No, I’m fine.”

Spock stepped close. “You are not. I see it in your eyes. You are unhappy with me.”

“That’s not true,” Jim denied.

“I apologize,” Spock said softly.

“For what?”

“Disappointing you for your shore leave.”

“You didn’t.”

“It was not my intention,” Spock continued, despite Jim’s denial.

“You didn’t even want to come. It’s fine, Spock.”

Spock stared at Jim for so long that he would swear Spock was looking through to his soul. “You are mistaken. But obviously I have failed to make you understand.”

Jim frowned. “Understand what?”

“I did wish to come here with you. Not because of the snow or the cold. But because I wanted to spend the time with you.”

“Well, I…wait. You did? You do?”

“Affirmative. I should have explained that I intended to arrive this evening. I did not think you would choose to end your shore leave.”

“I just-being by myself was not what I had in mind,” Jim admitted, swallowing hard. “The truth is, I wanted to tell you—”

“You have romantic feelings for me.”

Jim smiled a little, licked his lips nervously. “Yeah.”

“It was not necessary for you to tell me during our shore leave. The news would have been welcome on the Enterprise.”

“Wait. Welcome?”

Spock shook his head. “Have you not guessed I share those feelings?”

Jim grinned. “Well, I had and then I hadn’t.”

“That is nonsensical.”

“That’s me. Nonsensical.” Jim put his arms around Spock’s neck. “Thank you.”

“For what?”

“Coming here. Not ruining my shore leave.”

Spock’s lips turned up at the corner just slightly. “So you are not planning on returning to the Enterprise tomorrow?”

Jim shook his head and leaned forward to kiss Spock. “Not if you’ll stay here with me.”

“I will stay,” Spock assured him. He glanced toward the kitchen. “Are you hungry?”

Jim kissed along Spock’s jaw. “Uh-huh.”

“What do you wish for dinner?”

“Later,” Jim whispered in Spock’s ear. “There’s a bedroom.”

Spock shivered. “Indeed.”

“And in that bedroom is a really big bed.”

Spock closed his eyes.

Jim’s tongue flicked the point of Spock’s ear.

“Dinner can wait,” Spock announced. “Captain.”

“Yes, Commander.” Jim pulled out of Spock’s arms and drew him toward the bedroom.

****

Spock opened his eyes to find that it was daylight, at least judging by the white light streaming through the slats of the window blind. He had not intended to spend the entire evening and night in bed with his captain, but it had ended up that way. They’d never had that dinner. Spock couldn’t find it in him to regret that.

Presently, Jim lay on his side, facing toward Spock, eyes closed, lips slightly parted. His blond hair was a bit on end and there were pillow line creases on his face. He was beautiful.

Spock had never expected to be here. While it was true he would never leave Jim’s side as long as either of them had breath, he did not expect to be in his captain’s bed…ever. It had never made logical sense for them to be romantically involved, no matter Spock’s deeply hidden regard. And yet…here they were.

Jim’s eyelids fluttered and then very slowly opened, blue eyes staring in confusion at Spock. Spock waited as the confusion cleared and the sleepy haze from those eyes cleared completely.

“Is it morning?” Jim asked, voice still rough from sleep. For some reason Spock found that quite appealing.

“It is. We missed dinner.”

Jim chuckled, which Spock also found appealing. But he had found Jim’s laugh appealing even before coitus. “Well, hell.”

“You are regretful?” Spock asked with an arched brow.

“Are you crazy?”

“I have had numerous psychological exams which indicate—”

“Spock.” Jim shook his head and smiled. “I don’t regret any of last night. I am hungry though.”

“We shall have to have a hearty breakfast,” Spock agreed.

Jim nodded but his smile faded which caused Spock’s heart rate to speed up.

“What is wrong?”

“Nothing. This is real, right? I’m not dreaming?”

“It is quite real.”

“And this isn’t just a shore leave thing?”

Spock frowned slightly. “A shore leave thing?”

Jim’s fingers touched Spock’s jaw. “Something where when we get back to the ship we pretend it didn’t happen and we go back to the way we were before. Like a vacation fling.”

“Is that what you wish for this to be?”

“No,” Jim whispered. “I want forever.”

“I am sure you are aware that Vulcans do not do shore leave things.”

Jim smiled. “Does that mean you want forever too?”

“I will accept nothing less, Jim.”

“Breakfast?” Jim asked as he kissed Spock.

“Mmm. Later.”

****

“Doctor,” Spock said to McCoy as they both left the transporter room upon their return to the Enterprise.  

“Spock.” Dr. McCoy glanced at him. “What’s on your mind?”

Jim had stopped to speak to the transporter chief about something and Dr. Marcus had gone in the opposite direction of Spock and Dr. McCoy.

“I am forced to offer you my gratitude.”

“Oh?” McCoy smirked.

“You were correct in your assessment on Sedonia when you suggested that I join the captain for shore leave rather than continue visiting with the Vulcans that I met there.”

“Didn’t want you to miss the opportunity, Spock. Not sure you would have been given it again. Not with Jim.”

“He is a remarkably stubborn human,” Spock agreed.

“Something you share with him.” McCoy stopped outside sickbay. “Congratulations, Spock. I mean that.”

Spock studied him. “Yes, I can see that you do. Good day, Doctor.”

“See you, Spock.”

Spock returned to the transporter room just as Jim was stepping out. Jim smiled. “Have you been waiting out here?”

“No, I have returned after having a brief meeting.”

“Oh yeah?” They began to walk toward the turbolift. “With who?”

“Dr. McCoy.”

“You had a meeting with Bones?” Jim shook his head as they got onto the turbolift. He set it to go to the bridge.

“Indeed.”

Spock could tell Jim wanted to ask him what the meeting was about but he did not.

The doors opened onto the bridge and Spock went toward his station as Jim went toward his chair.

“Mr. Sulu, take us out.”

“Aye, Captain.”