Spock knew his silence was bothering Jim as they made the journey to New Vulcan. He knew it by the furtive glances Jim kept throwing his way.
But the truth was Spock was at a loss what to say to Jim, what to say to anyone, really.
He was, of course, grateful for Jim’s support and offer to go to New Vulcan with him. He hadn’t really wanted anyone else to go with him, though Nyota had half-heartedly offered. The end of their romantic relationship, finally for good, had been too recent and too raw for both of them, and though he had appreciated that she had even bothered to make the suggestion, he was just as happy to be able to say that Jim had already pledged to make the trip with Spock.
But Spock’s nerves were raw and he entirely blamed his human side for the difficulties he now experienced.
He had been waiting for Jim to initiate conversation with him, because Spock was well aware that it was nearly impossible for Jim to remain quiet. It just wasn’t in him.
Generally, Spock was amused by this and even entertained. His relationship, his…feelings…had definitely changed over time. But just then he had trouble finding amusement or entertainment in anything. He wondered if he simply did not answer Jim, if he would drop it.
Apparently not. Jim had reached over to squeeze Spock’s arm. Spock’s gaze met Jim’s and what he saw did offer him some comfort.
“It’s going to be all right, you know.”
Spock blew out a breath. “I know that I am being altogether…” He almost said ridiculous but substituted “illogical, but it simply never occurred to me that my father would have another wife after the death of my mother.”
“Mm. I can see that. But maybe he got lonely. I don’t know. But there’s also the…uh…you know…the unmentionable.”
Spock gave his captain a look. Pursed his lips. “I only mentioned that aspect to you out of duress and I did ask you to forget it.”
Jim smiled, but it was a gentle smile. He tapped his temple. “Got a good memory, I’m afraid.”
Spock’s stomach fluttered and he knew this was absolutely not the time to discuss this at all, given the circumstances, but he’d been putting it off for so long that it was like an elephant in the room, as humans would say, and they still had hours to go before they would reach the colony.
And anyway, if what Spock wished to happen, what he thought was the case, that everything was completely returned, then Jim would have needed to know all that Spock told him at some point anyway.
“That knowledge may serve you well in the future,” Spock said quietly. “But I ask that you make no direct reference to it when we meet with my father and his new wife.”
“I know that, Spock. I’m not that much of a doofus.”
Spock’s attention drifted elsewhere for a moment, but he was still keenly aware that Jim watched him. Finally, Spock put down the tea that he decided not to pretend he was drinking any longer.
“Jim, I am grateful for your company at this difficult time.”
“That’s a declaration of love right there if ever I heard one.”
Spock blinked at him. “A-a what?”
Jim shook his head. “Are we really going to continue to dance around the fact we’re hot for each other?”
Jim rolled his eyes. “That’s your scandalized tone, but there’s no one else around us right now. Am I mistaken?”
“I don’t see anyone either.”
Jim’s laugh was soft, lilting, very welcome even in these times. “That’s deflection and not at all what I was referencing.”
Spock closed his eyes and leaned toward Jim in their shuttle seat. “You are not mistaken.”
“Good. Listen, we’ll get through this together. I know what it’s like to have a stepparent. Hopefully she’s better than Frank.”
Spock looked down at his clenched hands. “She is three quarters Vulcan only. But considering our circumstances…”
“What’s the other quarter?”
His heart clenched. “Romulan.”
“Spock,” Jim whispered and put his hand over Spock’s.
He shook his head. “She is, of course, not responsible for Nero’s murder of my mother in any way and yet I…”
Spock looked up and met Jim’s gaze, saw the shared sorrow there. “We share that our parents were both murdered by Nero.”
“Yes, and he was a Romulan. But not all Romulans. Things are…tense with them still. I know. And there’s the neutral zone to deal with. But your father, he found something to like in her, yeah?”
Spock nodded. Moved closer to Jim. It was the absolute worse time to begin a relationship of his own with his captain, his best friend, the man he admired over all, and yet…it was also the best time.
He turned his hands over to put his palm against Jim’s, thrilled by the warmth and the beginning of…everything.
Jim smiled and despite being Vulcan, despite his nerves, Spock smiled back.