The roommates again…I might keep writing the rest of this month’s flashes about them so that when they are finished, I can post their entire story on AO3.
Spock stood staring at the message board for Academy Cadet roommates for far longer than he should have. It was an odd concept to Spock anyway. Archaic. And in all likelihood, he did not wish to trade any of those seeking a dorm mate with Jim. If he truly was going to vacate his dorm room, it would be for an apartment of his own, not for another person bound to cause Spock consternation.
“Hey, what are you doing?”
And speaking of…Jim had saddled up next to him and was now gazing at the board. He blinked a few times, and then, Spock clearly saw, plastered a smile on his face, and turned to Spock.
“You aren’t looking to ditch me are ya?”
The jovial manner in which Jim asked indicated that Jim was trying to be lighthearted about it.
But Spock struggled with a reply, because, indeed, he was.
The smile slipped, barely, but there was a tiny huff of breath. “God, you really are, huh? I was just joking but…”
Spock shook his head. “I am not really looking for another dorm mate. I am considering moving off campus to an apartment.” He hesitated. “I surveyed the board on the chance I would find a suitable replacement for you when I vacate.”
Jim tugged his bottom lip with his teeth. “Vacate? Well. Why?”
“When I first submitted my application for the Academy I was uncertain whether dormitory living was for me and had anticipated the point when I would prefer an off campus dwelling. I am not really a communal sort.”
Jim nodded at this. “Okay. Well, we can find an off campus apartment. There’s a building about a block or so down from the Academy. That would probably suit us.”
Spock’s stomach hurt. As it often did if he had to face something emotionally uncomfortable. Jim was certainly not making this easy. But then, Spock found that nothing was particularly easy where Jim was concerned. He simply could not continue living with a roommate he was…infatuated with…and did not share that infatuation.
Spock exhaled carefully. “I would not wish to burden you with the unexpected cost of an apartment.”
Jim shrugged. “Oh, I’m not worried about that. I can cover that.”
“But…” Spock paused, searching for words. “You enjoy the camaraderie that comes with communal living spaces.”
“Sure, but…” And then there was that little huff of breath that somehow made Spock’s stomach hurt worse. “Oh.”
Spock turned to look at Jim, fully, though reluctantly. Thus far he had been able to avert his gaze under the pretense he was still studying the message board. And now he wished he had continued to do so, because all openness in Jim’s beautiful blue eyes had shuttered like he had slammed down a door. Spock’s stomach pain increased tenfold.
“No, I get it. It’s fine, Spock. It’s just that…I thought we were getting along pretty well.”
There was the barest twitch of Jim’s lips. “And yet, you want to ditch me.”
“That is not…”
Jim held up his hands. “No need to fall all over yourself trying to explain. I know I can be a bit much. And probably especially for a Vulcan. But I-I don’t have a lot of friends, not real ones anyway, and I thought…nah, never mind. I’m not trying to make you feel bad. Just let me know when you move out, okay?”
Jim turned and began to walk away.
And Spock really, really ought to let him. But at that moment, he was so emotionally distraught and out of his element, that he almost doubled over from the pain. And he could not, would not do it. No matter how much in…infatuated he was with Jim.
“I wish for us to get an apartment together,” Spock called after Jim.
He saw the moment Jim’s shoulders tightened and he very slowly turned around. Those eyes were still shuttered which Spock found he did not like at all.
“Yes. If you will accompany me, we can go to that apartment building you mentioned, and select a place together.”
Jim stared at him a moment without a word. Then, “Are you doing this because you feel sorry for me?”
No, because I love you.
Jim surprised him with a hearty laugh. “It’s cool. I’m totally onboard with whatever works. Let’s go get that apartment.”
And Spock found himself matching steps with Jim, who grinned at him, as they made their way off campus to find a new place to live…together.