“Captain, it was never my intention to—”

Jaw tight, body rigid, his captain glared daggers of ice at Spock. “I don’t want to hear it, Commander. Get out.”

Spock stood just inside the door to Jim’s quarters. That his captain was extremely angry he made very clear.

“But—”

“I said get out. That’s an order.”

Spock tugged down his Science blue shirt, pursed his lips, and wondered if it was worth arguing further. Based on the cold fury in Jim’s eyes, he decided not. With a nod, he exited Jim’s quarters and went to his own.

Once there, Spock changed out of his uniform into much more casual attire, regulation pajamas. Then he went into the bathroom he shared with Jim, opened the door to Jim’s quarters and walked in.

Jim, arms folded in front of his chest defensively, gave him a look. It was mildly less hostile than before.

“Jim, may I speak?”

Jim turned away and walked over to his own wardrobe, pulling off his own uniform shirts. Spock waited. When he had pulled a T-shirt on, he turned back to Spock.

“Okay.”

Spock allowed himself to feel some relief. “It was never my intention to challenge your authority in front of the crew. I was out of line.”

“Yes.”

Spock approached Jim where he stood. “There is no finer captain in Starfleet than you. And there is no one I respect or admire more both as my commanding officer and as my friend. That I made you doubt that, I regret immensely.”

“Okay, Spock,” Jim said softly. “I forgive you.”

Spock felt that it should not be that easy and he wondered if indeed it was not. But Jim’s gaze was softer and more open than it had previously been.

“I will not do it again,” Spock promised.

Jim’s lips twitched. “Oh you probably will.”

“Jim—”

“But right now, we’re not captain and commander. We’re Jim and Spock. Off duty, out of uniform, out of words.”

Spock’s brows furrowed, but then cleared when Jim stepped close. Spock closed his arms around Jim and pulled him close. Jim’s arms came around Spock as he buried his face into Spock’s neck. Spock closed his eyes, grateful for Jim’s forgiveness and understanding. It was quite difficult managing a relationship with your commanding officer and made more so because that officer was Jim. Their relationship would never be easy for Spock. Or for Jim, he suspected. But it was more than worth it for both of them.

“I love you,” he whispered.

“I know you do,” Jim replied. And it was as good as Spock would get. He knew that. Jim had not yet said those words to Spock, but Spock was patient. They would come.