“Spock’s a total cuddler.”
Jim really wished he hadn’t just heard that.
Uhura, Christine Chapel, and Janice Rand were seated a table nearby in the mess room gossiping, apparently, about their lovers.
“No way!” Chapel exclaimed. “Spock?”
Uhura laughed. “Right? But trust me. He’s been like that since the first time we slept together back in the Academy. It’s so sweet.”
Jim blanched and rose from the table. He didn’t want to hear anymore. This was making his heart hurt and his stomach churn.
Never mind he had no right to these feelings, that didn’t matter.
As he was departing the mess, Bones was about to step in.
“Hey, where are you going? Thought we were gonna have something to eat.”
“I’m not hungry,” he snapped, without meaning to, really, but he knew he had, and he kept going out of the mess and down the corridor to the turbolift.
At least he made it to his quarters before the sting of tears pricked his eyes. And he was angry with himself. So angry he kicked his desk and then paced around the room, wiping his eyes.
This was why he didn’t do relationships.
Jealousy sucked. He absolutely hated this feeling.
After a while he calmed down, but he still ignored the door when someone chimed. He was fairly certain he knew who it would be and he didn’t want to deal with that right now.
He took a shower and went to bed after. Never did have anything to eat.
And when he woke the next morning, Jim was hungry so he shoved a quick bowl of oatmeal into his mouth and headed to the bridge.
Spock was already at his station and so was Uhura. As Jim made his way to his captain’s chair, he saw them exchange a look.
The rest of the ship, Jim stuck to business, only giving short, clipped answers if anyone tried to engage him in conversation. They all soon gave up and he was quite aware as he heard whisperings of the captain’s bad mood.
He practically ran into turbolift and closed the doors before anyone could follow him.
He’d already declined a dinner invite from Bones.
Yeah, he was sulking a bit. And he was still feeling jealous. His mood was dark, so sure, he decided it was better to avoid everyone until he got over it. And he was sure he would.
But after he’d had a chicken sandwich and sat down to do reports in his quarters, he finally answered the chime at his door.
Of course it was Spock. He’d expected that.
Normally Spock would stand in front of Jim, hands clenched behind his back, but this time he approached Jim’s desk, hands outstretched.
“Jim, have I done something wrong?”
“Your word says no but your expression and behavior say otherwise.”
“I…Spock, I don’t think this is working.”
Spock blinked. “What?”
“You and me. I thought maybe we could make it work, but it’s not. Not for me.”
“I do not understand.”
“The jealousy is eating me up,” Jim admitted.
“Jealousy? What are you jealous of?”
“We ended our relationship and—”
“I know. I do. But I heard her talking about how you are a cuddler with her friends.” Jim paused. “You never cuddle with me. And that made me feel like you’ll never love me as much as I love you or even as much as you loved her.”
“I love you more,” Spock said quietly.
“When we began, there was one night that I went to put my arm around you and—”
“I pushed you away.”
“Yes.” Spock swallowed hard. “The last thing I wished to do was give you a reason to-to end things between us, but it appears I have done so anyway.”
Jim closed his eyes briefly. “I’m sorry. I don’t…I’ve never done this. Not like this. And that night I was so overwhelmed by everything I just reacted badly. I didn’t mean to let you think I didn’t want you to touch me after.”
Spock exhaled. “I need you to be honest with me, Jim, and not shut down every time something is bothering you. I am living in constant fear that you will terminate our relationship if I do something you do not approve of or if you are displeased. It is not a pleasant feeling.”
Jim came from around the desk and pulled Spock into his arms, hugging him close. “I’m sorry. I didn’t even realize.”
“I know. Please, when something bothers you or you hear something, talk to me. Tell me how you feel. I cannot rectify it if I do not know.”
Jim nodded against him. “I want you to cuddle me. And I swear I am not looking for ways to end things between us. What I said earlier notwithstanding.”
“There is no one else I want and love like you. There is no need to be jealous. I promise. I will be more than happy to spend all night cuddling you.”
Jim smiled. “Okay. Deal.”
And that night, Jim felt loved and cherished. And yes, cuddled.