“Unfortunately, I have already made prior plans for that period of time,” Spock replied.
His newly established boyfriend, Jim Kirk, had asked Spock if he’d care to come to Riverside, Iowa for the short Thanksgiving break they were receiving from Starfleet Academy. Jim planned to take a shuttle to Riverside Tuesday afternoon and then return Sunday afternoon to San Francisco.
He’d explained to Spock that it would be him, his mother, and Jim’s brother, Sam, and his new wife, Aurelan. His mother had a new man she wanted them all to meet as well.
Jim smiled at Spock’s response. There seemed nothing unusual in that smile.
“Oh, okay. No problem.” He paused. “Should I be jealous?”
Spock stared. “Jealous? Of what, Jim?”
Jim laughed then. “That you have plans with someone else.” He laughed again. “I’m only kidding, Spock.” He patted Spock’s arm just like he often patted McCoy’s arm, who at that moment was watching their interaction with narrowed eyes. “I gotta go. Got a class in three minutes and on the other side of the campus.”
“You will be late,” Spock predicted.
“Guess I’d better run then. Bye.”
And Jim was gone. Spock was left with a now glaring Leonard McCoy.
“Are you out of your Vulcan mind?”
Spock had no idea what had earned him that question and he opened his mouth to reply.
“That was rhetorical,” McCoy snapped. “Just what do you have planned that’s more important than Jim?”
Spock frowned. “The importance of my plans has little to do with Jim. It is a science symposium I planned participation in many months ago that takes place in Colorado.”
“Uh-huh. You don’t get it. Jim invited you to meet his family. That’s hugely significant. He has…issues. Family issues, personal ones. This is the first time his whole family has gotten together in, well, maybe never before this. He wanted you to be there. Everyone’s going to have a significant other there except Jim. Can you imagine how that makes him feel?”
“No,” Spock admitted. “Since my attending a symposium is no reflection on my feelings or lack thereof for Jim. To conflate them is illogical.”
McCoy pinched the bridge of his nose. “All I’m saying here, Spock, is you are on extremely thin ice, and you really ought to rethink your rejection of Jim’s invitation.”
“As it was merely a rejection of his invitation and not of him, I cannot agree that it is a cause for concern. My plans for this coming week have already been set for months and Jim seemed all right with that.”
“Yes, he seemed all right, I’ll agree.”
“Look, you figure it out, Spock. Or don’t. But in the next day or so, Jim is going to distance himself from you and you’re going to wonder why and don’t say I didn’t warn you. And I have to go too. I don’t have a class, but I am meeting someone. If I don’t talk to you again, have a good symposium.”
Spock watched the doctor walk away and with a shake of his head, Spock dismissed his words. He and Jim were fine.
Sorry, Spock. I have a bunch of stuff to do and can’t make it tonight.
Spock read the message from Jim in regard to their evening plans. Spock was disappointed as he had been looking forward to spending time with Jim prior to their differing plans over the next few days.
There was, of course, tomorrow night, which would be the night before their Tuesday departure.
Understood. Tomorrow evening then? I will make dinner at my apartment, and we can retire early if that is your desire.
Spock got busy doing other things and didn’t see Jim’s response for a while.
Can’t make it tomorrow either. Really busy. Sorry. See you after the break.
And that set alarm bells off in Spock’s head. Since they’d gotten together, Jim was never too busy for Spock and vice versa. Any moment of spare time they spent together and in fact, Spock was close to asking Jim to share his apartment.
Spock had not spoken in person to Jim since Spock had advised he could not make the trip to Riverside.
Jim is going to distance himself from you and you’re going to wonder why.
Those words played in Spock’s head now. He re-read Jim’s two messages a few times before typing out,
Jim, is something amiss?
And Spock, prior to his “warning” from McCoy would have just accepted Jim’s answer on face value. But now Spock conjured up in his memory that smile Jim had given him when he’d said, “Oh, Okay.”
Now that Spock thought about it, his words were much more. “Oh. Okay.” Two separate words. Not “Oh, okay.” Which the more he thought about it, there was a definite difference, subtle though it might be.
Spock brought up the site for the symposium and found his reservation.
Spock could see the look of surprise on Jim’s face when Jim arrived at his shuttle gate to find Spock standing there, waiting for him, bag in hand.
“Spock? What are you doing here?”
“I am here to accompany you to have Thanksgiving with your family.”
“My plans changed.”
“They did or did you change them?”
“Does it matter?”
Jim shook his head. “Except you didn’t have to do that, Spock. You had something else to do. No big deal.”
Spock exhaled slowly. “I found that I decided it was a…big deal. You are concerned with seeing your family over these next few days, are you not?”
“Well. Yeah. I haven’t seen Sam in…I don’t know how long. Years. I was surprised he was coming. And bringing his wife. And Mom. Anyway, I was okay with you not coming. I can’t blame anyone who doesn’t want to deal with me and my family.”
“Spending time with you is not “dealing” with you, Jim. In fact, perhaps, when we arrive you can announce that you are now living with me.”
Jim laughed. “I am?”
“I want you to.”
Jim smiled and leaned in close to kiss Spock softly, and though Spock did not care for public displays, he found this time, he did not mind.
“I can’t believe you’re here. Thank you. Let’s go.”
Spock turned to go through the gate with Jim.
“Oh and Jim?”
“You have nothing to be jealous about.”
Jim gave him a quizzical look. “Yeah?”
“You will always come first.”