“What exactly were you thinking?”

“Uh-oh, I’m dealing with Grumpy Bones.”


Jim chuckled. Okay, sure, he was feeling pretty good considering he’d nearly been killed. It was no doubt the pain meds he was being given. Happy Juice.

“I was thinking that I ought to save the life of a very important serving officer of Starfleet. Very valuable.”

“Did it occur to you that description applied to you too and should leave that to your security guards?”

“Nope,” he said cheerfully.

“Nope?” Bones shook his head and jabbed Jim with a hypo. That Happy Juice was magic. He hadn’t even felt that. “Well, you are the captain of this bucket of bolts, you know.”

“Sure, sure. But Spock could take over.”

“Spock does not want to take over,” Spock himself said stoically as he approached Jim’s biobed. “And he does not appreciate you risking your life unnecessarily.”

Jim waved this away. Or he thought he did anyway.

“Someone had to save you, Sweetheart.”

Spock flicked his glance to Bones, who shrugged. Then Bones walked away and Spock moved closer.

“How do you feel, Captain?”

“Like all my blood drained out and then got put back in.” Jim smiled and held out his hand, which Spock took. “How are you feeling, Sweetheart?”

“I am feeling well, thanks to your actions that prevented my injury.”

“Well, good. You are welcome, Sweetheart.”

Spock frowned.


“That is the third time you called me sweetheart.”

“And? Oh, I know! You prefer another endearment. Honey? Baby? Sugar?”

“Sweetheart is acceptable. But you have…that is…you have never called me an endearment before.”

“No?” Jim licked his lips. Shook his head. “We are doing it, yeah?”

Spock nearly laughed. Jim could see the twitch of his lips and the merriment in his eyes.

“Yes, Jim. Although not at the moment,” Spock said gravely.

“Okay then.” He paused, arched both brows. “You don’t like endearments?”

“Actually, I find that I do.” Spock touched the tips of his fingers to Jim’s. “I have one for your.” He leaned down and whispered it int Jim’s ear.