Humans are illogical, often unfathomable creatures.
Spock stared down at his reflection on the desk behind his PADD and allowed himself a small frown as he read over the words he’d added to his Officer’s Log. He tapped the screen, changed ‘unfathomable’ to ‘incongruous’ then stared at the cursor for an additional 1.43 seconds as his thoughts tapered off.
In almost all other things, his mind was a thing of logic, of order. Yet...
Spock's breath caught briefly in his esophagus as his eidetic memory supplied an almost painfully familiar face- quick flash of bright blue eyes, impish lips quirked in an impish smirk.
The Captain was one of the few beings that could be counted on to take that well-ordered logic and, to use a human colloquialism, turn it on its ear. Were Spock apt to subscribe to the frailties of human emotionalism, he would readily admit that it was rather frustrating.
Spock attempted to process the unfamiliar feeling in his side, near his heart. He did not know how to diagnose this arrhythmia. It was... most perplexing. Even doctor McCoy could not give him a satisfactory explanation. The CMO quite obviously thought that Spock had lost most of his mental acuity, given the way he snorted and smirked at him when Spock tried to explain. The doctor often made curious sounds; grunts, groans, snorts, and mutters, all of which made him sound like the rather bad-tempered sehlat he resembled, but this one had rankled for reasons that Spock was not fully prepared to explain at this time.
Yet when Spock had described his malady, McCoy's reactions had reminded him rather strongly of his own mother's when she had attempted to explain some aspect of humanity that had escaped Spock's understanding. Perhaps with more sarcasm than his mother's own wry amusement, but the sentiment was the same.
Confused, Spock had gone to Nyota. Even though they were no longer involved romantically, he still counted on her advice in all matters. Spock had only just begun relating this recent odd anecdote, when Nyota's entire face had shifted, trembling for a moment in something Spock had no trouble identifying as anguish before becoming strangely blank.
"You..... after everything, you want me to explain what ... your feelings mean?” She had blinked at him, her wide, beautiful eyes rimmed with the beginning of tears. Spock had not understood how he had erred, but that his error was the reason for Nyota’s pain. That was unacceptable. Spock had attempted to rectify his mistake, even though he did not understand it, which had resulted in two tears tracking slowly down her flawless cheek, and that had left Spock uncomfortably aware of his own alien nature; gauche and underdeveloped towards common sentiment. The two of them had been called to a staff meeting, and the matter had not been brought up again, despite Spock’s rather aggressive attempt to apologize.
Nyota had not responded, except to suggest that he might wish to write down his thoughts. Spock had researched the matter and as expected, Nyota’s advice was logically sound. Her advice was often exceedingly helpful, much like his own mother’s had been.
Clearly there are several nuances of human emotionalism that continue to escape my comprehension. Given a certain expectation for error given these particular idiosyncrasies, there is still an expectation for success given various observable instances. My first data set had been gathered from my observations of my relationship with Nyota. She prefers human kisses to Vulcan kisses. She is quite forthright when she feels the need to bestow a kiss, and is rather vocal when I do not readily respond. Her lips quirk, her cheeks flush, her eyes darken slightly as the pupil expands. Her breathing rate increases marginally. She will touch me 13% to 56% more often before she wishes to bestow affection upon my person.
Based on this particular observable data, I attempted to extrapolate a theory regarding Jim Kirk. Yet this, as in all other things, Jim is his own anomaly. I fail to understand how I could be incorrect in my assumptions, for Jim displays all the same tells of attraction as Nyota. Jim’s lips are often quirked with amusement, often at my expense. I do not mind, as in all respects his smile is visually pleasing. His lips are quite chapped and as a result his tongue can be found most times gently passing over the bottom lip in a way that I find most pleas--
Spock blinked. He did not like to think about Jim’s mouth. It made his own heart rate spike. Often Spock would feel the very tips of his own ears flush a dark green as blood rushed to his extremities as he thought of that particular part of Jim’s body.
--ant. His pupils dilate most often when we have a more vocal difference of opinion. Jim does not disagree like a Vulcan would. His eyes are vibrant, often snapping in anger.
Spock briefly looked heavenward at his own words, disgusted.This is what his confusion had driven him to. Figurative Language. Spock stood up and tugged down his uniform shirts with a sharp jerk of his wrist. He began pacing, taking eighteen precise steps to the far side of his quarters, only to turn and walk the exact eighteen steps back.
This was intolerable. How did humans deal with this many conflicting emotions all of the time? Starfleet had several different species, yet there were forty--seven percent more humans. Spock found it unsurprising that it took ancient Humanity so very long to achieve warp technology. With this much emotionalism overriding what logic they possessed more or less constantly, when would they have found time to make such applicable achievements in science and technology?
At the thought, Spock stopped walking. Clearly he needed to organize his own thoughts before he passed judgement on someone else’s. Spock paused to prepare himself for meditation. It took only moments for him to get his implements ready.
Vulcans, as a rule, did not need much in order to meditate. It was, after all, an exercise of the mind. However, Spock found a measure of calm in unpacking his robe from the small chest near his desk. The material of the chest was cured from cacti once found on Vulcan, and it had belonged to his brother Sybok. Spock had received it on the occasion of his first fistfight with his yearmates. It wasn’t until much, much later that Spock understood why Sybok would find it logical to commemorate that particular date. There was a small compartment that held herbs and incense and Spock inhaled deeply, the sharp scents of home allowing him to focus his thoughts inwardly.He placed the woven mat in the center of his quarters, quickly stripping and dressing himself in the robe. Spock allowed himself to go deeply into his own mind,centering the whirling dervish of his thought processes in something rooted more in logic than human sentiment.
When he emerged, slowly opening his eyes, Spock was startled to see Doctor McCoy sitting there, sprawled on Spock’s settee, hands crossed over his stomach as he stared thoughtfully where Spock knelt.
“So, it occurs to me that it was kind of a dick move to laugh at you earlier, Spock.”
Spock chose not acknowledge this. He ignored the doctor, slowly reversing the ritual of setting up his meditation implements.
“So I thought about your symptoms and I think that I have figured out a way to help ya out.”
Spock was instantly suspicious. He paused in packing away the incense, arching one eyebrow in the Doctor’s direction. “Why would you wish to do this?”
“Hhhum. I didn’t really. Figured you could handle your own damn business. Then ‘bout the time that Jim came to me all wild-eyed, freaking out that you apparently planted one on him in the middle of a mission I figured that I should help you two out- otherwise it’s gonna be a long five years.”
Spock could not hide the wince. He turned his back on his guest and began redressing in his Science Blues, taking excessive care to smooth out any wrinkles. Spock opened his mouth, only to close it with a small click of sound. He forced himself to square his shoulders as he walked to his desk, quickly saving and exiting his First Officer’s Log. “Your facts are skewed. It was not in the middle of the mission.”
“Oh, excuse me, princess prissy pants. So you’re telling me that you saw Jim lying there in a pool of his own blood, and thought that the proper medical procedure to revive him would be to play tonsil hockey ‘till his wounds magically closed?”
Spock tilted his head confused at the appalling image brought forth by the Doctor’s words. Hockey was a sport played by early Twentieth century ice enthusiasts. How would one use their tonsils to...? Oh.
Spock felt his face turn an unhealthy shade of green and quickly bowed his head over his PADD. The doctor huffed in response, which did absolutely nothing for Spock's embarrassment.
"I have no comment on that at this time." There was a statistical improbability that Spock would ever feel it necessary to comment on that matter, but the Doctor need not know that.
"Aw, I get it. You were relieved that he was alive. All that adrenaline and dopamine running around like a cat with its tail on fire, screwin’ with your good sense.... bound to happen. Ya can't help how ya feel."
Spock drew his shoulders tightly, sitting with his back ramrod straight. “There is no cause for insults, doctor.”
That actually caused McCoy to smile. “Not tryin’ to be insulting, Spock. Just saying that you surprised him is all. You kissin’ freaked him out.”
Spock now could put a sensation to the idiomatic expression ‘one’s heart drops to the floor.’ Some of this must have shown on his face- it only took moments for Jim Kirk to destroy his years of iron-willed control- because the doctor’s face went from mildly amused to sympathetic in moments.
“Shit! No, I didn’t mean it like that you damn literal hobgoblin. Just that Jim still thinks that you and the Lieutenant are together, and then he finds himself kissing back-”
“Lieutenant Uhura and I have not been romantically involved for six mon--”
“Yeah! Well you didn’t exactly take out a damn ship-wide memo, now did you? The kid is an idiot. I mean, he’d have to be to be batshit crazy about you of all people.”
Spock processed this, then simply stared at Doctor McCoy.
McCoy rolled his eyes and held up a hand. “Okay, so in the spirit of the season and all, I’m gonna be your little bit of Yuletide good luck.”
“To what season are you referring? I can think of no sporting events happening on this ship, neither do we experience climate change based on a planet’s relationship with the sun. There is no game to be hunted here... although, He considered, “Hunting is not an unapt metaphor.”
“Okay, smartass. You want my help to fix your little issue or not?”
Spock was certain that the Doctor was not being facetious. Since the incident with Khan and Jim's subsequent death, McCoy had been quite a bit friendlier towards Spock in general. He was almost pathologically protective of Jim's well-being (a fact which absolutely did not cause Spock anything resembling jealousy whatsoever) and would do nothing to hurt him either physically or emotionally. Spock could extrapolate that McCoy's assistance would be vital to the success of his endeavor.
McCoy's smile turned a trifle alarming. "Then trust me. I have a plan. "
There were delicacies and foods from all of the cultures on the Enterprise. It was beneficial to have shipwide access to every person’s religious or cultural traditions, and Spock could easily see Nyota’s deft hand at organization to ensure that no one person would feel unwelcome. Spock knew of no other Captain who met his or her crew’s emotional needs for togetherness as well as Jim Kirk.
McCoy just said that the kid liked to party.
Either way, Spock was briefly overwhelmed by the onslaught of music and smells that wafted out of the soundproofed room as he and McCoy entered. “Apparently Nyota and Chekov were in charge of the festival. Looks like they did a helluva job.” McCoy looked around at the transformed appearance of Hangar C, one of the few places on the Enterprise that was not currently being utilized for ship’s business.
“Indeed.” Spock was unclear as to why his throat felt strangely tight, as he would never stoop to such blatant juvenile human emotionalism as nervousness. He had been forced to regulate his body temperature twice so that he would not sweat. While Spock would not say that he minded a sheen of sweat on the golden skin of Jim’s body, he was also aware that his own was not remotely attractive.
Spock blinked rapidly, calling his thoughts to order. He saw Nyota standing near an elaborate ice sculpture of the Sun goddess of D’Arsay. She was dressed in blue, and looked quite aesthetically appealing. She was speaking to Commander Scott, and Spock who now felt that he was rather an expert on identifying signs of arousal, noticed that both of them had flushed cheeks as they gestured emphatically towards one another. Spock had just decided not to interrupt when Nyota caught his eye and smiling, beckoned him over.
"Hello Nyota. It is a pleasure to see you."
Spock knew his conversion was stilted, but after his perceived blunder from last week he didn't want to further strain their relationship. To his surprise, Nyota leaned over and kissed him on the cheek, the light, floral scent of her perfume tickling his nose as it had always done.
“Excuse us a moment, Scotty.”
“O’course lass.” He pulled out a small silver flask that Spock was under orders from Jim to immediately disregard, as there was a 98.342% chance its contents came from the still in engineering that the two most senior officers could not officially know about. Commander Scott patted his flask and settled onto a small couch in the corner. “We’ll be just fine. Ye’ll come find me when your business is concluded, yeah?”
Nyota’s whole face lit up in a way that hit Spock almost viscerally. She nodded to Scott and glanced over towards Spock, only to raise one slim eyebrow. Spock waited until they were mostly free from prying eyes before speaking. “I had not realized until just this moment that I have not seen you smile with such fervor in far too long. I do hope that I can be the first to congratulate you and Commander Scott.”
“Oh, Spock. That’s very sweet. And I’m not exactly sure if there’s much to congratulate yet, but...” she trailed off, smiling softly. “It is nice to feel tingly over someone again.”
She laughed and stood on her tiptoes to hug him. “Yes. Tingly. You know, when your heart is all over the place and you can’t catch your breath just thinking about someone.”
Spock felt floored. How could she possibly know? Was this ... tingling... obvious? Did others know of how laughable his emotional control really was?
“And Spock? I wanted to apologize for ... well. I’m sure you know.”
Spock did not feel as though he would venture a guess at this time. He learned that lesson quite early in their former relationship. “I would not presume to say.”
For some reason this caused her to laugh quietly. “Okay well, Leonard told me you had an agenda for this evening, so I’ll try not to talk your ear off.”
Spock just barely checked the urge to touch the tip of his ear. “That is appreciated, Nyota.”
“I just wanted to say that I’m not upset. I do love you Spock, you know that. I always will. It just wasn’t until then that I realized that I wasn’t in love with you anymore. I mean, there’s not much you can do when you feel that connected to someone, you know. You just have to ride it out and see where it goes.” Nyota rolled her eyes. “Ugh. God, I sound like a bad holovid.”
“So that is your advice then? To ride--”
“Spock I swear to god if you finish that sentence...”
Spock’s lips twitched. “You were speaking figuratively, then?”
Nyota took a rather large sip of her drink. “You know, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen you like this too, you know. You're sure that you want to do this? Big gesture, entire crew, the whole thing?”
Spock cocked his head to the left, staring down at her. He gave her question some consideration before answering. “I believe...” Spock trailed off, scanning the the large room for either McCoy or Jim. “I believe that only a gesture, as you term it, this big can even touch the depth of regard that I feel for him. He is... essential, Nyota. To everything that I am.”
Nyota blinked rapidly, and Spock shifted slightly on the balls of his feet. “I did not intend--” he began, concerned.
“Oh, Spock. I know.” She threw her arms around him again, hugging him hard. “That was. I just. Good luck, okay? I think I see him right over there, by the deserts.”
Spock patted her arm and kissed her cheek in farewell, slowly making his way across the crowded floor. His vision tunneled in on Jim speaking to Dr. Marcus by a table full of delicate fairy cakes. He could not hear them speaking, even with his superior hearing, but their body language was clear enough. Marcus pointed up at the ceiling, and Spock felt his heart give another arrhythmic beat in his side. He hastened his step, only to watch as Jim grinned and shook his head. Spock caught the word “regulations” before he arrived in their vicinity, ducking behind the rather robust chocolate fountain to Jim’s left. Spock felt strangely floaty. He made a mental note to do a diagnostic on the gravitational systems.
“Oh, well it’s a quaint custom, is it not?”
“I guess.” Jim took a drink of his punch and shrugged. “Bones practically insisted that I stand here through. Said he’d meet me here, but god knows where that guy is.” Jim scanned the crowd, looking for his erstwhile friend. Spock, who knew that McCoy had no intention of being anywhere in the vicinity of the desert table for at least an hour, attempted to remember that he was a master of thirty-two varieties of inter-species martial arts, and all of them required some aspect of courage, and he should really marshall his own before Dr. Marcus managed to talk his Jim into some nefarious activity.
If there were any nefarious activities going to be happening this evening, Spock wished fervently that they would include him. Marcus looked down at her communicator and looked startled for a moment, before darting her gaze around the vicinity and quickly hiding a smile when she caught Spock standing awkwardly behind the chocolate fountain.
“Right then. Have a good evening, Jim.”
“You too, Carol.”
They said goodbye and Jim stood there surveying his crew with a small smile on his face.
Spock allowed himself a deep breath before stepping from behind the chocolate into Jim’s line of sight.
“Spock!” Predictably, Jim’s cheeks flushed slightly.
“How is your evening?” Spock’s conversation was more than stilted now.
“Not.. bad. Just waiting for Bones.” Jim wouldn’t look him in the eye. Spock would have panicked slightly, but McCoy had warned him of this eventuality.
“I would like to formally apologize for my unprofessional behavior. I have forwarded the appropriate sexual harassment forms to your PADD, and should you wish to persue--”
“Sexual. What. Spock! Whoa!!” Jim took a small step forward, flailing his hands around slightly as he attempted to get Spock’s attention. Spock could not help but notice that it was most fortuitous that Jim’s movement brought him directly under where the small plant hung from the ship’s ceiling. Spock opened his mouth, only to have his words come tumbling out, one after another, completely disregarding the planned speech he and McCoy rehearsed.
“It has also come to my attention that at the time our last encounter, you believed me to be in a sexual and/or romantic relationship with Nyota. We have not been in such a relationship for six months, seventeen days and two hours. I do know that you have only supposition to go on, but I do wish that you understand that I would never mislead you in this matter.--”
“-- and at the time I was very relieved that you were alive, Jim. But that does not condone my reaction and I wish that you accept my apology.” Spock forced his mouth to stop moving and stood there, his hands white-knuckled behind his back as he clutched his own wrist, his fingers ice cold and foreign feeling.
Jim blinked, sucked in a long breath and let it out slowly. He held up one finger, opened his mouth, then appeared not to know what to say.
Spock attempted not to feel discouraged, but it was to no avail. He did not use the planned speech, and therefore Jim was not reacting in the manner to which Spock had wished.
Spock started to turn away, desperate to leave this place, when he felt Jim’s hand on his bicep. “Spock--. You know... it’s a Human Earth tradition to kiss under the mistletoe, so uh..” He stopped, muttered something under his breath that sounded a lot like a mumbled ‘fuck it’ and leaned over to kiss Spock full on the lips.
Spock felt hot. No, cold. His heart shuddered in his side at the way their lips slid together slightly, before they adjusted well enough to kiss properly. Spock felt ... tingly. Nyota’s description was apt. It took them a moment to decide who was going to lead the kiss, but once the two of them figured it out a hot spark of arousal caused Spock’s logical brain to stall, lost utterly in sensation.
They broke away to utter silence from their crew. Spock could have cared less.
“Spock? I think they noticed.”
“You are incorrect. They are most likely appalled that I was kissed unfairly. I am not standing under the mistletoe. However, I feel that it is important to adapt to cultural norms. ” Spock nudged Jim slightly back (when had his hands come to rest so naturally on Jim’s hips?) and leaned down to brush his lips against Jim’s, once, then once more for good measure. There was much he wished to say, but these kisses seemed much more important.
“Oh, good grief. You two are disgusting There ain’t enough alcohol in the world to keep that from my mind.” McCoy’s voice broke the stunned silence of the crew.
Spock would have commented, but he was busy memorizing the nuances of the press of Jim’s lips to his own. He’d wanted this since he’d realized Jim was lost to him, had sacrificed himself for the needs of the many. Since he realized in one instant how empty his life would now be. Spock pulled away when he heard Nyota’s wolf whistle, and the excited babble of noise crescendoed over the shocked silence of before.
Kissing through Jim’s delighted grin was a new experience, and Spock did not want to miss one instant of it.
Just perhaps not with this much of an audience.