It was their first shore leave together, and Jim was more nervous than a Klingon in a room full of tribbles. He couldn’t even believe that Spock had agreed to go on shore leave with him; their relationship was slowly improving after a rocky start (rocky? Ha! That scarcely described the moment when Spock tried to choke him, not to mention when he dumped Jim’s ass on that ice planet), but despite some improvements, Jim still wasn’t sure if he and Spock could be friends, let alone anything more, as the old Spock on Delta Vega had implied.
Day One was a bore. Jim spent the entire afternoon trailing around behind Spock in a geology museum, looking at one case full of rocks after another. Jim really tried to be “fascinated” by the assortment of boulders, but he wasn’t, and Spock knew it.
Day Two was a disaster. Jim had managed to find a dude ranch, and he introduced Spock to his first horse. It was loathe at first sight. The damned horse scraped Spock off his back a half-dozen times before Jim finally agreed to return Vulcan-Hater the Wonder Horse to the barn.
Day Three was a total horror story. Klingon opera? Who the hell could enjoy sitting through a Klingon opera, especially one sung by a bunch of beefy women who looked like they could eat a Klingon without so much as a dollop of ketchup? Jim got it that Spock loved music; hell, Jim did too. But Led Zeppelin was music. This was noise—really loud, irritating Klingon noise.
By the end of the catastrophe that was Day Four (Jim had arranged for a picnic, but it turned out that Vulcans were violently allergic to potato salad. Good thing there was a well-equipped medical clinic nearby), the two sat in their hotel room staring glumly at each other. Finally, Jim sighed.
“I’m sorry, Spock,” he said. “I guess there’s nothing we both like to do.” He got up and wandered out onto the balcony, staring into the night sky. It was a beautiful evening, warm and still, with a sky full of stars and the scents of wildflowers and pine filling the air. Jim sighed again. It would be a perfect night if only…if only.
Spock stood behind him. Jim turned around slowly.
“I think there is one activity we might both enjoy.” Spock moved closer. His hands reached to rest on Jim’s shoulders. He leaned in and their lips met. Spock drew back and the dark eyes, suddenly shy, met Jim’s.
“Am I…correct in my assumption?” he asked softly.
Jim grinned and backed Spock off the balcony and into their room.
“Absolutely correct, Commander,” he murmured, as his fingers found the buttons on Spock’s shirt.
Days Five, Six, and Seven were enormously successful.