Notes: Another thank-you fluffshot for everyone being so epic of late. So another five-and-one job, but with a twist. There's no one. (Also, I made up the quote that begins this fic. Please don't thieve it without permission, as it is taken from one of my original works.)
Five times Jim was made certain of how much Spock loved him.
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek 2009, and I make no profit from this work.
"The most obvious declarations of love aren't the big things, like proposing, or getting married, or having a baby. Any idiot can go down on bended knee. Any drunk can have a Vegas wedding. The whole species has been breeding without being in love for a very long time. No, love is smaller than that. You know you're loved when he cancels a trip to look after you when you're being pathetic with a cold, or when you get a footrub because you looked moody when he got in from work. So he forgot your birthday - so what? The flowers will turn up eventually - and if he loves you, during the match and all."
Jim didn't realise how significant it was until they visit the New Vulcan colony, almost two years after it was set up. Until then, he figured that Vulcans slept together the same way humans did - he was disabused of that notion when, on a tour of Spock's new family home (despite the fact that Spock never lived here and, most probably, never would) he noticed the bedrooms.
"Where's the master bedroom then?" he asked, well out of earshot of Spock's father, and waggled his eyebrows in a comical fashion. Spock didn't smile, but Jim could sense his amusement all the same.
And a tinge of confusion.
"Yeah - the big one with the double bed."
Spock's expression became understanding. "Vulcans do not share sleeping quarters, Jim."
Jim was brought up short. "You...what?"
"Vulcan do not share sleeping quarters."
"Oh really?" Jim rolled his eyes, not believing it for a minute. "So who's that in the other half of my bunk every night, huh? Sulu?"
"I should hope not."
Jim snorted with laughter at Spock's obvious disapproval of the idea, and shook the image out of his head.
"That as may be, Jim, Vulcans do not share sleeping quarters with one another. The only exceptions, usually, are that a mother may sleep in the same room as a new infant if the child is sick or premature, to ensure immediate assistance is there should the infant experience difficulties in the night."
Jim frowned. "So...adult Vulcans never...sleep together?"
"Not typically," Spock said. "They slept in the same room, at my mother's insistence, but rarely in the same bed."
Jim glanced aside to check that Sarek wasn't within hearing range - or, at least, hoped he was good enough to judge how far that was for a Vulcan - and leaned closer. "So...when you sleep with me...that's not...normal, for you?"
"Considering that I sleep with you every night, it is most certainly normal for me."
"Yeah, but why do you do it, then? If Vulcans don't? Why don't they?"
"In sleep, the Vulcan mind dreams in a similar fashion to the Human mind. In touch-telepaths, there is no guarantee of privacy and Vulcans typically choose to sleep apart, to protect their privacy and to ensure miminal disturbance due to the mind-touch of another."
Jim took a moment to translate it, then frowned. "Wait, you pick up my dreams?"
"It has...happened before."
"Doesn't that wake you up?"
"Not usually, although I often experience changes in my own dreams that must be attributed to your mind."
"And that disturbs you?"
"But you just said it did."
"Vulcans can find the intrusion disturbing," Spock conceded, voice as flat as if he was delivering a biochemistry lecture. "However, I have found that I experience less disturbance when sleeping with you than I do when separated from you. When I am with you, you have reported that you experience fewer nightmares, and your emotional wellbeing is improved. I...find the improvement to be 'worth it', as humans would say."
He delivered it as dryly as any report, and yet the words did something odd to Jim's stomach. With another glance, he determined that Sarek wasn't around, and pressed a hasty kiss to Spock's cheek, lingering for a moment to breathe in the faint, precious scent of his partner.
"Thank you," he whispered.
They didn't speak of it again.
Jim knew enough about Vulcans to know that they selected a familiar place to meditate, and stuck to it as much as possible - usually their own homes, and nowhere else. It eased the meditative trance, to be in familiar settings and not to have to be as alert for potential hazards. Often, they even stuck to the same time of day to meditate - Spock would usually meditate after alpha shift, to restore any lost control during his working hours, and process his day. After learning this, Jim had never turned up early for a chess game to disturb him again.
So to return to his quarters after a harrowing double-shift, and find Spock sitting beside his bed, with neither his mat nor his candles, and yet quite obviously meditating, was more than a little surprising.
Spock rarely - if ever - meditated in front of Jim. And he had never meditated in Jim's quarters before. Never mind that he slept there every night of the week, and they shared every meal possible either in the mess or in private...he just did not meditate here.
Jim didn't disturb him. He went through his own evening routine as quietly as possible, taking care to step around the motionless Vulcan, and eventually went to bed without disturbing him.
It felt...good, somehow, to receive that trust, to have Spock willingly so vulnerable in front of him. It exposed him more than sex, in a way, leaving him completely open and defenceless to Jim. It was a display of trust that Jim couldn't imagine being brave enough to give, never mind being cherished enough to receive, and it made his heart stagger in the middle of his chest.
He woke when the fans kicked it up a notch in the night, and blearily registered the warm body wrapped around him, the heavy arm over his waist, and the timpani-drum heartbeat throbbing against his back where their skin fused together in the heat.
Jim remembered smiling widely in the dark for a moment.
Once again, they never spoke of it - but after that, it became a regular thing.
Jim managed to punch the wall of the shower four times before he heard the door of the hotel room snap shut and a familiar tread on the carpet. He got in a fifth hit before the bathroom door opened, and a sixth hit before a cool hand was wrapped around his wrist and a bare, welcome chest was pressing up against his back.
He turned in those arms and buried his face in the side of Spock's neck, already dripping from the shower. "It's a fucking media circus out there!" he exploded into the smooth skin, and then quietened when Spock wrapped him up in a firm, certain hold and began to rub soothing patterns into his back.
"I would still prefer it if you did not take out your frustrations on the shower wall."
Jim conjured up a smile from somewhere, but didn't reply. For the longest time, they simply stood under the hot spray, locked together, and when Jim's brain finished running through all the annoyance bubbling under the surface, he belatedly realised that Spock had been rocking them - very slightly, but rocking them all the same.
"Thanks," he murmured. "I needed a hug."
Spock said nothing. After a moment, Jim leaned back and peered up at his serene face, frowning suspiciously.
"You hate water showers," he said flatly.
"Hate is a..."
"You hate them," he repeated insistently. "You're like a damn cat with them. You won't even think about it. I got a frown last time I suggested taking a bath together! What the hell are you doing in here?"
But he already knew, and Spock said nothing.
Jim hated being the hero that saved Earth, sometimes. Sure, it meant free stuff and admiring looks and being inspiring and shit...but it also meant this.
They'd been given a five-month shore leave on Earth while the Enterprise was getting her refit. Spock's father had been ill, so he'd gone almost immediately to New Vulcan to see to him. Jim hadn't been able to go - duties and shit - but he'd insisted Spock did. Family came first.
Spock had countered that, in the wake of their new bond (three months old and getting stronger every day) Jim was also family, but had eventually succumbed to Jim's logic (for probably the first and last time) and had gone.
That was all fine. Jim was honestly okay with all of it.
The media circus waiting to see if the Captain and the First Officer of the flagship would finally give some photographic evidence of their relationship was not okay. Even when it no longer mattered - it was legal and official and everyone who wanted to know could just check the public records - the media were intent on getting a picture for their tabloids, and Jim hated it.
Mostly because, for God's sake, cultural sensitivity, people! Vulcans did not do PDAs. They were intensely private people - and that right there, of course, was why the media was so damn interested in getting said picture.
Still, flashbulbs or not, Jim couldn't help from striding forward and throwing his arms around Spock in an exuberant hug the moment his bondmate appeared out of the arrival gates.
"Sorry about the media ridicule," he said, drawing back quickly and taking Spock's bag before the Vulcan could voice a protest. "They must have got wind you were on this flight. But don't worry," he added, dropping his voice to a whisper. "The minute we're back home, I'm going to kiss you until you can't breathe."
"I see," Spock said evenly, pausing about halfway between the arrivals gate and the way out. When Jim stopped and turned back to him curiously, Spock's hands were already aiming unerringly for Jim's head, and suddenly he was being kissed as if they had been separated for years instead of nine weeks.
Cameras began flashing eagerly, and Jim couldn't bring himself to care.
Jim stared at the thermostat on the wall of his quarters, and turned incredulously to the Vulcan stripping by the bed.
"Did you tape the controls into place?"
"I could just rip it off."
"I would simply utilise other methods to ensure the temperature remains at that level."
"Spock," Jim said, dropping into his 'coaxing' voice. "I'm not leaving it there. It's too cold for you."
"To raise the temperature would result in your discomfort," Spock replied flatly, drawing down the covers and easing into bed. He was still stiff and bruised from yesterday's away mission, but healed enough that Jim couldn't feel guilty at openly staring at those long, graceful limbs and that flat, hard abdomen.
"Sure," Jim shook himself out if it. "But I'd rather have me overheating a bit than you freezing. Especially when you're not fully fit yet."
"I fail to see what bruises have to do with the matter," Spock replied.
"The point is you're not comfortable anyway," Jim said, stripping down dutifully at the look Spock gave him, "and keeping the temperature that low is just going to make it worse."
"The temperature will not result in my discomfort," Spock said, catching Jim's wrist as soon as it was within reach and drawing him forcibly to the bed and away from the thermostat.
"Spock, you'll be shivering by oh-two-hundred."
"Negative," Spock said, pulling Jim insistently into the bed and proceeding to settle them both for the night, plastering himself along Jim's side and settling his dark head into the hollow of Jim's shoulder. "Your body heat is quite sufficient."
Jim settled an arm around Spock's back, considering it. He knew damn well that this was for his comfort. He often woke up sweating in Spock's quarters, and had objected loudly to Spock turning the heat down. But Spock was always cold everywhere on the ship. Surely he should get some respite in their rooms?
Jim tightened the arm in a hug. "If I wake up and you're cold, I'm turning it back up. Okay?"
Spock made a faint noise of assent, and Jim sighed a kiss into the glossy dark hair at his shoulder.
"You love me," Jim murmured, his voice a ghost in the dark.
"Of course," came the faintly indignant reply, equally soft, and drifting away into sleep with a faint hiss of the final 's.'