“You might as well quit mooning, Jim-boy. It ain’t gonna happen.”
Dr. Leonard McCoy, bourbon in hand, stood next to his best friend Jim Kirk at the Enterprise Valentine’s Day dance. Despite many invitations to dance, Jim had spent the last hour ‘standing in the corner like a goddamned wallflower’ as Bones put it. He was staring across the dance floor, watching Commander Spock and Lt. Uhura as they moved together, cheek-to-cheek.
“It’s just not in the cards,” Bones continued. “You’re not going to win Uhura away from the hobgoblin.” He slapped Jim on the back. “God knows I can’t figure out what she sees in him, but they’re happy, and she’s not going to trade up.”
Jim forced a smile. “Yeah, Bones,” he said quietly. “You’re right. I’m never going to have a chance with Uhura.” And I don’t want one. It’s Spock. It’s always Spock.
McCoy wandered off to the buffet, and Jim stayed in his corner. He watched as Uhura, laughing, reached up and patted Spock’s bangs back into place after a particularly lively fox-trot. He watched as they enjoyed a slow dance together. While Spock always seemed quite reserved, Uhura was apparently loosening him up enough to tolerate some public displays of affection, at least where she was concerned. They were in love. They were happy. Great. Just fucking great.
For the last year, ever since Jim had taken over the Enterprise, he had fallen slowly, inexorably, fatally in love with his half-Vulcan First Officer, the man who’d tried to have Jim’s ass thrown out of the Academy, the man who’d tried to strangle Jim on the Bridge, the man who had become the best damned First Officer in the Fleet, the man who…
Who had no idea that his captain was in love with him and could never find out. Hell, if Spock did find out, he’d simply be bewildered at the illogic of it. Jim Kirk, the biggest ladies’ man in the Fleet, in love with a Vulcan male? Jim didn’t fucking get it himself, and he was the one experiencing the emotion. All he knew was that he loved Spock, loved everything about him, would have willingly died if he could have done so in Spock’s arms.
And he would never have him. Spock would continue to serve the Enterprise admirably and love Uhura. And Jim would stand in the corner and watch.
Jim sidled along the wall and slipped out the door. He’d had enough for one night. Time to retire to his lonely bed.