Jim woke up and for a moment following his rather fascinating Spock dream, thought that it was Spock in the bunk with him. He snuggled closer, hoping to get back to sleep for at least a little while, and very reluctant to move away from Spock. He grinned sleepily.
"Goddamnit Jim," McCoy said loudly. "I'm a doctor, not some glorified teddy bear, get off me!"
That outburst effectively jarred Jim out of his sleepy euphoria. "Oh, sorry, Bones. I'll get out of your hair."
"Damn right you will," McCoy grumbled. "But not so fast, we need to talk first."
"No we don't," Jim replied, grabbing his somewhat-crumpled uniform tunic from the desk and pulling it on over his undershirt. He did his best to straighten out his pants and began pulling on his boots.
"Yes we do," McCoy patted the bed next to him, and Jim, knowing better than to disobey that tone, obediently sat. "Good boy, now," he looked at Jim intently, as though expecting answers to write themselves on his face. "What's been making you so miserable lately, Jim?"
"I haven't been miserable," Jim replied a little too quickly.
"Yeah, don't try to bullshit me, I know you," Bones rolled his eyes. "You've been so miserable it's been affecting your sleep. That's a medical issue, and it's my job to fix it."
"Yeah well, there's nothing you can do," Jim said glumly.
Bones opened his mouth to respond but his door chose that moment to chime. "Oh goddamnit someone wants me to kill them... Come in," he called out loud enough for the person outside the door to hear.
"You're not worried about looking unprofessional?" Jim asked.
"There's only one person insane enough to be up this early," McCoy said as Spock entered and then froze in the doorway. "Morning Spock, what can do for your crazy self this morning?"
"I can assure you that I am not ‘crazy', Doctor," Spock said stiffly.
"Maybe not, but you're sure driving me there," Bones rolled his eyes. "What can I do for you?" he repeated.
"The captain wished to be informed as soon as we were in orbit around planet Ifesti, which we arrived to approximately eight point seven minutes ago," Spock said, his eyes glued to Jim, who was still struggling to pull on his second boot. "He was not in his quarters and the ship's computer informed me that he was here. I became concerned that he was ill."
"You were concerned huh?" McCoy teased with a vicious grin. "Well isn't that new?"
"It is my duty to ensure the continued health of the captain," Spock said, back ramrod straight.
"Of course Spock," McCoy sighed. "Okay you," he clapped Jim on the back. "Party time's over, but we're continuing this discussion later, you mark my words, mister captain."
"Yes Bones," Jim rolled his eyes, and after finally successfully pulling on his boot, stood up. "Well Spock, look likes it's time to welcome some Ifestians, god that is an awful name, aboard."
"Indeed," Spock saved one last icy look for McCoy and followed is captain out of sickbay.
Bones watched them go and he thought he was beginning to see what was going on between his two... friends. McCoy used the word loosely when it came to Spock. Regardless of his relationship with either of them, it was pretty plain to see; Spock was completely in love with Jim, and Jim was completely in love with Spock. And both were completely in denial. McCoy rolled his eyes; he wondered what it would take to shake them out of it.
"So what exactly is the diplomatic necessity this time again?" Jim asked Spock as they made their way to the bridge together.
"The Ifestians put much store in festivities," Spock reminded him. "That is the reason for the party Lieutenant Uhura and Nurse Chapel have been planning this week."
"Right, I forgot about that stupid party," Jim sighed. "I guess I'd better pull out the old straight jacket, then." He hated his restrictive dress uniform.
Spock raised an eyebrow. "I was under the impression that you were fond of all forms of merriment, Captain."
"Not when I feel like I've been hog-tied into a jacket," Jim grumbled. "But I guess it's not so bad since I don't have to suffer through it alone. What are your feelings on your dress uniform, Mr. Spock?"
"I am Vulcan, I do not possess ‘feelings' such as the ones you speak," Spock informed him. "I also feel it is my duty to inform you that it is illogical to have any feelings attached to an inanimate object."
Jim snorted. "Yeah, of course you do, Spock. Something tells me you hate your dress uniform too."
"I am Vulcan, I do not ‘hate' anything," Spock lied. If Spock did hate anything, it was Doctor McCoy for being able to have Jim while he could not. His worries about Jim being heterosexual were put to rest, but now Spock had to deal with the intense feelings of sadness and anger accompanying Jim's obvious relationship with the doctor.
"Whatever you say Spock," Jim sighed exasperatedly. "Well, let's go greet some dignitaries."
Uhura and Chapel had done a fantastic job with the party planning and when Jim had finished showing the Ifestians around the ship and other general diplomacies and brought them to rec room 3 that evening, even he was shocked by the beauty and elegance of the decorations and music.
The Ifestians got into the party pretty quickly, leaving Jim to stand on the sidelines, tugging at the irritating collar of his dress uniform and wait for Bones to show up so he'd had someone to antagonize for the evening.
"You do not seem to be enjoying yourself," Spock's voice from behind him made Jim jump. "In all technicalities, this is your party."
"Yeah, I'm not in the party mood, really," Jim shrugged. He smiled at Spock. "Wanna get some food and sit down?"
"I am amenable to that idea," Spock replied, leading the way to the food and drinks.
For Spock ‘food' consisted of a piece of chocolate cake, which Jim eyed with an evil grin.
"Planning on getting wasted this evening?" Jim chuckled.
"It is not different from your refreshment choice," Spock eyed Jim's idea of ‘food', a double scotch, which was already half empty.
"I can party up a little, can't I?" Jim shrugged. "Besides, alcohol is important to Ifestian culture. It'd be an insult if I didn't at least drink one glass."
Spock nodded. "However I would advise you to drink as little as possible. You will be needed on your shift tomorrow."
"Guess so, huh Spock," Jim smiled. "Cheers," he raised his glass and drank the rest.
"Am I to assume you are going to completely ignore my advice this evening?" Spock asked, a slight hint of irritation in his voice.
"I would never completely ignore your advice," Jim told him seriously. "Your advice has saved my ass too many times to count."
Spock felt his lips twitch, caught between a smile and a frown. "Indeed," was he said in response.
"Captain, Commander," Uhura greeted happily, sitting down in the chair next to Spock, which cause Jim to twitch in irritation. "How are you liking our party?"
"You and Nurse Chapel have done an excellent job," Jim said, trying to keep the bitterness our of his voice. "The Ifestians really seem to be enjoying themselves."
"Great," Uhura smiled. "Hey Spock, would you like to dance?"
"No, I would not," Spock said, eyes slightly wide at the prospect of being on a dance floor surround by so many other people, all of which could accidentally come in contact with him. "Perhaps Mr. Scott would be amenable?"
Uhura rolled her eyes. "Scotty's out getting more booze from the still no one's supposed to know about."
Jim was confused. Had he really just witnessed Spock pushing his girlfriend towards another man? He shook himself from the large amount of hope bubbling in his chest at the thought. "And let's keep it that way?" he said for the sake of not appearing hostile towards his officer.
"I wouldn't dream of letting that slip," Uhura replied with a grin. "Scotty'd be miserable. Well, since you two are bad partiers, I'll go see if Christine wants to dance, see you later." She stood up and walked off.
"You didn't want to dance with her?" Jim asked.
"No," Spock said, finishing his cake.
"And she puts up with you?" Jim laughed.
Spock was saved the trouble of answering by the arrival of McCoy, who handed Jim another double scotch.
"Hey kiddo, saw you were empty," McCoy said, looking happier than Jim had seen him in a while, mostly due to the whiskey in his hand.
"Thanks Bones," Jim smiled. They clinked glasses and drank.
"No problem kid, just don't come crying to me with a hangover tomorrow," Bones told him. "I see enough of your sorry ass in sickbay without that. Guaranteed I am not helping you out if you do, either."
"Jerk," Jim rolled his eyes and down the rest of his glass.
"So what are you two lovebirds doing here all alone, anyways?" McCoy asked evilly. "You making out?"
Spock was very confused by that statement. If Jim and McCoy were in a relationship, why would the doctor be making such comments? Spock put it down to the doctor's normal personality.
"Go away, Bones," Jim sighed tiredly. "And when is this stupid party going to be over?"
"Jim Kirk sayin' no to a party?" Bones said in mock shock. "You feelin' sick?"
"No, just tired again," Jim shrugged. "I think I'll go for a little walk or something, wake up a bit."
"Okie dokie, kiddo," Bones waved goodbye to his friend and turned to Spock. "So Spock, why so icy towards me lately?"
"I am afraid I do not know what it is you are talking about, Doctor," Spock said stiffly.
"And there you go again, you've been like this ever since you showed up for your physical, after I threw the idiot outta my sickbay," McCoy watched him closely and grinned when he saw Spock's eyes narrow slightly at the mention of Jim. "So, is it about Jimboy?"
Spock's eyes widened. "What would lead you to that illogical conclusion?"
"Well Spock, first off, I've never seen anyone, Vulcan or not, so worried about someone when they're in my sickbay," McCoy said seriously. "You fret over Jim and nothing any of us can say ever stops you. Secondly, I've seen the way you look at him, you're completely enamoured."
"Doctor McCoy, I can assure you..."
"Let me finish, Spock," McCoy rolled his eyes. "The worst part is you're not doing anything about it. Maybe you're afraid of rejection or something, I don't know, but you don't have to be. I know Jim's totally in love with you. You need to talk about this, it's making both of you miserable and you're both getting on my nerves."
Spock was truly taken aback. "You would sacrifice your own relationship with Jim?"
McCoy choked on his drink. "What?" he spluttered. "Oh my god that's why you've been acting like you hated me. You thought me and him were... Oh Jesus, Spock. No."
"The evidence presented led me to the logical conclusion," Spock said defensively.
"Come on, Spock, you know how Jim is, he's a tactile guy," McCoy shrugged. "He gains comfort from physical closeness. He's been miserable lately and that's why I've been letting him use me as a goddamn teddy bear."
"You are not... You have never..."
"No, Spock," McCoy said exasperatedly. "What's it gonna take to ram it into that thick skull of yours, an ice pick?"
"I do not believe that will be necessary, Doctor," Spock said, his tone much warmer than the one he had been using with the doctor since that scene in sickbay.
"Good. Now you have to go find that idiot and I don't want to hear about anything you get up to. Got it?"
Spock's lips twitched. "Understood."
Jim was wandering through the halls when he had the idea to stop by at the observation deck. It always cleared his head when he went and stared out at the stars for a bit.
He made his way to his favourite room off the main deck, and thinking everyone was at the party, opened the door without checking to see if it was occupied. What he walked in on certainly made organizing his thoughts a lot more complicated.
"Captain!" Uhura said, red-faced. She hurried to fix her dress so it wasn't as lopsided. "I, umm..." she broke off awkwardly.
"Cap'n," Scotty greeted, not looking at him. "Looks like Ah forgot tae lock the door."
"Right, uh," Jim backed out of the room quickly, mind racing. Uhura was cheating on Spock. He felt a flash of anger; she didn't know what she was losing when Spock found out. Jim froze. How would Spock react when he did find out?
Oh god, Jim thought frantically, walking off the deck as fast as he could. Do I tell him? Is that the right thing to do?
Jim was caught in a new dilemma and he had no idea what to do.