Not for the first time Jim pondered how inadequate Standard really was. How do you tell your First Officer and friend that you were sorta, kinda in love with him, and that you sorta kinda passed down time on the bridge thinking lusty thoughts involving him, you, phallic objects, a lot of exposed skin and random rooms and surfaces throughout the ship?
Certainly no slew of words he could think of. Everything sounded too cheesy, too sordid, too desperate, or a combination thereof.
There was just no sly, J.T style, ‘oh yes, I’m a cool cucumber and love looks good on me’ way to do it. Everything sounded far too close to a seedy romance novel. Or so he guessed, because he wouldn’t know that comparison first hand or anything *cough*.
And the point was to take their relationship to the next level and try the whole love thing out, not to get hit, or maimed, for his efforts, considering it was Spock he was attempting to solicit. Spock who had damn near three times Jim’s strength (a fact Jim knew first hand, and not in a good way, as emotionally compromising Spock still gave him nightmares).
And hell, if he actually said half the over-the-top overtures his mind was trying to supply he wouldn’t blame Spock for maiming him. A man ought to have his pride.
Of course how one was supposed to retain pride while nursing a crush the size of which he hadn’t experienced since he was twelve and Lola Harrison had developed breasts, he didn’t exactly know either.
Come to think of it, there was a lot of this whole love business he didn’t know. Which is probably why he’d always tried to stick to random hookups in the past. Really, this whole thing was turning out to be immensely stressful, and also rather self-esteem crushing.
After all, three months of bemoaning ‘Spock, let’s hook-up, move in together, adopt a puppy, name it Fido, and explore the galaxy as the 23rd centuries version of Livingstone and Stanley, only with more sex and less untimely dying going about it’ was really very damaging to a man’s ego.
It was all Spock’s fault that he drove Jim to a weird dichotomy of incoherency and an over-the-top Elizabeth Barrett Browning wannabe. If Spock had been less attractive, maybe a little less intelligent (because a large brain and an even larger vocabulary… an aphrodisiac in any planetary system), and infinitely less honorable and all the more admirable for it, then Jim wouldn’t have this problem.
He also blamed Ambassador Sarek and the late Lady Amanda for combining their DNA to produce such a fine son. Fate too, played some part, for even though Jim wasn’t a huge believer in the whole ‘destiny’ nonsense, thank you kindly, older Spock’s freely given pearls of wisdom notwithstanding, he was more than willing to use fate as a scapegoat. Clearly the there was enough blame to go around…
A hand on his shoulder yanked him out of contemplating more people, places and things he could blame. He turned, startled, to find Spock standing at his side. Apparently while contemplating communication, or lack thereof, he’d entirely missed Spock standing up from his seat and moving to Jim’s side of the table, their chess game sitting in entirely forlorn negligence. If chess pieces could look forlorn (they could certainly look phallic. Chess, Spock, phallic… perhaps Uhura was right, maybe Jim’s head was perpetually in the gutter).
“Captain,” Spock questioned, the sound of his voice sending a spark of awareness through Jim’s body, “you appear to be distracted, I’ve been waiting for your move for the past 5.3 minutes.”
Jim opened his mouth to reply, his brain wracking to come up with a plausible excuse while he fought embarrassment over his lapse of concentration, but the thrill of Spock touching him, those long, slender fingers sending tendrils of sensation spreading down his arm to his fingertips, made the ability of speech damn near impossible.
Spock… touching… him.
Spock didn’t like to touch people. Jim didn’t blame him. Touch telepathy had to be a total bitch. Thus Spock only did it with those he was comfortable with. Familiar with. People he cherished.
He was touching Jim.
This fact was absolutely… fantastic!
Spock’s hand inspired a thought. Well, it inspired a lot of things, really, but that went without saying.
In a flash of inspiration it dawned on Jim that words weren’t the only way to communicate by far. He’d forgotten all of the other means at his disposal, particularly with someone of Spock’s extraordinary talents.
Move over Elizabeth Barrett Browning!
He put his hand over Spock’s on his shoulder, slowly stood, leaned into Spock, slowly, sensually, and told Spock, quite succinctly, and also redundantly, because he was already thinking it loud and clear, “I really want to kiss you.” Then did so.
The fact that Spock was reciprocating, and with tongue - a hot, slick, Vulcan tongue, which Jim just discovered he had a real taste for - rather than maiming him, was enough to convince Jim that his message had been received. Loud and clear.
Standard really was an inadequate form of communication. This way was better.