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Author's Chapter Notes:

Don't own, obviously.


This time Spock had initiated the contact.

Captain, during my recent research into the grand masters I happened to come across this fascinating chess problem, I am sure you would also find it most interesting.

Initially he hadn't wanted to do it. He didn't want to spend time with Spock. Alone, in his quarters, in the evening, spending time on something they both enjoyed, in a setting that to his mind screamed romantic.

So he came up with excuses. Paperwork, other engagements, even tiredness. But Spock had been most insistent.

So finally, he had given in even though he knew how the evening would proceed. He knew that they would spend an agreeable evening pouring over the problem. He knew that they would enjoy each others presence. He knew that they would talk about many things besides chess. He knew that they would understand each other like nobody else could. He knew that after staying up far too late into the night Spock would get up, wish him a good night, and walk out without looking back. He knew that he would spend the rest of the night not being able to sleep, finally getting out the secret stash of Scotty's moonshine, trying to drink himself into oblivion and failing miserably.

But when he heard the doorbell sound he couldn't extinguish the tiny sliver of hope. Because after all, Spock had been most insistent.

As it turned out he had been right.

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