There’s just a moment in the turbolift, either one on opposite sides. The joy of having the ship back, all together, not just any ship but their ship, like the child they fathered together. It’s just as Jim remembers it, the same hum under his feet. Only the Enterprise hums just like that, and only Spock could feel it with him and not have anything to say.
“I missed this,” Jim breathes anyway. Then he looks expectantly over at Spock. He’s met with a blank stare, but after everything they’ve been through, he likes to believe he can see deeper than that. There’s a shine in Spock’s eyes that wouldn’t be there if he didn’t feel some sort of happiness.
There’s another fleeting moment of silence before they reach the bridge, but halfway between floors, Spock stops the turbolift, moving to the panel quick as lighting. Then he straightens out as though nothing out of the ordinary has happened.
Quirking a brow, Jim asks, “Yes?”
“Captain,” Spock says with practiced nonchalance, “why is Dr. Marcus still on board?”
Jim blinks. “Dr. Marcus? I think she proved invaluable on our last mission, don’t you?”
“Yes, but that is hardly the point. I believe the Enterprise already has a science officer for the bridge.”
“So you’re jealous?”
Spock instantly stiffens at the accusation, which, of course, makes Jim grin a little too widely. He tries to stifle his chuckle, but it’s hard.
“Captain, I am no such thing. Need I remind you that as—”
“That as a Vulcan you have a cold, dead heart completely incapable of experiencing jealousy?” Jim raises an eyebrow. To an untrained eye, Spock remains unaffected. But Jim’s trained, so he sees what the teasing really does. Jim has to bite the corner of his lip to stop himself from apologizing, and Spock simply nods.
“Crude, but yes. I am merely concerned that it is not a wise allocation of personnel.” Pausing, Spock looks sideways, then takes a step closer, bridging the gap in the tight turbolift. He lowers his voice as he adds, “I should hope you are not letting your... personal interests get in the way of you decisions.”
Both eyebrows raised, Jim rephrases, “You think I’m interested in her?” Sometimes bating Spock is too easy. He doesn’t blush, but it looks like he might want to. “Am I not allowed to be interested in my science officers?”
Spock squints, probably at the use of the plural. “...You have had other science officers...?”
“I do now,” Jim says, and this time he’s the one to take a step, so that their toes nudge, too close, like they often end up being. He has to tilt his head so as not to hit Spock’s when he leans in, purring into Spock’s ear, “But I’ve only got one first officer. ”
When he pulls back, Spock’s eyes are closed. Jim knows he’s skirting the edge of something dangerous—tensions they’ve always had, but have never quite said.
They’ve been on only a couple real missions, and he’s almost lost Spock too many times. Now that they’re about to set out into who knows what, Jim’s not so sure everything should stay just tension.
But he has a ship to run, and he taps the control panel on the side while Spock’s still standing there, expecting something. He must realize that won’t happen, because after a moment, he straightens out, eyes forward.
As the doors open onto the bridge, Jim leans inconspicuously in again and whispers, “However, if you would like to discuss this matter further... you know where my quarters are.”
And then he abruptly turns on his heels and heads for his chair.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Star Trek or any of its contents, and I’m not making any money off this.
Chapter End Notes:
.......My first post here; everything's on Ao3 right now. For some reason it says this is part of two series.....
But it's not...