“Of course Captain Pretty Face will not understand such thing. You think the Acamarian Ambassador signed the treaty because he liked Kirk's brain?”
Jim wasn’t even sure why he was surprised to hear it. With most of Starfleet’s senior officers being either actual seniors or have looks comparable to Cupcake, of course this particular variation of name calling is out there for the outlier, James T. Kirk.
Therefore he did not understand why he even bothered to feel offended. It’s not like it cannot be interpreted as a disguised compliment…
Those were the thoughts that went through Kirk’s mind when his knuckle hit the guy’s face.
To say Admiral Komack was displeased was a major understatement. Jim was lucky that his ‘victim’ had a long record of minor misconducts and also hit back pretty ferociously. The judge had only commanded a short period of disciplinary confinement for Jim without leaving a permanent record on his file.
“Kirk, what was wrong with you? Do you know the consequence of beating a fellow officer?”
“Yes Sir. I am very sorry. I truly am.” Jim kept his back straight but his voice reflected how he felt.
“You are not in high school anymore do you know that? Use this time to think about what you did. If any, any similar incident happens again, you are done with Starfleet. You understand?”
Jim was left to sit on the bench in the confinement cell staring at his own feet when the door opened again.
Spock walked in with his hands behind his back. Jim swallowed. He looked up at his First sheepishly.
“Hi, Spock. How’s the ship?”
“Captain, I have heard about what happened. I have to say I was surprised by your reaction.”
“Really?” Jim could not make out Spock’s expression.
“I understand that this type of comment about one’s appearance is not uncommon among human males. I deduced that you must have experience dealing with similar situation in your earlier years. Therefore I was surprised.”
Jim let out a laugh. “You think I should be able to handle small shit like that by now.”
“Jim, do you dislike your own face?”
“What? No! I like my looks.” Jim smiled. “That’s what gets me the girls.” He flashed Spock what Bones called his ‘shit eating grin’.
“Then you must be offended because to some extend you are afraid that the comment was true. That you obtained diplomatic success because of the ambassador’s interest on you, not because of your diplomatic skill.”
Jim went silent. After looking at his own hands for a while he turned to Spock.
“Spock, I know I am good, but I am young. I'm still feeling my way through these things you know? I know I shouldn't have reacted so badly.”
Jim smiled apologetically to Spock. “Sorry Spock, we should be out in space by now already. Instead the whole ship has to wait for me until the disciplinary period is over. This is ridiculous.”
“Jim, I was there during the mission. While I agree that your finesse in diplomatic discussion needs much polishing, I doubt that Ambassador Taurik’s agreement to the treaty has anything to do with your looks.”
Jim looked at Spock curiously. “What are you thinking?”
“My father was an ambassador of Vulcan. Therefore I attended many diplomatic conferences in my upbringing. I can tell you I know quite well about the mechanisms of these negotiations.”
“Enlighten me, Mr. Spock” Jim said with amusement in his eyes this time.
“Do you know why Starfleet sent you on this mission instead of a more seasoned officer?”
Jim remained silent.
“They sent me because unlike most Starfleet senior officers, I have no tie to the Federation governing party. I am the least suspicious in the whole Starfleet senior officer rank.”
“So you have figured it out yourself.”
“I don’t think they place that much faith in my looks, Spock. Of course I am aware of the reason they sent me.”
“Jim, the treaty was signed because the Acamarian see the future of the Federation in you. You gave them hope that this treaty can hold, that Starfleet’s motive can be… uncomplicated.”
“Are you saying that they think if bonehead like me can make Captain in Starfleet then they have nothing to worry about?”
“First impression can be deceiving. I am sure they are aware of that.” Spock gave Jim a non-smile, which consisted of a suspicious tweak at the corner of his mouth. “I think they see the good intention in you. Plus the treaty was well drafted and balanced. From a technical perspective there is no reason for them to reject it.”
“It all came down to trust.” Jim looked at his First with a firm expression.
“Which you gave them no reason not to.” Spock returned the look.
Jim let out a small laugh in relief. “Thanks Spock. It’s good to hear this from you.”
“You are welcome, Captain.”
“Jim. We will be waiting for you at the Enterprise.”
Spock took his leave and was about to reach the door, but he turned around before the door opened.
Jim was surprised when Spock leaned in to whisper.
“Besides, I can assure you, if the Ambassador had any design on your person,” He paused and looked Jim in the eyes. “You would not be the only one in disciplinary confinement right now.”
Jim was stunned as Spock left the room. His lips and left hand were still mildly tingling from the meld / kiss he just got from his First Officer.
After a whole minute had passed he relaxed against the wall and ran his hand through his hair.
“Possessive Vulcan bastard.”
Maybe name calling wasn’t such a crime after all.