Valentine's Day was approaching at something close to warp speed, as could be judged by the proliferation of Hearts and pink decoration which were rapidly engulfing the Academy buildings, and the generally distracted nature of his students from their work to other, romantic, considerations. He could not dispute the logic of the celebration, human's had so many emotions that to have a day reserved for just one made a great deal of sense. Spock didn't sigh, but pointedly tapped a button on his lecturn which caused the lights to flash alarmingly. The students froze, then settled into their seats and focused their attention on him.
“Thank you.. Now let us turn our attention to the true subject of this lecture, cross cultural pairings... As many of you would or should know, I am only half Vulcan, my mother was a human woman...”
The lecture continued as normal from then. At the end the students filed out in their normal fashion, some chattering with their friends, others giving him their native salutes of farewell. Only when everyone else had left did one of the Queen Catains approach him
“Sir, on the topic of today's discussion, do you have anyone guarding your den?”
His mind flashed to the empty apartment which awaited him at the end of duty and he answered on reflex “No, cadet there is no-one at home for me.”
“I'm sorry...” She dropped her head and padded out.
Spock schooled himself to calmness, nullifying the dull pain which panged, phantom as he knew it was. Jim would be back in ten days. He'd lived a month and 4 days without his t'hy'la , he would manage ten more days.
“Well what did he say?” The four other cadets appeared around the edge of their study niche, peering nervously at her
M'rall sat down and settled her taid comfortably over the back of the stool “He has no-one waiting for him at home.”
There were various murmurs of surprise and consternation from her fellows, two humans, an Andorian and a Deltan. The human male, Ben, spoke up
“So we could do it? Set him up with someone for Valentine's Day?”
She nodded “ He might even thank us, I thought Vulcans needed mates desperately.”
“Yes but who?” Theesa tilted her head, wiggling her antennae in complicated patterns as she contemplated the puzzle. They sat in silence around the table for a moment, contemplating the puzzle.
It was Hanneh who broke the silence “What about the Admiral, Kirk? I saw him and Captain Spock around quite a bit before he went off on that diplomatic errand that no -one’s supposed to know about.”
Slowly they each nodded “could work, they served together for quite a while.
But he’s away, so how would we get the invitation to him?
“I’m runner for the admirals, and he gets back two days before Valentines, I could easily slip a note onto his desk asking him to be somewhere… we do the same for Captain Spock, Tada," she brought her hands together with a sharp clap… “The rest’s up to them as they say”
The others nodded and Ben added his contribution "We couuld make a reservation at one of the cafe’s quietly, send them there."
“Mimello, they are very good with vegetarian things, actually they are good for pretty much any little query.”
The bond thrummed as the stress of distance was removed and Admiral Kirk sighed with relief.
Two hours of debrief then I'll be home.
Illogical, given the import that humans place on emotional well being, you should come home first.
Keep chronometer for me Spock, I'll see you at the apartment after.
The bond dulled back to normality as the half shields they both had fell back into place.
He took a deep breath. It was good to be home.
Debrief and final report were out of his court and with the seniors. His time for the rest of the day at least was his own. He let his palm rest on the lock plate and the apartment door hissed open smoothly. As it did he saw the tall thin figure of his bondmate rise from one of the chairs by the fire and turn towards him
“ Welcome home t'hy'la ” Spock extended his hand forest two fingers outstretched
Jim closes the distance and pressed his own to them "I missed you"
His Vulcan half twitched a lip "For you to have remained here would also have been eminently desirable from my personal point of view."
Jim felt the thin fingers come to rest on his face, settling on Neuro pressure points everyone else forgot. He nodded slightly. The outside world disappeared as emotion information flowed over the reaffirmed bond.
The type print slip sat on his desk with the incongruity of a foreign creature. He read it again slowly
Please be at Mimello at 11:30. Happy Valentine's Day.
The full import of his answer to M'rall sank in. He had intended it quite literally, she had taken it to mean that he was unattached in all respects, and well meaningly had set him up with a date. He could not fault her for her care or the ability if getting the note onto his desk. They had timed as well, he did not have a lesson then. He would have to go along if only to politely dissuade the person from wasting their time sitting in the cafe expecting him as a romantic possibility.
It didn't seem like Spock’s style but the Vulcan could be secretive if he chose to be so. And if he was playing a game it was abrupt enough for a Vulcan’s style, especially if Spock didn't want others to know he was being demonstrative. He was still shy of admitting feelings to outsiders, it was for the two of them only as far as the Vulcan was concerned.
He'd go along, it got him away from the paper work and his desk, whatever the result. It would be wonderful to spend Valentine's with Spock, with his t'hy'la.
The cafe was busy thronging with couples of all types, most of them humans, as would be expected. But the table he had been directed to when he quoted the reservation was quiet, tucked in a neat wood booth close to the door. Jim let himself settle back into the seat, smiling at the young exuberance of most of the couples, smiling, kissing flirting. He'd been that young once. There was something lovely in watching it, in seeing the hope in their eyes. They could run headlong at life and didn't think anything of it.
The cafe was crowded with people and Spock allowed the waitress to guide him to the reserved seat. He scanned the people, looking for whoever he had been paired with. In his mind he composed the gentlest polite refusal, to explain the situation without causing over much pain to the poor person who had been set up with this duty.
"Here Sir." The waiter indicated the boothed table to his side, he dipped his head in dismissal and turned his attention to his companion.
He kept the surprise from his face as he settled into the booth beside his t'hy'la. Jim smiled askance at him
"A happy coincidence, I take it? You weren't expecting me."
Jim had felt his reaction through the bond,as he expected. No although it is most welcoming,I realised that there has been a misconception and a miscommunication regarding my attached status, wholly on my part. M'rell meant no mischief in setting us up like this.
"I was curious when the note arrived it didn't quite fit you… But all's well that ends well as we say."
This time it was Jim who reached across under the table and brushed his forefingers against his, flaring the bond slightly.
“It is fortuitous that they did so actually, because today is significant for us.”
“How so?” Jim leant on the table his curiosity evident in his face and in the tickling which Spock felt in his mind
"You recall Amerind?"
Jim flinched slightly but his voice was steady "You melded with me to remind me of who I was."
"Not a meld, the mind fusion, far deeper than anything else we can do. My mind called you, found you. It did not want to break the contact I created. T'hy'la recognise each other at an elemental level...That fusion formed a full bond between us, rather than the instinct that had been there before. It was muted a little, because we didn't use it, but it was there." He looked directly at Jim "By the laws of my people, we would be considered bonded from that day, not the day we knelt before T'Pau. That was mere formality. And so logically " he saw and felt Jim smile at that, letting his own lips twitch upwards in response "today is our anniversary."
With perfect timing their two mugs arrived at the table. Spock curled his fingers around the stylised cup which held Vulcan spice tea. Jim, to judge by the mug, had put in an order for coffee. He watched as his t'hy'la lifted the cup to him
He tapped his clay cup against the other mug as he had learnt years before "T'hy'la".
The chronometer bleeped insistently and Spock realised that it was ten minutes untill his class. They had sat, watching the other customers and talking, for one hour twenty minutes.
Jim had glanced down at the sound "You have to go then." He shrugged lightly " back to paperwork for me."
An idea nagged the back of his head "No, come with me. As you say two can play a game." He rose to his feet "Come"
Judging by the chatter coming through the door the class was already there, catching up as they did before he arrived. He paused, turning towards Jim and holding out his fingers for the ohesta. " As your saw with my parents"
What are you up to Spock?
He responded with a knowing look.
M’rell twitched her ears slightly and purred "That's no surprise, we set him up with a date."
Everyone within immediate earshot turned towards her. Then came the clammer for information.
Just as abruptly the doors whooshed open to admit their professor, with the admiral walking at his side. Their fingers were pressed together in the gesture that was common knowledge to anyone who had done Basic Vulcan. They all swung to face the rostrum, settling their padds and styluses ready
What are you playing at Spock?
He got no answer, the Vulcan focused on speaking to his class.
"I must thank those of you for your efforts on my behalf and I would like to introduce you to he who is my bondmate, Admiral Kirk.
He watched as the class's collective eyes boggled in their respective ways. But five students reactions stood out. One of the humans dropped his head onto the desk behind his arms, a Catian queen made a small howling sound, an Andorian’s antennae twitched sharply, one of the Deltans was suddenly very interested in something her Padd was doing and and a girl that he recognised actually disappeared under her desk section. They were clearly the ringleaders of the idea. And in their minds, they'd just got their professor married in a matter of hours.
"And has been for quite a few years, before any of you die of nerves. Hanneh head appeared back above her desk and a few more let out their breath.
He turned to look at Spock, giving him every inch of bondmate and ranking admiral at the same time "For that rather illogical behaviour I will be attending this lecture and being as thoroughly difficult as I can."
Spock raised a sharp eyebrow at him but he crossed the floor of the lecture room and found himself a spare seat two rows up. Happy Anniversary t’hy’la
He might, just, have detected a small Vulcan sigh along the bond.