This would be a follow up oneshot to "first Step" not sure if it's a chapter 2 but I am giving it its own name
Disclaimer: still wishing I owned Star Trek but alas it hasn't happened yet
It seemed for a moment as if the ship were completely silent as a collective sigh of relief swept through the enterprise and its crew. They had not been sucked into the black hole nor was their ship broken in pieces being sucked away into the vacuum of space. Nero was finally gone and they were safe for the time being.
Spock looked around the main deck enjoying the sensation of victory that was felt by all of them. His dark brown eyes seeping over the deck came to rest on the young and reckless acting captain. He could see the man's chest rising and falling rapidly as he looked over the deck…probably assessing the damage now that the shock was wearing off slightly. As if James Kirk had sensed the Vulcan's gaze he turned around to meet it.
Spock could see in his eyes that the realization had sunk in. Kirk had led them successfully through a crisis. A grin spread across his face and Spock respectfully inclined his head. Kirk swiveled his chair to face forward once more and Spock turned back to his consol to make sure that all was well.
He could see from the readouts that it looked pretty bad but he deduced that if they didn't push the ship to hard then they would arrive back at Starfleet in one piece. And as Spock stared at the consol he could sense the crew around him snapping out of their reverie and the enterprise going back to its normal functioning state.
After letting his eyes remained glued to the readouts for a time he turned in his seat to observe. He could see that Kirk was no longer slouched comfortably in his seat. He seemed almost uncomfortable, shifting in the chair and wincing as he rubbed his side. Not realizing he was being scrutinized he made no attempt to hide whatever pain he was feeling. Spock raised an eyebrow as he eyed the captain. It seemed illogical that if the man was in pain that he should hide it. But he also had learned that Kirk frequently made no sense so he disregarded the idea that Kirk might do something sensible.
Spock also realized that the last time Kirk had been to the medical bay was for an illness induced by Dr. McCoy. Since then he had been battered, bruised and beaten. At one point by Spock himself, which the Vulcan remembered with great embarrassment. It occurred to Spock that the man was probably injured…maybe a cracked or broken rib from the way he was gingerly poking at his side.
Kirk didn't know that he was being watched at this point, nor did he hear the Vulcan approach him or realize that Spock was standing right beside him, expression serene with his hands behind his back.
"Captain, are you well?" Spock asked quietly. Kirk though was startled and jerked his head up meeting that familiar calm gaze.
"What? I'm fine, just fine" he said quickly masking the pain and trying to look as though he was comfortable. Spock almost wanted to sigh with annoyance but he knew that would be disrespectful.
"Sir, need I—"
"I thought we agreed that you were calling me Jim now." Kirk looked up at him again to see the man's stare was blank…although if Kirk hadn't known any better he would have said the Vulcan was irritated with him.
"Fine…Jim. Need I remind you that have come to blows with several people over the past day or so—"
"Including you" Kirk interrupted him again. Spock to a moment to exhale loudly.
"Yes. Including me. So its likely that you may have been injured and should go to sickbay."
"Spock I am fine, really I am." He tried to smile up at the Vulcan but the expression looked more like a grimace. Thinking that the conversation had now ended he faced forward once more feeling all too aware Spock's presence beside him.
Spock stared at the strange human for a short length of time before he too stared straight ahead.
"You told me earlier we were…'becoming friends'" Spock stated
"What's your point?" Kirk demanded getting annoyed. He wasn't feeling well but he didn't want to admit that to anybody…least of all Spock.
"My point is…Jim…If I am to properly fulfill the office of 'friend' then I would be remiss in my duties if I didn't take you to sickbay." Kirk gaped at Spock whose expression remained almost blank the entire time.
"Also if you don't come now I would be happy to inform Dr. McCoy that you are unwell…I am sure that he would be more than happy to come here and bring you to the sickbay by force." Kirk winced at the truth in this statement before glancing around to see if anyone had noticed their exchange. The room was back to its usual noise level and it went unheard. He looked like he was about to refuse when he stood up saying over his shoulder
"Sulu, You have the conn…I should be back in an hour or so." Nobody asked what he was doing or why Spock followed him out of the room. And if they noticed Kirk wincing as he moved they chose to remain silent.
Once the doors to the main deck slid shut Kirk let out a quiet sigh and began walking slowly to the medical bay. His shoulders were hunched as if each step was an effort.
"Do you need any assistance captain?" Spock asked after watching his laborious walk. Frankly it was painful enough to watch Kirk's attempt at walking, although Spock would never tell him that…nor would he tell the man in front of him that the effort walking seemed to require was a cause for concern to this particular Vulcan.
"No Spock I may be…well…not exactly at my best but I can still walk for crying out loud." Kirk told him with more than a hint of irritation. The Vulcan was silent for a moment.
"I do not understand…I was not crying. Is this an example of one of your strange human idioms?" Kirk froze for a moment his back was to Spock so he could not see the man's expression. He just saw his shoulders shaking. He stood nonplussed for a moment…and his confusion only grew when he realized Kirk was laughing.
At first it was a quiet chuckle but it grew louder and Kirk leaned against the wall, clutching his side, his whole body shaking with laughter. Spock just stared at the man wondering if he had hurt his head at well.
"its Jim, remember?" he gasped between giggles.
"…Jim what is so humorous" Jim Kirk stared at Spock and took a moment to regain composure.
"Try to put this into perspective Spock. I have been promoted over 24 hours from first officer to acting captain, got jettisoned onto an ice planet, ran away from monsters on the ice planet, managed to get back onto this ship, blew up Romulans from the future, and now I am trying to explain—what did you call them— oh right…'human idioms' and frankly this whole thing just seems absurd."
"I do not see how it is cause for laughter" Spock stated staring at the captain who was still breathing a little too heavily…he really needed to get to sickbay…
but for now Spock was curious as his lack of understanding when it came to this one human…this man.
"Spock…have you ever laughed over nothing at all…well I guess you probably haven't…I am not actually sure if you know how to laugh…its nice you should try it sometime…"
"Do you have a point captain?"
"It's easier to laugh right now and later on once this all sinks in I may nto laugh for awhile." All traces of the smile were gone.
"I don't even know how many people Nero killed how much could have been prevented…how much might have been caused by our actions and in turn making it my fault. So right now I am laughing Spock…later I may be crying but right now I am laughing and I enjoyed it too." Kirks face was deadly serious now as he held the Vulcan's gaze. Spock simply tilted his head slightly eyebrows furrowed, as though he was storing away this information for further scrutiny at a later date. His expression soon cleared and he resumed walking forcing Kirk to follow as best he could. Spock noted that and slowed his pace to match the man beside him.
They walked in silence for awhile. The only sounds in the hallway were the occasional cadet running through to get something or someone (Most of the crew was busy keeping the ship from falling apart while at lightspeed), and the sound of the acting captain wheezing from what was probably some broken ribs.
Spock simply walked stoically behind him hoping that he wouldn't pass out before they reached sickbay.
"So the act of random laughter is a pleasant experience?" Spock asked seemingly out of the blue. Without missing a beat Jim Kirk responded
"Yea, you should try it sometime." He was of course thinking of the words said by the elder Spock and how he said this friendship would change both of them. So maybe in a few years…or a decade…maybe Spock would learn to have a little fun now and then. That would be something to look forward to.
Kirk wouldn't admit that he was grateful that Spock forced him to go to sickbay or that he had enjoyed their conversation. He was surprised how easy it was to confide in the Vulcan. Spock in turn would probably never express the genuine concern he felt for the man beside him at this moment(most people would considering the state he was in). Nor would he tell the man that he might be the most interesting person Spock had ever met.
By the time they did reach sickbay both had plenty to think about…which made it easier for Kirk to sit through Bones poking and prodding him while demanding a reason he hadn't come sooner. Of course the ship being sucked into a black hole wasn't a good reason what kind of an answer would that be?
Kirk would soon be patched up and so Spock let the doctor do his work and returned to the bridge.
Kirk watched the Vulcan go as the sedatives Bones injected him with took effect. An image came to mind of what it might actually look like if Spock laughed…it was an odd sight to see.
Neither Kirk nor Spock understood if they could be considered friends at this point. The road to friendship isn't exactly mapped out step by step. The two of them would just have to figure things out as they went. Because that's the way friendship is. Its strange and always different and never ever what is expected.
And the day Spock laughed would definitely be one for the books.
I don't know if that smile in Voyage home counts for laughter but maybe…well the first part got such a response so I finally finished the second…it didt really turn out like I expected but that's what happens when you start a ficlet and then come back a week later to finish it.
Hope you all enjoyed it