A/N: For a minute there it seemed like Uhura and McCoy were going to make a liar out of me. But in the end Spock raised his eyebrow and that ended it right there. Up next Uhura. Hope this doesn't disappoint, sorry for the wait kids.
Summary: Ch 2 Spock finds another puzzling contradiction in Kirk's behavior
Title: Observationally Observing the Observers
Chapter Two: That Is Highly Illogical (1,867)
Commander Spock knows almost immediately that he will never be able to presume to understand the ways of Cadet Kirk, or First Officer Kirk and most certainly not Captain Kirk. His methodology is incredibly suspect, and yet incredibly effective, he makes decisions that go against all that logic would dictate, and then is proven correct in time.
It is this strangeness that intrigues and… confounds the hybrid. He makes it a point to catalogue the predispositions of his new commanding officer. It is his hope that he will then better understand what it is that this contradictory amalgam of a man seems to so readily grasp that eludes all others.
However, even after serving as his second-in-command for several months he does not believe he is any closer to sketching the outline of the underlying behavioral patterns of his fellow officer. Had he been more than half-human perhaps he would give this concept the title frustration. He does not.
Instead he views it as a continuing challenge in his quest to decipher what exactly, as Doctor McCoy had said, 'makes him tick'.
Currently the matter is not at the forefront of his conscious mind. Instead he is simply trying to locate his senior officer. Finally he consults the ship's computer, having not found him in engineering, the mess, the bridge and even the medical bay. Previously he had not employed the tactic as imputing the necessary clearance codes to locate the Enterprise's highest ranking officer was more time consuming than doing so by turbo-lift.
It is the first instance in all of his time aboard that he has ever known the captain to be in his quarters. It is also the first moment he realizes that the captain is so rarely in his quarter, another curious attribute.
The door opens at his arrival, implying that the resident was expecting intrusion. "Spock." The younger man greets as he walks from the bathing room. He wears an easy smile. "What's up?"
"I have come to bring you the finalized mission reports Captain." Spock answers, extending the personal access display device.
"Jim. Spock." Kirk replies, taking the article. "I get to call you by your first name, it's only fair." He steps back into his room. "Technically I'm not even captain right now, you are." He gestures to his plain attire.
It is clear then he intends for the hybrid to follow, walking further into his quarters with the PADD in hand, but Spock stands in the doorway, taking in his surroundings. As a Vulcan he does not experience what humans refer to as shock, however, he is capable of being unsatisfactorily proven wrong in a carefully regarded hypothesis. He was now being presented with one such situation.
It was not a concept he has pondered over with any frequency, or perhaps on any occasion in particular, but if he had been asked to extrapolate how the Captain might keep his quarters in design and accentuation based upon his demeanor he would have inferred that his living arrangements would have been as varied and colorful as the man himself. He would have been most incorrect.
The Captain had no personal adornments in his visible living area at all. Even his bedding was the standard issue stark white that was usually only found in the unused rooms aboard the ship. There were no digital photographic files to be found on the desk, nor on the crystal screen that claimed the far wall. In fact both were strangely bare.
Spock had been in the quarters of many of his shipmates over the course of his assignment to the Enterprise and even in the strictest of environments it was easy to find a framed keepsake next to the monitor screen, or a few memorable images tacked as artificial wallpaper on the computer's plasma partition.
In Kirk's accommodations there is not a single identifying marker that might claim this space as his own. And the First Officer finds this idea incredibly hard to reconcile with the James Kirk he has come to know, even partially. It does not form a cohesive pattern with a man that commands every space he enters, making the others present doubt that it had ever not belonged to him after all. A man that exuded personal flair and had an almost damaging streak of individuality.
The Vulcan finds it difficult indeed to comprehend how the Captain had not been compelled by this very nature to arrange his only truly private space as particularly as possible with little to no regard to functionality or visitors. Kirk beckons him again; a smirk alit on his face, and asks if the Second Officer is finding his extended duties taxing. He carefully informs his superior that his physiology allows for more arduous undertaking than that of humans and therefore he is no way unfit for duty. He quirks an eyebrow when this response elicits a laugh from the Captain.
The bareness of the quarters stays in the forefront of his thoughts even after his consultation with the man has ended. He ponders the possible implications of this new discovery for many begins to look back on all prior dealings with his commanding officer. All the moments, both on duty and off, where pasts came into play, when Nyota would speak of the heat and density of her home, of the music and the smell. When Lieutenant Sulu would talk of growing up so close to Starfleet headquarters that it was impossible to entertain the idea of any other career whilst in it's shadow. Ensign Chekov often described the delights of his beloved Russia in exhausting detail and it was not uncommon for Doctor McCoy to make reference to Kentucky when a member of the crew became particularly obstinate.
In all those circumstances, when even he was appealed to catalogue his Vulcan upbringing, the captain never offered his own history. He would often listen and almost certainly comment, but he did so in such a way that before it was decidedly presented to him Spock had never noticed how absent he truly was from the discussions. He never spoke of his parents, of any siblings he may have had, not even a family pet. He never once mentioned that he specifically was from Iowa, though Spock knew this to be true from his review of Cadet Kirk's file before the academic hearing.
It was mostly common knowledge that he had lost his father on the Kelvin moments after his own birth. Though all events in between that moment and his forced introduction with Nyota and subsequently Admiral Pike were as mysterious as the captain's own behavior.
It was here that he was not clear on how to proceed. Many found his approach in his quest to understand certain attributes of the human condition insulting on occasion, when they let their immediate emotional response cloud their possible understanding of his purely academic intent. It was one of the many reasons his relations with Nyota progressed romantically, she observed and responded to his curiosity on the psychological and cultural minutia of human beings. Allowing for a learning curve when he acted unfavorably.
Spock decides then however that he can see no reason that Kirk would deny his curiosity. So he immediately makes his return to the Captain, who once again answers the door upon arrival.
"Spock." He greets warmly. "Two visits in one day. Uhura might get suspicious."
"I can see no reason Nyota would raise concern over my coming to see you more than once in a twenty-four hour period." Spock answers with a tilt of his brow.
"Of course not." Jim replies with a sigh and a smirk. "Because then you'd have to admit that you understand and use sarcasm."
"I am sure I do not know to what you are referring sir."
"Yeah, sure." He rolls his eyes. "What did you need this time Mr. Spock?"
"Actually I returned because I was most fascinated by the lack of personal effects and additions."This seems to catch the Jim's attention. "It was my intention to understand this conflicting inclination. Currently I can find no sound reason that a man with such distinctively… unique behavior would choose not to showcase as much in his private quarters, as is customary for others aboard this ship human or humanoid." He paused. "Even in my own culture it is natural to keep certain personal effects. Vulcans do not adhere to the sentimentality of my mother's race, but we understand and appreciate the relationship between one's environment and oneself." Spock adds. "As I am sure you have previously been aware."
The higher-ranking officer regards him for a long moment and an emotion he doesn't recognize flickers across his features before being replaced by a small smile. "Would you believe they lost my luggage in the cargo bay?" Spock does not deem to answer what he knows to be a rhetorical question. He catalogues the tense set of Captain Kirk's shoulders and the way he tightly clasps his hands. "I guess…you could say…I just…" He pauses and sighs, "I didn't really have anything worth taking with me."
Spock surveyed his surroundings again. "I see." He offers. He makes to speak again but is interrupted.
"So great talk but I have Captain-like things," Kirk ushers him towards the door, "to you know, handle, so if that's all I'm just going to-" The swished closed and Spock never heard his excuse continue.
A month passes and he has not forgotten his Captain's sparse accommodations. He finds himself at the door of said space for the third time since his arrival on the ship patiently waiting for the man on the other side to allow for entrance. Finally the door slips open and James Kirk greets him from the desk. He is still in his damaged uniform from the Away mission and the wound above his eye has not been dressed yet.
"Spock." He puts the PADD he has been using beside him.
"Captain." Spock replies. He offers the dense package he carries to Kirk.
The younger man looks it over for a moment before pulling the leather-bound Abraham Lincoln anthology from its confines. "It is a replica of the 20th century publication. Lt. Uhura and I discovered in on MK-279."When he received no answer he continued. "It has been my understanding that he was your favorite leader from the previous centuries."
"Yeah he…" Kirk clears his throat and shifts his gaze from the book, elegantly wrapped in green leather and detailed in gold leafing, to Spock. "This is incredible, I didn't know they still made these."
"It is satisfactory then."
"Satisfactor- This is incredible Spock." He replied, hefting the work with a wide grin. "This might be the coolest thing ever."
"Indeed. Perhaps then this can be the first of something 'worth taking with you'." He nodded and left, not missing the quick double take Kirk gives him as he does.
Commander Spock knows almost immediately that he will never be able to presume to understand the ways of Cadet Kirk, or First Officer Kirk and most certainly not Captain Kirk. His friend Jim, however, is a promising prospect.
A/N: Feedback would be lovely, I'm really insecure about my Spock. I feel much more comfortable with McCoy and Uhura so let me know. Oh and I couldn't let go of Jim's bookishness from TOS. It was just too damn cute. Walking book with legs. *snicker*