James Kirk decided that he had developed quite an interesting relationship with his First Officer Spock. He decided that it wasn't quite friendship, but whatever they had was edging in that direction, and Kirk was pleased with this. After hearing Spock Prime tell him that they were destined to be great friends, he made it his personal goal to see if this was true. If, one day, the cold, up tight, and painfully proper pointy eared bastard could be anything like Spock Prime, Kirk felt as though he might have a chance at getting through to him.
In any case, he did like a challenge. So it was natural that he attempted to be a little less formal with Spock when the opportunity arose, and he especially made sure to pointedly ignore the warning glares he got whenever he gave Spock a playful slap on the arm or a clap on the shoulder. Over time, just as he spent much of his personal time with other crew members, he extended the gesture toward Spock through games of chess.
At first his First Officer would politely refuse, insisting that he had further research or meditation exercises to help his focus to attend to, but Kirk did not let this stop him. Not only was he an extremely determined person, when he set his mind to something he was also damnably stubborn. Finally, Spock relented, though the look on his face told Kirk he immediately wondered if it were a mistake.
Kirk could tell that Spock was surprised that he did not use this opportunity to get further rises out of him or to trouble him about anything, and he so expressed to Kirk that he would look forward to their next match. Soon, this became a tradition of theirs, but for the first many matches, their conversation was strictly restricted to ship matters and missions that Starfleet sent them on.
Kirk knew that he wanted more than an acquaintanceship with Spock, he wanted a friend. Someone that could actually be comfortable enough with him to have a conversation about things other than their jobs. He knew that he had to keep trying to pry past the protective shell that Spock had encased himself in, knowing that the other must be more fun than he was letting on.
There was the fact that he'd bagged a girl like Uhura. Kirk was certain that Spock had to have other sides than the one he showed him to have managed to do that. Time went on though, and even if things between them didn't seem to be getting worse in any way, they'd only marginally gotten better in Kirk's opinion. Maybe Spock still held it against him slightly just how he'd gained Captaincy over this ship.
He readily conceded that he had to say some horrible things to Spock to obtain it, and though he felt the other had put it behind him, since they were able to interact in a normal enough manner, he was sure the other had not forgiven him. So, during one of their chess games, Kirk decided to approach this.
After thinking carefully and moving one of his pieces, Kirk cleared his throat and spoke softly, "Hey, Spock…I wanted to talk to you about something."
"Hey, how many times have I told you? Call me Jim when we're not on duty." Kirk said, waving off the way Spock addressed him.
"All right. Jim." Spock's tone seemed mildly amused as he waited for Kirk to continue speaking.
"Yeah, I know this happened a long time ago, but I need to tell you I'm sorry." Kirk said awkwardly, looking away from Spock, "About the things I said to become Captain when Nero was attacking."
Spock seemed to still for a moment, then collect himself before speaking, "Though I had lost control of myself in that time, I have come to the conclusion over time that was the quickest and most logical way of dealing with the situation."
Kirk looked closely at Spock's face then, finding it to be in a state of complete Vulcan blankness, but his eyes…he could see in his eyes that thinking of that time still hurt him. Kirk couldn't stand it, and this is what caused him to order Spock to look at him.
When the other complied with the request, Kirk gave him the most heartfelt look he could manage and he said, "Just because it was logical, doesn't make it right, and for that I'm sorry. I never should have said any of that about your mother."
After this, Spock was silent for a long moment, but Kirk felt as though he saw some tension in the other's shoulders relax when he finally spoke again, "I accept your apology, Jim."
Kirk then gave him a small smile and then dropped the subject.
* * *
Kirk found that after his true apology to Spock, things got just a little easier between them. Spock seemed much more trusting with Kirk in their conversations, and finally seemed willing to speak of other things than work. Then Kirk took the opportunity to ask questions about Spock's childhood and he volunteered that information about himself, since Spock seemed too polite to ask. Soon their conversations would span their thoughts on certain literatures and other media, their stands on certain social issues, and slowly they even turned to less serious and sometimes more personal subjects as well.
"So Spock, how are you and Nyota doing?" Kirk emphasized Uhura's first name, in a teasing manner, knowing that she never wanted him to know her first name for most of the duration they had known each other.
Kirk was also glad that he'd seemed to reach a kind of understanding with her as well, able to interact normally enough as well, but he also had the feeling she still held against him the things he'd said to Spock. Apparently his First never informed her that he'd already apologized, thank you very much. Though, the fact that Spock kept it private touched him in a strange way, like it was a significant moment just for both of them to know, and for no one else.
But, he was quickly brought back to the present when he saw Spock give him an eyebrow for the deliberate emphasis and he said in a marginally dry tone, "I do not believe she would approve much of you referring to her in that fashion, Jim."
This just caused Kirk to smirk playfully at him and he said, "Well, it's a good thing it's just you and me here then."
Spock shook his head a little at Kirk, but his eyes shined with humor. Kirk could tell that Spock was now more in tune his sense of humor, and he luckily gave him no grief over it.
"Nyota and I are doing quite satisfactorily."
Now this caused Kirk's eyebrow to rise in a teasing fashion.
"'Quite satisfactorily,' huh? I don't think that's quite how I'd put it if I were making sweet lo —"
"That is quite enough, Captain." Spock said, his tone suddenly becoming warning, and his jaw tensing.
Kirk knew that he was in trouble, not only with Spock's minute expression changes, but by the fact that he'd called him Captain instead of Jim.
He just laughed good naturedly and said, "All right, all right. I'm just commending your good taste in women, that's all."
"Your commendation is noted." Spock said, still not amused.
Kirk realized that he just might have offended Spock, so he softened his tone and said, "Hey, I'm really happy for you guys, you know? I'm glad that you two are happy."
Kirk could see that Spock still needed more time to get used to his tendency to randomly be brash about certain subjects, but he was glad that the other relaxed once again at his statement.
"I am fortunate that she is so…understanding."
"She must have been to get through your thick Vulcan skin." Kirk said, grinning teasingly.
The corners of Spock's lips curled up just slightly and he said, "Yes, she is quite a remarkable woman."
It felt like a triumph to Kirk to have gotten Spock to almost smile in his presence. And, he'd realized that he'd quite liked the times that they spent together like this. In this moment, Kirk felt like it just might be possible to reach the level of friendship Spock Prime spoke of. He looked forward to that day.
* * *