"Jim, I don't...understand." Spocks face went completely blank and Kirk felt a strange kind of twinge at this.
"I don't know if I can explain it any better than that, Spock. It's just...beyond me."
"Am I to understand then that you are unwilling to let our commitment to each other extend beyond our occasional sexual couplings?" Kirk wasnt stupid, he could hear the faint hurt in Spocks tone over his words, and he didnt enjoy that, but there was no use in trying to change the facts.
"No, I'm not unwilling. I'm unable. There's a difference, you know. And don't look at me like that." Kirk tried to speak with a bit of humor to lighten up the situation, but he could tell that Spock was rather far from feeling any sort of amusement in this moment.
"I believe I still am failing to grasp your meaning. Is this an attempt at humor that I am misunderstanding?"
"Spock. I don't do relationships. I don't do deep feelings and commitment. The only thing I can give you is sex." Kirk tried to speak as plainly as possible and not let any of his own feelings get involved.
This is why he didnt want any sort of relationship. These feelings made him feel too weak and vulnerable for his liking. He didnt want to depend on anyonehe didnt want to feel like he needed anyone. He needed to be his own being and a relationship turned everything from I to we whether one liked it or not. Kirk was never and would never be a we.
He enjoyed friendship and camaraderie thoroughly, but love? He was afraid that would turn him into someone that he didnt want to be.
"I...see." Kirk felt his resolve slipping just the slightest when he heard a kind of defeated acceptance in Spocks voice when he finally responded to what he said, but he took a deep breath and tried to stand his ground.
"I...I thought we both understood what we were getting into. Now I see that wasn't the case." Kirk tried to now speak as sympathetically as possible, not wanting to upset Spock any further, hoping deep down that after some time, they could repair their relationship back to what it was.
"Captain. Being raised as a Vulcan, I feel as though I must explain myself to you as well."
"I'm listening." Kirk decided that he would hear Spock out, not because he would allow the other to change his mind, but because it would simply be too cruel to shut him out and then shove him out of the room due to the subconscious fear that Spock would say something that would do just that.
"We do not easily form strong bonds with others, and the probability of forming such bonds with those not of our race is much lower. But...when these bonds are formed, they are not easily broken." Spock seemed to be giving him a meaningful look at this, his face very serious.
"So you're telling me that Vulcans form bonds for keeps, is it?" Kirk chuckled lightly as he spoke, still trying to lighten up the situation a bit more, trying to smooth things out a bit.
"Such commitments are never entered into lightly." Spock affirmed, seemingly impervious to Kirks attempts.
"And, you've told me this because you've decided that I'm the one you'd like such a bond with, and I can't really change your mind about it because you've already made your decision?" Kirk began to get a little impatient, feeling irrationally as though he was being forced into something, when Spock was really doing no such thing.
Kirk just didnt like a situation where, at the back of his mind, he suspected that his position just might be the wrong one to take.
"Not quite in those words, but something to that effect, yes."
"God, Spock. I can't believe that you of all people is doing this to me." Kirk just let out an exasperated sigh at this, feeling as though he wasnt getting through to Spock at all.
"Doing...?" Kirk could see that the other seemed half way confused at what he was saying, and he realized that he would have to clarify, even if that would risk hurting his feelings more.
Kirk had to get right to the truth in this, even if it were a bit of an ugly one. He knew that he had to treat this like pulling off a bandaid. This wasnt like all the other girls hed slept with and who got attached to him as a result. Some how, this being Spock just put this situation in a whole different ballpark. One, in which, any pain he caused the other over this making him feel extremely guilty.
Another reason why he didnt like relationships. He didnt want to deal with all the irrational feelings of guilt that came along with all of it.
"You're a Vulcan. I thought you were the last person who'd get attached." He tried to sound amused, but he thought it may have come out a little more impatiently than hed intended.
Spock was silent for a long moment after he said this, and he almost wanted to take back his words. He wished he knew what was going on inside that Vulcan head of his, but now his eyes suddenly seemed quite closed off and his mouth slowly set itself into a thin line.
"I believe it would be quite illogical to continue this conversation when we obviously cannot come to any sort of agreement. You may consider our arrangement terminated at this time, as I do not believe it would do either of us any good when we both want a different result from the interaction."
"Oh, Spock, you don't have to get like that! You're too damn good in bed to give up just like that." Kirk said in slight apology, trying to reach out to touch the others cheek.
Spock drew away from the touch as though hed been burned and that hurt Kirk the most.
"Unfortunately, Captain, I am sure it would be detrimental for me to keep wanting something that cannot happen, and it would be advisable for me to remove myself from the situation to allay my desires." He said as he hurriedly began to dress, not daring to make eye contact with Kirk anymore.
"Look, I think you're just feeling confused with all the closeness. It happens to the best of us. And, it will eventually pass." Kirk tried to soften his tone as he spoke, wanting to get the other to listen, but it appeared to be of no use.
"...I should leave now. I will see you tomorrow on the bridge at the beginning of alpha shift." Spock spoke stiffly, finally getting on his boots and abruptly standing up from the bed in the Captains room.
He then strode quickly to the door.
"No, Spock, wa--" Kirk tried to stop him, but the other left his quarters and didnt look back.
* * *
The next day on the bridge, Kirk did his best to act as though everything was completely normal between the both of them, but he felt as though you could cut the tension between them with a knife. It was like the bad break up that he never wanted. What made it all so much worse was that this wasn't just random girl he picked up at a bar or met at the Academy. This was his First Officer, whom he was supposed to be in harmony with, at least most of the time, and it was obvious that a personal matter had come between them, even when it was expected that their duty to Starfleet had priority to everything else.
He wanted to fix it somehow, but really what could he do? Though the mood between both of them had deteriorated slightly, lacking some of the warmth that it had before, Spock's work had not gone down in efficiency and the other still interacted with him politely, though he definitely acted far more aloof with him than he had for a long time.
This wasn't just his First Officer. This was his friend. A friend that he'd had to work hard to gain, but he'd still managed it, after all the animosity they had gone through together. And, to his surprise, he not only gained friendship, but a strange kind of attraction between them that had blossomed into the 'friends with benefits' sort of relationship Kirk thought they had, but obviously, Spock felt it was something more.
And maybe there were moments when it was, such as some times after sex they'd just lain in each other's arms, comfortable in each other's warmth and closeness…in the privacy of his own mind, Kirk was able to admit that he had a sneaking bout of affection in those times for Spock, but he'd of course pushed that down wh en he'd regained his senses. Now that he looked back on those times, he realized that, over the time they'd been having these encounters with each other, it had always taken longer to get back to his senses.
And now he felt as though he'd destroyed his friendship with Spock. But this whole situation was out of his hand at Spock's misunderstanding. How could he apologize to the other for what was the truth? He figured that he would just have to ride this whole thing out and that Spock would eventually just get over him. That's what everyone else had to do anyway.
Get over him, move on, forget. Kirk could tell that he was giving Spock quite a tall order with this since they were around each other almost constantly on a daily basis. The times were rare, but this was one where he would concede that he was a complete bastard, especially when he turned Spock down after he knew how hard it was for the other to open up to him that way.
He would not cave, since it wouldn't do either of the m any good when he just knew he wasn't the type to commit. And he knew a bit about Vulcan bonds. They lasted a life time. Forever. It wasn't something that could be changed or ended when both parties decided the fun was over. There was no way he could get into something like that when he hadn't been in a relationship that lasted for more than a week.
Kirk was glad when his shift came to an end. All this thinking was getting to be too much, and he decided that he really just needed a drink. He happened to catch Scotty after his shift and invited him over to his quarters to have said drink, finding over time that the other made quite the drinking buddy. He was fiercely loyal, and if you told him something that was troubling you during one of these drinking sessions, no matter how stupid you thought it was, he'd try his best to help you.
Sure he might laugh at you and tease you a bit before he helped, but really, it was the thought that counted. And as they both downed their third glasses of whiskey, Kirk was starting to feel more ready to talk.
"Scotty, why am I such a bastard?" Kirk said, his speech not quite slurred, but it was easy to tell he wasn't quite sober any more either.
"Well, I dunno, Jim. It's hard to pinpoint just one reason." He said in his teasing voice, chuckling and taking another sip of his drink.
"No, seriously. Because I think Spock hates me." Kirk said in slight bitterness, downing the rest of his fourth glass and slamming it down on the table.
"I thought Mr. Spock was just a generally crabby person. You know, like he's got this enormous titanium rod shoved up his -- "
"Spock's got reason to hate me, Scotty." Kirk was silent for a moment before he continued speaking, everything tumbling out, "I've slept with him, you know. Been sleeping with him a while."
Kirk had to chuckle himself when that statement from him made Scotty almost choke on his drink, but when he recovered, he looked at him like he was crazy and said, "You've managed to get a Vulcan in your bed? Especially that Vulcan? Good god, Jim…I'm not sure where you got skills like that, but I'm sure I wouldn't mind if you taught me some of them!"
Kirk then laughed a little mirthlessly and he said, "I wouldn't go after any Vulcans if I were you, Scotty. They play for keeps."
"So that mean…you're actually off the market? You and he are…?" Scotty asked with his eyebrows raised in shock.
Kirk shook his head and a tiny bit of guilt snuck into his tone as he replied with a sigh, "No, it's not like that…but I…I can tell he wants something like that."
"Well, if you don't, then you should tell him that before any feelings really get hurt then." Scotty suggested, his face filled with mild concern.
Kirk just let out another sigh at this and said, "I think I've gotten myself in over my head as it is. Don't worry though, I'll think of a way to fix things."
Scotty then stuck to silence for a few moments, letting both of them sip their drinks for that time when he finally changed the subject, "Well, I've really got no interest in Vulcans. I'm actually more interested in Lieutenant Uhura…now that she's not with Spock, that is. Obviously."
Then a teasing look came into Kirk's eyes as he said, "Uhura, huh? She definitely is quite the dish. Smart, hot…but she will be hard to win over, so good luck on that."
"Aye, I feel like I've got my work cut out for me there." Scotty said in mock defeat, though Kirk was sure he wouldn't have said anything if he wasn't actually feeling a little unsure about everything.
"Don't worry, Scotty. I've never known a woman who was able to resist a Scotsman that was trying to woo them." Kirk said, chuckling a bit again.
"I suppose if you put it that way, I've got nothing to worry about!" Scotty said, playfully clinking his glass together with Kirk's.
Now Kirk wished things were just as easy in his own situation. Easy or not though, he knew that he had to talk to Spock as soon as possible. He wasn't sure what he was going to say, but he was definitely going to do something about this.
* * *