Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek, and I do not make any money from these fictions.
Summary: Spock is stealing Vulcan kisses from his captain. Jim is unbelievably oblivious.
Jim was standing in front of his chair, and he gestured for Uhura to put Admiral Pike on. The last mission had not gone so well, and he was nervous about reporting. Starfleet took a big chance promoting him to captain, but he was most afraid of disappointing Pike.
Spock knew this. They had become friends in the months since Jim's official promotion, and they bonded over crazy death defying away missions and the illogicality of women and how annoying Bones could be when he was jabbing hypos in your neck (Spock was Bones's second favorite victim).
So Jim thought nothing of it when Spock stood beside him and brushed his fingers comfortingly with his own warmer ones. It was a gesture of support and camaraderie, and he had no idea why Uhura was bristling like a cornered cat.
But Admiral Pike came on the screen, and pretty soon the last thing Jim was thinking about was Uhura's reaction to Spock's support.
He was too thankful that Spock was there besides him, keeping him grounded and stable and - dare he think it - logical.
Pretty soon that fleeting brush of fingers became common. Jim took it as Spock's way of expressing his friendship and trust and support without mushy words or outward displays of emotion.
Jim appreciated it every time they stood in the transporter room waiting to be beamed down to a hostile planet, and when he was in sickbay after returning from said hostile planet, and on the bridge when he was close to losing his temper at Starfleet brass, and in the training room after Spock took him down for the sixteenth time.
Uhura and Spock terminated their relationship right before that spectacularly bad mission that led to his public debriefing with Admiral Pike, and Spock had nothing but free personal time. Jim, who was desperately trying to avoid sleeping with his inferiors (even though he had probably already hooked up with about seventy five percent of the ensigns on the Enterprise...), turned to Spock for companionship.
They bonded further over three-dimensional chess, and when Bones joined them Jim taught Spock to play poker.
Spock had the ultimate poker face, and though he did not quite understand the logic of bluffing, he learned astonishingly quickly.
Jim wondered sometimes why Bones stiffened and sputtered and reddened every time Spock's fingers brushed his. He knew that Vulcans usually did not like skin-to-skin contact, as they were touch telepaths, but Jim was a very tactile person. He figured that Spock saw these fleeting touches as a compromise - Jim avoided clapping him on the shoulder or slapping his back or ruffling his hair, and instead brushed his fingers subtly.
Jim was very proud of his restraint. He learned to adapt to Vulcan gestures of friendship - subtle and logical and emotionality unacknowledged.
And besides, he had Bones and Sulu and Chekov and Cupcake for the back-slapping, drunken "I-love-you-man" kind of friendship.
Spock was too...elegant for that.
They were on shore leave, and Jim somehow convinced his regular bridge crew (minus Uhura - she said it should be a boys night out) plus Scotty and Bones to join him at a bar. He had not had sex in...way, way too long.
Jim was flirting with this pretty Orion girl - he hadn't had an Orion since Gaila, and man was that girl something else - when Spock came up besides him and brushed their fingers together subtlely.
Jim turned to smile at him brightly, and he introduced Spock to the Orion girl.
She quickly excused herself, her eyes darting down to Jim's hands as she makes her exit. Jim glanced down himself, wondering what could possibly be so interesting - or repulsive.
They were fine hands, really. Strong and dexterous and well-kept, and he wondered why women always looked at them before they excused themselves. Hm...maybe Spock would know...he was usually nearby when the women did so.
So Jim and Spock went back to the booth where the others were, and they slid in besides Bones, Jim in the middle.
"Guys, is there something wrong with my hands?" Jim asked them, looking down at his appendages once more.
Chekov looked at him with wide blue eyes, Sulu gave him a disbelieving smirk, and Scotty ignored him to order another drink. A quick glance at Bones showed him scowling into his Romulan ale.
Jim pouted at the lack of response and turned to Spock. The Vulcan took one of Jim's hands into his own two, examining it in detail. He stroked each finger in turn, rubbing lightly and then turning Jim's hand to examine his palm.
Chekov blushed deeply, Sulu sputtered, Scotty gulped his whiskey, and Bones hid his scowl in his drink.
"There is nothing wrong with this hand, Captain - perhaps I should examine the other, in order to be thorough?" Spock questioned casually.
"Sure, Spock," Jim replied absently, giving Spock his other hand while surveying his crew with a small frown.
They were acting weird that night.
In later years, Jim would be embarrassed at just how oblivious he was. He would blame it on his youth and the fact that he was too busy being fucked by his Alien Cultures professor to pay attention to the material. Spock would get angry and distracted at the mention of Jim's youthful promiscuity, and the topic would be dropped.
But Jim was pretty fucking oblivious at twenty five. It took an incident with a grabby Vulcan ambassadorial aide, Spock Prime, and Pon Farr in order to show him what he should have realized from the very beginning.
Said incident occurred on New Vulcan. The Enterprise had been asked to represent Starfleet for a diplomatic dinner acknowledging the colony's successful establishment.
Jim had worn his dressy captain's uniform, and Spock and the rest of the officers had followed suit. He attempted to restrain overt signs of emotionality.
It was difficult when a six foot three drunk Vulcan ambassadorial aide was invading your personal space.
Well - it wouldn't have been invading Jim's personal space had the aide been human, but Jim didn't appreciate any Vulcan but his first officer quite that close. He knew what kind of trust it would imply for the aide to touch him, and he didn't want any random drunk floozy gaining insight into his mind and emotions via touch telepathy.
So Jim was getting pretty uncomfortable, especially when the Vulcan reached forward to grab his hand. He looked down at their joined appendages with something akin to disbelief, wondering just how many thoughts the drunk, grabby Vulcan had already read.
Jim tried to pull his hand away - but of course even pissed Vulcans are stronger than a pissed off human.
So Jim resorted to his secret weapon.
He flashed his pleading baby blue eyes at his Spock.
He was a bit taken aback at the anger in his first officer's eyes - not many would have been able to tell, but Jim knew personally that that particular expression meant someone was about to get throttled.
So he turned his baby blues to Spock Prime - hoping he would be a bit more calm and rational and pull the damn grabby Vulcan away - but as he searched the room for the elder Vulcan he realized just how many eyes were on him.
Or more specifically - on his captured hand.
"Um, mind letting me go?" he asked the aide calmly, once again trying to pull his hand away. Couldn't the Vulcan read his mind and realize that he wasn't interested in holding hands with him?
How blunt did he have to be?
Somehow, Spock Prime materializes at his side, gently extricating his hand from the drunk aide.
"I am sorry for the violation, old friend," the elder Vulcan apologized.
"Violation?" Jim asked with a small frown. "That's a bit strong of a word. I mean, I know he invaded my personal space a bit, but hand-holding is pretty junior high."
The elder Vulcan blinked at him in shock.
Jim recognized that expression from his own Vulcan.
"Jim..." Spock Prime trailed off. "Hands are an erogenous zone on Vulcans. Holding hands in the Vulcan culture is similar to passionately kissing on Terra."
"Oh," Jim replied with a small voice. "So he was just getting off on touching me without me even knowing? I feel...violated."
The elder Vulcan's lip twitched just a bit at his utter obliviousness.
"Wait!" Jim exclaimed in shock. "You mean...holding hands is like - foreplay? What about...brushing fingers? Or stroking fingers? I mean...we have platonic kisses on Earth. Things you would bestow your parents or siblings or close friends...touching hands can be like that, too, right?"
"Any hand-to-hand contact is seen as a declaration of romantic intent," Spock Prime disputed. "There is no such thing as platonic contact through the hands - just as there is no possible way to make the act of fellatio platonic."
Jim sputtered, and that was when his Spock came up behind him to interlock their fingers. Jim looked down at the entwined hands with shocked eyes.
"Oh," he said again in a small voice.
At least now he knew what all those looks and reactions were about...
Why was he always the last to know?
And he was the last to know about Pon Farr as well.
He just thought Spock was really, really horny after all that foreplay...Bones set him right about fifty-nine hours of sex later…