This was written for a prompt on the TOS kink meme: I'd really like to see a K/S fic where Kirk is asked in an interview, at a press conference or some other meeting with mass media whether he and Spock are lovers, and he answers as he does in the footnote in the novelisation of TMP, how he reasons when he thinks it up and also how Spock reacts to it when he hears/sees about it (it's up to you whether he thinks Kirk did the right thing or not), and what he says to Kirk about it. Super-extra bonus and brownie points if the ambiguities in the answer are used.

Gratification

"And, of course, we couldn't have done it without Commander Spock's timely assistance."

After the V'Ger incident Kirk had made a deal with Starfleet Command - he'd be their poster boy, like they wanted, and in return they'd give him the Enterprise back. If he'd known what it would involve, though, he might have made a different deal. He's lost count of how many interviews and press conferences they've organised over the last few months. There's even one guy who wants to write a book about the adventure.

Currently he is being interviewed by a pretty brunette – the kind that, if circumstances had been different, he would be very interested in getting to know better. Kirk smiles at her.

The brunette – a Ms Andrea Young – smiles back. "Ah yes, Commander Spock. You know, there are a lot of rumours about the two of you. They wouldn't happen to be true, would they?"

"Which rumours would these be?" Kirk asks.

Andrea raises her eyebrows innocently. "That you and he are lovers."

Kirk stares at her for a moment. He hadn't been expecting that. He thinks it through quickly. He can't give her the truth – not that he's ashamed of his relationship with Spock, quite the opposite in fact, but they haven't informed Starfleet yet. Somehow a live interview doesn't seem like the best way to do that. On the other hand, denying it completely would feel like a betrayal. Kirk takes a deep breath, prepared to tread very carefully. He'd been the youngest captain in Starfleet for a reason, and compared to some of the situations he's bluffed his way out of before, this is nothing.

"I was never aware of this lovers rumour," he begins slowly, "although I have been told that Spock encountered it several times." And hadn't that been an enlightening conversation. The amusing thing was that the first few times Spock had encountered the rumour, they hadn't been. Kirk had been left wondering exactly how many of his crew had thought that he was sleeping with his first officer.

"Apparently he had always dismissed it with his characteristic lifting of his right eyebrow which usually connoted some combination of surprise, disbelief, and/or annoyance." Bones had once expressed the opinion that Vulcan eyebrows were shaped that way so that they could raise them more effectively. There were times when Kirk could see what he meant.

"As for myself, although I have no moral or other objections to physical love in any of its many Earthly, alien, and mixed forms," That was certainly the truth, "I have always found my best gratification in that creature woman." Kirk flashes Andrea a grin. He is well aware of his, admittedly not entirely undeserved, reputation. Mostly it's an annoyance – if he'd been as unable to keep it in his pants as some people seem to think he'd have made a pretty useless captain – but there are times, such as now, when it comes in very useful.

"Also, I would dislike being thought of as so foolish that I would select a love partner who came into sexual heat only once every seven years." Andrea laughs slightly at that, and Kirk smirks as he sits back. He'd thrown in the last sentence as a particularly easy way to throw people off. Most wouldn't know that the 'only every seven years' thing wasn't true, and anyone who did would wonder why he apparently didn't know.

"Point taken," Andrea replies, proving Kirk's point. "Let's move on."

Thankfully none of the rest of the questions are that personal, and Kirk relaxes. Not bad, really. It's been some time since he's been called upon to twist the truth like that. He frowns, very slightly. Now he just has to see what Spock thinks of it all.

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He gets home a few hours later. When they'd finally returned to Earth at the end of the V'Ger mission, Spock had mentioned that he would need to find somewhere to stay. Kirk hadn't even hesitated before suggesting that the logical solution would be for Spock to stay with him.

It had been an adjustment – he'd lived alone since he'd parted ways with Lori – but in many ways it had been surprisingly easy. And after the first week or so he'd wondered how it could possibly be anything else.

"Hello?" he calls, as the door shuts behind him.

Spock appears from the kitchen. "Jim," he says neutrally.

Kirk frowns. He'd been looking forward to more of a welcome than that.

"I watched your interview," Spock says quietly. "I noticed that you were asked about our relationship."

"Are you… unhappy with my response?" Kirk asks carefully, deciding they might as well get to the heart of the matter.

"Your answer seemed very carefully worded."

Kirk notes that that's not actually an answer. Still, it's a testament to how much he's changed that Spock hadn't responded with "Vulcans do not experience unhappiness" or something to that effect. "Yeah. It didn't feel right to deny it completely." When there's no response to that, he adds, "I actually learned that from you – how to lie with the truth."

"You are saying that everything you told the interviewer is the truth?"

"Yes. Why?"

Spock looks particularly awkward. "Jim, I…" Kirk watches as he closes off, and looks away. "It is not important."

Kirk resists the urge to rub his temples. "Spock," he says patiently, "Some of us actually aren't mind-readers. You're going to have to tell me what the problem is."

After a moment Spock begins to speak again, although he refuses to look at Kirk. "You mentioned that you have always found your best gratification with women."

Suddenly the pieces start to fall into place. "You're… are you jealous?"

Spock doesn't respond, which Kirk takes as an affirmation. He spreads his hands. "Yes, I like women. That's hardly a secret." He takes a step forward. "But I love you."

Spock finally looks at him. Encouraged, Kirk continues, "'Gratification' is hardly the most important part of a relationship. It's not even necessarily the most important part of sex."

Spock doesn't look entirely convinced. "You are not… dissatisfied… with my lack of experience?"

The flash of vulnerability in his eyes makes Kirk's heart ache. He reaches forward and takes both of Spock's hands in his. "No. Definitely not," he says firmly. He doesn't know whether it's his tone, or the emotions that must be bleeding through his touch, but Spock finally relaxes.

Kirk smiles slowly and pulls Spock towards him, so that their bodies are pressed together, then wraps his arms around Spock's back. "Besides," he murmurs, "inexperience is easily fixed…." He trails off suggestively and is rewarded by Spock leaning down and kissing him thoroughly. Kirk kisses back, moving one hand up into Spock's hair. Now this is the welcome he was expecting.

And he wouldn't trade it for the universe.