So I woke up this morning and thought: Spock in a tuxedo! Without a tie! And FLUFF!!! And plot? What is plot, this foreign word you speak of? And UST!!! And Enough Innuendo To Start My Own Country!!! (um, wait, scratch that, that's weird)

Then I thought: Only Jim knows where the tie is.

And then this happened. Enjoy! ;)

Black tie – by the Problematique

Part 1: Formal Wear

"Spock, I'm only asking politely for appearances' sake."

"I do not care for appearances."

"I know you don't. But I do, in this case."

"Then I must decline your informal inquiry. Despite my heritage, Earth customs remain unfamiliar and alien to me, Jim, as you very well know. And I do not see the logic in your argument, therefore, it has none."

In Spock's eyes the unspoken 'You'll have to make me' is loud and clear. Jim snorts.

They sit in the Mess hall, eating together in what had been companioble silence up until about five minutes ago, when this conversation began. In three hours the Enterprise will drop out of warp next to Earth, and in one Jim needs to be back on the bridge. For now, though, he's looking forward to the big celebration at Starfleet Academy after a long, gruelling few months of high-risk missions, primarily protecting two sensitive cargo ships from pirates.

Everyone important who's alive and can make it will be going tonight, and it should give his crew some time to relax and have some fun. It's perfect, and the instant he was told about it, Jim decided that Spock must be there. Because if he isn't Jim can already sense the ache in his chest caused by missing his first officer.

So the topic is breached over lunch by a confident Jim, when suddenly a wrench in his Plans Not To Miss Spock comes in the form of his surprisingly obstinate Vulcan.

"Well too bad, Spock. Think of this as a minor yet basic part of your duty as my first officer."

"To accompany you to social events from which I shall derive no personal pleasure?"

Is it wrong that Jim likes the way Spock's mouth rolls around the word pleasure in his voice like rough silk?

"Exactly." He says cheerfully, shoving the images away to the back of his mind; a disorganised, mess of a space cluttered and filled with enough suppressed urges to earn him a Surakian membership card.

"But it is illogical to have me attend an event in which I shall not be an asset but an hindrance. There is no purpose to my presence there, since obviously my own enjoyment is not a factor, and I will not bring joy to anybody else." Jim has to let that one go, because otherwise he'll just spill everything and that would not be a good idea. "Of what use could I possibly be to you, Jim?"

I can think of plenty of uses for you, Jim's brain supplies cheerfully (or maybe it's not his brain, exactly). Jim's mouth is slightly less obvious (but only slightly).

"You will totally be of use to me, Spock! You'll keep me from getting bored. I'm always-" turned on "-entertained when I'm with you!"

"So my task there is that I am to be your personal entertainment?" Spock repeats, speaking slowly and incredulously, like Jim is lowering his IQ on purpose.

So of course Jim grins his most innocent grin as widely as he can, hoping to get rid of the gushy mushy warmth settling around his chest and stomach, making his heart lurch and beat at a frantic pace. Which is sad, Kirk, very sad, because you're only talking across a table and good God, man!

Oh no, his inner conscience is beginning to sound like Bones. That can't be a good sign.

"Precisely, Spock."

"I am still not convinced."

"Oh come on."

"For one, I would require your constant companionship in order to…"


Desperation? Check.

"… in order to successfully navigate the social intricacies of such a ceremony which, as I have already stated, elude me in this case." Jim feels his eyebrows raise. "You are willing to do this?" Spock seems perplexed. With a surge of satisfaction Jim realises Spock hadn't been expecting this particular level of stubborn. The Vulcan had been hoping that Jim would let it go. As if he didn't know his Captain.

"Oh come on, don't exaggerate, Spock. I mean, if you want me to stay by your side the entire night I won't complain, but don't you think it's a bit of a stretch to ask for my supervision?"

"Your companionship. And I am not exaggerating. That would be illogi-"

"You totally are. I've seen you in plenty of social situations before, plus it's not like you don't know how to talk to people, you just prefer not to."

"Vulcans do not express preferences, that would also be-"


Aaaand left eyebrow.

"Nevertheless, Jim, if I join you and you regret your decision because, as I have said, I will become a nuisance to you and to the other Humans enjoying the festivities, you will be the one to blame."

For a second (and it's a very brief second) Jim wants to lunge across the table at Spock and kiss him furiously until the stupid, stupid man understands that he could never, ever be a nuisance to anyone, ever, because he's brilliant and Jim is so in love with him it's kind of pathetic.

He manages to hold on to his sanity, though only just, and through gritted teeth say: "Don't you dare think that, Mr Spock." The 'Mr' comes from nowhere, but it sounds oddly fitting to his tone. Hm.

Spock blinks in surprise, then nods.

"And don't look so martyred, most of the rest of the crew will be there. Uhura'll be there." Now that he thinks about it, shouldn't it be Spock's girlfriend who's convincing him to go to this party? "Where is she, by the way?"

"I do not know. It is likely she is on duty."


Spock has never been one to volunteer information, and Jim knows better than to press the matter, so he leaves it at that. Still, he can sense Spock is not happy (although he'd deny both being happy and being not-happy if asked, Jim's already attempted to catch him multiple times).

"Think of it as a non-optional social obligation." He says, needling, and Spock puts down his fork and takes an even, soothing breath.

Yes. That's the sign. He'll do it now, he'll make Jim say it aloud, make it official that it's against Spock's will, but he'll come.

Um. To the party. Not the… other thing. That would be… just… inappropriate.

Snap out of it, Kirk.

"Is that an order, Jim?" Spock says finally.

"I was hoping we'd gotten past all that and you'd just say yes." Jim says happily, the thrill of anticipation singing in his veins. An entire night with Spock forced to hang by his side. Bliss.

"Apparently not."

"You're actually going to make me say it, aren't you?" He chides, like Spock is a particularly obstinate child he will indulge, because Jim knows he's won and victory tastes awesome, thank you very much.

"I believe I will."

"Fine." Grin firmly in place, Jim says: "It's an order, then. As your Captain I'm ordering you to the party tonight."

"Then I shall come."

Seriously, that verb should just… not be used, ever again, by his first officer. Jim's grin doesn't falter, though.

"Will I be required to dance?" Spock asks dryly.

Jim chuckles. "Don't worry, I can teach you."

"That will not be necessary."

"Wait… what? You can dance?"

Unhealthy levels of burning curiosity? Check.

"I have no comment on the matter."

Jim is being consumed by his desire to know, but somehow manages to file away the thought for future reference. There's a slightly long silence that's not awkward, but Jim feels forced to break anyway.

"You know, Spock." He says in a contemplative drawl, leaning his chair back on two legs and looking Spock up and down in a way that's hopefully not as sexual as Jim's libido seems to think it is. "If I didn't know you so well I'd swear you were trying to avoid showing up, not because it would be illogical, but because you just don't like big functions like this."

"That would be illogical, Jim, as I am Vulcan and therefore do not get 'bored'."

"Of course."

Spock's eyes are shining with laughter. Jim's heart clenches in his chest, and he has to resist the urge to laugh out loud, just because he's drunk with Spock's expression. They're sharing this moment, this secret, almost, and it's better because it's without words.

"Perhaps it is fortunate, then, that you do know me so well." Spock says finally.

"Yeah." His blood is fizzing, his chest is going to explode, his smile is so wide it hurts. "Yeah it is."


"There she is!" Scotty points to the slender female figure approaching them, and there's a collective, involuntary intake of breath from every man within a one-mile radius, Jim included, because, well, wow.

They are all hanging out right outside the Academy main building, overlooking the vast expanse of freshly mown grass that is now lit only by a few torches and the night sky. It was decided to meet here before going inside the reception, because if there's something Jim's high in command all share, it's a mutual dislike of pomp and ceremony. The general knowledge being, of course, that the pomp and ceremony happen first, and then the party begins.

Uhura is the last to arrive (Spock said he would meet them inside, as it is illogical to skip the introductions, and wasn't the ceremony the entire point of being there, Jim?) and she walks lightly up the steps looking drop-dead gorgeous in an evening gown that's all reds and fires with a plunging neckline. Her incredibly long hair is styled carefully loose around her shoulders, and it swishes becomingly when her head turns. Her eyes are dark and kohl-rimmed, eyelashes infinitely long. All in all, the effect of her beauty is staggering to watch.

Jim applauds this, quite literally.

"Bravo, Lieutenant!"

He begins to clap enthusiastically and the sound resonates through the wide hallway as they walk inside. People turn to stare but Jim's never cared about that, and Scotty joins in the cheering (looking hilarious in a tweed suit, by the way), then McCoy, and Sulu wolf-whistles, and "Uhura, you are lowely!" Chekov declares. She blushes but doesn't look embarrassed at all to be the center of attention, her smile is wide and it's clear she's pleased as punch.

"Thank you Captain, thank you very much, boys. You all look great, too!"

Jim is already very aware that they do, and he nods, satisfied that she's noticed, which makes Uhura punch him lightly on the shoulder and smile even more.

She really is breathtaking. It's easy to understand what Spock sees in her, of course, because Jim can see, as she walks next to him with fluid grace and fire, how her sharp intelligence and strong personality are more obvious now than ever.

"Seriously Uhura, you look fantastic." He says quietly, honestly, with a huge grin on his face, and she makes the same knowing nod he did before, the one that means 'Of course'.

They reach the large doors of the Main Hall, already bursting with dignitaries and high-ranking officials, many of whom, Jim notices, look at their rather younger group with either a touch of resentment, condescension or contempt.

"I think they're jealous that we have the most beautiful girl with us." Sulu says, resolutely smiling back at everyone who glances their way (and that's a lot of people). The bright, honest expression seems to unnerve many of the veterans, which is hilarious.

"I think many of them would want to be me right now, but not just because I look good." Uhura winks at Sulu and Jim looks around them at it's true, Uhura's walking in the middle of the group so it looks like she's a super-star flanked by her very own personal bodyguards.

Her very own, very attractive personal bodyguards. And Spock's not even here yet.

Jim finds himself grinning widely, already getting a kick out of this party. Sadly, Uhura's comment makes McCoy paranoid, and he spends the next ten minutes glaring at anyone who looks at her (again, that's a lot of people).

And now they're finally inside and the room is gigantic, Jim remembers coming here often as a young cadet and suddenly he's struck by nostalgia for the Academy and the people who are gone.

"Dancing!" Chekov cries, and Jim comes back to the present with a start and doesn't need to force the laugh that bubbles from his throat. He looks around the place and sure enough, there's an area that seems to have been cleared to serve as the dance floor. There are dim, purplish lights on the tables and around the room that cast a nice glow over the lavish decorations, but most of the light comes from there, as the dance floor is bathed in purple-blue focus.

"Your beauty shines tonight, Nyota." Says a quiet voice Jim knows immediately. Uhura gives the person standing in the shadow of one of the stone pillars of the Hall a sad yet brave sort of half-smile.

"Thank you, Spock."

The air is suddenly awkward, but Jim is having none of that, so he eagerly walks forward, ahead of the rest, about to chide Spock for using a metaphor (how illogical is that, eh?) when the lights catch his first officer's silhouette and he sees…


There's a sound in Jim's head like his brain circuits just giving up and quitting, and he shuts down.

Unfortunately, at the present time it is impossible to accurately represent Jim's thoughts and make them resemble anything even remotely sane or human or normal or decent or not related to sex or Spock or the tuxedo he's wearing and ripping it off.

Please come back later.

We apologise for the inconvenience.


Ten minutes later…

(Because Jim processes things quickly, and his brain is awesome)


Spock is wearing a tux.

There should really be some sort of law against things like that. Some sort of… regulation. Jim is positive about this, he is quite, quite positive. In fact, he'll draw one up himself, if that's what it takes.

It should go something like this:

"Mr Spock of Vulcan and Earth is expressly forbidden to wear the traditional formal attire known as a tuxedo, a suit or a even a blazer, or any synonym of those thereof, or any combination of the aforementioned items, or any piece of clothing even remotely similar to the previously enumerated garments. Under no circumstances shall this rule be ignored, or forgotten, or dodged, or bypassed, or broken. That saying about rules being meant to be broken? FALSE! Because this rule must never be broken! EVER! Well, never again! Dammit! And what do you mean why can't Spock wear a tux? Have you seen him?"

Yup. All he needs to do now is write it down, and hopefully the rest will take care of itself.

Uh… probably.

Right now he and his first officer stand leaning against a pillar (well, Jim's leaning, Spock is being all calm and Vulcan near the pillar), having eaten and been congratulated for their impressive rate of successful missions enough times to make even Jim, who up until today had thought he could listen to people praise him for centuries, quite tired. The good thing is that everyone has begun to loosen up with drink by now, and the party is getting into it's full swing. Jim has decided not to ingest a single sip of alcohol, because he would not be responsible for his actions then.

Spock really, seriously should not be allowed to look so amazing.

For his own sake, if not for Jim's.

The glow from the dim lights makes dark shadows that hide ink-black eyes and sharpens angled cheekbones and outlines the tip and curve of his ears. It's all rather breathtaking, Jim muses, but there's something wrong. Something… off. Something that Jim needs to… correct, as it were, and he really, really needs to do it before his head explodes.

The tie has to go.

It just does. Spock looks too restrained (Jesus that is not a good word) with that around his neck, he needs to either loosen the thing or get rid of it. Like, now. Right now.

Jim decides that there won't be a better moment for this, and takes a look around them just to make sure.

The dance floor is totally crowded, Uhura is coaxing McCoy to move, which is an astoundingly impressive feat in and of itself (Jim is astoundingly impressed), but Sulu and Chekov are nowhere to be seen, or maybe he just can't find them among the mass of bodies moving rhythmically to the beat. Scotty ran into some old friends five minutes ago, and sits at the bar talking to them.

So in conclusion, Jim and Spock are alone. More or less. As in, surrounded by people, of course, but also quite alone.

"Mr Spock?" He calls over the sound of the music.

"Yes, Jim?"

Huh, weird. They're both talking in the exact same tone. That's never happened before.

"Could I speak to you for a moment?"

"Of course."

"Follow me."

He is absolutely not allowed to grab Spock by his tie and drag him outside. That would be wrong on so many levels and probably lead to a whole lot of confusion, so really, he must stop thinking about it. Really, Jim. Stop.


Why did Spock have to wear that tuxedo? And why does it have to look so mouth-wateringly ravish-you-until-you-scream-my-name good on him? With the black fabric against the white shirt that makes Spock's skin slightly greener, and that broad back with those strong arms and that amazing ass and his neck! It's killing Jim, oh yes, very slowly, very gently, almost painfully, intoxicatingly sweetly, but it's eating him alive. All of it is eating him alive.


Jim himself isn't wearing a tie, is he? No, he has this nice, light blue shirt on under the black blazer and the combination is sort of formally informal because he opened the two top buttons and yeah, he knows how awesome he looks, he did it on purpose.

But Spock has absolutely no friggin' clue of what he's doing to people!

They walk through the crowd and it's a little like Moses and the red sea because everyone jumps out of their way. Jim will never get used to being a celebrity or whatever the hell it is that he's become now, but he's kind of oddly embarrassed about the whole thing, which is new and… okay, a bit flattering.

Until he spots the women.

So many women. You'd think a party didn't need that many women, wouldn't you? Arcadian women, Deltan women, Orion women, Andorian women, even a couple of Vulcan women, and then, of course, the Human women… all of them looking at Spock lustingly. There are men doing it too, but most of them are more… discreet. The women, they just… stare. And such beautiful women, too!

Jim needs to fight the urge to grab Spock's hand and yell something inappropriately loud at the crowd of people devouring his first officer with their eyes.

"I believe many of the women in the party find you sexually desirable, Jim." Spock points out unexpectedly, and of course decides the best way to do that is to whisper it in Jim's ear like a secret that sends shivers down his spine. Jim's heart nearly stops beating, but he grimaces and keeps walking.

"I really don't think it's me they're staring at, Spock." He mutters darkly.

"It seems rather obvious to me that they are."

In reality the crowd is staring at both of them but of course the boys are much too oblivious for that.

"No, I really don't think they're looking at me."

"But you are so attractive, Jim."

This time Jim stumbles, but manages to more or less recover his dignity and keep moving. Somehow.

"Uh, thanks."

"It is a fact, not a Human compliment." Spock says evenly. "You are the most attractive male in the room, it is natural that they single you out. Given your prospects, intelligence and good-looks, you are, in all likelihood, one of the most attractive men in the city. Perhaps the planet. Therefore-"

"What?" He turns around, still walking, to try and read Spock's expression, but it looks pretty much the same as Spock's usual expression.

"Did you really just say that, Spock?"

"It is not a compliment." Spock says again firmly, clearly not pleased that Jim seems to have misunderstood just how very scientific the observation was, and how not flattering it had been meant to sound.

But what Jim heard is that Spock thinks he's the prettiest in all the land. There's something not quite normal with that sentence and the fact that it's true. Sort of.

"You did just say that, didn't you?"

Aaaaand right eyebrow.

"Jim, I was under the impression that you were quite aware of your assets. Perhaps to a fault."

"I am. I just… didn't imagine you'd…" thought about them, Christ "… noticed them."

Also, assets?

"I have been your first officer for fifty-one weeks and three days, Jim."

Because that, obviously, just clears it all up.


"It is impossible to spend an extended period of time with you and not… notice them."

Okay, this conversation just got a really strange new turn and Jim knows he should maybe change it but instead he kind of… doesn't.

"Well, that sure sounds like a compliment, Spock."

Of course then he looks at Spock again and has the misfortune of catching how one of the lights suddenly seems to spill colour and clarity onto Spock's elegant body… and Jim remembers his reason for mentally short-circuiting before. And the reason is that Jim can barely breathe.

"Jim, I assure you it is not."


"Excuse me?"

But by now they've crossed the large hall and Jim pushes Spock toward the men's room. This earns him a stare but luckily no verbal protests. Which is just as well, because he doesn't think he can take hearing Spock's voice at this particular time.

Once inside Jim stares pointedly at the only guy in there and mouths "Out." Needless to say, he is obeyed instantly.

"May I inquire as to what you wish to… discuss here, Jim?"

Spock's tone is off. Huh. Maybe Jim's actions are easily confused with… oh. Oh.

Jim suddenly fights back a laugh when he realises what Spock is afraid of, which is ridiculous, and silly, and tempting, and funny. Poor, innocent, gullible (and rather terrified-looking, actually) Commander.

To reassure Spock of the fact that he's not planning on sexually assaulting his first officer anytime soon (although apparently his subconscious didn't get the memo, if last night's dream is anything to go by), Jim quickly says, in his most soothing voice:

"Relax, Spock."
To which Spock's eyes widen marginally, and Jim once again has to fight the urge to laugh. And then he smiles his best evil smile. Oh he'll reassure Spock, of course, just not immediately. A bit of fun first is something James T. Kirk cannot resist.

Revenge is a dish best served when you'd give anything for a cold shower.

Or something like that.


Part 2 will be comin' up soon! Initially this was just a crazy oneshot, but after having written ten pages of Word and not gotten into the ACTUAL PREMISE yet, I decided to split the monster in half ;)

Reviews be Spock-flavoured candy!

(okay, there should totally be a Spock-n'-Jim flavour of ice cream, yes?)