A/N: I had expected this to be longer, but I looked at my notes and realized that really, what this needed was a clean cut.
So that is what I did. I hope you enjoy.
T'Panya's controls were in poor condition. This was evidenced by the excessive amount of urgency she displayed when she burst into the Academy's medical wing.
Doctor McCoy preformed an admirable if ill-prepared attempt to calm the flustered Vulcan, but T'Panya was too deeply entrenched in her stress and excitement to listen to the man's pleas. "Captain Kirk asks that Commander Spock meet him in the main hall; the captain also requires stimulants to –,"
"We know," McCoy interrupted. "Jim was talking to us over the comm, remember? We heard everything. Are you ready to go?"
"I – Yes," T'Panya nodded shortly. "Is the commander –,"
"I am prepared," Spock answered, rolling off of his bed to stand next to the exasperated physician. T'Panya blinked once to absorb the information, and then all but bolted from the room, presumably heading towards the main hall. McCoy peered after her with obvious astonishment.
"Her mental blockades have failed." Spock walked out of the sick room into the hallway. McCoy followed him closely. "They have been weak since she beamed down to the Tellaritian colony with the captain. The strain of the Revolt has broken them entirely."
"Huh." McCoy stepped over a patch of ground that was darkened by a liquid of questionable origin. "I thought Vulcans got violent when they lost their shields."
"She is violent, in a fashion."
"Well, physically violent."
Spock crept carefully down the final flight of stairs. He had issues with Terran stairwells at the best of times, as his legs and pelvis were designed almost exclusively for walking over sand. Further complicating the issue were the dataPADDs that littered the walkway, hastily discarded in the wake of the apparently successful Revolt.
The main lobby was sparsely populated. What people were present were gathered in a loose crowd at the opposite end of the hall. Spock attempted to approach the group cautiously, but McCoy adopted an opposing strategy that involved cursing at James Kirk and threateningly brandishing a hypo full of stimulants. People turned at the racket and parted quickly to admit an irritated Chief Medical Officer into their midst.
A short yip confirmed what Spock had suspected: Jim was in the middle of the crowd, holding court.
"Bo-ones!" Jim whined. "What was that – Oh. Ohhhh." The human's moan turned undeniably sexual. "Stimulants." Jim hummed happily as the chemicals began to take affect. "Thank you."
"You're an idiot." McCoy responded flatly. "A fucking idiot."
Spock nodded to Uhura, Stevens, and Nowmi, who waved him over. "We're working on the photo," Nowmi explained unnecessarily. "Can you call Tranya and Nimeret? We want to have a panoramic shot of them and the Enterprise over the Academy, and I need someone they'll listen to to make them line up right."
Spock nodded and sent the message to the captains through their respective Communications departments. "Should I also contact Engineer Scott?"
"Already done," Uhura responded. "The cadets and faculty are all in place, and Stevens knows where he needs to go?" Uhura's statement trailed off into a question. Stevens nodded and hefted his camera, marching cheerfully out of the building to the front of the campus. "All we need to do is move this mob to the roof."
Spock narrowed his eyes. "You are certain that the roof has been –,"
Nowmi grinned and looked over his shoulder. "Giotto, you wanna reassure the Commander here?"
Lieutenant-Commander Giotto appeared from the 'mob' of twelve. "I scoped it out myself, Commander," Giotto saluted. "I'd put my career on that floor being safe."
"Very well." Spock looked over to where Jim was laughing with Admirals Archer and Pike. "I will inform the Captain."
Giotto murmured some response that Spock paid no attention to. Jim was waving Spock into his inner circle. "I'm so glad to see you," the human said sincerely. "Are you alright?"
"Affirmative." Spock broke eye contact before he said or did something he would regret. Admiral Pike looked amused. "Admiral Pike, is there something I should know?"
Pike smiled. "Nope. You seem to have it covered." The admiral looked contently over the collection that had come to accompany the captain: Lieutenants Sulu and Uhura, Ensign Chekov, Lieutenant-Commander Giotto, Ambassador Prime (Spock was not entirely sure that he appreciated the Ambassador's presence), and Admirals Archer and Pike, and, of course, the ever-present Nowmi and T'Panya. The latter was being hesitantly and awkwardly comforted by an uneasy Nowmi, who seemed disinclined to come into physical contact with the jittery Vulcan woman.
"Are we moving out?" Jim asked Spock quietly. Spock jumped slightly at the sudden address and hoped that Jim would be kind enough not to comment.
"We are supposed to, yes."
"Righto." Jim planted his feet at shoulder's width and settled his fists firmly on his hips. "Crew of the Enterprise and company!" he announced. "We're off!"
"To see the wizard," Spock heard Sulu mutter. The group began to migrate up the steps to the top floor.
Jim and Spock were the last to leave the main hall, and so were at the back of the raucous mob that twined through the Academy corridors. Jim moved closer so that the back of his hand brushed Spock's hip. "Are you really alright?" the human asked with genuine concern.
Spock nodded, feeling heat rise from his neck. He would soon be visibly blushing. "I am well. The Doctor has managed, through no skill of his own, I am certain, to cure the worst of my symptoms."
Jim snorted with surprised amusement. The blonde elbowed him playfully. "We did it, you know."
"Could you be slightly more vague?"
The human laughed outright and worked to smother the noise. "We pulled off this Revolution. I mean, I'm not sure I agree with it totally, but I'm glad that it worked." Jim frowned. "If that makes any sense."
"… Not particularly."
"Yeah." Jim grinned at the ceiling and knit his hands at the back of his neck. "I guess not." He tilted his head to beam at Spock. "I'm glad you were with me for it."
Spock could feel his ears change color in dramatically little time. "… Thank you."
Jim was clearly distracted. "… You know…"
"You have my permission."
"You have been focused on my ears for quite some time now."
Jim looked to the group to ensure that no one was paying them any mind. He then nudged Spock over to a wall and put a hand to the side of his face, lightly tracing the edge of one pointed ear. Jim appeared content to stay in that position, one hand draped gently over a jaw and cheekbone, so Spock raised an eyebrow in challenge.
Jim's eyes widened, he beamed, and he kissed Spock.
While this was not at all what Spock was expecting to happen, he had no complaints, and the two of them were having an indecently enjoyable time before Nowmi ran up and, with absolutely no warning, kicked Jim in the shins. Jim broke away with an aborted yelp, and Spock glared at the reporter. Nowmi was not fazed by the look. In fact, she looked rather giddy with energy absorbed from the joyful officers. "You're lagging," she explained. "Archer was getting worried."
Nowmi spun on her heel and left for the group, which had at some point turned the corner. Jim blinked after the woman. He turned to Spock and leveled a determined finger. "We are continuing that later."
Jim grinned at him. "Excellent." The human bounded off down the corridor. Spock watched him go with affectionate amusement.
"Well?" Jim asked, poking his head around the bend in the corridor. "You coming or what?"
Spock rolled his eyes and enjoyed Jim's choked gasp. "I will attend. I would not, after all, wish to be late for the afterparty."
The photograph was carried on the front of every newspaper of consequence: Captain Kirk and his crew lined up on top of the Academy, with the Enterprise, Odyssey-A, and Salient floating above. Deliriously happy cadets and staff cheered on the lawn.
The reporters Zarabeth Nowmi and T'Panya stood to the left of the Enterprise crew, joined by Admirals Archer and Pike and by the Senior Vulcan Federation Councilperson Prime. They were gathered a respectful distance from the heroes of the Cadet's Revolution of 2259, and they applauded.
Jim beamed like an idiot as Spock set up the chessboard. They'd only been in space for six days, but everyone was already talking about the Revolution as if it were ancient, sacred history. It drove Spock crazy, and the hybrid felt it his duty to respond to all of the requests for comment that came pouring in from various news outlets. Jim assured the man that the care he took with his statements wasn't necessary, but Spock didn't believe him, and went about skipping chess in favor of typing.
Spock looked questioningly at Jim from under his eyebrows. "I'm happy you're here," Jim explained, still grinning. Spock nodded slowly, after a beat. "Oh, come on. I know you missed me."
"… We work together in close contact for over eight hours a day."
"… Spock, you know it's bad for my heart if you surprise me with this shit. I can get sick. Why do you hate me so much."
"I will assume that you are being sarcastic."
"That'd be wise."
Spock settled the last pawn in its place. Jim started to squirm off of the bed where he'd been sprawled, noodle-like, for the past three hours, but Spock unexpectedly picked up the board and carried it over to him. Spock took a seat at Jim's hip, the Vulcan's weight driving the blankets over the side of the mattress.
The board was placed next to Jim's head. "Your move, I believe."
Jim blinked at the nonchalant tone, then enjoyed the notion that this was their new normal. He hummed peacefully and tucked a knight into a corner on the second level.
They played quietly for a few minutes, until it became clear that Jim wasn't really putting forth a huge effort and would be crushed in an accordingly puny amount of time. Spock took the opportunity to settle his hand on Jim's stomach.
It didn't have a lot to do there, and it surprised Jim to the point where he didn't have any sort of response for a good while. Spock seemed to get nervous when Jim didn't say anything, and was pulling the hand away when Jim settled his palm on Spock's wrist and pressed gently. The two of them inhabited in a sort of pleasant awkwardness for a while, at which point Jim decided to break the tension by leering grandly up at the Vulcan.
Spock looked exasperated, but didn't move his hand. "The Admiralty will be searching for admirals to fill the places vacated by Mr. Barnett and Mrs. Hivash," Spock said, trying to be subtle and failing miserably. Jim snorted and took one of Spock's bishops.
"No way. I like my job. Besides, we've got to stay here and make sure Dejan is fitting in."
"Ensign Tyr is totally assimilated within the Communications Department. Lieutenant Uhura saw to that."
Jim hummed, rubbing Spock's captive wrist with his thumb. Tyr Dejan was admitted into the Federation with little fuss, becoming Dejan Tyr in the process. Cardassian last names were traditionally spoken first, and the Admissions Board had taken it upon themselves to swap the order of Dejan's names. Jim had thrown a tantrum, and Starfleet had found it fit to admit the Cardassian woman as 'Tyr [first name] Dejan'. She was doing well at her post, and seemed to enjoy making fun of Barre, Uhura's flighty second in command, in Cardassian, which amused everyone except Barre.
"Dejan's cool like that."
"I shall be sure to pass that information on."
Jim snorted. "Don't you dare. I'll have to explain the metaphor to her in depth, and you know how bad I am at that."
Jim laughed at the dry tone. "I'm honestly just waiting for something to go wrong."
Spock peered down at him with concern. "Why? We are the leaders of a successful Revolt. There is little that can be done to us."
"I guess so." Jim sighed and dug his head into Spock's hip, looking up at the abandoned board. "But we've thought that before, haven't we."
"… Yes." Spock ran his free hand through Jim's hair. "We are still here, however."
Jim's alarm went off with a jarring wail. Spock tensed and Jim twisted around the Vulcan to slap at the clock. "Sorry," he grinned apologetically. "I set it to make sure I didn't forget T'Panya's show."
Spock nodded in acknowledgement. "I have seen very little of it."
"It's good, actually." Jim relaxed back onto the bed. "I'm glad that she's got her own, now. And that it's streaming from the colony, that's pretty cool. First live broadcast and all that."
"How had Nowmi reacted to the development?"
"She seems fine. She hasn't called since Mahor and Pachek's funeral, if that's what you mean."
Spock was silent for a moment. "… It is… good that they received a formal memorial."
Jim curled closer to Spock's thigh. "Yeah. It is."
James insisted that he was not surprised by the order to patrol the Beta quadrant. The two men were sitting alone in the main conference room, discussing the reasoning behind the Admiralty's unusual decision to send the flagship of the Federation into the areas least patrolled by Starfleet.
"They want us out of the way while they work everything out," he explained. "Normal human reaction. Archer wants to get his footing as new Commodore, and doesn't need even more media devoted to any communications breakdowns or ambassador's deaths or Orion issues –,"
"Or relationships between commanding officers."
James stilled for a moment. Spock took the moment to open the channel that had begun to blink patiently on the incoming frequencies section almost the moment that the Admiralty had signed off. Spock made sure to switch off visual feeds from both ends, letting only audio transmit.
Jim nodded almost gleefully. "Yeah. That too. Pike didn't seem too happy when we told him, huh?"
James hummed at the memory of the stunned and frustrated admiral. "It's not the worst that could happen."
Spock felt an eyebrow rise seemingly of its own volition. "How did you come to that conclusion?"
Jim beamed over at him. "We're still together, aren't we?"
"They rerouted the entire ship because of –,"
"The captain. That's normal."
"It is not –,"
"Right or ethical."
Spock stared at his folded hands, conscious of the room's invisible third party. "… Nowmi would be glad to hear of this issue."
Jim gasped softly with horror. "You're… You're evil." The blonde seemed to curl in upon himself with a gleeful purr. "Oh, she'll love us."
"She is," Spock reminded him, "busy covering the Klingon reaction to our destruction of one of their ships at Orion."
"Oh, they shouldn't've been there anyway." Jim waved the issue away. "Besides, we had to get Topos's body to the Fed; they were in the way. We'll win."
"Yes," Spock agreed, "we will. But first there will be a fight."
"Eh, what else is new. We'll give her two weeks, get ourselves right in the middle of nowhere, and give 'em hell."
Spock waited before nodding. His acquiescence was almost ceremonial. "A sound plan."
Jim beamed at him again. "I do believe, however," Spock continued, "that a conversation with my counterpart is in order."
Blue eyes widened. "Holy shit, I haven't talked to Prime since the – God, I'm such a bastard! Thanks," Jim dove for the comm controls, "I totally would've –,"
Prime's face appeared on the table's holoscreen without any prompting from Jim. "Hey Prime, I'm – Why're you grinning? … Wait… How long has this thing been on –? Spock, you dirty bastard, you told me we were going to wait to tell him about –! God, I hate you all!"
Prime was barely withholding a Terran smile. "I requested information on your relationship status and future plans. I had not expected that –,"
"Spock, you dirty bastard!" Jim was talking through laughter. "You said we weren't going to be able to get a message through!"
Spock shrugged for effect. "T'Panya –,"
"– ensured a connection. I doubt we will have any issues in the future."
Prime nodded in agreement as Jim spluttered happily. "I am in agreement. Our communication problems seem to, for the most part, have been solved."
T'Panya did segment on the biases the Admiralty held against relationships between commanding officers two days afterward. It was excellent. Nowmi was irritated that she had not gotten the lead from Jim, until the blonde informed her of the identity of Pike's date.
Winona Kirk was irritated when the reporter called asking about the ethics of an ambassador being involved with an admiral, but she understood her son's motivation, and commed to tell him so.
Meanwhile, Archer sent the Enterprise deeper into the Beta Quadrant and did not bring up the issue again. Jim and Spock were free to watch politics, but were cut off from actively participating.
This suited them just fine.