"Hey," Jim said as he practically burst into McCoy's bedroom through the bathroom that joined their rooms. "You awake?"
"I am now," Bones said, sliding up his headboard with a yawn. "What's up, sunshine?"
"I'm getting married today," Jim said happily as he jumped onto Bones' bed.
"Oh really?" Bones scowled. "You could have announced this to me once the sun was up. At a decent hour."
"Nope. I'm too excited to sleep any longer," Jim said, practically bouncing. "Aren't you excited?"
"Sure," Bones responded, his tone not precisely conveying his supposed emotion. "Where's Spock? He finally realize what he's about to do to himself and sneak out under cloak of night?"
"Nope," Jim laughed. "He's meditating. On the patio. He'll be back in soon."
"All right," Bones said. "Y'all ready?"
"You know we are. I have my vows. He said he has his. Command crew's taken care of the details. We just have to wait."
"True. We're staying here until about four or so."
"That late?" Jim asked with a small frown. "I thought we were beaming up after lunch."
Bones shook his head. "No. At 4. I promised I'd keep you out of the way until then."
"It's our wedding. How could I be in the way?"
"You don't want me to really answer that, do you?" Bones asked with a knowing look in his eyes.
"Probably not," Jim conceded. "Maybe I can talk to Chris before we beam up. What do you think?"
"You probably can. Isn't it Saturday on Earth?"
"I think so. Spock will know for sure. Well, I'll try and see if I reach him."
"You know what?" Jim said, moving up to settle against the headboard next to Bones, their shoulders in contact.
"What's that?" Bones asked, turning to study him.
"I was in the shower earlier," Jim said, laughing at Bones' frown. "That's not it. But… you know."
"You've taken a lot of showers since you've been here."
"I know. But that's not the point either. I was thinking about mom. And how happy I am that Spock and I finally admitted how we feel. You know what I realized?"
"What's that?" Bones repeated.
"It doesn't much matter what anyone else thinks of you. Not ultimately. Spock loves me and you love me. The rest is just bullshit, isn't it?"
"Yes it is," Bones agreed.
"We spend too much time trying to live up to someone's else expectations. Or trying to prove that their opinion is wrong. When it comes down to it, it's really only what you think that's important. I mean, me. You know."
"I do know," Bones said, studying him with warm brown eyes. "My little boy is growing up."
"Shut up," Jim laughed. "I'm barring my soul to you and you are cracking wise."
"You really have grown up, kid. Not like you had any choice once you made Captain. But you still weren't sure you deserved it. That's all changed."
"Uh huh," Jim agreed. "A lot of that is because of you."
"And Spock," Bones reminded him.
"Yeah. But…." Jim shrugged, leaning more heavily against Bones. "Thanks."
"You're welcome, kid. I am very proud of you. But if you tell anyone I said that, I'll deny it to my dying breath."
"Your secret's safe with me," Jim assured him.
"Good. Because my retribution includes hyposprays and extra physicals."
"Don't think I don't know that," Jim laughed. "You really shouldn't use your medical degree to scare people."
"Why not? It works and nobody crosses me twice."
"True," Jim said. "I can just order them off my ship."
"But you never would," Bones said. "You will do everything you can to correct their behavior. You've never had to transfer anyone."
"There's several people I'd like to transfer off," Jim said with a shrug. "But I won't make them someone else's problem."
"I know that. Shows your maturity. Which is no-end of a surprise to me," Bones told him.
"Why are you so mean to me when you love me?"
"Keeps you humble. If I don't, who will?"
"Yeah," Jim said with a smile. "Him."
"Good morning," Spock said as he entered the bedroom. "You slept well, Leonard?"
"I did. Until an oversized teenager jumped on my bed," Bones said, trying to sound put-out but failing completely.
"I apologize," Spock said, sitting on the end of the bed. "He slipped his restraints."
"Spock," Jim said in mock horror. "You said you wouldn't tell him that."
"My apologies," Spock said over Bones' laughter.
"I'd restrain him if I were you," Bones agreed.
Spock did not respond to that, only watching Jim, a gleam in his eye that might have made Bones uncomfortable if it hadn't become so common.
"I could do with something to eat," Bones announced. "Which means I need to take a shower. So go."
"Yep," Jim said, leaving the bed and standing close by Spock. "Come to the sitting room when you're ready."
"Yes sir," Bones said, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
"No," Jim decided. "It's the brig for you."
"Whatever," Bones said with a shrug, taking clean clothes out of his tote and following Jim and Spock as they crossed through the bathroom. Bones remained, closing both of the doors.
"What were you discussing with Leonard?" Spock whispered, his arms wrapped around Jim who was leaning up against him.
"That I finally don't need to prove mom was right. Or wrong. What she thought is no longer of any importance to me."
"I see," Spock said, kissing him lightly. "Good for you."
"Uh huh. And how much I love you. And how much I love how much you love me."
"You have circular logic," Spock said with a rush of warmth.
"Yeah. Like you didn't know already. We should get dressed before we get distracted," Jim said with a smile that lit his entire face.
"Yes," Spock agreed, kissing him in contradiction to their decision.
"Stop," Jim whispered against Spock's lips. "We can't. Not right now."
"No one will be surprised. We are allowed some latitude on our wedding day."
"You sure we won't scandalize the house?" Jim asked, wanting to be hopeful and to let himself be convinced. But Sarek finally no longer intimidated him and he'd hate to lose the ground he had gained.
"We will not. Would you prefer that we go to elder Spock's house?"
"Mmm… no. I really really want you. I also don't want Sarek to be disappointed in me."
"Disappointed in us, t'hy'la. As you so often note, it takes two to tango," Spock whispered into one round ear before licking it in such a way that generally made Jim's knees buckle.
"Especially the horizontal tango," Jim agreed. "If we lock the doors, nobody will try to come in, right?"
"Our privacy will be respected," Spock assured him, going to the doors to secure the locks. He also drew the curtains, preventing any possible curious eyes from seeing in from the patio. "Do you have any further protests you would like to make?" he teased as he resumed kissing Jim and untying the string that kept his loose pants around his waist.
"None. Except you need to hurry," Jim requested, swiveling his hips so that his pajama bottoms fell into a puddle on top of his feet. They made their way to the bed, doing their version on the tango, Jim feeling ever-so-slightly naughty engaging in that particular activity when the entire household no doubt knew what was delaying them. But Spock's kisses and hands and actions made any rational thought impossible.
/As it should be,/ Spock told him as they both panted in an attempt to recover.
/Yeah,/ Jim agreed faintly, too busy floating to actually concentrate on what it was Spock was thinking. "I can't believe how much I love you."
Spock kissed him rather than answering, his love infusing Jim with warmth.
"We need to shower so we can join them for breakfast," Jim said reluctantly, his hand tracing invisibly patters on the flat plains of Spock's stomach.
"We will momentarily," Spock assured him, content to lay in their cocoon of love.
"Mmm…" Jim sighed, allowing his eyes to drift closed.
"Don't fall asleep, t'hy'la," Spock warned softly.
"I'm not. Just savoring the after-glow."
"Indeed," Spock replied, making Jim laugh.
They eventually conceded to the inevitable and left the bed to shower and dress. Those gathered were gracious enough, or Vulcan enough, to pretend they did not notice that breakfast had been over for half an hour before they emerged from their bedroom. Jim and Spock took their nonchalance as a gift, one they very much appreciated.
When they had eaten, Jim asked about the time on Earth, Spock telling him it was around noon in San Francisco. Jim excused himself, Spock going with him to Sarek's office to contact Admiral Pike.
There was a lapse before Chris answered, his hair sticking up, his eyes barely focused. "Is this some sort of emergency?" he asked, squinting at Jim and Spock.
"Nope," Jim said, shaking his head. "It's our wedding day."
"Yeah. And you couldn't have waited until morning to remind me?" Chris groused.
"Spock said it's noon there," Jim said with a laugh.
"It's midnight. Your personal clock is 12 hours off," Chris informed them, trying very hard to sound grumpy.
"My apologies," Spock said, barely disguising his embarrassed amusement. "I was certain it was mid-day."
"Okay, Spock. If you're the one who screwed it up, I forgive you," Chris said.
"I did make the error," Spock said.
"And you aren't just covering for him, right?" Chris asked, laughing.
"I am not," Spock assured him.
"Not this time," Jim said, smiling over at Spock. "So if it's midnight now, what time will it be at 5 here when we're getting married?"
"What is 5 hours after midnight, Jim?" Chris asked patiently.
"Oh. 5 a.m. No wait. Midnight is the time it is now there. Here it's… uhm…" He looked over at Spock in question.
"It is 10:12 here," Spock told him.
"Oh crap. What time will it be on Earth at 5 our time?" Jim asked Spock in quiet pleading.
"For a genius, your sense of time is nearly non-existent," Chris pointed out with no malice at all.
"I know. It took me forever to learn to tell time on a regular clock. Long hands. Short hands." Jim shook his head in some dismay.
"Our ceremony will occur at approximately 7 a.m. San Francisco time," Spock told Jim.
"We're getting married at 7 a.m. your time," Jim announced to Chris finally. "Will you be awake?"
"I might. It is Saturday here so I won't be going to work," Chris told them.
"It's Saturday coming up? Or Sunday coming up?" Jim asked with a frown.
"I went to bed at 2300 Friday. It's now 12:15 a.m. on Saturday," Chris told him patiently.
"Okay," Jim said with a nod. "So we'll contact you at 4:45 our time and you can watch the ceremony."
"That will be fine," Chris agreed. "Make sure you take the official pictures in your dress uniforms. Starfleet will have your hides if you don't."
"We will," Spock assured him. "We have arranged for Lieutenant aYrYa to take the photos."
"Good," Chris said with a nod. "And no one from Starfleet will contact you today or tomorrow. You and your crew are officially on leave. Just make sure you're ready for your next orders day after tomorrow."
"We will be," Jim agreed with a smile. "Thanks."
"You're welcome. If you don't mind, I'm going back to bed. I'll be standing by at 4:45 your time," Chris told them.
"Okay," Jim agreed.
"Thank you, Admiral," Spock added with a nod.
"I'll see you both this afternoon," Chris reminded them warmly before they ended their transmission.
"I need to let Scotty know that the crew is on leave," Jim said absently, looking only at Spock, love reflected in his eyes.
"You do," Spock agreed, leaning close enough to kiss him.
"Mmm…" Jim sighed before turning to contact Scotty. He relayed Chris's message, Scotty acknowledging it and agreeing that the crew would very much appreciate it.
"So ye'll be back at 16:00, right, sirs?" Scotty asked.
"That's the plan," Jim agreed. "Unless you need us sooner."
"No thank you, sir. Everything's taken care of. You needn't worry," Scotty assured him.
"Of course," Jim said with a smile. "Our ship's well cared for as long as you are there."
"Thank you, sir," Scotty said, pleased by the warm words. "Anything we can do for the two of you?"
"We're all set," Jim said. After a few more words of assurances, they signed off, Jim and Spock returning to the sitting room to join those gathered.
At precisely 16:00, Jim and Spock beamed up to their ship, the command crew in the transporter room to welcome them aboard. Bones and Ambassador Spock had beamed up just before they did and were still in the transporter room with the rest. Sulu requested permission to be excused after greeting Jim with a warm hug. It had been agreed that T'Pau would not be beaming up. Coming aboard via shuttle was much more appropriate, however unusual. She would be accompanied by Sarek even though he had no particular opinion about the safety or dignity of using a transporter. Sulu promised that he would be extremely careful and he would under no circumstances be late.
With those assurances, Jim gave him permission to take the shuttle, Sulu executing a smart salute before hurrying out.
The command crew excused Jim and Spock to their quarters to change and have the time to themselves, so long as they promised talking and changing were the only activities that were undertaken. Bones agreed to chaperone them, nobody listening to Jim's protests that they didn't need a baby-sitter.
Ambassador Spock agreed to join Scotty, Chekov, and Uhura in the last minute preparations that needed to be made. They all ignored Jim when he offered his help, their mysterious glances and silent exchanges making him even more curious.
"What are they up to?" he asked Bones as they went to their quarters.
"How in the world would I know? I've been on Vulcan too," Bones pointed out, glancing over at Spock who was barely able to disguise his amusement.
"Yeah. But you know stuff," Jim said in accusation. Bones just shrugged, waiting as Spock entered the code to open their door. When they entered their quarters, they were greeted with flowers, streamers, balloons, and several bottles of champagne ready to be enjoyed, elegant flutes next to the bottles.
"Wow," Jim said, appreciating the subtle transformation of their quarters.
"It is quite lovely," Spock agreed, touching one of the roses before sniffing it. "Quite lovely."
"Who has our access code?" Jim laughed, looking at their bed that had been mysteriously covered with a taupe comforter he strongly suspected was made of silk.
"You think Scotty needs something as pedestrian as an access code?" Bones asked with a laugh.
"I suppose not," Jim agreed. "You have something to do with all this?"
"Not a thing. I was on Vulcan," he repeated unnecessarily.
"Yeah, but I know your sneaky ways," Jim said, smiling at Spock. "You okay?"
"Appreciating their efforts," Spock assured him, kissing his head. "It was very kind of them."
"Nothing more than you deserve," Bones said in a rare display of his true feelings, one they both appreciated.
"We can have some champagne now, right?" Jim asked, picking up one of the bottles.
"We can. We will not allow you to over-indulge," Spock said, holding the two flutes. Bones went to their tiny kitchen area to return with a wine glass which Jim filled for him.
"Very uncouth, Dr. McCoy. Drinking champagne from a wine glass," Jim teased as they sat down to enjoy the drink and their company.
"I got couth to spare. You could use some of mine," Bones retorted.
Jim shrugged at that, leaning more heavily against Spock. "Why is he our best friend when he's so mean to me?"
"I have no explanation for that illogical decision on your part. It was you he threatened the first time you met him," Spock pointed out.
"Oh yeah. But he didn't really throw up on me," Jim reminded Spock with a smile.
"No but I may now. If you don't knock it off," Bones grumbled.
"You don't scare me. You know that, right?" Jim said as he often did.
Bones just raised one threatening eyebrow and drank more of his champagne. They continued to chat in the way only the closest of friends can do, Jim careful not to drink too much champagne, not that there was much chance of it under the watchful eyes of Bones and Spock.
Before they knew it, the time came for them to change into their dress uniforms, Sulu assuring them over their communicator that he had safely delivered T'Pau, and Sarek aboard. Bones had his dress blues in their closet and put on his while Jim and Spock also changed.
Jim stuck his hand in the pocket of his pants, looking down at the piece of paper he pulled out. Curious, Bones looked at it too. "I read it at Winona's service," Jim explained, giving it to Bones.
"It's beautiful," McCoy said with a nod. "Very appropriate."
"It was. And much appreciated by those in attendance," Spock added, kissing Jim's head.
"Put your rings on your right hands," Bones reminded them, supervising as they switched them.
"You have our wedding rings?" Jim asked as Bones fussed over Jim's collar that never wanted to stand as straight as it should.
"Scotty has them. You are my responsibility. Everything else is his," Bones said, checking Spock's uniform with a critical eye and a nod of approval. "Come on. We have a wedding to get to."
"Aye sir," Jim agreed with a laugh, his sparkling eyes smiling up at Spock who could not disguise his happiness even if had wanted to. Which he didn't.
They walked the empty corridors until they arrived at the largest Observation Lounge, the doors firmly closed. Waiting outside the doors was the Command Crew, all looking splendid in their dress uniforms, except Uhura who was wearing a dress of deepest blue, crystals sparkling like stars in the sky. She was also wearing the necklace and bracelet that they had brought to her from Iowa, a perfect compliment to her gown,
"You don't mind, do you?" she asked Jim quietly.
"Of course I don't. You couldn't possibly look more beautiful," Jim told her with a quick, chaste kiss on her cheek.
"Thank you, Captain."
"You are very welcome, Lieutenant," Jim responded with a smile.
"You may call me Nyota. Just for today," Uhura said, making Jim laugh.
"Now my day is complete," he laughed. He looked at the other members of his command crew, nearly overwhelmed by their presence and their obvious happiness. He could feel Spock's affection echoing his own. "Thank you all for being the finest personnel in the fleet. And the finest friends," Jim said sincerely.
"We have the finest Cap'n, sir," Scotty said for all of them. "And the finest First Officer."
"Thank you," Spock said with a slight bow. "You have our rings?"
"Aye, that I do. They are beautiful," Scotty said. The others had not had the chance to see them and with only a modicum of persuasion, Scotty opened the box to display them to everyone. There was much acclaim for their beauty and their appropriateness, Jim and Spock basking in their approval.
The quiet gathering was broken by Ambassador Spock leaving the observation lounge to look at them with a sparkle in his eye. "Are you going to be late for your own wedding?" he scolded warmly.
"We lost track," Jim admitted, smiling at the Ambassador. "We're ready."
The Ambassador nodded, returning to the Observation Lounge where they could hear the quiet music change to Air by Bach, the music they had chosen to play while Chekov and Sulu, Scotty and Bones, and Uhura walked down the aisle. The doors were opened by Security Chief Sam Giotto and his second in command, looking splendid in their dress reds.
With a nod and a smile, the pairs entered the Observation Lounge, stopping when they were in their places to turn and face the doors. Jim and Spock entered and the music changed to Dance of the Blessed Spirits by Christoph Willibald von Gluck.
Everyone stood as they stepped through the doors, watching as they made their way to the front where T'Pau stood patiently waiting, looking more pleased than anyone ever remembered seeing her look before. Sarek sat on the front row beside Ambassador Spock and he nodded to Spock when he caught his father's eye.
"I do not need to tell you what has brought us here this day," T'Pau said when the music had faded away. "It is our honor and our privilege to witness the union of these two men. Two finer men I have never known. My clanson has always been and will always remain the light of my eye. It is not the Vulcan way to admit to these, or any, emotions. That makes no difference when I am in the presence of Spock. The love I feel for him will not be contained and threatens to burst from my heart." Her eyes softened as she looked at Spock who looked shocked and pleased in equal measures. Such words were never spoken aloud, much less in the presence of others.
"And Captain James T. Kirk is one of the two finest Humans I have ever met. Spock's mother would have been thrilled and delighted that her son had the good fortune and the good sense to fall in love with his Captain. James, you give to Spock that which he needs, as he does for you. I rejoice in the happiness you have both found and know that it will continue for many years to come."
Jim was sure his face was going to crack from smiling so wide but he couldn't help it. T'Pau's words were a gift, a blessing, an anointment of rightness. /She is… you are…/ He had to stop, no words sufficient to convey his emotions. Spock didn't need the words. He felt the same, their love binding them as one.
"My clansons are already bonded in the Vulcan way," T'Pau continued. "As it should be. The words we speak today will seal their union before the eyes of the law, and Starfleet." She spoke the traditional words, the ones Jim preferred to use when he performed crew weddings. They exchanged their promises, the love they shared infusing those around them with warmth and contentment. "They will share their chosen words," T'Pau said with a nod.
They turned to face one another, their hands clasped between them. Jim was still smiling, sure he would never stop because there would never be a reason for him to.
"I give to thee, my soulmate, these words from an Earth poet by the name of Pablo Neruda. His words express for me that which I do not have poetry enough to say. It is my promise to you, today and always," Spock said, looking into the infinite depths of his love's blue eyes.
Maybe nothingness is to be without your presence,
without you moving, slicing the noon
like a blue flower, without you walking
later through the fog and the cobbles,
without the light you carry in your hand,
golden, which maybe others will not see,
which maybe no one knew was growing
like the red beginnings of a rose.
In short, without your presence: without your coming
suddenly, incitingly, to know my life,
gust of a rosebush, wheat of wind:
since then I am because you are,
since then you are, I am, we are,
and through love I will be, you will be, we'll be.
"We'll be," Jim whispered when Spock finished. The beauty of those words were enough to take away his final breath and he would release it willingly. Spock had just given him everything he would ever need.
/You must continue to breathe, t'hy'la. I cannot continue without you,/ Spock whispered across their bond, warming Jim even more.
"Thank you," Jim said solemnly, blinking back his unshed tears of joy. He straightened slightly, smiling in happiness at Spock. "These words I am borrowing from Shakespeare are my promise to you, my love."
Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.
"Hamlet," Spock whispered. "Act… uhm…"
/It's not important right now,/ Jim reminded him as they turned back to face T'Pau who still looked inordinately proud of herself and her two clansons.
"You will have the exchange of rings," she said with a nod to Scotty. She accepted them, cradling the two beautiful circles in her hands. "These rings serve as an outward symbol of the love that binds the hearts of James and Spock. Just as a circle has no beginning and no ending, so it is with the love of James and Spock. No beginning, no ending. Continuous. Forever." With a nod, Jim picked up Spock's ring and slid it onto his finger.
"This is my promise to you. Now and forever," Jim said, kissing it when it was in place. Spock picked up the second one, putting it carefully in place.
"Infinite diversity in infinite combinations brought us together. Infinite joy and infinite love will bind us together. Always," Spock said, kissing Jim's ring into place.
T'Pau nodded in approval, looking at her clansons and at the assembled crew, all beaming in happiness. "By the laws of Vulcan and the power of Starfleet, I am honored to pronounce you wed."
Jim quickly kissed Spock before anyone could stop him, smiling at those watching and waiting. The crew stood as they exited followed by the Command Crew, all smiles and obvious happiness. They went directly across the hall to the conference room, talking all at once. The rest of the crew would be going directly to Rec Room 6 where the celebration would be held.
"Yes, we are changing," Jim said in answer to someone's question. "Yes we'll hurry. No, you don't need to come. Of course you can change too. I promise all we'll do is change clothes. Start eating before we get there. Yes I'm sure. We won't be long. Yes I'm wearing jeans. I told you to if you want. Does it matter if it scandalizes the Vulcans? We're married. Signed sealed and delivered. Pike was watching over subspace. Yes, Nyota took care of it. Of course we have his blessing." Jim finally held one hand up and everyone stopped talking. "Please go to the reception. We'll be there shortly, you have my word." The crew reluctantly nodded and filed out, leaving only Dr. McCoy behind.
"Are you overwhelmed?" Bones asked Spock who shook his head.
"I am not. Jim is shielding much of their enthusiasm. It is not disturbing to me."
"All right," Bones said. "Let's get you to your quarters so you can change."
"You don't have to come," Jim said with a smile.
"Oh yes I do. I know how you two are. I leave you alone and we won't see you for the next day and a half. No use pretending otherwise."
Jim laughed, shaking his head. "Okay. Okay. We're coming."
"Damn straight you are," Bones said, escorting them out after making sure the corridor was clear. "Why didn't you bring your jeans here?"
"You are the boss of us," Jim pointed out with a laugh. "Why didn't you?"
Bones snorted at him, running interference with the few crew who tried to chat with their Captain and his Commander. No one was willing to have McCoy's wrath on their heads by making them late to the reception.
Jim changed into a pair of new jeans with a crisp white shirt. Spock put on a black pants and a black shirt with silver symbols woven into the wide placket. Bones echoed Jim's attire, his jeans black and his shirt dark blue.
"What does this say?" Jim asked, touching each symbol.
"A request for blessings on our house and those who reside there," Spock said, looking at Jim in a promise that those blessings were also his.
"Oh," Jim said, looking up at Spock.
"You have no idea what he just said, do you?" Bones asked, shaking his head.
"Me?" Jim responded, looking over at Bones with a smile. Jim repeated exactly what Spock had said, Bones ignoring him for the most part.
"Before we go," Bones said with a rare smile. "I'm charged with giving you your wedding gift." He went into their closet, returning with a small, festively tied box.
"We said no gifts," Jim reminded him with a smile.
"When have I ever listened to you?" Bones asked. "Open it."
Jim held it as Spock carefully untied the ribbon in order to pull off the lid. Nestled inside on a bed of bright white tissue paper were two perfect peach colored rose buds. Spock carefully removed one, admiring the color and the beauty of it.
"The crew and I had 86 of these roses planted on New Vulcan," Bones said. "In honor of your wedding and in memory of Amanda. Sulu made sure they were hardy enough to grow with minimum water. And the elders promised that they would be cared for. There was also a donation of credits to help tend them."
"That's…" Jim had to stop, could only shake his head. "Thank you."
"Your gift is one we could not have anticipated and one we will always cherish, Leonard. Thank you," Spock said, his voice conveying all of the emotions that he could not disguise, including some sadness that his mother was not with them.
Bones nodded, smiling warmly. "I told the crew I needed to give it to you here. So you'd have time to appreciate it. And in case it got to you."
"It has. We couldn't have asked for a better, more fitting gift," Jim said, looking at the perfection of the rose buds. "Why 86?"
"That's the number of nationalities and planets currently represented on board," Bones explained, taking the rose from Jim. "It has a pin so you can wear it." He held it in question only for a moment, until Jim was nodding in undisguised enthusiasm. Spock took out the second one, handing it to Leonard so that he could pin it to his black shirt as well.
"Perfect," Jim said, looking at Spock and smiling up at him. He turned his radiant smile on Bones who had no choice but to return it. "Thank you. And thank you for always being here for us."
"Indeed," Spock agreed, one warm hand on Bones' arm. "Your friendship is priceless to us both. Although we rarely express how meaningful it truly is."
"What are best friends for?" Bones asked, pleased by their words. "Now let's go to your party."
"Indeed," Spock said, making the Humans laugh. They continued to laugh in pure happiness as they made their way to Rec Room 6. A hush fell over the room as they entered, a hush that was shattered by thunderous applause, a few scattered whistles, and a shower of confetti raining down on them from everywhere.
They slowly crossed the rec room, accepting the congratulations of their crew, along with their love, and their best wishes for happiness, always. They answered each one who spoke to them, thanking them for their presence and for the thoughtfulness of the gift of the roses. The crew was clearly thrilled at their delight, pleased and proud that they had done such a wonderful thing.
Jim, Spock, and Bones finally made it to the head table where the rest of the Command Crew waited. Before Jim could sit down, he was caught in an enthusiastic hug by Gaila who looked even more delighted than normal.
"Congratulations, Captain, Commander," she said, her curls bouncing in happiness.
"Thank you, Gaila," Jim said with a wink.
"You'll save me a dance?" she requested. With his promise that he would, she went to the table with the other engineers, sitting down and flirting with whomever was closest at the moment.
"You have confetti in your hair," Uhura told Spock with a smile.
"It is of no importance," he assured her warmly. "You look splendid in your new dress."
"Thank you," she responded with a warm laugh. "You look pretty splendid yourself."
He nodded in acknowledgment, leaning closer to kiss her on the cheek. "Will you dance with me?"
"Of course," she agreed, leaning forward to look over at Jim who was watching them with a smile. "You – not so much."
"I understand," he assured her, trying not so successfully to look hurt. He was quickly distracted by the huge plate of food that was placed before him. He wondered briefly how many people would be eating from it because it surely couldn't all be for just him.
/You do not need to clean your plate, t'hy'la,/ Spock assured him with much warmth.
/Thank goodness. I'd probably explode. T'Pau has a plate, right?/
/She does. She was served directly after us./
/Okay,/ Jim said, taking a bite from his plate and admiring the transformation of the rec room. It was decorated in white and peach, roses the color of their boutonnières on every table. There were white and peach streamers, white and peach tablecloths alternating, white and peach balloons adding a casual air to the room. "Y'all did a great job decorating," he said to Bones when he paused in listening to Scotty on his other side.
"I had nothing to do with it. Chekov, Sulu, and Scotty did it," Bones said.
"It wasn't even your idea?" Jim asked him.
"No, not really. Once we decided on your gift, the rest just made sense," Bones said.
"That's for sure," Jim agreed. "It's beautiful."
"Nyota expressed some concern that it might be too feminine but we figured it's a wedding. White's always traditional and the peach matches the flowers."
"It was an appropriate, lovely decision," Spock said, leaning forward to join the conversation.
"I think so too," Bones said with a nod.
"The peach color your idea?" Jim asked with a smile.
"Maybe. Or maybe some of us know that it's Spock's favorite rose," Bones said, winking at Spock.
"Is it?" Jim asked in surprise, wondering how he didn't know that.
"It is. And it is of no importance that you did not know," Spock assured him, a warm hand on Jim's knee.
"How does Bones know something I don't?" Jim laughed.
"Powers of observation," Bones said mysteriously, pouring Jim more champagne. "You want some more, Spock?"
"Yes please," Spock agreed, holding his flute for Bones to refill it.
They ate and drank and chatted and laughed, enjoying themselves immensely. Spock was clearly pleased by the festivities even if he didn't laugh with the others. Anyone present would know that he was enjoying himself and he was glad for it.
Jim and Spock looked up at Bones when he stood, tapping his flute with a spoon. The age-old signal was honored and a hush fell over the room.
"When the Captain and the Commander requested that I be their best man, I naturally agreed. Someone had to make sure they stayed out of trouble. Well, had to make sure the Captain stayed safe. None of us were particularly worried about the Commander." Bones stopped to let the laughter have its time before continuing. "I agreed to stand with them, but I made it clear that speeches are not my thing. 'I'm a doctor, dammit, not a poet.'" This brought another wave of laughter, Jim smiling up at McCoy in pure happiness. "That didn't seem to deter either of them so here I am. For better or worse. Just as Jim and Spock have promised to remain one. For better or for worse. And we couldn't be happier for them both." This brought new cheers and the Humans at the head table beamed in delight.
"Because I am no man's poet, I did the logical thing – I searched for a poem to expresses what we all wish to tell our commanders, our friends. I found this passage but I was never able to find its original source. I'm sure Commander Spock will be able to help me with that – as time allows. In the meantime, I give to you, our friends, these words with all the love that we hold for you."
Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Take responsibility for making the other feel safe, and give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves. When frustration, difficulty and fear assail your relationship, as they inevitably encroach on all relationships, remember to focus on what is right between you, not that which seems wrong. In this way, you can survive the times when clouds drift across the face of the sun, remembering that even though you may lose sight of it for a moment, the sun has not gone for good. And when each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.
The room erupted in thunderous applause when Dr. McCoy finished, Jim embracing him in a warm, sure hug before the Doctor sat back down, smiling at his friends.
"It's time for your dance, sirs," Uhura informed them quietly. Jim nodded, Spock looking a little less certain even though he readily accepted Jim's offered hand. There were small gasps as they made their way to the dance floor, all those present enjoying the sight of their commanding officers united in love and looking far too handsome for their own good.
The overhead lights, while already lower than normal, dimmed as they stood on the dance floor, close but not overly so. The music started and Jim had to laugh. They had left the choice of the first dance to the wedding planners and he shouldn't have been surprised when it was the theme from "Beauty and the Beast."
/Ours is a tale as old as time,/ Jim agreed as they danced to the familiar music.
/Are you the beast or am I?/ Spock asked with floating bubbles of amusement.
/I shudder to think,/ Jim admitted, smiling up at him. /Seems appropriate, though. Could be our story./
/Indeed,/ Spock agreed. /I am pleased that we made those small changes./
/So am I,/ Jim agreed, leaning close enough to press a quick kiss on Spock's lips, their friends erupting in applause at the small gesture of affection. Jim could only shake his head, staring at Spock in complete love.
When the music faded out and the applause had finally stopped, Uhura came to claim Spock for her promised dance, Gaila taking Jim's hand for hers. They danced and talked and Jim laughed enough for them both.
Spock requested a dance from T'Pau and she readily agreed. The music was appropriately sedate and every person present seemed to be holding their collective breath at the symbolism of their dance. When the music stopped, Spock bowed to T'Pau before escorting her back to the table. She looked especially pleased and watched the remaining dances with a warm, loving expression.
Sometime after 1:00 a.m., Bones decided the party had lasted long enough and began shooing the crew out of the Rec Room. When only the Command Crew, Ambassador Spock, and Sarek remained, they all sat and enjoyed one last glass of champagne together. T'Pau had excused herself several hours earlier, accepting Jim's invitation to spend the night in their guest quarters.
"Thank you all," Jim said, smiling at his friends. "You did an incredible job."
"It was our pleasure," Scotty assured him.
"We vanted it done right, sir," Chekov told him happily. "Vhen Sulu and I are married, you vill perform it, da?"
"Of course," Jim agreed. "Have you decided?"
"Not yet," Sulu answered for them both. "Maybe next time we have leave."
"Da," Chekov agreed happily. "Then ve vill have the honeymoon."
"I don't plan to wait until then," Sulu reminded him with a laugh.
"My sources say you have already started it," Uhura chimed in, the two of them frowning at her.
"I heard the same, lassie," Scotty agreed.
"Not much of a secret then," Ambassador Spock decided.
"Were the first Pavel and Hikaru in love?" Uhura asked him, smiling at them.
"I believe that they were," Ambassador Spock said. "They never married but I do not know the reason."
"As long as they were happy," Uhura said.
"They were that, Nyota," the Ambassador assured them.
"I am beyond pleased for you both, my sons," Sarek said, standing. "However, I am no longer as young as I like to believe. It is past time for me to be in bed."
"Of course," Spock said, also standing. "I will escort you to your quarters."
Sarek nodded to accept his offer and they left, talking quietly.
Jim said good night to the rest of the crew, Bones walking him to their quarters. "I can't possibly get into trouble now," Jim protested with a laugh.
"Yeah. But it may be the last time I have to be with you alone for a while," Bones said, putting one arm across Jim's shoulder. "I'm glad I didn't throw up on you, kid."
"Wouldn't have mattered. We'd still be best friends," Jim promised him. "It was destiny."
"I have to agree. Lucky for you."
"You got that right," Jim laughed, stopping when they reached the door to his quarters. "Go to bed, Dr. McCoy. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Aye sir, Captain Kirk sir," Bones responded, hugging him tightly before going down the corridor to the turbolift. Jim watched him until he disappeared around a corner.
Once Jim was inside their quarters, he took off his jeans and shirt, carefully putting aside the boutonnière. It wasn't long at all before Spock came in, finding Jim already in their bed, sitting up against the headboard.
"I missed you," Jim said with a smile.
"I was gone less than 10 minutes," Spock scolded warmly.
"Seemed a lot longer," Jim shrugged with one bare shoulder. "Undress please. And come to bed."
"You can be certain I have no other plans," Spock assured him, standing beside the bed to disrobe, letting Jim enjoy the private show. Once he was naked, he went into the bathroom, very soon returning to join Jim in their bed, appreciating the new silk sheets that had been put in place.
"As much as I'd love to make advances on you, all I can think about is going to sleep," Jim said with a yawn.
"We have the rest of our lives to make advances on one another," Spock reminded him, laying flat on the bed, Jim's body snug up against his. "I love you, t'hy'la."
"I love you," Jim returned, kissing Spock's beautifully graceful ear. "And I love that you love me."
"There is your circular logic again," Spock chided gently.
"Circular. Like our rings," Jim said, holding up their left hands to admire their wedding rings, their promise of all their tomorrows.
"Beautiful. Like my t'hy'la," Spock said, kissing Jim before wrapping his arms around him to hold him tight. "Sleep, now. Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of our lives."
"And we'll live happily ever after. Cause I have your promise," Jim said, his voice laden with sleep.
"Yes we will," Spock promised, absolutely certain it was a vow they would both keep.