A/N: Sorry for the gap between chapters, but this chapter just would not be written. Seriously, all the other chapters came to me so easily and then when I got to this one I realized I had no idea how to end this story. Then life suddenly caught up with me and I've been completely swamped for the past week. But still, I've never written so much so fast in my life. You guys are just so encouraging. I love this fandom and I am definitely writing more for it.
The title of this chapter has no bearings whatsoever to the content, it's just my favorite Fleet Foxes song and I've been kind of waiting to slip it in.
Blue Ridge Mountains
"Jim!" McCoy spluttered. "How long have you been standing there?"
Jim shot his friend a pointed look. "Long enough. Anyone mind telling me what's going on?"
It was not a request. McCoy opened his mouth to answer, but it was Spock who spoke up. "I was simply having a conversation with the doctor. If you would like to talk to him I was about to go back to the bridge."
He moved forward but Jim stepped in his way. "Oh no you don't. We've been sidestepping the issue long enough. I want an explanation." His voice was strong, but there was a very slightly quiver in it that gave him away. He knew there was a good chance this conversation would leave him even worse off than before.
"An explanation?" Spock repeated. How he could look so composed when Jim and McCoy had witnessed him pour his heart out mere moments earlier was beyond the young captain. "I have already informed you of the situation. I do not know how I can explain it further."
"How about you start with what you just told Bones?" Jim suggested. "Because it completely contradicts what you told me last month. Which is the truth?"
Spock fidgeted. "Ah." He paused and when he resumed there was almost palpable bitterness in voice. "It is hardly relevant anymore."
Jim crossed his arms. "It's our relationship. I'd say that's relevant."
"Seeing as how you are already involved with the doctor-"
"Whoah, Bones and I are not… 'involved'," Jim cut in. "Okay, what you walked in on last night might have been a little… but I was drunk and Bones isn't interested in me that way."
Spock looked confused, or as confused as a Vulcan could get. "He informed me of your romantic entanglement not five minutes ago."
"Did he now?"
McCoy, who had been slowly but steadily backing out of the room since the conversation started, froze in his steps.
"Well, I didn't say that exactly," he defended. "I… insinuated." Jim raised an eyebrow. "I was just trying to get some response from the cold-blooded bastard!"
"By sticking your nose where it doesn't belong?" Jim said angrily.
McCoy scoffed. "Where it doesn't belong? He hurt you, Jim. I had to do something."
"I asked you not to," Jim reminded him.
"Well, it was all Uhura's idea."
Jim pinched the bridge of his nose. "Just how many people know about this?"
"You're not exactly subtle," McCoy informed him. At Jim's glare he raised his hands in defeat. "Look, I'll stay out of it. Leave you to your talk."
And he was gone. Jim turned back to Spock, who had his gaze fixed on the floor. Neither of them moved.
Jim sighed. "Spock… I don't want to force you into admitting something that isn't there. But if- if you do feel something for me, something other than apathy or annoyance, then I think I have to right to know why we can't act on it."
Spock stayed silent for a long while. "I do feel… something for you Jim. Something that is very hard for me to repress." He looked up to meet Jim's eyes. "Something I do not want to repress."
"Then why do you have to?" Jim asked before he could stop himself. He stepped a little bit closer to his first officer and the hope in his chest flared when Spock did not back away.
"It shames me," Spock continued. "And I cannot let my emotions show, I cannot admit to them. Do you understand?" His gaze turned almost pleading. "When she lived I could not tell my own mother I loved her. I cannot do it for you."
"I don't care," Jim said. He stepped closer. If he just reached out a little he would be able to grasp Spock's hand in his own… "If you can't show it either that's fine. I don't need that kind of validation, I'm emotional enough for the both of us."
Spock shook his head. "You are human. You need-"
"I need you," Jim whispered and took another step. Their noses were almost touching. "The rest of it I can get by without."
He bridged the gap between them with a light touch of his lips against Spock's. It lingered for only a second before he pulled back.
"….I'm sorry," Jim muttered. "That was probably out of line."
He got no verbal response. Instead, Spock leaned in and kissed him tentatively. Jim responded immediately and grabbed the front of Spock's shirt, pulling him closer. Spock grasped his arms in return. The kiss was gentle and teasing and wonderful after six weeks of tense shifts, furtive glances and assurance that this was never going to happen, ever.
Even when it broke they still clung onto each other, neither able to let go.
"I am sorry," Spock murmured and his breath tickled Jim's face.
"I thought apologies were illogical," Jim teased.
"In most cases," Spock agreed. "Yet sometimes they are necessary."
Jim smiled shyly. "It's all right. I shouldn't have pushed."
"And I should not have lied," Spock said. Jim hummed in response, but didn't contradict him.
"What now?" He asked after a long silence.
"That depends on you," Spock told him. "You know my reasons for rejecting you now. If you will still have me-"
Jim grinned. "Do you even have to ask?"
The next kiss they both saw coming and it held everything of the others before and more. And even though they probably had a long time to go, especially Spock, Jim reasoned to himself that he had never backed down from a challenge and he wasn't about to now.
Yay, it's over! I hope you're not all too disappointed in this ending. Hey, the sequel is yours if you want to! I'd of course have to plan and write it first, but you know… I will if you ask me. In fact, I'm putting up a poll on my account asking you guys what you think I should focus on next. I have a couple of ideas for Trek fic, and since I can't decide what I want to write first I'm letting you guys pick.
Anyways, I just want to say thanks for reading all this and to those who reviewed, you are awesome people, all of you.