Epilogue

"I'm coming – because god knows you can't avoid trouble," Bones groused, glaring at him as if Kirk tried to get hurt on away missions. He had been in a much better mood since the holidays and Joanna's comm – not that was saying much, for his usually grumpy best friend.

Bones still harried and shadowed him, but not he split the mother henning duties with Spock. Kirk would have killed them both by now, if he didn't love them so much.

"It's New Vulcan, and you already gave me the tri-ox compound and every other vaccine under the sun," Kirk replied, trying his most charming smile.

Bones mumbled something under his breath about best-friend-stealing hobgoblins. Kirk knew that wasn't fair to Spock, and it wasn't like he and Bones weren't still best friends. The doctor just didn't like that Kirk occasionally came into the medical bay to restock on lubricant and get some of his visible bruises healed.

He didn't know why he bothered, considering Spock just replaced them the next time they made love.

"Bones," he chided gently, because the doctor was still grumbling a bit.

"Well, I'll never like Spock, but as long as he keeps you safe I'll put up with him," Bones replied, brow furrowed.

"Thanks," Jim said with a smile, because that was as close to a blessing as they were going to get from his best friend.

"You better put sunscreen on! And for everything that is holy, please tell Spock to stop bruising you where everyone can see. There's not enough brain bleach in the universe…" Kirk smirked as the turbolift doors closed on Bones's continued grumblings.

The turbolift stopped at Deck D, and Spock walked in. Hair perfectly in place, uniform wrinkle-free and spotless – but a faint green mark stood out on his neck, left there by Kirk's eager mouth the night before. He just couldn't resist the urge to wrap his hands in that dark hair, messing it up as he pulled Spock's lips down for a kiss…

Spock knew exactly what he did to him.

…which was an excellent thing, because it meant he got to touch pretty much whenever he wanted.

"Captain," Spock murmured against his lips as they broke the kiss.

"Hey, Mister," Kirk purred back, licking his lips just to see Spock's eyes darken with desire. "Fancy seeing you here."

Spock opened his mouth, but Kirk shut him up with another kiss before he could ask 'Fancy, Captain?' He knew his first officer too well, sometimes.

The turbolift doors opened to the transporter room, startling them out of their passionate kiss. Kirk knew he was blushing as they disentangled from their embrace, and Spock steadied him before his knees gave out and he fell flat on him face.

Kirk would say that he was so fucked – but well, that was for later.

"Ready?" Kirk asked Uhura and Sulu.

"Aye, Captain."

"Alright everyone, I hope you all got your tri-ox shots. Wouldn't want Doctor McCoy to complain," Kirk said with a fond smile.

They quickly and efficiently organized themselves in the beaming position on the pad. Spock stood at his side, as always - no longer too far away.

Because Kirk got his wish: he and Spock were touching constantly, body and mind, so entangled with each other that nothing and no one could ever separate them…

Kirk only had a mission to complete before he could experience his bondmate's touch once again.

"Energize."