Title: Life is Like a Malt Shop
Rating: K+ for cursing and preslash.
Warning: In this fic, you will find:
-General implausibility in each and every respect!
-References to TOS, Harry Potter, and pasta!
-And, of course...SLASH! Because the day I write a fic without any slash is a sad, sad day, indeed!
Summary: Jim's a dork, Spock puts up with him, bonding happens, then Deus Crackadrama Machina descends upon them both. Written for the lulz and inspired by a kink meme prompt, but I don't want to say which one, since that will give away the plot. What little there is of it, anyway.
A/N: All chapters for this one will be short and sweet, and I am anticipating 4-6 chapters. I already have the second chapter written, and most of the third, and will be putting the second chapter up on May 8. This fic, um...might be part of the reason why Chapter 8 of TOB took so long to write. Maybe.
—The Captain of the Football Team—
Sixteen months into the Enterprise's first five-year mission, Spock still hadn't warmed up to him.
It was true that there hadn't been any more Choking Incidents (for which Jim was very grateful), and that there wasn't nearly as much open hostility between them as there had been before the Narada. But "nonhostile" wasn't nearly good enough, as far as Jim was concerned.
Spock was always so formal, so efficient, so...Vulcan. Most of the time, that was absolutely awesome, but sometimes—though Jim would never admit it, he had a reputation of stoic manliness to maintain—it made Jim feel a little lonely. There was this unnatural distance between them and he didn't know what to do about it.
Well, maybe the distance wasn't so unnatural, considering the Choking Incident, the Hoth Incident, and the multiple Hit On Uhura Incidents. And the Massage Oil Incident. And the Rigelian Fever Incident, of course, but Jim was still pretending that one never happened.
Old Spock (or, as Jim called him when he got frustrated with all that Wise Old Wizard inscrutability, Spockledore) had promised Jim an Epic Friendship. To be honest, even though they still had almost four more years to build a relationship (god that sounded girly), Jim felt a little bit cheated.
The problem was, they weren't spending enough time alone together. It's hard to become Epic Friends with a guy you never see outside conference room A, or the Bridge, or the mess hall, or the science labs—well, he actually saw Spock everywhere, come to think of it, but none of it was personal. And he just knew that if he asked Spock outright to do something with him, he would look like some pathetic teenager with a crush (and no, he did not have a crush, he didn't like men that way, not that there was anything wrong with that). Then Spock would silently mock him with that eyebrow of his and reject him, and Jim would just have to carry on bravely while secretly wanting to crawl into a hole and die.
So Jim decided to approach the problem differently.
The next time he and Spock were both in the turbolift, it mysteriously malfunctioned.
Mysteriously, of course. Jim had no idea why. It was a good thing he had such a talented, easily-bribed chief engineer to fix things like that.
"Hey, Spock," he said brightly. "So, we're going to be stuck in here a while, huh?"
Spock didn't even look up from his PADD. "We would be, if I did not know that Mr. Scott prefers Ganymede Scotch to Doohan's Moon Whiskey."
The turbolift immediately started moving again.
Shit. Shit, shit, shit, shit.
That really hurt.
"Bones," Jim tried to say, but his tongue had turned into sandpaper so it came out more like "Plums". "What happened?"
Bones growled somewhere in the vicinity of Jim's head. Jim tried to crack his eyes open, but the sudden stabbing bright light told him that was a very bad idea, so he closed his eyes again and waited for the pounding in his head to subside.
"You and that fool Vulcan of yours—" not his, Jim immediately thought, there are no possessive pronouns in their relationship, nope, completely platonic— "almost got yourselves killed in a rockslide down on that deathtrap of a planet. You've already been in here for three days, and I'm keeping you for at least another three, unless you fancy your limbs necrotizing and falling off."
"No," Jim said hastily, "that's fine, I'll stay. How's Spock? Was he hurt badly? Is he still in here?" Feeling hopeful, Jim tried to sit up and look around for Spock. Jim would sooner chew off his own arm than wish for an injured Spock, but if he and Spock were going to be stuck in here for three days...well, that was a wonderful opportunity to bond over their near-death experience and become Epic Friends, wasn't it?
"He's fine now, he's already gone, thanks to that green blood. You both nearly died, and he was worse off than you because of course he tried to jump in front of the boulder—a boulder, how does he think jumping is gonna—well, nevermind, the short end of it is that he healed up about twice as fast as you. I let him out of here about an hour ago."
"What? Why did he try to jump in front of it?" That's when Jim remembered: yeah, there had been this huge boulder, just crashing towards him out of nowhere, then a flash of blue and, and, oh, fuck, it was his fault that Spock got hurt.
"His goddamn Christ complex, that's why. Doesn't know the value of his own life."
Jim tried to cover up how guilty he felt with a joke as Bones pulled some mysterious Tool of Healing out of the medical cart. "I think there's something just a little blasphemous about the phrase 'goddamn Christ complex', Bones. I'll be sure to remember your immortal soul in my prayers later—what the hell does that thing do?"
"Shut up and lie back, you boulder-blind idiot. This won't hurt a bit and it'll be over in a second."
It hurt considerably and it took nearly three minutes.
The day after he got out of sickbay, Jim decided, would be the perfect time to implement Operation Epic Friendship: Phase 2. His cunning plan consisted of asking Spock to deliver one of his thesis-length reports in person, instead of electronically as per usual.
Well, maybe not "cunning" so much as "lame, but it's the only thing Jim can think of". At least they'd be having a conversation alone, right? He'd find some way to turn it into a bonding activity. Jim had all his best ideas in the moment, anyway.
At 0800 hours, Jim went to his desk and switched to Spock's comm channel (and no, he was not nervous, thank you very much, he was just asking for a report from his First Officer, not asking the captain of the football team to get malts at Joe's diner after school—wait, something went very wrong with that metaphor—whatever, damn it).
"Captain Kirk to Commander Spock."
"Spock here, Captain. What is it?"
"This time, the—" Well, the bimonthly science report usually went a good fifty pages— " 'Report on the Efficiency and Efficacy of Science Department Personnel' should be delivered in person instead of by ship's mail. I want to go over it in briefing room C at 0930."
"Of course, Captain." There was a pause. "May I ask why?"
"We have investigated several more spatial anomalies than usual in the past two months; in light of the increased load on the science department, I wanted to take a more active role in its supervision." Beautiful answer, Jim. Totally Captainly. If it were physically possible, Jim would kiss his brain for coming up with that.
"You do not believe the science department can handle the additional work under my management?"
"No, of course not, Spock! You just shouldn't have to do it all yourself, that's all—you work pretty hard—" (great, now Jim sounded completely flustered—)
"Captain, I know you have complete confidence in my ability to manage the science department. The question was intended to be an attempt at humor."
"Oh. Oh, yeah. Right."
"I will have Lieutenant Orzo report to you in briefing room C at 0930. Is that all, Captain?"
"Actually, I'd prefer it if, er, you were the one to deliver the report. In person. To me."
(shit, shit, shit, what the hell was that horrible thing that just crawled out of his mouth and died, that sounded so pathetic, fuck he was just going to die, right here, right now)
"I see," Spock said finally, and Jim could just hear Spock's eyebrow crawling up his forehead. "Captain, you do know that if you wish to spend more time with me, all you have to do is ask?"
"...of course I know that."
"And forget what I said about the report."
"I am incapable of voluntarily erasing my own memory, Captain."
"...right. Well. Go, um, find something to experiment on. Kirk out."