A/N: I completely forgot that people who have already reviewed won't be able to submit another review. (Thank you to those who PMed me to remind me of that!). So if you've already reviewed on the original version, you won't be able to review until Chapter 5. If you'd like to submit your opinion on the rewrite before then, feel free to send me a PM.
My computer is still broken, but I can kind of use it. It's too complicated to explain, but I'm going to do my best to get regular updates again. And hope that there's a miracle and I get a new laptop for Christmas so I can avoid the pounding headache that comes from using this one.
I decided to file Gaila's advice under helpful but unnecessary. While she was one of the few people's whose opinion I would consider, she had barely met Spock, and somehow she didn't see that Nyota was completely wrong for him. I knew if I told her that, she would ask for a more concrete answer than 'because I said so' and I didn't have one for her. All I knew is that the thought of Spock and Gaila together made me sick.
She started making up excuses to come around the apartment, easily transitioning from visiting Gaila to visiting Spock. Soon she didn't bother even stopping in to see Gaila at all, but I heard her knock on Spock's door at least three times a week.
The thought of them together sickened me so much that I started spending more and more time at work. I'd never been one to turn down extra shifts when they were offered, but I hadn't ever sought them out before. Thankfully it was winter and the tourist season was well under way. There was never a shortage of customers, and I don't mind dealing with the newcomers.
I was in the back room, changing into a suit – who was I to question someone's fetish? – when Gaila walked in. I hadn't seen much of her – she was doing some training course at the Academy that took up most of her time. "Hey Jimmy. Do you still live with me, or should I find a new roommate? You know how I hate having to train someone new."
"Very funny," I said with a dry laugh. "I was just home…" Now that she brought it up, it had been a while since I spent any length of time at the apartment. "I've been spending time with Bones. He gets lonely without company."
"Nice try." She stripped out of her cadet uniform and walked over to the closet. "But Leonard mentioned today he hasn't seen you in a week."
I tried to remember the last time I'd been to see Leonard. Surely it hadn't been that long? I grinned sheepishly. "I guess I've been working a little more than normal."
"Does this have anything to do with a certain Vulcan neighbor?"
"No." I shut down. I wasn't going to talk to her about Spock. I didn't want to talk to anyone about Spock.
"Because he asked about you too." I tried to cover up the eager look, but Gaila wouldn't be fooled. "Ha! I knew it."
"Don't you want to know what he said?" She asked. I refused to rise to the bait, rolling my eyes at her and pulling on the suit jacket. She walked over and took over the buttons for me, looking up at me through her lashes until I was forced to answer.
"Fine. What did he say?"
"Does it matter? You don't care." She grinned cheekily and pulled away from her.
"I don't," I confirmed. "I have a client waiting now, if you don't mind."
It was hard to get Gaila's teasing words out of my mind, but by the time I made it to the room where the client was waiting I managed to push aside all thoughts of Spock to a far corner of my mind. It's always been better if I detach for this part of my job. Not that I'm ashamed of my job, but because I don't want to combine my job with my life.
Gaila was in the front when I finished and showered, and I decided to slip out the back to avoid her. I knew she wouldn't let the Spock thing go, and it was already getting old. I was attracted to him, there would be no point in denying that. But I doubted Spock would be interested in casual sex and I wasn't exactly the boyfriend type. Not that I even knew if he was into guys, though unlike a few hundred years ago it's pretty rare for someone to restrict themselves to one gender. Of course, I don't know many Vulcans.
It wasn't until I got back in to the apartment that I realized exactly how long it had been since the last time. Gaila must have cleaned, because the plate I'd left at the table was put away, and I was pretty sure I'd left a pair of shorts draped across the back of the chair that were no longer there. I made a beeline for my room – at least everything in there was the same – and passed out before I hit the bed.
When I woke up, the sunlight was just peeking in through my open window. I'd gotten home somewhere around nine at night, so I'd slept all night. From the angle of the sun, I guessed it was probably around six in the morning. While I can sleep through almost anything, once I'm awake, I'm up for good.
I tossed on a pair of pants and a hoodie and padded out into the kitchen. I heard the sounds of Gaila's rhythmic breathing from her room which meant she was asleep. She never woke up before noon if she didn't have to, and I wasn't sure I wanted to talk to her anyway. Instead, I pulled on a pair of sneakers and opened the door to the apartment.
This early the sun wasn't up enough to start to warm up the night chill and I could see my breath as soon as I stepped out of the building. It had been too long since I'd last gone jogging, but there was a serenity in it as I fell into stride.
The park was already busy. I nodded to several other joggers, but for the most part I was focused on my own thoughts. There were several paths around the park and I chose the longest one. I had a lot to think about.
The first and most obvious was Spock. I wasn't in love with him, that I knew for certain. I thought about him more than I'd thought about anyone in a long time, but I didn't know him. The sight of him with Gaila made me physically ill, but then it had been like that with other people and a quickie in the bathroom usually took care of that.
Besides, I was finally getting my life on track. After screwing around for so long, both literally and figuratively, I was going to do something positive. I wasn't naive enough to think joining Starfleet would solve everything, but it was a step in the right direction. The past months were enough to convince me of that. The friends I'd made – Gaila, Bones, Pavel, Sulu, even Nyota – were enough to convince me of that. For the first time I felt like I was part of a family.
Before I realized it, I was back at the park entrance. I decided to take one of the shorter loops as a cool down. There was a deep satisfaction in exercising, and endorphin rush that was impossible to get anywhere else and I wanted to make it last as long as possible before getting back to my life.
It was after seven when I made it back to the apartment, and people were just starting to stir. Several of my neighbors made jokes about thinking I'd died or moved away, and I just laughed. I liked people noticing me, even just in passing. I'd never lived anywhere long enough before for that to happen – hell, I hadn't even realized it was happening here.I was so distracted by this new revelation that I didn't see Spock until we nearly collided once again.
"We've got to stop meeting like this," I said with a cheeky smile. He looked at me blankly for a moment before the corner of his lip twitched. It wasn't a smile, but I figured it was as close as he could get. I refused to acknowledge the pounding in my chest it elicited.
"Perhaps you should pay better attention to your surroundings," He suggested.
"Good morning to you too, Spock. I'm great. How are you?"
"I did not – " He raised an eyebrow. "Ah. You are implying I should have chosen a more appropriate greeting."
"Not at all," I said, clapping him on the shoulder.
"You have not been to your apartment for several days," He said. I was surprised he had noticed but shrugged it off. He probably just had a freaky memory. "Have you been out of town?"
"Working." I said. He nodded.
"I must get to Starfleet. I have a morning class."
"I know." I knew his whole schedule, but then I realized how creepy that would sound. "I mean, I figured."
"Right. Goodbye, Jim." He nodded tightly and started to walk.
"Wait!" He stopped and turned back. I wasn't sure why I'd asked him to stop, but since he did, I needed to think of something quickly. "Uh…I'm having a few people over for dinner tonight if you'd like to come."
"What time?" I was a little surprised he hadn't turned me down, but I didn't let that throw me off.
"Very well. I will see you tonight. Assuming you show up." If it wasn't for the nearly imperceptible tightening of his lips and narrowing of his eyes I would have thought it was an insult, but I recognized it as a joke. He was gone before I could say anything back.
Now I needed to go to the store to get food. And invite other people.