Story: Annoying my Way to your Heart
Pairing/Character: Jim/Spock, Nyota, Gaila
Word count: 4,181
Disclaimer: I don't own anything you recognize.
Summary: High School AU. Jim and Spock's relationship in something resembling a five and one format. Or Five times Jim annoys Spock to get his attention, and one time Spock has to annoy Jim to get his.
A/N: This is the continuation of Chapter 70 of 'Searching for Heaven,' but you don't have to read that one to understand this (that's pretty much just the first section of this, so really it isn't worth even checking it out).
Annoying my Way to your Heart
Jim glanced over at the exchange student sitting beside him. The teacher had left them in the room, alone. The opportunity was too good for Jim to pass up. All day, Jim had been trying to get the attention of the Vulcan exchange student, but he hadn't had any luck. It was frustrating for someone who was always the center of attention.
"Pst," He hissed at the boy, not even earning a flinch. He tried again, crumpling up a small sheet of paper he tore from his notebook and throwing it on the desk in front of the boy. Nothing. This time, the paper hit the boy on the shoulder. Still nothing. Jim huffed, leaning back in his seat violently. The chair toppled back, sending him sprawling. When he recovered, he glanced over to find the boy was still reading something on his PADD.
"Don't even want to see if I'm alright?" This earned him a glance and a raise of an eyebrow, but nothing else. Fine, Jim didn't care. He didn't want to talk to the Vulcan anyhow. He picked up his PADD, opening a magazine and trying to care about the latest celebrity gossip. Absently, he tapped a pencil on the desk in the rhythm of the song stuck in his head. He wasn't even aware that the other boy had even moved when the pencil was ripped from his hand and tossed across the room.
"What the – " His question was cut off when he caught the horrified expression on the Vulcan's face.
"I am sorry for my reaction. Apparently, your tapping was an annoyance." "You could have just said something, you know," He said. "I'm Jim. Jim Kirk." When the Vulcan returned to his seat without saying anything, Jim sighed dramatically. "It's polite to introduce yourself now, especially since you nearly ripped my hand off."
"Spock." The boy said. And that was it. Jim was hooked. Nothing else Jim said could elicit a response, but he was determined to do anything to hear that voice again.
Jim didn't get another chance to interact with Spock over the next few days. The Vulcan was constantly surrounded by Nyota Uhura and her group of friends. Every time Jim approached, they would glare at him and move away, taking Spock with them. To be fair, Jim and Nyota had never been on good terms, which Jim would admit was mostly his fault. The first time they'd met had been at a party and Jim had been drunk out of his mind. He may have come off a little more arrogant than he actually was when he wasn't drinking.
He had to go so far as volunteering to stay after and tutor students in Advanced Vulcan – a skill he'd picked up when he travelled with his mother sometimes – in order to get into a room with Spock. He tried to demonstrate as often as possible, glancing over at Spock to see if the Vulcan noticed his perfect pronunciation. It had taken him years of practice to learn the difficult language. Spock never glanced over. Finally, the last of the students left and Spock and Jim were alone in the room.
"You're both new, so after each session you'll need to fill out a report for the student you worked with. Try to be as complete as possible." The teacher handed them each a few forms. Jim filled his out quickly, being as sparse as possible. He didn't need to be there, and he'd probably never come back since it obviously wasn't working to attract Spock's attention. When he finished, he tossed it on the teacher's desk and slung his bag over his shoulder as he left.
"Watch it!" He swung around when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He'd been so frustrated with his failure to get Spock to talk to him that he didn't hear the Vulcan follow him out of the room.
"You did not accurately complete your assessment," Spock's voice was accusatory, and Jim frowned. The anger in the Vulcan's tone was completely out of proportion to the crime.
"What do you care?" Jim asked. Spock took a step back as if struck, and then his expression hardened again.
"We were entrusted to assist a teacher. Your lack of administrative skills will only make her job harder. It is morally reprehensible." Damn, Jim was pretty sure no one else at the school could use language like that. It took him a minute to get over his shock and answer.
"Well, I'll go back and fill it out properly if you come with me to help." Spock raised an eyebrow.
"Very well, but only because your lack of respect for authority irks me." Jim laughed, slinging an arm over Spock's shoulder, ignoring the way the Vulcan tensed under the physical contact.
"I can't believe you just said 'irks.'"
Whatever truce they'd come to that afternoon didn't hold for long. When Jim got back to school after the weekend, Spock was back to acting as if Jim didn't exist. It was infuriating, especially since Spock's voice was all Jim could think of that weekend. Jim decided that no one should be able to sound so good. He also decided that he needed to hear that voice again.
Spock, it seemed, was avoiding him. On the plus side, he and Nyota seemed to be on the outs – he caught the hurt glances she cast after him. Gaila, an Orion girl who defied Nyota's hatred of Jim and occasionally crossed enemy lines, told Jim that Nyota and Spock had been out on a few days. For some reason, that knowledge bothered Jim more than he wanted to think about. Over the weekend, though, Spock had apparently broken up with Nyota without giving a reason.
Deciding he didn't really need to attend his Calculus class, Jim followed Spock into his third hour, taking the seat behind him. The teacher, one Jim swore he'd never even seen before, started a lecture on some period in history Jim didn't remember – he'd never been a big history buff. Jim tried and failed to get Spock to turn around. He tried all the tricks that hadn't worked the first time they interacted. Then he tried tapping his pencil, but Spock wouldn't budge. The teacher did send him several dirty glances, though. Halfway into the class, Jim gave up and resigned himself to having to sit through the class.
It quickly became apparent that the teacher was a complete idiot. Even Jim knew more about the ancient NASA program than the teacher, and he found himself muttering under his breath, correcting the man when he was incorrect. He was so focused on counting the number of errors the man made that he didn't notice when Spock started shifting uncomfortably in his seat.
"Will you be quiet!" Spock's outburst had the entire class silent in a matter of seconds. The Vulcan stood up from his seat, bag gripped so tightly that the skin was white, and left the room with a slam of the door. Everyone looked shocked.
"I didn't think he could talk," One student whispered as Jim got up to follow Spock out into the hall. It was still ten minutes until classes changed, so the normally busy halls were empty. The Vulcan had stopped a few yards down the hall, standing tall with eyes closed. He was obviously making an effort to control his breathing. Jim walked up, standing patiently until Spock's eyes opened.
"Do you always make a conscious effort to annoy new students, or am I an exception?" Spock asked. Jim considered the question for a moment.
"Nope. It's all you," He grinned easily, hoping to relax the Vulcan student. If anything, Spock's expression closed further.
"Have I done something to offend you?"
"Wha – no!" The idea that Spock had interpreted Jim's actions as bullying upset him. "Of course not. C'mon. We can't stay in the hall unless we want to get caught. And there's no point going to class for the last five minutes. This way." Jim led them into the boy's bathroom. He'd spent multiple class periods in there. If a teacher ever came in, it was easy enough to hide in a stall until they left.
"So I heard you broke up with Nyota," He said, jumping in to the conversation that had been on his mind. For all he knew, Spock would stop talking soon and he'd have to wait another week to get the Vulcan to talk to him again.
"Yes. It was unfair to lead her to believe I had romantic feelings towards her when my attention has been on another person."
"I've been thinking of you too," He said with a smirk. Before he could say anything else, the bell rang and students began to file in to the hall and restroom. Spock's reply, if he made one, was lost in the throng of people. By the time the next class started, the Vulcan had vanished.
Jim wasn't stalking Spock. It wasn't his fault his mother sent him to the store at the same time Spock was there. And it wasn't his fault they both ended up in the clothing department. Well, Jim would admit that was his fault. He was there to buy a vase for the flowers Winona's latest deadbeat boyfriend brought that afternoon.
Rather than just approach Spock – who absolutely saw him, even if he was pretending he hadn't – Jim decided to act as if he hadn't seen the Vulcan. He pawed through the clothes, wondering who the hell wore neon green pants. Though on second thought, Spock could probably pull that off. Not that Jim had any problem with the all black Vulcan ensemble Spock wore. Thank god Vulcan's wore form fitting clothes, because it would be a waste if they didn't.
After what Jim deemed a suitable amount of time and Spock still hadn't approached and said anything, Jim decided that the Vulcan was avoiding him on purpose. Either that or Vulcan's were blind, but nothing he'd heard about them indicated that. Maybe it was just Spock. Whichever it was, Jim decided he didn't care. He actually could do with a few new shirts and his mom wouldn't notice a few extra credits charged on her account. Mind made up, he grabbed the first decent shirt he came across – a gold shirt with a Starfleet logo on the back – and pulled his own shirt off. The Starfleet one fit so he pulled it off and put it in the cart.
"I believe the Earth saying is 'No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service,'" Jim got his arm stuck in his shirt when Spock's voice interrupted him. He managed to pull the shirt on, but he made himself look completely incompetent in the process.
"Where the hell'd you come from?" He asked, spinning around. Spock's expression spoke of his obvious annoyance. Obviously, no matter what Jim did, the Vulcan took issue to it, except when Jim was trying purposefully to get Spock's attention; then it was like Jim didn't exist.
"Since you have been watching me for the past five minutes, you know exactly where I came from," It was hard to tell what emotion Spock's eyes were giving away now, but Jim was pretty sure it was amusement.
"Fine. You caught me," Jim said, trying to figure out a way to get the conversation back on his terms. "Go out with me. Tomorrow night." He instantly regretted the words when no expression registered on Spock's face. Jim searched desperately for any indication that Spock was even considering the proposal.
"Very well." Spock's words shocked Jim. He managed to stutter out a time which Spock agreed on, and then the Vulcan was gone and Jim was still standing there.
Jim hated Prom. He hated the idea of it, and from the time he was a little boy he'd been determined that he would never attend. He had kept that promise to himself for his junior prom. As the night of senior prom arrived, he found himself dressed in a stupid suit and looking at the clock every few minutes. Despite everything, he hadn't managed to screw up his relationship with Spock yet. It had only been three months, so Jim had two more until he beat his previous record.
Rather than risk meeting Spock's parents – Jim wasn't all that fond of the idea, but Spock's reluctance was starting to raise Jim's suspicion – they'd agreed to meet at Prom. The place was ridiculously over decorated with silver and blue streamers and balloons that gave the room an appearance of drowning. The place was full when Jim got there, but he had no problem finding Spock in the crowd. The fact that the Vulcan stood half a head taller than anyone else helped.
"Hey sexy," Jim said, sliding in to the empty seat next to Spock. "Wanna dance?"
"I do not dance," Spock said stiffly.
"Then why'd you beg me to come to this stupid dance?" Jim demanded.
"It is considered a rite of passage on Earth, is it not?" Jim noticed Spock wince when the volume of the music increased. Obviously Vulcan's ears were more sensitive than human ones.
"We could have gone to my house – my mom's out of town all weekend. It's not too late to go now," Jim accompanied the words with a suggestive look that made Spock's eyebrow rise. Despite that, Jim knew what Spock's answer was going to be before his mouth opened.
"I do not think that would be wise." Spock's voice made Jim frown and lean back. They sat in relative silence for what felt like hours, but was actually only thirty minutes when Jim checked the time. He'd tried several more times to initiate conversation, but Spock wasn't willing to be drawn out of his shell. Since their first date, Jim hadn't had a problem getting Spock to talk, but tonight it was like he was behind a brick wall. Frankly, Jim was sick of it.
"I'm going to get something to drink," Jim said abruptly, leaving without waiting to hear Spock's answer. When he got to the punch bowl, he glanced back at Spock. The Vulcan was looking bored, and Jim didn't understand why. Spock was wearing his usual black outfit, but Jim had convinced him to wear a small white rose, which matched the one on Jim's own suit.
"Something wrong in paradise?" Jim looked at Gaila over his glass. She was dressed provocatively in a low cut white dress that off set her green skin. She was glancing over at Spock as well, who was looking out at the dance floor. Jim followed his gaze and his scowl deepened. Coincidence or not, he was looking straight at where Nyota was currently dancing with Leonard McCoy.
"Dance with me," Jim said, setting his and Gaila's glasses down and grabbing her hand. She giggled, but let herself be led to the floor. He wrapped his arms around her waist, ignoring the feeling of wrongness when she pressed up against him. She was soft and warm and exactly what he should want. He glanced over at Spock, but the Vulcan still wasn't showing anything. On the plus side, he was no longer watching Nyota, though he also wasn't watching Jim.
"So seriously," Gaila asked, twirling when Jim sent her out, "What's going on with you and Spock? I thought you two were in love or something."
"So did I," Jim admitted sourly. They spun around, always keeping Spock in sight. Several times Jim caught Spock's eye and though Spock may have frowned slightly, Jim couldn't really tell.
"Well, I know how to really make him jealous." Before Jim could say anything, Gaila pressed her lips to his. It was a quick kiss, tamer than any other Jim had shared with someone else, but he felt like he was punched in the gut. Even though he knew it was only to make Spock jealous, and he hadn't even initiated it, he felt like he was cheating.
"I believe you've overextended your welcome," Jim turned around and nearly ran in to Spock. The Vulcan radiated something closer to anger than annoyance as he glared at Gaila. By the time Jim looked back at the girl, she was gone, winking at him over her shoulder.
"I can explain," Jim said, grabbing Spock's shirt front so he couldn't get away. "I…"
"I was distracted," Spock said. "I promise I will explain, but I believe you owe me a dance?"
It had been just less than a year since they'd met, and he still hadn't messed up. Every day he was less and less afraid that he would. Currently, he was lying across his bed, studying for his last final of High School. Or pretending to study, because it was proving impossible to concentrate on History with Spock sitting across the room at his desk.
He thought back over the past year, wondering how his luck had turned around so quickly. It hadn't been easy at first – Spock barely even noticed he existed until that incident with the tapping pencil. And then there was the tutoring debacle – Spock managed to get Jim to continue that one – and of course that time at the store. But despite everything, Jim still felt there was something wrong.
For the past few months, ever since prom, Spock had started to pull back. For once, Jim actually wanted to commit to someone. He couldn't say forever, because that was a hell of a long time and there was still a lot that could go wrong, but Spock understood him like no one else he'd met. They fought almost constantly, but it was good fighting that never ended in running away, but in coming together, closer than before. Jim had never been so exhilarated as when he and Spock argued. It was like a dance, each one feinting away from the other, testing each other's weaknesses.
But even that had come to an end a few weeks ago. Spock shied away every time Jim brought up anything that could be considered controversial. The Vulcan admitted defeat without even pretending to present his own side. He wouldn't even respond to the accusation that he was being so passive. Frankly, it made Jim sick. That was why he was so surprised when Spock called him that morning and asked if they could study together.
Spock had arrived close to an hour ago, and apart from a chase kiss and a brief hello, he'd said nothing. Jim knew better than to try to start a conversation when Spock was in that kind of mood, so they gravitated to their current positions and had remained there ever since. Jim was just contemplating how to get Spock to talk to him when he heard a soft tapping. At first he assumed it was nothing, but then it increased in volume and he glanced around, annoyed. When his eyes met Spock's, his annoyance turned to surprise.
"I believe that is how you first got my attention. Since my attempts to talk elicited no response, I was forced to resort to desperate measure," Spock raised one eyebrow and Jim couldn't help but laugh. But he wouldn't be distracted that easily – Spock still had some explaining to do.
"What do you want, Spock?" Jim sounded more exhausted than annoyed as he set down his PADD and pushed himself up so he was sitting with his legs hanging off the edge of the bed. "Are you breaking up with me? Because you can save your breath and just leave. I don't need you to make up some excuse."
"I have no intention of ending our relationship," Spock said. Jim took a few minutes to process that – he had been so sure Spock was going to dump him. "However, there is an issue we need to discuss."
"Does this have anything to do with why you started shutting me out at Prom? And why I'm not allowed to meet your parents, even though you've met my mother – my mother who is home a total of three weeks a year – multiple times?"
"Yes." Jim frowned. He hadn't expected it to be that easy. For the past few weeks he'd been gearing himself up to force Spock to tell him. He was prepared to cajole, beg, issue ultimatums…and here was Spock, just offering the information. "Something has happened I could not have forseen. The reason I have not allowed you to meet my father is that it appears we have formed a rudimentary bond. He would have noticed instantly, as would any other Vulcan. I have been debating on whether I should tell you or not."
"Oh…so we're bonded or something? What the hell does that mean?" Jim knew enough about Vulcan's to understand the basics of bonding, but he needed to hear it from Spock. Because what he remembered was that bonding was similar to marriage on Earth, but more permanent.
"We do not have a full bond. It would be easy enough to simply break it. However, there would be…ramifications." Spock's careful choice of words alerted Jim to the fact that he was still missing something.
"What do you mean 'ramifications'?"
"If the bond is not severed, it could become permanent. I was told the forming of a bond like ours would be completely under my control, however that is obviously not the case here. I may not be able to prevent the bond from progressing." Spock did the breathing thing that Jim had learned was his way of refocusing his train of thought. Jim's own thoughts were racing and even if he could form words he wasn't sure what they would say. And Spock still hadn't answered his question.
"Any Vulcan could sever the bond – I could do it myself. But from the research I've been doing, the consequence of such a severing would be that we would no longer be able to stand each other's presence." Spock finished, holding Jim's gaze. He tried to organize everything in his mind before he spoke, because he was pretty sure he knew what Spock was saying, but it was a lot to process.
"So pretty much what you're telling me is that we either commit or break it off right now? You've got to be kidding me." Jim's reaction to stress was to pace. He slid off the bed and traced a familiar path from closet to the door and then back. When Spock didn't offer another solution, Jim cursed. "We're only 18. I shouldn't have to make decisions like this. We should be…I don't know – making out at the movies and shit. Not talking about…about bonding or marriage or…fuck! I mean…I'm pretty sure I love you more than I've loved anyone, but forever is a long time. I'm a screw up, Spock. You don't want to be stuck with me." He froze suddenly, realizing it wasn't only his decision to make. Maybe Spock didn't even want to give it a chance. Surely Spock had some perfect Vulcan waiting for him to come home. As far as Jim knew, their relationship was a transient thing anyway. "What do you want?"
"For you to be happy," Spock said. "The decision is yours, Jim. I will love you regardless." Did it mean something that Jim was relieved Spock didn't want to break the bond? And then it hit him. For the first time, he'd told someone that he loved them, and Spock said it back! He wanted to run and tell someone, but realized the person he wanted to talk to most was sitting right in front of him.
For the first time he considered what his life would be like without Spock in it. Boring, for one thing. Spock made his life interesting in the way that he'd snuck in to Jim's life and become a permanent fixture so quickly. But at the same time it seemed liked he'd known Spock forever. He'd known from the first time he heard Spock's voice that he wanted to listen to it every day. But he wouldn't give up his dreams just because he fell in love.
"I still want to join Starfleet," He said. "I want my own ship, and I can't let anyone stop me from following my dreams."
"I have been considering Starfleet as well, despite the disproval my father has expressed. I considered returning to Vulcan, but my heritage has always been looked down on there, and that is not something I wish to experience again."
"So then…shit. Are we really going to do this?"
"I believe that is the implication of your words." Spock said.
"Oh, shut up." Jim closed the distance between them in a few quick steps, pressing his forehead to Spock's and reaching for the Vulcan's fingers. He felt a thrill pass through his hand as their bare skin made contact. He pressed his lips to Spock's at the same time, ignoring the tap of the pencil as it fell from Spock's hand.