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A Series Of Unfortunate Misunderstandings

Chapter Five

"The day Disco died. Again."

The air was humming with electrical charges as the panel under console 4 dash B was removed in Jeffries tube 7.

Spock watched as Jim Kirk reached inside the now open partition of the wall. "Captain, are you positive that you should be doing this without Mr. Scott's knowledge?"

Jim waved a hand dismissively at Spock's general direction. "Pssh, it's only a slight improvement." He said, trying to figure out which wire was the one he was after, his fingers following the brightly colored nodes.

Standing next to the Captain, Spock watched as he was searching among the wires, a disbelieving brow raised sardonically. "Altering and rerouting the circuitry so the mess hall will acquire flashing neon lights is hardly an improvement, Captain."

Tan fingers haltered their trek across the brightly colored nodes and wires and a pair of intense, blue eyes narrowed as he turned slightly to face Spock while sighing exasperatedly. "God! Why are you even here? Don't you have something science-y to do?" Jim said stubbornly. "And yes, science-y is a word. Go pester someone else!"

The look he received in reply was almost enough to make him rethink his current quest, but not quite. 'Scathing' was too weak a word to describe it, acrimonious, austere, trenchant and perhaps vitriolic and caustic all put together might be close enough a description. Although not quite.

Jim swallowed, his mouth suddenly extremely dry, making his tongue stick to the roof of his mouth. Spock's rigid form, which often enough was a comforting and stable presence in Jim's life as of late, also intimidated him half of the time while he also made Jim feel exceedingly small and incompetent at times.

This was one of those moments.

"I would be remiss if my duties as First officer if I did not make sure that our reckless Captain does not electrocute himself whilst trying to acquire 'disco mood' in the mess hall."

Turning away from Spock's accusing eyes, determined not to show any weakness Jim cleared his throat. "Yes, yes, quite right. Now give me the B12, or get out of my way." He muttered, trying to ignore the rapid beating of his now thundering heart. How come Spock always made him so god damned nervous? The fact that the stoic man kept silently judging everything he did did not help matters either.

Without taking his eyes off of the Captain, Spock easily located the requested tool and handed it to him, raising his brow minutely as Kirk reached for it, their fingers brushing not too gently in his haste to grab it.

Just as Jim grabbed it, the Enterprise swerved to the left, making both Spock and Jim to stumble and fall towards the grated floor. As Spock tried to catch Jim, Spock hit the deck first, making Jim fall on top of him with a heavy thud.

Spock exhaled as Jim collided with his chest, knocking the wind out of him minutely. He automatically wrapped an arm around Jim's waist, holding him close as he waited for the ship to stabilize.

As soon as he regained his bearings, Jim scrambled up into a sitting position, straddling Spock's thighs. Spock pulled his arm back from around Jim's waist and used his elbows to push himself up off of the floor, dark brown eyes watching as Jim hit the comm on his shirt.

"Kirk to bridge. What's going on?" His voice was calm, despite the quite literal, unexpected turn.

There was a moments silence before the comm crackled before Sulu's voice filled the enclosed space of the Jeffries tube. "Nothing, sir. We had to evade a collection of debris. The scanner didn't pick them up until it was too late. I apologize for the bumpy ride."

Jim could hear the irritation in the man's voice. Sulu really didn't appreciate things going wrong when he had command over the bridge. Smiling slightly, he understood the man's frustration. "It's fine. Good job."

"Thank you Captain. We're running a full diagnostic on the long-range sensors. We'll have it fixed as soon as we can."

"Good. Kirk out." As Jim signed off, his whole body relaxed and he slumped forward slightly, sighing in relief while he tried to let his heart calm down.

Spock studied his Captain's features, and noted how much younger the man looked at that moment, and suddenly he wondered if the man was actually ready for the soul crushing responsibility that was the Captaincy. Although it had to be a ridiculous notion since he could think of no other person who could do a better, or even as good a job as James Kirk, no matter how childish he sometimes seemed.

"As we have established that there is no current danger to the ship or the crew, would you remove yourself?" Spock asked, watching as the Captain jumped slightly, as if he had been unaware Spock was even there.

"Oh." He said before a sly smile spread across his lips. "You know, I quite like it here..." He added teasingly. A mischievous twinkle in his eyes sparkled as he peered down at Spock. If the damned Vulcan could make him feel nervous and uncomfortable without even trying, the least he could do was to return the favor by trying to embarrass the always so proper First Officer.

"Are you refusing to move, Captain?" The question was accompanied by a sardonically raised eyebrow.

"What if I am?" Jim shot back, trying to ignore the tightening in his stomach as Spock's dark eyes roamed over his face. Suddenly, in a flurry of motion, Jim yelped as he was unceremoniously flipped onto his back.

Spock calmly met Jim's widened eyes and answered with a steady, deep voice. "It would be illogical as I possess greater strength than you."

Even though the impact had been fairly easy, Jim felt a dull ache in between his shoulder blades as he stared up at Spock. His mouth was suddenly dry and he had, for once, no witty comeback. "I see. How illogical of me." He said, frowning slightly as he wondered about his reaction.

Admittedly, Jim didn't like to show weakness, and he did feel kind of weak being flipped over like he didn't weigh half of his hundred and sixty pounds was all kinds of annoying. Yeah, that had to be it... and it was kind of hard not being annoyed by someone who keeps trying to babysit you, even though you are clearly the Captain, and actually have a lot more brain cells than what infernally superior Vulcans believe... In general. Not thinking of anyone special, just a general observation. That is all...

Jim was soon enough brought from his reverie as the man above him raises a brow . "Indeed."

"I say yer both mad!" A sudden voice called from behind Spock's back making Jim jump slightly, knocking his head on Spock's chin.

"Fuck!" Jim yelled, reaching up to grab his injured head, all but rolling around in agony underneath Spock who merely blinked once as Jim's unsurprisingly hard head connected with his chin.

Raising a questioning brow, Spock looked over his shoulder to look at the clearly agitated head of engineering.

Having soothed the worst pain, Jim scooted back a bit so he could sit up slightly so he was able to look over Spock's shoulder. Rubbing his abused head, he gave Scotty a weak grin and a halfhearted wave. "Hi Scotty."

The Scottish man glared back at him, eyes narrowed menacingly. "Don' you 'Hi Scotty' me!" He said, clearly upset as his accent was thicker than normal. "Wha' have ye done to my lady this time, Cap'n?"

Spock turned his head back to Jim and inspected him for a moment before he leaned back onto his haunches and pulled himself up, grabbing Jim as he went. As the two men were finally once more vertical, he placed himself in between the irate Scotsman and his Captain, just in case the older man wanted to physically fight for his lady's honor.

Jim gave Scotty an impish grin as he was reminded of his mission. "Oh, nothing bad. I just wanted to make her prettier!"

Scotty gave Jim a nasty glare, and the Captain could only look on as the man's face grew an angry mix of red and purple. 'That can't be a healthy color.' Jim thought to himself as Scotty opened his mouth.

"That's it! Get out of my Jeffries tube and keep yer sticky fingers to yourself!" He said and looked to the open panel on the wall before turning to Jim once more. "Awa and bile yer heid!" He cursed and Jim took a step back, raising his hand defensively, although still grinning widely.

"Fine, sheesh! Come on Spock, we're clearly not wanted here." He said, giving Scotty a mock salute before turning around and walking towards the ladder down to the next deck. After giving Scotty a curt nod Spock followed Jim.

Scotty glared at the back of their heads as they left. Once they disappeared down the corridor and around a bend he walked up to the detached panel. Leaning down he grabbed the cover leaning against the wall and picked it up.

"My poor baby." He said softly and gave the smooth surface of the panel cover a gentle stroke before placing the wires back inside the cavity before covering them up with the plate, securing it tightly once more.

Patting the now closed panel he glared back down the direction where the Captain and First Officer had disappeared down. "First he touches you inappropriately, then they canoodle right in front of you! I'll say!" He murmured to himself.

"That isn't proper. Not one bit!"

xXxOoOxXx

Walking down the practically empty corridor outside recreation room five, Jim turned to watch Spock as they put more distance in between them and their irate engineer. Even though they had been crawling in tight spaces, fallen, or more likely being thrown, onto the floor as the Enterprise avoided what could have been major damages and faced off with a Scotsman out for blood, the man looked just as unperturbed and stoic as usual.

Jim was beginning to think it would be all but impossible to even try and decipher the man's different emotional states.

If he had more than one, that is...

Although the scene on the bridge had been evidence of at least one other emotion than just 'cool-as-a-cucumber' and 'I-don't-give-a-shit-because-you-are-all-illogical' rolled into one.

Sighing Jim tore his eyes away from Spock and focused on watching where he was going before he walked into a wall or something equally embarrassing.

After the past few months, Jim had begun to believe that they had become friends, and even though Spock rarely displayed emotion, other than the twenty five different positions of his eyebrows raging from 'Intrigued', to 'Illogical' and 'Unworthy peasant', Jim kind of needed a friend.

Not that the rest of the crew were anything but friendly and welcoming, well, not counting a few select people when Jim did his utmost to annoy them, but as he was their superior, he felt it hard to really talk about things.

Him not being a big believer of sharing his past was also one of the reasons he kept a distance in between himself and his crew.

Except for Spock.

He had seen him at his worst, he knew about his problems and Jim knew of Spock's own insecurities. Not that the man himself had ever said anything, no, but Jim knew they were more similar than people thought, and he liked that.

If Spock ever decided to open up, he would listen. And he was thankful that the man actually cared enough to follow him around like an overgrown babysitter, even though it annoyed Jim to death on occasion. The fact that Jim was insecure as hell when it came to Spock judging him was probably because he didn't want the man to one day realize he wasn't worth his friendship and would leave.

Shaking his head and exhaling slowly, he tried to rid himself of the now so palpable fear of once more being so totally alone.

"Captain?"

Jim jumped as the voice crashed against him as a tidal wave, waking him and purging him of his thoughts all at once. "Yeah?" He asked a little too silently as he turned to face Spock.

Cool brown eyes watched him, and Jim could almost see a hint of worry deep inside the darkness. "Are you all right?"

A small smile crept onto Jim's lips and he nodded. "Yeah. Just...thinking..."

"I see. I understand how that must be taxing for you. Please do not strain yourself by doing something you are unaccustomed to." Spock said, his gaze locked with Jim's.

A snort tore itself from Jim's throat before a loud, bubbling laugh reverberated from the walls. Laughing and gasping for breath, Jim leaned against the bulkhead wall for support.

A couple of crewmen passed them and threw their Captain a worried glance, but that only made him laugh harder and soon enough he sank onto the floor, still laughing like a mad man.

"Are you in need of assistance, Captain?" Spock asked, eying the Captain closely, fully intent on stepping in should the man once again prove to suffer from a breakdown. After a few moments Jim made a weak gesture with his hand as the laughter slowly subsided into a series of chuckles and gasps for air.

"I... fine." Jim snickered and leaned his head against the cool bulkhead, trying to force down a calming breath. "Sorry..."

"Have you calmed down?"

Nodding his head vigorously while trying to suppress his chuckling Jim somehow managed to stand up. "Yeah. Fit as a fiddle." He said, smiling. "Although you almost gave me a heart attack with sudden development of sass, Mr. Spock."

An innocent look suddenly adorned the pale face and Spock's dark eyes didn't look quite as stern as before. "Sass, Captain? I believe I am unfamiliar with that particular Terran colloquialism."

Jim smirked and slapped the man on the back before beginning his trek down the hall once more. "Of course you don't Mr. Spock. Of course you don't."