Title: Persistence is a Virtue
Genre(s): Humor, Crack, Romance (I'd put it at a 40%-50%-10% spread)
Summary: Despite Bones, Klingons and his own self-sabotaging cleverness, Jim Kirk manages to have a happy Valentine's Day.
Author Notes: This story is very, very silly. It made some attempt at plot, and some at schmoop, but it failed on both counts and remains merely silly. For this delightfully cliché prompt: Jim keeps using a horrified Bones as a sounding board on various ideas on how to woo Spock, none of which work. Jim thinks his friend is a genius when Bones suggests getting Spock drunk on Valentine's chocolates and making his move.
"'M not tired," Jim protests, wobbling his way across the floor. The room is spinning around him, which is unfair, how is he supposed to find the bed if it keeps moving—
"Of course not," Spock agrees peaceably, almost as unsteady on his feet as Jim but still struggling to support him anyway. Good old Spock. "Neither am I. But— I believe it behooves us to—"
Jim's knees hit the edge of his bed and suddenly he's falling face-first into the messy sheets, legs hanging out over the side. "Mmph!"
"Captain," Spock says worriedly from somewhere above him, a hand settling on his shoulder. "Are you able to breathe in that position?"
The answer 'is not very well', and Jim gets his arms up under him so he can gasp for air. "Fuck, 'm wasted," he tells his pillows. And hey, pillows, there's a good idea. He starts a slow, awkward army-crawl across his bed, still fully dressed and smelling faintly of the chocolate that had gotten them to this point, and the hand on his shoulder falters, slips.
"Oops," Spock says, and that's all the warning Jim gets before his first officer crashes into him, an elbow in his ribs and his forehead knocking hard into the base of Jim's skull.
"Owww," Jim whines, planting a hand on the mattress and shoving until he can roll over. "Wait, did you just say 'oops'?"
Spock blinks blearily at him, his face less than four inches away from Jim's. "I said nothing of the sort."
Jim points an accusatory finger at him. "Did. I heard you. I totally heard you—"
Spock lets his head fall onto Jim's chest. "Warm," he mumbles.
Jim taps his cheekbone, sharply. "Hey, we're having a serious conversation here. Pay attention!"
Instead of answering, Spock nuzzles deeper into his shirtfront and sighs blissfully.
"Spock?" Jim asks dubiously.
"Be quiet," the Vulcan says, raising a hand to pat Jim's head soothingly. "Sleeping."
48 hours earlier:
"You know," Jim says slowly, "that could work."
"You're kidding." McCoy stops in the middle of piling lab cultures into the incubator and looks back over his shoulder. "You're not kidding. Jesus, Jim—"
"No, no, think about it," Jim cuts in. He's sitting on the edge of an unoccupied exam table, legs swinging freely, hands braced on the cold metal lip. "I'd have to go about it exactly right way, but that could work. It could totally work."
"I was joking, Jim," McCoy says, pained. "And it was a stupid joke."
Jim waves that away, musing distractedly, "No, no, it's great, it's— the only problem delivery. How would I—? No, too obvious. Hmm."
McCoy shakes his head and turns to finish his stacking. "Moreover, that joke got old a hundred years ago. Hell, it was old six months after first contact."
"It's timeless," Jim argues, clearly warming to his topic. "A classic. It's just— there's no way he won't notice if I spike his soup with cocoa powder, or try to slip him a Hershey's kiss, but... maybe if I somehow atomized it or—"
"Jim, you've tried every cockamamie thing under the sun," McCoy grumbles, slamming the hatch shut. "All of which were complete disasters, what makes you think—"
"I thought the secret admirer thing was going just fine," Jim says defensively.
"Normal secret admirers do not give their secret admirees fancy underwear and bright red silicone replicas of their penis, Jim!"
"Stylish, yet daring," Jim says, like he's quoting from a catalogue, and McCoy jams his hands into his hair.
"Did you miss the part where he stopped opening the packages and just tipped them right into the incinerator?"
"Maybe too daring," Jim concedes, chastened.
"Here's a bright idea! Why not try, I don't know, being direct about what you want? You sure as hell aren't shy about these things, normally."
Jim pouts. "I could be shy."
McCoy snorts. "Even by Orion standards, you're not shy."
"Whatever, we've been over this," Jim says, leaning forward. "If I came right out and asked him, I'd get a No that takes twenty minutes and an itemized list to explain in excruciating detail why pursing a relationship with me would be 'illogical'. The only way this happens is if I can get him intrigued enough— or, you know, intoxicated enough— to give me a chance. Being direct is— is—"
Suddenly his face transforms. "Bones! That's it!"
"Oh, no," McCoy says, leveling a finger at him. "I know that look. That look means missing teeth and skin grafts."
Jim jumps off the table. "That was one time, can you please just let it go and focus on this? I have a plan."
"Of course you do," McCoy groans. "I can tell you now, my lab and sickbay are off-limits. No telling the hobgoblin that he's, I don't know, got a rare disease that can only be cured by immediate ingestion of xantheose."
"That's actually not half-bad, Bones, I'm proud of you. But no." Jim's grin is wide and a shade wicked. "I won't have to hide the chocolate at all. It's Valentine's Day and half-shifts for everyone tomorrow, and the stuff's already all over the rec rooms. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect set-up. All it needs is a little... competition."
McCoy just looks at him. "You're going to challenge him to a drinking contest, aren't you."
"Damn it, Bones, I was trying to be dramatic!"
It would have worked, too. Fucking Klingons.
Thirty minutes until the end of shift and Jim's already mentally out to lunch, planning out his strategy (captain's quarters, alcohol of every description, chocolate-covered cherries and the leather cuffs he'd gotten in the seeder section of that last starbase), watching the simulated vast emptiness of space roll past the bridge viewscreen. This thankless patrolling the Federation side of the demilitarized zone is a punishment handed down for their last batch of crimes against the Prime Directive, for which, in Jim's opinion, they only deserved twenty-five percent of the flack they got. In peacetime it's one of the more boring things a ship like Enterprise can do. On Valentine's Day, it's torture.
Twenty minutes until the end of shift, and Sulu and Chekov are playing checkers under their workstation. Uhura is nodding off into her microphone. If Jim tilts his head a quarter of an inch further, Spock's station comes into view and Jim can watch his science officer sit and almost-frown at the readings, however miniscule and unimportant, being diligently recorded on his screen.
Jim turns his head a full inch, and is rewarded by the sight of Spock reaching up to switch relays. The uniform fits too well to do anything as gauche as bare a line of skin at his waist, but it does stretch in interesting ways across his shoulders and back— and, if he wants to, Jim can certainly fill in that flash of midsection in his mind's eye.
He stares and daydreams a little too long, and as he's returning to his seat Spock glances up and catches Jim's eyes with a faint narrowing of his own. Jim ducks his head and waves him off, pretending to be absorbed in the readouts on the command chair's arm.
The thing is, Jim really isn't shy. And he hasn't been exactly subtle about this whole Spock-Will-You-Sleep-With-Me thing. Bones knows all, of course, and the command team is definitely getting suspicious— and hell, every crew member on the damn ship knows that someone's got the hots for their commander, after the whole secret admirer debacle (in retrospect, even holographic fireworks weren't the best attention-getting device on a pressurized spacegoing vessel).
Spock, however, seems to move only between complete obliviousness and mild annoyance with the whole thing. He'd dealt with the fireworks, the flowers, the balloons and the bright red dildo with the same arched eyebrow and pinched expression, like he found them all equally distasteful. He responds to Jim's deliberate provocations, whether antagonistic or flirtatious, with the same bored expression and a staid, "Will that be all, captain?" It's enough to give a lesser man a complex.
Jim isn't getting a complex— well. Perhaps a small one. A very small one, which is not at all causing him to lose sleep and free time plotting how he's going to get Spock to jump him in the fun way, not the choking-you-over-the-bridge-consul kind of way. No. He's just tired of the whole dance, the back and forth that never gets them (him) anywhere. He studied trench warfare in his military history sims, okay, and what this Maginot line of a relationship needs is a tank.
So, chocolate. Jim's a fan, personally, and he thinks he'd like it even better smudged over Spock's long fingers and all around his mouth, especially if it came with a fumbling, uncoordinated first officer, glassy-eyed and a little flushed, licking his lips clean and holding on to Jim's hips for balance—
Ten minutes from end of shift, and Uhura says, "Captain, I'm picking up chatter."
Jim rouses from his fantasy with a start, straightening in the command chair. "Out here? Sulu, what's the scan say?"
Sulu pulls up their maps. "Lieutenant, quadrant?"
"A-6-Gamma. Captain, it sounds like a Bird of Prey."
Everyone on the bridge snaps to attention.
"Lieutenant," Jim says evenly, "are you sure?"
Uhura's spine is ramrod straight. "Yes, sir."
Jim stands. "Chekov, general quarters, now."
The klaxon starts wailing, Chekov's voice cutting in over the wail. "General Qvarters, General Qvarters! All hands man your battle stations—"
It doesn't, surprisingly, come to an exchange of phaser fire, although at certain points of the negotiation that maneuvers the errant warbird back over the zone's border Jim wishes it would.
"We shall certainly meet again, captain," his counterpart threatens, although he looks almost as relieved as Jim feels.
"I will be waiting, captain," Jim replies, steely as he can. "Enterprise out."
The video feed cuts, and for a long moment no one on the bridge moves.
"Seeing as I lost feeling in my legs twelve hours ago," Jim says conversationally, "how about one of you strapping young midshipmen get over here and help me up?"
"Damn it, Jim," McCoy snarls from a corner, and then twenty people are trying to talk to him at once, including the admiralty that's on interstellar dial-up.
"Captain, has the Bird of Prey left the area?" someone— Morrow, Jim thinks— demands.
"You will have my report. Soon," Jim promises, squinting down at the buttons at his fingertips. Please, God, one of these has to be the disconnect switch. "Very soon."
Chekov's hand intrudes on his field of vision and Morrow's "Kirk, this is important!" is cut off mid-stream. Jim looks up, unspeakably grateful, and the Russian gives him a tired thumbs up.
"I have enough vodka to sink the Excelsior in my quarters," Jim says, and a little bit of life trickles back into the boy's expression.
"I do not believe that would be wise," Spock says, standing at stiff attention on Jim's other side.
"There's chocolate too." Oh, did he say that out loud?
Spock's expression shifts ever so slightly towards amusement. "I believe one of the commanding officers should attempt to stay sober until the Klingons have left the vicinity, captain."
"You say that now," Jim says, staggering to his feet, and whoa. Did someone turn up the gravity in here?
He's saved from embarrassing himself when Spock slips his arm under Jim's and pulls him into his side, which makes Jim remember what he'd been hoping to use that chocolate and vodka for, which prompts the question, "Hey, is it still Valentine's Day?"
"Five, four, three, two, one," Scotty says. "Happy fifteenth of February, lads."
There's a dull, aimless cheer from the assembled, and Jim salutes him with his bottle of Jack before taking another deep swig.
"That was the worst Valentine's Day I've had since high school," Uhura says, boots off and her long legs drawn up to her chest. "I can't believe I spent it translating Klingon."
"So you would have preferred to spend it translating, say, Cardassian?" Sulu asks. He's already on the floor with his head in Chekov's lap, his second beer on the floor next to his head. "I mean, if you had to rank alien languages in terms of their romantic-ness—"
"Shut up and drink," Jim orders, and this meets with general approval.
The command team is sprawled over various parts of the small conference room where they normally hold DVCs, none of them apparently lucky enough to have a special someone to so much as share the 'Caribbean Sunset' setting on the holodecks with. And who the fuck would want to, after the day they'd just had? Jim's plans might be ruined, but at least he's alive to make more of them.
"Oh, please don't," McCoy mutters darkly, slumped against the wall next to him and nursing a half-empty bottle of bourbon. Jim gives him weak shove.
"You had plans?" Spock asks, eyebrow on the ascent once again. He's watching them all drink with a faintly bemused air, and Jim reaches up, pats blindly around the top of the long center table before finding an open foil tray.
"Klingons're long gone," he says, bringing the truffles down. A few escape to roll across the floor, but most remain tucked in their shiny gold container. "Have at it."
Spock looks at him, looks at the chocolates, and surprises Jim by reaching out.
"I suppose it couldn't hurt," he says, and Jim watches ruefully as Spock plucks a fat velvety ball from among the rest and pops it in his mouth.
Which leads them here, to Spock's hand on Jim's head, his eyes sliding closed as his fingers slide down, combing through the hair behind Jim's ear.
"Warm," the Vulcan says again, sounding pleased, and lets his hand fall to Jim's neck.
Jim feels like they might have missed a few steps here, because Get him to eat chocolate was one, and Cuddle in bed was definitely another, but Jim remembers there being a lot more nakedness in his version of events. Goddamnit.
"I'm waking you up with a blow job," he resolves, because in his experience there are very few ways to miss or misinterpret that, and if Spock says no after a Jim Kirk Special there was never any hope to begin with.
Spock makes a sleepy, considering noise. "I anticipate your efforts with interest."