The awkward silence began as soon as Spock rolled off Jim, leaving them side by side and staring at the ceiling. Jim was sticky and sore, every muscle in his body feeling used and exhausted- and he loved it. He stretched contentedly. Spock lay rigid and silent beside him, his breathing already nearly normal again.
"So. As conversations go, that was pretty good," Jim offered finally with a small smile, turning his head to look at Spock. Spock looked back without replying for a long moment. Fuck. He regrets it already. No more bruises for me. And that should not be my first concern.
"Indeed," he responded after a long pause, carefully neutral.
"I…uh, would be okay with having this particular 'conversation' again."
"I do not think it will be necessary."
"Oh." Shit, I've blown it.
"As per the definition of 'relationship' that both you and Doctor McCoy were inferring, I do believe we now meet the criteria. Therefore, having the conversation again is illogical, as we now both know the answer to the question I asked."
Spock quirked an eyebrow at him, a faint but amused smile on his face.
"Captain, I am attempting to subtly imply that I would be amenable to repeating the events of the past 36.2 minutes as often and as vigorously as you desire. However you are being most obstinately slow in your understanding."
"Oh. Oh. Shit Spock, I thought you were freaking out about this and saying never again."
"I do not see how that would be a viable option. What are you doing?"
"Snuggling," Jim said a little sleepily, nuzzling his head into the crook of Spock's arm. "Humans do it after sex. You smell good."
"I do not believe the combination of sweat, ejaculate and pheromones I am currently emitting can be 'good', Captain. I feel most unclean. Also you are spreading semen onto my bed sheets."
"Some of it is your semen," Jim responded, burying his face into Spock.
"I am aware of that, but I do not see the relevance."
"Shut up and kiss me, Spock."
Spock sighed tolerantly and leaned over to kiss Jim, languidly this time, the urgency and desperation of earlier sated for now. Jim grinned into the kiss, reaching out to run his two fingers over Spock's at the same time just so he could feel the Vulcan shiver a little.
When they pulled apart, Spock said, "I am going to shower, if you have no further objections? Perhaps you should see the Doctor, Captain. You look a little bruised."
"Will you call me Jim, please? I hardly think we need to keep with the formality when I've seen your cock."
"Technically, you were not seeing it so much as feeling it," Spock replied mildly, a smirk tugging at the corners of his mouth.
"No need to get so smug," Jim grumbled good-naturedly, pushing Spock out of bed. "Go shower, I'll brave Bones."
"Very well, Captain."
Jim stood gingerly, wincing with every step, and pulled on his clothes before stumbling towards sickbay.
Bones looked up from his notes as Jim swayed through the door, instantly concerned. "Jim, what's the matter?"
"Bruised. Need patched up."
"Jim, this had better not be your nose again."
Jim smiled winningly. "It's not my nose again!"
"Then what the hell is it?"
Bones eyed him suspiciously. "God damn it, Jim, what the hell have you been doing with that pointy-eared excuse for a First Officer?"
"Uh…" Jim pulled off his shirt, showing the Doctor his array of bruises ranging from deep blues to blacks and purple. All were neatly finger shaped, and most clustered around his throat.
"You had another fight? I told you to stop-"
"No, Bones, we…well, as Spock would put it, we 'engaged in sexual activity which has left my intimate areas damaged'."
McCoy spluttered, leaning on his desk for support. "For the love of God, man! I don't want to hear the details of your sordid adventures in Spock!"
"That wasn't the details! And I wasn't in Spock; he was in me, which is why I'm here!"
"Damn it Jim, stop! It was detailed enough that I'm going to need therapy for months, which I will be billing straight to you. Don't make it even worse!"
"Fine, I'll pay for you to work through your clearly very deep issues. Just please, fix me up."
"Drop your pants."
"Oh Leonard, I didn't know you cared."
"Shut up or I'll find a creative use for this hypospray that you will not enjoy."
Not really enough hours later, Jim was back on the bridge for his next shift, still aching but much more pleasantly. He was in a delightfully content mood, casting approving glances at his crew without so much as swinging his chair around.
"Captain, are you feeling okay?" Chekov asked him eventually.
"Fantastic," Jim replied, leaning back in his chair. Chekov glanced at Sulu and sighed, his face falling, as he picked up another bottle of whiskey and handed it over to the pilot. "You were right, Hikaru." Sulu put it beside his station. "I'm always right."
Chekov muttered something in Russian that sounded a lot like a curse.
"You had a bet on my mood?"
"No, Captain," Sulu replied with a sly grin. "But there's only one thing that could put you in a mood like that, and it's loud enough for half the crew to have heard."
Jim felt his face flush, sensing that now familiar stare on the back on his neck again, insistent and distracting. He glanced around to find Spock finally just watching him openly, an almost possessive, settled look in his eyes. He merely raised an eyebrow at Jim when caught, shrugging his shoulders a little in a mildly amused gesture that no one else would have picked up, and then turned back to his station. Jim smiled, swinging back towards Sulu and Chekov. "As you were, gentlemen. Warp 6. Let's go do that exploration thing. And Sulu, you can share that whiskey with the crew later- I think you have enough of it to go around, thanks to me."
"Aye aye, Captain."