The shift had been hell. Everyone on the bridge had heard. Literally everyone. Jim felt his cheeks burning up as he coughed awkwardly when he got back after changing his pants. Settling down on his chair, he tried to ignore the knowing grins he was given by the crew members, even from the 17-year-old Russian sitting in front of him. Jim wanted to be swallowed up into the ground. Spock would be paying for this later, he decided. If the Vulcan wasn't so god damn beautiful, none of this would have happened, so it was obviously his fault.

And still, despite all the shame and thrill he was feeling from the sudden encounter, he couldn't help but also feel pained. They were heading toward earth. And that meant Spock would leave. Spock would leave him.

Just the thought made Jim cringe whenever it surfaced in his mind. Of course, he could have requested that the Vulcan be added to his crew, but until the paperwork and such would be approved, they would have already been on a new mission, and still be separated for an indefinite amount of time, until the Enterprise could return to earth and pick up the newest addition to their family.

Because yes, his crew was his family. And Jim wanted Spock to join his family, wanted it so badly it hurt.

Finally, he could no longer stand sitting there, simply waiting for the arrival on earth. He stood, handing over the con to Sulu, muttering about a migraine before heading to sick bay.


Dr. Leonard McCoy had always been scruffy, harsh around the edges, and sarcastic. And he was very proud of it. He was glad that he seemed to have the ability to cut through all the bullshit, and get straight to the point. Why people spent so much time tiptoeing around things was beyond him. He had never done it, and it was one of the reasons why his wife had left him.

Yes, Leonard McCoy had always prided himself on his brutal honesty.

But suddenly, he found himself in the position of simply not being able to speak his mind. Baby-blue eyes were staring into his, filled with so many emotions that were so clearly displayed it honestly made the doctor want to turn and run. He had never been good with this kind of thing. And now his best friend was asking for advice.

"So?" Jim asked quietly, tilting his head to the side ever so slightly, something Leonard had never seen his best friend do, but had noticed was a very common movement from their Vulcan guest. He was already taking on the aliens traits.

"Kid, I'm a doctor, not a god damn therapist." He bit out, leaning back in his chair, crossing his arms over his chest. "How the hell should I know what you should tell him? Its your life. You need to make that choice on your own."

Liar. The brown haired man's mind whispered, his heart aching as he looked into the disappointed face of the man he had loved since they met. The truth was, that he simply couldn't tell Jim that if Spock was who he wanted, he should go for it. He couldn't bring himself to be that friend.

But he couldn't tell him not to go for it either, knowing full well that it was going to make his friend, his superior, his Jim unhappy. And that was just as bad as watching him with another.

He had always been bitter, but never had he felt such contempt for someone he didn't even know. Of course, he could blame it on the fact that the Vulcan had sent him flying through his own sick bay, or that he just simply didn't like the Vulcan race. But once more, the truth was much simpler and much more painful. Jim had picked the alien over him, Bones, the man that had been by his side 24/7, that had comforted and consoled him, that had helped him, patched him up at every hour of the day, looking out for him at all times.

And after years of being the blond's best friend, a Vulcan had come by and simply stole his captain away from right under his nose. And there was nothing he could do about it, not anymore. If he told Jim now, he would only be messing with his head, making things even harder on the one person he loved, beside of his daughter.

"Well yeah." The captain interrupted his thoughts, making the doctor snap back into reality. "But you're my best friend, Bones. You've always helped me out. I thought maybe you had some kind of advice."

Leonard wanted to snap at the man, the man that was so oblivious that he didn't notice how much pain he was putting his so called 'best friend' through. But of course, he didn't.

"Look Jim, I have work to do. All I can tell ya is that you just.. need to follow your heart, ya know?" He stood, moving to pat his superiors shoulder. "You'll do fine, kiddo."

"Yeah. Thanks Bones." The grin he was given always made his heart stop, and Bones wanted to kick himself for it. But all he could do was smile back, and walk out of his office, closely followed by Jim, that then departed from Leonard's sanctuary. His sick bay.


Jim was pacing his quarters. Spock was about to be here, and Jim had made his decision. He wanted to be with the Vulcan, officially, and yes, permanently. Maybe they could move the actually bonding up a bit, just to give them some more time to get to know each other before intruding into each others minds, but all in all, James Tiberius Kirk was sure that he had found the love of his life in the Vulcan.

Running a hand through his hair, he once more went over the speech he had prepared and planned to keep to perfectly, simply because he knew if he didn't, he would start sputtering and babbling uncontrollably. This was not how he wanted to ask someone to marry him. Because essentially, that what was what he was going to do. He would ask Spock to share his life.

Just the thought made his cheeks heat up, sent his pulse racing, made his hands tremble. Spending his life with a man he had basically just met, and still being so sure that it was the right thing to do was a feeling he still had to get used to. And still, the joy he felt at the idea made his lips curl into a smile. This was exactly what he wanted.

The soft chime of the door alerted him, and he quickly walked to the door, wanting to open it personally, instead of simply beckoning the man he wanted to marry in. But to his surprise, it was not Spock that stood at the door.

"Bones?" Jim asked, slightly confused. "Uhm. Bones, I don't want to be rude but this is kind of a bad time..."

"Yeah well, I needa talk to ya know." The doctor bit out, and Jim could smell the alcohol on his breath, making the captain step back slowly. Whatever had brought his friend to drink while on duty, it had to be bad. He would have to at least talk to him for a little, and hope that Spock would understand.

But then, of course Spock would understand, Jim thought. The alien was always so understanding, so patient, something Jim loved about Spock more than he could put in words.

"See! Thats what I needa talk to ya 'bout." Bones said, pushing past Jim and into his quarters. "The damn way ya look when you're thinkin' about that pointy-eared bastard!"

"Hey, Bones, take it easy. What the hell is wrong with you?!" The blond asked, not sure if he should be annoyed or amused at the doctors words.

"Ya came to me before kid, remember? Wanted ta know what I thought about ya marrying that Vulcan." Bones snarled, standing (and swaying lightly) as he turned to once more look at his friend, that was still standing at the door.

"But Bones, you already told me-" Jim was quickly interrupted

"Yea well I lied." Bones spat, taking a step towards the blond, hands balled to fists at his sides, eyebrows furrowed as he looked his commanding officer up and down.

"What do you mean you lied? Bones, come on, sit down you're going to hurt yourself." Jim was starting to grow uneasy. He had never seen Leonard like this before, not ever. The way he stood before him, how angry he seemed to be, as if Jim should know what he was talking about.

"I ain't sitting down!" Bones suddenly roared, reaching out and gripping Jim's upper arms, holding them in an iron like grip, startling Jim bad enough to freeze. "You can't marry him! You barely know him! But I've been here, I've been here for years! I've done everything for you!"

"Bones.. What the hell are you saying?" The blond asked quietly, almost whispering. This couldn't be true, this had to be some sort of bad joke, a prank, something, anything but the truth.

"I'm saying choose me! Pick me, Jim! I deserve it more than that cold hearted hobgoblin!"

"Leonard.." Jim's head was spinning. His best friend, the man he thought of as an older brother, the man he had spent years drinking and joking around him.. was he really confessing his love to him? "Leonard listen..."

"No!" The doctor growled out, and suddenly Jim was being pushed against the closest wall, his head hitting the unyielding material painfully, and suddenly lips were being pressed to his. The taste of alcohol, and what had to be the taste of his best friend was mixing together on his lips. Dazed, Jim couldn't react. Not until he felt something wet, slick prodding at his lips, trying to force itself into his mouth. Coming back to his senses, Jim pressed his lips together as tightly as he could, gently trying to shove the intoxicated doctor back. No matter how much his personal space was being invaded, Bones was still his friend, and he couldn't hurt him. Not physically.

"Don't fight me." Bones growled out, pulling back his head, the grip on Jim's arms growing tighter, and the blond knew that he would be carrying bruises for the next few days.

"Leonard I'm sorry." Jim whispered. "I'm sorry, but even if I didn't have Spock, if I didn't want to spend my life with him. You're my best friend and.. I just don't feel that way for you."

"Thats because ya never gave me a god damn chance! If you'd just let me.. If I could show ya what you mean to me.. I know we could be happy. I know we could!"

The way his friend was looking at him made his heart ache. Grey eyes so pleading, so needing. And it was Jim's fault. How had he never seen this? How had he not noticed? Had he really been so blind?

"Bones, please. I'm sorry, I can't.. I can't do that." He said, trying to sooth his best friend, gently placing his hand onto the scruffy cheek of the doctor. "I love him, Leonard. I can't be without him."

He watched as the brunette leaned into his hand, eyes falling shut as the anger vanished from his face, being replaced by such heart breaking pain Jim could feel tears sting at his eyes. This was his best friend. And he was going through hell because he was too stupid to realize something that was now painfully obvious.

"..Then kiss me. Just this once, Jim." Bones whispered, his hands sliding from Jim's upper arms to his hands, gripping them desperately. "Please. Just one kiss. Just so I know.."

Jim closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. He didn't want to kiss Bones. It would be like kissing his brother, maybe even his uncle. But could he really deny this man what he asked for after all he had, he now realized, put him through? It was just a kiss.. But he was with Spock. Just the thought of kissing someone else made him want to gag. And still. This was his best friend. And he owed him.

"...Alright..." He said slowly, still not sure if this was a good idea, but forcing himself to stand still. "One kiss. But that's it. Do you understand?"

Jim had to make sure that Bones wasn't too drunk to accept his limit, but the solemn nod he received in reply was good enough for him. The way the doctor looked at him broke his heart, and even though every fiber in his body was protesting, he didn't pull back when he once more felt the man's lips on his.

He forced his lips to stay relaxed, forced himself to stay perfectly still, to not pull back and shove the other away. He felt his friends tongue flick out against his lips and, reluctantly, parted his lips just wide enough for the other to slide in his tongue.

Seconds passed, and just as Jim was about to pull back on his own, when the chime, and silent sound of the hissing door made his eyes snap open. And suddenly, two strong hands were clasping his head, holding him tight, and all he could do was stare into the brown eyes of the man he wanted to marry.

A growl filled the silence, and suddenly Jim was free, no hands holding him forcefully, no lips on his and for just a moment he felt relieved. But just for a moment.


Thinking back to the moment, Jim realized it was more of a blur than anything else.

The next thing he had become aware of was the gurgling sound of his friend, making Jim snap back into reality, watching in horror as Spock's usually so gentle, so soft hands wrapped around Bones' neck, dangling him up in the air, the expression on his lovers face making his heart speed up with fear.

Bones' legs kicking out, trying to get rid of his attacker, Spock growling and whispering in Vulcan, Jim tugging and screaming at the raven haired male to let his best friend down.

Bones falling onto the ground, his face purple, coughing violently as he tried to breath. The look Spock gave Jim as he towered over the struggling form of the doctor, that made the blood freeze in his veins.

The whispered words in a language Jim didn't understand as Spock placed his hands on the meld points of his face, forcing his mind into the blond's almost violently. Ripping the memory of what had just happened minutes before from him.

Being pushed back against the wall forcefully as the alien roared in rage, before leaving the room.

The Captain of the Enterprise was now sitting next to his cursing best friend, watching as he rubbed some sort of ointment onto his visibly red, and already bruising, skin. Jim had taken Bones straight down to med bay, just in case Spock, in his anger, had done any real harm.

"Bloody idiot.." Bones groaned out, avoiding direct eye contact.

"..Its not just his fault." Jim said quietly. How was he ever going to make this better? How was he going to make Spock forgive him? He had planned on telling Spock the second Leonard left, explain to him, and ask his forgiveness. But the pure rage on the Vulcan's face as he had looked at him made Jim doubt that this situation was salvageable. "I need to find him."

"Jim. I'm sorry. I.. I shouldn't have. I go shitfaced and.. I'm sorry. Its my fault. Tell the hob-.. Tell Spock that it was my fault."

"Bones.. just for now.. shut up." Jim breathed. He knew he was hurting him. But if he had really lost Spock over this, over him feeling compassionate and letting the doctor kiss him, just because he was drunk.. "I don't want to talk to you for a while. I'll.. I'm gonna go."

And with that, Jim quickly exited the sickbay, leaving behind the man he had thought would always be the one to never hurt him.


Hurt.

The emotion was so strong it made his ears ring. The Vulcan closed his eyes, trying desperately to calm and meditate. Never had he felt anything like this.

His mate, his T'hy'la, kissing another.

No reason was good enough to justify this. The memories he had seen had clearly shown that he had only done it to comfort his friend, and still, he could feel nothing but anger for the man he loved, and pure and scalding hate for the doctor.

He had touched what was his, had left his scent all over his bond mate. If he kissed Jim now, he would be able to taste the alcohol and taste of another man on his lips, on his tongue.

Bearing his teeth, he could feel his nails digging into the palm of his hand as his fingers curled into fists once more. The physical pain was a welcome distraction. It was something he could focus on, something he could use to strengthen his shields.

And yet, as soon as the first, burning wave of pain faded, there was once more nothing but rage.

The human had deserved what Spock had given he, he should have killed him for what he had done. But then, the man he had been trying to protect was tearing at his arms, begging for the man's life, as if what had happened wasn't a good enough reason to put the terran doctor back into his place. Which, he thought grimly, would be 6 feet under the ground.

The memories he had seen, the memories he had ripped from Jim's mind had been his undoing. He had agreed. He had let that filthy being touch him, touch him in a way only he, Spock, should have been allowed to. It wasn't just an insult, it wasn't just hurtful, it was heart wrecking.

"Spock." The Vulcan's head snapped to the side, staring intently at the door that slowly slid open. Had he forgotten to lock it in his anger?

And there stood the reason for his currently distraught state of mind.

"Spock.." Jim said, falling silent as Spock stood up, slowly, deliberately. "Let me explain."

"There is nothing to explain." The raven haired man replied evenly, though his voice was strained. "I have all the information you are offering to provide."

"Spock please.. I.. what was I going to do?" Jim pleaded, stepping into the alien's quarters. "He was.. he's my best friend. And he was hurting because of me for god knows how long. I just.. I wanted to help."

"By exchanging body fluids?" Spock snapped, moving away further from the infuriating human as he felt his control slipping even more in Jim's presence.

"I.. he just wanted a kiss." Jim whispered, hanging his head, looking so lost that Spock almost forgot his anger, the deep sting of betrayal, and his pain.

"It is not his right to ask for anything intimate." Spock ground out. But he could already feel his anger washing away. Slowly, but steadily.

"I know. And I feel stupid for ever agreeing to it, please believe me. I didn't even.. it made me sick. Kissing someone else than you, it made me sick." The words were like balm for the Vulcan's soul. And as he looked at the human, he knew that he could not cast him aside for wanting to aid a friend. Jim was his T'hy'la. And always would be.

"I will not tolerate such behavior again." He said quietly, but then stepped toward his human, placing his hand against the male's cheek. "Do not do such a thing again, Jim."

"I won't. Oh god, Spock, I'll never kiss anyone else but you again." A strangled sob came from the blond as his arms slid around the Vulcan's middle. "I swear. I don't ever want anyone else to kiss me again. It was. It felt so wrong."

"Jim. Please do not weep." Spock soothed, wrapping arms around the humans shaking form as he felt tears soaking through his uniform shirt.

"I thought you'd leave me." Came the barely audible answer. "I thought you would never talk to me again, and you'd leave and I'd never see you again."

"I am.. highly irritated with today's events, and.." Spock struggled for a second, just a second, but before he could continue talking, he felt a cool finger pressing against his lips.

"I know." Clear blue eyes were now staring into his own, the tracks of tears still fresh on the terran's cheeks, but at least he was no longer crying. "I know. You don't have to say it. And I promise I will make it up to you. And I really need to tell you something."

Spock's eyebrow shot up, forming a perfect arch, but he nodded, letting the other continue uninterrupted.

"I made my decision. I want you. Now, and.. forever. I want the bond. I want everything you can give, and I want to give you everything you could ever ask for. Always."

The words were the sweetest music to the Vulcan's ears. His T'hy'la, his love, his soul mate. He would be with him until the day they were parted by their demise. Any anger that was still left over was washed away, a warmth he had never felt before spreading from his heart throughout his entire body, lighting each and every single nerve afire.

He wanted to speak, to reply, but found it impossible to find the right words. He hadn't remembered closing his eyes, but as he opened them, staring back into the ever blue eyes of the man he chose to spend his life with, drowning in those endless orbs.

"And." Jim continued quietly, making Spock tilt his head to the side, his brow still arched. The human was nervous, incredibly nervous. Spock could feel it through their touch, could hear the man's heart pounding so fast he was sure Jim was starting to feel dizzy.

"And I want to make love to you. Right now."

Was that the reason his love was had been so nervous? Why would asking him for sexual intercourse make him feel so insecure? Spock opened his mouth, but once more was silenced as Jim reached to to brush his thumb over the Vulcan's lip

"And I want you to bond us during it."