In the warm, lazy, sleepy, après sex cocoon, limbs entangled and breathing in each other’s exhaled breath, Kirk whispered, “Stay with me, Spock.”
Impossibly, Spock pulled Kirk even tighter to himself. “I am here, Jim. Here, now, always.”
Kirk drew back enough so the tips of their noses were only centimeters apart. “I mean tonight. All night.” He exhaled a shaky breath. “Tomorrow. The day after. Next week.” He then yanked them close to where his lips were against Spock’s ear. “Forever. And longer than that.”
Spock positioned Kirk so he could press the butterfly wing kiss over Jim’s lips again. “I told you, I was waiting for you to find me. And now you have. My forever and beyond are already yours.”
Their joining was even sweeter than the first time.
# # #
The next day, they cobbled together a breakfast of sorts, meaning “let’s find something edible in the kitchen.” Jim had stale French bread and coffee; Spock had only bread, since he declined the grape soda lurking the back corner of the refrigerator. “I guess I need to go shopping,” Kirk said, with appropriate sheepish demeanor.
“Perhaps after I return from the Embassy with my possessions,” Spock offered.
Kirk almost dumped his coffee mug. “Oh, God, Spock, do you MEAN it?” The he DID drop the mug, to pull Spock into a tight embrace. “I didn’t dare hope, I was scared it was just pillow talk, thank you—thank you—thank you!” He let go of Spock, who fell back into his chair with a thump.
Spock blinked. “Were you not serious?”
“I’ve never been more serious in my life.”
“I will return with my belongings in an hour and twelve point two minutes. I do ask one thing from you, Jim.”
Kirk smiled at the precision of time. Classic Spock. “Anything for you, Spock.”
“I want to take the Amanda Grayson rose to Sarek.”
Kirk’s face softened to a gentleness at Spock’s request. “I’d like that.”
# # #
Spock was at the apartment door exactly one hour and fifteen minutes later.
“I apologize for my tardiness. My conversation with Sarek took longer than I anticipated.”
Kirk couldn’t wipe the stupid grin off his face. There was absolutely no conversation preamble, no small talk in Spock’s verbal interaction. He was abrupt, startling, and often seemed rude. Kirk loved it.
“Not a problem. What happened with Sarek? Didn’t he care for the rose?”
Spock placed his duffel bag on one of the dining chairs. He straightened himself, and looked directly in Kirk’s eyes. “Jim. Sarek wants you to meet with him today, fourteen hundred hours, at the Embassy.”
Kirk grimaced, and waved his arm in the direction of Spock’s duffel. “Is this about…?”
Kirk thought he’d rather have a friendly little chat with Nero, instead. Battles, hostage negotiations, even decades of star mapping, ANYTHING but a command performance for Sarek!
He squeezed his eyes tightly shut for a few moments, and then opened them to show the famous steely resolve. “Fourteen hundred is a little over an hour from now. Let’s head on out and get this show on the road, then.”
A sharp glance stopped the request for idiom definition from Spock.
At two P.M. on the dot, Kirk was ushered by himself into a small, austere room where Sarek sat in one of the two chairs. The only other furnishing was a small table between the chairs, holding the stasis box with the rose inside.
Kirk moved to stand in front of the unoccupied chair, and held his hands clasped behind his back. “Mister Ambassador,” he said, nodding his head.
Sarek slowly stood, and nodded his head towards Kirk. “Kirk.” He offered the ta’al. “Live long and prosper, Captain.”
“Peace and long life, Ambassador.”
Sarek indicated that Kirk should sit, and both took their chairs.
And then it was a Vulcan staring contest. THIS was something Kirk was familiar with, and he waited it out.
Sarek broke the stare, and reached for the stasis box. He gently removed the lid, and Kirk watched his face soften as he looked at the rose inside. With one finger, in perfect imitation of his son’s gesture the previous evening, he traced the edge of a petal. He swallowed several times, and the tendons tightened noticeably around his jaws.
He finally looked back to Kirk.
“Spock has presented me with this token of your offer to bond with him.”
Kirk’s heart stopped. He knew it stopped, because he could feel when the beating of it abruptly ceased. Every single drop of blood in his body drained down to his feet, and he turned ice cold. He noticed that he wasn’t breathing any more, either. He was dead, then.
Sarek apparently didn’t see any of this. “I find your token acceptable, and you have my approval to bond with my son, James Kirk.”
Kirk had a faint memory of THANKING Sarek, and being polite and doing all the proper blah-blah-blah. But as soon as he stepped outside the small room into the hall and the door shut behind him, he flew. Spock saw only a flash as Kirk ran through the atrium and out the door. If Spock were collecting idioms, he would know that he “beat feet” right behind him.
Kirk ran up all the stairs to the apartment, and flung himself spread eagle against the door to stop his momentum. He had turned around and was fumbling for the key with a shell-shocked look on his face by the time Spock reached him. The contents of his pockets were spread on the ground at his feet. “I don’t know, I can’t find, someplace, something, I need…”
Spock grabbed his upper arm firmly and said, “Jim.” The babbling stopped. Spock knelt down, scooped up everything, and used the key card to open the door. He pulled Kirk inside and placed him on the couch.
“What did my father say?”
“He accepted the Amanda Grayson rose as a bonding gift, and gave me his approval.”
Spock sat on the couch next to Kirk, looking almost as astonished. “Oh.”
The words spilled out of Kirk’s mouth, and seemed to tumble all over the floor. “Spock, I mean, well, we did talk, and I absolutely want to be with you, but to hear Sarek mention bonding and he says it’s okay and I never expected, and it just…”
Kirk’s blathering ceased.
“Jim. I only showed him the rose and said it was a gift you had given me. And I told him I was moving here. Nothing more.”
“No. That is something you and I have yet to discuss together.”
Kirk finally normalized his breathing, and gazed at Spock. Then he smiled. “Usually, a proposal is between the two people involved.”
Spock raised one eyebrow. God, Kirk loved that! “Shall I get down on one knee, then, Captain?”
“Maybe both of us should.”
“Will thou bond with me, James Kirk?”
“I thought you’d never ask!”
They never made it to the market.