The first time Spock misunderstood human behavior, it was over one of the most common human conventions – an act better known to humans as ‘shaking hands’ - and it had ended with the other party getting nerve pinched to the ground.
Not only Spock didn’t understand that shaking hands wasn’t the human equivalent of “yo baby, want to fuck with me?” as it was for the touch telepaths that Vulcans were, but it also took him several weeks to actually realize that apparently to psy-null humanoids, touching each other for whatever reason wasn’t really considered a big deal.
The second time Spock misunderstood human behavior, it was because - from his point of view - a certain now-captain-of-a-certain-starship had cheated on his test – the one that had took him several weeks to program so that it was virtually impossible to win - and had thought he could get away with it.
At the time, the Vulcan hadn’t understood the reason behind that behavior, thinking it was due to human illogical – and childish – need to win at all cost just to feed up their ego.
It was only when he and Kirk had started to become closer friends that the latter explained to him the real reason behind his doing. At the time Jim’d thought the whole point of the test wasn’t a matter of making one responsible, but rather a matter of learning how to think outside the box, to think the unthinkable, to realize the unrealizable.
And that answer did fascinate him.
The third time Spock misunderstood human behavior, it was again because of a certain now-captain-of-a-certain-starship.
On that occasion, the recent implosion of Vulcan and the death of his beloved mother had shaken him up so deeply that the only thing his heart had been able to do to block out the pain, was to simply shut down, leaving him alone with the logic of his mind.
When Kirk’d beamed back on the Enterprise and had taunted him, trying to draw out any possible reaction from him, the only thing Spock could feel was frustration, hate and a good dose of sadness. Jim’s behavior was absurd, illogical and the reference to his lack of love for his mother was uncalled for.
For a split of a second he could have sworn he heard his feelings snap the chains with which his logic had bounded them, and the only things he was aware of were his rage for being unable to do anything to prevent the destruction of Vulcan, his pain for losing his mother and the feeling of his own hand on Jim’s neck.
It was only when he’d left the bridge and cooled his head that he’d recognized the real reason behind Kirk’s attack.
And that realization - together with the knowledge that the other was actually a better reader of characters than expected – had greatly puzzled him.
He really didn’t know what to think about the young human anymore.
The fourth time Spock misunderstood human behavior, it was soon after the whole ‘I almost choked to death my future best friend’ incident, when Nyota had kissed him in the transport room.
At the time he had still been quite unknowledgeable about the meaning of most of human acts regarding the touching of other people. Given the situation he’d thought that Uhura’s action had simply been a good-luck charm – as humans seemed to be very fond of the concept of ‘luck’ in spite of its illogicality – or maybe just a way to show her participation in that that was about to be an almost-suicide mission.
Thinking about it in retrospective, that’d been a rather illogical and flawed reasoning on his part from the very beginning...so he probably did deserve the inevitable slap that had followed the rather awkward discussion he’d had with Nyota once they’d defeated Nero.
The fifth time Spock misunderstood human behavior, it was actually several months later.
In that period of time he’d followed the advise of his older self and tried to get closer to his new captain, finding himself more fascinated with his unpredictability the more he spent time with him. He’d learned over time that the human was young but also extremely sharp for his age, and that, for some unfathomable reason, the Enterprise crew seemed to work far more productively under his somewhat lax attitude than he’d every seen any other crew under stricter circumstances.
In that period of time, however, there had been one thing that his mind couldn’t really work out. Having become ‘the captain’s shadow’, he’d had plenty of time to study his rather strange and somewhat fascinating interaction with doctor McCoy. He still couldn’t understand how the threat of being hypoed with one of the medical sperimental mixtures could be considered by Kirk the McCoy equivalent of a declaration of love.
The more Spock tried to unravel the mystery behind Jim’s and McCoy’s relationship, the less he found a solution to the problem.
Actually...the more Spock tried to unravel the mystery behind Jim’s and McCoy’s relationship, the more a certain doubt began to grow in his mind. And it was because of that same doubt that one night, after their usual game of chess, Spock asked Kirk if he and doctor McCoy were actually a couple.
It wasn’t because of homophobia or anything like that that he’d asked – as unbelievable as it could seem to other races, Vulcans had a pretty open mind when it came to homosexuality -. The point was that Spock considered himself one of Kirk’s closest friends, and, if he and McCoy were indeed together, then the Vulcan had all the rights to feel rather offended by all that secrecy.
Of all the reactions he thought he would obtain at that question, Jim bursting out in laughs wasn’t exactly one of them. It took several minutes for Jim to recompose himself and explain to Spock that the love he felt for Bones was entirely of the brotherly kind, the kind of love reserved to mates was already taken by someone else.
It was only when he’d returned to his room, that Spock’s mind fully rationalized Kirk’s words.
Who the hell was his best friend in love with?!
Then there was one single time in which Spock thought he misunderstood a certain human’s behavior when he actually didn’t.
As the time passed on the Enterprise between a mission and another, it had come to Spock’s attention that something was wrong with his captain’s recent mood. For some inexplicable reason, Jim’d been acting increasingly nervous in his presence, tensing whenever he brushed against him by accident. This strange behavior came with a sense of awkwardness every time they talked to each other that it was beginning to annoy even the stoic Vulcan.
The weirdest event of all – and the one that convinced Spock to actually talk with doctor McCoy – had been seeing Jim blush and promptly run off after his Second Officer had grabbed his arm avoiding him a rather undignified fall on the floor.
“Does he like me?”
Actually the Vulcan hadn’t planned to ask that question like that, but he couldn’t find a better way to express his puzzlement to McCoy than by being straight with his query. The only answer he got was one of those glares that the doctor usually reserved for Kirk when he did something obviously idiotic, and a series of mumbled sentences about ‘delivering brown-blooded children’.
In the end, Spock convinced himself that it was all in his imagination and that his captain was probably just stressed by the recent missions – and made a promise to himself to tinker with the table of shifts so that at least a couple of hours of his captain day were moved on the Vulcan’s shifts instead -.
He managed to convince himself so thoroughly of this fact, that he’d been rather surprised to find his captain waiting for him in front of his room a couple of days later. He still looked somewhat unsettled but there was also resolution in his eyes when he raised his head to stare back at Spock.
“Uhm...can I talk to you for a second?” Jim asked and continued only when the other nodded “I kind of have been acting like a bitch with you these last days so...uhm...I’m sorry about that”
“No offense was taken” came Spock’s quick reply.
“Uhm...uhm...” Jim looked like he wanted to add something but was still trying to find the right words “Spock...would you hate me if I say that I kind of love you that way?”
“That way?” was Spock’s confused reply.
“You know...that way that isn’t quite brotherly love and of which we talked about some time ago?”
It was when Jim was starting to feel panic build up again that he found the Vulcan’s lips on his own and two arms possessively wrapped around his waist.
“Jim, the possibility of me hating you for whatever reason is 0%” Spock breathed on his mouth, indulging in another couple of brief and light kisses.
Jim let out a low moan.
“Spock...is it bad that I just got aroused by you giving out percentages?”
A smirk tugged the corner of the Vulcan’s lips.
“No...it isn’t bad” he replied pulling the human inside his room “It isn’t bad at all...”
And Spock locked the door.