Jim's in his quarters with Spock and they're having dinner over paperwork. They have a lot to do but after a month they're finally getting into a rhythm and not tiptoeing around each other anymore. After they've gone over the paperwork and the last details of their next mission maybe they'll even have time for a game of chess. Jim's cheering internally because it feels like a celebration of their first month in space and his good mood is showing. Spock momentarily raises an eyebrow at his cheerfulness but doesn't question him, which is good because Jim's sure his celebration would be deemed illogical.
"What's that?" Jim asks pointing with his fork at Spock's soup. It's been a rough month and Jim has succumbed to comfort food tonight, pancakes with cherry jam just like his mom used to make for him, or as close as a replicator can give anyway. He's glad Bones is not around, he wouldn't be happy with Jim's dinner.
"It is Plomeek soup, Captain. A traditional Vulcan dish." Spock replies evenly.
Apparently Jim's not the only one going with comfort food tonight and the idea makes him grin.
"It's orange" Jim says looking amused but also honestly curious.
"The color may change depending on the specimen utilized to make it, but I doubt this has any bearing on a replicated soup."
"So it's not weird for you?" he asks waving a piece of pancake on his fork in Spock's direction.
"No, it is not unusual." Spock quirks an eyebrow and Jim can see a hint of amusement in his eyes. Of course, because Jim can never be still for too long, that's exactly when a big piece of pancake flies away from his fork and, after an impressive parable, lands in Spock's soup splashing it all over the table, not to mention on Spock's uniform and face.
A few droplets land on Jim's face too (the table they're sitting at is not that large) and the thing is still scalding hot, making him flinch a little. Spock looks at him like he's warring between incredulity and the desire to incinerate him with just his gaze. Jim offers a sheepish smile trying not to let it show how hilarious he finds the sight of his First Officer's face all splotched in orange. He wishes he had a camera on hand but he's pretty sure the image is burned in his mind forever.
Jim stares at the tall glass in front of him. It's the middle of the day on a planet with far too many syllables in its name for Jim to pronounce it in one breath – apparently its inhabitants have greater lung capacity or something like that – and he's sitting at a small round table outside a bar with Bones. The drink is nothing alcoholic – technically they're still on duty even if they're free to wonder around and explore the city – but it's a clear light blue and even though Jim's really thirsty he can't stop staring at it long enough to drink.
Bones has of course scanned it with his tricorder, even though the bartender said it was suitable for humans, and has declared that Jim can drink it safely. He's actually pretty sure Bones has a hypospray literally up his sleeve anyway, just in case Jim starts to swell. It wouldn't be the first time.
"It reminds me of Spock" Jim says without thinking, and then grimaces because what the hell?
The look Bones gives him says pretty much the same thing and reminds Jim of the first time they met, all wide eyes and crazy eyebrows.
Jim shrugs trying for nonchalant "It's the light blue color. I mean it's inevitable, right? It's just like Spock's uniform."
"Really?" asks Bones, dripping sarcasm. He looks at Jim then pointedly down at his own uniform and back at Jim. The crazy eyebrow is back.
Jim spares a moment to wonder if Bones and Spock are related, what with the agility of their eyebrows.
"Yeah, well… come on!" oh good, he's so eloquent. His debate teacher would be so proud. "It's different! That's pretty much the only thing I've ever seen him wear!" which is so not true, it's not even funny. Jim has seen Spock wearing his Academy instructor uniform, his sparring outfits (three of them), his traditional Vulcan meditation robe, six different outfits from planets they were visiting, and even his pajamas. Grey, Starfleet regulation but still, pajamas. Jim wants to smack himself for actually remembering all that. What's wrong with him?
Bones just shakes his head.
"It's true!" he defends even though they both know it's not "And anyway, I know other people wear that color but he's THE science officer. He pretty much incarnates the uniform." He frowns then, scrunching up his nose, because he's not sure that makes sense. The sight is involuntarily comical.
Bones snorts "Just drink and shut up, kid."
Kirk is in his ready room with Uhura, checking reports before she sends them to Starfleet. They managed to successfully avoid an interplanetary crisis, peace treaties have been signed and nobody got shot, the last one being a feat in and of itself. But it took them three days of extenuating diplomatic talks during which he's only had catnaps and right now he's ready to drop.
"Captain?" Uhura tries gently, to make sure he's still with her. Kirk's staring at a point just over her shoulder and he looks a bit dazed.
He blinks at her "Sorry, Lieutenant" he pinches the bridge of his nose "I'm just tired but I was listening, go on." She nods. "Your earrings are a bit hypnotic" he adds like an afterthought and he's frowning slightly, as if he's not sure why he said it.
She cocks her head "It's onyx. You like them?" her hand touches reflexively the small pendant, a black stone shaped like a drop.
It's a very deep impenetrable black, like the darkest night, and it's shiny even if it's not transparent. It makes him think of Spock's hair - even if he feels ridiculous for it – but he's sure his hair is also silky and soft, despite never having touched it. He remembers he thought the same thing when he noticed the Fari's ambassador's hair during the diplomatic talks, almost the same black but definitely not as soft. An image of Spock all clad in black at his disciplinary hearing comes to mind and something hot spikes through Kirk. He's definitely more awake now. Kirk sighs, he's used to these tangents when it comes to his First Officer by now.
He looks back at Uhura, "Yeah, I guess so."
Jim's always loved the color green. It makes him think of home and sunny days running through the cornfields with Sam.
His mother used to say green symbolizes hope and had a whole speech about how you should never lose hope. Jim always wondered how she did it, especially considering what she had lived through. He wasn't a very tactful kid (most would argue that he's not tactful even now that he's an adult) so one day he just asked her.
"Sometimes hope is all you have left, Jim. When everything's saying you can't make it and all you can do is hope you get out of it anyway, irrational as it may be, if you cling to that feeling you have a reason to keep going, to keep fighting. Your father sacrificed himself hoping to save us and he did it. You're proof of it, aren't you? You're my hope."
Jim flushed a little 'cause he was eleven and his mom was being really embarrassing but he could sort of see her point and even if he'd never admit it, he liked it. He didn't even squirm too much when she squished him in a big hug, too intent on his tangent of how he would always win if he didn't lose hope.
To this day he keeps that lesson at heart.
The first time Spock gets injured on an away mission and Kirk is frantically trying to stop the bleeding, while unsuccessfully hailing the Enterprise, Jim hates the color green with a vengeance. Because suddenly green doesn't look like home or hope, it's death.
Jim can't stand it.
He reconciles with the color after a few months, when he sees the unchecked green flush on Spock's cheeks after Jim's kissed him in his quarters over the chess board. He understands now that green also means life and love and yes, it's definitely his favorite color. Jim's lost the game but he's won so much more.
Now that he's light years from what was once home and his mom's dead and his brother is on a far away planet, Jim finds home in Spock's embrace and knows he'll never lose hope as long as Spock is by his side.
They've stopped at Starbase 47 for some repairs and to restock on some items. Everything's going fine except it's freezing down there, complete with snow, but Jim's decided he needs some fresh air, and as long as there are no crazy beasts and he can safely beam back on his ship, he doesn't mind the weather.
He's managed to drag Spock with him even though most of his crew is safely tucked in the controlled climate of the Enterprise. Spock's wearing every item of clothing Starfleet has ever issued in the history of forever - and protesting that Jim's statement is an illogical exaggeration - but somehow he's lost his hat.
Actually he hasn't lost it, he's too attentive for that. He gave it to a kid who recognized them and told them he would be joining Starfleet one day to be just like them. The hat had Starfleet logo on it and the kid really liked it (even if it was plain black) and even though Spock argues it was only logical because the kid didn't have one Jim doesn't buy it.
"Don't you know you lose most of your body heat from the head? I don't think I need to tell you this stuff, do I?" Jim tries to sound stern but it's pretty useless when the next thing he does is hunting down the nearest market to find a new hat for Spock.
The problem is that apparently this season's color is purple, and clearly everybody needs to wear it 'cause everything is in that color. Jim huffs but in the end buys a very warm purple bobble hat with earflaps and hands it to Spock. Spock looks at it and then at Jim, but he just puts it on murmuring his thanks.
At this juncture they've only been together for five weeks and the hat ends up being the first gift Jim gives Spock. Even though he doesn't know it yet, the hat will be around for a long time.
Spock is a scientist, therefore he knows that a color is just the visual perception of the wavelengths reflected by a determinate object when hit by light. There are seven main wavelengths that make up a ray of light, each one manifests itself to the eye as a color. One can see all seven of them when observing a rainbow.
Spock knows this and as a scientist and a Vulcan he doesn't have any emotional attachment to colors. He doesn't associate memories or anything else to them. That would be illogical.
When Spock sees something red, he doesn't think of Jim's blood on his hands and the fear that grips him every time his Captain is in danger. He doesn't think of the red heart-shaped box of chocolates Jim gave him on occasion of a Terran holiday called Saint Valentine, saying he had never celebrated it before and he wanted his first Valentine to be with Spock. He also doesn't think of the charming red blush that adorns Jim's cheeks when they're alone and Spock is being affectionate.
Every time Spock sees something orange he certainly doesn't think of Plomeek soup and how he had impulsively fed his Captain a spoon of it with a piece of pancake in it. It was only logical, since his Captain's dinner had ended up in Spock's plate.
Anything yellow won't remind Spock of Jim's shirt or of his hair in the sun. Just like something green won't make him think of that time they went for a picnic on shore leave, and Jim kept pinning Spock down in the grass to kiss him.
Blue of all colors cannot remind him of Jim. Nothing Spock has seen matches Jim's mesmerizing blue eyes, nothing is so alive and bright to even compare.
Same as he will never see again the shades of indigo and violet painting a spectacular sunset that he shared with his bondmate on an uninhabited alien planet.
But if forced to choose a color he associates with Jim, Spock would say white, like light itself. Because Jim is just as pure and complex, as bright and, ultimately, fascinating, as light.