Spock buried his face gently into the blanket, inhaling the scent of Jim. It smelled like the light cologne Jim casually smothered his neck with, the kind Spock had on occasion tasted when he brushed his lips against the soft skin. It was quite peculiar actually, how the scent itself sent Spock’s head spinning, but the taste was enough to make every muscle in his body cringe in disgust.
But for now, Spock brought his face from the warm sheet pleasantly, the smell of Jim surrounding him in every possible way. The blanket, the clothes, the bond, the arms…. he was contently wrapped in his beloved bondmate, and nothing was more pleasant than that.
Jim skimmed his cheek against the flesh of Spock’s own, tightening his arm around him snugly before fixing the blanket over the two of them. Spock could feel Jim’s arms flex on his shoulders, then relax, letting them fall at his side gently where he massaged small circles into Spock’s hip.
“Are you warm enough?” Jim asked in a hushed whisper, so close to Spock’s ear that he could feel Jim’s breath feather against him.
Spock’s lashes fluttered upward, looking at the way the tree branches with the tiny leaves silhouetted on the dark sky-- a sky he and his bondmate had travelled across many times before. Spock admired the way the stars looked, how he could envision a painting’s attempt to capture the essence of this scenery. He could see such a painting hanging elegantly in the biggest of museums… the most remarkable of halls.
Art, however, could never compare to the skyscape he and Jim had shared moments ago. Spock had experienced many sunsets in his day, especially on Vulcan with its large sun, but somehow his first trip back to Earth with his newly engaged bondmate made the sky much different. Experiencing that sunset now from their hotel balcony was a new sight, and for the first time in over thirty years, Spock was able to marvel at the sky too and understanding the true beauty in the colours sweeping across it.
Finally, Jim’s words registered when Spock felt lips touch the tip of his ear, and he turned his eyes to look into his bondmate’s. Delicately, he shifted under the blanket, fixing the edges so that it covered the two of them nicely, and then he set his cold fingers over Jim’s under the cover. “I am adequate,” he murmured.
A twitch of Jim’s lips told Spock that he was not thoroughly satisfied with that response, and Jim brought the blanket up and over their bodies. “Adequate isn’t warm enough, Mister Spock.” His eyes gleamed into Spock’s, both men staring starry=eyed at one another. “I’ll be right back.”
Spock shivered as Jim lifted the blanket up, allowing for all the chill of the wind to enter behind him. As Jim stood, he turned back to look over Spock, making sure to bundle his shivering body back under the sheet comfortably. Spock in his heat again. Once he was covered again, he gave Jim a small nod and extended his legs again onto an old patio coffee table. He buried his hands in the white blanket covering him, and he snuggled his nose back into its fleecy fabric. It was incredible how quickly Jim had torn the heat away from him. Somehow, his presence alone lit a fire within that could keep him burning for hours.
When the sound of the door sliding open was heard, Spock pulled the blanket down a fraction, and peered at Jim curiously with an eyebrow raised to indicate his interest.
In Jim’s hand was a thermal cup, made to encase the heat of a beverage perfectly, and so when Spock reached out to the offering, he could instantly feel the warmth radiate through his sensitive digits as though it had still been in the pot. He did not mind. He did not flinch. He simply looked up to Jim gratefully.
“N’gaan-masu,” Spock noted, allowing for the spiced tea’s aroma to fill his airway completely. He breathed it in, he smelled it, and for a brief moment, he almost believed he could taste the tangy flavour of it from the steam alone. He opened his eyes to meet Jim’s.
“Nemaiyo,” Spock thanked gratefully in his native tongue, lifting the mug slightly with both his hands.
“You’re welcome.” Jim smiled, dinging his wine glass against Spock’s drink gently before bringing it to his lips and sipping the mauve coloured liquid. Spock’s eyes watched the soft, plush lips caress the edge of the glass, and when Jim’s eyes reopened, Spock closed his own as he sipped the tea with equal grace.
Jim did his customary lip smacking, a manerism Spock had noticed a year back on one of their delegate dinners on the Enterprise. It was not a sound that Spock would consider annoying, just peculiar and trivial. He wasn’t sure why Jim had to declare his acceptance of each alcoholic beverage in such a mysterious way, and yet Spock was strangely fond of it.
Eventually, Jim placed his glass on the small side table next to him, bringing his arm around Spock’s shoulders once again. He nestled his nose in Spock’s hair before planting a small kiss against his scalp.
“This is crazy,” he whispered into the strands, allowing his head to relax there for a moment.
Spock placed his own mug on the side table, scanning the scenery before them curiously; he was unsure as to what exactly Jim meant by crazy, and to what he was referring to all together. He finally decided to voice his concern, “I do not understand, Jim. Please specify.”
Jim chuckled, and Spock could almost feel the smile against his head. “The last time I was on Earth, I swore I’d never get married. I thought I’d be a bachelor the rest of my life.” His eyes looked at the ocean displayed serenely before them. They had been graced to such a sight all day. “I never thought you and I would be anything but friends.”
Spock’s arm slinked its way around Jim’s waist, rubbing the slight curve of his side softly with his sensitive fingers, and feeling the fabric of the tunic against his palm. He shivered at the memory of removing this particular piece of clothing earlier that day, along with the way Jim’s skin was almost equally as soft, and how it tasted against his lips and tongue… the way Jim’s body was in and against his own.
He shivered a second time.
“I would have never guessed that the next time I returned to Earth, it would be like this,” Jim spoke softly, entwining their fingers together passionately, before he brought their lips together firmly. They touched slowly, reveling in the many sensations inspired by the touching of their mouths. He couldn’t believe that he and Spock had actually ‘taken the plunge’. He and Spock had actually bonded their mind and souls together, and became one.
“I am quite pleased by the way things have transpired,” Spock added, tracing his thumb over Jim’s tenderly..”
Jim grinned at his Vulcan with intense love and affection. He tilted his head, resting it on the wall behind him so that the two of them could look at one another as they sat.
Carefully, Jim outlined his finger against the slant of Spock’s jaw, watching Spock relax into the touch like a cat beginning to purr under its master’s hand. Jim found himself grinning once again.
“You’re so handsome,” Jim whispered, his eyes following the curve of Spock’s ear. “I’m so happy things turned out the way they did too.”
Spock bowed his head, twitching slightly from the peculiar feeling of Jim’s touch against that particular area. It was arousing, sent chills up his spine, as well as tickled him. He tried to pull away, but Jim’s digits followed playfully.
An irritated sigh signalled to Jim that enough was enough, and he couldn’t help but laugh at the fake stern expression on Spock’s face as he tried to further influence the human to stop. Jim never voiced how he knew of Spock’s exclusively sensitive ears. That was information for him to know and the world to never find out. No one else would gain the opportunity to learn such things about Spock, and for that reason alone, Jim leaned forward and kissed the previously teased point.
Their eyes both simultaneously returned to the waves lapping at the shore, enjoying the way the water looked at all moments of the day. In the early morning, the water had appeared dark and almost murky with the sun peeking lowly in the sky. Then, as the day moved forth, it reached a magnificent shade of sky blue, almost mirroring the clouds with its rushing waves. And not long ago, the ocean had settled, turning red, orange, yellow and purple with the outburst of the sunset in the sky. It was truly magnificent, and yet, even during nightfall, the water seemed to take on an equal amount of diverse beauty.
Waves rolled instead of crashed, and they gently reached forth onto the shore, pulling back into the large body of water soundlessly. Of course, Jim was certain that Spock could hear the whispering crawl of the ocean, but as he sat there seven floors above the ground, he could not pick up a sound.
Like glass, the water reflected the sky above, and the more Jim squinted and strained his eyes, the better he could make out tiny speckled stars. It was for this reason that Jim had trouble deciphering where the water ended and sky took off.
“I think this is my favourite time.” Jim noted, referring back to one of the conversations they had earlier that evening after a vigorous round of copulation. He recalled the way Spock laid across the disheveled sheets, perking his head to witness the view outside their window while they were both still breathless.
“It has changed again. I quite enjoy the way it appears now,” Spock had said in reference to the sky.
Now, Spock nodded his head, understanding which particular discussion Jim was referring to out of the blue.
“I believe I appreciated the view in all its forms. There has not been one which I was not fond of.” Spock replied, briefly gazing at Jim to witness the dreamy reflection in his eyes. Then Jim looked up at the open night sky above them.
There was a silence between them for a moment before Jim cleared his throat to speak again. “This time of day is the most colourful,” Jim pointed out, a shy smile taking over his lips silently before he turned to meet his partner’s gaze.
Spock lifted both brows, confusion taking over as he pondered the idea Jim had just offered. He had seen colour when he watched the sun make its rounds from one side of the hotel to the other. He saw the reds, the orange, the yellows reflected in the ocean, noticed it from the moment the lamp lights on the street went off and then back on. Had Jim been distracted the entire evening that he missed the way their white hotel room had shifted olours in correspondence with the time of day?
“Explain?” Spock asked curiously, letting his eyes travel up to the stars next to Jim’s among the constellation Vela.
“I often think that the night is more alive and more richly coloured than the day,” Jim replied in perfect articulation, spoken like a true poet.
The heartbeat in Spock’s side increased. He loved when Jim and he spoke in such a rhythm. It was the same sensation he received when he strummed the lyre. “That was quite inspirational,” Spock decided to say, lowering his eyes back to the lapping at the shore.
“It was inspired by a famous artist.” Jim smirked, scanning for a new constellation to gaze at.
“To which are you referring, Jim?” Spock asked genuinely, curious as to who had mustered such a concoction of words.
“Are you familiar with nineteenth century Terran art?” Jim asked, his fingers tightening with Spock’s under the blanket. He felt Spock’s other hand which was still wrapped behind his back brushing his sides, and he adored the touch. “His name was Vincent.”
“Van Gogh?” Spock wondered out loud, enjoying the smooth motions of Jim’s fingers against his shoulder.
Jim nodded his affirmation. “He painted some absolutely remarkable pieces. He was most widely known for his painting titled Starry Night.” Jim looked back to Spock quickly, trying to gauge whether his lover was following still.
“My mother had spoken about this particular piece with my father and I once before, but I am unaware of what it looks like.”
“Well,” Jim leaned back again, looking up wistfully as he envisioned the once so widely appreciated piece, “It’s a painting, made entirely out of three colours… a picture of a landscape with a forest in the foreground, a small village in the middle, and far off in the distance there's mountains. And then, above those mountains, you can see these large images of stars.”
“It would be impossible for me to visualize it without any physical reference, Jim,” Spock sighed, wishing to know what this piece of art that Jim spoke of truly looked like.
“Well,” Jim laughed. “That painting isn’t too important right now. I’ll show you it when we return inside. What I meant to say by bringing up Vincent Van Gogh, was related to the way he looked at the night sky and colours in general.”
Spock felt himself grow impossibly quiet, his body going rigid as he awaited Jim’s next words. That was something he was thankful for in finding Jim as his life partner. The two of them were so taken by the night sky, that it was incredibly pleasant to share such thoughts with another living soul… a living soul in which he adored so dearly himself.
Jim was no Vulcan. His knowledge of numbers and physics could not span Spock’s, as he had not studied his entire life to gain such abilities. But, there was something remarkably intelligent about him, something that Spock felt juvenile in comparison to. Jim knew so much of art, history, the universe, and the diversity in which living things lived. There was an understanding of life that Spock did not have so naturally, and the only way he could have a glimpse of understanding it was when he was next to Jim, listening to him speak like this.
“Van Gogh was an artist, but I like to think of him as one of my favourite poets in Earth’s history,” Jim explained slowly, “He helped me put lots of things into perspective when I was growing up, and how I look at command. He once said how there is no shade of black, and that in order to make the night sky, it’s dependent on a plethora of colours.”
Jim smirked, thinking back to his college years when he literally buried himself in books like this. “It seems to me that night is more richly coloured than the day; having hues of the most intense violets, blues and greens. If only you pay attention to it you will see that certain stars are lemon-yellow, others pink or green, blue and forget-me-not brilliance. And without my expatiating on this theme it is obvious that putting little white dots on the blue-black is not enough to paint a starry sky,” Jim finished almost in a whisper, and with a reminiscent smile.
Spock glanced up, trying to tilt his head in order to pick out some of the buried colours of the night.
“Blue, red, pink, purple, white...” Jim smiled, shaking his head very gently in amazement. “It’s all there. You just have to look for it.”
And suddenly, Spock understood. The night sky wasn’t black at all… and for once, he could see the concealed undertones of yellow and green and pink hidden gently in a dark blended tone.
“Fascinating,” Spock commented, pursing his lips together as his thoughts lingered on the subject only Jim could bring to light for him.
“He also talked a lot about love, and when I was younger,” Jim mentioned as though he were speaking as long ago as said college days. “I never really understood it. I mean, I understood, but I didn’t truly get it.”
Jim’s hand cupped Spock’s ear affectionately, running down the length of his jaw and neck, and then tracing back to the same ear seductively, yet in absolute innocence. And when Spock had thought that Jim was finished, he felt the gentle pressing of his lips against the side of his head, over the temple.
“I didn’t get it until now,” Jim whispered under his breath, so gently that Spock could have almost mistaken it for a sigh or a soft breeze. But Spock’s Vulcan ears caught onto every word, and he felt his mind reach out to Jim, caressing his consciousness like Jim’s hand against his cheek.
‘I cherish thee.’
‘I love you so much.’
They closed their eyes together, Jim’s skin softly pressing against Spock’s as their foreheads rubbed together. Jim could feel their bond strengthen the closer they became, and with their flesh and bones being the only thing separating their minds, the link opened up and blossomed, allowing them to finally reach each other--to see how pleasant their minds were in the space they shared. It felt as if they had slowly absorbed the other, their heart rates matching, their breathing in sync, their thoughts transferring so fluidly, they could speak of anything and understand the other perfectly.
Jim turned his head, his face gently trailing along Spock’s until he made a strange humming noise, contentment shooting out over his partner. Spock responded to the light noise by turning his head into the nape of Jim’s neck, and nibbled softly against it, kissing it and caressing the flesh with his lips.
It tickled Jim a bit, but he let himself tremble from it, their link somewhat subduing him for a moment as he sat their embraced in every possible way. He closed his eyes and blindly used his lips to guide him to Spock’s mouth, calmly claiming it with his own, and slowly delving his tongue into the warm heat of his mouth. They sat like that, cupping each other’s faces, and mingling their fingers into one.
‘I love you,’ Jim muttered again through the bond as they kissed.
‘I you, Jim,’ Spock replied with depth to his words, and sent feelings of absolute worship across their bond that somewhat surprised Jim.
But Jim loved surprises.
Suddenly, a loud noise woke Spock from his trance, his lips instantly departing from Jim’s. The night sky lit up with an incredible shade of pink, so luminescent in comparison to the earlier darker shades.
Spock looked over at Jim, confusion rapidly taking over the appearance of bliss he had been displaying when completely enthralled by Jim and their connection. The hint of worry brought a soft chuckle out from Jim. “Keep watching the sky.”
Then, just as Spock turned to gaze back into the starry night, he saw another blast of light, only this time the bang was much louder and there were multiple areas of colour, tightly expanding over the space, and slowly dissipating.
It was magnificent, and Jim felt concerned for a moment, wondering if the sound of the nearby fireworks were overwhelming for such delicate Vulcan ears. But when he felt the tightening of Spock’s hand against his own, Jim knew that everything would be alright.
And yet, even though his concern was slowly leaving, Jim could not take his eyes from Spock. The look on Spock’s face was almost more attractive than the artistry that took to the skies in front of them. He could see the colours reflected on Spock’s olive toned skin, and he marvelled at how soft it looked under the light. He didn’t need to look up to know that he was in absolute paradise. He didn’t need the fiery explosives to confirm anything.
Spock raised a brow at the show, feeling Jim’s hold on him tighten as he dipped his head to the left and relaxed into his lover. Both of them eyed the contorted reflections of the coloured lights on the water, and adored the way it added to the expressive piece of the entire display.
Suddenly Spock spoke through their silence, taking Jim off guard. “I wonder what Van Gogh would think of the sky this night.”
Jim laughed, turning his head to Spock’s and meeting a seriously amused expression on his lover. Nothing could stop Jim from continuing his delightful peel of laughter, and Spock was glad for it. And when Jim simmered, Spock laid his head into Jim’s chest, finally relaxing upon it like he had wanted to for years, but had only now become perfectly comfortable doing. Jim played with the tip of his ears, until the urge became too much and Jim brought Spock’s chin upwards.
And they kissed under the fiery lights of the explosives in the sky until they had ceased. Spock’s words still buzzed in his head, and for a moment Jim wondered what Vincent would think of the night sky that evening. If he thought anything like Jim did, he would have agreed that the dazzling allure of fireworks was nothing in comparison to the natural colours of the night.
However, Jim would not complain. He found he wouldn’t care what shade or hue the sky became, as long as he could hold Spock like this.