Fandom: Star trek AOS
Pairing: Jim Kirk/Leonard McCoy
Note: Chef AU; Written for "Explorer del Poliverso" per Landedifandom
In a certain sense they’re right: Jim’s culinary ability does come from his father. It’s not exactly a leap of logic considering the fact that George Kirk was critically recognized to be the future of culinary expertise and one of the most promising chefs of their generation.
Before he died, that was.
So, really, all the people that believe that Jim just has to have inherited his father’s talent aren’t that far off the course, they just don’t know the entire story.
Jim doesn’t learn how to cook in a kitchen, with his mother next to him teaching him the ropes, he doesn’t learn it with a teacher next to him. JIm learns to cook in the attic at his house, reading through his dad’s old diaries.
He doesn’t know why they’re here, and he only found them by chance because no one in his house really talk about George Kirk - as if they were scared that only mentioning his name would make his loss even more real - but he stumbles about them by chance, while he’s searching for a place to hide from Frank and he doesn’t stop reading them.
Jim is young, and he’s curious about his father as any young boy would be, and this feels like the first time he’s ever had something tangible of his. It’s not his mother’s far away look, or his brother’s resentment over the fact that Jim lived and George didn’t. It’s pages upon pages of George Kirk, unfiltered.
And George Kirk liked to talk about food. A lot.
His diaries are full of recipes, and combinations of flavours and experiments that he had done in his youth, and Jim reads them all so many times that he doesn’t just know the words by heart, but he starts to understand the words.
He doesn’t really cook, but sometimes when his mother is home before being shipped again, he sneaks in the kitchen while she cooks and makes some adjustments without her noticing. He adds a little garlic, a little pepper, some salt, some lemon and so on and so forth.
Winona never catches him, but she always seems pleased with her cooking after Jim helps.
After a while JIm thinks that maybe he could actually do something with this. He wouldn’t mind actually cooking at home, sometimes, and maybe Sam would be happier if they had something good to eat every day.
That’s when Frank decides to sell their father’s car and Sam decides to leave home, so Jim does the only thing Jim can do and he drives the fucking car off the cliff.
After that it’s juvie, and then going from place to place and he doesn’t have time to cook. Sometimes he makes breakfast for his flame of the night, sometimes he manages to get hired as a back up cook in some diners, but that’s mostly it.
He doesn’t mind, his father’s journals are lost to him now, and it all feels rather useless.
That’s when he meets Uhura, future pastry chef, and gets himself knocked out by a bunch of future pretentious waiters - because he can’t believe that there fucking idiots could ever become chefs, even if they manage to graduate from Starfleet.
It’s also the day where Christopher Pike finds him bleeding on the floor. Lots of surprises all around.
Jim knows who Pike is, of course - even if he hadn’t mentioned in George’s journals as a very promising junior chef - he’s the head chef at Enterprise, one of the best restaurants in America.
What Jim doesn’t know is why Pike is bothering him.
“I admired your father’s ability in the kitchen and I think that his creativity, and his understanding on how to mix spices and flavours is something that high end cuisine has been missing in the past few years,” he explains, looking at Jim like he has any kind of point.
Jim is just too tired to tell him to fuck off as he should. “Oh you mean that making a mousse out of air isn’t good food? Who knew,” he murmurs, trying to stop the blood that’s dripping from his nose.
That cupcake knew how to throw a punch, even if he probably didn’t know how to whip a custard worth a damn.
Pike doesn’t laugh, he honestly looks too serious to be having this conversation with Jim. He hasn’t probably gotten the memo: Jim Kirk, rejecting male authority figures since he was 11 years old.
“I’ve talked with some of the diner owners that have hired you in the past, and they all tell me that they’ve got no idea what you do, but their business skyrockets when you’re in the kitchen and I think that it’s because you’re your father’s son. I want you in my kitchen, Kirk,” he says, like that’s just something people do. “I can get you into Starfleet, or at least I can get you into having an entry test, but I’m sure you can do the rest. And then I want you in my kitchen as a junior chef. And after… we’ll see.”
“Man, have you planned out the rest of my life? How’s my romantic situation? Have you found me a wife as well?” Jim jokes, because this is entirely too fucking absurd.
He doesn’t think he’s drunk enough to hallucinate, but at this point who knew.
Pike doesn’t laugh this time either. He stands up, looking at him. “Your father was supposed to be the most talented chef of our generation, I think you can do even better. I dare you to,” he says, leaving before Jim can laugh in his face.
Fuck, what a trip. As if there was any way in hell he would spend four years in that stuffy school.
Still, he thinks about Pike the entire night. In the beginning he’s mostly thinking what the hell but then he starts to analyze Pike’s words and he actually starts to think about himself in four years, working at Enterprise and making a name as George Kirk’s heir,
Man, fuck that noise.
George might have taught Jim how to cook in a dusty attic, but Jim has always been a self made man even if not entirely by choice.
Still, he’s also a fucking asshole.
He packs his bags and goes to San Francisco and he finds the worst looking Fast Food truck he can find. He even Trip Advisor the fuck out of it, just to see if he can find the worst rated one.
It’s in front of a hospital, which isn’t actually a bad position, and Jim struts to it with all the confidence of someone who has no business being there.
There’s no one waiting to be served, and by the looks of it, it has been that way for quite some time.
“What can I get you, kid?” the man inside the truck asks and Jim smiles.
“Well, it’s mostly what I can do for you. Hire me and I’ll make this truck the most profitable truck this side of the world,” he says, with a wink.
The man blinks, evidently surprised. “I’m… what the fuck? Is this some kind of a joke? Go away, kid.”
Yeah, as if that would have ever worked. “Give me like twenty minutes. I’ll make you a burger and then we can continue this conversation, yes?”.
It takes him a couple of minutes to actually convince David, the owner of the truck. But it takes David less than a minute to accept once Jim has given him his burger.
Yeah, Jim’s not really surprised. Life has never been generous enough to give him anything, so he’s learnt how to get things.
The first week is hard, and Jim has to give away more free food than he would like, but he’s a natural with the clients - years of being the town slut has served his purpose - and he’s good.
The second week news has already spread around, and the truck becomes overrun by clients.
Jim starts having regulars, and he starts to learn the names of people and the way of the city.
Business blooms, and soon David offers to split everything 50/50. Jim accepts, even if he would have been fine with the normal salary.
In the end it takes four months before Jim looks down at a new client and sees Pike’s face, glowering at him.
“What can I do you for, Chef?” Jim asks, with a shit eating grin and the knowledge that he’s ruining the man’s life just by being a pest.
“Really, Kirk? A Fast Food truck?” Pike asks, and Jim gasps in mock outrage.
“Are you looking down on us humble fast food cooks?” he asks, “that’s a little elitists, don’t you think?”
This time Pike actually smiles and shakes his head like he really can’t believe this is happening to him. Jim affectionately calls this reaction the “Jim Kirk special”.
“Just make me a burger, kid,” Pike says, and Jim delivers, making it one of the greasiest burgers he has ever served, but he decorates it as well as he can with what he has. Pike seems to enjoy it and Jim actually sees him smirk while he eats.
He knows he hasn’t won the war and he’s sure Pike won’t just give up like this, but it still feels like a pretty big win.
It’s not entirely out of character that Jim’s life starts actually improving, and all because he decided to be a little shit.
The truck is going pretty well, they get interviews from magazines that Jim always tries to avoid, they get a space in front of the truck with tables for people to eat. Jim even starts making friends with his regulars and with a regular job has to stop getting drunk every night and picking up someone new to sleep with.
He even rents a pretty decent apartment.
Someone could even call him a respectable adult, and all because his desire to be a little shit overshadows anything else.
He also, begrudgingly admits, enjoys cooking, so much so that he starts adding things to the menu. Appetizers, vegan options, some desserts that he has to wake up way too early to actually do.
In a year he revolutionizes the concept of fast food truck foods, mixing creative ingredients and gourmet techniques with the greesy deliciousness of fast food; he’s not kidding, it’s an actual quote on a journal that he actually read and that Bones had printed and put on display in Jim’s house because he’s a fucking shit.
He can admit that, maybe, this revenge has gotten out of hand. In his quest to show Pike that he’s not high cuisine material and nothing like his dad, he’s got journalists praising him and people instagramming his burgers.
No one has called him “George Kirk’s culinary heir” yet, and that’s the only saving grace of this situation.
Still, he’s used nowadays to people showing up at his truck, important people: journalists, or chefs or food critics. Pike comes at least once a week, and Jim got him on a fatless burger diet, because he’s a certain age and he doesn’t want the man to die of cholesterol.
Still, he can say he didn’t expect to look at his next customer and see Spock.
Jim knows Spock, of course. Beside being a culinary genius recognized at the age of like twelve, he turned down a spot as a sous chef at Vulcan, where his father had worked all his life, and landed the same position at Enterprise under Pike.
He’s kind of a big deal, and most people put him as the next in line to be head chef at Enterprise once Pike retires.
So, yeah, Jim knows Spock, but he’ll be damned if he lets it show.
“What can I get ya?” he asks, smiling as usual. It’s just a normal customer, and if he serves Pike every week he can serve Spock and not make a fool of himself.
Spock raises a single eyebrow in the most bewildered expression that Jim has ever seen. He seems to be caught between judging Jim or Jim’s food, and maybe landing in a comfortable in-between: just judging everything and finding it lacking.
Well, get in fucking line Spock.
“Hello, am I correct in assuming that you have a vegan option for your… burgers?” Spock asks, stressing the last word like it physically pains him.
It’s in that exact moment that Jim decides that he’s gonna fuck with Spock. It’s not even a deliberate decision, really, but he wouldn’t be Jim Kirk otherwise.
“Sure thing, man. You can see it right there on the menù, but I can also whip you up something quick if you don’t have a preference,” Jim says, with a quick smile and a wink, just to see Spock’s reaction.
The man doesn’t lose his composure, but Jim knows he’s succeeding in getting under this guy’s skin.
“That would be agreeable,” Spock says, nodding, so Jim gets to work.
The thing is that everyone in the culinary world knows Spock’s signature dish, which is a dish that his father originally created for Vulcan, but that Spock has adapted and integrated in the Enterprise menu.
It’s a complicated soup made with ingredients that shouldn’t work together and yet create a very delicate taste, sometimes considered to be even bland. Jim has never tried to make it, nor has he ever tasted it, but he’s read the recipe once and what the hell, he’s almost sure he can replicate it.
So Jim gets to work in making the first Plomeek Burger and hopes that he makes it similar enough to fuck with the guy’s head.
It’s a challenge, one he hasn’t had in a long while, but in the end he shrugs and just puts the burger on the plate and gives it to Spock.
“How much do I owe you?” Spock asks and Jim shrugs.
“It’s on the house. I tried something different, so you’ll be more of a lab rat than anything else,” Jim says, shrugging and smiling. “Just let me know if you like it.”
Spock takes the burger hesitantly enough that Jim wonders if the other thinks he made it bad on purpose, but then just nods and takes it. Jim kind of hopes that Spock decides to sit on one of the tables so he can watch his reaction, but the man walks away swiftly.
Oh, well. He has other customers he should focus on.
Spock doesn’t come back for an entire week, and Jim doesn’t really know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. He’s kinds curious to know if he managed to nail the taste, but maybe it’s better if he never knows.
Today it’s wednesday, and Bones is waiting in line as always. “Hey there, Jim,” he says, and he doesn’t smile, but Jim sees the warmth in his eyes nonetheless.
“Heya, Bones, the usual?” he asks, even if he already knows the dance.
“Yes, Jim, I would like the cheeseburger like always, but I would also like to actually have the cheeseburger this time,” he mumbles and Jim laughs and winks.
“Can’t do that, Bones. You’re a doctor, you should know the danger of cheese fat,” Jim says, laughing, “I’m going to make you something healthy that also tastes good. You’ll see.”
“You always do, kid, but I would also just like my damn order,” Bones grumbles like usual, but Jim also knows that he’s not really annoyed. Bones likes his cooking enough that he usually leaves Jim carte blanche in the kitchen and grumbles because he wouldn’t be Bones if he didn’t and Jim is fond enough of Bones that he would miss it.
He’s putting some Avocado sauce on the buns when Bones coughs and Jim looks up at him, surprised. “I don’t want to alarm you, kid, but I think someone is seizing up the joint,” Bones mumbles and Jim blinks surprised, looking up in the direction Bones is pointing at.
To his surprise he sees Spock, looking tall and menacing in the corner. He does look a little bit like he’s here to punch Jim, which he doesn’t feel it’s justified: he didn’t even let him pay for the burger!
“It’s fine, Bones, really. That’s the look of a satisfied customer,” he says, getting back to his burger with a shrug.
Jim is sure that Bones is growing now, but he’s not looking up to confirm. If he makes this a thing, Bones will start worrying. That’s just what he does.
“I’ve got to tell you, I’ve seen a lot of satisfied customers of yours. That’s not it,” Bones grumbles, and Jim smirks, while he handles Bones his plate.
“That sounded vaguely dirty, doctor,” Jim says and laughs out loud at Bones’ face.
“You’re a goddamn infant, see if I ever worry for you again,” the other says, before shaking his head. “I gotta head back, but I’ll pick you up after my shift, okay?”
Jim nods, happy, and then glances back to Spock who’s still there watching Jim but not getting in line.
He stays there for at least an hour before walking away just before the end of rush hour.
Jim is just plain confused but he shrugs it off. Maybe he’ll ask Pike the next time he sees him.
Jim forgets to ask Pike, and he kind of regrets it when he walks out of the truck one night and sees Spock standing there.
If Jim is really about to get a beating at least he won’t see Bones until the next day and he’ll have an excuse ready by then.
“Uh. Hello,” Jim says, when Spock doesn’t talk first.
The other nods and says: “Good evening, James Kirk, I apologize for the abruptness but I would like to know if I could interest you in having dinner with me.”
Jim almost faints there and there. “Uhm. What? Is this revenge for the burger?”
“I admit that the burger is the central point that has brought me to this conclusion. I’ve tried to, as one would say, figure you out, Kirk, but I find that I cannot,” he admits, looking uncomfortable with the confession. Jim is just plain confused. “I was hoping that having dinner together would help me in…”
“Figuring me out?” Jim finishes and Spock nods, seemingly content in the knowledge that his intentions have been understood. Jim would like to make sure that Spock knows that he has no fucking idea what’s happening.
“You do realize that it seems like you’re asking me out on a date, yes?” he asks, because he has to make sure that it’s not what’s happening here. I mean, he would be flattered but…
“I assure you that there is no romantic notion hiding behind this invitation,” Spock quickly replies, furrowing his brows like the mere idea is a little insulting - which makes Jim wonder if he should be insulted.
And that’s when Jim decides: eh, fuck it.
“Sure, but you’re paying,” he says, shrugging.
“Yes, I thought that was implied when I invited you to dine with me, my mistake,” Spock says, starting to walk away; Jim has no other choice but to follow him.
Spock leads them to a small restaurant nearby, and Jim sits down and takes a look at the menù trying to remember if there’s something there that he’s not allergic to.
Just to make sure that he doesn’t die right in the middle of the strangest dinner of his life he texts Bones to ask him bonz will I die if eat pistachio pesto?
Bones replies a couple of seconds later with knowing you, probably, but just don’t put in the pine nuts and you should be able to survive another day. What are you doing?
Jim sneaks a glance towards Spock, and he looks absorbed in the menu, so he feels free to continue texting Bones. Remember the stalker seizing up the joint? He invited me to dinner.
This time Bones replies immediately with three fast texts. The first is WHAT? The second is ARE YOU FUCKING CRAZY? And the third is Is pistachio a code world and you’re trying to ask me to call the cops?
God, Jim loves Bones.
It’s okay, his name is Spock, look him up he says, and this time the reply comes after a couple of minutes, enough that Jim has put down the phone and he’s looking at the wine list.
Are you writing me from a fucking date, Jim Kirk? Is the reply that comes, and Jim realizes his mistake in a second.
“Shit, sorry. I gotta make a call, okay? A quick one,” he says, standing up and Spock looks at him like he’s crazy.
Well, considering he’s the one going to almost total strangers and inviting them to dinner, Jim will take the judgement with a grain of salt.
He gets out of the restaurant and calls Bones immediately, chanting “shit shit shit,” under his breath.
Thankfully Bones replies at the fourth ring, and Jim doesn’t even let him say anything before he says: “It isn’t a date, I swear! He even said that there were no romantic notions hiding behind the invitation, and you should see the way he looked while he said that, like I had just insulted him by saying he might be in any way interested in me!”
Bones says “Jim…” but he doesn’t let him continue.
“No, I swear, I think he actually thinks I’m some kind of disgusting hobo. I’m a little insulted actually, because I’m a fucking catch, and I’m super attractive. But he might be straight and just, you know, not appreciate the merchandise which might make my allure less-”
“Jim, fucking shut up,” Bones interrupts him, which might have been a good idea, Jim was starting to babble.
They stay silent for a couple of seconds before Bones says, “it’s not like you have to justify yourself to me.”
And that’s… that’s bullshit. Technically true, but also fucking bullshit.
Still, it’s not like they’ve ever talked about this thing, and maybe Jim is making it a little awkward by talking about it but…
“Well, what if I want to, you know, justify myself to you? I mean, I think that’s even, you know, better. Because I might not have to, but I want to. You know.” He’s kind of nervous, he realizes. He also might have said the world you know entirely too many times. But whatever.
Bones doesn’t reply for a second, enough that Jim’s hands are becoming entirely too sweaty for a cold November night.
“That’s the least coherently put phrase I’ve ever heard you say,” Bones says, “but I’m a doctor, not a fucking poet so what do I know. And, I mean. I’m glad you want to justify yourself to me, if that makes sense…”
He doesn’t say anything else, and Jim still feels kind of warm.
“Well, I’m glad we had this… entirely unhelpful conversation,” Jim says in the end, and Bones guffaws on the other end of the line.
“Shut up and go back to your date,” Bones says in the end, but his tone is light.
Still: “Not a date. I really get the impression I might have offended him in some way and maybe he’s just offering me dinner before beating me to death.”
“Killing you isn’t that difficult, kid, you’re allergic to half the planet and you decided to work in a kitchen,” Bones says, and Jim knows he’s smiling and he’s overcome with the need to see him smile.
“Maybe, and I know we said we would see each other tomorrow, but maybe when I’m done here I can come to yours?” it’s a gamble, especially after how much they’ve pushed this thing tonight, but Jim has never been one to play it safe.
Bones takes a second before he answers: “Fine. But I’m also sending you the list of your allergies and you better show it to the cook. I swear to God if I have to come with an Epi to save your ass I won’t be happy.”
Yeah, they’re okay. “Love you too, Bones.”
“Shut up,” he mumbles and then hangs up; A second later his messages light up with the frankly disturbing list of things he’s deathly allergic to. And people say romanticism is dead.
He goes back inside with a smile, and sits back down. “Sorry about that, I uhm had to make sure I had my complete list of allergies.”
“Allergies?” Spock asks, and Jim nods.
“Yeah, I’m allergic to like… most things. Just making sure that if you kill me tonight it will be entirely voluntarily,” Jim jokes but Spock looks disturbed by the implication.
“I assure you I have no ill intention towards you, Kirk,” he says, looking troubled, “if I have done something that makes it seem like I’m threatening you then you have my sincerest apolog-”
“Spock, no, I was just kidding, you’re fine…” he tries to reassure the other guy feeling a little bad.
Spock nods and then, after a second, says: “So I was right in suspecting you knew who I was. I never introduced myself, and yet you already know my name.”
Which… yeah. “Well, yeah. I wouldn’t have really accepted dinner from you, otherwise. I’m not that crazy.”
“Reasonable,” Spock says, while the waiter comes and finally takes their orders. Jim has to show him and then the chef the entire list of things he’s allergic to, and feels a little bit like a freak show.
So it’s almost ten minutes later when they’re finally alone again and Spock says: “I have tried and failed to understand your motivations, James Kirk. It’s obvious that you’re in possession of incredible ability in the kitchen and Christopher Pike has made it clear to me that he only wishes to retire when you’re able to succeed him as head chef of the Enterprise, and yet you’ve chosen to… cook burgers.”
Jim blinks, surprised and a little taken aback.
“Look, I’m... I mean, I’m sorry and I can talk to Pike, I know we have this thing going on, but that’s absurd and disrespectful to you, and…” he starts, but Spock stops him immediately.
“You misunderstand me again. It’s true that I came to your truck to try and find a way to convince Pike that this was a ridiculous idea, but in the past weeks I’ve found that he was right,” he says, shocking Jim into silence. “I don’t care about the head chef position, as long as I’m allowed to express my creativity in the kitchen and I lack the emotional ability to balance all the chefs in the kitchen as efficiently as Pike does. On the other hand I suspect you excel at all the qualities that are required to excel in the position, and since you managed to replicate my Plomeek soup almost to perfection on a burger and in so little time, I think I would be honored to cook with you.”
Jim flounders like a fish on open land because… what the fuck?
“I mean, I’m honored but you’re… I mean, I was just trying to be funny with the whole Plomeek burger thing,” he says, and he really doesn’t know what to say. Spock doesn’t look like someone that gives out praises, and Jim has never learned how to receive them.
“You think recreating a complex and difficult taste without having ever tried one before is just funny?” Spock wonders and Jim just shrugs, unable to really reply.
“I think that you’re squandering your talents where you are now, I think that you need a more motivating environment to cultivate your ability, but what I think is irrelevant. What I want to understand is what you are thinking,” he finishes, looking at Jim like he might be able to crack his shell open and finally learn all the ingredients that, mixed, sun up the flavour of Jim Kirk.
Jim doesn’t really know how to tell him that it’s a fruitless errand.
“I really don’t know what you want me to say here, Spock… I’m flattered, really, but I’m not…” he stops, because he doesn’t really know what to say.
He’s not good enough for the Enterprise? True, but irrelevant. It’s never been his own abilities that have stopped him.
He doesn’t want to work at Enterprise? Well, that’s not completely true. What Spock said before it’s true, he likes working the truck, but he lacks challenges. Even the little things he’s added to the menus aren’t enough to satisfy him and as much as he wants to, he can’t really justify adding extravagant options to a fast food truck.
Jim could say that he doesn’t want to live in his father’s shadow, but that has never been a choice left up to him. People will do what they want, whatever he decides to do in life.
He doesn’t say anything else, looking down at his empty plate with a growing sense of unease. Spock doesn’t avert his eyes, doesn’t give him the comfort of hiding for a little while and regroup and it’s unnerving.
“I understand, from what Pike has told me, that you’ve had a complicated life,” Spock continues, “but you are not alone in having faced difficulties and I believe that what makes a man or a woman is not the condition of their birth, but how they decide to overcome the adversities that they encounter in their path.”
“Look, I’m flattered, I really am. But… this is not me. Fancy restaurant, responsibilities, it’s… So I got lucky and managed to replicate your soup, but that’s just luck. An entire restaurant? You and Pike are crazy,” he finishes and, thankfully the waiter comes back with their orders.
Jim starts eating immediately, hoping that maybe Spock will follow suit and drop it but well, he’s lucky but not that lucky.
“I could believe it was luck, if not for the fact that I’ve been informed that you’ve managed to recreate a number of signature dishes for Christopher Pike when he comes to your establishment. I do not care for lies, James Kirk, nor false modesty.” Only then Spocks takes a bite of his dish and Jim continues eating, unsure of what to say.
They eat in silence for a couple of minutes before Spock speaks again: “I realize I might have come on too strongly, as one would say. I did not wish to make you uncomfortable, merely to… offer some advice.”
Jim sighs and shakes his head. “It’s okay. Look, I appreciate the advice, but… I mean, when Pike came to me and offered me a spot in Starfleet, that’s not me. I can’t do years with those… snotty kids,” then grimaces and looks at Spock who he knows had been, at one point, very much one of those snotty kids, “sorry. But I mean, do you see me at Starfleet? So I’m… thank you, but this is fine.”
Spock thinks for a second and then nods. “I understand your point of view, and apologies are unnecessary. I believe we might be able to cut a deal. I will have to talk to Christopher, but I do not see him having problems with this. Come work at Enterprise in sort of a part time capacity. You’ll be observing initially, and then helping around and you’ll have to work your way up.”
Jim blinks, surprised, and tries to digest the news. “Enterprise doesn’t hire people that don’t graduate from Starfleet,” he says, because everyone knows that.
“It is more of a preference than a written rule, from what I can understand, and I have no doubts that Pike will gladly bend the rules,” Spock says, looking composed and almost pleased with himself. “In fact, he often tells me I should start thinking more outside the box. I think this is an all around acceptable compromise.”
Jim isn’t sure of what to say exactly. This would never work? Or Why would you ever go to such trouble for me?
“Spock, man, why the hell are you doing this?” he can’t help but wonder. “I made you a stupid burger to get a laugh out of it and you’re… I mean, this seems a little excessive. Maybe you really want to get in my pants.”
Spock raises an eyebrow, but doesn’t lose his composure. “I am starting to understand that you seem to use humor and flirty remarks to make me uncomfortable and divert my attention from the matter at hand. I want you to know it is unsuccessful,” Spock informs him, placidly, “but as I said I do not want to force you. So I will now drop the subject until I can confer with Pike and give you a complete offer. We can now discuss the burger you have prepared me for laughs, and how you managed to recreate my soup. I find myself intrigued, I have not managed the same in my own kitchen.”
Jim knows he shouldn’t just give up, and convince Spock that he shouldn’t talk to Pike about anything but… well, he’ll take a win when he can and he doesn’t think he can formulate a response to all this madness.
“Okay, sure. Well, why the fuck not.”
In the end they stay at the restaurant for another hour, talking recipes and Jim has to admit that he had fun. He’s never had anyone to bounce off recipes ideas with, and as much as he had learnt from his father’s journals, they were never the best conversationalists.
He’s vibrating with ideas and he’s thinking about making Bones something the moment he sees him because there’s so many things he wants to try.
It’s been a long time since Jim had this kind of energy inside him.
There must be something on his face, because when Bones opens the door for him he looks at him and arches his eyebrow in question. Jim doesn’t really know what to tell him.
“I see you’re still in one piece,” Bones says, when he closes the door behind them. “So, he really didn’t want to punch you. Did he at least accompany you home, young girl?”
“Shut up, Bones,” Jim says, but he’s still a little dazed. “It really wasn’t a date.”
Bones waits a second and then nods. “Do you want to tell me why you look like a thirteen year old girl who’s just got back from one, then?”
Jim wants to, but he doesn’t really know where to start. He’s told about Pike once, and he knows the general shitty deal about Jim’s life, but they’ve never talked about the mess that’s Jim. They’ve drunk to it, and even cried to it during a particularly pitiful time.
Talked? Not so much.
“He offered me a job,” he says in the end, because that’s the truth, even if it’s not all there is to it. “The same job Pike offered me, I think, but this time… I mean they want me now. Without the fancy school, or the caveats.”
That’s what makes it incredible, he thinks. Spock didn’t want Jim Kirk after three years of education and fixing his act. He wanted Jim now, whatever that meant,
Bones nods, and then Jim feels a hand on his back, guiding him to the couch. “And what do you want?” Well. That’s what he hasn’t been able to figure out, hasn’t it? “Because the way I see it? They would be crazy not to want you. You think I would eat so many damn vegetables if you didn’t actually manage to make them taste edible?”
“Bones, you’re a doctor and last time you had an elevated cholesterol level, you should know that-” Jim starts, but Bones sighs.
“Spare me, I know all too well, and you’re right but if you weren’t here with your evil ways I would eat cheese every other day and not care because I’m human. But you take spinach and actually make it taste better than cheese, and that’s just the devils work,” Bones mutters.
“That’s seasoning,” Jim replies and Bones shrugs as if to say same shit.
“What I’m trying to say is that if you want that job? Take it. You think I haven’t noticed that you’re getting bored of fast food? When you cook for me you make me the most fancy shit I’ve ever seen, and I would be fine with some bourbon.”
“Well, I could make you something glazed with a bourbon infu-”
“That’s not the point I was trying to make but sure, you do you. I’ll eat anything you make. And so will anyone who has two brain cells,” Bones says, “because you’re damn good.”
Spock has basically said the same thing all evening, but Jim can’t help but smile when Bones says it. That reminds him…
“Well, I told you something else I wanted tonight, if I remember correctly,” he says, low enough to reveal some of his nervousness.
They’ve been dancing around this for a while, enough that most of their friends already call them each other’s boyfriend, but there was always a last step that neither were willing to take. Jim feels like sprinting tonight.
“Do we have to talk about it?” Bones says, and Jim studies the patches of red skin on his cheek with fascination. “I thought we were on the same page. Or something like that.”
“Are we?” Jim can’t help but ask. “I mean, the next time that a random stranger ambushes me and asks me to dinner, and I mean look at me it will happen again, can I tell him that I’m taken?”
Maybe it’s too much, maybe Jim should start smaller, ask Bones out to a date, but he’s restless. He’s drunk on everything that has happened tonight.
Bones is silent long enough that Jim starts getting nervous that he maybe miscalculated. Fuck, how can he make it better? Whatever else happens, he doesn’t really want to lose Bones.
“You can’t,” Bones says, in the end, and Jim cringes feeling the hurt all the day down to his, ironically, bones. Fuck. Fuck. He starts standing up from the couch but Bones stops him “No, stop, Jim. You can’t, because you must, okay?”
Jim registers the words and then sags. “Oh God, Bones, that was terrible, you almost gave a heart attack.”
“Well, what do you want from me, kid, I’m a doctor, not a-” but Jim doesn’t let him finish, kissing him and shutting him up.
The next day he receives a text from Spock detailing the entire job offer and confirming that he has cleared everything up with Pike. He also receives a text from Pike that reads Did it work?
And Jim laughs. Of course, of course Pike had sent Spock on purpose, because Pike is a damn bastard.
It’s why Jim likes him as much as he does.
You’ll regret this, Chris. Good luck having me in you kitchen, he replies and smiles at Pike’s answer:
I’m sure you’ll make it worth the white hair. And soon it will be your kitchen.