Credits and Checkmate

Jim's head hurt.

It was one of those pounding headaches that started out so slowly that you didn't even realize, but before you knew it, it was throbbing and intense. Heck, If he had to be honest with himself, everything hurt so badly that he would gladly would accept a hypo to the neck which his best friend/room-mate Bones would gleefully administer, the sadistic son of a gun) and go to sleep.

But he couldn't, his one day off from classes and he was spending it doing a favor for Admiral Pike. He attended school full time, held a steady job, and managed to ace his classes in the meantime. Sometimes he regrets his impulsive decision to do three years instead of the average 4 or 5.

Ordinarily, he would have no problem with arguing with authority but this was Pike who the closest thing to a father that he had. Jim owed him even if he did comm him at ass-o-clock in the morning and tell him that he needed to meet in him in Pike's office at 7:00 am exactly. He didn't even tell him what for, the cryptic son of a gun. He just told him that he would be glad he did.

Outside the door to Pike's office, he put his head against the frame willing his migraine to go away.
"I know you're out there, Kirk."
Pike's voice shocked him and made him bump his head against the doorframe. So much for his finely tuned reflexes.
He met Pike's gaze as he stood in front of him.
"No use in standing there, Kirk. You might as well as come all the way in." The only other occupant in the room was Admiral Pike who had a secret smile on his face and a familiar Vulcan sitting on one side of an old chessboard. The Vulcan was a professor and was well known because he was the first Vulcan to attend Starfleet and the youngest professor who was known to demand perfection in his students. The Vulcan was hot and Jim wouldn't mind seeing if that greenish pigment and the slight blush went all the way down.
"Yes, Sir"
"Now, you might be wondering why I called you in here."

"You could say that, sir." Jim smirked as he set his leather jacket and sunglasses in a chair.
"I want you to beat Professor Spock here in chess."
He took another look at the old chessboard. He recognized it as one that he frequently played on because it was a gift from his father to Pike, and it was the one that he was first taught on.
figures were polished marble, black and white positioned on against each other as usual.
"Is that an order Sir?"
"Yes Cadet."
"Sure, I'll give it a try."
He loved Chess although he didn't get a chance to play it much. Usually it was too much of a hassle to find someone to play him. Pike and Bones were good sports but both of them got kinda pissy after he creamed them the third or fourth time.
He turned to the Vulcan before addressing him, "What do you say, professor? Fancy a game?"
Spock stared at him for a moment longer and then nodded slightly.
"That seems acceptable. Take white please."
Spock as an opponent was a challenge, albeit a welcome one. For the first time in a long while he was actually forced to think it though a little bit, although not too much. Spock played logically, every move was governed by logic which proved to be his downfall. Pike hovered over his shoulders. It took him fifteen minutes to get him where he wanted him. Around 15 minutes later, his white bishop checkmated Spock's black queen.
The room was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Pike clapped him on the shoulder and Jim gave him a small smile. His opponent was still looking at the board.
"Illogicall…quite illogical." Jim could hear Spock mumble.
Jim stood up when Spock didn't give any hint he would first. Just in the last. He returned to shake Pike's hand who looked a little too happy. He knew that look.
"What did you win, Pike?" Jim asked him.
"You just won me a thousand credits from the other Admirals with this. Spock was unbeatable, but I knew you could win."

He turned to Spock who was still looking at the board with an unreadable expression on his face. Jim shrugged on his jacket and grabbed up his sunglasses before turning to the still Vulcan. Jim did his best Vulcan salute and said his final goodbye.
"Dif tor heh smusma (Live long and prosper)."
"Would you care for another game? A rematch, you were a challenging opponent and it would be illogical not to play again." He turned around and saw Spock standing up and looking at him with a hopeful look on his face.
"Sure, maybe we can meet up somewhere? I need to get something to eat first before
"I also require substance at this time. It would be logical for us to partake and then move to one of our quarters so we can play again, that is if you would like to." Spock asked him
"Logical, huh. I can't say I've ever really been logical but what the heck." He grinned. The cute Vulcan may be interested, score.
He left Pike's office with Spock close by his side and their fingers lightly brushing. His migraine seemed to have disappeared completely. Jim didn't notice Pike watching after them from his doorway with a wide grin on his face. He just won 1000 credits for finding someone to beat Spock at chess and 100 from Spock's mother Amanda for setting up her son with the cadet he was fascinated with. Today was a good day.