Chapter 1

Four years had passed after the end of their last mission.

Jim had said goodbye to all of them. Most of them stayed with the Fleet. Sulu had been promoted to captain. Uhura and Scotty stayed with the Enterprise. Jaylah was working on Yorktown now. And Bones had left Starfleet. He was retiring.

He missed them.

Jim picked up the photo he had of them just before the end of that last mission. He traced his finger over each and every one of them. They’d all been smiling. Except Spock. Jim shook his head. He lingered over Bones. And then finally his first officer.

“Spock,” Jim whispered. Spock who was on New Vulcan.

With a final roll of his eyes at himself he put the picture back down on his desk in his office.

There was a tap at his office door.


A yeoman stepped inside. “It’s time for you to leave, Admiral.”

He nodded. “All right. Just ten minutes—”

“No, sir. You don’t have ten minutes. You have to leave now or you’ll be late for the shuttle.”

“My bag—”

“Already on the shuttle.”

Jim smiled. “Congratulations, Yeoman. You’ve thought of everything.”

She crossed her arms in front of her chest. “Apparently not since you haven’t gotten up, sir.”

“Okay, okay. Sheesh.” Jim got up and walked around the desk. He grabbed his jacket. “What’s the weather supposed to be like in Georgia?”

“Rainy, Admiral. For the next two days. But the sun is supposed to shine on Dr. McCoy’s wedding day.”

“He’ll appreciate that. Listen, I’ll contact you from the shuttle and—”

“Nope. You’re on vacation, sir.”

Jim grimaced. “When I get there then.”


“As you were, Yeoman.”

She sighed. “Yes, sir. And do try to have a good time.”

A good time. Oh, sure.

How the hell was Jim supposed to have a good time with all the work he had to do. Or really. Georgia? In the damn summer. Bones owed him for this.

He pinched the bridge of his nose. Found the message from Bones on his PADD and read it again.

I know you won’t believe me, but I’m getting married. I know. I said never. But well…It’s just a few days off. I think she didn’t want to give me a chance to change my mind! Can you come? I know most of our friends are off planet now, but, well, I’ll really like you to be there.

How could he deny that? He couldn’t.

So he was traveling to Georgia.

At least he’d get to see Bones.


“There he is! Uncle Jim!”

Joanna McCoy ran at Jim the moment he stepped off the shuttle ramp. She threw her little ten year old arms around him with such enthusiasm she knocked Jim back.

“Whoa, whoa.” Jim laughed. “Don’t run me over, Jo.”

“Yeah he’s got old bones, honey. Don’t want to break the admiral.”

Jim smirked at Bones. “Funny.” He ruffled Jo’s long brown hair. “Guess who brought a really smart little girl a present?”

“Yay!” She smiled brightly and linked her arm with his. “What is it?”

“You’ll see when we get to your house.” Jim glanced at Bones. “Where’s the missus?”

“Missus to be, thanks. Shayla’s back at the house. Fretting over the wedding.”


“Oh, no. Everything’s fine.” Bones squeezed his arm. “Jim, about Spock, look—”

“It’s fine, Bones. Kaiidth as he would say.”

Bones nodded. “Let’s go. I’m grilling hamburgers.”

Jim grinned. “Things are looking up.”