Nyota was neither the first one off the shuttle nor the last. She exited precisely in the middle of the crowd of arrivals. Somehow Spock found this entirely logical for what he knew about Nyota.
She’d cut her hair a little since the last time he had seen her, though it was still long enough for her to wear it in a ponytail, as she mostly preferred. She wore a thick down jacket in red, which admittedly was her color, and jeans with boots up to the knee. She carried with her a small bag, presumably of clothes and other things she would need while staying at the farmhouse until the New Year.
She headed immediately toward where he stood, greeting him with a soft smile. “Spock! Is it okay if I hug you?”
“Of course, Nyota.”
She embraced him, arms going around his upper back. “You look really good,” she declared. “Life on the farm must agree with you.”
“Perhaps,” he said agreeably, as she released him.
“Or life with Jim.” Her smile widened. “He makes you happy.”
“I am more content than I ever thought I would be,” Spock said as he took her bag from her.
“I can carry that you know.”
“As can I,” Spock said as he led the way out of the shuttle bay. “It has turned quite cold as you will no doubt recognize for yourself.”
They got into the hover car and left the parking area.
She was studying him carefully. “You have a…”
“What?” He glanced at her.
“You have a smudge of something on your face, near your right cheek.”
“Oh.” Spock wiped at his face, trying not to blush, for he suspected it was some sexual fluid from his recent copulation with Jim.
“Jim didn’t mind me coming here?”
“Why would he?”
She rolled her eyes and looked out the window. “He and I have something of a history. Thanks mostly to each of our histories with you.”
“Does it make you uncomfortable?”
“No. I was just worried it might make Jim uncomfortable.”
“He has not expressed such reservations.”
“Hmm. I don’t know that he would. Anyway, I’m here now. And I’m happy to be.” She shrugged. “And anyway, he won in the end.”
“I do not think of myself as a prize,” Spock replied with the rise of an eyebrow.
“Well, I know you aren’t. I’m just saying I imagine he’s going to continue to be quite magnanimous with me.”
Spock frowned slightly. “If there was a problem with you coming I am puzzled as to why you initiated the idea.”
“Because I was being thoughtless I guess. I just wanted to see you so much, I didn’t really think about Jim’s feelings.”
“He is very fond of you, Nyota.”
She smiled. “I’m fond of him too. And I know I’m just being silly.” She crossed her arms in front of her chest. “I guess I miss Scotty.”
“His assignment on the Excelsior is temporary.”
“I know. I still miss him. And the fact that my ex has a hot husband who he can’t keep his hands off of doesn’t help.” She laughed. “I’m jealous.”
“I was given to understand that your romantic inclinations had—”
“Spock!” Nyota smacked his arm. “Not of you that way. Just being happily coupled, while my sweetie isn’t even here. And I feel bad for Leonard, too.”
“His divorce is unfortunate but Jim has been keeping his spirits up, as he words it.”
Nyota sighed. “I wish he’d never gotten together with that stupid Orion woman.”
“It is illogical to wish for something that cannot be changed.”
“Humans are illogical. Both Jim and I have told you that. No doubt he misses Joanna, too. How old is she now? Seven?”
Spock pulled the hover car down the long dirt road leading to their farmhouse. He could see the farmhouse now and saw the rise of smoke from the chimney, which meant that Jim had started a fire in the hearth.
“It looks so cute! Like an old time gingerbread house or something. All those Christmas lights. Did Jim do that?”
“With Leonard’s help, yes. They worked on it for most of the day yesterday.”
“You guys sure did a lot of work on it.” She shot him a glance. “It doesn’t look like a place he only wants to live in for six months, Spock.”
“Yes, I am aware. But he has committed to six months on New Vulcan and he will keep his promise.”
Spock shrugged. “I will follow wherever he wishes to go.”
He stopped the hover car and they both got out.
“God, it really is cold,” Nyota said. “I hope it’s warm inside.”
“I am certain it will be.”
As soon as he opened the door into the house, they were both hit by a rather delicious warmth and the smell of cinnamon. And the sight of a Christmas tree which Jim and Leonard were currently decorating with a variety of ornaments in all shapes, sizes, and colors. It was already lit up with multi-colored lights.
“When did you have time to go out and get a tree?” Spock wondered.
Jim grinned. “Oh, I didn’t. I pulled this up from the basement. It’s artificial. I don’t like to kill living things and I remembered when Bones was making cinnamon rolls earlier that this old tree and decorations were down there somewhere and…wa la!”
Jim moved away from the tree and over to where Spock stood with Nyota.
“It’s great to see you again, Ny,” Jim said as he enveloped her in a hug.
“I’m glad you’re staying with us.” He turned to Spock and touched Spock’s fingers. “You’re both frozen. Take those coats off and come by the fire.”
Jim looked freshly showered and he was dressed in sweatpants and one of Spock’s own sweaters, a powder blue one, that looked amazing with Jim’s eyes, and Spock could not help but appreciate greatly that he had chosen to dress in Spock’s clothing. For some reason, it was quite arousing.
Spock removed his out wear and hung both his and Nyota’s coats as she went to greet Leonard. It was then that he noticed the menorah on the mantle. He arched his brow at his mate.
“I doubt you had that down in the basement.”
Jim laughed and tugged Spock to him to gaze both at the tree and the menorah. “No, I got this the other day when we went into the city. I know you and your family didn’t really celebrate any Earth holidays, but your mother’s background was Jewish, so I thought it might be nice, you know, to acknowledge it. Hell, even growing up, I wasn’t religious or anything myself. Christmas is just, well, kind of fun. Or it was until the asshole ruined it anyway.”
Spock knew the “asshole” was Frank, Jim’s stepfather. He rarely called him anything else besides the “asshole.”
“I appreciate the sentiment with the menorah,” Spock replied. “And you are right, Mother didn’t celebrate Earth traditions, having fully integrated to life on Vulcan, but it is nice to have the reminder of Mother. I believe she would have thought highly of your thoughtfulness.”
Jim searched his eyes. “I wish I had known her.”
“As do I,” Spock said quietly. “She would have been very fond of you.”
Jim held up something over their heads and leaned into Spock for a lengthy kiss.
“Fake mistletoe,” Jim murmured when they finally ended the kiss.
“You are quite fetching in my sweater,” Spock whispered.
“Okay, can it you two. Nyota and I don’t want to watch you go at it on the couch or something. Anyway, the cinnamon rolls I slaved over are ready.”
Jim winked at Spock and pulled him along toward the kitchen. Leonard passed out coffee to Jim and himself and tea to Spock and Nyota. Then he thrust lumpy looking cinnamon rolls at each of them.
Spock waited for Jim to take a bite first.
“Well.” Jim smiled. Glanced at Spock and Nyota. Then back to Leonard. “This, um, these are, they have an, um, there’s a flavor—”
Nyota popped some of hers into her mouth. “Oh, Leonard. Throw these away.”
She laughed and patted him on the arm. “I’ll show you how to make cinnamon rolls that taste great.”
“But I followed a recipe,” Leonard protested.
“You forgot the main ingredient. Love.”
Leonard made a gagging noise but Nyota just laughed and tossed out his cinnamon rolls. Spock felt fortunate to have missed tasting them.
Jim leaned in close. “Come on. Maybe we can sneak away for a bit while they are baking. You look like you could use a shower.”
Spock swallowed as he stared into Jim’s eyes. “Yes. A shower. I am quite dirty.”
“They’re going to go fuck,” Nyota said to Leonard.
“I know it.” Leonard scowled. “This has been going on for days. I left earplugs in your room. You’re going to need quite the supply.”
She giggled and Spock allowed Jim to drag him upstairs, with his cheeks aflame, but nevertheless, he did need that shower.