“Okay. Did you wash your hands?”
“Hold them up. Let me see.”
The little dark haired boy with the not quite bowl cut and the pointy ears held up his hands for Jim to inspect.
“Hm. Keep them up. Might as well practice. Do the ta’al so we can surprise your Sa-Mekh with what you learned.”
The boy made a face. He used one tiny hand to move the fingers apart on the other tiny hand.
Jim tried not to laugh. “Better. You’ll get there.” He resisted, barely, ruffling the hair of Surak. Spock had taken a bit of flak for naming his son after the most famous Vulcan, but as was typical Spock, he didn’t pay them much attention.
“Okay. So. Now, your Sa-Mekh left you in my care for the night. Did he tell you that you can have pizza?”
Jim nodded. “Did he tell you that you can’t have pizza?”
“Hmm. Well, that’s too bad. How can I be a terrible influence then? All right, sit at the table.”
Surak, who was all of four years old, dutifully scurried over to Jim’s dining room table and crawled into a seat. He didn’t need a booster seat anymore but it was a near thing.
Jim went to the kitchen and opened the box for the pizza meant for Surak and took out two slices. He took out two slices of his own pizza too, and went to the table with both.
“Yours has a cauliflower crust and vegan cheese.”
Surak wrinkled his nose. “Yuck.”
Jim laughed. “I’m totally kidding. It’s a regular crust, tomato sauce and regular cheese. You’re vegetarian not vegan.”
Surak picked up a slice and took a bite, chewing happily. He eyed Jim’s piece. “That looks good.”
“Oh it is. But it’s got pepperoni on it and your Sa-Mekh would be very angry with me if I let you have it. He wouldn’t leave you with me anymore.”
Surak agreed with a nod and continued to eat his pizza. He also got sauce all over his little face.
“You’re supposed to eat it not wear it,” Jim admonished, but not too severely. “You want more?”
“No. Maybe for breakfast.”
“Ha, fat chance on that. Your Sa-Mekh wouldn’t let you eat pizza for breakfast.” Jim got up and went into his kitchen for a wet wipe and returned, wiping Surak’s face and hands. “PJ’s?”
He was so darn cute saying please. Just like a little adult. None of this ‘pease’ other little obnoxious children said.
He took Surak’s hand and walked with him into the bedroom where he’d left the bag that Spock had given him with Surak’s things he was to use for the night. He unzipped it and dug inside, pulling out feety pajamas.
“These are them?” he asked, surprised. They were kind of golden and brown and had a furry looking collar around the throat. “Is it supposed to be a lion?”
Surak said, “Yes. I like lions. Sa-Mekh said we can go look at them at the San Francisco zoo on Saturday. Are you coming?”
“Of course I am.” He removed the boy’s shirt and pants and then helped him into the pajamas, noting the feet were paws. He couldn’t help but smile at the image of Spock picking these out.
With Surak all situated in his absurdly cute lion pajamas, Jim took him back out of the living room.
“Okay, you can watch one program and then it’s off to bed. I promised your Sa-Mekh you’d be put to bed at a reasonable time.”
“You said I could have popcorn.”
“I did? Oh. Yeah. I did. All right.”
“Caramel popcorn,” Surak reminded him.
“Your Sa-Mekh will not thank me for getting you jacked up on sugar.”
But he led Surak into the kitchen to pop the popcorn and melt the caramel. He then mixed the two, threw it in a bowl and went back to the living room with Surak, both of them curling up on sofa to watch the show Surak had picked out for them to watch.
It was a couple of hours later when Jim sort of blinked awake at the sound of someone accessing the apartment door. Surak stayed completely asleep against him.
Spock walked in, arching that picture perfect brow at him.
“How was he?”
“Completely perfect and adorable, of course.” Jim shifted and Surak woke up, rubbing his eyes as he did so.
“Look, kiddo, here is your Sa-Mekh!”
Surak scrambled up from Jim’s lap and ran to Spock, hugging his legs. “You are earlier than anticipated.”
Spock leaned down and scooped his son up into his arms. “I am. I finished early and could not wait to return to you.”
“And to Daddy!”
Spock met Jim’s gaze over their son. “And to Daddy.”
Jim leaned over and kissed Spock’s lips. “Welcome home.”