Though there was much Spock did not recall about his previous life still, he was beginning to remember larger pieces, thanks in part to melds with Jim as well as ‘reminder’ stories from Jim and others, including Spock’s parents.
And though Jim seemed more reluctant to travel these days, he still accompanied Spock on a trip back to his home planet of Vulcan.
Spock had relayed that Jim did not have to accompany him if he preferred not to, but Jim had balked at that, getting that look on his face that was a cross between disappointment, resignation, irritation, and indulgence. Spock didn’t know anyone else who wore that expression, but it seemed to be a favorite of Jim’s.
“No,” Jim had said. “I’m coming.”
Spock was glad, though, because he’d had no particular fondness for making the trip by himself. It was reported that his mother was not well and might not live much longer. Having Jim by his side was desirable under those circumstances, but he would rather Jim was comfortable than not, which was why he did say that Jim could avoid it if desired.
Jim was quiet on the shuttle ride there, and though Spock was not entirely certain, given his patchy memory, he suspected that was not usual for him.
“You are pensive,” he finally said.
Jim glanced at him, a small toothless smile appearing. “Am I? I don’t mean to be.”
Spock hesitated. “If your preference was to stay in San Francisco, I would have made no objection.”
Jim shook his head. “Not at all. I’m just…my parents have already passed on, and now, maybe your mother.”
Jim shrugged. “Makes me think more about…mortality, I suppose.”
“You fear death?”
The smile grew crooked. “It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”
“Yes,” Jim said, seeming surprised Spock could remember that.
Spock supposed it was surprising. “I do not think you need to worry about a life not well-lived, Jim.”
“Perhaps not. Anyway, I know that I will die alone.”
“And how do you know this?”
Spock wondered where he himself would be that Jim would die alone, but decided not to dwell on this rather morbid declaration at this time. There we other considerations.
“Likewise, I do not think that my mother has any regrets for the life she has led.”
“No,” Jim agreed. “I imagine not. Still, when she does pass, I’m not sure how your dad will handle it.”
“I suppose he will handle it like a Vulcan.”
Jim snorted at that, though Spock did not know why. “How about you, Spock? Will you be all right?”
“One expects one’s parent to die before them.”
Jim sighed. He got that look again. “Yeah I know.”
There was no one else around them on the shuttle and Spock found himself reaching over to take Jim’s hand. Jim glanced at him in surprise, but he willingly took Spock’s hand in his.
“If you are by my side, T’hy’la, I can handle anything.”
Jim swallowed, nodded, and squeezed Spock’s hands. “You have no idea how much I needed to hear that. Thank you, Spock. And I’m not going anywhere, sweetheart. Not without you.”
“Good. Then we are agreed. And whatever we face on Vulcan, it will be together.”
Jim leaned against him then and fell asleep and though there was much that was still lost to Spock, this-this was not. And he was filled with gratitude.