Spock found Jim sitting on the porch of his Riverside farmhouse at nearly eight-thirty at night. The sun was setting, as it was August, and nearly the end of their leave. Time to return to San Francisco and HQ soon enough. He was aware that Jim did not really look forward to it as he once did. They were older now and Jim spoke of retirement more than he used to.

Jim gave him a weary smile.

“Finish the dishes? Sorry, I meant to go in.”

Spock lowered himself into a chair beside his husband.

“It is fine. I did not mind doing it.”

Jim nodded, staring out into the yard. “Would you mind so much if we came here to live after we retire?”

Spock was aware that for Jim, Riverside was home. Outside of the Enterprise, which was no longer theirs to call it that way. For Spock, wherever Jim was, was home. It had taken him a long time to discover this, to admit to it, too long. But now he knew, now he accepted.

“I would offer no objections.”

Jim smiled. “Good. I like the idea of us living here, arguing over whose going to do the dishes that night…”

“I would not argue. I would do them willingly.”

“I know. But you get what I mean.” Jim continued to smile faintly, then he looked from the yard to Spock. “Or we could retire to Vulcan, if you’d rather.”

Spock did not say it, but he knew, there would be plenty of time, likely, for him to live on Vulcan once Jim passed away. Unless some odd tragedy occurred, Spock would outlive Jim by a good many years. It was not outside the realm of possibility, of course. After all, Spock had died once already.  

“No, living here will be acceptable,” Spock replied. He put his hand out toward Jim who met Spock’s hand with his own, their fingers touching as they did, as once, long ago, when Spock’s mother still lived, she did with Sarek.

“I love summer,” Jim spoke after a few minutes. “Summer nights especially. Out here, anyway. You can see stars for miles and miles around. This…this I grew up with.”

“And made you wish to live among those very stars.”

Jim nodded. “Yep. Never imagined then that I’d meet someone like you, and you’d change every aspect of my life.”

Spock thought about all those years in the past when last he’d seen Michael and her words to him.  

 “As you have changed mine.”