A little dose of Vanik…
“Where is Jim?”
Spock looked up from the terminal at his desk to see Vanik standing before him. “When did you get here?”
“A moment ago.”
“I have told you before that you do not have permission to just let yourself in.”
Vanik straightened. “Acknowledged. But I had concerns.”
Spock leaned back. “Concerns?”
“Where is Jim? He has been missing for a few days and does not respond to my attempts to contact him.” Vanik paused. “I have two theories.”
Spock arched a brow. “Do continue.”
“Either he has, as humans would say, ‘dumped you’, and is ignoring me due to our personal connection.”
Spock was torn between amusement and outrage over the notion that Jim had ‘dumped’ him. Amusement won out.
“You have committed a grievous act of violence against him and you have buried the body somewhere.”
This time Spock rolled his eyes. “I did not murder Jim.”
“Then it is true. He has dumped you.”
“No, it is not true. Jim went to Riverside.”
“Indeed. To visit with his mother and brother over the Terran festival of giving thanks. Neither Jim nor his mother have had contact with George Samuel Kirk for many years so this was a big deal for them.”
Vanik looked pensive. “And why did you fail to accompany him on such a momentous occasion?”
“I was not invited.”
“You were not invited?” Vanik exclaimed. “But I thought your romance with Jim was progressing appropriately.”
“And it is. This is a time when it is important for them to bond as a family.”
“But are you not Jim’s family?”
Spock shook his head. “Not as yet. Our relationship is satisfactory and we are mutually invested in the continuous nature of it. I was perfectly fine with Jim going to Riverside for this trip. As for not contacting you, I assume that he is either busy or communication is not ideal there.”
“And have you heard from him?”
Spock had not and said so. “But I had not anticipated hearing from him. The trip is brief and he will be back on Sunday.”
“That does not bode well.”
Vanik shrugged. “At this point, had you been providing the emotional support Jim surely needs as a human, he would have asked you to accompany him. That he did not…”
“Do you not have something to attend to other than harassing me regarding my relationship with Jim which is most certainly not your business.”
“Yes, unfortunately I do. I must go to class.”
Vanik left then, but Spock was dismayed to realize that he made Spock begin to doubt his relationship with Jim. He had thought nothing of Jim going to Iowa by himself.
He had been convinced that everything was good between them. Should he have pressed Jim for an invite? Insisted on going with him? Was he failing to emotionally support his lover?
Spock hadn’t even bothered to check that Jim made it all right. Was that wrong of him? He had assumed…
He tapped out a message.
Jim, my apologies for not checking in with you prior to now. Did you make it safely? And it there anything you need from me?
There was, of course, no immediate response, and so Spock returned to working on his coursework.
He was searching out something to eat when he finally heard from Jim.
Yeah, I’m here. No trouble at all getting here. Mom and I are fine. Things are a little more tense with Sam. Hey, tell that nephew of yours I said hi. I’ve been meaning to respond, but with the family drama…
Understood. Vanik did express concern for your welfare. I will advise him. Jim?
Would it be…permissible for me to board a shuttle to Riverside to join you?
When no immediate response was forthcoming, Spock began to hastily type a message taking it back.
What time can you get here? I’ll pick you up from the shuttle bay?
I will leave immediately. I will text you my arrival information.
K. See you soon.
Spock made his arrangements, closed out of everything and packed a small bag. Before he left, he sent a message to his nephew.
Jim sends his regards. I am joining him.
Then Spock added…