Chapter Nine: Dinner With Spock

Jim watched as Spock carefully patted his mouth with the paper Christmas napkin he’d set the table with. The napkins had an old-fashioned Santa design on it and Jim had to admit the serious Vulcan wiping his mouth across Santa was kind of an amusingly strange sight.

“The spaghetti is quite good, Jim.”

“Thanks.” Jim said with a shrug. “It’s really simple and easy.”

“But tasty.” This from Lily.

Jim laughed. “Thanks, sweetie.”

“Mister Spock, do you believe in Santa?” Lily asked, turning her big blue eyes on Spock.

Jim hid a smile behind his own napkin. He cleared his throat and waited for Spock’s response.

“I am at heart a scientist, Lily,” Spock replied. “I have no evidence either way.”

She scrunched up her face. “What does that mean?”

“It means you probably ought to stop pestering Spock,” Jim said, gently.

“She is not pestering me.”

Lily gave a little shrug. “Daddy believes in Santa, don’t you, Daddy?”

“Of course I do, angel.”

She nodded, smiling to herself.

“Lily wrote a list for Santa, of course.”

“Of course,” Spock murmured. “What is on your list, if I may inquire?”

“I want a kitchen.”

“A kitchen?” Spock asked, clearly surprised.

“A toy one,” Jim said.

Lily bounced. “Yep. With play food and stuff. And a dolly. And maybe a bicycle. Pink or purple. And a pretty dress. Like with pink or purple or yellow ribbons. And a picture book. And a kitty cat.”

Jim laughed. “You added a cat?”

“Uh-huh.” Lily grinned. “And I even asked Santa for something for Daddy.”

“She won’t tell me what.”

“I want it to be a surprise, Daddy.”

“Naturally,” Spock said.

“Naturally,” she mimicked.

After dinner, Spock helped Jim clean up and then they all went to the living room to watch a Christmas movie, and then Jim put Lily to bed.

Spock still sat in the living room, quietly sipping the tea Jim had made him before taking his daughter up.

“Sorry about that. I didn’t take too long, I hope.”

“You did not. Your daughter is adorable.”

“Thank you. She really liked you too.”

Jim sat next to Spock on the couch, as close as he could, really, without being in Spock’s lap. But judging by the welcoming warmth in Spock’s eyes, he didn’t mind.

“So, I was wondering what a tall, dark, and gorgeous Vulcan like yourself is doing in a dump like Riverside, anyway.”

“It is a long story.”

“I have time.” Jim paused. “That is if you want to tell me.”

For a long time, Spock merely stared into Jim’s eyes, and Jim started feeling just a little lightheaded. He leaned forward a little, not even aware he was leaning in to meet Spock’s lips. They touched, pressed together, and Jim felt the heat from Spock’s mouth and his spice tea.

Jim moved closer still and opened his mouth to let Spock’s tongue slip in. He closed his eyes and let Spock take over this deepening kiss. He felt Spock lift his fingers to his jaw, holding him in place.

When Spock pulled away, just a little, Jim opened his eyes. His breaths were shortened.

“What?” he asked, after a moment.

Spock shook his head. “Perhaps next time, you can find a babysitter and you can come to my place?”

Jim licked his lips. “Yeah. I’d like that.”

“As would I. For now, to keep this from getting too far, while your daughter is near, perhaps I ought to answer your question.”

“Yeah, okay.” He laughed. “Yeah.”

Spock retrieved his teacup. “Let me tell you about Solek.”