Chapter Eighteen: A Difficult Morning

Spock arrived to pick up Jim at just after ten in the morning.

As soon as Jim let him into the house he could see that Jim looked harried and frazzled

Lily, usually the picture of cherubic cuteness, wore an expression that was a cross between a scowl and a pout. One leg of her yellow leggings was pushed up to the knee and she had only one shoe on.  

Jim didn’t look at all like his usual smiling face.

“Sorry,” Jim said, running his hand over his unshaven jaw. “We’ve been having a difficult morning.”

“Is there something I can do to help?”

“I don’t know.” Jim finally offered him a strained smile. “We’ve been arguing all morning. She wants to come with me. I told her she couldn’t, so she threw a tantrum.”

“Such a sweet little girl,” Spock murmured.

Jim laughed. “Yeah well. Not so much today.”

Spock looked to Lily who had her arms crossed in front of her chest. “I am sorry, Lily, but I am taking your Daddy to a work meeting and children are simply not allowed.”

“Why?” she asked.

“Because it is for adults who work for the restaurant.” Spock paused. He suspected the reason Vulcans did not lie was because they were quite terrible at it. “And you are clearly neither an adult nor do you work for the restaurant.”

Lily did not reply to that and seemed uncertain.

“All right, enough of this, sweetie. We have to go and take you to Maggie’s or we’re going to be late for that meeting. That would be unfair to Spock to make him late for his own meeting.”

Jim knelt down beside her and straightened out her leggings. Her bottom lip quivered but she had lowered her arms and seemed to be resigned to not going with them.

Lily got bundled up into a coat and they all made their way out to Jim’s hover car.

The car ride to Maggie’s was mostly silent as Lily was still a little sulky to lose her argument with her daddy.

But when Jim took her out to bring her into the house, she turned to her daddy.

“Sorry, Daddy.”

Jim smiled and hugged her. “It’s all right, angel. Everyone wakes up on the wrong side of the bed sometimes. You be good for Maggie and I’ll come to pick you up as soon as I can, okay?”

“All right, Daddy.”

Jim mouthed thanks to Maggie and then returned to the car where Spock waited.

“I’m really sorry you had to deal with that. What a morning.” Jim laughed. “Very frustrating. She’s usually such a good girl.”

Spock shrugged. “I am sure all parents have to deal with days like that. I bet this is not the first time Lily has acted out.”

“No, it’s not. But she really is usually very good.”

“She just likes spending time with you. And I can hardly blame her.”

Jim’s smile widened. “Normally it wouldn’t matter that much but how can she get stuff from Santa if she’s going along?”

“Indeed. Shall we?”

“Yep. First stop the department store to look at that toy kitchen.”

“Perhaps at some point we should stop at the shelter.”

Jim’s eyes widened. “To look for a cat?”

“Yes, I think Lily would likely benefit from a pet.”

“Did you?”

“Actually, yes.”

Jim laughed. “Really? What? A dog or something? Do they have those on Vulcan?”

“Exported canines yes, but they are not natural to Vulcan. My animal companion was a Sehlat. Have you heard of them?”

Jim frowned. “Only vaguely.”

“I will have to show you pictures of the two of us some day. But for now, let us go Santa shopping.”

Jim patted Spock’s leg. “Yeah, let’s go.”