Chapter Nineteen: Santa Shopping
“A hundred?” Jim frowned. “Wow. That was a little more than I had intended to spend. It’s a toy. You can’t even really cook in it.”
They were standing before the elaborate pink play kitchen of Lily’s dreams.
Only sometimes the stuff dreams were made of was too costly.
“Maybe I can find it second hand or something.”
“I doubt there would be time before Christmas,” Spock said reasonably. “How much did you hope to pay?”
Jim shrugged. “Fifty? I mean I guess there are cheaper ones or something, but I know this is the one she wanted.” He blew out a breath. “This sucks. She should get this one. But I already got her the bike she wanted and that was more than I thought it would be. I can’t really justify paying this much for the kitchen.”
“Pay what you wanted to pay and I will pay the difference.”
He shook his head. “I can’t ask you to do that.”
“You are not asking, I am offering. And I wish to do it.”
“Jim. Times are hard for you right now but they won’t always be. If you wish to think about paying me back for it some day you may, but I am not expecting it.
“I’m not looking for a sugar daddy.”
“And I am not looking to be one. I do not believe that this is what this is. I believe we building a mutually beneficial relationship. Do you agree?”
“Of course, yeah.”
Spock nodded. “I have grown fond of Lily and wish to help you obtain items off her Santa list. Is that permissible?”
Jim grinned and leaned over to give Spock a very quick kiss. “Yes, it’s permissible. And-and thank you. She’s going to be thrilled.”
“What else is on her Santa list?” Spock asked Jim as they left the store.
Jim perused the list. “We got the kitchen. Got the dress. The bike. Barb at the depot gave me a doll for her. Got her a book about baby animals. Some pajamas. Just the cat. And whatever she wants for me.”
Spock arched a brow. “No clue?”
“Not whatsoever. Maybe a better job.” Jim laughed and then felt himself turn red. “Not that working at Gad-Shen is bad. Not at all. I meant—”
Spock’s lips twitched. “I am well aware the restaurant is not our destiny.”
Jim sighed as they put their purchases in the hover car. “I applied for Starfleet. I don’t know what will happen. What the future holds. Not at all. But…the truth is I wanted to enlist before but didn’t because Mom was so against it because of Dad.”
“George Kirk,” Spock said, softly.
“Yeah. I may not even get in but…”
“Thanks for the vote of confidence.”
“I would love for us to attend the Academy together. But, as you say, we do not know what the future holds. We shall both wait and see.”
They got into the hover car.
“And now we should go to the shelter.”
Jim laughed. “Really? Spock, if we go there, we will definitely end up with a cat.”
“And then what? What do we do with a cat until Christmas if Santa brings it?”
Spock shrugged. “I could keep it and then deliver it for that morning.”
“You really want to go through all that trouble, honey?”
And the horse was out of the barn before he could close the door. The horse being that endearment. Jim was extremely embarrassed too.
“That is…what I meant to say…you know what? Never mind.”
Spock arched a brow. “So you are taking back the endearment?”
Jim laughed and covered his face. “I know that was stupid. Way too soon or whatever but…”
“I do not mind.”
Jim peeked at him through his fingers. “No?”
“Why would I?”
“Because like I said, it’s probably too soon.”
Spock didn’t say anything for a moment and Jim waited, holding his breath.
“Jim, I am spending my Saturday off shopping for your little girl’s Christmas presents. I contributed to the cost of one of them and am now speaking of adopting her a pet which she will, no doubt, keep long term, even when you move to San Francisco should you attend the Starfleet Academy. I am speaking of keeping said pet in my apartment and caring for it until Christmas. I believe I have demonstrated quite well my intentions where you are concerned.”
“Boy, I’m a dunderhead,” Jim said with a laugh. “Yeah I guess you have.”
“That seems to me to warrant an endearment or two.”
“I’ll say.” Jim leaned over and kissed Spock thoroughly. “Honey.”
As it happened they had a little orange tabby kitten, but the shelter said the kitten wasn’t quite ready to be adopted and they ought to return two days before Christmas. That seemed perfect to Spock and Jim and so they left the shelter and took all the presents back to the farmhouse to hide in Jim’s house.
Jim then took Spock back to his place. He briefly thought about having Spock stay over but they talked about and decided with having to get up so early to start work at the restaurant, they’d have Spock stay over a different night. Shopping had wiped them out anyway.
After saying goodnight to Spock, Jim went to get Lily.
She’d been doing crafts with Maggie and proudly produced three stockings she’d ‘made’ by gluing white fake fur onto purple, gold, and blue stockings.
The purple one had her name in glitter, what a mess, Jim thought, the gold read Daddy, and finally the blue had the name Spock.
Jim picked her up and hugged her tight.
“These are beautiful.”
“What happened to Spock?” she asked.
“Well, he went home. But we’ll see that he gets this the next time we see him. Okay?”
“Thank you, Maggie. Goodnight.”
On the way home, Jim drove by several Christmas lights displays so Lily could see them. She clapped happily the whole way.