Jim stood before the grave of his mother, buried next to his father in the Kirk family cemetery just slightly northeast of the Riverside farm. His grandparents were buried there too. Even Sam. His parents had arranged to have Sam’s remains from Deneva returned to Earth. Jim hadn’t been there for that. Or for his father. But he was here now, after the service.

Beside him stood Spock. Bones had offered to come too, but, when Jim decided to go to the graveside after it was all over, Jim had assured Bones he was all right to go by himself. Spock had followed him anyway.

“I guess if you believe in that sort of thing, they’re reunited somewhere.”

“Is that what they would have wanted?” Spock asked.

Jim shook his head. “I honestly don’t know. They didn’t always have the best marriage. They were separated for years when I was a kid.”

“Oh?” Spock seemed surprised by this.

“Dad was a simple guy. He was content to spend his days working the farm, but Mom wasn’t. That wasn’t the life she saw herself living. So one year, behind his back I guess, she applied for a scientist’s job on another planet.” He smiled grimly. “Tarsus IV. I don’t know if she thought he’d go with her or didn’t care, but of course Dad didn’t. She came back once for my birthday. After that, she stayed away. Me and Sam stayed with Dad until one year he sent me to stay with her. That’s how I met the Leightons.”

Spock just listened to Jim, as he mostly did, without comment. That was fine.

“They were doctors. I never understood why Kodos executed them. Or how he picked any of those that he did. Mom and I were spared. Thomas too. Anyway, eventually, we moved back to Earth and the farmhouse, and I guess things improved with Dad. But I’m not sure they were ever…completely happy.”

His first officer moved closer to him. Jim wondered if Spock even knew he had. He’d thought that he could handle this by himself, that it was preferred really, but somehow having Spock by his side helped. And felt right in a way it wouldn’t have with anyone else.

He turned to Spock with a slight smile. “Well, Mister Spock, ready to depart?”

“When you are, Captain.”

Jim looked back once more at his parents resting place. Then back to Spock. He leaned close and kissed Spock softly, then pulled back to get his bearings.

Spock offered his arm to Jim’s surprise. He took it and they walked together away from the cemetery and Riverside.