Advent Day 8

“Jim.”

Jim put a nail in his mouth as he hammered the one he held into the rooftop. He did not look down. He was quite aware of the Vulcan standing at the foot of the ladder below. And though he was not looking, Jim absolutely knew he was getting the Vulcan version of the side-eye.

“Jim.”

To the untrained ear, the repeat of his name sounded just like it had before, but Jim heard the slight irritation behind the second time his name was said.

He removed the nail held in his mouth and hammered it in, stringing the line of lights across the latest two nails.

“Be right down,” he called, not looking. He’d been up in space for decades, had faced death and injury numerous times, fought and won against more foes than he could count, and even survived the death and resurrection of that Vulcan, his husband, waiting below, but he hated heights. He’d considered asking Spock to do this part, but Spock had a secret. He hated heights more than Jim did.

Well, and to say either of them hated heights was not exactly true. Jim enjoyed mountain climbing, after all. And Spock had those rocket boot things he’d used to reach Jim on that mountain. But there was something different about the roof of one’s house and Jim couldn’t say what.

“Can you turn them on so I see if they’re all lit up?” he called down.

He heard the definite huff from Spock, but a moment later the lights were lit and Jim leaned back slightly on his haunches to detect if every last light was on. He couldn’t see any that were out so he mentally patted himself on the back and then inched his way to the ladder.

Perhaps some of his trepidation was due to the fact he’d actually fallen from said roof the prior year. Thankfully, just like Humpty Dumpty, they’d been able to put him back together. Not that he appreciated the comparison.

When he landed on the ground below, Jim felt relieved, and offered a smile to his grumpy husband.

“All done with the roof.”

“I thought we had agreed last year that if you continued this ridiculous, illogical competition with Bob Jenkins and Doctor Morely, you would hire someone to get on the roof.”

“You mean someone younger and in better shape than me,” Jim said, rolling his eyes. “I thought about that but the rules are we have to do all the decorating ourselves.”

“Who decided these rules?” Spock asked pointedly.

“The three of us as a committee. It’s just in good fun, Spock. It doesn’t really matter who’s won. There’s no reward.”

“Except the bragging rights to use all year round that you had the best decorated house for the holidays.”

Jim smiled, and rubbed his hands together, moving farther out in the yard to survey his handiwork.

“Right! And I’m absolutely fine with not winning.”

Spock gave him that side-eye Vulcan thing again and Jim ignored him.

Shooting out of a giant menorah on the roof, placed there for Spock, were twinkling yellow lights that looked like candle flames. He’d just purchased that this year. Also on the roof was a life sized Santa and sleigh with reindeer. Actual reindeer or Caribou, not just the Bambi type substituted so often.

He had more reindeer, elves, and snowmen in the yard surrounding the house too. Candy canes. Snowflakes. Gingerbread men.

“Do you think I did enough?” he asked Spock when Spock moved to stand beside him as they surveyed their kingdom.

“You are serious?”

Jim chuckled. “Yes, of course.” He took out an apple from his pocket and took a bite. “I don’t like to lose.”

“You just said—”

“We both know I lied.”

Spock sighed and nodded. “I believe you will succeed in maintaining your winning record.”

“Now that’s what I want to hear. All right, Spock, let’s go inside where it’s warm. I want to contact Jenkins and Morely to tell them they’re going to lose again.”

Spock sighed even more dramatically. “Very well.”

Jim took Spock’s hand in his and led him to the door of their home. “Well, perhaps, I’ll wait to warm you up a bit first.”

“That would be most agreeable.”