Advent Day 24
The final one. Years ago I wrote A Spirky Christmas Carol where Spock was the “Scrooge” character. I decided to do it this year with Jim. Enjoy! This is the very long “flash” LOL
I hope you love it. I am taking the rest of the year off from this blog, thank you for your support and Happy New Year too.
Admiral James Kirk moved away from the window of his office. It was pouring rain and even there in the office the chill was on.
“Might I put on the heat, sir?”
Jim snorted at the idea. Ensign Robert Lewis rubbed his hands together dramatically. Sure it was a little cold, but not as bad as that.
“Just focus on the task at hand.”
Ensign Lewis glanced at the clock on the wall. “It’s a bit past my normal quitting time, Admiral.”
“It’s just that…it’s Christmas Eve, sir.”
“So what?” Jim moved to sit behind his desk.
“I don’t mind, Admiral. But the family—”
“The family do not work for me. And as far as I am aware are not members of Starfleet.”
The ensign blanched. “Well, no, sir.”
“Get back to your desk, Lewis.”
The ensign did as he was told but Jim could see he was not at all happy about it.
Just then the door of Jim’s office burst open.
Jim’s jaw tightened as his nephew, Peter, strode over to him.
“Haven’t I told you not to come by during business hours?”
“Business hours?” Peter exclaimed. “This late on Christmas Eve? That’s surely a sin.”
“Here, here,” Lewis mumbled.
“What was that, Ensign?”
Jim leaned back in his chair and observed his nephew. He wore an overcoat and had a plaid scarf wrapped around his neck.
“What do you want anyway?”
“Uncle, don’t be cross.”
“What else can I be with idiots like you running around talking about Christmas? What’s Christmas to you anyway? All it does is make you another day older and not a bit wiser.”
Peter laughed. “Well, certainly the older part’s true. But I don’t know, I think Christmas is a time when everyone’s a bit nicer to each other. At least for a few weeks anyway. Come and dine with us tomorrow.”
Jim frowned. “Us?”
“Yes, my wife and me. We’re having a Christmas luncheon and we’d love to have you.”
“I’d forgotten you got married.” He shook his head. “Love. Another idiotic notion.”
“I won’t let your grumpiness ruin my good cheer. Will you come? Luncheon will be served at one, but you’re welcome to come earlier.”
“Of course I’m not coming. I don’t make merry at Christmas.”
“But I don’t understand why,” Peter admitted.
“Now please go away and let me get my work done.”
Peter sighed and shook his head. “I just don’t understand why you’re so stubborn and resolute. But I’ll keep my Christmas cheer just the same and say Merry Christmas. And Happy New Year.”
Jim watched as Peter left his office and he felt pleased at having successfully gotten rid of the boy.
He worked another hour and then noticed that once more Ensign Lewis was fidgeting.
“Okay fine. Go home. Why bother working hard enough to make something of yourself.”
Lewis scrambled up from his chair and quickly grabbed up the regulation coat he had hanging off a hook nearby.
“I’ll see you in the morning.”
Ensign Lewis paused by the door. “Tomorrow is Christmas, sir.”
“I have that as a day off. Scheduled far in advance, Admiral.”
“Fine. But you’d better be here bright and early the next day.”
“I will, sir.”
And out he was.
“Not much help anyway,” Jim mumbled. He stared at his terminal and his vision started to blur, so he turned it and rose himself from behind his desk.
He went to get his coat and umbrella, and then left his office at last. He took the stairs instead of the lift, and soon was outside trying to stay as dry as possible. Not easy with the wind making the rain slash sideways.
He lived in an old building not far from HQ. It hadn’t been upgraded in sometime and was several hundred years old, but it was cheap and close and that’s what mattered to him.
His was one of only two apartments on the second floor and the other one was vacant at the moment. He made his way to his and let himself in.
It was quite cold and he considered turning on the heat, but figured he’d go to bed soon anyway so there was little point.
Jim put on his pajamas and robe, then went into the kitchen to heat himself some soup. He was on the couch eating it when he heard strange noises.
He couldn’t have explained what it sounded like if someone asked. Just sort of hollow and echoey and he knew that made no sense.
But as he stared at his front door, the lock he had slung across himself twisted open. It was then that he cursed himself for not keeping his phaser handy. The door flew open and in walked—
“Pike?” Jim stood so abruptly he spilled some of the hot soup on his leg, but he ignored the sting of the burn.
“I’m imagining things,” he said faintly.
“No, I am most definitely here. Sit, Jim. I have some things to tell you.”
“But you’re dead. You’ve been dead for years.” Jim sat anyway, automatically.
“I’m still dead. That’s why I’m here. To help you.”
Jim shook his head as Pike, or Pike’s ghost, approached him. “A night of undisturbed rest would likely help me far more than whyever you’re here.”
“I come to save more than your mere life, Jim.”
“Can you sit?”
“Yes.” And Pike did in a chair across from the couch upon which Jim sat. “I’m not really sure how it is I’m here now in a form you can see. I’ve observed you many times unseen over the years.”
Jim wasn’t sure he liked the idea of ghost spying on him and he shivered.
“Whatever the case, I can tell you I’m here to make you see the bad direction your life has taken.”
“Bad?” Jim scoffed. “There’s nothing wrong with my life.”
“You’re alone and friendless. That’s not the Jim I knew. Tonight you will be visited by another spirit.”
“The first of three. You can expect that spirit to appear at one in the morning. The next will appear—”
“Can’t they all come at once so I can get it over with?”
“Heed what they say, Jim. Don’t be stubborn. They are coming to help you have a better future.” Pike rose. “And now I must return.”
Jim stood too. “Where do you go? Why do you haunt me?”
But the ghost of Pike or whatever it was Jim thought he saw was gone. As though he, IT, had never been there.
And Jim decided it hadn’t been.
“I haven’t been sleeping well,” he said out loud. “A hallucination brought about by my insomnia is all.”
It was best to ignore the whole thing and go to bed. And since he had nothing to do and no one to see for Christmas, he would spend the whole day in bed tomorrow too.
Jim couldn’t have said when he fell asleep or even when he woke, but suddenly he felt a hand upon his cheek and he opened his eyes to see a petite dark-haired woman standing beside his bed.
“How’d you get in here?” he demanded.
Then he realized belatedly she was familiar. She wore a floral scarf around her head.
“Wait.” He scooted up on the bed until he rested on the headboard. “You’re…”
She inclined her head in a way that reminded him so much of Spock it rendered him bereft in a way he hadn’t felt in years.
“I am the Ghost of Christmas Past.”
“Oh, no. Your past, Jim.”
“But you are Amanda Grayson, aren’t you?”
She did not answer him, instead held out her hand. “Rise and walk with me.”
Jim shifted on the bed and gave her his hand as she dragged him to his feet. Her hand was warm to the touch and not icy as he had expected from a ghost.
Suddenly they were no longer in his apartment but instead out before a farmhouse, the ground covered with snow.
“Do you know this place?” she asked.
“Sure, I do.”
“Come to the barn with me.”
They walked over to the big red barn, where Jim spotted a big hulking figure of a man hunched over a classic car engine.
“Frank,” he whispered.
“Not only Frank.”
Jim shook his head.
“Start the car again you little moron!” Frank shouted.
Jim glanced toward the little boy sitting in the car. “That’s me.”
She nodded. “I know. This was before your brother left.”
“Yeah, though he was never around much anyway. He always left me to get the most of Frank’s abuse.”
The car tried to turn over, but it just made a strange choking sound.
“You’re flooding it, you dumbass.”
Frank straightened and went to the car door, wrenching it open. He yanked the boy out of the car.
“You can’t do anything right, you loser. Get out of here. You’re no help anyway.”
He pushed the boy hard enough to cause him to trip. Little Jim fell on the ground.
“He was a beast of a man, wasn’t he?”
Jim shrugged. “Most days were like this. Or worse. Mom was off planet most of the time then and so Frank just had free reign to do whatever he wanted.”
Just then an older boy appeared, Sam, who leaned down to help Jim to his feet.
“Leave my brother alone,” Sam said angrily. He looked at Jim. “You okay?”
“Eh, he’s okay,” Frank snarled. “He’s just a cry baby like all the Kirks.”
“Sam did care about you, didn’t he?” she asked.
“He died as a young man and had children.”
“One. One son.”
“Your nephew, Peter.”
Jim nodded. “Yeah, that’s right.”
“He looks a bit like Sam, don’t you think?”
Jim thought about it, looked at young Sam. “Maybe. I can see it, yeah.”
She put her hand on his arm. “Time to move on.”
The scene changed entirely and suddenly they were at HQ in a big ball room where there was obviously a holiday party going on. Dozens of Starfleet officers and crew members were there.
“When was this?” Amanda wondered.
“The Christmas after Nero,” Jim explained. He glanced at her. “You know who Nero is, don’t you?”
“Yes,” she said softly. “I know.”
Jim turned as Captain Pike greeted everyone at the party.
“Welcome! The food and drink are free, which is why I’m sure you’re here.” Everyone laughed. “We’ve come a long way in the last few months. So enjoy, be merry, and hope for a better future for us all. Happy Holidays.”
Jim smiled as he spotted his younger self with Bones laughing and drinking in the corner.
“You remember this party?”
“Oh yeah. It was a great time. All my friends were there. My crew.” He turned to survey the room and spotted Spock standing with Uhura. Her hands were on his chest and she was smiling. “There’s Spock with Uhura.”
“Yes,” Amanda said.
“Did you ever meet her?”
She shook her head. “This party doesn’t seem that big of a deal that everyone seems so happy. Just a bit of free food and drink. Didn’t even cost a lot.”
“The cost wasn’t the point. It was to bring us all together after months of tragedy. To celebrate the season and each other.”
“So you liked Christmas then?”
Jim frowned. “Hmm. Maybe it wasn’t so great after all.”
She smiled faintly. “This wasn’t real?”
His gaze went back to where he stood with Bones. His heart constricted. Bones. He missed him more than he could say.
“No, this was real. This was all real.”
She took his hand. “Time to see something else.”
Once more the scene changed to several years later and this time it was to him and Spock alone in a different apartment in San Francisco than the one he had now.
“No,” Jim whispered. “Please, I don’t want to see this.”
“It is what it is, Jim. I cannot change it.”
She gestured to the younger versions of Jim and Spock. He stepped closer, bile rising in his throat.
“You do not wish to go to New Vulcan with me?” Spock asked.
“New Vulcan?” Jim scoffed. “What for?”
“To bond with me.”
“Bond? That’s for Vulcans. Humans don’t bond with that Vulcan voodoo thing.”
“Don’t mention him. It’s thanks to you he’s gone.”
“Bones was right anyway about that voodoo crap.”
“Then you will not bond with me even though we are T’hy’la?”
Jim laughed. “Don’t be ridiculous. We’re not fated mates or any of that. What complete bullshit that is. We were just playing around, Spock. Having sex. It was nothing serious.”
“Nothing serious,” Spock repeated faintly.
“Right. I mean, I guess I’m sorry you thought it was.” Jim shook his head. “I gotta go. They want to see me at headquarters. Bye, Spock.”
And Jim watched as his younger self left Spock alone.
“No, Spock! I-I didn’t mean any of that. I was just…I was just scared. And angry. And sad. What I said was—”
Spock bowed his head and then leaned against the wall. Tears streamed down his face.
“Spock! Spock, no! Listen.”
Jim found himself back in his bedroom, in his bed, and alone once more.
It seemed only seconds passed before there was a bright shining light in his room. So bright that he shielded his eyes.
It winked out and there standing beside his bed was…Bones.
Jim scrambled out of bed so fast he nearly tripped on the tangle of covers.
“Bones? Is that you? It is you, isn’t it?”
“I’m the spirit of Christmas Present, kid.”
His throat clogged. “Kid. Do you know how long it’s been since you called me kid?”
He wanted to hug his old friend, but on the other hand, Bones didn’t look entirely solid, which reminded him Bones was gone. And Jim was friendless.
Bones looked at him with sympathy which made Jim’s eyes hurt.
“Come on, Kid. There’s much to see.”
And as before with Christmas Past, the scene changed and suddenly Jim and Bones stood before a dingy apartment in an inside hallway with stained carpeting down the hallway and dim overhead lights.
“What is this place?” he asked with a frown.
“This is where your assistant lives.”
“Mm. Come.” And Bones touched his sleeve and they walked through the wall and into the apartment.
Jim spotted the ensign right away, dressed casually in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, his feet bare. He was not alone. With him was a teenaged girl, perhaps fifteen, and a small boy, no more than five and appearing very pale and frail. The boy’s leg was twisted and misshapen.
“Who are they?”
“Bob Lewis’ children.”
Bones’ look was derisive. “You do know your assistant’s first name, don’t you?”
“I know it’s Robert. I…never paid attention to whether he went by Bob. Where’s their mother?”
“Gone for some time,” Bones replied. “She died in the explosion on Trias 4, where she was stationed with Starfleet at the time. Fortunately, the children were here on Earth at the time.”
“I didn’t know he was a single father.”
“You never bothered to ask, though, did you?”
“No,” Jim admitted.
“I’ve got Christmas off,” Bob was saying. “So the three of us can spend the whole day together. I’ll make a turkey with all the fixings. You’ll help, won’t you, Martha?”
“Of course I will, Dad.”
“Who watches them when Bob’s at work?”
“Martha watches the boy, Tim.”
“She’s just a child herself.”
“There’s no one else. Martha home schools herself and Tim.”
Jim thought of all the times he kept Bob late. Later than he should have. Including this very day. He bowed his head for a moment, feeling like a jerk. He hadn’t always been like this.
He looked up. “What’s wrong with Tim?”
“The mother was part Andorian and had the genes for a disease native to Andorians which she, unfortunately, passed on to her son, though she didn’t have it herself,” Bones explained. “It caused him to be lame with that bad leg among other things.”
“Can he be helped? Is there a cure?”
“With a better life for Bob, maybe. With more time and resources. But he’s been wanting to be promoted to Lieutenant for some time but it never happens for him.” Bones glanced at Jim. “I hear he’s even got a mark on his record for poor performance.”
Jim winced, for he had given Bob that mark himself. The mistake the ensign had made hadn’t been that bad, just quite careless, and Jim had…he shook his head.
“Will Tim live without treatment?”
“No,” Bones said, bluntly. “Without proper care for his condition, next Christmas it’ll be just Bob Lewis and his daughter, Martha.”
“But now it’s time for bed,” Bob announced with false cheer. And Jim watched as Bob and Martha scooped up little Tim and carried him to his bed.
“Why do you care anyway?” Bones asked. “Come on, it’s time to see someone else.”
This time, Jim found himself before an average middle-class neighborhood before a cozy looking ranch-style house with neat trim that reminded him of a gingerbread house.
“Where is this?”
“Your nephew, Peter’s house.”
Jim frowned. “Peter lives here?”
“Never been, huh?”
“Just what have you been doing, Jim?”
“Living my life just like everyone else,” he said defensively.
Bones snorted. “Yeah right.”
They were suddenly in Peter’s house and he was surrounded by people, friends Jim guessed, and his arm was around a pretty brunette Jim assumed was Peter’s wife.
“So, why do you always invite your uncle for Christmas, Peter?” a man asked.
Peter shrugged. “I guess I feel sorry for him.”
“Sorry?” Peter’s wife scoffed. “He’s a miserable man who doesn’t care about anyone else. He’s got wealth he does nothing with. Even the Federation wishes he’d just go away at this point.”
“But that’s the point, the way he is brings the terrible consequences he faces, and I want him to wake up to what life can and should be for him,” Peter explained. “My dad…he had a lot of regrets where his little brother was concerned. He was sorry he left him to fend for himself when he couldn’t take life with Frank anymore. Dad regretted it for the rest of his life and he never really had a chance to make it up to my uncle, so I guess I want to make it up to him in some small way. I’m the only family Uncle Jim has left. We should spend time together.” Peter smiled a little. “I hope someday to convince him.”
Jim bit his lip and shook his head.
“What?” Bones asked.
“Just…I should make a little more effort for Peter. It’s not his fault his dad was a jackass.” Jim looked away. “I should have accepted his invitation for Christmas.”
“Come, one more place to see.”
They were back in the city of San Francisco proper and the area looked quite familiar to Jim.
“I know this place.”
“You should. You lived here a few years back.” Bones paused. “With Spock.”
“Spock,” he whispered. It was the apartment building they lived at when he…Jim wanted to disappear in shame.
Bones touched his shoulder. “Let’s see.”
Jim followed, but with a new sense of sorrow and remorse. He was led to an apartment on the fourth floor, a one bedroom, and there on a couch sat Spock. He didn’t look very much different than when Jim last saw him all those years ago, when Jim had broken his heart so callously. Perhaps at the temples, Spock had a hint of silver, but otherwise he was absolutely perfect in every way.
Jim left Bones and went to kneel on the floor beside Spock.
“Spock, you don’t know how sorry I am.”
“You should tell him, Jim.”
“I had no idea he was in San Francisco.”
“You didn’t ever check, did you?”
“No,” Jim admitted. “Would he even want to hear from me?”
“There’s only one way to find out.”
Jim stared at the Vulcan. “He’s so beautiful.”
“My time is at an end.”
Jim looked up, shocked, at Bones, who was already fading.
“Wait! No! Bones, please. I-I miss you so much. Please!”
But Bones disappeared and so did Spock.
Jim found himself not in the apartment anymore but in a cold dark place that after a while he recognized as a cemetery.
“Well, well, well.”
Jim froze at that sarcastic familiar face. He turned sharply. He was still kneeling, this time his knees knelt in damp, dank dirt.
“Surprised to see me, Kirk?”
He was filled with dread, all-consuming, actually.
“You could say that,” he whispered. “What do you want?”
“I’m the Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come.”
Marcus laughed. “Who else did you expect? Get up, Kirk. Come with me.”
He struggled to his feet, his gaze going to the grave he’d knelt by.
Timothy Lewis the name on the gravestone read.
“Yes. He couldn’t be saved.” Marcus shrugged. “Most can’t be, Kirk. You should know that many must be sacrificed for the greater good.”
“Like my whole crew so you could start a war with the Klingons?”
“This isn’t about me, Kirk. It’s about you. Come on.”
Jim kept his gaze on the sad grave of his assistant’s son. Things could have been different if he’d known Jim was sure.
Marcus brought him within earshot of two Starfleet officers walking close to HQ.
“I thought he’d never die.”
“He probably thought so too. When did it happen?”
“Last night I guess. They were getting ready to arrest him for treason, you know.”
“Was it suicide then?”
“Don’t think so. I think it was just a coincidence. His heart couldn’t take it. He sure fell down far from the hero he once was.”
“Trying to start a massive Federation war? Yikes. It’s unbelievable.”
They went into HQ.
Jim frowned. “Who were they talking about? You?”
Marcus chuckled. “Future, Kirk. I don’t have one.”
The scene changed again and they were at a place that reminded him of New Vulcan. But they hadn’t boarded any ships.
“Where are we?”
Several robed and hooded Vulcans appeared in a solemn row. Jim couldn’t figure out what this had to do with him. He hadn’t been on New Vulcan for years.
Then more came and they appeared to be carrying a body on a slab of wood. It was then that Jim saw they were bringing it to a funeral pyre.
“Who has died?” he asked.
He thought perhaps Sarek, but he didn’t see Spock anywhere, and if he was there to see Spock of the future, he didn’t see why Marcus would take him to Sarek’s service if Spock wasn’t there.
“Why don’t you lift the cloth?” Marcus suggested.
“They are unaware of our presence and our actions.”
Jim looked at Marcus and swallowed heavily. He dreaded lifting the cloth but knew it was something he needed to know.
He stepped over to where they’d stopped with the body on the slab. Hand shaking, he lifted it toward the cloth.
“Before I look, this can be changed, right? If I change, everything I’m seeing now doesn’t have to happen?”
“Why show me this if there’s no hope?”
Jim exhaled slowly and lifted the cloth. Lying there on the slab, clearly pale and dead was…Spock.
He quickly dropped the cloth and stepped back.
“Spock finally accepted death as a way to end his torment at the rejection of his T’hy’la.”
He turned on Marcus. “Accepted death? He killed himself?”
“In a manner of speaking. He chose not to accept the offering of the surrogate for Pon Farr. In prior cycles, he had made use of that offer, but given what he knew of the charges against you—”
“Charges against me?”
“You were the one those men spoke of, Kirk. You were about to be arrested for treason and Spock learned of it. The shame of what his T’hy’la had done was too much for him and he—”
“No! No way! It’s a lie,” Jim screamed. “I would never. I would never commit treason. That doesn’t happen. That is not the future.”
“Believe what you will, Kirk.”
They were suddenly back in the cemetery again, this time before another gravestone. This one was abandoned and decrepit. Vandalized.
Marcus pointed for Jim to look at it.
Jim closed his eyes and shook his head. “I can’t.”
“You can and will,” Marcus said sharply.
Jim nodded, sucked it up, and opened his eyes to see.
James T. Kirk, former hero of the Federation, now disgraced traitor
were the words on the stone.
He fell to his knees. “No. No. It’s not true. Spock. Spock, I swear, it’s not true. It’s not true.”
Jim woke, crying into his pillow.
“It’s not true.”
He gasped and sat up.
“I’m in my bed.” He felt his own body. “I’m not dead. I’m not a traitor. Thank God.”
Jim scrambled out of bed and ran to the window to look outside. It was a beautiful, clear day. The digital clock on the wall said the date was December 25.
“It’s Christmas,” he said, faintly. “I haven’t missed it.”
But there was so much to do. So much.
He got busy.
“Daddy, there’s someone at the door,” Martha told her father.
Bob Lewis was in the kitchen, getting ready to prepare Christmas dinner. “Hmm.”
He put his spoon down and walked around the counter of the kitchen, heading for the door.
Bob frowned at the female yeoman standing at his door. “Merry Christmas,” he said.
The yeoman handed him two envelopes, and then a red and gold festively wrapped box with a bow.
“What’s this?” he asked.
The yeoman smiled. “From Admiral Kirk.” She paused. “Congratulations, Lieutenant.”
And then she turned around and walked down the hallway.
Bob closed the door and turned to look into the curious faces of his children. He handed the wrapped box to Martha, and then opened one of the envelopes.
“You have been promoted to Lieutenant, effective immediately,” Bob read out loud. “Admiral James T. Kirk.”
Martha’s eyes widened. “Daddy, that’s wonderful!”
He went on to read, “Your record has been cleared. You also have tomorrow off. See you the next day. Merry Christmas.”
His eyes stung a bit as he realized they were filling with tears. He opened the other envelope and saw that it was information about a specialist for Tim and that they had an appointment with that specialist after the New Year. And that it would all be taken care of by Starfleet, via Admiral Kirk.
“Can we open the present, Daddy?” Martha asked.
“Yes,” Bob told his children, smiling through his tears. “Yes, we can. And we’re sure to have a very Merry Christmas!”
Jim waited a few minutes before the doorbell was answered by Peter.
“Uncle Jim!” Peter exclaimed, clearly shocked.
Jim smiled. “Merry Christmas. Can I come in?”
“I…of course you can.” Peter seized his hands and dragged him into the house. “This is…this is a wonderful surprise.”
“Is it? I’m glad. I came to meet your wife and to accept your invitation to lunch.” He paused. “Except, it might not be until tomorrow.”
“There’s someone I really have to see today. And I, I’m hoping when I come for lunch, it won’t be alone. But we’ll see.”
Peter’s wife came into the front hall then. He recognized her from his trip here with Bones.
“Darling, this is my Uncle Jim.”
Jim leaned his forehead on Spock’s apartment door. Now that he was here, he had no idea what he could say to make the way he had treated Spock acceptable or forgivable.
But he heard Bones’ voice in his head.
You should tell him, Jim.
And it took so long for the door to open, Jim almost thought Spock wasn’t there.
Tears pricked his eyes. “Jim, Spock. It’s Jim. Can I-Can I talk to you?”
Spock looking practically perfect in every way stood back to let Jim inside.
Jim looked around and realized that, yes, it looked exactly as it had when he’d been there with Bones.
“How did you find me?” Spock asked quietly.
“That’s a fairly long and rather unbelievable story,” Jim told him. “But I did find you. And that’s what’s important.”
“Would you like to sit?”
“No. For some reason I think maybe standing is better. Spock, there’s no easy way to say this. I’ve missed you these past several years like I’d miss a piece of my heart, a piece of me. Life isn’t worth living without you. I’m a big stupid idiot who can’t even begin to tell you how sorry I am for the way I was and how I acted with you and things I said.” He paused. “Like blaming you for Bones’ death.”
“If anyone was responsible other than the Klingons, it was me, not you.”
He shook his head. “I’ve been eaten up by guilt and I took it out on you which is the crappiest worst thing I could have done for both of us. I’ve hated myself ever since and I didn’t know what to say to you or how to tell you I love you so much and I’m so sorry for what I’ve done to you, to us.”
Spock simply stared at him, not saying anything.
Jim’s heart pounded hard and painfully in his chest.
“I know my behavior was the ultimate betrayal to the T’hy’la bond and I can’t take that back. I can only try to make it up to you every day for the rest of my life, if you’ll allow me that. Please. Allow me that.”
And then Spock moved forward toward him and Jim almost had a flashback to that moment so long ago on the bridge when—
“T’hy’la,” Spock whispered, just before covering his lips, his cheeks, his whole face with kisses. He was held in Spock’s arms, tight and warm, and the last of Jim’s icy heart melted.
He closed his eyes and clung to Spock desperately. And he said a silent thank you to Amanda, Bones, and even…Marcus.
And to Pike. Pike, most of all.
“Thank you,” he said out loud.
“Jim?” Spock pulled back just slightly to look at Jim, who smiled bright and with a full heart.
“I love you, Spock. Thank you for giving me the chance to show you.”