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Spock heard someone approaching the bedroom door just before a light tap on it.
“Jim,” he whispered, shaking the Human awake. “I believe your brother is here.”
Jim rubbed his eyes and sat up. After a moment, he rose and went to the door, opening it.
“An ambulance is on its way to take Dad to the hospital,” Sam explained, grimly. “You’d better get dressed. It’s pretty bad.”
Jim nodded and turned to get dressed. His own heart hurt in his chest, but he knew it was bound to be nothing compared to how his dad must feel.
He wasn’t ready to lose his dad. But would he ever be?


Jim stood by his dad’s hospital bed, looking at his pale, unconscious dad. They were talking putting him on a transplant list, but that was if he made it over the next few hours, and then days. He knew how those transplant lists worked. People were on them for years and never got squat.
Before coming into the room, he’d made a call to Nyota.
“Listen, because of my dad’s condition, I’m taking a leave of absence from the University. Not sure for how long.”
“I’m so sorry, Jim. How’s he doing?”
Tears pricked his eyes, but he wiped them impatiently away. “Not good. Think you can cover some of my classes?”
“Physics isn’t my forte. I’ll ask Monty.”
He smiled faintly. “Monty is it?”
“Well. I’ve made some progress.”
“Good. Listen, can you feed my fish? You still have a key, right?”
“I do. I thought those fish died.”
“I got new.”
“Okay, Jim. I will. What about your neighbor?”
“Spock’s with me now.”
“I’m not the only one whose made progress.”
“Yeah. I have to go, Ny. I’ll call you later. And thanks.”
And now here he was. They said people in comas or unconscious or whatever could hear you, but Jim wasn’t sure.
He reached for his dad’s hand but recoiled a bit when it felt cold.
“I met a Vulcan, Dad. He’s not from here. From Earth.”
And very soon, Jim found himself telling his father everything. He had no idea if his father heard him, would remember, or understand. But it felt good to tell someone.
Just as he finished, he felt Spock’s arms come around him, and pull his back into Spock’s front. He wrapped big strong arms around him, and Jim closed his eyes.
“Spock, I love—”
Suddenly there was a loud piercing shriek and Jim felt like he was on fire, it burned so much. He heard Spock gasp behind him.
His father’s hospital room and his father himself faded away and Jim was looking at an older man with pointed ears.