One Year Later
“There you are.”
Jim peered up at his dad from his position on the ground next to the cabernet grapes. There was a small patch of dying grass, there was a drought you know, and Jim was lying on his back, staring up at the sky.
“Looking for me?”
George Kirk lowered himself to the ground next to Jim. He moved easily now. Absolutely no sign of heart trouble. And damn Jim was grateful for that. He really was.
His dad put his hand on Jim’s leg. “How are you doing?”
It was on the tip of his tongue to say, ‘right as rain’, but he choked on the words, and anyway there was nothing right about the lack of rain these days so it didn’t apply.
Instead he shook his head.
“Listen, I don’t know what all went on a year ago,” he dad admitted. “I feel great. I was pretty sure I was going to die.”
“I’m really glad you didn’t.”
“Me too. But it cost you something, didn’t it?” His dad’s tone was gentle.
“No. That didn’t. What cost me is…I just…I didn’t fight for what I wanted, Dad. I just gave up and let someone decide what was best for me.”
“Maybe you can change that.”
Jim laughed without mirth. “No, I can’t. Of all the things that can be changed in the universe, Dad, that’s the one thing I can’t change.”
George was quiet for a while. “I remember some things I am not sure I am supposed to.”
“When I was in the hospital, I remember you sitting with me. I was pretty out of it, but you were telling me something.”
He sighed. “You should probably try to forget what I told you, Dad.”
“Was it true? What you said? Spock’s an alien from another world? Another time?”
“I’m remembering right, aren’t I? Jim, I remember being in some other hospital bed with strange machinery and a completely different doctor.”
“Doctor McCoy,” Jim said softly.
“Then I’m not crazy.”
“Not unless both of are.” Jim sat up so that he sat side by side with his dad. “I took you to Spock’s world and Spock’s time, which is in the future, and they had advanced medicine and they saved your life.”
George frowned. “And that’s why it seemed like my heart hadn’t been damaged.”
“Yeah. Only…I wanted to stay with Spock. Spock and I…we had the love of a lifetime, I guess, I don’t know. We were soulmates. But he saw how much you all meant to me and told me I should come back here and live my life and basically forget about him and never see him again. His dad was big on not changing the future when changing the past, that kind of crap.”
“So you came back here.”
“And now you’re miserable.”
Jim shook his head. “Not miserable. Exactly.”
“You quit your job in San Francisco to come stay here with us. That was what Sam wanted, though, not you.”
Jim shrugged. “It’s beautiful here. It’s not a hardship. But…my friend Nyota got married last week to the guy she’d wanted and the crazy thing is she was getting with him when I was seeing Spock and…it makes me a little sad. I’ll-I’ll get over it. Because I have to, Dad. He’s in the future in a place I can’t go.”
“Nothing is truly hopeless, Jim.”
“Yeah right.” Jim snorted. “My alien boyfriend from the future is never coming back. And the problem is, I don’t want to be with anyone else.”
“If I could help you, I would, son. But you should know that we would be all right, you know, if that opportunity ever came up again, your mom and me and Sam with Aurelan and their baby, Peter. We’d be all right.”
Jim smiled and wiped at his eyes. “Thanks, Dad. But it’s just too late.”