As suggested by J (sorta)

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The thing of it was the planet was charming. Jim couldn’t agree more. He still didn’t want to be a part of the holiday festivities.  

They’d arrived there a few days on a routine mission to update Starfleet on the colony there. Everything had gone well. The colonists decorated for the Terran holidays and the main city even had snow.

Therefore when the powers that be indicated they could have shore leave there, Jim seeing an eager crew, agreed

Everyone had been thrilled, because they couldn’t get to Earth in any reasonable fashion, but this was almost the next best thing.

And so they were basically “parked there” for the next several days of some R and R.

Jim wasn’t anti-holiday or celebrations, he was just so behind on everything and really wasn’t in the mood to watch happy couples canoodle in front of him. Spock and Uhura being the number one couple he had no stomach to view.

It wasn’t only them. Jim had been feeling a bit lonely even before Altamid and Yorktown, in all honesty. His random carousing days were mostly behind him and he sought a much more mature, loving connection with someone.

Except the one he wanted seemed forever out of his reach.

Of course his desire to stay on the ship for shore leave didn’t stop Bones from coming by his quarters to pester him.

“Come on down to the surface with me, Jim.”

“I’ll pass.”

Bones frowned. “How come? You like shore leave. And I understand there are some pretty sexy women there.”

“Not interested in sexy women,” he muttered.

“Sexy men then. Whatever floats your boat.”

“Right now getting this work done is what’s doing it for me.” Jim waved his hand. “But please. You go and have a blast. Tell me all about it. Sing a few carols for me.”

In the end, though Bones tried to argue with him, Bones went down without him.

He was relieved and still oddly hollow.

Perhaps it was the video call he’d had earlier that day with his mom where she told him she was sitting in the living room of the farmhouse watching a fire made with real wood, sipping eggnog with brandy and enjoying her young grandson, Peter, who had arrived with his father and mother for an Earth visit. He found himself wanting to be with family or…someone who loved him.

Jim was listening to music when some of the crew arrived with a fresh cut Christmas tree to Jim’s quarters courtesy of Bones.

He couldn’t deny it put a smile on his face.

He had no decorations for it, but Ensign Mason advised another crew member would be arriving with lights and decorations.

Jim realized after they left they had not said who. He suspected it was either Bones or perhaps his yeoman.

He’d been working on reports for some time when he head a strange mewling. It was soft and somewhat whiny and for the longest time he was trying to decide where it was coming from.

Jim rose from his seat and went over to the tree the crew had placed in the corner. He bent down and peered inside.

Way far in, near the trunk, was a tiny fluffy little feline creature that greatly resembled an Earth domesticated cat.  It was fluffy white like the snow.

“Where did you come from, little one?” Jim reached in and grabbed the little fluff ball, cradling it in his hands. “It’s all right, I won’t hurt you, I promise.”

It had big blue eyes and they stared at Jim, wide and uncertain. But then Jim smiled and used his thumb to gently rub the creature’s head and it began to purr much like an Earth cat.

“God, you’re cute. Were you hiding in that tree?”

Just then someone rang his door. “Come.”

And in stepped, to Jim’s surprise, Spock. The Vulcan carried a shopping bag.

“Spock?”

“Jim, what is that you are holding?”

“I. uh, I don’t know. It…” He paused to study the little thing. “She was hiding in the tree Bones got me. What’s that you have?”

“Decorations and lights for your tree.”

“Aren’t you spending time with Uhura?”

Spock looked at him quizzically as he approached Jim and the kitten creature. “Why would I be with Nyota?”

“Well. Couples—”

“We are not a couple, Jim. And have not been for months.”

Jim frowned. “How did I not know that? And, wait, are you calling me Jim?”

Spock arched a brow. He set the bag down. “What will you do with her?”

“Uh, I guess, I should contact them down there and see if this is a wild animal they want back.” She crawled up Jim’s chest and snuggled into his neck.

“She appears to want to stay.”

Jim smiled. “Yeah she does.” He searched Spock’s gaze. “And you? Do you want to stay, Spock?”

Spock leaned in to kiss him. “What do you think?”

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