I am aging Vanik here to be around 10 or 11 (it may not work with them being in the Academy still but who cares, right?)
“Dashing through the snow, on a one horse open sleigh.”
Vanik froze as he heard the hearty singing, his heart leaping happily in his side for a moment.
But as Vanik rounded the corner of the hallway of the apartment building floor where his Uncle Spock’s apartment was situated, Jim’s name on his lips, his hope dashed along with the sleigh in the snow.
It was not Jim singing Jingle Bells but rather a delivery man knocking on old Mrs. Miniver’s door. As Vanik watched, she opened the door and received a big box of chocolates with a gold bow from the man.
“Oh my,” she exclaimed, happily. “This will be from my grandson.”
Shortly after this exchange, she closed her apartment door and the delivery man got on the elevator to depart.
Vanik could barely tamp down his disappointment.
Jim and Spock were fighting again and Jim had taken off. Again.
Last time Jim had done this, he had gone all the way to Riverside and Vanik had followed him in order to make sure Spock hadn’t lost the best thing that ever happened to them…him. Best thing that had ever happened to Spock. But…Vanik didn’t dare go to Riverside this time, if that’s where Jim had gone. Though initially he had believed he had escaped the ire of his parents, once he returned to San Francisco, Vanik had been put on restriction for weeks.
So his new plan was to go to his uncle and ask him to be the bigger Vulcan and apologize to Jim. Vanik knew that Jim could be, as Uncle Spock and his own Father, Sybok, said, “a hot head”, however, now was not the time to fight over who was in the wrong. The important thing was getting Vanik’s favorite Uncle by marriage where he belonged.
Vanik marched over to the door of Spock’s apartment and knocked on the door.
It took ages but finally Spock answered the door, peering out through a thin slit.
“Not now, Vanik.”
Through the small opening, he could see that Spock’s hair looked messy and he wore only a bathrobe with no shirt.
“It is not a good time.”
And then it occurred to Vanik. His uncle, his beloved relative, had cheated on Jim. Even now was cheating on him.
“This is unacceptable!” Vanik heard himself yell before he could stop himself. No wonder Jim had left Spock.
The door opened wider and Spock stared out at him.
Vanik blinked uncertainly. This was well above his age range. This was adult problems he did not want to become involved in.
“Bells on bob tail ring, making spirits bright…”
Eyes wide, Vanik’s heart leapt once more.
And like a holiday miracle, Jim came out of the bedroom in Spock’s apartment, also wearing a bathrobe, his hair wet as though from a shower.
“You are here!”
Jim glanced at Spock, smiling quizzically. Spock shrugged.
“I thought…I had been led to believe…that is, were you not fighting?”
“We made up,” Jim replied, his smile widening.
“I-I see. I am well pleased.” Vanik stepped back, feeling himself blush. He had been wrong about everything, clearly, and stepped into something a kid like him had no business stepping into. “I will be on my way now.”
“See you tomorrow for Christmas movies?”
“Yes,” Vanik replied. “That would be most welcome.” And for once, Vanik definitely did not wish to stick around.