Amanda sighed slightly. “Long ago my son did as he pleased with no regard to what either myself or my husband said.”
“Still…wouldn’t it bother you? Never to see him again?”
“Whatever the circumstances my son finds himself in, what matters to me is his contentment. I can see, as I said, that my son values his bond with you very much. He isn’t going to find it easy to part from you.”
“And if this healer decides he’s wrong, what then?”
“Do you think Spock cares for you only because he believes you have the T’hy’la bond?”
Jim frowned. Thought about it. “No.”
She smiled. “I believe you have your answer regarding what my son intends to do.”
“Your husband would fight it.”
“Most certainly. But the thing is, Sarek doesn’t always get his way.” She leaned back in her chair. “And what about you, Jim? Would you consider staying here on Vulcan in your future?”
“I don’t know,” Jim replied. “My family is very important to me. If I came here, I’d not be able to see them again, right?”
She hesitated. “Probably not.”
“I can’t put them through thinking I just disappeared one day and never know what happened to me. I’ve seen that happen to families on the news and stuff, and I couldn’t let that hurt them like that. But on the other hand, having Spock stay with me in my time would hurt him.”
“There’s no easy answer, I agree.”
Just then Spock and Sarek returned with a Vulcan woman.
Jim stood up. “Have they figured out how to help my dad yet?”
“Not yet, Jim. They are working hard at it though. This is T’Pau, sh is an elder here, and trained in healing and an expert at bonds.”
Jim glanced at her. She was studying him with barely disguised derision.
“You name this outworlder T’hy’la?” She turned to Spock.
T’Pau looked at Jim again. “You are from ancient Earth.”
“It’s not ancient to me. It’s just home.”
Apparently, she didn’t like that as she made an even more pronounced prune face.
“”If you will step forward with Spock, I will examine your minds.”
Jim’s gaze went to Spock, who gave a slight nod.
He blew out a breath. He’d rather deal with all this after finding out about his dad, but apparently that wasn’t going to happen.
So he stepped over to where Spock stood and let the Vulcan approach, with her hands extended toward each of them.
Her left hand landed on his face while her right hand was on Spock’s. Spock closed his eyes, so Jim did the same.
T’Pau said nothing, but Jim did feel a bit of pressure in his head, like having a sinus infection or something. It could have lasted a minute or thirty, he wasn’t sure because he sort of lost awareness.
Spock spoke softly and Jim opened his eyes. She no longer had her hand on his face and the pressure was gone. He blinked rapidly.
“There is no mistake,” she declared. “They are bonded. They have the ancient warrior bond.”
Amanda sighed slightly. “Long ago my son did as he pleased with no regard to what either myself or my husband said.”
Sorry for the short flash today, had a very full weekend and just didn’t have much time to get something done. I barely managed this. I’m working toward the end though. Hopefully!
I’m off Friday from work but am doing a quick overnight trip. I’ll have Friday’s flash up though!
Jim was pacing around this strange place. If he hadn’t been brought there himself he might have not believed it, no matter what Spock had said, and how green Spock’s blood was, which he’d seen himself.
Vulcan was hot. Jim had been to Palm Springs in the summer. It was that hot. And apparently Vulcan was like that all year round.
While Spock’s brother, Sybok, and the doctor, McCoy, planned how to get Jim’s dad there so that he could be treated and returned without notice, Spock’s father had proclaimed that he wanted what he called a “Vulcan Healer” to examine Jim and Spock to determine if Spock didn’t know what he was talking about as far as his T’hy’la bond.
Jim didn’t really want to be examined by anyone, but Spock seemed unfazed by the idea, so Jim assumed that meant Spock wouldn’t be worried that they would hurt Jim. He trusted Spock, so he’d allow it.
As long as they helped his dad, he’d agree to anything.
Waiting with Jim while Spock and Sarek went to get the healer was Spock’s Human mother, Amanda. So far Jim found that she was very kind, the most kind of anyone there except Spock.
“You must have many questions, Jim,” Amanda said, patting his leg.
They were seated in chairs, sipping a cold drink Amanda had brought them. Jim kept leaning forward, impatient, even though he knew there wasn’t much he could do to speed things up.
Sybok and McCoy were meeting in some other area about getting to Jim’s dad, so for now it was only him and Amanda.
She gave him a sympathetic look. “If they can help your father, they will. Leonard is a very skilled and kind doctor.”
“I’m going to be kind of freaked out until I know,” Jim admitted.
“Once we have everything sorted out we’ll know what to do. My son cares a lot about you, I can see.”
“We…yeah, we fell in love where I’m from.”
“Spock won’t allow them to separate you,” she said, obviously trying to reassure him.
Jim looked at her. “What if that means him returning to my time and my Earth with me?”
“And I strenuously object,” Sarek said. “Doctor McCoy, I know as a healer you mean well, however the less we interfere in Mr. Kirk’s time the better.”
Jim stepped forward. “Hey, listen—”
Spock put his hand on Jim’s arm. “Perhaps we should all take a step back for the moment. Jim, this is my father, Sarek, and my mother, Amanda, as well as my half-brother, Sybok. And this is Leonard McCoy, a doctor from your Earth’s future who happens to be a friend of Sybok’s.”
“Which is why I asked Bones to be here,” Sybok said. “Knowing we were retrieving you today from Earth’s past, give your physiology as both Vulcan and Human, I thought it wise to have Bones here.”
Jim frowned. “Bones?”
“A nickname for Leonard,” Sybok replied. “It’s taken me some time to figure out how to retrieve my brother from where he was and I succeeded in doing so just now, as you yourself experienced coming with him.” Sybok looked toward Sarek. “It might be risky for Doctor McCoy to help your father.”
“And ill-advised,” Sarek spoke up again. “Our goal at this point is to remove all traces of Spock’s time there and return Mr. Kirk to where he belongs. We cannot have any other complications.”
“Why not?” Jim asked, stubbornly. “If your goal is to just disappear like you never existed what’s the harm then of this doctor here helping my dad?”
“Jim.” Spock held Jim’s arm tighter. “Returning you to your time is not my goal. You are my T’hy’la. I do not intend to be separated from you.”
Jim looked at him. “Okay. Then convince this doctor here to help my dad.” He pulled Spock away from the others. “You know how important my family is to me. This is killing me. And you have a guy right here who can help my dad to live. Spock, you know he’s going to die otherwise. You know it.”
Spock turned to see his mother had drawn near. She gave Jim a gentle smile.
“It’s clear you’re of utmost importance to my son. And of course, your father needs to be saved. Whatever else happens, that is the least we can do in this situation.”
Amanda turned to Sybok. “You can get Leonard to that hospital to help Jim’s father, can’t you?”
Sybok shrugged. “Well…”
“It actually would be better if Jim’s father were brought here to Vulcan,” McCoy interrupted. All my better equipment is here. In the past where Jim’s father is, I’d have to work with the equipment available there. Not easy.”
Sarek made a frustrated noise. “If it can be done, then do it, Sybok. But then once Mr. Kirk has been healed, both Mr. Kirk’s will be returned to Earth of the past where they belong.”
Jim glared at Sarek but did not respond to that. Spock had no intention of letting it happen either. But first they needed to see to Jim’s father.
Spock walked over to where his brother stood.
“Can it be done, brother? Can we bring George Kirk here, have Doctor McCoy help him, and then send him back to the hospital in the past without anyone the wiser?”
Sybok fingered his beard again. “Yes.”
Spock felt a rush…of yes emotions. From Jim and from himself.
From Jim confusion, sorrow, and even terror.
From himself relief, joy, anxiety, and sadness.
And it was all a jumble.
They were on Vulcan in his father’s house. Besides Sarek, in front of Jim and him there was Spock’s brother, Sybok, and his mother Amanda as well as the Human doctor, Leonard McCoy.
“Jim,” Spock spoke softly in his ear. “You are safe. This my home. This is Vulcan.”
Jim turned in Spock’s arms and looked at him, and then stepped away. “Uh. Okay.”
“Spock, dear, who is this?” Mother asked, coming forward at once.
“This is Jim Kirk, my T’hy’la.”
Sybok choked. “Your what now?”
Sarek arched a brow. “Highly unlikely. And unfortunate that we inadvertently brought him with you. Doctor, will you examine my son?”
McCoy came forward toward Spock, tricorder in hand.
Jim backed away, bumping into Spock.’
“Don’t worry, kid,” McCoy said. “I’m a doctor, not a sadist.”
Spock held out his hands towards the doctor. “Please. Give us a moment to explain. In the months I was on long ago Earth, I met Jim, who was my neighbor in San Francisco.”
“What became of Sutok?” Sarek interrupted.
“He perished in the crash and was buried with remnants of the ship.”
“We will need to retrieve—”
“I was speaking, Father. May I continue?”
Spock watched his father bristle, but it could not be helped.
While he spoke Doctor McCoy continued to scan him with the tricorder. Spock was aware of Jim watching him curiously.
“After our initial acquaintance, Jim and I become close, intimate even, and during that intimacy I discovered his connection to me as my T’hy’la.”
Sybok fingered his bearded chin. “That sort of bond hasn’t been in existence for some time in history. Are you quite certain of your findings?”
“There is no mistake.”
“You will both need to be examined by the Vulcan Priestess to ensure your facts,” Sarek said. “If it is the case, then naturally this Human should remain. But if you are mistaken, we must return him to his Earth’s time.”
“Now let’s not be rash—”
And as the others began to argue amongst themselves, Spock noticed Jim had crept closer to the doctor.
“Your medicine is very advanced, isn’t it?”
“Yes, compared to where you’re from, I would say so.”
Jim nodded. “Doctor?”
“McCoy. Leonard McCoy.”
“Do they still have triple bypass surgery now?”
McCoy snorted. “We don’t live in the dark ages son. Nothing like that is needed in these days.”
Jim worried his lip with his teeth. “Can you fix my dad?”
“Please. He’s in the hospital where I came from. He’s dying and I bet you could save him. If you could go there or bring him here or whatever it takes.”
The room got quiet, and Spock was aware of them now all staring at Jim.
“Please,” Jim asked. McCoy shifted awkwardly and then shrugged. “Well. I could, I guess.”
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.
Later after they’d eaten lunch, Sam took Jim aside,
“I know this is sudden and really short notice, especially since you have Spock with you, but maybe it would better if you stayed the night?” Sam shook his head. “I don’t know, I just…I’m unsettled a bit.”
“If you’re unsettled, things have to be bad. Why don’t we get him to the hospital now?” Jim asked.
“He’s stubborn and doesn’t want to go. And he spoke to his cardiologist and thinks that’s good enough until he sees him tomorrow.” Sam pinched the bridge of his nose. “I could set up a room for the two of you.”
“I’ll need to talk to him because he has work. I can probably call and get a substitute.” Jim’s stomach flipped. “Worst case scenario, I’ll drive him back to San Francisco and then drive back up here.”
“I hate to make you do that, but I’d really like you to be here, kiddo.”
“And I want to be. When did this all start?”
“He seemed a little weak Friday, but nothing too concerning. Same for most of yesterday, but last night he started showing signs of it.”
Jim glanced toward the living room. “This isn’t it, is it, Sam?”
“I honestly don’t know,” Sam admitted. “You know when he was young his chest got crushed when the wall fell on him. The doctors think that did some damage to his heart even back then that nobody paid any attention to until later in life. They concentrated on his collapsed lung instead. I don’t know. Some part of me realizes we’re lucky to have him this long.”
“Yeah okay. I’m going to go talk to Spock and the contact the university.”
Jim ended up taking Spock outside to a garden area his mom usually tended to so they could have some privacy.
He explained everything to Spock, who remained silent until Jim had finished.
“I’m sorry this is so crazy and unexpected. I’ll drive you back to San Francisco and the come back here.”
“I am able to make my own hours at the Institute,” Spock replied. “To be honest I am only working there in an effort to find a way back to my own time and universe. This far I have not been successful. But at the moment, I would rather be here, supporting you.”
Jim didn’t quite give into the relief he felt yet. Because he wanted to make sure. “Really? I don’t want to make things difficult for you.”
Spock pulled him close. “This entire situation we find ourselves in is difficult. But you are my T’hy’la and I don’t wish to be parted from you.”
Jim blew out a breath. “Okay.”
Vulcans did not feel nervous, Spock reminded himself, and he’d lived his entire life trying to be a model Vulcan.
Still, it took all he had within himself not to shift his position while standing as George Samuel Kirk, “Sam” as he was introduced, surveyed him.
Sam was taller than Spock and used that to his advantage, staring down at Spock with barely disguised intimidation.
He did not comment on Spock’s woolen cap covering Spock’s ears, but Spock suspected that Jim informed his family of Spock’s pointy ear coverup when they’d first arrived, as Jim had hurried into the house prior to the introductions.
“Scientist, are you?”
Sam’s cool blue eyes narrowed slightly. “What do you like to drink?”
Jim returned at that moment from having used the bathroom. He had left Spock in the front hallway with a somewhat hostile older brother.
“He doesn’t drink wine,’ Jim explained. “An occasional sake, but not much else.”
Predictably, this made Spock more suspicious in Sam’s mind.
He wrinkled his nose. “Sake.”
“I did try your cabernet sauvignon.”
“He tried it,” Jim interrupted. “Come on. Let’s have you meet Mom and Dad.”
Sam’s gaze shifted to Jim and he softened immediately. “I was going to call you, kid. Dad’s had a bit of a setback.”
Jim frowned. “I saw he looked a bit weak and was sitting with a throw around his shoulders in the chair.”
“He’s got an appointment tomorrow, but yeah, I guess he’s not doing as well after they bypass surgery as they had hoped.”
“What’s the next step? What are they going to do?”
Sam shrugged slightly. “Guess we’ll find out Monday. It’ll be all right though, I’m sure. He’s got excellent doctors.”
He squeezed Jim’s shoulders. “Come on.”
Spock followed the Kirk brothers out of the hallway and into the “living room”. The house was quite large. Jim had called it a Spanish style villa and advised Spock it had something like ten bedrooms and seven bathrooms.
It was not the house Jim first lived in when they’d moved from Riverside, but that house had been turned into the “guest house” and this villa built as soon as the Kirk Winery had begun to make a decent amount of money.
On the way from Bodega Bay to Napa, Jim had also told Spock that Sam was pushing Jim to move back to Napa and to live with his family.
Spock had to agree that the older Human male sitting in a large Easy Chair covered with a throw did not look well. He was quite pale and seemed to have a bit of perspiration dotting his forehead.
Still George Kirk managed a smile for Spock.
“Nice to meet you. I’d get up but—”
“That is not necessary,” Spock assured him.
“In fact, why don’t we all sit?” Winona Kirk suggested.
Jim took the seat on a loveseat next to Spock, but he leaned forward toward his father.
“Are you sure you don’t need to go to the hospital, Dad?”
“I’m all right. I’ve been in contact with the doctors, son. Basically, I’m in heart failure.”
“And that’s not an emergency?” Jim asked sharply.
George Kirk shook his head. “I’m taking the medicine they said to take. And I’ll see them first thing in the morning. I don’t feel any pain. Just weak and tired.”
Winona directed a wan smile in her husband’s direction, then turned to Spock. “I’m so sorry we aren’t meeting you in better circumstances, Spock. Jim has spoken about you, though. Briefly.”
“You’re Jim’s neighbor?” George asked.
“Yes, I have the apartment next to Jim’s and I work at the San Francisco Science Institute.”
Winona rose again. “Since you’re here, why don’t we all have some lunch? I’ll make us sandwiches and soup.”
Jim smiled. “Sure, sounds good. But, uh, Mom, Spock’s a vegetarian.” She nodded. “I will keep that in mind.”
They stopped first to get some baked goods Jim knew from his old days spent with Mavis, and then made it to the car.
The whole time Jim considered things.
Considered the potential of him going with Spock to Spock’s world if they could get Spock there.
The biggest obstacle to that, other than the logistics, was Jim’s family. He loved his parents and his brother. Loved their life at the vineyard. He couldn’t just leave them. Couldn’t just disappear without a trace with them never knowing his fate. That would be far too cruel.
He stood by the driver side and looked over top of the car toward where Spock stood.
“I think you should meet my family.”
Spock angled his head.
“It’s not that far to Napa from here. Just over an hour or so east from our location. If we’re…bonded soulmates, I think whatever the future holds, Spock, I’d like them to meet you.”
They got in the car then by unspoken agreement and as Jim started up the engine, he glanced at Spock, who stoically stared straight ahead.
Spock looked his way. “Is it your intention to reveal my secret?”
“Nope. The less said the better about that. I don’t think anyone else should know right now. People talk, even when they shouldn’t or think they aren’t, if that makes sense. Stuff is revealed unintentionally. You’re just my boyfriend who lives next door and meeting my family is the next step. Okay?”
Spock nodded. “Okay.”
He then lifted his index and middle fingers toward Jim, who for a moment frowned in confusion. Then with a shrug, he lifted his mirror fingers to Spock’s. When the pads of their fingers met, Jim felt a thrilling warmth.
Jaw dropping open he said, “What is that?”
“An intimacy between bonded couples.”
Jim smiled. “Cool.”
They stayed that way for a moment or so and once more Jim felt Spock’s presence in his mind. He wasn’t entirely sure he could get used to it, but it was not unpleasant. Not at all.
Finally, he pulled his hand away, started the car, and headed for Napa.
Jim laughed and Spock had to admit that he didn’t understand that reaction at all.
He opened his mouth to ask, but stopped when Jim suddenly buried his face in his hands and let out a rather long and loud exhale.
“Jim? Are you…well?”
“No. I mean, who would be?” Jim laughed again, but then lowered his hands from his face. His eyes looked a little wet. “This is nuts. I finally meet a guy I really like and he’s an outer space alien capable of mind control.”
Spock stiffened. “It does not work like that.”
“Maybe not. But how do I really know? Humans…or Earthlings, from now anyway, we don’t just have mind connections, bonds of that sort, with anyone else.”
“I am aware.”
Jim nodded. “And yet you look offended.”
“I am offended,” Spock agreed. “I would never attempt to control your mind or any other part of you, Jim. In your interactions with me thus far have I given you any reason to believe in any way I would seek to harm you or master you?”
“No,” Jim said, softly. “But put yourself in my shoes, Spock. If I came to where you lived and said I was from the future and we were fated mates, how would you react to that?”
“I do not know.”
“It’s just…this is a lot to process all at once.” Jim stood. “Anyway, we should probably get our stuff together and check out. We have a bit of a drive ahead of us.”
“Very well.” Spock stood too, intending to fetch his overnight bag.
Jim put his hand on Spock’s chest. “I will process it, though. I don’t know where this leaves us.”
Spock nodded. “I only know that with our being T’hy’la, it is going to be very difficult for me to be parted from you.”
“It will anyway. And I wish I could say we’ll figure this out, but I don’t know that we can or even how we would begin to. You can’t stay here. I mean, unless we can’t send you back, and God, I hope, we can.”
Spock said nothing to that.
“You must know how impossible it is for you to stay here, Spock. With that green blood—
“My heart is also in my side,” Spock explained.
Jim’s eyes widened. “Damn.
“Yes, another complication.”
“Anyway, let’s get on the road.” Jim leaned in and kissed Spock, and it was somehow even more thrilling, more poignant than even before.