Jim sat alone at a two-seater table in the corner of a canteen restaurant on Space Station 12. He had his PADD with him, but at that moment he was people watching.
Half-listening for the beep from his PADD when he received a new message. He was waiting for one from Spock.
They’d been parted now for nearly four months and it was wearing on him.
Jim hadn’t accepted retirement, but he had accepted that he wouldn’t be captain of a starship anymore. Instead he was acting as the military head of this very space station.
And Spock had taken on the ambassadorial duties of his father when Sarek had been too unwell to complete them. Spock was spending his time between Earth, New Vulcan, and Space Station 12. And it seemed to Jim that his location got the least amount of attention from Spock.
Jim got it. He did. And it wouldn’t be forever.
The blood he’d received from Khan all those years prior had insured he would live a life far more matched to Spock’s and for that he was grateful. But he would very much like to spend that life with Spock more often.
Last time Spock was here, he’d been there only a month before leaving for New Vulcan. Jim had traveled four months ago for a visit with Spock on Earth, for a mere two weeks, and he’d had to return.
He spotted the Human woman the minute she’d entered the canteen. She was dressed all in shiny silver, a mini skirt with a halter top. Her white hair was pulled back in a pony-tail reminiscent of the way Uhura had once worn hers. Dangling from her ears were large silver hoop earrings. Even her makeup was silver, glittery. And she looked his way.
When she reached him, she sat down without invitation.
“Jody. I wasn’t aware you were on the Station.” Which annoyed him. He should be alerted to all who arrived. Some security.
She smirked. “Sorry, sir. I should have let you know I was coming. You’re alone?”
He shrugged. ”Unless you’re sitting on someone very tiny.”
Jody laughed. “You haven’t changed.”
“Did you expect I would?”
“No.” She sighed. “Where is he?”
“In class. He doesn’t get out for another two hours.” Jim sighed and picked up his coffee cup, taking a sip, then grimacing when it was cold. “He’ll be glad to see you.”
“What about you, Jim? Are you glad?”
“That ship sailed, as you know.”
“True. I’m just passing through. I’ll be on my way tomorrow, so you needn’t worry I’ll overstay my welcome.”
“Where are you off to?”
“I’ve taken a job on Caltos 6. Six-months. I wanted to see my son before I went.”
He nodded. “As I said, he’ll be glad to see you.”
“Where’s your husband?”
“You two, always busy.”
Jody, of course, had been Jim’s mistake before he and Spock ever got together. Back on a place just like this. Yorktown. They’d spent a few weeks together pretending to have a romance, Jim supposed. It was only ever sex for him as he loved Spock even back then, but he had liked her.
But then after she left, after it was over, she informed Jim she’d gotten pregnant. Their son, Thomas, stayed with Jim fulltime. Jody didn’t want to be tied down to a child, she’d been clear about that, but she did visit Thomas when she could, and they did have a loving if somewhat distant relationship.
“I’m waiting to hear from him now.”
“He’s coming to the canteen?”
“No. He’s on New Vulcan.”
“Oh.” She nodded. “I’ve got some things to take care of. Can I meet you at Thomas’ school in a couple of hours? Maybe we can have take-out together at your apartment.”
She smiled, stood, and leaned down to kiss his forehead. “See you in a bit, Admiral.”
Jody turned around and walked right into a tall, thin Vulcan.
Jim stood up immediately, aware he was grinning like a fool. “Spock!”
Spock arched a brow at Jody and stepped around her to accept Jim’s embrace.
“I was waiting for your message.”
“I decided to surprise you,” Spock said. He looked at Jody. “Clearly this is your day to be surprised.”
“Nice to see you again, Spock,” Jody said. “Don’t worry I am leaving again tomorrow.”
“I was not, in fact, worried.”
“She’s going to eat with the family tonight. She wanted to see Tommy before she’s off on a six-month assignment,” Jim explained.
“She will be welcome.”
Jody laughed. “Doubtful, but I appreciate the sentiment. I will see you soon.”
Jim watched her walk away. He put his hands on Spock’s arms. ”Sorry about that. She did surprise me.”
“It is not your fault. And I am actually glad I will be here for her visit.”
“I don’t think I need protecting from Jody.”
Spock gave him a reproachful look. “I do not think she will attack you, but I wish to be there with my family.”
Jim linked his arm with Spock’s. “And we want you there, too. How long are you here this time?”
“For the foreseeable future, Ashaya.”
And now with Spock beside him, Jim knew he was ready to face anything. Even his son’s mother.