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Spirk (with a small dose of Pinto)

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Let Nothing You Dismay Chapter 25

Chapter Twenty-Five: Christmas

It had been a long time since Jim had an old fashioned Christmas like this. He had vague memories of his very early childhood with Sam and his mom. But those had long since faded. They were only brief snapshots in the mind now.

Last Christmas, his mother had already been quite ill and it was hard to be festive and celebrate anything. He’d tried for Lily, but fortunately she had been young enough she cared mostly about the paper than the meager presents he’d given her.

He had vowed then that this Christmas would be different for both of them, but then he’d lost his job, and it had looked bleak again.

Not anymore.

If there was such thing as a Christmas miracle, Jim had experienced it.

They all got up early, of course.

Lily could hardly contain herself to wait and really, Jim was like a big kid himself. Only Spock came down much more sedately.

While Lily ran around the house noticing that Santa had eaten her cookies and drank her milk, Jim took the coffee Spock had made him gratefully.

A few years back his mother had given him one of those Christmas sweaters. It had a reindeer on the front that looked more like a moose really, with a string of lights hanging off his antlers. They lit up with some battery hidden in the material. He hadn’t worn it last year because as before it hadn’t been a very festive year last year, but he’d put it on this time, and was delighted by the eyebrow raise it had elicited from Spock.

“Daddy! Daddy! Santa was here!”

Jim grinned. “I know. Let’s go see what you got.”

They ran to the living room, well Lily did, Jim and Spock followed at a far slower pace, and Lily saw the pink and purple bike waiting there. She squealed with delight.

As Jim watched her fuss over the gift, his gaze strayed to his stocking hung by the chimney. Not so much with care as it was quite crooked.

But the thing that Jim noticed was that some sort of paper now stuck out of his stocking. One that had not been there when he and Spock went to bed.

With a frown, Jim went over to his stocking even as Lily started tearing through the wrapping paper of her other presents.

He pulled out the paper, unfolded it, and stared.

It was the deed to the farmhouse and it had been stamped PAID. It was all in his name.

Spock walked over to him. “Is something wrong?”

Jim waved the paper. “Do you know anything about this?”

“What is it?”

“The deed to the house. It says it’s all paid off but…Spock, did you do this?”

Spock shook his head. “I did not.”

“Are you sure? Because it wasn’t there last night and…”

“Jim, I am sure. Vulcans do not lie. I had nothing to do with that paper or paying off your house.”

“Well. What the hell?” Jim glanced at Lily. “Angel, can you come here a second?”

Lily reluctantly left the coloring book she had been leafing through to come to where he and Spock stood by the stockings.

Jim bent down and scooped her up so that she was relatively eye level with the two of them.

“Do you know who put these papers in Daddy’s stocking.”

“Santa!”

“Uh. Yeah. Not Santa. Really, who put them there?”

Lily scrunched up her face. “Santa, Daddy.”

Jim shook his head. “Did someone tell you to put them in Daddy’s stocking?”

“Nope.”

“Okay.” He exhaled. “Did you see who did then?”

“No, Daddy. But it was Santa.”

“Santa…”

“Jim,” Spock said softly. “It seems clear that Lily does not know where they came from either other than Santa Claus. As you know, you put her to bed yourself.”

Spock was right. But still.

There was no Santa. Well, other than Jim himself. So…

“Angel, was this the wish you wanted for Daddy? The one on your list?”

Lily smiled. “No, Daddy.”

“Did Daddy get the present you wanted for him from Santa?” Jim asked then.

Lily pointed to Spock, smiled and nodded.

Jim laughed. “You asked for Spock?”

“I asked Santa for a present to make Daddy happy. And he gave you Spock.”

Jim grinned as he looked toward Spock. “Yeah I guess he did. Santa’s awesome.”

Lily giggled.

“Okay, sweetie. Spock and I happen to know about a present from Santa that’s going to make you very happy. So why don’t we get it for you?”

Jim put his wiggly excited daughter down, but then turned quickly to Spock. “I meant that, by the way.”

“Which?”

“If you’re my gift from Santa I must have been very very good.” He leaned in and thoroughly kissed Spock. Then he held up the papers again. “I don’t know who’s behind this and maybe the idea someone was in the house without us knowing should freak me out, but…I thought I was going to have to sell this place when we went to San Francisco. And now? Having this place for my daughter someday?”

“Very good news.”

“Yeah. And it sure looks legit.”

“Then it probably is, Jim. Whoever is behind it, wanted it to be in the spirit of Santa, so perhaps, we should just view it that way and be thankful.”

Jim nodded. “You’re right. Let’s get that present.”

He led Lily over to the wrapped cat accessories while Spock went up to Jim’s bedroom to fetch the cat carrier which held the little orange ball of fluff.

Jim sat on the floor next to Lily as she tore open the paper on a litter box and scoop. He withheld a laugh when he could see how confused she was. Then she opened a pet bed. And then finally, a bag of kitten food.

Then Spock arrived and placed the carrier in front of her. He opened the cat carrier and the kitten tumbled out.

Lily clapped with glee. “A kitty!”

Okay, those totally weren’t tears in his eyes, Jim swore.

Spock knelt down next to him and Jim knew that Spock’s dark eyes didn’t look extra moist either. No way.

They shared a look. Of love. Of happiness. Of the future.

Together.

And somewhere sleigh bells jingled, but Jim was sure he must have imagined them.

Merry Christmas.  

Let Nothing You Dismay Chapter 24

Chapter Twenty-Four: Christmas Eve

Gad-Shen closed at noon on Christmas Eve as Spock wanted to give the staff a chance to be able to do what they wished for the holiday. It was to be closed all day for Christmas.

Spock planned to adopt the kitten for Lily and hide it until Christmas morning. This was a bit of a challenge because you couldn’t exactly wrap a kitten or expect it to be quiet while you held it in another room.

Since Spock wanted to have Christmas Eve dinner with Jim and Lily, he kept the kitten and all the stuff that went with her at his apartment over the restaurant. It would mean having to return there to fetch everything after Lily went to bed, but Jim and Spock didn’t see any other way.

So after they closed Gad-Shen, Jim went to get Lily.

Jim and Lily had decided on fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn bread for their dinner. He’d make a vegetarian past with Kreyla for Spock.

He gave Maggie a box of both her favorite cookies and candies and then brought Lily home.

She was bouncing with frenetic excitement. Jim wondered if he would ever get her to sleep. He dreaded the idea of her deciding she would stay up to catch a glimpse of Santa.

Still, Jim was going to treasure this.

With being accepted to the Academy for next fall, they’d be leaving Riverside. He’d probably have to sell this place. Either way, they wouldn’t have Christmas here again. Not for a long time. If ever. And not when Lily still believed in Santa Clause.

They had dinner when Spock arrived and then the three of them sat in the living room by the tree and the fire. Jim had some spiked eggnog, Lily hot chocolate with whipped cream and sprinkles, and Spock Christmas spiced tea.

Jim had Lily and him singing traditional Christmas tunes, but Spock abstained from that, though Jim thought it would have been amusing to hear Spock singing Deck the Halls.

When Lily finally began to yawn and then doze off, Jim scooped her up to take her to bed. He heard Spock make his temporary exit while he did so.

After dressing his angel in her favorite Christmas pajamas, Jim kissed her forehead, and turned off her light to go downstairs and do his Santa duties.

He filled her stocking, stopping to be amused how Lily had filled his and Spock’s. His had a candy cane sticking up from it too.

Then he put out her Santa wrapped presents, including the bike and kitchen.

Lily had made cookies for Santa so Jim ate those and drank the milk too. He saved a couple for Spock too.

When Spock returned, Jim saw that he had wrapped all the kitten’s accessories from Santa too.  

It was too cute and earned him a big kiss from Jim.

“God, you’re just perfect.”

Spock quirked a brow.

“Perfect for me anyway.”

“I will definitely accept that,” Spock replied. “I am certain at some point you and I will have a disagreement and you will decide I am not perfect at all.”

Jim laughed.

“Right now we are…as they say…in the honeymoon phase.”

“Yep, you’re right. I’m just as sure you’ll figure out I’m an incredibly illogical being.”

Spock’s eyes were warm. “I have already discovered that.”

Jim laughed again and kissed him. “Okay, well, I’m almost as anxious for morning as Lily no doubt is. This has turned out to be such a great time.”

“And you didn’t think it would be.”

“This has been a bad year,” Jim admitted. “Mom losing her battle with cancer. Me losing my job. I’ve always tried to keep a positive attitude. I don’t believe in no win scenarios, you know? But lately? That’s been challenged. Seeing your help wanted sign? That’s when everything changed. For the better.”

“For me as well. I believe we were drawn to each other, like I said. As we are T’hy’la. And some day, when we are both ready, I would like us to formally bond.”

Jim smiled and kissed him. “You’re definitely the best Christmas gift I’ve ever gotten.”

Let Nothing You Dismay Chapter 23

Chapter Twenty-Three: A Change of Fortune

“Hmm.”

Gaila came up behind Jim as he looked at his messages on his communication device. “What’s up, Handsome?”

“My old boss, Charlie, wants to see me after my shift today.”

“Your boss at the shipyard?”

“Uh-huh.” Jim shrugged. “Probably forgot to do some paperwork or something. I’ll have to ask Maggie to watch Lily a little bit longer.”

“Speaking of weird, who do you think that is talking to the boss?” Gaila gestured with her shoulder as she carried a stack of dishes.

Sure enough there was a man Jim had never seen before speaking with Spock in the corner of the restaurant. He had silver at his temples, and he wore a heavy overcoat. Not that surprising as it was snowing outside.

For some reason, Jim couldn’t quite figure out, he looked…official.

“No idea,” Jim admitted.

And he didn’t really feel like he could march on over and demand to know either.

In fact, shortly after they saw the guy, he and Spock went back to Spock’s office and Jim didn’t see Spock the rest of the afternoon before his shift was over and he was supposed to go see Charlie.

Fortunately for Jim, Maggie could watch Lily for a little bit longer. He really needed to give her a giant Christmas present. He was really lucky he could rely on her.

Things seemed to be bustling at the shipyard when he arrived. Seemed a bit strange considering they were going to be shutting down.

Charlie was waiting for him when he got there. He offered Jim a drink, alcohol, but Jim turned him down.

“Have a seat, Jim. I have some good news.” Charlie was grinning like the cat who’d swallowed the canary.

Jim took the seat in front of Charlie’s desk. “Shoot.”

“Come January second, we can hire you back at the yard.”

Jim stared at him. “What?”

“Starfleet was here today. Man named Christopher Pike.”

“Pike,” Jim said faintly. The name sounded familiar, but he couldn’t quite place it.

Charlie nodded. “Captain there. Anyway, Pike said after some other considerations, they changed their mind about closing this yard here in Riverside. With that in mind, we can hire you back to start right after the holidays.” Charlie sat back and rubbed his tummy. “That is if you’re interested.”

Jim grinned. “Of course I’m interested.”

“Thought you might be. I know you got the restaurant job and that’s great and all, but this one pays a lot more, and I know you got your obligations. I’d like to get you back on, Jim. I felt bad about having to let you go. Oh, and we’ll bring you on at a few dollars more an hour too. I know you were looking to get a raise.”

Jim stood and shook Charlie’s hand. “Thank you. I couldn’t be happier, This is very good news.”

“Merry Christmas, Jim. I’m glad things are looking up for all of us.”

“Me too.”

****

He had another message from Spock asking him to return to the restaurant to meet someone. Jim assumed it was the man Spock had with him.

So he once more notified Maggie, apologizing profusely, and then headed back into the main town.

Sure enough when he got back to Gad-Shen, Spock let him inside, and sitting at one of the tables was the man from before. He wasn’t wearing his coat and appeared to be drinking tea. There was a pot of it on the table along with two cups.

“Tea, Jim?” Spock offered.

“No, thanks.”

“Did you come from the shipyard?”

Jim nodded. “You know about the message from Charlie?”

“Yes. Please come meet Captain Pike.”

Well, that certainly explained a few things.

Jim stepped over to the table. “Hello. Nice to meet you, sir.”

Pike stood up and shook Jim’s hand. “Jim. It’s very nice to meet you. Sit down, please. Join us.”

Jim sat at the table with Spock and Pike.

“I knew your father, Jim. We went to the Academy together. We were friends. I knew your mom, too, though not quite as well. I’m so sorry for the loss of both of them.”

“Thank you. I appreciate that. Mom might have mentioned you before because your name sounded familiar when Charlie spoke about you. You reopened the contract with Riverside?”

Pike smiled. “I did. We ran the numbers again after Amanda Grayson contacted us.”

Jim glanced at Spock. “Your mother?”

“Indeed. She had advised me that your name sounded familiar. Apparently she was also acquainted with Captain Pike as well as your mother before her marriage to my father.”

“That’s right,” Pike agreed. “I’ve known Amanda’s family for a number of years. She explained the situation here in Riverside, so I looked into it.”

“Wow, that was really nice of her.”

“Turned out she was right. It deserved another look. I came down to explain the situation to the shipyard.” Pike paused. “And also to advise several of you who live here about the status of your applications for Starfleet Academy.”

Jim shared a glance with Spock, but Spock gave nothing away.

“Unfortunately, we have no room for new recruits for the spring coming up, but the applications for the fall semester of next year have been approved for Spock, yourself, Nyota Uhura, and Montgomery Scott.”

Excitement bubbled up in Jim and he found it a little difficult to stay still. “That’s-that’s very good news, sir.”

“Yes, I thought it might be,” Pike said with a smile. “Which is why I came to Gad-Shen to explain while I was in Riverside anyway. I thought it might be welcome news for the holiday.”

“It definitely is.”

“Spock and I are going to have dinner together in a bit. You’re welcome to join us, Jim.”

“Thank you, sir, and ordinarily I would, but it’s just a couple of days before Christmas, and I have a very excited little girl who is waiting for me to pick her up from the babysitter.”

“Spock has told me about Lily. She sounds great.” Pike stood and shook Jim’s hand. “I’ll be off for the moment as I have a few more things to clear up before I have dinner with Spock. Jim, I look forward to seeing you in San Francisco next year.”

“I’ll be there, Captain.”

Spock walked Pike to the door and let him out of the restaurant.

He turned back to Jim then. “You are pleased?”

“Hell yeah. The Academy? Wow. That’s what we both want.”

“Yes. And having to wait until Autumn will work out well with my plans for Gad-Shen. I may have to accelerate things with Gaila, but I believe it is doable.”

Jim bit his lip. “Listen. About Gad-Shen. Charlie offered me the job back at higher pay after the first and I’d really like to—”

“Jim. It is fine. I am sure I can hire someone else to wait table at the restaurant.”  

“I don’t want to leave you in a bind.”

“You won’t. And when I spoke to Captain Pike, I was aware that Charlie planned on hiring you back. I am pleased you will have that position until we leave for the Academy next year.”

Jim embraced Spock, smiling. “Things are really starting to work out.”

“Yes.”

“It’s a Christmas miracle.” Jim laughed and then kissed Spock deeply. “I better go though. I owe Maggie some flowers for watching my girl and I want to have time to get them.”

“I will see you tomorrow.”

“Christmas Eve.”

“Indeed, I will need to go to the shelter for Lily’s cat.”

‘That’s right. You’re the best, Spock. I’m so excited for all of us.”

And they shared one more kiss before Jim left to go pick up Lily.

After getting flowers of course.     

Let Nothing You Dismay Chapter 21

Chapter Twenty-One: The Kirks

Spock found himself illogically anticipating his time with the Kirks. He didn’t know how it happened, but very quickly Jim and his angel, Lily, had wrapped Spock around their little fingers.

And he was not at all displeased.

Over the last few days, Spock had investigated the distinct possibility that Jim was his T’hy’la, and if he was, as Spock suspected, being this enamored of Jim made perfect sense.

One might even say logical sense.

That might be pushing it, Spock acknowledged as he was greeted warmly by two of his three favorite humans. His mother still counted, of course.

“Spock! Spock!” Lily jumped up and down when Spock entered their house. “Daddy says you are doing a sleepover.”

Jim laughed but Spock nodded.

“Indeed.” He held up his overnight bag.

Jim came and took it from him. “I’ll put this upstairs. Be right back.”

Lily stood before him with a big smile. “I made you something.”

Spock arched a brow. “Oh?”

“A stocking! Come here.”

Spock followed her into the living room where on the mantle were attached three stockings. One for her daddy, one for her, and to Spock’s surprise, one for him. A blue one.

He was quite surprised to see that it had been filled too. There was a very large candy cane sticking out from the top.

Lily noticed his gaze. “That’s a candy cane.”

“I am aware.”

“Do you like them?” She now looked anxious and was wringing her hands. “I made sure it was vebben.”

Jim came up behind them then. “Vegan, sweetie.”

“Yes,” she agreed, as though that is what she had said. “Do you like them?” she asked again.

Spock had honestly never had one. And he didn’t want to lie to her.

“I have never had one but I am looking forward to trying it.”

Lily nodded, seeming satisfied. She fingered the stocking. “It also has nuts and oranges and…”

“Sweetie,” Jim interrupted with a laugh. “You aren’t supposed to tell him what’s in it. He’ll find out himself on Christmas. It’s a surprise.”

“Oh yeah! Sorry.” She giggled.

“Can you set the table for Daddy?”

“Sure.”

As she ran off to do so, Jim shook his head. “Non-breakable dishes. Hope that’s all right.”

“It is definitely all right. What are we having?”

“A sort of squash casserole thing with some warm bread.”

“It smells quite enticing.”

Jim cozied up to Spock. Gave him a quick kiss. “Thank you for coming. Hope the whole bar thing wasn’t too uncomfortable for you.”

“It was not,” Spock assured him.

“Good. All right. Let’s get some dinner.”    

****

The squash casserole ended up being surprisingly good considering Spock had never even heard of such a dish and afterward they all spent time in the kitchen cleaning up.

It seemed really rather domestic to Spock but all in a good way.

He was not sure what the future held exactly, but he was pretty sure for him it included Jim and his little blonde angel.

Let Nothing You Dismay Chapter 19

Chapter Nineteen: Santa Shopping

“A hundred?” Jim frowned. “Wow. That was a little more than I had intended to spend. It’s a toy. You can’t even really cook in it.”

They were standing before the elaborate pink play kitchen of Lily’s dreams.

Only sometimes the stuff dreams were made of was too costly.

“Maybe I can find it second hand or something.”

“I doubt there would be time before Christmas,” Spock said reasonably. “How much did you hope to pay?”

Jim shrugged. “Fifty? I mean I guess there are cheaper ones or something, but I know this is the one she wanted.” He blew out a breath. “This sucks. She should get this one. But I already got her the bike she wanted and that was more than I thought it would be. I can’t really justify paying this much for the kitchen.”

“Pay what you wanted to pay and I will pay the difference.”

He shook his head. “I can’t ask you to do that.”

“You are not asking, I am offering. And I wish to do it.”

“Spock—”

“Jim. Times are hard for you right now but they won’t always be. If you wish to think about paying me back for it some day you may, but I am not expecting it.  

“I’m not looking for a sugar daddy.”

“And I am not looking to be one. I do not believe that this is what this is. I believe we building a mutually beneficial relationship. Do you agree?”

“Of course, yeah.”

Spock nodded. “I have grown fond of Lily and wish to help you obtain items off her Santa list. Is that permissible?”

Jim grinned and leaned over to give Spock a very quick kiss. “Yes, it’s permissible. And-and thank you. She’s going to be thrilled.”

****

“What else is on her Santa list?” Spock asked Jim as they left the store.

Jim perused the list. “We got the kitchen. Got the dress. The bike. Barb at the depot gave me a doll for her. Got her a book about baby animals. Some pajamas. Just the cat. And whatever she wants for me.”

Spock arched a brow. “No clue?”

“Not whatsoever. Maybe a better job.” Jim laughed and then felt himself turn red. “Not that working at Gad-Shen is bad. Not at all. I meant—”

Spock’s lips twitched. “I am well aware the restaurant is not our destiny.”

Jim sighed as they put their purchases in the hover car. “I applied for Starfleet. I don’t know what will happen. What the future holds. Not at all. But…the truth is I wanted to enlist before but didn’t because Mom was so against it because of Dad.”

“George Kirk,” Spock said, softly.

“Yeah. I may not even get in but…”

“You will.”

“Thanks for the vote of confidence.”

“I would love for us to attend the Academy together. But, as you say, we do not know what the future holds.  We shall both wait and see.”

They got into the hover car.

“And now we should go to the shelter.”

Jim laughed. “Really? Spock, if we go there, we will definitely end up with a cat.”

“Likely.”

“And then what? What do we do with a cat until Christmas if Santa brings it?”

Spock shrugged. “I could keep it and then deliver it for that morning.”

“You really want to go through all that trouble, honey?”

And the horse was out of the barn before he could close the door. The horse being that endearment. Jim was extremely embarrassed too.

“That is…what I meant to say…you know what? Never mind.”

Spock arched a brow. “So you are taking back the endearment?”

Jim laughed and covered his face. “I know that was stupid. Way too soon or whatever but…”

“I do not mind.”

Jim peeked at him through his fingers. “No?”

“Why would I?”

“Because like I said, it’s probably too soon.”

Spock didn’t say anything for a moment and Jim waited, holding his breath.

“Jim, I am spending my Saturday off shopping for your little girl’s Christmas presents. I contributed to the cost of one of them and am now speaking of adopting her a pet which she will, no doubt, keep long term, even when you move to San Francisco should you attend the Starfleet Academy. I am speaking of keeping said pet in my apartment and caring for it until Christmas. I believe I have demonstrated quite well my intentions where you are concerned.”

“Boy, I’m a dunderhead,” Jim said with a laugh. “Yeah I guess you have.”

“That seems to me to warrant an endearment or two.”

“I’ll say.” Jim leaned over and kissed Spock thoroughly. “Honey.”

****

As it happened they had a little orange tabby kitten, but the shelter said the kitten wasn’t quite ready to be adopted and they ought to return two days before Christmas. That seemed perfect to Spock and Jim and so they left the shelter and took all the presents back to the farmhouse to hide in Jim’s house.

Jim then took Spock back to his place. He briefly thought about having Spock stay over but they talked about and decided with having to get up so early to start work at the restaurant, they’d have Spock stay over a different night. Shopping had wiped them out anyway.

After saying goodnight to Spock, Jim went to get Lily.

She’d been doing crafts with Maggie and proudly produced three stockings she’d ‘made’ by gluing white fake fur onto purple, gold, and blue stockings.

The purple one had her name in glitter, what a mess, Jim thought, the gold read Daddy, and finally the blue had the name Spock.

Jim picked her up and hugged her tight.

“These are beautiful.”

“What happened to Spock?” she asked.

“Well, he went home. But we’ll see that he gets this the next time we see him. Okay?”

“Okay, Daddy.”

“Thank you, Maggie. Goodnight.”

On the way home, Jim drove by several Christmas lights displays so Lily could see them. She clapped happily the whole way.

Let Nothing You Dismay Chapter 18

Chapter Eighteen: A Difficult Morning

Spock arrived to pick up Jim at just after ten in the morning.

As soon as Jim let him into the house he could see that Jim looked harried and frazzled

Lily, usually the picture of cherubic cuteness, wore an expression that was a cross between a scowl and a pout. One leg of her yellow leggings was pushed up to the knee and she had only one shoe on.  

Jim didn’t look at all like his usual smiling face.

“Sorry,” Jim said, running his hand over his unshaven jaw. “We’ve been having a difficult morning.”

“Is there something I can do to help?”

“I don’t know.” Jim finally offered him a strained smile. “We’ve been arguing all morning. She wants to come with me. I told her she couldn’t, so she threw a tantrum.”

“Such a sweet little girl,” Spock murmured.

Jim laughed. “Yeah well. Not so much today.”

Spock looked to Lily who had her arms crossed in front of her chest. “I am sorry, Lily, but I am taking your Daddy to a work meeting and children are simply not allowed.”

“Why?” she asked.

“Because it is for adults who work for the restaurant.” Spock paused. He suspected the reason Vulcans did not lie was because they were quite terrible at it. “And you are clearly neither an adult nor do you work for the restaurant.”

Lily did not reply to that and seemed uncertain.

“All right, enough of this, sweetie. We have to go and take you to Maggie’s or we’re going to be late for that meeting. That would be unfair to Spock to make him late for his own meeting.”

Jim knelt down beside her and straightened out her leggings. Her bottom lip quivered but she had lowered her arms and seemed to be resigned to not going with them.

Lily got bundled up into a coat and they all made their way out to Jim’s hover car.

The car ride to Maggie’s was mostly silent as Lily was still a little sulky to lose her argument with her daddy.

But when Jim took her out to bring her into the house, she turned to her daddy.

“Sorry, Daddy.”

Jim smiled and hugged her. “It’s all right, angel. Everyone wakes up on the wrong side of the bed sometimes. You be good for Maggie and I’ll come to pick you up as soon as I can, okay?”

“All right, Daddy.”

Jim mouthed thanks to Maggie and then returned to the car where Spock waited.

“I’m really sorry you had to deal with that. What a morning.” Jim laughed. “Very frustrating. She’s usually such a good girl.”

Spock shrugged. “I am sure all parents have to deal with days like that. I bet this is not the first time Lily has acted out.”

“No, it’s not. But she really is usually very good.”

“She just likes spending time with you. And I can hardly blame her.”

Jim’s smile widened. “Normally it wouldn’t matter that much but how can she get stuff from Santa if she’s going along?”

“Indeed. Shall we?”

“Yep. First stop the department store to look at that toy kitchen.”

“Perhaps at some point we should stop at the shelter.”

Jim’s eyes widened. “To look for a cat?”

“Yes, I think Lily would likely benefit from a pet.”

“Did you?”

“Actually, yes.”

Jim laughed. “Really? What? A dog or something? Do they have those on Vulcan?”

“Exported canines yes, but they are not natural to Vulcan. My animal companion was a Sehlat. Have you heard of them?”

Jim frowned. “Only vaguely.”

“I will have to show you pictures of the two of us some day. But for now, let us go Santa shopping.”

Jim patted Spock’s leg. “Yeah, let’s go.”       

Let Nothing You Dismay Chapter 17

Chapter Seventeen: Possibilities

“Mmm.”

Jim felt Spock’s warm hand smoothing down his torso, in a soothing way, no longer sexual. Which was good because Jim didn’t think he could handle another round just then. He was wiped out, pleasantly, but thoroughly exhausted.

“I really need to get up and go home,” Jim said after a while. “Maggie will want to go back to her own place.”

“Yes.” He heard the regret in Spock’s voice and understood it. But yes, Jim had obligations.

Spock’s hand moved away, and Jim sat up, smiling down at the sleepy Vulcan.

“You don’t have to get up. Tomorrow is Saturday, you can sleep in if you want.”

Spock’s lips curved faintly. “I do not sleep in.”

He got out of the bed with Jim and reached for clothing.

“That was…” Jim shook his head as he slipped into his pants. “I don’t even know. I felt things I never felt with anyone.”

Spock nodded. “It was the same for me.”

“Is that…well some of the stuff you were referring to before? It was like, I can’t explain, I was floating, and we were…connected in…I’m not explaining it well.”

“I…believe so. It is…”

“Is that normal for Vulcans?”

“Yes and no.”

Jim laughed. “Well, that’s cryptic.”

“I know,” Spock replied. “It is all very uncertain to me as well. Vulcans form bonds.”

“Yeah, I know that. Are you saying we have? They aren’t spontaneous, are they?” Jim finished dressing by pulling his sweater on over his head.

“Not generally, no. But there are more rare ones that might. Though I do not believe ours formed spontaneously exactly.”

Jim stared at Spock. “Ours? Then we do have one?”

“That is not what I mean, exactly. Please. I need time to explore what this means myself.”

“Okay.” He went to Spock and kissed him. “Okay. I’m not freaking out and you shouldn’t either. It’s just that was amazing on a level I never even thought was possible. We’ve only known each other a short time.”

“Yes,” Spock agreed. “Are you able to drive your hover car home or should I take you?” Spock paused. “I could drive your hover car to your home, then come back with it tomorrow when we go Santa Claus shopping. We can even tell Lily as we drop her off that we must have a work meeting.”

Jim smiled. “Yeah that sounds like a great idea. I don’t feel too drunk anymore but there’s no reason to take chances if you don’t mind.”

“Not at all or I would not have put forth the suggestion.”  

A short time later, they bundled up into Jim’s car and Spock headed to the farmhouse.

Jim had to smile at the Christmas lights framing the outside of his house. He might have teetered off the ladder and been saved by his very own version of a hero, but the house looked good. Great. Special for Lily. And that’s what mattered. Some day Lily would be older and probably not care about such things, so Jim made it special for her while could.

Jim leaned over and kissed his hero.

“Thanks. For everything. I had an amazing night.”

“As did I,” Spock murmured, returning the kiss. “And I will see you tomorrow for shopping.”

“And you still want to?”

“More than ever,” Spock assured him.

“You’re just about perfect.”

“Hardly. Good night, Jim.” And he kissed Jim once more both on the lips and with his hands.

Jim got out and rushed to the house, aware Spock waited for him to get inside before leaving.

“Hey,” Jim greeted Maggie.

She put a finger to her lips. “Your girl’s asleep on the couch.”

Jim grinned. “Thanks for everything.”

“You had a nice time?”

“The best.”

Maggie smiled, and kissed his cheek. “Then you are very welcome. It’s only what your mama would have done.” She got her coat and scarf and made to leave. “Bringing her by tomorrow, right?”

“Yep. So I can go shopping.”

“See you then.”

And Maggie was off.

Jim went to the living room, scooped up his angel and brought her upstairs to bed.

Let Nothing You Dismay Chapter 14

Chapter Fourteen: On the Way to the Next Level

Spock had never been the nervous type. There was no logic to it.

And yet, as he waited for the arrival of Jim to his current place of residence, he had a fluttering in his stomach that might be related to nerves.

Because he planned to run Gad-Shen in Riverside temporarily, he had rented a studio apartment situated on top of the restaurant. There was a small staircase on the side of the building that accessed the front door of the studio.

As typical of most Terran studio apartments, his living quarters was basically one large room with no discernable separated rooms, save for the bathroom and a small closet to hang coats. Spock had placed a sofa and a lamp by the window that overlooked the street Gad-Shen faced, then a few feet from there he had placed a full sized bed and a dresser. Then there was the kitchen which was made up of a stove, a sink, and a refrigerator.

It was all very simple, but it was suitable and efficient for Spock’s current circumstances.

His pulse quickened when he heard footsteps on the stairs leading to his door. He had seen Jim only a short time ago at the restaurant, and yet, yes, Spock was filled with a certain anxious anticipation.

Spock was not at all without experience, but he found Jim to be more attractive than anyone he’d ever encountered and he also found himself feeling a rather interesting connective warmth whenever he touched Jim, even briefly. He had a theory as to the reason behind this very pleasing warmth, and he hoped to be able to test it that very evening.

He had moved to stand by the door when Jim tapped lightly on it.

Jim had dressed in a maroon pullover sweater and black pants, no doubt in deference to the chilly evening. It had been overcast all day and the restaurant staff had even speculated about the possibility of the first snow of the season.

“Welcome, Jim.” Spock stepped back to let Jim inside.

“Thanks. It’s getting really cold.” Jim rubbed his hands together. His cheeks were a becoming shade of red.

“What can I get you to drink?”

“What do you have?”

“I actually have a small bottle a red blend wine if you are interested.”

Jim blinked in surprise. “You have wine?”

“Yes. Though I admit I obtained it for you in anticipation of this evening.”

“Then by all means, I’ll have some.”

Spock opened the bottle and poured Jim a glass in a water goblet, since that was the only kind of glass he had there in the apartment. As he handed the goblet to Jim, Spock made sure their fingers brushed. He felt that same warmth immediately. Jim showed no outward signs that he experienced the same sensation, however.

“Thank you.” Jim took a sip, then nodded his approval. “What’s on the menu?”

“A Vulcan version of ramen noodles,” Spock replied.

Jim laughed. “That’s great. I love ramen.”

“I have included stir fried vegetables too. You may sit there on the sofa and relax with your wine while I finish up.”

“Okay, sure.”

Jim looked good sitting in Spock’s apartment, even though Spock knew it was no permanence there. To the apartment, of course. Jim and himself was a different story. Certainly he hoped so if what he suspected was true.

But he was, perhaps, getting ahead of himself. He had to get through dinner, and then, he hoped, something more.

Yes, Spock realized. He’d been using that word a lot in his mind.

Hope.

Let Nothing You Dismay Chapter 13

Chapter Thirteen: Time with Lily

Fortunately, they did work, and with a little bit of help from Spock, Jim got the front of the house looking very festive, waving light up Santa, and all.

Once back inside the house, Jim made some cocoa for Lily, coffee for himself, and  tea for Spock.

Lily decided to show Spock some of the Christmas cookies they made.

“See, this little bear? I did him.”

“Very nice,” Spock replied. He pointed a long finger at a smeared Santa Clause cookie. The white and red had mixed. His eyes had big black rings around them, and his smile looked like it belonged on a Halloween pumpkin. “What happened here?”

Lily giggled. “Daddy did that one.” She pointed at an angel Jim had done. “This one too.”

Spock arched a brow. “That is likely the ugliest cookie I have ever seen.”

“Hey!” Jim laughed. “Geez.”

He saw Spock’s lips quirk.

“Daddy doesn’t do pretty cookies.”

“I can see that,” Spock said. “Is that a Vulcan cookie?” He pointed to one with pointed ears.

“No silly! That’ s an elf.”

“Oh.”

“You don’t make Vulcan cookies for Christmas.”

The way she said it made Jim think there might be an occasion when one did make Vulcan cookies, but he decided not to question it. 

Lily nodded then and then turned away from the kitchen. “I wanna show you my drawing!” And she was off toward the living room.

Jim scooted closer to Spock and hooked his fingers into the belt loop of Spock’s pants to pull him even closer.

“Didn’t thank you properly for my rescue.”

“What is a proper thank you?” Spock murmured.

Jim grinned and kissed Spock. It was just a quick one, but it left his lips feeling warm and tingly.

“That’s perhaps a little too proper,” Spock said with a slight smile.

Jim laughed. “Well, the best I can do right now. But speaking of, Maggie’s coming over here Friday to stay with Lily. They’ll make a gingerbread house while I’m gone. So after I get off work, I’ll get Lily and bring her here and then later Maggie will come over and then I’ll come to your place.”

Spock nodded. “That will work perfect.”

“Saturday I’m going to drop her off at Maggie’s again so I can do some Christmas shopping.” Jim hesitated. He didn’t want to monopolize Spock’s time but…”You wouldn’t want to come with me then would you? I know shopping for kid stuff isn’t thrilling or anything—

“I would like to come.”

Jim smiled. “Yeah?”

Lily came running into the kitchen, holding a paper she had been coloring earlier.  “Look! I drew a reindeer.”

Spock looked. Even kept a straight face. It didn’t really look like a reindeer. Just rather a brown blob with spots.

“Very impressive.”

Lily beamed. “Want to help me color? You could do some yourself.”

“Lily—”

“Certainly, I will.”

“Yay!  Daddy can get the pizza while we color.”

“Now I don’t remember saying for sure we could get pizza,” Jim protested.

Lily looked at Spock, rather slyly. “You like pizza, don’t you, Spock?”

Jim could see that Spock wanted to sigh in resignation.

“Pizza is all right,” Spock said, clearly unable to lie.

But it was enough for Lily. “See, Daddy?”

Jim rolled his eyes. “All right. This time. But we aren’t eating pizza every night, Lily.”

“Course not, Daddy.” She grabbed Spock’s hand and dragged him out to the living room where her coloring stuff was.

“Course not, Daddy,” Jim said with a sigh. And went to look for the number for the pizza delivery place.

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