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Spirk (with a small dose of Pinto)

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Let Nothing You Dismay Chapter 12

Chapter Twelve: Rescue Me

“Okay.” Jim glanced at the top of the house. He stood next to the ladder he had dragged out of the barn. On the ground next to the ladder was a tangle of outdoor lights.

This might be the last time they decorated this house, Jim thought. And yeah, a huge part of him was sad about this. This farmhouse had been in his family for generations and it sure didn’t feel good to be the one who lost it. Who had to sell it. But they’d needed the money for his mom’s treatments, and he hadn’t regretted that. He hadn’t known what the future held. Hell, no one did.

“Okay,” he said again. He wasn’t fond of heights. Or climbing ladders. In the past when they’d put out Christmas lights, his mom had been the one to climb the ladder. And yeah, he felt a little ashamed over that. But just a little. “Just have to climb up here and get these lights hooked up to those little hooks that are already there.”

“Maybe you should wait for Spock,” Lily said.

He glanced down at her. “I don’t need him to do it. I can do it.”

Lily raised both brows, but Jim decided to ignore her. He bent down and picked up the tangled lights. He bit his lip.

“It’s not even that high,” he said out loud.

Blowing out a breath, he smiled at her, and then started up the ladder.

“Be careful, Daddy!”

Jim reached the top of the ladder and did not look down. He exhaled again and unraveled the first part of the string of lights, carefully hooking the line up to the hooks that remained on the house from previous years. He worked slowly and methodically. And to his ridiculous amount of pride, finished it all along the arch above the door.

“There! Ta da!”

“Ta da!” Lily exclaimed.

Jim grinned and began to come down the ladder, but as he descended he missed a step and his whole body went crooked. He was going to fall.

“Daddy!”

Jim heard the fear in his daughter’s voice and his own heart beat hard in his chest. He tried to balance himself, overcompensated, and began careening faster off the ladder. He closed his eyes as he began to fall.

He braced himself for the impact of hitting the hard ground, likely to cause himself broken bones or other significant injuries.

But it never happened.

Jim landed in the arms of Spock, who remarkably had arrived, literally, in the nick of time.

“Daddy!” Lily cried again.

Jim met the wide dark eyes of his Vulcan rescuer, who still had him cradled in his arms. He sucked in a shaky breath.

“Th-thanks.”

“You are…welcome.”

Spock set Jim down on the ground carefully and Lily launched herself at him.

“Daddy.”

Jim scooped her up, his legs still shaky, and held her close as she cried.

“I’m okay, angel. I’m okay,” he whispered as she hiccupped.  

She hugged him tighter.

“Shh.”

“I love you, Daddy.”

“I love you too.”

She whispered in his ear, “He saved you.”

Jim smiled. “He did. Would you like to thank him?”

Lily nodded.

Jim turned to Spock. “Lily would like to say something to you, Spock.”

She held her arms out for Spock to take her and without missing a beat, Spock did, reaching out and pulling her into his arms. She put her little arms around Spock’s neck.

“Thank you for saving my daddy.”

Jim wiped the moisture from his eyes.

“You are very welcome, Lily. Any time,” Spock told her.

Jim glanced up at his handiwork. “Looks good.”

Lily, still held by Spock, turned to look. “Hope they work.”

Jim laughed. Wiped his eyes again. “Me too, angel. Me too.”

Let Nothing You Dismay Chapter 11

Chapter Eleven: Thinking Ahead

Jim’s schedule at Gad-Shen ended up with him having Wednesdays off in addition to the Saturdays that the restaurant was closed.

So for Wednesday, he could watch Lily himself.

While she played by the tree with one of the dolls he’d given her for her last birthday, Jim searched on his PADD for other work. While working at Gad-Shen was a Godsend, it really was, he wasn’t sure it could sustain them for long term. And if Spock wasn’t going to run Gad-Shen himself after a while, Jim didn’t even know if he’d be kept on.

Or if the restaurant would be successful. Many were not. And times were currently pretty tough in Riverside with Starfleet pulling their contract. Come spring, it would be more than Jim out of work. With people out of work, he wasn’t sure how many customers would be patronizing Gad-Shen.   

Truth be told, it didn’t hurt to plan ahead.

Before Ruth and his assistance in her having a child, Jim had dreams of enlisting in Starfleet himself one day. His father, George Kirk, had been a famous captain back before Jim was born, but he’d been killed in action.

Winona, Jim’s mom, hadn’t wanted either of her sons to follow in George’s footsteps. Eventually, Sam had left Riverside behind, becoming a research scientist on some planet light years away or whatever. He hadn’t even come back when their mother had died of cancer.

Jim had put off enlisting because of his mother’s feelings, and then, Ruth came along with her request, and then Lily was born, and her mama died.

Jim supposed he couldn’t ever be a captain of a starship like his father had been with Lily to care for, but perhaps, maybe, there were other things he could do in Starfleet, maybe headquarters in San Francisco.

So Jim, faintly smiling, as Lily chattered to herself and the doll, Jim sent in his application for the Academy. It was a long shot and he wouldn’t get in any earlier than spring, maybe not then, but well, it was what it was.

And in the meantime, he would look for jobs in San Francisco.

Sure, it would mean uprooting Lily and their life to the city. He’d have to sell this place, but he didn’t do much with it anyway. Jim wasn’t a farmer.

He’d also checked with Maggie and she was willing to watch Lily Friday night. She planned on coming here to the house and they’d make gingerbread houses and watch movies until Jim came home from his date.

Yeah, because whatever Jim got up to with Spock, and he had a pretty good idea what that was going to be, he planned to be home to put his angel to bed at night like he always did.

He also had to have time one of these days to do some Santa shopping for Lily. He wasn’t sure about adopting a cat for her as they might be moving, but he’d consider it. She did love kitties whenever she saw them.

No prospects for jobs anywhere near Riverside, so Jim closed out of it with a sigh. He’d look again, but for now, he had the restaurant job at least for the holidays and a bit beyond.

“What do you want for dinner, Lily?” Jim asked, leaning back against the couch.

He’d put his parents old tree by the family room window that faced the front yard. He’d strung the new lights on it and put a few sparse ornaments on it, leaving most for the main tree. He considered that he ought to put some lights on the house itself and if he was going to do that, he should before it got dark.

“Pizza!”

Jim laughed. “That doesn’t sound very nutritious.”

“No,” Lily agreed. “Sounds yummy though.”

“Well. We’ll see. Daddy’s going to go put some lights on the outside of the house.” Jim stood. “You want to come help?”

Lily nodded and stood. “Maybe Spock can help too.”

“Spock?”

“Yeah, you could ask him over. Maybe he’d like pizza too, Daddy.”

Jim looked at the time. It was just after two and the restaurant would be closed. He shrugged. Sent a message.

“We’ll see what he says.” Jim glanced outside. Looked cold. “Let’s get your coat on.”

And as he was getting her bundled up, he received Spock’s response.

“He’s coming.”

Let Nothing You Dismay Chapter 10

Chapter 10: An Explanation

One thing Spock could say about Jim was that if you had his attention, you felt it to your core. He had this way of just focusing on every word, those blue eyes just staring, filled with intelligence and interest and likely a million other things. Having such focused attention from someone as gorgeous as Jim was a bit overwhelming.

Spock decided to look at the Christmas tree rather than the man sitting so close to him on the catch he could feel the warmth radiating off of him.

“Solek’s father was from Riverside.”

Jim chuckled softly. And again he was so close Spock felt his breath. It was not at all unpleasant. “Iowa?”

“Yes,” Spock replied. He swallowed. “He was Human. Solek’s mother was half Vulcan and half…” Spock paused. It was an unusual pairing, Spock knew this. “Klingon.”

“Vulcan and Klingon?”

“Indeed. Her parents were rather the Romeo and Juliet of their families. Their ability to have a child was not easy, but they finally were able to have Solek’s mother.  Neither the Vulcans nor the Klingons welcomed her, but the Human from Riverside did. They fell in love, married, and had Solek. She obtained a position at the Vulcan Science Academy on Vulcan and it was there on Vulcan that I became acquainted with him.”

“A boyfriend?”

Spock shook his head. “A friend only, for we were just boys when first we met. And it never developed a more emotional attachment than friends. We became friends because no one else would be our friends. Solek endured even more animosity than I did, but I believe for the most part he handled it better. He wished to leave Vulcan to settle on Earth where his father was from. When Solek was only a boy, his father died. He never could handle the atmosphere on Vulcan and the usual methods and treatments for adapting were unsuccessful, and eventually Solek’s father ceased to breathe.”

Jim frowned and gasped. “That is awful.”

“Yes,” Spock agreed. “But Solek dreamed of living here and away from what he had to deal with on Vulcan, but his mother would not leave while he was a child. Solek had plans to open a restaurant in Riverside. He loved to cook and had taken many courses in management as well. But before he could make his dream a reality, Solek fell ill himself. His illness proved to be fatal and as he was dying he made me promise, similar I suppose to promises you made to Ruth, to see that is dream came true, and that his restaurant, Gad-Shen, be opened here as he wished. And so, that is what I have done. Much to the extreme disapproval of my father. He wished for me to go to the Vulcan Science Academy.”

“Well. What you have done is really admirable, Spock. What a great thing to do for your friend.”

“In a year to two years, I will turn it over to someone else I have groomed to make it a success and then my own plan is to enlist in Starfleet Academy.”

Jim smiled. “They’ll be lucky to have you.”

Spock touched Jim’s hands, brushing his fingers along the Humans. He stood up. “And now, I really ought to go. Please consider when you might come to where I am staying. Friday would be ideal, if possible, considering Gad-Shen is closed Saturdays.”   

Jim followed Spock to the door. “Yes, I’ll definitely find out and let you know. Thanks for coming.”

“Thank you for the invitation. You and your daughter are very appealing.”

Jim smiled. “That deserves a goodnight kiss.”

Spock warmed at the idea and eagerly returned the kiss when Jim pressed his hot, chapped lips against his. His cupped Jim’s jaw, stroking his thumb along Jim’s bottom lip, and then kissed him once more.

“Goodnight, Jim.”

“Night, Spock.”

Spock noticed that Jim waited until he was in his hover car and pulling away before he closed his door.

Let Nothing You Dismay Chapter 8

Chapter Eight: Spock Arrives for Dinner

Spock pulled his hover car up in front of the address Jim had given him. The dwelling was a modest ranch-style farmhouse. There was quite a bit of land attached to it, but as far as Spock could see Jim didn’t utilize it.

He turned off the car in front of the home and got out. There was a chill in the air and Spock could see his own breath. There were definitely elements of Vulcan he quite missed.

Spock approached the front door which had two small steps leading up to it. To the right of it was a light up deer. The kind of ubiquitous deer seen just about anywhere rather than an actual caribou, the true reindeer. On the left was a lit Santa Claus who slowly raised his hand as though he was waving at passersby. On the front door was a wreath decorated with silver and gold bells and holly.

He rapped on the door.

Thirty two point three seconds later, Jim opened the door to greet him. He looked as though he had possibly showered. He wore one of those Christmas sweaters everyone referred to as ugly, this one decorated with a melting snowman. The blue background of the sweater brought out the intensity of Jim’s blue eyes and for a moment Spock was nonplussed.

He absolutely knew he found Jim very attractive, and after what he’d told Spock the day before regarding his daughter and the woman who gave birth to her, of extremely admirable character.

But that warm, welcoming smile was something else.

“Good evening, Jim.”

“Hi, Spock.  Come in before you freeze out there.”

Spock did and was quite pleased he had, for the home exuded warmth and wrapped Spock up in it. It was brightly lit. The heat was on. Holiday music played in the background. And in the living room was a decorated cheerful Christmas tree. Looked like something out of a holiday movie.

Spock could even smell gingerbread baking.

Standing in the kitchen was the most adorable human child Spock had seen. She had long blonde ringlets and her father’s blue eyes. Her cheeks were chubby and faintly dusted pink. She wore red and green striped feety pajamas with a teddy bear on the top.

Jim followed Spock’s gaze and grinned. “There’s my angel. Let me introduce you.”

Jim put his hand on Spock’s arm and moved him forward. Spock could feel the heat of Jim’s hand through his shirt.

“Lily this is Daddy’s friend, Spock. Spock this is my girl, Lily.”

“Hello Lily.”

“Hello Mister Spock.” She lisped just a little. It was very cute and sweet. “Daddy made pasghetti.”

“I can smell it. It smells good.”

“It’s vegemarian.”

Jim laughed. “Vegetarian, sweetie.”

She nodded, as though that was exactly what she said.

“Want to come see our tree?”

Spock tilted his head. “It would be my pleasure.”

“Yeah, you two do that while I get dinner ready.” Jim waved them in the direction of the living room.

Lily put her hand out to take Spock’s and after a quick blink, Spock took her hand and allowed her to lead him to the tree.

Let Nothing You Dismay Chapter 7

Chapter Seven: Moving Forward

Jim’s second day went much easier than the first. But it was even busier. Apparently word of mouth was already spreading through the locals and Gad-Shen was swamped with people wanting to try the new restaurant.

Jim barely had a chance to breathe, but he was pleased he didn’t drop anything, and even managed to get customers their food, hot and everything.

He didn’t speak much with Gaila or Uhura as they’d all been too busy, but he did catch Uhura giving him dirty looks, so he guessed she had discovered Spock’s interest in him.

Well, Jim wouldn’t apologize because Spock made his own choices, and Jim liked him too, so whatever.

As the day wore on, Jim had an idea about having dinner with Spock. He hadn’t yet asked Maggie or anyone else about watching Lily, and if Spock didn’t go for his current idea, he certainly would.

But he couldn’t bring it up until after shift, and just as the day was nearing closing time, Gaila took him aside.

“Hey, Jim, we were going to go have a quick drink after work. Uhura and me. Want to join us?”

“Normally I’d probably say yes but…” Jim looked in Spock’s direction. Currently he was at a table of diners speaking with them. They appeared to be packing up to go boxes.

Gaila followed his gaze. She raised her eyebrows. “Oh? You work fast, my friend.”

Jim rolled his eyes. “I’m not working. Not at that anyway. I’d go next time. Just not today. Someone watches my daughter, so I really need some advance notice. I can’t keep expecting Maggie to take care of Lily like it’s not my responsibility.”

“Okay, okay. Don’t bust a fuse, man.” Gaila laughed. “Next time for sure. I’ll tell you in advance. Maybe Mister Wonderful will come too.”

Jim’s only answer was to stick out his tongue. Mature, sure. But he smiled and moved on.

It was another thirty minutes before everyone else had left and he had Spock to himself to ask.

“So.”

Brilliant start, Kirk.

“Yes, Jim?”

He blew out a slow breath. “I was…about dinner. I know this might be, um, something you don’t want to do or whatever, but I was thinking you could, maybe, come over tonight to my house and I could make you dinner. You could meet Lily. And then I wouldn’t have to find someone to watch her. I know it’s crazy. Right? Way too soon or something. You know what? Never mind, I’ll just…”

Jim.”

He turned back around and looked at Spock, who seemed rather amused by his rambling invitation and then take back.

“I would like to come.”

It took a moment for Jim to realize Spock was accepting and not laughing in his face. Not that Vulcans laughed. Much.

“Yeah?” It came out kind of squeaky. He cleared his throat. “That would be great. I’ll just give you the, uh, the address. You can come, I don’t know, around six?”

“Yes, I will be there. I look forward to it.”

“I’m not a fancy cook or anything.”

Spock nodded. “I am not a fancy eater. I am vegetarian, however. Not vegan, but I will not eat meat.”

“Oh I know. Sure. Okay. Great. See you then.”

After giving Spock the address,  Jim escaped before Spock could change his mind.

Let Nothing You Dismay Chapter 6

Chapter Six: A Vulcan’s Curiosity

Spock wasn’t even sure what had possessed him to ask Jim Kirk for tea, except that he found himself very curious about the young man.

And attracted to him. Jim was extraordinarily attractive. There was simply no denying it. With his sandy colored hair, blue eyes, and engaging smile. It didn’t hurt that he had a very nice body and a cute butt too.

Yeah, well. Spock was a bit of a butt man.

At first, Spock had believed Jim to be only interested in females, but he hadn’t failed to notice the interest in Jim’s eyes when he looked at Spock, so he felt safe in asking Jim out. For just something as casual as tea at first.

The teashop was just a few store fronts down from Gad-Shen. Spock frequented it since coming to Riverside to open the restaurant.

In all honesty, opening a restaurant was not Spock’s dream or inclination. It wasn’t where he saw himself in a few years. But he’d made a promise to his one and only friend growing up on Vulcan. Another Vulcan named Solek. During their childhood friendship Solek had shared many times with Spock that he wished one day to open a Vulcan themed restaurant on Earth someday. Like Spock, Solek was only part Vulcan. Only a quarter actually, so he’d been bullied ever more than Spock. Solek’s father was from Riverside, Iowa, and it was there that Solek wanted to open his restaurant.

But less than a year ago, Solek became ill and had asked Spock on his death bed, basically, to open the restaurant Gad-Shen in his place. Spock knew he would not run it forever, but he would get it established, and successful, as Solek had dreamed of and was unable to accomplish.

And the fact that Spock chose to go to Earth to open Gad-Shen for Solek had annoyed Sarek no end.

Jim chose the holiday themed gingerbread tea and Spock chose orange spice.

There were only a couple of tables in the shop for two people and Spock chose one for them to sit.

“What is your daughter’s name?”

“Lily.” Jim smiled. “I call her my angel.”

“I saw her from across the street. She was precious.”

“Thank. She’s even cuter in person.”

It was quite clear how much Jim loved his daughter. And that, of course, made Spock even more curious. Or nosey his mother might say.

“Are you divorced from her mother?”

Jim put sugar and milk in his tea, then picked it up and leaned back in the chair. “Nah. There’s a bit of a story there.”

“I do not wish to pry but I admit I am curious.”

Jim smiled and waved his hand. “I don’t mind telling. I had a friend, Ruth. She came to me one day and said she wanted to have a baby and would I help her out. At the time, it was understood that Ruth would raise her on her own. She knew I like guys, so my role was just as the sperm donor so to speak. Ruth was inseminated in a laboratory.”

Spock blinked at him. “I had assumed…”

“Everybody does. You’re not alone. Well, unless you already know me, I guess. Anyhow, the procedure was successful, and Ruth got pregnant with Lily. During that time she took me aside and asked me if anything ever happened to her, would I take care of Lily?”

“That is a lot of responsibility when you thought you were just assisting her with having a child,” Spock said, musingly.

“Yep,” Jim agreed. “And I’ll tell you the truth, Spock, it didn’t really occur to me that she was asking me this because she already knew then that she was sick.”

Spock stared at him. “She what?”

“Uh-huh. Ruth found out she had a fatal illness in her second trimester. She didn’t tell me. I thought she was just asking, generally, you know if when Lily was twelve and she got hit by a hover bus or something.” Jim shook his head. “Not that I thought that would happen either. But I didn’t think she had asked me for a real reason. And Lily was mine, you know, because I donated. Ruth didn’t really have anyone else. Her parents had both died and she had no siblings. I think that was why she wanted Lily in the first place. To have a family when she didn’t have one.”

“But to hide the truth from you.”

“Yeah.” Jim nodded. “I agreed, obviously. And maybe that was my mistake. Should have asked more questions. I was young and stupid, and I wanted to help her. She was my friend. Anyway, after Lily was born, I learned the truth. Ruth only lived six months after Lily was born, and I’ve had my angel ever since.”

“That is very admirable.”

Jim smiled. “Not really. And what else could I do? I couldn’t have her go to foster care. Something like that? So, there’s nobody but me. And her. For a while, my mom helped me. And then she got sick too. Cancer. So…now it literally is just me and Lily. When the shipyard laid me off…” Jim blew out a breath. “Times are hard here. If not for seeing your sign, I guess we’d have to go somewhere else to find work. So, thank you.”

“It is my pleasure. And thank you for explaining. It all makes a lot more sense now.”

Jim looked at his watch then. “I really should go pick up Lily. But this was great, thank you.”

“I would like to have a formal date soon if you are able. Dinner at some point?”

“Sure, let me arrange for someone to watch Lily and I’ll let you know.”  

Let Nothing You Dismay Chapter 5

Chapter Five: First Day/Date

Jim’s first day at Gad-Shen proved to be very challenging.

He dropped and broke two plates, one of which had food on it. He was sure that Spock was going to tell him at the end of the day he was fired.

The other wait staff, Gaila, a fun and flirty Orion female, and Nyota Uhura, a regal Human female, seemed to know way more about working in such an industry then he did.

Jim noticed that whenever Uhura was not waiting on someone, she was chatting up Spock. Gaila apparently noticed it too for she smiled with amusement and nudged Jim.

“She’s wasting her time.”

“Hmm?”

“Nyota. Spock’s sexual preference is males. He’d be much more likely to be into you then into her.” Gaila laughed and winked. “Literally.”

“Geez.” Jim felt himself blush. “Stop that.”

She laughed again. But she moved on to wait on someone who had just arrived.

When the day was over, Jim found himself in the kitchen talking to the chef, Montgomery Scott—Scotty—as they both cleaned up for the day.

“How’d it go, laddy?”

“Pretty bad I think,” Jim admitted. “Broke a couple plates. He’s probably gonna fire me.”

“Nah, not likely. Just your first day, Jim. He’ll cut you some slack. Don’t you worry.”

“I hope so. I really need this job.”

Scotty nodded. “Heard you lost your job at the shipyard.”

“Yeah. It was a good one while it lasted.” Jim shook his head. “My luck doesn’t always run good though. Still I can’t let it get me down too much. Lily deserves a dad who will keep thing safe and fun for her.”

“You’ll be okay, Jim. I’m sure of it.”

“Thanks Scotty. What’s a guy like you doing here anyway? Do you have chef’s training?”

“I do, yeah. Back in Scotland. I actually went to join Starfleet Academy in San Francisco. Wanted to lean engineering.”

Jim leaned against the nearest wall. “Yeah? What happened?”

“Was denied,” Scotty said, matter-of-factly. “Told they had no room. Apply again next year.” He sighed. “I didn’t want to go back. Met up with Spock and we got to talking. Said I could work here in the meantime while I waited for my next chance.”

“I’m sorry about the Academy.”

“Yeah, it is what it is.” Scotty surveyed him. “What about you, Jim? Ever thought about enlisting?”

“A long time ago, sure. Now? I don’t know. With Lily to care for, it’s hard. And I’ve heard how difficult it is to get in. Even before you told me your situation.”

“Understood. Well, I’ve got this under control, Jim. You can go ahead and go home. See you tomorrow?”

Jim grinned. “I sure hope so.”

He left the kitchen and noticed that Uhura and Gaila had already left. Spock was straightening a few last empty tables, setting them up for the morning again.

“Need help with that?” Jim asked.

Spock glanced at him. “If you do not mind. It would make it go quicker.”

“Sure thing.”

Jim went over to the tables in the corner Spock was working on setting up. “Uh. So. Sorry about the plates.”

“A small matter.”

“Maybe.  I don’t know. I’m not usually that clumsy.”

“You did advise you lacked experience.”

“I promise to be better tomorrow.”

Spock nodded. “As I said, it is a small matter. There is a learning curve.”

“Well, thank you. I really appreciate you being so nice about it.”

Jim fell silent as he continued helping Spock, but he did notice that periodically Spock glanced his way.

Finally, Jim couldn’t stand it any longer. “What? Is there something hanging off my nose or something?” He laughed to show he was joking.

Spock’s lips twitched. “Negative. I was…would you care to have tea with me at the tea shop a few doors down? I know you wish to pick up your daughter, but I thought…”

Jim nodded. “Sure. I can go have a cup. Just let me message my babysitter that I’ll be a little bit longer.”

He tried to ignore his heart pounding, recalling what Gaila told him about Spock. And asking him for tea sounded kind of like a date. And? Well, yes, Jim found Spock very attractive. But he was his boss. Still…

“Very well. Let me dismiss Mr. Scott for the day and lock up the restaurant and we can have that tea.”

Jim smiled and nodded and prepared to notify Maggie.    

Let Nothing You Dismay Chapter 4

Chapter Four: Decking the Halls

By the time they made it inside to the farmhouse, Lily was barely conscious. She yawned the whole way in the hover car and he’d had to carry her into the house. He set her on the couch while he went back out to the car to get the things he’d bought.

He’d noticed Barb had included one of those big fat candy canes for Lily too.  

Back inside, Jim smiled at his angel, who now looked completely zonked out. He shook his head at the tree box he’d just bought.

Bent down and picked up his girl.

“Daddy,” she mumbled.

“What do you say we go to bed for now and decorate the tree and everything else tomorrow?”

Jim carried her upstairs.

“’K.”

He placed her on the bed and then went to her dresser to get her nightgown, this one purple with yellow flowers, and dressed her in it, before tucking her under the covers. She barely woke up.

“Been a long day for both of us,” Jim agreed before kissing her forehead. He turned out the light as he left her bedroom.

Before going to bed himself, Jim went back down the stairs and set up the tree in the living room so it would be ready to decorate when Lily got up. He also hid the bag with the crystal angel, doll, and candy cane in it. Those would be for Santa to give her.

He set up his coffee maker to go off in the morning and got together all the ingredients they’d need to make cookies tomorrow as well. Might as well give his daughter all the Christmas he could while he was still able.

Then he finally went to bed himself.

****

“So,” Jim said to Lily as he set her up at the dining room table with her breakfast of an egg and potatoes. “No work today so we can spend all day getting the house ready for Christmas.”

Lily clapped. “Yay!”

He smiled. Sat down next to her with his coffee and his own plate of eggs and potatoes.

“Daddy has a new job too. I start tomorrow. Pretty early again. But I’ll probably be able to pick you up from Maggie’s earlier now.”

“Okay, Daddy. After breakfast I want to write my list to Santa.”

“Sure thing. Um. But you know…” Jim paused and sipped his coffee. “Times are pretty hard right now. Even for Santa. So it might be that you won’t get everything on your list.”

She raised her big blue eyes to him. “I know that, Daddy. But I still have to ask.”

“Very true and very wise. Okay finish up and I’ll get you something to make your list with.”

Fortunately, her list ended up being pretty simple. Mostly toys and children’s books. But at the bottom of her list, the last thing she wrote was Daddy.    

Jim frowned as he walked into the living room where she was putting ornaments on their tree.

“Hey, angel, what’s this last one? You don’t want another Daddy, do you?” He grinned. “Don’t you already have the best one?”

Lily giggled. “Not another Daddy. That’s just a little note for Santa.”

“What do you mean?”

She sighed. “It’s a secret, Daddy. But Santa should know what it means. And if I get it for Christmas, I’ll tell you.”

Jim didn’t have the heart to say if she didn’t tell him what she wanted there was no chance of Santa getting it for her. He just smiled.

“Okay. I’ll mail off your list to Santa. When we’re done with the tree, we can make sugar cookies.”

“And decorate ‘em?”

“And decorate them. Yes.”

Jim was the world’s worst cookie decorator and that was the God’s honest truth. He wouldn’t know how to flood frosting properly to save his life, literally. And whenever he tried to pipe eyes or mouths they ended up looking like squiggly worms. Nothing said the holidays like a red squiggly worm mouth, Jim thought with a snort.

But Lily was happy and that was what mattered. Hers actually looked better than his, sparkly sugar dust everywhere and all.

It was a fun afternoon.

Even though there was a big mess to clean. And that night for dinner, they made homemade pizza. Another mess to clean. But Lily had a good day. So did Jim.

Let Nothing You Dismay Chapter 3

Chapter Three: Hiring Help

“Yes, Mother, I am keenly aware that Father anticipates I will fail at this venture and be on the very next shuttle to Vulcan to humbly accept the shame hanging over me for refusing entry to the Vulcan Science Academy.”

Spock paused as he entered information to his computer.

“That rather sounds like too much emotional reaction from you father,” his human mother, Amanda Grayson, declared with a teasing lilt to her voice.

Spock glanced at the communicator left open on his desk and shook his head. “You are, no doubt, correct. However, given that I made a promise to make Gad-Shen a success, I don’t intend to return to Vulcan any time soon.”

“Oh, I’m quite sure you will have no trouble. Your father is being quite…petulant about the whole thing.”

Spock’s lips quirked. “I cannot imagine Father showing petulance.”

“You’d be surprised.”

“Hello? Anyone here?”

Spock frowned, having been unaware anyone had entered the as yet unopened restaurant.

“Did I hear someone, Spock?”

“Yes, Mother. Apparently someone is here. I will contact you later. Spock out.”

Spock closed the communicator, rose from behind his desk in the small room to the back of Gad-Shen, and walked into the main dining area.

Standing just inside the door was a young human male with rather sandy hair and the bluest of eyes. He was extraordinarily attractive.

The man smiled at the sight of Spock.

“Hi.”

“Good evening.”

The man thrust his thumb out toward the Help Wanted sign.

“I came about a job. You’re hiring?”

“For wait staff, yes. Do you have any experience Mister…?” He left it dangling waiting for the human to introduce himself.

The man moistened his lips with his tongue. “Kirk. Jim Kirk. I prefer Jim.”

Spock nodded. “I am Spock.”

Jim’s smile lit up the shadowed room and Spock felt foolish thinking that.

“No experience waiting tables whatsoever,” he admitted. “But I learn quick. I just got laid off from working at the shipyard as Starfleet pulled our contract. I’m a single dad and I really need the work.”

Spock considered this. “Gad-Shen will only be open for breakfast and lunch Sunday through Friday. Six to two. I would need you to work from five forty-five in the morning until two fifteen in the afternoon on the days you are scheduled for. You would get a thirty-minute meal break. The restaurant will open the day after tomorrow. Can you start then?”

“Absolutely. Yes. That would be great. Thank you.”

“I have, so far, hired two other wait staff, both females, one named Nyota Uhura and the other simply calls herself Gaila.”

“Like Spock, huh?”

He arched his brow. “No. Our chef is Mr. Scott. He is well trained and versed in both Vulcan and Human dishes.”

“Okay, cool. Everything sounds great.”

“If you will provide me your contact details, I will send you all the information you will need to fill out to begin your employment and collect your pay.”

“Great.”

Jim came nearer and Spock could not help notice that he smelled very good. He wondered if it was wise to hire someone this attractive when…

Spock shook his head and focused on work.

****

“So, who was there?”

He’d contacted his mother as soon as he sent Jim on his way. He had watched the young man cross the street and go into the depot. He had remained watching until a few moments later, Jim had come back out, holding the hand of a cherubic little girl with long, blond curls.

He had declared himself to be a single father, and though Spock was quite curious, he had not asked.

“A man who was recently laid off and looking for a job.”

“Oh. That’s too bad. And right before the holidays too. Did you give him one?”

“Of course I did. His name is Jim Kirk and he is a single father.”

“Kirk? Why do I know that name? Hmm. Single father just laid off before the holidays? How awful.”

Spock was of the mind to lose one’s job any time was not pleasant. But he agreed and changed the subject back to his father.

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