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Spirk (with a small dose of Pinto)

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December Flashes

Flash Fic December 31, 2021

Happy New Year

Jim smiles to himself as the message makes it to him. Not via PADD, although he’s certain that’s waiting for him, too, but he’s walking back from HQ to the apartment and he hasn’t looked.

It’s now 12:01. He hadn’t meant to leave so late, but there was so much to do, so much to plan for, and with Komack currently out of commission it fell to Jim.

Happy New Year, he said in kind, then added, I Miss You.

He stopped on the way at his favorite pizza place, knowing Jock would keep it open for Jim, which was why had had called ahead.

“Here you go, Admiral. Extra cheese just like you like it.”

“Thank you. And Happy New Year.”

The apartment was dark, of course, until Jim set the lights on, then put his pizza down. There was some old legend, he’d long forgotten the source for it, that said you’d spend the year doing what you did that first day, so that meant he’d be eating pizza, he guessed.

After grabbing a slice, he checked his PADD and sure enough there was a message from Spock.

Happy New Year, T’hy’la. I miss you more than I can say. We’ve come along way together in the last two years and I know that together our love and bond will only grow stronger. I cannot wait to be reunited.

Jim smiled faintly. Two years ago, his heart remained cold to Spock when Spock returned after rejecting Jim. But a year ago, he’d given Spock a second chance. Their relationship was better than it had been before Spock had rejected him, and though Spock was currently off Earth due to Sarek’s illness, everything was good and Jim didn’t miss Spock too much.

But boy was his Vulcan a mushy romantic these days.

He typed that very thing and only a moment later he got a response.

Yes. You are eating pizza.

Through the bond

Jim chuckled. “How did you know?” he asked out loud.

I can smell it.

Smell it? Is there smellivision in the bond?

That would be convenient, but no. Open the door, Admiral.

Smiling big, Jim rose from the table, ran to the front door, and greeted his husband with open arms and a big kiss.

“Now it’s a Happy New Year.”

Jim and Spock from His Heart Remained Cold and Spock’s Second Chance

Flash Fic December 29, 2021

It was not normal for Jim’s first officer to hide in the labs after his shift, but that was where Jim found him.

They were supposed to be playing chess or Jim thought they were. He recalled some kind of promise to play chess a few days after the Crew Holiday Party and that was this day. Granted things were a it fuzzy from that time, but he didn’t think that fuzzy, so when Spock didn’t  show, Jim went looking for him.

Spock was sitting before a bunch of test tube looking things and because he didn’t seem to know Jim was there, he was allowing himself to frown very slightly.  

Earlier that day they’d returned from a difficult landing party mission and someone Spock had been quite friendly with had been killed. Jim was aware there were those who didn’t think Spock had any friends, present company exempted of course, because everyone knew of their friendship,  and Spock still maintained a sort of friendship with Uhura.

It hadn’t occurred to Jim at the time, even though he knew Spock was friends with Martinez, that Spock was upset. Sometimes Jim could be a little too obtuse. Now as he observed Spock, he realized just how upset Spock must be.

“Hey,” he said softly from the doorway.

Spock looked up, startled, his expression going instantly blank. “Captain. I apologize. Was there something you needed?”

Jim hesitated, but then said, “I might have gotten my days mixed up, but I thought this was the day we mentioned playing chess when we talked at the holiday party.”

“I had…forgotten. May we reschedule?”

“Sure, Spock. No problem.

And he supposed he should turn around and leave Spock alone, but instead he drew closer to where his science officer sat. Since he’d met Spock he’d seen Uhura hug him several times. Spock never initiated the hugs as far as he could tell.

“Can I ask you something?”

“Yes, Captain.”

“Did you…did you ever hug your mother?”

Spock seemed surprised by the question, but he finally said, softly, more a whisper, “She hugged me on a few occasions.”

“But you didn’t embrace her first?”

“No.”

Jim nodded. “I never did with my mother either. Pretty much I never hug anyone first.” He shook his head. “I might have done a sort of manly pat hug with Bones a time or two.”

“Manly pat hug?”

Jim smiled. “Yeah, you know. Anyway, uh, look. I’m really sorry about Martinez. I know you two were friends and I should have thought of that before.”

“I appreciate your consideration now, Captain.”

“So, is it okay, then, if I give you a commiserating hug?” Jim was embarrassed the moment he said it. He knew he was ridiculously red because of it. And he fully expected Spock would say, “Oh, no, Captain, keep your hugs to yourself.”

So yeah, when Spock stood up from the stool he was perched on and opened his arms, Jim was so startled he almost flubbed it.

Almost.

Instead he went into Spock’s arms and wrapped his arms around the Vulcan just as Spock wrapped his around Jim.

He wasn’t sure who was hugging who and somehow it didn’t at all matter as they stood holding each other for a long time. Minutes for sure.

And then as Jim finally figured he should pull away and as he did so, Spock surprised him with, “Perhaps a chess game with you is just what I need, Captain.”

“Yeah?”

“Yes. I will come to your quarters shortly.”

Jim smiled nodded and squeezed Spock’s shoulder, then left the lab, feeling better than he had in a long time. He had needed that hug as much as Spock did.

Flash Fic December 27, 2021

“Another Christmas down, another year I didn’t find my soulmate,” Jim complained as he slid into the booth across from Bones.

“You’re too picky.” Bones waved his fork.

“I am not. Well.” Jim paused. “I am. But that’s because according to Kirk legend-“

“Here we go.”

Jim stuck out his tongue. “The legend is real.”

“Sure, sure. Go on. According to Kirk legend.”

“My soulmate will have a tiny mole on the left side of his neck.”

“Do you know how many people probably have that?” Bones asked.

“And they’ll have dark hair and pointed ears.”

What? Come on, Jim, that’s pretty specific.”

Jim laughed. “No. But there’s a really hot Vulcan that just walked into the restaurant.”

Bones turned and craned his neck. “That guy? Forget it. He’s an asshole from what I heard. And has a girlfriend.”

Jim sighed and leaned back. “Figures. All the asshole Vulcans are always taken.”

Bones rolled his eyes. “Anyway, there’s always next Christmas. Or maybe New Year’s Eve.”

“Nope. It’s bad luck to meet your soulmate before midnight on New Year’s Eve.” Jim picked up his coffee and took a sip. “Everybody knows that.”

I don’t know that.”

“Hey, he’s coming here.”

“Who?”

“The asshole Vulcan,” Jim whispered.

Suddenly a shadow fell over their table. Jim looked up into dark eyes that stared haughtily back at him.

“Can we help you buddy?” Bones demanded.

The Vulcan didn’t spare Bones a glance. “You are sitting in my seat.”

“Eh? What?”

Finally the Vulcan turned his head slowly to glare at Bones. “You are sitting in my seat.”

“Now just a damn minute, you green-blooded-“

“Bones.”

The Vulcan glanced back at Jim. “I have been looking for you.”

Me?”

“I am Spock. I believe you are my soulmate.”

Jim’s jaw dropped open. “I’m what?”

“You have a scythe shaped scar on the underside of your wrist, do you not?”

Automatically Jim looked down at the scar on his wrist even as Spock nodded his satisfaction.

“Jim, are you going to listen to this lunatic?” Bones demanded.

“That depends.” Jim tilted his head at the Vulcan. “You don’t happen to have a little mole on the left side of your neck, do you?”

“I do.” Spock showed him.

“Hot damn. Bones, split.”

He ignored his sputtering friend, but Bones did slide out of the booth and was soon replaced by the Vulcan, Spock.

“Hi. I’m Jim.”

A bit of soulmate mark silliness, hope you enjoyed!

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Advent Day 23

“I hear something.”

Spock looked up from his PADD. “Like what?”

Jim frowned. He took a long sip of his coffee. He was seated at the dining room table. He was still wearing his pajamas and robe. His hair was adorably rumpled and at present he wore a pair of wire rimmed spectacles that only seemed to enhance the shade of the blue of his eyes.

“I don’t know.”

“Then how do you know you hear something?” Spock went back to his messages.

“Hmm. It sounds, I don’t know, like a faint rustle. Or scratching maybe.” Jim nudged his foot against Spock’s. “Whatcha reading?”

“One is a message from my father.”

Jim’s lips twitched. “What does dear old dad have to say?”

“He intends to retire his ambassadorial duties,” Spock said, musingly. “And is considering recommending me to replace him.”

“Oh?”

“Only if I am interested,” Spock clarified.

“And are you?” Jim put his coffee down. “You heard that, didn’t you?”

“What, Jim?”

“Maybe we have a rat!”

“On the fourth floor of a high rise apartment building?”

“Well. Come on, you didn’t hear what I heard?”  Jim pushed away from the table and stood, taking his coffee with him to the living room. He stopped before the Christmas tree that had been situated by the picture window of their apartment.

Spock sighed and put his PADD down, following Jim. “Do you think I should say no?”

“If you didn’t hear it, yeah.”

“No, ashayam. To Sarek about the ambassadorship.”

Jim, hands on hips, turned to face him. He had removed the glasses and stuck them in the pocket of his robe. “What do you want to do? Do you want to say yes?”

“It would mean brief periodic separations between us.”

“You aren’t answering the actual question, Spock. Do you?”

“I do not know,” he admitted. “It is worth considering. But I do not wish to be parted from you for excessive lengths of time.”

“I don’t want that either but we’ve survived worse.” Jim turned to face the mantle of their apartment where two stockings had been hung.

Spock watched him carefully as Jim walked toward the stockings.

“It’s coming from here, I know it. I’m telling you somehow a rat got into one of these.”

Spock arched a brow.

Suddenly Jim yelped and jumped back as something squirmed in the stocking with the name Jim stitched on it.   

“What the—?”

A moment later a furry black head with slightly rounded ears with tufts of hair coming out of them appeared and mewled.

“Oh my God!” Jim rushed to the stocking and scooped up the fluffball kitten, who immediately began to purr at being held.

Spock smiled. “Do you like her?”

“Do I like her? Are you kidding? She’s the cutest thing ever!”

“Merry Christmas,” Spock said. “I put her in there this morning. I was surprised you did not realize sooner.”

“You devil!” Jim grinned. “She’s so sweet. I love her. And I love you.”

He came to kiss Spock, who kissed him back ignoring the paw that came out to swipe out at his chin.

“You should say yes,” Jim said, softly.

“To?”

“Your dad. We’ll work it out, Spock. Whatever it takes, we’ll always work around everything as long as we are together.”

“Yes, we will,” Spock agreed.

“And I now have this adorable companion. I think I’ll call her Holly.”

“That is purrrfect.”

Jim laughed. “You are.”

Blue Christmas

Advent Day 21

Jim was just putting the finishing touches on his present for Mommy when his brother came slamming into the house.

Sam was dressed in a heavy coat and scarf with a knit hat on his head. There was a light dusting of snow on him too.

“What are you doing?” Sam asked.

“Working on my Christmas present for Mommy. It’s a necklace with my hand print.”

His brother stood there silently for a moment or two and then he shook his head. “She’s not coming home for Christmas, Jimmy.”

“Sure, she is,” Jim said, matter-of-factly. He stuck out his tongue in concentration as he put glue on the bale of the necklace.

“No.” Sam paused. “She isn’t.”

Jim looked up at his brother. He had a flicker of a doubt but he quickly dismissed it. “She said she was. She promised.”

“Well she’s breaking that promise. You might as well learn now that adults break their promises all the time.”

“Not Mommy.”

Sam sighed. “She sent a message earlier today. She can’t make it off that rock she’s working on in time to make it. I’m sorry, Jimmy. But she won’t be home from Christmas.”

Jim stared down at the necklace he clutched in his hands. He felt the tremble in his bottom lip even as Sam turned away and stomped upstairs in his snow boots.

A minute later, Jim stood up from the table, scooped up all the stuff he had for the necklace and threw it in the trash.

****

Jim smiled faintly as he looked up at the tall blue Christmas tree with white lights. It was in the so-called city square on Yorktown. Jim was dressed casually, having ditched his uniform a short while ago. It was the “evening” on Yorktown complete with atmospheric coolness piped in for the time of year.

“You seem sad.”

Jim glanced at Spock, who had just appeared beside him. “I was thinking of blue Christmas.”

“The tree?”

“The song actually. But yeah the tree reminded me of it.”

Spock tilted his head. “And why is it a blue Christmas?”

“Not today really. It’s just…when I was a kid, pretty young, I was expecting Mom to come home, only she couldn’t make it, her work wouldn’t let her get away. I was absolutely beside myself over it. Threw away the present I was making for her and cried for hours.” He shook his head. “I didn’t understand adult obligations then. I just knew she had disappointed me again. After that, for the longest time, I wanted nothing to do with holidays. It just meant disappointment to me and so I stopped even thinking about them let alone celebrating them.”

“Understandable,” Spock spoke quietly. “And now?”

Jim turned to face Spock and smiled, holding out his two fingers as Spock had taught him. Spock met them and, as usual, Jim felt the slightest of zings.

“Now, I couldn’t be happier, and I say, welcome Christmas. But when we get back to the room? I need to video conference Peter. It’s not nearly enough. But I’m close enough to his location to reach him. Mom wasn’t and it was something I really resented for a long time. I should have cut her some slack.”

“You were just a disappointed child,” Spock pointed out, falling into step next to him.

“I know. But I don’t want Peter experiencing any Blue Christmases.” Jim reached for and received Spock’s hand, as they walked back to their room surrounded by twinkling lights.   

O Tannenbaum

Advent Day 19

“It is illogical for us to be obtaining a Christmas tree when we do not normally celebrate Christmas,” Spock’s father told his wife, Amanda, Spock’s mother, as they arrived at the tree lot to do just that.

Spock’s father, Sarek, a full Vulcan celebrated nothing. Spock’s mother had been born and raised Jewish but as far as Spock could tell, she likewise celebrated nothing.

Yet here they were.

“Susan converted to her husband, Tom’s religion and they do celebrated Christmas,” Mother said as they passed through the open gate.

Susan was Mother’s sister and Spock’s aunt. They were on Earth at present in San Francisco near the Federation Head Quarters. Aunt Susan and Uncle Tom lived there and at present Spock and his parents were staying with them.

“I told Susan we would get the tree for them,” Mother continued.

Spock was aware that his father knew all this and yet Sarek chose to complain anyway, which Spock found most illogical. A part of marriage, his mother would have told him had he asked.

Spock had decided some time ago he had no intention of ever being married.

“Spock, why don’t you look around and see if you can find a tree? As soon as you find one you like, come and get us and we’ll take it home.”

“I can choose the tree?” Spock decided to clarify the point.

“Yes.” Mother smiled. “There’s a stand over there selling hot cocoa. I’m going to make your father buy me one.”

Spock nodded. “Very well.”

Spock walked away from his parents and down the next aisle. He quickly noticed two Human boys on the same aisle. One was about his age, but the other was a few years younger and wore some sort of elaborate Christmas tree costume. On the top of the boy’s head was a star and only his face and feet were uncovered by a giant fabric tree upon which glittery applique ornaments had been glued.

“You look ridiculous,” the older boy said.

Spock had to agree.

But the boy noticeably deflated and his bottom lip trembled.

“Oh don’t cry,” the older boy snapped. “You had to know how stupid you would look in that dumbass costume when you chose to wear it, Jim. Why Mom agreed to let you wear it when we came to get a tree is beyond me.”

“Because she made it, Sam. It was for the pageant at school.”

“I know what it was for. I just don’t know why you had to be such a dork as to wear it tonight.”

“Because we were coming for a tree and I thought it would be funny.”

Sam grimaced. “Well, it’s not. It just makes you look stupid. I’m going over to the next aisle so no one sees me with you. Don’t follow me.”

“Sam—”

And the older boy left the younger one standing there by himself. For a moment the young boy did nothing, just stared at the ground. His cheeks were so red, Spock feared he might have a fit.

When Spock took a few steps closer, he noticed a single tear had fallen onto the boy’s cheek. And he realized then that he not only did not agree with the bully “Sam”, he actually hated the other boy.

The young boy suddenly looked up and Spock saw that he had the bluest eyes Spock had ever seen. And they were…beautiful, even as they glistened with tears.

“Uh.”

“I am sorry I overheard that other Human picking on you.”

“That’s my brother,” he said. “I’m used to it. He doesn’t like me.”

“He is a fool. My name is Spock.”

“J-Jim.”

“Hello, Jim.” Spock held out his hand. “Come with me.”

Jim frowned though he put his hand in Spock’s. “To where?”

“I was told that I could choose any tree on the lot,” Spock explained. “I have chosen you.”

“Me?”

“You are a tree, are you not?”

“Well…”

“Spock? Oh there you are.” Mother came down the aisle toward them. She smiled widely at Jim. “Oh who is this?”

“His name is Jim and he is the tree I have chosen.”

Mother actually laughed. “Hello, Jim. Spock, Jim is a boy, not a tree.”

“But he is dressed as one and you said—”

“Jim! James Tiberius! Where are you?”

Jim’s eyes widened and he dropped Spock’s hand. “That’s my mommy.”

Suddenly a blonde Human woman appeared together with the bully “Sam”. “There you are. Don’t get separated from the family.” She glanced at Spock and his mom. “And you shouldn’t bother other people.”

“He’s not bothering us,” Mother assured her.

The woman smiled. “Oh, well, good. But we do have to go. Say goodbye to your friends, Jim.”

“K. Bye Spock and lady.”

Spock nearly took hold of an ornament on Jim’s tree to pull him back, but at that moment, Mother put her hand on his shoulder and stopped him. They watched the Humans walk away.

“Spock? What’s gotten into you? You know you can’t keep another child.”

Spock nodded. “Yes. But I have not chosen another tree.”

“I know. It’s all right. Your father has found one. Let’s go.”

Spock trailed after but he did not forget the Human boy dressed as a tree and in fact he was certain he would meet that boy again some day. He was right.    

It’s a Marshmallow World

Advent Day 17

 Jim stopped before the sign that read on the door Cookie Competition. He smiled and glanced at the message  he’d received. Yep, this was definitely the place.

He pushed the door open and entered the building. He could see his mom’s station toward the back, so he headed there.

“How’s it going, Mom?”

She clapped. “Jim! You made it. You tell me, how do they look?”

He surveyed her marshmallow cookie creations. She’d made some into the shape of igloos and then made penguins and polar bears. They were adorable.

“Fantastic. They look great. Who’s your biggest competition?”

“See that lady at the end there with the scarf and the Vulcan hovering beside her?”

Jim looked and his heart stilled. Oh yeah, he was well familiar with that Vulcan.  

“Jim?”

“Uh. Yeah. I’m sure yours are better. What’s she making?”

“Spice cookies but she has it all beautifully decorated with poinsettias and cardinals.”

Jim bit his lip. “I’ll go swing by.”

“Okay, but be inconspicuous!” she called after him.

“Fat chance,” he muttered.

He saddled up to their display and checked it out while the pair were speaking to someone else.

Jim had to admit the lady’s work was very elegant and pretty compared to his mom’s cutesy stuff. A moment later, the Vulcan moved to stand beside him, hands linked behind his back.

“You, uh, were gone when I woke,” Jim said out of the side of his mouth.

“I had to teach an early morning class. It was no reflection on you and our…activities.”

Jim’s lips twitched. “That’s good to know as I’d like to have more of those activities.”

“As would I.”

“Your mother?”

“Indeed. And yours?”

Jim laughed. “Yeah. She’s here for Christmas and decided to enter this competition.”

“My mother and father are currently here also.”

“Maybe we should have a get together,” Jim said, turning to Spock. ”Your mom does beautiful work.” He paused. “Just like her son.”

Spock arched a brow. “I will see you after the competition.”

“Maybe my mom will win the cutest and your mom the prettiest.”

“Perhaps. Dinner, Cadet?”

“Of course, Professor.”

Jim returned to his mom’s display.

She eyed him. “You were getting pretty cozy there.”

“Well, uh, turns out I’m seeing her son, that Vulcan.”

“Jim! You didn’t tell em you were seeing someone.”

“It’s…recent.”

“Well.” She crossed her arms. “I guess it’s okay if she beats me. Sorta.”

He laughed and kissed her. “Either way, you’re the best in my eyes.”

She hugged him. “And you for me. I can’t wait to meet your boyfriend.”

“Now, I didn’t say he was my boyfriend,” Jim protested.

“Would you like him to be?”

He smiled. “Yeah, I would.”

“Then I am sure he will be. It’ll be my Christmas wish.”

He laughed. “If only you really were Santa Claus.”

“Who says I’m not?” She winked. “Now, shh, here come the judges.”

Merry Christmas, Darling

Advent Day 16

It was stupid, Jim guessed, to be spending the evening of Christmas Eve wishing Spock was there with him.

Spock didn’t celebrate anything, never had, and Spock’s Human family had been Jewish.

Hell, even Jim and his family hadn’t been religious in any way. Back when Jim was a boy living at the farmhouse with his dad and Sam, they’d done Christmases. Well and before that, before Jim’s mom had left because she wanted more from life than being George Kirk’s wife and Sam and Jim’s Mom. Mom had been there for a few too. The live tree, the boughs of greenery and holly berries. He’d loved it, though Sam acted like it was lame. Once Jim went to stay with his mother on Tarsus IV, well there were no Christmases there and when he returned there was Starfleet and starships and Jim let his old Christmas memories go.

But then he’d retired from Starfleet, hell, for the fourth time, Jim figured, he’d go back to it. Living part of the time in San Francisco, Spock preferred it there, and part time in Riverside, where Jim preferred it, he’d had a number of Christmases with trees and wreaths and big meals of way too much food and little token gifts Spock always deemed illogical. Jim told him dozens of times that was the point.

Last Christmas had been in San Francisco and Spock had been with him. This year, though, Spock was away on Vulcan dealing with some crisis involving Sarek, nothing Jim had to be involved in, Spock assured him, and he was alone at the farmhouse instead.

He’d debated even bothering with the usual Christmas trappings. But in the end he’d gotten a tree, strung lights and put up the decorations.

Now it was Christmas Eve and he was standing before the tree by himself. He’d put on a fire and there was a casserole baking in the oven.

“Merry Christmas, Darling.”

Jim smiled faintly. There was an old song that came to mind from hundreds of years before.

“I wish I were with you.”

He should have gone to Vulcan with Spock. They didn’t do something as illogical as Christmas, of course, but he’d be with Spock.

With a sigh, Jim turned from the tree to go into the kitchen to check on his casserole. He opened the oven and bent down to take out the casserole and then remembered he had no potholders.

“Dummy,” he mumbled as he reached for the potholders. “Trying to burn yourself.”

“That would be unfortunate.”

Jim dropped the potholders and stumbled back from the oven.

“Spock?” He rubbed his eyes.

“Your eyes do not deceive you,” his husband said from the edge of the kitchen. He wore a robe similar to the one he’d worn on Earth when they went back for the whales.

Jim rushed at him and embraced him, crushing Spock to him. “It’s a Christmas miracle.”

“Hardly,” Spock said dryly. “There was nothing miraculous about it. I came on a passenger ship and then a shuttle here.”

Jim laughed and kissed him. “It’s my miracle anyway. I wished for you. How is it you’re here?”

Spock raised a brow. “As you said, you wished for me.”

“Right. But really…”

“I know how much you love this time of year and especially here. So I made the effort. I will be returning to my duties on Vulcan in a few days.”

“Perhaps I’ll come with you.”

“Perhaps you will.”

Jim took his hand. “Come, darling. Merry Christmas.”

Little Drummer Boy

Advent Day 15

“Jim, say you’ll come.”

Jim pinched the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes. He was seated at Spock’s favorite vegetarian restaurant waiting for Spock to come back from the bathroom.

“Mom—”

“Please. Just for a few days. Peter—”

He frowned. “Who? Who’s Peter?”

She sighed. “Sam’s little boy. He’s three and a half. I know I told you about him. It’s just going to be me and Peter. So it would be so nice if you can come. And Spock, of course.”

“Where’s Sam then?”

“He and his wife have to be off planet, so they asked me to watch the baby.”

“Of course they did.”

“Jim.”

He spotted Spock headed back to their table.    

“We can get a tree, like I said. And all your favorites. We can get Spock’s too. It would be so nice for you to meet Peter. He’s such a sweetheart.”

“Fine, okay.”

“You’ll come?”

“Yes, Mom. When?”

“Can you be here the 22nd?”

Jim glanced at Spock as his boyfriend slid into the booth to sit across from him. “Yeah, okay. I’ll be there.”

Spock looked his question after he disconnected. “Your mother?”

“Yes. Invited us for the holiday. On December 22. I guess Sam saddled her with his kid for the season.” Jim blew out a breath. “You don’t have to come but…”

“I will accompany you.”

***

Peter was cute. Even Jim had to admit it.

He looked like a miniature Kirk. Which is exactly what he was.

His mother had arrived at the shuttle bay in Riverside to pick up Jim and Spock and she’d, of course, brought Peter.

He had a mop of blond curls and big blue eyes with chubby cheeks dotted pink from the cold.

Until that moment, Jim had never thought about having kids, but he couldn’t deny if he had one like Peter, it might be okay. Of course being with Spock, that was highly unlikely.

Jim crouched down next to the boy to talk to him at his level. “Hi, Peter. I’m Jim.”

“Daddy’s brother.”

“Yes. And that’s Spock, he’s with me.”

“Hello, Peter,” Spock greeted him.

Jim straightened up and made to move away, therefore he was surprised when Peter reached for and took Jim’s hand. He smiled down at the boy.

“We’re all going to get a tree on the way home if that’s okay.”

“Sure.”

On the way to the tree farm, Jim asked the kid, “So what do you want Santa Claus to bring you for Christmas?”

“A drum!”

Jim laughed. “A drum? Yeah?”

“Uh-huh. Wanna bang it.”

“I sure hope your daddy’s around when you do,” Jim said. “I bet Santa gets it for you.”

Peter smiled happily.

Jim ended up going around with Peter at the tree lot, holding onto Peter’s hand the whole way.

Winona watched them and moved closer to Spock so she could speak to the Vulcan.

“Thank you for bringing him here.”

Spock shook his head. “I had nothing to do with it. He would have come without me.”

“I’m not sure.” She smiled. “But I appreciate you’re coming too. I think it makes it easier for him. He and I have our problems.”

“He has not mentioned it.”

“Really?” she asked, doubtfully. “We’re not…close. I want to be but Jim…anyway, thank you.”

Spock inclined his head as Jim approached with Peter.

“All right, Peter has chosen the tree he thinks is perfect for us.”

Winona laughed. “All right let’s get this done.”

****

“Your mother is concerned about your relationship.”

Jim glanced at Spock as they shopped in a store for Christmas gifts.

“She brought it up?”

“She did.”

Jim sighed. “I’m sorry she involved you.”

“It was no issue for me. I was not aware that you and your mother do not get along.”

“We do actually. I think…she just wants us to be closer than we are.” He shook his head. “There’s too much in our history, I think, for us ever to be the shining example of Mother-Son she wants us to be. Years where she wasn’t there.”

“And your stepfather was.”

“Yeah,” Jim said softly. “I love my mom, but there’s still a lot of pain there. I guess she’s gotten past a lot of Sam’s walls, but I’m not Sam. And Sam left and wasn’t there for a lot of Frank’s shit.”

“Understandable. Was this why you were reluctant to come here for the holidays?”

“Sure. Part of it. Anyway, I’m having a good time and it’s nice to spend time with Peter.”

“Indeed.” Spock stopped before a display of drums. “And here we are.”

***

“A drum! Santa gave me drum!” Peter exclaimed excitedly Christmas morning.

Winona beamed happily and rested her hand on Jim’s leg. He sat beside her on the floor, each of them clutching a cup of coffee. Spock sat in a chair right behind Jim’s back.

Peter sat directly in front of the Christmas tree.

“Thank you,” she whispered to her youngest son.

He smiled. “You’re welcome, Mom.”

Peter started right in banging on his drum.

Jim chuckled.

“Now, honey, Santa brought you other presents. Why don’t you open those?” Winona asked indulgently.

“Wanna play my drum!”

“Sam’s gonna kill me,” she mumbled.

“Pay back’s a bitch.”

“Jim.”

He laughed again. “Now how about I put those cinnamon rolls in the oven?”

“Okay, but one more present for you.” Nervously she handed him a small, wrapped box. She had no idea how he was going to react to it.

Jim raised both eyebrows at her but finally he tore off the green and red plaid paper. He opened the box and stared down at the contents.

“That was your dad’s Starfleet insignia.” She bit her lip. “Not the one he wore that-that day, obviously. But before.”

His gaze flew to hers. As usual, she could not read him.

“Thank you.” His hand closed around the symbol, his thumb rubbing the command part. He nodded. “Thanks.”

She smiled. “Merry Christmas, Jim.”

“Merry Christmas.”

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