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Spirk (with a small dose of Pinto)

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December Flashes

New Years Eve

And so we come to the last flash for December. Oh what fun it has been. We rejoin the Spock and Jim from the Prime in the Library and Rudolph flashes.

“I’ve been thinking.”

“God help us.”

Jim frowned at his best friend, Bones. “I’m serious.”

“I know. And whenever you say I’ve been thinking and I’m serious, I say God help us. Because we’re going to need it, Jim. I don’t know what you’ve got in that pretty little head of yours, but I’m worried.”

“You exaggerate. I was just going to suggest we go to that new club down the street from the Academy for New Year’s Eve.”

Bones sputtered. “Sure. Just how I want to spend the night. In an overcrowded smelly club with people pawing each other.” He paused. “What time?”
“What time for what?” Spock asked, suddenly appearing at their table. He touched his fingers to Jim’s who smiled at him.

“Genius here wants to go to that new club for New Year’s Eve.”

“You should go, Doctor,” Spock said smoothly.

“I…should?”

“Indeed. However, unfortunately, Jim cannot join you.”

Jim looked at him. “I can’t?”

“That is our rescheduled dinner with my parents. From when you were previously ill.”

“Oh. Damn. Right. Sorry.” He grinned sheepishly at Bones. “Never mind, Bones. I’m having dinner with Spock’s folks.”

“It was probably a bad idea anyway,” Bones said. “I should go. I have a test I need to study for.”

After Bones left, Spock stroked his finger along the knuckles of Jim’s hand.

“Are you sorry you cannot go to the club that night?”

“No. I mean we can go any time. Bones is right, probably too crowded for New Year’s Eve, anyway.”

Spock continued to soothingly brush his knuckles. He had a way of calming Jim that he really appreciated.  “Did you really forget the dinner or were you attempting to get out of it?”

Jim coughed. “What? Of-of course not.”

“Jim.”

“I did forget, but maybe because I’m kind of sort of blocking it out.”

“May I ask why?”

He sighed. Maybe dramatically. “You won’t understand.”

“Perhaps not,” Spock agreed. “But I would like to. It is my belief that you and I have become quite close and are in a mutually beneficial monogamous long term relationship. Am I incorrect?”

A strange warmth filled Jim, which was crazy. Because it seemed such a longwinded way of saying, aren’t we a couple? And yet he liked the words. A lot.

“No, you aren’t wrong. We absolutely are.”

“Then, will you explain your reluctance?”

Jim spun his coffee cup around, keeping his eyes on the cup rather than Spock. “You know. You…you’re my first.”

“You were not inexperienced before our first sexual encounter.”

The confusion in Spock’s voice had him looking up.

“No. Not that.” He hadn’t lied to Spock, he’d been quite upfront that he’d had quite a bit of sexual experience prior to them meeting. “Relationship. You’re my first serious relationship.”

“And I hope to be your only one.”

Jim swallowed, his face feeling warm. “Yeah. And see, that’s it. Exactly.” He looked away again, back to his coffee mug.

“I do not understand.”

“Spock…I love you. I’ve never felt this way about anyone. But I’ve never met anyone’s parents either. And, well, your dad has something of a reputation, and what if they hate me?”

Spock didn’t respond. He just remained completely quiet. For so long, that Jim’s gaze rose once more to look at him, and was greeted with wide brown eyes.

“You…you okay?”

“I love you as well,” Spock whispered.

“Yeah?”

“You have not yet said these words until now.”

Jim was surprised when Spock seized his hand in his. “I know. I…like I said, this is all new to me.”

“And to me. My depth of feeling has never reached this level with another. My parents will like you, Jim, simply because you are my chosen one.”

Jim smiled a little. His stomach was full of fluttering butterflies. “Chosen one, huh?”

“Indeed. So, will you spend the beginning of the New Year with me meeting my parents?”

Jim laughed. And stroked his fingers along Spock’s. “Yes. Of course I will. And for the record, I want the same. With you.”

Spock’s eyes now sparkled. “Then it should, indeed, by a Happy New Year.”

Sleigh Riding

“You are to come with me.”

Spock blinked and looked up from the document he was perusing on his terminal in his apartment. He stared at his nephew, Vanik. “How and when did you come in?”

Vanik straightened to his full height. Which was not altogether that high at four feet. The boy was dressed quite casually in jeans and a maroon colored sweater with a snow man on it. Likely purchased by his mother, Anoria, his brother, Sybok’s human wife.

“A moment ago,” Vanik replied.

Spock barely refrained from a most illogical sigh. “You copied my palm print and hacked into the system to acquire entrance.”

Vanik pursed his lips. “Perhaps. Be that as it may, I still require you to come with me.”

“For what purpose?”

“We are meeting Jim.”

“Who is Jim?”

Vanik rolled his eyes. “You know who Jim is. Since you refused to take my advice and inquire into his availability to dine with you, I have been forced to take matters into my own hands. We are meeting him for a one horse open sleigh ride.”

Spock turned fully from his terminal to glare at his nephew. “I did not agree to these plans.”

“I agreed for you. You will need your coat as it is liable to be rather cold when the horse pulls the sleigh. We are meeting at the park as they apparently have such frivolities this time of year to amuse citizens.”

Spock almost still refused for he did not care to be manipulated. But since he did want to see the blond human from the department store again, he didn’t wish to spite himself, so Spock rose to retrieve his coat.

He ignored Vanik’s satisfied look.

The park was, at least, a short walk from Spock’s apartment. They made it in no time, and Jim was already waiting beside a sign that read “Sleigh Rides, 60 credits for 30 minutes.”

Even before they reached Jim, Spock’s pulse had increased at an alarming rate. Jim’s cheeks were red from the cold wind, but his blue eyes shined like the prettiest of crystals. He smiled at them with stunning white teeth.

“Hey there.”

“Hello Jim. Thank you for meeting us,” Vanik spoke up. He clutched Spock’s sleeve. “You recall having made the acquaintance of my uncle, Spock.”

“Yeah. Nice to see you again, Spock.” He turned that smile exclusively on Spock, who felt his own cheeks warm.

“Uh.”

Jim’s gaze remained on him for a second before turning to Vanik rather quizzically. Spock didn’t blame him, but Jim made him rather tong-tied.

Spock looked at the sign instead and directed his words to his nephew. “60 credits for 30 minutes seems unreasonably high.”

“Oh, don’t worry about that,” Jim said. “I’ve got it.”

Vanik shook his head and stepped forward to the man waiting there. “Dad presented me with the credits.”

And before either Spock or Jim could stop him, Vanik paid the driver of their sleigh.

Spock eyed the small seating in the back of the sleigh. It would be tight for two adults let alone two adults with a child.

“After you, Jim,” Vanik said, gesturing to the sleigh.

Jim shrugged slightly and crawled up into the seat, his jeans stretching across his bottom as he maneuvered into it. Not that Spock stared or anything.

Vanik then told him to get in.

Spock did, but the whole while he kept thinking all three of them would not fit. Both he and Jim were fairly tall and…

“Vanik…” Spock knew that it was his nephew who wished to try the sleigh so he was about to volunteer to stay behind and let Vanik ride with Jim.

But then, to his shock, Vanik stepped back.

“Please take them around the park,” Vanik told the sleigh driver.

“Wha—”

But the horse driven sleigh was already in motion. Both Spock and Jim turned as one to look back at the half Vulcan child who waved at them.

Jim then looked at Spock and laughed. “I think that was planned.”

“Most definitely,” Spock agreed.

Jim smiled and for a moment he remained silent as the sleigh traveled through the park. It was more a carriage, at that, for there was no snow or anything. It was still San Francisco, after all.

“Sorry about that,” Jim finally said, softly.

“For what do you apologize?”

“Well. I think your nephew figured out that I kind of like you and so he forced this on you.”

Spock’s heart stuttered in his side. “Only…kind of?”

Jim blinked at him. “What?”

“I was certain that Vanik set this up due to his realization that I am…interested in you.” Spock paused. “As well.”

The smile he received was a blindingly beautiful gift. As was the simply spoken question.

“Yeah?”

Spock looked straight ahead at the park, carefully moving his hand to rest over Jim’s hand, which rested on his thigh. Jim didn’t move his hand away. And in fact turned it upward, until they were palm to palm.

And though it was a different winter song that declared something about it being thrilling, Spock decided that it definitely applied here.

Jim moved closer to him in the seat.

“Yes,” Spock finally answered. “Yes.”    

A Visit With Mom

“There’s my baby boy!”

Jim winced at his mother’s exclamation as he entered the restaurant on Rigel 9 to meet her. She had stood up from the table and had come around to the aisle to embrace him.

As he hugged her, he noticed the brightly wrapped boxes on the table.

“Mom.”

“What?” She followed his gaze as she let go of him. “Oh. Those. Well, Christmas just passed, you know, and your birthday is only days away. It’s not like I’ll get to see you again after tonight,” she said wistfully.

He frowned as he slid into the booth across from the glass of red wine he assumed she’d ordered. She got in and picked up the glass to take a sip.

“What do you mean by that? We’ll see each other again.”

She nodded. “I know. That’s not what I mean. I mean it’ll be a long time. You’re…out there. And knowing you, you’ll sign up for another five years when this one is done. It’s a miracle we get to have this time. There won’t be any opportunities for presents for a while.”

“You make me feel guilty I didn’t bring you anything.” He picked up the menu.

She waved that away. “You with me right now is all the gift I need.”

Jim snorted. “How come that didn’t work both ways?”

“You’re my son, I get to spoil you when I can. I didn’t nearly enough when you were younger, and now the opportunities, as I said, are rare. Order what you want. My treat.”

“Mom.”

“There’s that voice again. I can do it as I’m the mother,” she insisted. “Speaking of…”

“Wait.” He gestured to the waitress. “I’m going to need a drink for this.” He ordered one, and then, when it was brought to him, he said, “Okay, proceed.”

“It’s not that bad.”

“Sure.”

“Are you still seeing that girl?”

Jim stared at her blankly. “What girl?”

“The blonde one. The admiral’s daughter.” She lowered her voice. “You know, the evil one.”

“The evil blonde or the evil admiral?”

“Jim!”

He rolled his eyes. “If you mean Carol Marcus, no. That ended…actually, it never really began. I thought about it for half a minute and so did she, but ultimately, she left Starfleet to concentrate on her scientific career.”

“Bummer.”

“Why the interest in my love life anyway?”

“When you get to be my age, you start to think about grandchildren.”

Jim choked on his drink. “Yeah, that’s not happening. No time soon, anyway.”

His mother sighed as the waitress approached to take their food orders. “So no special woman in your life?”

“Certainly not.”

She took another sip of wine. “Well I hate to think of you all alone.”

“Who said I’m alone?”

“But…wait. So you…you are seeing someone?”

He shrugged.

“It’s not that lovely Doctor McCoy, is it?”

Jim laughed. “Um. No. No.”

“Then…”

A shadow fell across their table. Jim glanced over.

“Mister Spock.”

“Captain. Forgive the interruption. Admiral Fremont insists on having a quick word with you. I did say you were dining with your mother but…”

Jim shook his head. “Don’t worry about it. It’ll just take a second.” He smiled at Spock.

“Oh!” His mother exclaimed. “It’s him.”

They both glanced, startled at her.

“Mom…”

“I can see, Jim. You’re glowing just talking to him.”

“Mom…”

She smiled at Spock. “But he’s doing the same thing right back at you. Why don’t you have a seat, Spock, while Jimmy deals with that pesky admiral?”

Jim almost laughed out loud at Spock’s wide eyed deer caught in the headlight look. Ah, hell he did laugh. Slid out of the booth and touched his fingers to Spock’s discreetly. “I’ll be back as quick as I can. Keep the seat warm for me.”

“Captain…”

Jim merely smirked and left the restaurant to handle Admiral Fremont. As he looked back through the glass of the restaurant, he couldn’t help but grin as Spock sat across from his mother.  

Saving…

Christmas may be over but the flashes just keep coming…until the end of the month that is!

Jim was surprised when Uhura approached him on the observation deck. Generally when he came here to ruminate, no one dared to disturb him by some unwritten code.

“What are you doing here?”

Jim glanced at her, surprised she had asked him the question he’d been about to ask her. “Isn’t that my line?”

She shook her head, her ponytail swaying behind her. “Why I’m here should be obvious. Looking for you. But you…that I don’t know.”

“Where should I be, Lieutenant?”

“By his side, in the medbay. He was injured protecting you, Captain.”

“I know that,” Jim said softly. “Bones said he’ll be okay. Shouldn’t you be there?”

“Oh, I intend to. But he wants you. Are you really this thick? Spock loves me and I love him. That has never changed.”

Jim winced. He couldn’t help it.

Uhura snorted. “But I’m not the one he’s in love with.”

Jim eyed her.

She rolled her eyes. “You, Captain. Spock’s in love with you. How can you not know that? Don’t you feel anything for him?”

Jim narrowed his eyes. “My feelings are of no concern to you.”

She huffed. “But they are of concern to Spock. And even if all you feel for him is friendship, you need to be by his side.”

He knew she was right, but he wanted to remain stubborn. Because, damn it, he was angry. Furious with Spock for putting his own life in danger just for him. And he knew, yes, he did, he knew Spock hadn’t protected his captain, he had protected Jim. And yes, there was a huge difference.

Uhura was staring at him too intently, too much like she could read his mind. She crossed her arms in front of her chest. “How can you be mad at him for saving you?”

Jim blew out a breath. “Aren’t you?”

“No! Don’t you remember with Krall…?”

“That was your captain.” He paused. “And your ship.”

“And my friend. My family. Wouldn’t you have done the same? For your ship and us, yeah, you did. But for us as individuals.”

“Yes.”

“Why would it or should it be different for Spock?”

“I don’t want him sacrificing himself for me.”

“He didn’t. He saved you and he’s going to be all right. Why in the world are you up here sulking instead of telling him how much you love him right back?”

“I…” Jim gave her a tiny smile. “I don’t know.”

She hugged him. “Tell him I’ll come see him later. Now go.”

Jim went and the minute he got to the medbay, Bones just pointed.

Spock was sitting up in bed. He looked vaguely surprised to see Jim. “Captain…”

Jim just shook his head, put his hand on Spock’s jaw, leaned down and kissed him.

He murmured against Spock’s mouth, “Jim.”

It Is Time…

Saying Goodbye to my Fall Guys, it’s been a great three months.

Jim got up early, letting Spock continue to sleep, as he left the bedroom and went downstairs. He didn’t bother to shower. Not yet. He just pulled on the clothes he’d worn the day before and then took his hiking boots and socks with him to put on before going outside.

The air was brisk and the ground crunchy from frost, but the sky was clear, even as the sun had begun to arrive.

His breath swirled in front of him as he took his walk away from the farmhouse and Spock.

Soon opportunities like this would be gone. He sometimes went for long walks on the Enterprise, but they were seldom, if ever, solitary, as there were always crew members around at any given time and it wasn’t as though as captain, he went unnoticed. Ever.

Alone time on the Enterprise was not something Jim ever got to enjoy. And mostly, Jim was okay with that. He’d spent a lot of his early years alone, so he was okay with not being alone now. In fact, he generally preferred to be surrounded by others, especially loved ones, as he now seemed to think of his closest crew members.

But being with Spock these past three months had been Jim’s idea of heaven. However, he knew it was coming to an end.

In just a couple of days they were due back in San Francisco. Jim would be cleared by medical and then the Enterprise would be able to continue her mission.  Jim had no idea when he would be coming back here. It might be years or…dare he think it…never.

Jim was glad to be going back. He missed the beautiful lady. And he missed Bones and all the crew, their friends.

But he could admit, here, to himself, and to Spock, that this…this was nice.

He walked for miles, not even paying any great attention to his destination, but finally ending up in Riverside proper, the city, and over to a little diner he hadn’t been to since he’d left Riverside years ago for the Academy.

He seated himself at a booth and ordered a coffee, texting Spock with his whereabouts, and asking him to join him.

Jim was not at all surprised when Spock made it there in record time. He figured Spock had likely awakened and had been preparing to go in search of Jim.

Spock slid into the booth across from him and gave him a look that figured was not supposed to be reproachful, but it totally was.

“I woke and…”

“I know,” Jim interrupted softly. “I ended up going for a longer walk than I had originally planned or I’d have left a note. Sorry to make you worry.”

Spock nodded, accepted the offer of a beverage from the waitress, and then said to Jim after she left them to make their food choices, “You have been here before?”

He smiled. “Oh, sure. Many times. Mom once dated the guy who owned it.”

“Frank?”

“God, no. This was after Frank. Nice guy, but it didn’t work out. Anyway, he used to give me free food back then. Whatever I wanted. And after…”

“Tarsus.”

“Yeah. Like I said, nice guy.”

“You will miss this place.”

And Jim knew he didn’t mean the diner only but all of Riverside and Iowa itself, if came to that. And he would.

Yeah.

“Funny. I once couldn’t wait to get away from here. Never in a million years thought I would miss it. There’s an old phrase that says something about you can’t go home again. It’s supposed to mean that it’s never really the same, not the way you remembered, you can never get time back or the way it used to be back, that kind of thing, but in a lot of ways it’s more precious to me than it ever was back then.”

Spock reached for Jim’s hand who gladly gave it to him. “We have made pleasant memories here.”

“Yeah, we have. And I’m happier than I’ve ever been.”

“It is the same for me.”

Jim smiled. “But I am, very much, looking forward to the New Year, the new us, the future, wherever it takes us.”

“To marriage and to bonding, is my desire.”

His smile widened and his heart was full. “Mine too.” He picked up his coffee mug and gestured for Spock to pick up his cup of tea. “To tomorrow and beyond.”

They clinked cups and took drinks and then they glanced toward the windows of the diner and watched the fresh falling snow.

Twas the Day After Christmas

Spock woke up feeling very good. Newly in a relationship with his captain, in fact so new the night before had been their first experimentation with physical intimacy, he felt more hopeful for the future than he had in a long time.

Until he turned his head to see Jim standing in front of his small artificial Christmas tree with a tear upon his cheek.

Spock sat up quickly. “Jim?”

His captain glanced his way, surprised, almost as though he’d forgotten he’d spent the night in Spock’s arms. But Jim shook head, gave a watery laugh, then wiped at his cheeks and eyes.

“Good Morning.”

“You are crying.” And yes it came out as an accusation.

“No.”

Spock swung his legs out of Jim’s bed. “I saw you. You even wiped your eyes.”

Jim laughed. “Oh that.”

“Do you…?” Spock stopped, gathering the courage. “Do you regret the consummation of…”

“What? The…no. Are you crazy? Regret that? Never. Ever. Never.” Jim stepped over to him, grabbed his hands and drew him to stand up. Spock was vaguely embarrassed that he wore nothing but Jim’s briefs. And he tried to recall how he came to be wearing Jim’s, but that part was a little fuzzy. Even for him.

Jim kissed him hard and Spock relaxed into the kiss, relieved, though he was still confused.

“Jim, I do not understand.”

“I know you don’t, sweetheart.” He drew Spock over to the tree. “It’s over.”

“Over?”

“Christmas. It’s the day after. I always feel just a…little sad. Ever since I was a kid I looked forward all year to Christmas. To the holidays. It started with Halloween, then Thanksgiving, and then Christmas. The absolute best time of the year. Well, other than the weather. And then on the 26th, it’s gone. And we’re faced with months and months of just…ordinary days, I guess.”

Spock turned Jim to face him, fingers grazing over Jim’s bristly jaw and cheek. “No day in which I can wake up to be with you is ordinary.”

Jim’s smile brightened the room. “God, you’re just…I can’t believe this is real. That you really feel this way.”

“What way?”

“The way I feel about you. I never thought I’d get to have this.” Jim kissed him again.

“No more sadness?”

“No more sadness. After all it all comes around next year again. Let’s go back to bed.”

“We are due on the bridge in less than an hour, ashayam.”

“Damn it. I’m gonna cry again.”

“Jim.”

“Oh fine. Let’s go share a shower.”

As Jim began to move away, Spock drew him back for one more kiss. One of many to come.

There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays

Jim walked outside and looked around. But he didn’t see Spock. Not anywhere he could see in the immediate area. For a moment, Jim glanced back at the house thinking maybe he had been wrong about Spock coming outside.

But then he saw a flash of color in the darkness. The Christmas red and green sweater Spock had reluctantly put on because Jim had asked him to.

With a smile and warmth blossoming in his chest, Jim headed toward the barn where he could see Spock leaning against the dark red structure.

“Hey, babe, you okay?”

“Affirmative.”

Jim walked up to Spock and was pleased when his Vulcan straightened enough to pull him into his arms.

“Sorry you came with me to see my family for the holidays?” Jim was only half teasing. The Kirks could be challenging for most people, Jim guessed, but especially staid Vulcans like Spock.

“I am not.”

Jim pulled back to look at Spock. “You sure? I understand if we’re too much. And honestly, I didn’t know Sam and Aurelan and Peter and Uncle George and Aunt Loulabelle and…

“Jim. I am not sorry.”

“It’s a full house. And with Bones here too…did you come out here because you got a little…overwhelmed?”

For a moment, Spock didn’t answer, but finally he slowly nodded. “They are rather boisterous.”

“They are.” Jim kissed him. “Are they too much?”

Spock blew out a breath. “To be with you, nothing is too much.”

“God, I love you.”

“My affection for you transcends everything.”

Jim laughed. “Some how that sounds way better than my simple I love you.”

Spock shook his head. “Not to me.”

Jim hugged him close. “Aren’t you cold out here, babe?”

“I was before you came out. But if that is your way of asking me if I am ready to come inside, I am.”

Jim held on to Spock as they turned toward the house. “There’s no place like home for the holidays.” He chuckled. “Want some hot chocolate?”

“I could get…frisky.”

“I’m counting on it, Spock. I’m counting on it.”

O Christmas Tree

“Tyler Christmas Trees,” Chris read the sign as Zach pulled up in front of the tree lot.

It was a tree farm, really, and outside of Manhattan, of course, because there was hardly room for a farm there. Sure they had lots here and there dotting the streets of New York City, but Zach had wanted to go to the farm.

“I went here a few years back, first year I moved to New York,” Zach explained as he pulled into a parking space. “They have Santa and peppermint mocha in the barn over there.”

Chris smiled. He sounded kind of excited at the prospect. Zach had a sort of infectious excitement. He got out of the car and followed the other man through the gates of the farm.

“Is this the kind of place where you chop down your own tree?”

“Yeah you can do that kind of thing, if you’re into playing Paul Bunyan.”

Chris laughed. “You’re not I guess.”

Zach gave him a look. “I like real trees and all, but I like convenience.”

Chris walked into the barn after him. It was decorated with garlands and glitter and Santa and reindeer. Mrs. Claus too. Children sat on the lap of Santa, ushered there by elves.

“Cute. Did you have real trees growing up?”

“When Dad was alive, yeah, but once he passed Ma got artificial. It was easier for her with two boys to raise by herself. But since I went out on my own, I’ve been getting real. When I get a tree at all. Sometimes I didn’t bother because I was too busy.”

Zach walked up to the counter where a pretty elf stood manning the peppermint mochas. “Two please.” He took out his wallet and paid, handing one to Chris.

The “elf” was staring openly at Chris, giggling as she did.

Zach rolled his eyes as he put his hand on Chris’ arm and led him away. “Bet she’s seen Wonder Woman.”

“Maybe.”

“Let’s go check out the trees.”

They walked out of the barn and out to the pre-cut trees.

“Flocked or not flocked?”

“Not flocked. I get enough snow without having it in my apartment.”

“Hmm.”

Zach glanced at him. “What about you? Did you guys do Christmas trees?”

“Yeah, we did. Neither of my parents were particularly religious, though I guess they were as kids. But we kind of paid attention to holidays from a secular point of view.. So, yeah, we had a tree. And they were usually real ones.”

Zach smiled. “Well, thanks for being here to help me pick out my tree. It’s great to have you here in New York right now.”

They went up and down aisle after aisle until finally Zach stopped by a six and a half foot leafy tree.

“This is the one,” he announced. “Let me get someone to help us.”

They ended up scheduling it to be delivered to Zach’s apartment rather than them dealing with it themselves.

After it had been set up, Zach stood back and surveyed the tree.  “What do you think, Pine?”

He put a deliberate stress on Chris’ last name that had him rolling his eyes. “Yeah, it looks great.”

Zach moved close to him and put his hand on Chris’ arm. “Ready to help me decorate?”

“Sure am.” He covered Zach’s hand with his.  Then with his other hand he held up some mistletoe. He leaned over and kissed Zach softly. “Merry Christmas, babe.”

“Speaking of…” Zach murmured against his lips. “Is there anyway…?”

“I can stay in New York for Christmas?”

Zach sighed. “Sorry. I know I shouldn’t ask. Your family…never mind.”

“Zach, I didn’t say no.”

Zach’s gaze rose. “But?”

“But nothing.” Chris grinned. “I can stay.”

“Are you sure?”

Chris’ smile gentled and he kissed Zach again, longer, softer. “I’m sure.” He turned toward the tree. “Got your banjo?”

“Yeah, why?”

“Just get it.”

Zach walked away and returned with his banjo, a question in his eyes.

“Do you know ‘O Christmas Tree?”

Zach laughed. “Oddly enough, yeah.” He began to strum it.

“O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, How Lovely Are Thy Branches.”

Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah

TOS OMS

Kirk had not really grown up with much religion. His mother had told him about several and encouraged him to investigate them and their beliefs as he saw fit, but he really hadn’t delved too much into it.

He knew a lot from reading, of course. And being a fan of Dickens, he’d read A Christmas Carol a time or two.

By the time he had become a young man in Starfleet he didn’t give much thought to any of it. His mind had been on other things.

Even when they’d been on the planet in system 892, it had taken Uhura to correct his perception that the inhabitants were “sun” worshipers when in fact they had worshipped the “Son of God”.

Even after he and Spock had bonded, retired for the most part, and settled at his family’s old farmhouse in Riverside, Iowa, Kirk didn’t give it much thought.

When he’d been captain of the Enterprise, the ship had festive events surrounding the holiday season. He’d participated in those he thought he should and excused himself from those he thought he could get away with.

To his knowledge, Spock had participated even less than he had, though Kirk knew that Spock had been very private before they’d fallen in love and bonded. Even now, there was so much about his husband he didn’t really know.

So when he came down rather late for breakfast one December morning, he was surprised to see Spock performing a ceremony with candles, and chanting in a language unfamiliar to him.

“Spock?”

“Good morning, Jim.” An eyebrow shot up. “Or rather, Good afternoon.”

Jim smiled sheepishly. He’d been feeling a bit under the weather lately, plus he seemed to need more sleep the older he got. “Morning.” He snagged a cinnamon roll from a basket of them and tore off a hunk.

“What are you doing? Jewish, right?”

“Affirmative. As you are aware, ashal-veh, my mother was Jewish.”

“Sure. But I was unaware she was practicing,” Kirk admitted, feeling embarrassed. He should know this.

“When she was able to, she did. My father of course preferred the Vulcan way and discouraged her from sharing much of it with me. But when I was very young, she would celebrate Hanukah with me. Even give me small gifts.”

Kirk frowned. “Why didn’t I know this? Why didn’t you tell me?”

“There was no reason you would know nor a reason for me to tell you,” Spock replied. “I have not observed it myself for many years, but with the recent death of my mother, I find myself thinking of her and of it.”

He moved closer to Spock, surveying the candles. “And you’ve had these all this time?”

“Negative. My father presented me with them after her death when you and I were on Vulcan. He saw no purpose in keeping them.”

Kirk met Spock’s gaze. “He really is never going to be warm and fuzzy is he?”

“You know the answer to that.”

“Yeah. I mean things can’t really take the place of the person we lost, I get that, but it’s…nice to have something, you know?”

Spock nodded. “I know. She used to sing songs too. One was ‘Hanukah, Oh Hanukah’.

Kirk searched his memory, trying to remember the song. He shook his head. “Can you sing it?”

For a moment, Spock simply stared at him. But then very softly he sang,

O Hanukah O Hanukah, Come light the menorah

Let’s have a party, we’ll all dance the hora!

Gather round the table, we’ll give you a treat

Driedels to play with & latkes to eat

and while we are playing, the candles are burning low

One for each night, they shed a sweet light, to remind us of days long ago      

Kirk hugged Spock. “Thank you for sharing that with me. Your mom with me. I’m very glad I got to know her.”

“Me too.” Spock lit a candle.     

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