This is the companion piece to Post 10
“I wasn’t aware you were that fond of the Terran holiday season, Captain.”
The words startle Jim out of reverie, both because of the actual content and because Spock is calling him captain again.
He’s asked Spock to come with him to Riverside between their five-year missions, because everything has changed between them. Jim never thought it would, but it has, which makes him happier than he thought he could ever be.
Spock asks him this because Jim is currently staring into a picture window of a store in the city proper. It is a Christmas display with Santa and his reindeer and a few other scenes. They are walking back from having dinner at a little restaurant. It’s snowing lightly but it’s nothing to Jim, though he notes that Spock seems a bit cold. He’s probably lingered here longer than he should for Spock’s sake.
He meets Spock’s gaze and smiles. “Sometimes yes and sometimes no.”
“Do you wish to go into the store to purchase celebratory items?”
They haven’t been a thing for long. Just a few months. The first month was just a lot of kissing and frottage and not much else. It was everything now. Literally everything to Jim. There would be no going back from Spock, so if he ever changed his mind, Jim would be alone.
“If you don’t mind?”
It might be fun, Jim thought. A few silly things.
“I do not.”
Jim knows Spock must be cold for he takes Jim’s arm, like a sweetheart would do, and leads him into the store. He never imagined Spock would be openly affectionate, but he is. Small things like this.
Jim chooses an old-fashioned Santa Clause figurine, a sleigh and reindeer to go with it, and some snowflakes to hang from the ceiling. He is surprised when Spock ultimately suggests they get a tree on display in the store, ornaments and lights included. Somehow, they get the whole thing back to the farmhouse without dislodging a single decoration.
Spock sets up the tree by the fireplace and Jim sets out everything else.
As they stand back together, Jim’s arm around Spock, Spock asks, “What was your favorite Christmas?”
Jim tenses at first because the one he is thinking of, well, he never told anyone about, not even Bones. He’s not sure Spock will understand, but now that he’s being asked, he doesn’t want to lie either.
Jim clears his throat, aware Spock is watching him quite closely.
“It was the Christmas right after Nero,” he says softly. “I had just been given the ship, but in all honesty, I’d never felt so lonely.”
“I’m sorry, Jim.”
He nods. “I hadn’t a single thing to do. Bones went off with a date. You and Uhura were still together, and I thought I wouldn’t see you again, anyway, and so I went to see…” He takes a big breath. “Ambassador Spock.”
He asks the question almost on a whisper and to Jim’s relief, there’s no judgment in his tone, at least not yet.
“Yeah. I was thinking about the meld he’d done with me on Delta Vega and about what some of the things I’d seen there meant, and so I went to his hotel.”
“I did not realize.”
Jim smiles and shakes his head. “No one does. I never told anyone, I don’t think he did either. Anyway, we got all kinds of holiday food and ate and talked, and then he melded with me after I asked.”
“It was my understanding you felt that first meld with him was unpleasant.”
Jim turns in Spock’s arms. Mostly because Spock turns him, arms wrapped firmly around Jim’s waist now and he appreciates the support.
“Kind of, but my curiosity was stronger.”
“What did you see, ashaya?”
Jim loves it when Spock calls him endearments. They mean so much more coming from him than anyone.
“Their relationship. They were lovers, then mates, husbands.”
Spock nods. “I did not realize it back then, but after the objects presented to me after his passing, I surmised that it was quite likely.”
“Yes. Well, after we melded on Christmas Eve, we experienced our own level of intimacy.”
Spock stares at him, but Jim still sees no judgment. “You were lovers?”
“Yes. Just for that night and on Christmas. The day after he left to establish the Vulcan colony. We kept in touch…for a while. But never met in person again.” Jim feels a lump in his throat. “When he passed, I hadn’t been in touch for more than a year. Nor had he, I guess. I think that Christmas we were both what we each needed.”
Spock raised his hand and cupped Jim’s cheek gently. “I am gratified that you could give each other solace, even if it was for a short time. I am aware of my own insensitivities toward your deeper feelings for far too long.”
Jim smiles and leans in to kiss him. “That wasn’t your fault, Spock. You were with someone else. Anyway, I have you now.”
“You very much do,” Spock agrees. “The depth of my love for you takes my breath away, T’hy’la.”
Jim’s smile widens and he turns his face to gaze at the lighted tree. “Anyway, you asked what my favorite Christmas was. And that was it.” He looked back at Spock’s face, gazed into his beautiful dark eyes. “I think this Christmas might be my new favorite.”
As Spock goes to kiss him, he murmurs, “I will ensure it.”