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Spirk (with a small dose of Pinto)

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Star Trek Alternate Original Series

Carol of the Bells

Advent Day 24

The final one. Years ago I wrote A Spirky Christmas Carol where Spock was the “Scrooge” character. I decided to do it this year with Jim. Enjoy! This is the very long “flash” LOL

I hope you love it. I am taking the rest of the year off from this blog, thank you for your support and Happy New Year too.

Merry Christmas!

Admiral James Kirk moved away from the window of his office. It was pouring rain and even there in the office the chill was on.

“Might I put on the heat, sir?”

Jim snorted at the idea. Ensign Robert Lewis rubbed his hands together dramatically. Sure it was a little cold, but not as bad as that.

“Just focus on the task at hand.”

Ensign Lewis glanced at the clock on the wall. “It’s a bit past my normal quitting time, Admiral.”

“Oh?”

“It’s just that…it’s Christmas Eve, sir.”

“So what?” Jim moved to sit behind his desk.

“I don’t mind, Admiral. But the family—”

“The family do not work for me. And as far as I am aware are not members of Starfleet.”

The ensign blanched. “Well, no, sir.”

“Get back to your desk, Lewis.”

The ensign did as he was told but Jim could see he was not at all happy about it.

Just then the door of Jim’s office burst open.

“Uncle!”

Jim’s jaw tightened as his nephew, Peter, strode over to him.

“Haven’t I told you not to come by during business hours?”

“Business hours?” Peter exclaimed. “This late on Christmas Eve? That’s surely a sin.”

“Here, here,” Lewis mumbled.

“What was that, Ensign?”

“Nothing, sir.”

Jim leaned back in his chair and observed his nephew. He wore an overcoat and had a plaid scarf wrapped around his neck.

“What do you want anyway?”

“Uncle, don’t be cross.”

“What else can I be with idiots like you running around talking about Christmas? What’s Christmas to you anyway? All it does is make you another day older and not a bit wiser.”

Peter laughed. “Well, certainly the older part’s true. But I don’t know, I think Christmas is a time when everyone’s a bit nicer to each other. At least for a few weeks anyway. Come and dine with us tomorrow.”

Jim frowned. “Us?”

“Yes, my wife and me. We’re having a Christmas luncheon and we’d love to have you.”

“I’d forgotten you got married.” He shook his head. “Love. Another idiotic notion.”

“I won’t let your grumpiness ruin my good cheer. Will you come? Luncheon will be served at one, but you’re welcome to come earlier.”

“Of course I’m not coming. I don’t make merry at Christmas.”

“But I don’t understand why,” Peter admitted.

“Now please go away and let me get my work done.”

Peter sighed and shook his head. “I just don’t understand why you’re so stubborn and resolute. But I’ll keep my Christmas cheer just the same and say Merry Christmas. And Happy New Year.”

Jim watched as Peter left his office and he felt pleased at having successfully gotten rid of the boy.

He worked another hour and then noticed that once more Ensign Lewis was fidgeting.

“Okay fine. Go home. Why bother working hard enough to make something of yourself.”

Lewis scrambled up from his chair and quickly grabbed up the regulation coat he had hanging off a hook nearby.

“I’ll see you in the morning.”

Ensign Lewis paused by the door. “Tomorrow is Christmas, sir.”

“And?”

“I have that as a day off. Scheduled far in advance, Admiral.”

“Fine. But you’d better be here bright and early the next day.”

“I will, sir.”

And out he was.

“Not much help anyway,” Jim mumbled. He stared at his terminal and his vision started to blur, so he turned it and rose himself from behind his desk.

He went to get his coat and umbrella, and then left his office at last. He took the stairs instead of the lift, and soon was outside trying to stay as dry as possible. Not easy with the wind making the rain slash sideways.

He lived in an old building not far from HQ. It hadn’t been upgraded in sometime and was several hundred years old, but it was cheap and close and that’s what mattered to him.

His was one of only two apartments on the second floor and the other one was vacant at the moment. He made his way to his and let himself in.

It was quite cold and he considered turning on the heat, but figured he’d go to bed soon anyway so there was little point.

Jim put on his pajamas and robe, then went into the kitchen to heat himself some soup. He was on the couch eating it when he heard strange noises.

He couldn’t have explained what it sounded like if someone asked. Just sort of hollow and echoey and he knew that made no sense.

But as he stared at his front door, the lock he had slung across himself twisted open. It was then that he cursed himself for not keeping his phaser handy. The door flew open and in walked—

“Pike?” Jim stood so abruptly he spilled some of the hot soup on his leg, but he ignored the sting of the burn.

“Jim.”

“I’m imagining things,” he said faintly.

“No, I am most definitely here. Sit, Jim. I have some things to tell you.”

“But you’re dead. You’ve been dead for years.” Jim sat anyway, automatically.

“I’m still dead. That’s why I’m here. To help you.”

Jim shook his head as Pike, or Pike’s ghost, approached him. “A night of undisturbed rest would likely help me far more than whyever you’re here.”

“I come to save more than your mere life, Jim.”

“Can you sit?”

“Yes.” And Pike did in a chair across from the couch upon which Jim sat. “I’m not really sure how it is I’m here now in a form you can see. I’ve observed you many times unseen over the years.”

Jim wasn’t sure he liked the idea of ghost spying on him and he shivered.

“Whatever the case, I can tell you I’m here to make you see the bad direction your life has taken.”

“Bad?” Jim scoffed. “There’s nothing wrong with my life.”

“You’re alone and friendless. That’s not the Jim I knew. Tonight you will be visited by another spirit.”

“What? Another?”

“The first of three. You can expect that spirit to appear at one in the morning. The next will appear—”

“Can’t they all come at once so I can get it over with?”

“Heed what they say, Jim. Don’t be stubborn. They are coming to help you have a better future.” Pike rose. “And now I must return.”

Jim stood too. “Where do you go? Why do you haunt me?”

But the ghost of Pike or whatever it was Jim thought he saw was gone. As though he, IT, had never been there.

And Jim decided it hadn’t been.

“I haven’t been sleeping well,” he said out loud. “A hallucination brought about by my insomnia is all.” 

It was best to ignore the whole thing and go to bed. And since he had nothing to do and no one to see for Christmas, he would spend the whole day in bed tomorrow too.

Jim couldn’t have said when he fell asleep or even when he woke, but suddenly he felt a hand upon his cheek and he opened his eyes to see a petite dark-haired woman standing beside his bed.

“How’d you get in here?” he demanded.

Then he realized belatedly she was familiar. She wore a floral scarf around her head.

“Wait.” He scooted up on the bed until he rested on the headboard. “You’re…”

“Hello Jim.”

“Spock’s mom.”

She inclined her head in a way that reminded him so much of Spock it rendered him bereft in a way he hadn’t felt in years.

“I am the Ghost of Christmas Past.”

“Long past?”

“Oh, no. Your past, Jim.”

“But you are Amanda Grayson, aren’t you?”

She did not answer him, instead held out her hand. “Rise and walk with me.”

Jim shifted on the bed and gave her his hand as she dragged him to his feet. Her hand was warm to the touch and not icy as he had expected from a ghost.

Suddenly they were no longer in his apartment but instead out before a farmhouse, the ground covered with snow.

“Do you know this place?” she asked.

“Sure, I do.”

“Come to the barn with me.”

They walked over to the big red barn, where Jim spotted a big hulking figure of a man hunched over a classic car engine.

“Frank,” he whispered.

“Not only Frank.”

Jim shook his head.

“Start the car again you little moron!” Frank shouted.

Jim glanced toward the little boy sitting in the car. “That’s me.”

She nodded. “I know. This was before your brother left.”

“Yeah, though he was never around much anyway. He always left me to get the most of Frank’s abuse.”

The car tried to turn over, but it just made a strange choking sound.

“You’re flooding it, you dumbass.”

Frank straightened and went to the car door, wrenching it open. He yanked the boy out of the car.

“You can’t do anything right, you loser. Get out of here. You’re no help anyway.”

He pushed the boy hard enough to cause him to trip. Little Jim fell on the ground.

“He was a beast of a man, wasn’t he?”

Jim shrugged. “Most days were like this. Or worse. Mom was off planet most of the time then and so Frank just had free reign to do whatever he wanted.”

Just then an older boy appeared, Sam, who leaned down to help Jim to his feet.

“Leave my brother alone,” Sam said angrily. He looked at Jim. “You okay?”

“Eh, he’s okay,” Frank snarled. “He’s just a cry baby like all the Kirks.”

“Sam did care about you, didn’t he?” she asked.

“Who knows?”

“He died as a young man and had children.”

“One. One son.”

“Your nephew, Peter.”

Jim nodded. “Yeah, that’s right.”

“He looks a bit like Sam, don’t you think?”

Jim thought about it, looked at young Sam. “Maybe. I can see it, yeah.”

She put her hand on his arm. “Time to move on.”

The scene changed entirely and suddenly they were at HQ in a big ball room where there was obviously a holiday party going on. Dozens of Starfleet officers and crew members were there.

“When was this?” Amanda wondered.

“The Christmas after Nero,” Jim explained. He glanced at her. “You know who Nero is, don’t you?”

“Yes,” she said softly. “I know.”

Jim turned as Captain Pike greeted everyone at the party.

“Welcome! The food and drink are free, which is why I’m sure you’re here.” Everyone laughed. “We’ve come a long way in the last few months. So enjoy, be merry, and hope for a better future for us all. Happy Holidays.”

Jim smiled as he spotted his younger self with Bones laughing and drinking in the corner.

“You remember this party?”

“Oh yeah. It was a great time. All my friends were there. My crew.” He turned to survey the room and spotted Spock standing with Uhura. Her hands were on his chest and she was smiling. “There’s Spock with Uhura.”

“Yes,” Amanda said.

“Did you ever meet her?”

She shook her head. “This party doesn’t seem that big of a deal that everyone seems so happy. Just a bit of free food and drink. Didn’t even cost a lot.”

“The cost wasn’t the point. It was to bring us all together after months of tragedy. To celebrate the season and each other.”

“So you liked Christmas then?”

Jim frowned. “Hmm. Maybe it wasn’t so great after all.”

She smiled faintly. “This wasn’t real?”

His gaze went back to where he stood with Bones. His heart constricted. Bones. He missed him more than he could say.

“No, this was real. This was all real.”

She took his hand. “Time to see something else.”

Once more the scene changed to several years later and this time it was to him and Spock alone in a different apartment in San Francisco than the one he had now.

“No,” Jim whispered. “Please, I don’t want to see this.”

“It is what it is, Jim. I cannot change it.”

She gestured to the younger versions of Jim and Spock. He stepped closer, bile rising in his throat.

“You do not wish to go to New Vulcan with me?” Spock asked.

“New Vulcan?” Jim scoffed. “What for?”

“To bond with me.”

“Bond? That’s for Vulcans. Humans don’t bond with that Vulcan voodoo thing.”

“Doctor McCoy—”

“Don’t mention him. It’s thanks to you he’s gone.”

“Jim—”

“Bones was right anyway about that voodoo crap.”

“Then you will not bond with me even though we are T’hy’la?”

Jim laughed. “Don’t be ridiculous. We’re not fated mates or any of that. What complete bullshit that is. We were just playing around, Spock. Having sex. It was nothing serious.”

“Nothing serious,” Spock repeated faintly.

“Right. I mean, I guess I’m sorry you thought it was.” Jim shook his head. “I gotta go. They want to see me at headquarters. Bye, Spock.”

And Jim watched as his younger self left Spock alone.   

“No, Spock! I-I didn’t mean any of that. I was just…I was just scared. And angry. And sad. What I said was—”

Spock bowed his head and then leaned against the wall. Tears streamed down his face.

“T’hy’la.”

“Spock! Spock, no! Listen.”

Jim found himself back in his bedroom, in his bed, and alone once more.

****

It seemed only seconds passed before there was a bright shining light in his room. So bright that he shielded his eyes.

It winked out and there standing beside his bed was…Bones.

Bones!

Jim scrambled out of bed so fast he nearly tripped on the tangle of covers.

“Bones? Is that you? It is you, isn’t it?”

“I’m the spirit of Christmas Present, kid.”

His throat clogged. “Kid. Do you know how long it’s been since you called me kid?”

He wanted to hug his old friend, but on the other hand, Bones didn’t look entirely solid, which reminded him Bones was gone. And Jim was friendless.

Bones looked at him with sympathy which made Jim’s eyes hurt.

“Come on, Kid. There’s much to see.”

And as before with Christmas Past, the scene changed and suddenly Jim and Bones stood before a dingy apartment in an inside hallway with stained carpeting down the hallway and dim overhead lights.

“What is this place?” he asked with a frown.    

“This is where your assistant lives.”

“Ensign Lewis?”

“Mm. Come.” And Bones touched his sleeve and they walked through the wall and into the apartment.

Jim spotted the ensign right away, dressed casually in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, his feet bare. He was not alone. With him was a teenaged girl, perhaps fifteen, and a small boy, no more than five and appearing very pale and frail. The boy’s leg was twisted and misshapen.

“Who are they?”

“Bob Lewis’ children.”

“Bob?”

Bones’ look was derisive. “You do know your assistant’s first name, don’t you?”

“I know it’s Robert. I…never paid attention to whether he went by Bob. Where’s their mother?”

“Gone for some time,” Bones replied. “She died in the explosion on Trias 4, where she was stationed with Starfleet at the time. Fortunately, the children were here on Earth at the time.”

“I didn’t know he was a single father.”

“You never bothered to ask, though, did you?”

“No,” Jim admitted.

“I’ve got Christmas off,” Bob was saying. “So the three of us can spend the whole day together. I’ll make a turkey with all the fixings. You’ll help, won’t you, Martha?”

“Of course I will, Dad.”

“Who watches them when Bob’s at work?”

“Martha watches the boy, Tim.”

“She’s just a child herself.”

“There’s no one else. Martha home schools herself and Tim.”

Jim thought of all the times he kept Bob late. Later than he should have. Including this very day. He bowed his head for a moment, feeling like a jerk. He hadn’t always been like this.

He looked up. “What’s wrong with Tim?”

“The mother was part Andorian and had the genes for a disease native to Andorians which she, unfortunately, passed on to her son, though she didn’t have it herself,” Bones explained. “It caused him to be lame with that bad leg among other things.”

“Can he be helped? Is there a cure?”

“With a better life for Bob, maybe. With more time and resources. But he’s been wanting to be promoted to Lieutenant for some time but it never happens for him.” Bones glanced at Jim. “I hear he’s even got a mark on his record for poor performance.”

Jim winced, for he had given Bob that mark himself. The mistake the ensign had made hadn’t been that bad, just quite careless, and Jim had…he shook his head.

“Will Tim live without treatment?”

“No,” Bones said, bluntly. “Without proper care for his condition, next Christmas it’ll be just Bob Lewis and his daughter, Martha.”

“Damn.”

“But now it’s time for bed,” Bob announced with false cheer. And Jim watched as Bob and Martha scooped up little Tim and carried him to his bed.

“Why do you care anyway?” Bones asked. “Come on, it’s time to see someone else.”   

This time, Jim found himself before an average middle-class neighborhood before a cozy looking ranch-style house with neat trim that reminded him of a gingerbread house.

“Where is this?”

“Your nephew, Peter’s house.”

Jim frowned. “Peter lives here?”

“Never been, huh?”

“No.”

“Just what have you been doing, Jim?”

“Living my life just like everyone else,” he said defensively.

Bones snorted. “Yeah right.”

They were suddenly in Peter’s house and he was surrounded by people, friends Jim guessed, and his arm was around a pretty brunette Jim assumed was Peter’s wife.

“So, why do you always invite your uncle for Christmas, Peter?” a man asked.

Peter shrugged. “I guess I feel sorry for him.”

“Sorry?” Peter’s wife scoffed. “He’s a miserable man who doesn’t care about anyone else. He’s got wealth he does nothing with. Even the Federation wishes he’d just go away at this point.”

“But that’s the point, the way he is brings the terrible consequences he faces, and I want him to wake up to what life can and should be for him,” Peter explained. “My dad…he had a lot of regrets where his little brother was concerned. He was sorry he left him to fend for himself when he couldn’t take life with Frank anymore. Dad regretted it for the rest of his life and he never really had a chance to make it up to my uncle, so I guess I want to make it up to him in some small way. I’m the only family Uncle Jim has left. We should spend time together.” Peter smiled a little. “I hope someday to convince him.”

Jim bit his lip and shook his head.

“What?” Bones asked.

“Just…I should make a little more effort for Peter. It’s not his fault his dad was a jackass.” Jim looked away. “I should have accepted his invitation for Christmas.”

“Come, one more place to see.”

They were back in the city of San Francisco proper and the area looked quite familiar to Jim.

“I know this place.”

“You should. You lived here a few years back.” Bones paused. “With Spock.”

“Spock,” he whispered. It was the apartment building they lived at when he…Jim wanted to disappear in shame.

Bones touched his shoulder. “Let’s see.”

Jim followed, but with a new sense of sorrow and remorse. He was led to an apartment on the fourth floor, a one bedroom, and there on a couch sat Spock. He didn’t look very much different than when Jim last saw him all those years ago, when Jim had broken his heart so callously. Perhaps at the temples, Spock had a hint of silver, but otherwise he was absolutely perfect in every way.

Jim left Bones and went to kneel on the floor beside Spock.

“Spock, you don’t know how sorry I am.”

“You should tell him, Jim.”

“I had no idea he was in San Francisco.”

“You didn’t ever check, did you?”

“No,” Jim admitted. “Would he even want to hear from me?”

“There’s only one way to find out.”

Jim stared at the Vulcan. “He’s so beautiful.”

“My time is at an end.”

Jim looked up, shocked, at Bones, who was already fading.

“Wait! No! Bones, please. I-I miss you so much. Please!”

But Bones disappeared and so did Spock.

Jim found himself not in the apartment anymore but in a cold dark place that after a while he recognized as a cemetery.

“Well, well, well.”

Jim froze at that sarcastic familiar face. He turned sharply. He was still kneeling, this time his knees knelt in damp, dank dirt.

Admiral Marcus.

“Surprised to see me, Kirk?”

He was filled with dread, all-consuming, actually.

“You could say that,” he whispered. “What do you want?”

“I’m the Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come.”

You?”

 Marcus laughed. “Who else did you expect? Get up, Kirk. Come with me.”

He struggled to his feet, his gaze going to the grave he’d knelt by.

Timothy Lewis the name on the gravestone read.

“The boy?”

“Yes. He couldn’t be saved.” Marcus shrugged. “Most can’t be, Kirk. You should know that many must be sacrificed for the greater good.”

“Like my whole crew so you could start a war with the Klingons?”

“This isn’t about me, Kirk. It’s about you. Come on.”

Jim kept his gaze on the sad grave of his assistant’s son. Things could have been different if he’d known Jim was sure.

Marcus brought him within earshot of two Starfleet officers walking close to HQ.

“I thought he’d never die.”

“He probably thought so too. When did it happen?”

“Last night I guess. They were getting ready to arrest him for treason, you know.”

“Was it suicide then?”

“Don’t think so. I think it was just a coincidence. His heart couldn’t take it. He sure fell down far from the hero he once was.”

“Trying to start a massive Federation war? Yikes. It’s unbelievable.”

They went into HQ.

Jim frowned. “Who were they talking about? You?”

Marcus chuckled. “Future, Kirk. I don’t have one.”

The scene changed again and they were at a place that reminded him of New Vulcan. But they hadn’t boarded any ships.

“Where are we?”

“New Vulcan.”

“How…”

“Just watch.”

Several robed and hooded Vulcans appeared in a solemn row. Jim couldn’t figure out what this had to do with him. He hadn’t been on New Vulcan for years.

Then more came and they appeared to be carrying a body on a slab of wood. It was then that Jim saw they were bringing it to a funeral pyre.

“Who has died?” he asked.

He thought perhaps Sarek, but he didn’t see Spock anywhere, and if he was there to see Spock of the future, he didn’t see why Marcus would take him to Sarek’s service if Spock wasn’t there.

“Why don’t you lift the cloth?” Marcus suggested.

“Won’t they—”

“They are unaware of our presence and our actions.”

Jim looked at Marcus and swallowed heavily. He dreaded lifting the cloth but knew it was something he needed to know.

He stepped over to where they’d stopped with the body on the slab. Hand shaking, he lifted it toward the cloth.

“Before I look, this can be changed, right? If I change, everything I’m seeing now doesn’t have to happen?”

Marcus shrugged.

“Why show me this if there’s no hope?”

Marcus pointed.

Jim exhaled slowly and lifted the cloth. Lying there on the slab, clearly pale and dead was…Spock.

His Spock.

He quickly dropped the cloth and stepped back.

“No!”

“Spock finally accepted death as a way to end his torment at the rejection of his T’hy’la.”

He turned on Marcus. “Accepted death? He killed himself?”

“In a manner of speaking. He chose not to accept the offering of the surrogate for Pon Farr. In prior cycles, he had made use of that offer, but given what he knew of the charges against you—”

Charges against me?”

“You were the one those men spoke of, Kirk. You were about to be arrested for treason and Spock learned of it. The shame of what his T’hy’la had done was too much for him and he—”

“No! No way! It’s a lie,” Jim screamed. “I would never. I would never commit treason. That doesn’t happen. That is not the future.”

“Believe what you will, Kirk.”

They were suddenly back in the cemetery again, this time before another gravestone. This one was abandoned and decrepit. Vandalized.

Marcus pointed for Jim to look at it.

Jim closed his eyes and shook his head. “I can’t.”

“You can and will,” Marcus said sharply.

Jim nodded, sucked it up, and opened his eyes to see.

James T. Kirk, former hero of the Federation, now disgraced traitor

were the words on the stone.

He fell to his knees. “No. No. It’s not true. Spock. Spock, I swear, it’s not true. It’s not true.”

****

Jim woke, crying into his pillow.

“It’s not true.”

He gasped and sat up.

“I’m in my bed.” He felt his own body. “I’m not dead. I’m not a traitor. Thank God.”

Jim scrambled out of bed and ran to the window to look outside. It was a beautiful, clear day. The digital clock on the wall said the date was December 25.

“It’s Christmas,” he said, faintly. “I haven’t missed it.”

But there was so much to do. So much.

He got busy.

****

“Daddy, there’s someone at the door,” Martha told her father.

Bob Lewis was in the kitchen, getting ready to prepare Christmas dinner. “Hmm.”

He put his spoon down and walked around the counter of the kitchen, heading for the door.

“Merry Christmas!”

Bob frowned at the female yeoman standing at his door. “Merry Christmas,” he said.

The yeoman handed him two envelopes, and then a red and gold festively wrapped box with a bow.

“What’s this?” he asked.

The yeoman smiled. “From Admiral Kirk.” She paused. “Congratulations, Lieutenant.”

And then she turned around and walked down the hallway.

Bob closed the door and turned to look into the curious faces of his children. He handed the wrapped box to Martha, and then opened one of the envelopes.

 “You have been promoted to Lieutenant, effective immediately,” Bob read out loud. “Admiral James T. Kirk.”

Martha’s eyes widened. “Daddy, that’s wonderful!”

He went on to read, “Your record has been cleared. You also have tomorrow off. See you the next day. Merry Christmas.”

His eyes stung a bit as he realized they were filling with tears. He opened the other envelope and saw that it was information about a specialist for Tim and that they had an appointment with that specialist after the New Year. And that it would all be taken care of by Starfleet, via Admiral Kirk.

“Can we open the present, Daddy?” Martha asked.

“Yes,” Bob told his children, smiling through his tears. “Yes, we can. And we’re sure to have a very Merry Christmas!”

****

Jim waited a few minutes before the doorbell was answered by Peter.

“Uncle Jim!” Peter exclaimed, clearly shocked.

Jim smiled. “Merry Christmas. Can I come in?”

“I…of course you can.” Peter seized his hands and dragged him into the house. “This is…this is a wonderful surprise.”

“Is it? I’m glad. I came to meet your wife and to accept your invitation to lunch.” He paused. “Except, it might not be until tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow?”

“There’s someone I really have to see today. And I, I’m hoping when I come for lunch, it won’t be alone. But we’ll see.”

Peter’s wife came into the front hall then. He recognized her from his trip here with Bones.

“Darling, this is my Uncle Jim.”

****

Jim leaned his forehead on Spock’s apartment door. Now that he was here, he had no idea what he could say to make the way he had treated Spock acceptable or forgivable.    

But he heard Bones’ voice in his head.

You should tell him, Jim.

He knocked.

And it took so long for the door to open, Jim almost thought Spock wasn’t there.

“Admiral?”

Tears pricked his eyes. “Jim, Spock. It’s Jim. Can I-Can I talk to you?”

Spock looking practically perfect in every way stood back to let Jim inside.

Jim looked around and realized that, yes, it looked exactly as it had when he’d been there with Bones.

“How did you find me?” Spock asked quietly.

“That’s a fairly long and rather unbelievable story,” Jim told him. “But I did find you. And that’s what’s important.”

“Would you like to sit?”

“No. For some reason I think maybe standing is better. Spock, there’s no easy way to say this. I’ve missed you these past several years like I’d miss a piece of my heart, a piece of me. Life isn’t worth living without you. I’m a big stupid idiot who can’t even begin to tell you how sorry I am for the way I was and how I acted with you and things I said.” He paused. “Like blaming you for Bones’ death.”

“Yes.”

“If anyone was responsible other than the Klingons, it was me, not you.”

“Jim.”

He shook his head. “I’ve been eaten up by guilt and I took it out on you which is the crappiest worst thing I could have done for both of us. I’ve hated myself ever since and I didn’t know what to say to you or how to tell you I love you so much and I’m so sorry for what I’ve done to you, to us.”

Spock simply stared at him, not saying anything.

Jim’s heart pounded hard and painfully in his chest.

“I know my behavior was the ultimate betrayal to the T’hy’la bond and I can’t take that back. I can only try to make it up to you every day for the rest of my life, if you’ll allow me that. Please. Allow me that.”

And then Spock moved forward toward him and Jim almost had a flashback to that moment so long ago on the bridge when—

“T’hy’la,” Spock whispered, just before covering his lips, his cheeks, his whole face with kisses. He was held in Spock’s arms, tight and warm, and the last of Jim’s icy heart melted.

He closed his eyes and clung to Spock desperately. And he said a silent thank you to Amanda, Bones, and even…Marcus.

And to Pike. Pike, most of all.

“Thank you,” he said out loud.

“Jim?” Spock pulled back just slightly to look at Jim, who smiled bright and with a full heart.

“I love you, Spock. Thank you for giving me the chance to show you.”      

Flash Fic, August 30, 2021

This one might be a bit sad to some. This concludes August

George Kirk was pretty sure he had everything ready to leave. He’d checked and double-checked. His wife, Winona, was avoiding him. He knew why. She did and didn’t want to go. He understood and felt the same way.

Prior to this day, they’d had that conversation.

“You don’t have to come, sweetheart. You can be reassigned to a place in San Francisco. Then Sam can stay with you while I’m on the Kelvin.”

“I know,” she said softly. “I know that’s true. But this assignment is short. It’ll mean so much to both our careers. After the baby’s born, I’ll be back here anyway.” She’d rested her hand on her still flat stomach.

Their second child. They’d decided not to learn what they were having this time. With George Samuel, they had decided to find out. It had been fun, but this time, they’d decided to make it a surprise. George thought she probably wanted a little girl, but he’d be happy with either.

“Son.”

George turned to his father, Tiberius Kirk. He was looking older than he’d ever looked before to George. That concerned him some. He worked hard on the Riverside farm and he had no one to help him these days.

“You okay, Dad?”

“Sure, sure. You ready to go?”

“I think so. You get my boy settled in?”

Sam was going to stay with George’s parents until Winona returned to Earth after her Kelvin assignment. Children didn’t belong on a starship. Eventually Winona would settle back here with both their children and George would continue on the Kelvin. George was going to be First Officer.

“Yep. He’ll be fine. Probably ought to say your goodbye though. I’ll then drive you two to the shuttlebay while Mom stays with Sam.”

“Right. Okay.”

George gave his Dad’s shoulder a squeeze, then went over to where his mother waited with little Sam, who barely knew how to walk. He probably would never remember his parents’ absence. That gave George some comfort.

He first hugged his mom, who wrapped her arms tight around him. 

He smiled when she released him. “Think Dad’s all right?”

“He was complaining about some aches and pains. He’s not a young man anymore, George. I expect you’ll know what that’s like yourself one day.”

He laughed. “Yeah. But not for a long long time, Mom. I’m not even thirty.”

She reached up to ruffle his hair. “Don’t I know it. Never mind. Your son will be fine here. He’s a sweet boy and you’ll both be back with him before you know it.”

George nodded and dropped to his haunches to hug and say goodbye to his son. “Okay, buddy, Daddy has to go. Daddy and Mommy.”

“Go?” His fat little bottom lip trembled.

“Yeah for work. But we’ll be back. Mommy first before you know it. And you’ll have a little brother or sister.”

Sam didn’t seem too sure about it and his eyes were getting wet.

“Hey.” Georg hugged him. “You’re going to be fine. Grandma and Grandpa will take good care if you.”

“K.”

“Daddy loves you. So much. And I will be back. I promise.”

He hugged his son again and then waited while Winona did too, openly sobbing.

It was too late for her to stay behind, they both knew it, but George made the suggestion anyway when she joined him, still wiping her eyes.

“You could—”

She shook her head. “Let’s just go.”

He smiled and leaned over to kiss her forehead. “It’ll be all right, Win. This is going to be great for our family.”

She smiled back. “I know. Let’s go before I run back to him.”

George turned to go.

“Daddy!”

Giving her hand a squeeze, George turned back just as little Sam waddled over to him on unsteady legs and hugged George’s legs. He felt tears sting his own eyes. This was all much harder than he had expected. He scooped Sam up, kissed his cheek and then handed him to his mom, quickly leaving.

****

Sam held onto his two-year-old brother’s hand while Mama talked to Grandma. He could sort of hear what she was saying.

“I can’t handle taking care of them right now. I don’t know what else to do. So if I could just leave them here with you—”

“Of course you can.”

 “Just for a short time until I can get my act together. It’s been so hard without George and—”

“Yes, I know. I’ll take care of those boys.”

“I know you just lost Tiberius but—”

“No, no. You just do what you need to do, Winona, honey. Sam and Jimmy are safe with me.”

Sam watched as Mama glanced their way. She had left bags with their things next to Grandma. She wiped her eyes and then instead of coming back to Sam and Jim, she hurried away from the farmhouse.

“Mama,” Jim whined.

Grandma came over to them with a smile. “Come on in, boys. We’re going to have a wonderful time together. Don’t you worry. And your Mama will be back real soon. Before you know it.”

Sam glanced at Jim as Grandma began to walk toward their bags. “Don’t believe it, Jimmy.  They always say that.”

He tightened his hold on Jim’s hand and followed after Grandma.

****

“You’ll be staying with me and Frank now.”

Sam didn’t look away from his grandmother’s grave. She was buried next to grandfather. There was no grave for George Kirk, Sam’s dad. There had been nothing left to bury.

His mom had come with a man who attempted to smile at them like he was okay, but Sam didn’t buy it. There was something in Frank’s eyes Sam just didn’t trust.

“Sam, come on. Frank is waiting over there with your brother.”

“What about this place?” Sam asked.

“We’ll sell it. Frank has his own farm. We don’t need this old place. It needs a bunch of repairs anyway. Now stop stalling and let’s go.”

Sam bent down and put a rose on his grandmother’s grave. This time there was no one to say they’d be back before Sam knew it.

****

“Why are you leaving?”

Sam almost wavered at the pained look on brother’s face. Almost. But he couldn’t stand to live there one more day. His mom was gone again. On some assignment for Starfleet. And they were stuck with Frank. Sam hated Frank.

“Because I can’t be a Kirk in this house.”

“Please. Please don’t go.”

Sam swallowed. Looked off into the distance, beyond where Frank stood, glaring at them. He looked back at Jim. “I’ll be back before you know it.”

Jim stared at him. Then he looked down at the ground and nodded, as Sam moved away, to leave Riverside behind.

****

Jim shared a look with Spock. Pursed his lips, and then approached the little boy sitting on the biobed, his small legs dangling off the side. He had strawberry blond hair and a smattering of freckles across his nose and cheeks.

“Hi,” Jim said softly.

“Hello,” he said in a small voice.

“Are you feeling better, Peter?”

“Uh-huh. Not in pain anymore.”

Jim smiled. “That’s good. Listen, uh, your dad—”

“I know he’s not coming back,” Peter said. “They never come back.”

Jim felt a lump form in his throat. He felt Spock’s hand on the small of his back and he sent thanks through their bond.

“He isn’t coming back, you’re right. And your mom, too.”

Peter nodded. “I’m-I’m an orphan.”

“Me too.”

Peter looked up at Jim, surprised. “You are?”

“Yes. My dad has been…gone since I was born. I never knew him. My mom, your grandma, died last summer.” Jim glanced at Spock. “Spock’s mom is gone too. But he still has his dad.”

Peter looked at Spock, then back to Jim. “Who will take care of me? Where will I go?”

Jim let out a steady breath. “You aren’t going anywhere.”

“Huh?”

“You’re going to live here with me and Spock. On the Enterprise. We’ll take care of you.”

“You, Uncle Jim?”

“Yes,” Jim said. “It’s all arranged. Me, Spock, and the whole crew. We’re going to be your family and you’ll be ours.”

Peter seemed to think about this and then he nodded. “Uncle Jim?”

“Yes, Peter?”

“Can we go to the mess? I’m super hungry.”

Jim laughed and helped Peter off the biobed. “You bet. Spock and I are hungry too.”

Flash Fic, August 27, 2021

“State your name,” the admiral said.

“You know my name.”

“This is for the official record.”

“Jim Kirk.”

Silence.

”Full name, please.”

Jim looked away from the screen and collected himself. “James Tiberius Kirk.”

“Rank and ship.”

“Captain of the USS Enterprise.”

“In your own words, please give an official account of the incident that cost the lives of Lieutenants Graves, Mastrantonio and Richardson.”

Jim straightened behind his desk. Fidgeting a little. He’d already gone through this with two other admirals. This was supposed to be the final one. It hadn’t gotten any easier from the first two.

“We were exploring the planet, Cosar Three, after a distress signal. We’d received a distress signal from the scientists stationed there, but when we arrived there were no life signs and no…bodies of the scientists.”

He’d known one of the scientists.  They’d been friends once and then lovers. And then nothing.

When he paused for too long, the admiral prodded, “Go on.”

“I chose a landing party consisting of myself, chief medical officer, Leonard McCoy, Commander Spock, and Lieutenants Graves, Mastrantonio, and Richardson. Graves was a science officer reporting to Commander Spock. Mastrantonio, and Richardson were security officers. The three of them had exited the empty laboratory and were preparing to continue their exploration of the surrounding area where they were abruptly attached by a gaseous entity.”

“You personally witnessed this attack?”

Jim swallowed and nodded. “They had screamed as they were set upon and myself, Doctor McCoy, and Mr. Spock exited the lab, phasers drawn and at the ready. While we watched, the creature consumed the entire bodies of the three officers. After that, it moved off in another direction and away from the remaining members of the landing party. We returned at once to the Enterprise.”

“And you had no prior readings of this gaseous entity before it attacked your officers?”

“None. Mere seconds before their screams, Spock got a strange reading on his tricorder. That was the first indication we had that there was any other life form there. We can only assume that the scientists from Cosar Three were set upon by the same creature.”

“And what has happened to the entity since your first encounter with it?”

“Through research and trial and error, Lieutenant Commander Scott and Commander Spock were able to discover the way to eliminate it and its threat. The creature was destroyed.”

“You’re sure?”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“And there were no additional casualties save for Graves, Mastrantonio, and Richardson.”

“Correct.”

“All right. That’s the end of the office record.” The admiral sat back. “Jim. You did everything right. You bare no responsibility.”

“Tell that to the guilt that’s eating at me, Mom.”

She smiled gently at him. “Every admiral who has questioned you and the others have exonerated you and your crew from blame. In fact, you saved other planets and other humanoids from becoming victims of this same entity.”

Jim shook his head. “Maybe. I can’t help wonder if there are more of them out there.”

“If there are, you and your crew discovered how to take care of them. That’s something too.”

He nodded.

“I’ve taken care of informing their families of their loss. They’ll get full lifetime benefits provided by Starfleet.”

“I know.”

“It’s not easy, I know.” She sighed and leaned back. “Besides your dad, I lost many friends that day on the Kelvin and on many missions since. I’m grateful to still have you.”

“Thanks, Mom. I just…it doesn’t seem to get easier.”

“No, it never does. Where’s Spock?”

“On the bridge, I think. Should be back soon.”

“Let him take care of your for a while. He can ease your burden.”

“I will. And you’re right, he will.” He attempted a smile. “Thanks for everything, Mom. I’m glad this last one was you.”

“Me too. And that’s it. The reports have been filed and the case is closed. Talk soon, Jim. Kirk out.”

And his screen went back to the Starfleet screen.

At that moment he heard the door of the quarters being accessed. He got up from behind his desk and went to greet Spock at the door. As Jim went into Spock’s arms, he whispered, “You give the best hugs. I’ve missed you.”

Flash Fic, August 25, 2021

It’s late. The last few drinks of the last few minutes in the last bar of the shore leave Jim and the bridge crew have been enjoying. Jim’s pleasantly buzzed but not falling down drunk or anything. He’s been nursing the martini he’s been drinking for a while, just listening to the crew banter.

The shore leave wasn’t long enough but it never is. Jim suspects if it was three months, it would somehow seem too short, and this was a mere three days.

They met up here on the last night, having gone their separate ways until then.

Jim hasn’t seen any of them until a few hours ago and it feels good to see them, though he senses that some shore leaves were less than successful.    

Normally Jim would have probably spent his time with Bones, but this time, Jim thought it was best to spend it doing their own thing. All of them spent far too much time together really, and it could be…monotonous.

Bones looks like had a good time, though he hasn’t said what he did and Jim hasn’t asked.

Jim guesses everyone there probably thinks he spent the days getting laid by different people every hour or some such crap, but none of it’s true. He’d learned before shore leave that Sam and his wife, Aurelan, and their toddler son, Peter, would be on the same planet while Jim was there, so he’d spent his time with them, doing the family thing, and it had been good.

Sulu was meeting his husband Ben and their daughter and he seems in good spirits and yet Jim senses melancholy too. Probably because it’s over all too soon.

Chekov was Chekov of course and he’s been drinking a lot since they arrived.

Sitting beside Jim on his left is Spock. Bones is on the right chatting away with Scotty and Jaylah, who sits on Scotty’s other side.

Spock has been quiet as has Uhura who sits on the other side of him. Jim senses a lot of tension there and assumes they’ve been fighting during their shore leave.

It’s none of his business so he doesn’t ask.

“Have you ever been in love?” Chekov now asks loudly, drawing everyone’s attention. He raises his glass toward Sulu. “You obviously as you are vith Ben. And Mister Spock and Miss Uhura are together.”

Uhura makes a face, then looks at Spock who gives a curt nod. “Actually, Ensign, Spock and I have terminated our relationship.”

Chekov looks comically shocked. “You have?”

“Very recently,” she said coolly.

Jim clears his throat. “Chekov—”

“Vhat about you doctor?”

“I was married, remember?” Bones is snappish but that doesn’t seem to bother the young ensign who nods enthusiastically.

And the Chekov does the thing Jim’s been dreading and turns his big eyes on Jim.

“Vhat about you, Keptin?”

“I think it’s probably time to return to the ship,” Jim says, trying not to sound too harsh. But he sure as hell doesn’t want to get into that.

“But, the question?”

“I’m sorta interested in that myself,” Scotty piped in.

Jim sighs, pinches the bridge of his nose, and opens his mouth once more in an attempt to avoid the question. He’s aware everyone’s looking at him.

“Sure,” he says, finally. “And unrequited love sucks.”

“Unrequited?” Chekov repeats. “Vho doesn’t love you, Keptin?”

He rolls his eyes. “I’ve lost count, Mister Chekov. It’s time to go back to the ship. Shore leave is over.”

Everyone starts getting up, packing up their belongings they had with them on shore leave, souvenirs that sort of thing.  

Spock spots a stuffed dragon Jim has in his luggage.

“Captain?”

“Oh.” Jim grins. “My brother gave that to me yesterday. When we were kids we used to pretend we were dragons. Kind of a family joke. He saw this at a store and bought it for me.”

Bones frowns. “You saw Sam?”

“Uh-huh. And Aurelan and Peter. Spent the last three days together.”

“You didn’t tell me you were seeing your family.”

Jim shrugs and exits the bar with Bones and Spock trailing behind him.

As he approaches his quarters, Spock falls in step beside him as he often does. He can feel Spock’s glances.

“Something on your mind, Spock?”

“If you do not mind. There is a personal matter I would like to discuss.”

“Sure, come in.”

And Spock follows him into his quarters.   

Jim hopes he’s not about to say he wants to leave or transfer because of the end of his relationship with Uhura. How many times had they broken up anyway? She always managed to reel him back in. And maybe that was an unfair assessment but Jim doesn’t care. He’s tired and cranky and sorry he had to return to duty. He misses his family that he left behind mere hours ago and that’s weird as he never thought he would.

He turns to face Spock with an encouraging smile.

“What’s up?”

Spock exhales. “If I may be so bold, your love…it is not.”

“Not?”

“Unrequited.”

Jim feels himself lose color. “How did you…?”

“I am a telepath.” Spock steps forward and hold up his hand toward Jim’s.

After a moment, Jim raises his and they touch, palm to palm, fingers to fingers. And suddenly Jim doesn’t miss his family as much. He smiles and Spock…smiles back.   

Flash Fic, August 20, 2021

,

“Last call.”

Spock looked around for his husband, but didn’t immediately see him.

He was then approached by the bartender, Max.  “I guess you’re looking for Jim.”

“Yes.”

He used his thumb to gesture to the back booth. “Over there. He’s pretty out of it.”

Spock nodded. “My thanks.”

He made his way to the dark booth in the back and found Jim slumped over the table. Next to him was several empty glasses.

“Jim.”

He had to say it several times before Jim slowly raised his head to look at Spock. His eyes were bloodshot and dazed.

“Whosherit?”

“Me, your husband.”

“Hello husband.”

“I thought you would have returned home before now.”

“Was mad.”

“I realize. Are you capable of standing?”

“Uh. Think so.”

Spock helped him out of the booth, and held him up with an arm around him. He reeked of far too much booze.

“You need a shower and to be put to bed.”

“You can’t bed me until you polygize.”

“I am not trying to bed you,” Spock said. “Come.”

He was able to get Jim out of the bar, and to the farmhouse without much trouble. Then up the stairs and into the shower.

After he washed his husband and made him brush his teeth, somewhat successfully, he  steered him to their bed.

Lying on his back, Jim stared up at him, eyes a little dewy. “Still mad at me?”

“I am not.”

“Good. Not mad at you either.”

“That is pleasing to hear. I am sorry you found it necessary to overindulge.”

“Stupid, I know. I feel gross.”

“Go to sleep, ashaya. You will feel better in the morning.”

“I love you.”

“I love you also.”

“Spock, what will we do with…”

Spock shook his head, put his hand on Jim’s face, and whispered, “We will figure it out as we always have. Sleep now, Jim. You have nothing to fear.”

When Jim closed his eyes, he turned away and left their bedroom. He went downstairs and once more picked up the PADD with the message that had started it all.

I am pregnant with your child    

Flash Fic, August 11, 2021

Spock has been keeping a secret. He is not comfortable with it, but he finds it necessary.

He is in love with his captain.

In reality, he has had this secret for a long time. He first came to the realization that he felt love for his captain as he witnessed his death in the warp core.

Even after this realization, and the relief that Jim’s demise was temporary, Spock chose to continue his relationship with Nyota. He cared for her. It was not the same devotional love he felt toward Kirk, but he knew that was a lost cause, so it seemed there was no harm in continuing to see Nyota.

When it became more troublesome to continue to watch his captain pursue others, Spock sought solace in the idea of doing his duty and resigning from Starfleet for New Vulcan.

He advised Nyota of his plans and their relationship ended.

And then Krall and Altamid happened.

For a while, Spock allowed his relationship with Nyota to resume, given that was what she seemed to wish, but the distance between them grew, they both felt it, and finally she came to him and asked to remain friends only.

Spock had been relieved. He hadn’t wished to lose her, he just didn’t care for her the way she deserved, and they both knew it.

Spock continued to keep his secret, while keeping a watchful eye on his beloved.

He was pretty sure he hid it well, until one day, after Jim was injured yet again in a mission, and he kept a close eye on his recovery, McCoy came to stand beside him as they studied their unconscious captain.

“You should tell him.”

“Doctor?”

McCoy sighed. “Spock, stop hiding behind your Vulcanness and tell him how you feel.”

“I have no idea what you are talking about.”

“Sure. Only the longer you wait, the more chance he’ll give up entirely and find someone else. It’s already been close. If you don’t act, Spock, well…it’s your funeral.”

“My funeral?”

“An expression.”

“A perplexing one.”

“Just…do it. Even if it’s while he’s sleeping. Get it off your chest.” McCoy sighed. Pinched his nose. “Another expression. I gotta go check something.”

And McCoy walked away.

Spock had no idea why he let McCoy talk him into this, but he walked over to Jim’s biobed. Stared down at his unconscious form.

“I am in love with you,” he said, softly, pushing a lock of hair off Kirk’s forehead.

He turned and left.

After Jim was released to go to his quarters for further recovery, he called Spock to see him.

He smiled when Spock arrived.

“Hey. You want to play chess or something?”

Spock agreed. It seemed as though his secret still belonged to him.

They were in the middle of the match, when Jim leaned back.

“When were you going to tell me?”

“Captain?”

“You know what.”

“No, I am afraid I do not.”

Jim sighed heavily. “I wasn’t asleep.”

Spock blinked, stared. “I see.”

“And for the record, I’m in love with you, too.”

A better outcome than Spock had ever expected.

Much later, when they were lying in bed beside each other, having done quite a bit of exploration, Jim turned to him, put his hand on Spock’s face.

“So. When were you going to tell me?”

“When it became relevant.” Spock paused. Smiled slightly. “As it just did.”

Flash Fic, August 06, 2021

“Are you angry with me?” Spock asked his captain, his…boyfriend, he amended in his own mind. Recently acquired, but acquired, nonetheless.

Jim lounged on the couch in his quarters. This new Enterprise had much larger quarters than the old one that had been destroyed on Altamid.

He wore his pajama bottoms and a form fitting t-shirt and had barely acknowledged Spock since he’d come in.

Blue eyes rose to his from the book he was reading. “Should I be?”

Spock thought about it. Decided to answer truthfully, in his opinion, “Negative.”

A slight smirk was his answer. “Then you have your answer.” His gaze went back to his book.

“However, it seems, plain to me, that you are, in fact.”

“What makes you believe that?”

“You are behaving very dismissive.” Spock paused. “If it is out of jealousy, I assure you there is nothing you need feel jealous over.”

“No?”

“The female, Droxine—”

“Was all over you, yes, I saw.”

Spock pursed his lips. He is definitely onto the source of Jim’s annoyance. “I did not encourage her.”

“Nor did you discourage her.”

“I was attempting to learn information from her necessary to our mission.” He paused again. “Similar to how you did with the woman Sylvia.”

Jim frowned. “That was not the same.”

“Indeed. You kissed her. I did not kiss Droxine.”

“Well.”

“Jim, I assure you there is no one that has my affections but you.”

Jim inhaled then and slowly exhaled. “Okay. This is still very…”

“New, yes.”

“I was going to say raw. I don’t like this feeling of jealousy. I felt it enough when you were with—”

“Jim,” Spock interrupted. He went to the couch, sat down, and drew Jim into his arms. “I love you. And no other. You are my t’hy’la.”

Jim smiled against him and snuggled in against Spock’s neck. “You know I love you, too. So much.”

“I know what it is to feel jealous,” Spock admitted. “I have felt that way toward you with your interaction with…anyone.”

“Yeah?”

“Indeed. I try to…repress it.”

Jim kissed him. “There will never be anyone for me but you, Spock. For the rest of my days.”

“Of which there better be many.”

He laughed. “Yes.”

“And for me, it is the same. Always.”

Flash Fic, August 04, 2021

“What did you want to say to me?”

Jim’s expression is open and inviting. Warm even. It is encouraging.

“It is a personal matter,” Spock explains.

“Yeah?” There is no change in Jim’s expression. It remains pleasing. “Go ahead, I’m all ears.”

A curious Human idiom that Spock ignores. Jim uses it frequently.

“I have…come to the conclusion I have developed a close romantic attachment to…a member of the crew.”

He falters here and he is aware of it. Even with the warmth encouragement Jim gives him, Spock finds it difficult to express such emotional thoughts out loud. He’s spent too long suppressing them. Made aware they are a weakness.

“A member of the crew,” Jim says slowly, nodding. “And not Uhura because you guys broke up, right?”

“Yes, Jim. It is not Nyota, though she has encouraged me in my pursuit of…the individual.”

Jim smiles faintly. “I see. Well, if it’s Nurse Chapel, you’ll not only make her day but her lifetime, I’m guessing.”

Spock is aware Jim is joking, trying to lighten things. But he is also aware that the ship believes Nurse Chapel has a crush on Spock. Perhaps she does, but it is not something Spock considers serious nor a matter for humorous speculation.

“It is not the nurse,” Spock corrects. “My sexual interests are in the pursuit of male companions,” he attempts to explain.

Jim’s expression clouds then. Like he is unsure what Spock means, but then it clears, and he nods again. “But you were with Uhura.”

“Yes, but it was during our relationship it became clear to me that my preference was for males.”

“Okay.”

Spock exhales. He has been stalling and for no good reason.

“Jim, my romantic affection is directed toward you.”

Jim’s warmth openness abruptly changes. His expression suddenly goes blank, and his blue eyes no longer hold the sun in them. They are not exactly icy, but they chill Spock, nonetheless.

“Spock.” Jim purses his lips.  “I…you’re my friend. I adore you. I don’t know what I’d do without you, you know that. I’ve told you dozens of times. But I…I don’t feel that way toward you. I’m sorry.”

And just like that, Spock’s heart, beating in his side, shrivels and dies. Jim is shaking his head and talking, saying nothing has to change between them due to Spock’s ill-advised declaration, but it is a lie and they both know it. Everything has changed.

And Spock begins to reconsider his decision not to go to New Vulcan.

Spock wakes with a pained gasp. His quarters are dark and the temperature not ideal.

“Computer, lights on and temperature raised twenty degrees,” he said, his own voice hoarse, rough.

Very slowly, Spock returns his breathing to normal. He has not made the mistake of revealing his love for Jim. It was merely a dream.

Impulsively, Spock gets up, dresses in his uniform, and makes his way to Nyota’s quarters.

It takes a moment, but she lets him in, having pulled a robe around her regulation red pajamas.

“Spock? What is it?”

“I apologize for disturbing your rest.”

She puts her hand on his chest and smiles. “No, it’s all right. You want some tea? What’s happened?”

Nyota brings him tea without him responding to her query and they sit on her sofa. Part of him feels foolish, though he knows she wouldn’t judge him.

“I told the captain…Jim how I felt, and he doesn’t reciprocate.”

She frowns. “What? Are you sure? I thought he—”

Spock shakes his head.

“When? When did you tell him? And tell me exactly what he said.”

“It was a dream,” Spock admits.

“Oh Spock, then you’re fine. That’s just because you were anxious, so your mind made up a nightmare. Jim is not going to reject you.”

“What if it wasn’t?”

“I don’t understand,” she says.

“What if it is a …premonition.”

She gave him a look. “Have you ever been clairvoyant before?”

“No.”

“Well then…”

“But Vulcans are telepathic. It is possible that I am acquiring some sort of telepathic signal from Jim that—”

“Oh, Spock. Please.  You don’t believe that.”

Spock shakes his head. “I cannot take the chance. If what I dreamed came true, I would be forced to leave the Enterprise.”

“Forced to leave? Jim would never do that.”

“Not knowingly, no. I do not mean that he would request I depart. But the situation would become so untenable, I would have no choice, personally, not to leave service under the captain.”

“Spock—”

“Please, Nyota. I cannot risk it. The only solution is to remain quiet regarding my feelings for Jim. Should Jim come to me with an expression of affection toward me, then I will admit to my own. But to be parted from him, is worse than remaining silent.”

A short time later, Spock returned to his own quarters, determined not to listen to any of Nyota’s arguments.

In the morning, they would begin shore leave on the planet, Mesador, which bore an uncomfortable resemblance to Risa as far as Spock was concerned. Though Jim would no doubt take part, Spock would stay behind so as to not subject himself to the sight of Jim having too much fun there.

When morning came, Spock finds himself in the turbolift with his captain.

Jim smiles warmly at him. It is that open inviting smile, that expression that has given Spock hope, however falsely.

“What did you want to talk to me about last night?” Jim asks. “Sorry I wasn’t available. Mom and I have a longstanding conference Tuesdays when we’re anywhere within range. You said it was personal?”

“I…was able to handle the matter on my own, Captain.”

“Oh.” Jim nods and this time his expression changes infinitesimally. Just a small change that no one would likely notice save for Spock because there is nothing he misses in Jim. “Okay.”

The word is spoken softly and though it’s not exactly sad, there’s something there that is off.

“Is something the matter, Captain?”

The full watt smile is back. The one that Jim projects to say he hasn’t a care in the world. Spock has seen it used on many people over the years. When he first notices it, back when Spock felt jealousy over it being aimed at Carol Marcus, he hadn’t recognized it as being a defense for Jim. He knows it now.

“No, no.” Jim shrugs. “Just…I liked the idea of you confiding something personal in me. Made me feel good about us being friends. It’s nothing, Spock.”

Fear is illogical, Spock thinks. He vaguely recalls McCoy telling him that fear of death was what kept humans alive. But this is not a matter of life and death. Or perhaps it is.

“Are you going down for shore leave, Captain?’

“No, I’m staying onboard. I figured I’d man the ship and let everyone else have fun for a change.”

Spock frowns. “You do not intend to frolic on Mesador?”

He uses the term Jim used for their last shore leave.

Jim smiles, a little more genuinely. “I’m going to take your advice, Mister Spock, and rest. I’ve got lots of reading to catch up on.”

“Reading,” he repeats. The doors open onto the deck and Spock follows Jim out onto the deck with their quarters, though originally Spock was headed to the bridge. “Books? Not reports, correct?”

“Reports?”

“If you are behind, you can send them to me. I am not going on shore leave. I am more than qualified to complete them in your stead.”

“I know, but I’m not asking you to, and anyway, no, it’s not reports. Some actual books I picked up at a bookstore in San Francisco last time we were there. Very relaxing, Spock.”

Jim stops in front of his quarters. And Spock takes a chance, even though he feels as though he may shake apart. The idea of ruining everything he does have with Jim is—

“Captain, there is something I would like to share with you, after all.”

“Yeah? I’m all ears. Come on in.”

Spock follows Jim into his quarters, his head buzzing from hearing Jim say the words he did in Spock’s dream.

It might be an omen.

He does not beat around the bush, as the human idiom goes. Spock seems to be full of them these days.

“Jim, I wished to advise you that I have developed feelings of a romantic nature for…you.”

And just like in Spock’s dream, Jim’s expression shudders.

His mouth dry, Spock continues, “I am in love with you.”

Jim slowly blows out a breath. It is the longest exhalation in history, Spock is quite certain.

“Spock.” The word is a whisper along Spock’s brain. It is not followed by the terrible words…you’re my friend.

Jim moves closer to him, puts his hands on Spock’s forearms. He feels the heat where Jim touches him. It scorches his katra.

“Are you sure?”

Spock swallows. “Quite.”

The warm smile returns and even more slowly the sun that warms up the blue of Jim’s eyes. There are tiny crinkles by Jim’s eyes when he smiles that Spock finds obsessively appealing.

He meets Jim’s mouth as Jim rises up to kiss him. It is like being reborn in some way.

“I love you too.”               

Flash Fic, August 02, 2021

And so begins another month of flashes. I have no particular theme for this month, whatever strikes my fancy and fills my imagination. Here’s the first one.

Jim finds him on the observation deck. Truthfully, he had been unwilling to wander the ship looking, so he had asked the computer for Spock’s location.

But now that he is faced with Spock, back to him, Jim isn’t sure whether he should be here or not. Still, he is pretty sure that Spock knows he is here.

“Hey,” he says. Because he’s so uncertain how to begin. He finds he is hugging himself, which he knows is defensive body language, yet he can’t help it. He is defensive.

Spock turns to look at him, and though Jim can see there is a troubled look in his chocolate eyes, that trouble does not seem to lie at his footsteps, so to speak.

Jim asks, anyway, “Did I do something wrong?”

Because they’d just spent hours sexually exploring each other. And from Jim’s point of view, it had been incredible, better than anything he’d ever experienced, and he’d thought it was pretty incredible from Spock’s point of view also, but he’d just woke up alone, and somehow that had felt…big.

“No, Jim. I apologize for making you have any doubts whatsoever about us. Tonight was…more than I could ever hope for.” Spock unexpectedly holds his out his hand towards Jim, who takes it and is drawn to Spock’s side. “I was thinking of my mother.”

“Your mother?”

Spock nods. “I…often do…still. I suppose that is a weakness.”

“No way, Spock. What would make you ever think that?”

He shakes his head. “A Vulcan—”

“Never mind all that, Spock. She was your mom. What are you thinking about?”

“She would have been very happy to know you and to know that I have found my…T’hy’la.”

“T’hy’la?” Jim whispers.

“No Vulcan in a hundred years has been so fortunate. And yet, I have found mine. Brother, friend, lover. The closest standard term would be soulmate and yet for a Vulcan, it is so much more.”

Jim smiles, hesitantly, because it is hard to believe he could be this. “And I am that to you?”

Spock takes both of Jim’s hands in his. “Yes and more. Even those simple three standard words I love you do not seem to convey the depth of my great affection for you, my Jim.”

Jim’s eyes well up with tears. “I feel the same. And I’m sorry your mom isn’t here. I know you miss her, and I wish I could have met her.”

“You two would have been conspiring against me and my father, I have no doubt.
 Spock shakes his head. “I often think about her. What she would think or say about whatever is going on in my life. She never judged me about anything and always said she would be proud of me, and yet, there are times I wonder if that would be true.”

“I’m sure of it, babe. There is no one better than you that I know and there’s no way your mom wouldn’t think the same.”

“She was always on my side no matter what. No one else has ever been that way for me.” Spock gazed into Jim’s eyes. “Until you.”

“And I always will be on your side, no matter what.” Jim kisses him. “Come back to bed with me?”

“Yes, T’hy’la. I will.”

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