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Will You Be My Fake Boyfriend?

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“Spock.”

Spock stopped in his tracks and stiffened hearing his name come from a familiar voice. He closed his eyes and mentally counted to ten before opening them and turning around. Stonn, his cousin and childhood bully, stood a few feet away from him. Stonn hadn’t changed much since Spock had last seen him. Spock had just rejected the VSA. Stonn had heard the news and decided Spock needed to hear how he was accepted without any insinuations to a ‘disadvantage’ and had just entered a betrothal bond with T’Pring after she’d had the one with Spock dissolved. Stonn couldn’t help but rub in anything that he thought could make Spock have an emotional response. That one did.

Perhaps I could punch him again, Spock thought. “Greetings, Stonn.”

“Greetings.”

“What brings you to Starfleet?”

Stonn stepped closer. “I was in Palo Alto for a science conference representing the VSA, and thought I would come visit my cousin.”

Spock narrowed his eyes. “I have not seen nor heard from you in seven years. You do not visit me nor do I visit you. Why are you here?”

“T’Pring is with child. She is due in two point one months.”

“Congratulations on procreating,” Spock spoke. “Excuse me.” Spock turned and walked away. He got a few feet before Stonn appeared next to him, walking with him.

“Do you have a mate?”

Spock internally sighed. “No.”

“A shame. With so many individuals in Starfleet, of all species and genders, one would assume you would find a match.”

Spock grit his teeth.

“It is just as I thought when we were children—neither Vulcan nor human. You have no pl…”

“I do have a significant other,” Spock blurted out. He immediately stopped in his tracks and mentally swore. You do not. 

Stonn stopped and faced Spock. “You stated you did not have a mate.”

Spock blinked. “They are not my mate. Our relationship is in its early stages.”

Stonn eyed him. “I see. What is their name?”

Spock brushed pasted Stonn. “I am late for my class and as you are not a Starfleet member, leave.” Spock didn’t look back or think of Stonn for the remainder of the day.


 

A few days later, Spock walked along the paths of the botanical garden, admiring the beautiful plants and flowers all around him. It was the weekend so Spock was out of his Starfleet professor attire and in casual clothes; a sweater his mother had made him and gray slacks.

Spock followed the path around a bend and came upon a group listening to one of the docents. Spock stayed on the outskirts of the group and listened to the woman talk about the Zellerbach garden.

“Zellerbach is a funny name,” a blonde in front of him said.

“Jim, I’m trying to listen,” the brunette next to the blonde said.

“Zellerbach,” the blonde, Jim, repeated. “Why are we here again?”

The brunette turned his head to look at Jim. Spock arched a brow, recognizing the man from his classs a year previous. McCoy.

“Jojo is coming to visit next week and I need ideas of where to take her that she’d enjoy.”

Jim turned his head and Spock caught his stunning profile and a bright sapphire eye. “What six-year-old likes garden tours?”

“They have other stuff here she might enjoy. Like a treasure hunt.”

“Oh! Why aren’t we doing that? I like treasure hunts.”

“Dammit, Jim, you're not a child.” McCoy groaned.

“Spock.”

Spock stiffened and internally groaned. He turned and once again found Stonn standing before him. “Stonn. Greetings.”

“Greetings.”

“What brings you to the botanical gardens this afternoon?” Spock asked.

“I was overseeing the planting of two Vulcan specimens to their Garden of the Galaxy exhibit. I way on my way towards the exit and I saw you. Is your significant other with you?”

“Why?”

Stonn stepped closer. “I am merely curious who could find your company tolerable.”

Spock clenched his fists.

“Unless there is no significant other. I spoke to your father last night and he stated you were not in a relationship.”

“My father and I have not spoken since my departure from Vulcan. And as I stated two days prior, my relationship is in its early stages, neither of my parents know that I am seeing someone. It is no one’s business.”

“So, they are not here?” Stonn questioned. An amused twinkle appeared in his dark eyes. Spock really wanted to punch him again. “Lying is a human quality, Spock. You are…”

“Jim,” Spock said loudly.

He heard a ‘what’ behind him. Spock turned and found two blue eyes staring at him. His heart beat quickened every so slightly as Spock fought to find his words.

“Jim,” Spock repeated, reaching out taking Jim by the arm. He pulled Jim to his side and looked to Stonn. “This is Jim, my significant other. Jim, this is my cousin Stonn.”

Silence filled their space for several moments. Spock had no idea if Jim would play along or if Stonn would believe him. He had almost decided to run when Jim moved his arm and slipped his hand into Spock’s. A jolt went up Spock’s arm from their contact and fireworks exploded in his head.

“Hey, Stonn, nice to meet you,” Jim said, leaning against Spock.

Stonn’s eyes roamed up and down Jim’s person before looking to Spock. “Jim is…male and human.”

“Correct,” Spock said.

“All human,” Jim spoke. “and all male. Right, honey?”

Spock looked at Jim and found the blonde grinning mischievously at him. Spock nodded. “Indeed.”

Stonn’s eyes went to their hands clasped together. “How indecent.”

“Oh, this isn’t indecent,” Jim said, holding their hands up for a moment. “What we did last night, now that was all kinds of indecent. Right, honey?”

Spock couldn’t help but feel his cheeks warm up. “Yes.”

Stonn stood up straighter and let his eyes roam over Jim again. Spock saw a look in those dark eyes that he could not place. “I see." His eyes tore away from Jim and looked at Spock. "It is time for me to depart. Goodbye, Spock.” Stonn held up his hand in a Vulcan ta’al. “Live long and prosper.”

Spock held his free hand up. “Peace and long life.”

Stonn looked Jim over one last time then turned and left. Once Stonn was out of sight, Spock took his hand from Jim’s and faced the blonde. McCoy walked up next to them and eyed Spock in confusion.

“What the hell was that?” McCoy asked.

“I thought it was fun,” Jim said with a grin.

“I apologize,” Spock said. “I mistakenly told my cousin I had a significant other to kept from hearing his derogatory comments about my mixed heritage.”

“The bastard,” Jim replied. “But hey, its no problem. Like I said, it was fun.” Jim smiled wondrously at him.

“Thank you.”

“Would be nice to know your name, though.”

“I am…”

“Commander Spock,” McCoy interrupted. He poked Jim’s arm. “This is the professor I was telling you about last year.”

“The hobgoblin?” Jim asked, looking at his friend.

Spock arched a brow while Jim continued. “I thought he’d be some old Vulcan guy, not some young hottie.”

“Jim, he’s right there.”

Jim turned back to Spock. “What? You know you’re hot, right?”

Spock opened his mouth, but had no idea how to respond. He closed his mouth and nodded.

“Dammit, Jim,” McCoy muttered.

“Well, Spock, it was nice to have met you and to pretend to be your boyfriend. I think Stonn was jealous.”

“He is Vulcan. Jealousy is illogical.”

“However illogical it may be, he definitely was checking me out and was jealous.”

Spock looked Jim over. The blonde was exceptionally aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Tall, blonde, sapphire eyes. Who would not be jealous of Spock’s boyfriend. Spock mentally shook his head. Jim was not his boyfriend. He had no significant other.

“Thank you for going along with the ruse,” Spock said.

“You’re welcome,” Jim replied. “If you need a fake boyfriend again, you can find me on campus.”

“I do not believe I will need a fake boyfriend again, but thank you for the offer.” Spock gave them the Vulcan salute. “Enjoy the rest of your day. Live long and prosper.”

“Seeya, Spock,” Jim replied.

“Yeah, seeya,” McCoy said as well, offering a small wave.

Spock nodded before leaving quickly.


 

Three months later, Spock had forgotten all about Stonn and Jim. He arrived home after spending the evening with his friend and TA, Nyota, to find his computer terminal beeping from a missed video call.

He sat down at the computer and saw that it was his mother that had called. He’d only missed her by ten minutes so he called her back.

The call connected after a moment and his mother’s beautiful face appeared on screen.

“Mother,” Spock greeted her. “I apologize for missing your earlier call. I just arrived home.”

“Oh, it’s alright, kan-bu,” she replied. Amanda then smiled. “Were you with Jim?”

Spock blinked. “Jim?”

“Stonn told your father and I about him a while ago, but since you hadn’t mentioned him, I didn’t think it would be right to bring it up. Are the two of you still together?”

Spock opened his mouth.

“Because if you are, we would love to have you bring him to the clan gathering in two weeks. You’re on break then, right?”

Spock blinked again. “Yes, Starfleet Academy will be on a short break. Clan gathering?”

“Stonn and T’Pring welcome their child a few weeks ago. T’Pau has deemed it necessary to have a clan gathering as it’s been a while since a child has been born into the family.”

“Three years,” Spock said. “It has been three years.”

Amanda waved her hand. “Still been a while. Anyway, Stonn told everyone about Jim. I’m sorry he did that. I’m sure you wanted to be the one to say something first. But since everyone knows, we’d all love to meet him.”

Spock blinked again. “We?”

Amanda nodded. “Yes. The whole clan wants to meet this young man you were holding hands with in public.”

“I see.” Stonn definitely needs to be punched again.

“I would love to meet him, Spock.” Amanda smiled at him. “Does he make you happy?”

“Happiness is a human emotion.”

Amanda chuckled. “And yet you are dating a human.”

Spock wanted to come clean to his mother. He hadn’t thought of Jim nor seen him since the time in the garden. His mother looked so happy. Happier than he’d seen in a long time. He did not want to cause her to be sad.

 “Spock? Will you bring Jim?”

“Mother, our relationship is still new and…”

“I understand. You’re still young and sometimes things don’t last. It's alright, I'll just let everyone...”

“I shall bring him, mother,” Spock quickly said.

Amanda clapped her hands together. “Oh goodie. I’ll arrange your transportation and can’t wait to see you both.”


 

The next day, Spock tried searching for Jim but had nothing but a name to go one. Starfleet had numerous Jims and James in their academy and Spock couldn’t search by roommate’s name, eye color, or hair color.

Spock planned to spend the evening scouring the search results anyway until Nyota entered his office.

She smiled and handed him his PADDs. “I looked through the final essays and most are commendable. I wrote notes in the margins for you.”

“Thank you,” Spock told her, taking the PADDs and setting them to the side. Nyota took a seat across from him. “May I ask a question?”

“Certainly. Shoot.”

Spock arched a brow but said nothing about the ‘shoot’. “I am looking for a cadet by the name of Jim. He has a roommate named McCoy.”

“Why are you looking for Kirk?” Nyota asked, furrowing her brows in confusion.

“Kirk. Is he blonde with blue eyes?”

Nyota nodded. “Yep, that’s Kirk. Is it about the Kobayashi Maru?”

“No, I merely need to speak to him. What dorms does he reside in?”

“He stays off campus with McCoy.”

“I will look into his schedule then.”

“You could, or you could just to the library. Did Kirk do something?”

Spock shook his head. “No, I merely need to speak to him. What do you know about Jim?”

“He’s a smartass.”

Spock arched a brow.

“But he’s intelligent. Top of our class. Hard worker. I do think he’ll be quite the starship captain one day. But again, he can be a cocky ass sometimes.”

“I see. So I can find him in the library?”

Nyota chuckled. “Yes, he practically lives there.”

“Thank you.”


 

Spock wandered into Starfleet library a few hours later. It was nearing dinner time and he hoped Nyota was right and Jim practically lived in the library.

He stood by the vacant information desk and looked around the grand building. Three stories high, thousands and thousands of books and data banks, and at least a hundred private rooms for meetings or studying. Spock internally sighed. How was he supposed to locate…

“Can I help you, Sir?” a familiar voice asked.

Spock turned towards the voice and internally beamed seeing Jim standing behind the information desk. Jim’s eyes widened minusculy in recognition. A smile spread across his features.

“Spock,” Jim said. “Long time no see.”

Spock stepped forward. “Indeed. Do you work here?”

Jim shook his head. “Nah, but I know this place so well they don’t mind if I help people occaisionaly. So, what can I help you with, Commander?”

Spock glanced around. The library wasn’t packed but it wasn’t empty either. He didn’t want their conversation to be overheard. “I came to speak to you, Jim. Is there somewhere private we may go?”

Jim brows furrowed slightly together before he nodded. “Yeah, sure. Follow me.”

Jim lead him around the desk and back into the stacks. He made a few turns before coming to a locked study room. Spock watched him type in a code and the door opened. Jim motioned for Spock to go in and the Vulcan did. He walked over to the desk in the room and looked at the contents. PADDs, paper notebooks, books, pens and pencils littered on top. Spock touched one of the notebooks and saw an advanced formula for ship codes scribbled on the paper.

“What did you need to talk about?” Jim asked, standing next to Spock. “Need me to be your fake boyfriend again.”

“Yes.” Spock faced Jim and saw a surprised look on his face. “You stated three months ago…”

“Oh, I remember,” Jim said, turning to Spock. He grinned at Spock. “Cousin back in town and annoying you? Want to show off my hotness?”

“No.” Spock resisted wringing his hands together. “May I sit?” He sat anyway without Jim’s permission. Jim didn’t say anything but nod and sat down across from him.

“Everything okay?”

“Not exactly. Because of my lie to my cousin, he went back to Vulcan and informed the whole family about you.”

Jim stared at him. “Whole family?”

“Affirmative. Stonn and his mate just welcomed a child. It is tradition to present new children to the clan. Our matriarch, my grandmother T’Pau, has called for a clan gathering for the new child and my mother has requested, the whole family has requested, to meet you.”

Jim continued to stare. “Um…okay.”

“My mother seemed so pleased that I was involved in a relationship I could not tell her the truth. I do apologize.”

“Where is this family gathering?”

“Vulcan.”

Jim’s eyes widened. “Vulcan.”

“That is what I said.”

Jim sat back in his chair and ran a hand through his blonde locks. “Wow. You got yourself in a pickle there, Spock.”

“Indeed, I did. My cousin and I have always competed with one another. Growing up, I bested him in academics, logic, and the occasional sport. His responses to his defeat have always been to bring up my mixed heritage—how I am neither Vulcan nor Human so I have no place in the universe.”

“That bastard.”

Spock nodded in agreement. “Most of his attempts to elicit an emotional response from me have been met with either my ignoring him or punching him.”

“I’d fucking punch him. Damn. And ya’ll are related?”

“As I stated earlier, yes. Our fathers are brothers. Stonn has also found it pleasing that my former intended bondmate chose him over me.”

“Wait, he stole your boyfriend?”

“T’Pring is female and she was not my girlfriend. We had a rudimentary betrothal bond established when we were seven. Neither of us enjoyed one another’s company so we ignored each other. Shortly before I came to Starfleet she requested the bond be dissolved to be with Stonn. It was and now they are bonded and have had a child.”

“Thus the family gathering?”

“Affirmative. I understand if this is too much to ask of you. I will come clean to my mother and…”

“No, no, I understand.”

“If this is too much of an inconvenience…”

“No, no, its fine.”

“Fine has variable definitions.”

Jim snorted. “Alright so it’s a bit weird, but its okay. What do you need from me? To come to the family gathering and be your arm candy?”

“Yes, but as it is it such an inconv..."

 

“No,” Jim interrupted. “Stonn sounds like a real asshole and from what I remember, dude looked jealous of you. Don’t give him the satisfaction of knowing you aren’t really seeing anyone.” Jim grinned. “We’ll go to your family gathering, make nice with everyone but maybe have a couple disagreements.”

Spock nodded. “So a plausible break up can occur after the gathering.”

“Right. Stonn can at least know you are capable of having a boyfriend or girlfriend. You have otpions and he’s stuck with that T’Pring lady.”

“Thank you for helping, Jim.”

“You’re welcome, but I want something in return.”

“I can pay…”

Jim shook his head. “No, I don’t want money.” Jim grabbed the PADDs on the table and looked through them. He found the one he wanted and tossed the others back on the table. Spock watched Jim tap at the screen of the PADD before he turned to towards Spock.

“So I know you program the Kobayashi Maru.”

Nyota mentioned the test. “I do.”

“Well I’ve already tried it a few times.”

“You are the cadet that has not understood the parameters.”

Jim snorted and waved his hands. “Oh, I understand, I just don’t like them. I don’t believe in no win scenarios.”

“Jim, the purpose of the test is to experience fear. Fear in the face of certain death. To accept that fear and maintain command of one's self and one's crew. This is a quality expected in every Starfleet captain.”

“And that’s great! But out there, out in space, any captain would have a fighting chance.  This test is…narrow in the possibilities of what could happen and what a captain could do to save their crew.”

“Jim, the purpose of the test is not to win.”

“You know my dad?”

“George Kirk, yes. Everyone who comes through the academy learns about Captain Kirk’s sacrifice and how he saved every member of his crew including yours and your mothers.”

Jim nodded. “Do you think he won?”

Spock arched a brow. “I suppose he did win, despite the loss of his life.”

“He was in an apparent no-win scenario. A real-life Kobayashi Maru, and he found a way to win. Out of the limited options he had, he found one that saved his whole crew.  If the Kobayashi Maru was programmed properly than there would be more options for the captain—limited options, but options.  Because it is impossible for a cadet to simultaneously save the Kobayashi Maru, avoid a fight with the Klingons, and escape from the neutral zone with the starship intact with the programming there is.”

Spock looked to Jim’s PADD. There were streams of code running along the screen.

“I created a code, a subroutine, to give whoever is taking the test a fighting chance. That’s all. It’s a roll of the dice what happens and it’s up to the captain to decide how to handle the chance they’re given. Please take a look at it. In exchange for being your date, please look this over and consider it.”

Spock took the PADD from Jim. “I will look it over and get back to you tomorrow.”

“Okay. Thank you.” Jim tore off a piece of paper and wrote his comm number down. “I look forward to tomorrow, Spock.”


 

Spock spent the whole night reading Jim’s code. It was perfectly written and did what Jim said when he tested it early the next morning. The first instance, his fighting change came when one of the blasts from the Klingons missed its target and Spock was able to fire back and destroy two vessels and send the others running. Damages and some loss of life occurred, but they rescued the stranded vessel and managed to get out of the neutral zone.

The second attempt, his ship blew up. 

On the third, two federation ships arrived and helped.

On the fourth, he managed to take out three of the vessels before his ship was critically hit. No way to rescue anyone.

Spock sat in the captain’s seat of the simulator and nearly smiled. This was a damn good subroutine. It still fulfilled its purpose, he thought, but also gave a fighting chance.

Spock left the simulator room and called Jim.

“Who’s this?” a grumbled voice answered.

“It is Spock.”

“Spock? Spock, its like…” Spock heard some rustling then a groan. “Its not even six. Why you calling so early?”

“I apologize for the early call, but I have read through your code and tested it thoroughly.”

“And?”

“I must commend you for original thinking.”

“Thanks. And?”

“And I will bring it up with my superiors. They have final say in new programs but I do believe they will allow me to implement the subroutine.”

“Great. Can I go back to sleep?”

“Will you accompany me to Vulcan?”

“Yeah, yeah, I’ll be your fake boyfriend.”

“Thank you. I will contact you later to go over the details. I believe we will need to plan a story as to not allow any holes to be poked in our relationship.”

Spock heard Jim yawn. “I’m sure you’ll come up with a logical ‘how we met’ story. I’m going back to sleep. Call me at a decent hour next time.”

“Affirmative, but you have class in two hours.”

“And I can get an hour and forty more minutes of sleep before then. Good night, Spock.”

“Good morning, Jim.” Spock disconnected and headed for his office. He had two and half hours before his class and needed to come up with, as Jim called it, a logical ‘how me met’ story that his parents and family would believe.  

Chapter Text

Later that day, Jim’s professor dismissed them a few minutes early. Jim gathered his belongings and joined his classmates heading towards the exit. He left the room and took a left, managing to get a few feet before he heard his name from a familiar voice.

“Cadet Kirk.”

Jim smiled and stopped. He turned around to face his new friend. Spock stood before him, clad in his formfitting black professor uniform. Jim couldn’t help but lick his lips. Damn, he is a hottie. “Professor.”

“I came to return your PADD,” Spock said, holding out the aforementioned item. “I also took the liberty of adding a file of my history so you may study for the trip.”

Jim took the PADD and quickly pulled up the file. He blinked. “Spock, this has like a hundred pages of information.”

“I was thorough.”

“Yeah, you were. Um, thanks.”

Spock nodded.

Jim looked around the hallway then back to Spock. “Do you have a class nearby?”

“I do not.”

“Then how did you know I would be here?”

“I looked up your cadet file.”

“That’s not stalkerish at all.”

Spock’s eyes drifted down to the floor. “I apologize. It was not my…”

“I’m teasing, Spock. Its fine.”

“Fine has variable definitions.”

“Is that your motto or something?”

Spock’s eyes raised up again to meet Jim’s. “I do not have a motto.”

“Right, okay.”

“When will you be able to meet to review everything? Also, my mother has requested to meet you via video call before the family gathering.”

Jim raised his brows. “She wants to meet me?”

Spock’s cheeks tinted a light shade of green. “This morning she sent a message asking for a picture of you, to know what you look like. I sent her one and she was not pleased by it.”

“What picture did you send?”

“The one in your cadet file.”

Jim rolled his eyes and groaned exasperatingly. “Spock, that picture was taken the day after I got into a barfight. I haven’t had the chance to change it but now I do.” Jim shook his head. “No wonder your mother wants to see me first. What did she say exactly about the picture?”

Spock’s eyes diverted from Jim’s. “That it was not flattering and you appeared to have been in a fight.”

“Spock.”

“It was the only photo I had available at the time on such short notice.”

Jim rubbed a hand over his face. “Okay, okay. Just…hey, you,” Jim pointed to a passing cadet. “Sanderson, right?”

The cadet nodded.

Jim handed over his PADD then grabbed Spock’s arm. “Stand next to me. Sanderson, can you take a photo of us?”

Sanderson nodded and held the PADD up.

“Wait.” Jim looked at Spock. “Put your arm around me.”

“We are both in uniform and this is not…”

“Arm,” Jim told him.

Spock’s eye twitched and Jim thought he was about to argue more but instead he stepped closer to Jim and put his arm around Jim’s waist. Jim smiled and looked to Sanderson. “Now you can take it.”

Sanderson nodded and soon a shutter sound came from the PADD. Sanderson handed it back then saluted Spock before leaving. Jim looked at the photo.

“You’re not smiling,” he sighed. “But its still cute.” He tapped a few buttons then faced Spock. He blinked finding Spock still standing so close. His arm still around him. Jim licked his bottom lip and he couldn’t sworn Spock’s eyes darted down and watched. Spock quickly stepped back and placed his arms around his back.

“I’ll um…send it to you to tide your mother over until we can meet. When exactly, because I am swamped all this week with classes and simulations to get ready for midterms next week.”

“Understandable. Saturday evening?”

“Sounds good. Just message me your address and I’ll be there.” Jim saw someone walking down the hall towards them and grinned. “Marnie!”

Uhura rolled her eyes before noticing Spock. “Professor, what are you doing here?”

“I was talking to Cadet Kirk about a matter,” Spock replied.

“So, Maroth, how are you?” Jim asked.

“Those are not my names and I am well.”

“Me too.” Jim took off his bag and opened it up. He pulled out a book and a pencil.

“Cadet Kirk?” Spock questioned.

Jim held the book up, showing the title The Complete Book of Baby Names, Volume 101. “I’ve been trying to guess her name for over a year. I’m in the ‘m’s though.” Jim opened his book to the last place he left off and crossed off the last two he said. He looked to Uhura and arched a brow. “Marpessa? Marquise? Marsala? Martha?”

“No to all,” Uhura said.

Jim made a face and crossed the rest off. “What about Martina, Marvell…”

“No.”

Jim crossed the names off once more then looked to Spock. “Do you know her name?”

Spock looked at Uhura. She stared back, crossing her arms over her chest and arching a brow at him. Spock looked away and shook his head. “I have no comment on the matter. Good day.”

Jim grinned. “So, he does know, Marvina.”

“He has no comment on the matter, Kirk. Why was he talking to you anyway?”

“We’re working on something together, Marwarid.”

Uhura shook her head. “I’m his TA. I should be working with him.”

Jim put his book away and slung his backpack back on. “It has to do the Kobayashi Maru. Programming and stuff, not linguistic.”

“Oh, okay then.”

“Right, so no need to be jealous,” Jim smiled at her.

She narrowed her eyes. “I am not jealous.”

“Sure, Mary.”

Uhura rolled her eyes then brushed passed him and left.


 

Jim smiled at Bones when he came home that evening. Bones dropped his stuff done by the sofa and stared at him.

“What did you do?” Bones asked.

“I made dinner.” Jim waved his hands over the dinner table where he laid out green beans, mac-n-cheese, corn bread, and a baked chicken.

“You bought them from the store.”

“Eh, same thing.”

Bones walked over and sat down. “What did you do, Jim?”

Jim placed two beers on the table and sat across from Bones. “Remember a few months ago when Spock had me be his fake boyfriend in the garden?”

“Yes.”

“And I told him if he needed me to be his fake boyfriend again, I would.”

“Let me guess, he asked you to be his fake boyfriend again?”

Jim smiled. “Yes. His cousin from the park went back to Vulcan and told the whole family about my gorgeousness.”

“I doubt he told them that.”

“Its my story to tell, Bones. Anyway, now the family wants to meet me.”

“Jim, you and Spock are not a couple.”

“But they think we are and Spock—I think he’s got some issues with how his family perceives him or something. I don’t know, but he didn’t come clean about us so I’m going to Vulcan.”

Bones was quiet for a little while. He took a few swigs of his beer, stared at Jim, then took a few more drinks. “This isn’t going to end well, Jim.”

“You’re such a pessimist. Everything will be fine.”

“If you say so.”

“I do say so.”

“Fine.”

“Fine.”

They started to eat dinner in quiet but after several moments, Bones spoke. “So, Vulcan, huh? It’s hot as hell there, you know.”

“And when I’m there I’ll be hotter.”

Bones sighed then laughed. “I kind of wish I could be there to see how all the hobgoblins react to you. They are all stiff and logical and you’re…” Bones waved his hand. “You’re you.”

Jim grinned. “It’ll be fun. They’ll love me.”

“Just be careful, Jim.”

“Be careful?”

“I’ve seen movies about this sort of thing—being in a fake relationship for a family thing or something. It never turns out right and feelings always get involved.”

Jim shrugged. “This isn’t a movie and I’m not going to develop feelings for Spock. He’s hot, that’s all.”

“If you say so.”

“I do say so.”

“Fine.”

“Fine.”

“Eat your damn food, Jim.”

“You eat your damn food.”

Bones shook his he and muttered about needing a new friend.


 

Jim knocked on Spock’s apartment door then smoothed down the front of his button up shirt. Even though it was a video chat, Jim still wanted to look presentable and better than the picture Spock had sent her. He knew Spock was mixed, but Jim still didn’t know a mix of what. He hadn’t thought to ask before.

Romulan? Nah, that wouldn’t make sense. Human seems most likely because of his eyes. His big brown eyes. Like melted chocolate. I do love chocolate…Jim snapped out of his thoughts as the door slid open to reveal Spock.

Spock wore the same sweater Jim had remembered seeing him in in the garden. It fit him perfectly. Jim let his eyes trail down to see Spock’s black slacks and sock covered feet.

“Jim?”

Jim snapped his gaze back to Spock’s chocolate eyes. He smiled. “Sorry. How are you?”

“I am well. Please come in.” Spock stood to the side to allow Jim entry.

As Jim walked by, he glanced at Spock out of the corner of his eye. Cute ears too. Jim walked down the short hallway and found himself in the living room area. Floor to ceiling windows looked out at the bay as the sun was starting to set. Jim admired the view then looked around the room. A sofa, coffee table, and chair sat in the center while a desk and computer terminal sat in the corner. Three book cases stood against the wall on the other side of the room, filled with books. Jim almost wanted to go and explore but decided against it.

“This is nice,” Jim said, turning to face Spock.

“Thank you.” A whistle sounded from the next room. “Would you like some tea?”

“Tea would be nice.”

“Is Vulcan spice tea acceptable?”

Jim nodded. “Sure.”

“Please have a seat. I will just be a moment.”

“Ok.”

Spock walked into the next room which Jim figured was the kitchen. Jim couldn’t help but check Spock’s backside out as he went. He smiled to himself then sat down on the couch and waited patiently. He did sit close to where the books were and caught a few titles.

“Do you read?” Spock asked, startling Jim. He jumped in the seat and look up at Spock with wide eyes. Spock looked taken back. “I apologize for startling you.”

Jim chuckled. “No, it’s alright. Yeah, I read and like old books.”

Spock placed a tea cup with a saucer down on the table in front of Jim. He walked around and took a seat next to Jim with his own tea cup. Jim took a sip and nodded at the pleasant flavor.

“This is good.” Jim took another sip. “Really good. God, I hope I’m not allergic to it.”

“You have allergies?” Spock asked. He took a sip of his own tea.

“Yeah, tons of them.” Jim took another sip then licked his lips. “Usually my symptoms show up right away if I’m allergic.” Jim waited a few moments then shrugged. “Guess I’m not.”

“I am relieved to hear that. I do not have the necessary medications to tend to an allergic reaction.” Spock placed his tea cup on the table. He picked up the PADD that was there. Jim watched him tap at the screen.

Jim put his own cup down and turned towards Spock, tucking one leg under himself and leaning his side against the back of the couch. “What are you doing?”

“Adding to my list of what I know about you.” Spock looked up from the PADD. “What specific allergies to do you have?”

Jim smiled. “To name a few I know: strawberries, fish but not shellfish, latex, nickel, various medications give me adverse reactions, some spices, flowers…”

Spock arched a brow. “If you are allergic to flowers, then why were you in the botanical gardens?”

“Only some flowers. I think roses are the main culprit. They make my eyes get puffy and itchy.”

“What other allergies?”

“It’s a long list and I don’t know all of them. Bones keeps a running tally on it though.”

“Bones?”

“McCoy. I call him Bones.”

Spock looked back to his PADD and Jim watched him make a note of McCoy’s nickname. Jim leaned forward to catch more of the list. Jim grinned. “I see your list comes mostly from my cadet file and oh…my criminal record.”

Spock’s eyes slowly raised up to meet Jim’s twinkling blues. “I…it was…I did not…”

Jim held his hand up and Spock stopped. “It’s alright. Pike went through that too when I enlisted. No felonies, just some petty and misdemeanor stupidness.”

“I do apologize for looking into though. I should not have.”

“Again, it’s alright.” Jim took Spock’s PADD away from him. “To be honest, I did not look over any of the information you gave me.”

Spock’s brows went up. “Why? In order to make sure my family believes we are together, we should know…”

“We shouldn’t know everything, Spock,” Jim interrupted. “How long do they think we’ve been together?”

“Four months.”

“Okay, so in four months of taking this fake relationship slowly, we wouldn’t know everything about one another. The major things, yes but not everything. That way I can genuinely learn new things with your family and we can have little fights over the fact that…I don’t know…you didn’t tell me about your beloved family pet.”

“I’Ch…”

“Nope, don’t tell me.”

Spock shut his mouth.

“What happens on a first date?” Jim asked.

“On our first date, we went to a…”

“No, not ours. We’ll get there. In general, what happens on a first date?”

“I do not know. I have never been on a date before.”

What? Jim sat back. “Seriously?”

A green tint appeared on Spock’s cheeks. “Yes. Dating and finding a mate has not been on my mind.”

“Do you have sex?”

The green went a shade dark. Spock’s eyes darted away to his teacup. “Vulcans, typically, do not engage in casual relationships. This,” Spock motioned between them with his hand. “fake arrangement, is the closet I have been to a relationship.”

Jim blinked a few times, processing the information. “God, you’re cute.”

The green crept down Spock’s neck.

Jim smiled and scooted closer. “Okay, so our fake first date was your first ever first date.”

“Correct.”

“Wow, you really, really got yourself into a pickle here with your family.”

“Indeed. What do you propose we do?”

“Well we should go out”

“Out?”

“Instead of us just sitting here and talking, let’s go out. Have that first date that you came up with. We can act it out, get to know each other better, get a feel of each other, and your lie won’t be a complete lie as we did have a first date.”

“Logical.”

Jim grinned. “I’m a logical guy.”

Jim saw the corners of Spock’s mouth quirk up slightly.

He’s cute.

A ringing came from computer terminal. Spock stood up. “It is time to meet my mother.”

Jim stood up as well. “And her name is?”

“Amanda.”

“And your father.”

“Sarek.”

Jim nodded. “Amanda and Sarek.”

They walked over to the computer where Spock had set up two chairs. “And what do they do?”

“If you had read the files I gave you, you would know the answer to that question.”

Jim stuck his tongue out a Spock then took a seat in front of the computer. “Oh hey, don’t forget to add little things that may let them know a breakup may happen.”

“I remember.” Spock sat next to Jim and pressed a button, answering the call. Jim straightened up and put on a smile as Spock’s mother appeared on screen.

Jim’s smile went from forced to genuine as he gazed at Amanda. She was beautiful, older—probably mid to late fifties. Her dark hair, was down over her shoulders and showed some streaks of gray throughout.

Her face lit up seeing him—seeing them both. “Jim,” she said softly.

Jim held his hand up in a small wave. “It’s nice to finally meet you, Mrs. Mrs…um…Sarek?”

Amanda softly chuckled. “Please call me Amanda.”

“Amanda. I just have to say, I see where Spock gets his beautiful brown eyes and good looks."

"Thank you, but I can't take all the credit for his looks. His father is a looker as well."

"You think my eyes are beautiful?" Spock asked, looking at Jim.

"Spock, c'mon, I tell you all the time how I love your eyes. They're like melted chocolate."

Spock blushed and looked away. Jim internally beamed then focused back on Amanda.

"Also, Amanda, you can't possibly be old enough to be Spock's mother."

"I was born in her thirtieth year," Spock spoke. "She was old enough."

"Spock, Jim is just being a flatterer."

"Oh."

Jim grinned. "Vulcans, huh?"

Amanda laughed and nodded.

"I also want to say, I’m sorry Spock sent you that first picture. He didn’t tell me you wanted a picture but when he did, after he’d sent that unflattering one, I made sure we had a nice picture to send.”

“I figured he pulled a picture from somewhere just to send me one. The second picture was much better but still does not do you any justice.” Amanda looked at her son. “Spock, he’s gorgeous.”

Spock nodded. “Indeed, he is, mother.”

Jim nudged against Spock. “Awe, I’m gorgeous, honey?”

Spock ducked his head. “You know you are.”

Jim couldn’t help but blush at that. He looked to Amanda and saw her smiling knowingly at them.

“You two,” she said. “I’m so glad to finally meet you, Jim. You have no idea how long I’ve waited to hear my kan-bu had found someone special.”

“Mother, as I told her before, Jim and I are taking this relationship slow. He is not someone special.”

Jim took the opportunity to gape at Spock. “Excuse me?”

Spock shook his head. “I did not mean...you are special...I just…we are taking things slow.”

“Uh-huh,” Jim said, narrowing his eyes slightly before looking back to Amanda.

“I didn’t mean to start anything,” Amanda said, looking between them.

“You didn’t, ma’am,” Jim smiled. “Its just been a long week.”

“For both of us,” Spock agreed.

“I understand. I just want to say I’m so happy about you two. You do make a cute couple.”

“Thank you.” Jim looked behind Amanda at the room she was in. “I can see you have a lovely home. I can’t wait to see it in person.”

“Why thank you, Jim. It’s much easier to keep up with it now that my kan-bu is out of the house and not getting into everything.”

“So, Spock was a trouble maker, huh? I thought so.”

“I was not,” Spock said.

“He was,” Amanda told Jim with a smirk. “Well, he was when he was a toddler. Always getting into everything, pulling stuff down, taking stuff apart. Sarek and I almost had to put him on a leash when we could go out into the city.”

“I need pictures,” Jim laughed. “Spock hasn’t shown me anything from his youth. Has he always had the bowlcut?”

“Since he was two, yes. Before that his hair had a few cute little curls that I just couldn’t bring myself to cut.”

Jim looked at Spock. “Curls?”

“Mother. Jim. Please.”

Jim shook his head and focused back on Amanda. “He never tells me anything, Amanda. You’ll show me pictures when we get there, right?”

“I will show you some. You actually won’t be coming here. T’Pau has decided to hold the gathering at her home just outside of Vulcana Regar. Perhaps your next break Spock will bring you to ShiKhar.”

“I would like that. I can’t wait to come to Vulcan. Heard its hot as hell.”

“It can be. I suggest you pack some clothes made from synthetic materials to allow you to be cool.”

“I shall do that. Is Sarek there? I was hoping to meet him too.” Jim felt Spock stiffen beside him. Amanda’s eyes widened slightly; a surprised look flashing over her features. Crap, said something wrong. Is his dad still alive?

“He’s here. I’ll just…I’ll go get him.”

“Mother, you do not…” Spock tried but Amanda had already stood up and left. Spock looked at Jim. Jim smiled innocently. “If you had read the files, you would know that I have not spoken to my father since I left Vulcan.”

“Oh shit. Well…time for another little fight?”

Spock sighed and nodded as Amanda returned. She sat down and a Vulcan man sat next to her. He was older as well with black hair streaked with more gray hairs than Amanda’s.

“I’m sorry,” Jim said. “I didn’t know ya’ll weren’t speaking.”

Amanda looked more surprised as Sarek’s eyebrows went up.

“Jim,” Spock said sternly. “That is not something to say out loud.”

“Well if you had told me earlier not to…”

“Now is not the time,” Spock cut him off. He looked to his father and raised a hand in a Vulcan salute. “Live long and prosper, Father.”

Jim held his hand up as well. “It’s nice to meet you, Sir. I apologize for…well…putting my foot in my mouth. I do that sometimes.”

Sarek nodded. “It is of no consequence. Just as you were unprepared to meet me, I was unprepared to meet you."

"Well I'm glad we get to meet anyway."

"My wife informs me you are a Starfleet cadet. Is that how you and Spock met?”

Jim nodded then poked Spock under the table. He didn’t know the ‘how we met story’.

“Jim and I met in the academy library. He spends most of his time there, studying or helping others. I was looking for a book and could not find it in its designated location. Jim was kind enough to search the whole library and notified me the next day of its discovery.”

Jim smiled. That does sound like something I would do. “He just looked so confused because the book wasn’t where the computer said it was supposed to be.”

“I can understand that,” Amanda chuckled. “Vulcans like logic and order. Any deviation and they...well, I call it short circuit.”

“That’s exactly how Spock looked!” Jim laughed. Man, I wish this was a real story.

“When I returned the book, Jim was working and we talked about my classes as his roommate had been a student of mine a year previous. Jim then requested we partake in a meal together.”

“I asked him out,” Jim admitted. “I fumbled it a bit, but I did and he said…what did you say?”

“No.”

No? What? Why would you say no to me?

“No?” Amanda questioned.

Spock nodded. “Jim asked a few more times in the coming weeks until I gave in.”

Wow dude, make me seem like a creep. “I came off a bit strong and I did apologize that first date. Told him he didn’t have to see me anymore if he didn’t want to.”

“But I did enjoy his company,” Spock spoke, looking at Jim. 

Jim looked back and grinned. "And I enjoyed yours."

They stared at one another for a few moments before Jim reluctantly tore his gaze away. “We’ve been taking slow ever since.”

“Indeed,” Spock agreed.

Sarek nodded. He then looked to his wife. Jim saw her pat him on the arm.

“It has been most pleasant to meet you, Jim,” Amanda spoke. “Sarek and I can’t wait to meet you in person. The family are all eager to meet you as well.”

“They are not eager,” Sarek spoke.

“Oh, they are, even if it is illogical,” Amanda told him. “We must sign off now. Sarek has an early day and can’t sleep without me.”

“Mother.”

“Amanda.”

“Sounds about right,” Jim chuckled. “See you both soon.”

“Live long and prosper,” Spock added, holding his hand up in a ta’al. Jim copied and repeated the saying.

“Peace and long life,” Sarek returned.

“Goodbye for now,” Amanda spoke before the video cut off.

Jim leaned back in his chair and sighed. “Well I do think that went well.”

Spock turned and face him. “I believe it did as well. Thank you.”

“No problem, now since you said I asked you out, I’m guess I’m paying for dinner?”

“You guessed correctly.”

Jim snorted. “Fine, but don’t expect me to put out.”

“Put out? I do not understand.”

Jim stood up. “I’ll explain later. Now, where did I take you for this first date?”

“Éloi.”

Jim gapped for real. “Éloi? As in the three Michelin stared restaurant downtown?”

“Yes.”

“How the hell did I manage reservations there?”

Spock blinked. “I…I do not know. It was the top-rated restaurant in the city so I assumed...”

“Assumed my cadet ass could get reservations and afford it?”

Spock’s eye twitched. “My parents do not where our date was.”

“Good because we’re changing it. Let’s go, I know a nice place near the bay.” Jim headed towards the front door, shaking his head as he went. “Geeze, Vulcans have expensive taste.”


Amanda stood up and left the study. Sarek followed. 

"You did not need to inform them that I require your presence in our bed in order to have a restful nights sleep," Sarek said. 

Amanda chuckled. "I couldn't help myself." She entered the bedroom and pulled out her sleeping gown. "Jim seems very nice. They have good chemistry together, I think."

"Nice, yes, however they appeared to bicker with one another. Spock failed to inform him that he and I are not speaking."

"No, he didn't." Amanda look at her husband. "That needs to change though. Both of you are acting like children over his decision to join Starfleet."

"Amanda, he chose the Vulcan way..."

"He still is Vulcan. He just chose Starfleet instead," Amanda interrupted. "Sarek, he's your son. No matter his path in life, he'll always be your son. He did not do this to spite you. They ostracized him, they implied he had a disadvantage. I'm glad he chose a path were he would find acceptance. Where he would find someone like Jim to be with, even if they did bicker a few times. We bicker."

"Yes, but..."

"All couples bicker from time to time, its natural to not get along every moment of the time. Sometimes you frustrate me so much over logic this and logic that, that I want to rip the bangs off your head."

Sarek stepped closer. "I am aware."

Amanda reached out and touched his cheek. "But I love you more than anything."

"And I love you, ashal-veh," Sarek replied. 

"Will you please try and mend fences with Spock while he's here?"

"What fences?"

Amanda shook her head and smiled. "You know what I mean."

Sarek considered her then nodded. He kissed her cheek. "I shall endeavor to better my relationship with our son while he is here."

"Thank you."

"Spock did seem...enamored with Jim."

"Like father, like son then with attracting beautiful humans."

"Indeed."

Chapter Text

Spock followed Jim and the hostess through the restaurant. Spock took the opportunity to admire Jim’s backside, particular how his posterior looked in his tight pants. Spock bit his bottom lip then shook his head. He adverted his eyes once they were shown their table. He sat down at the two-seater table and watched Jim sit across from him. The hostess left them their menus then walked away. Spock took the moment to glance around. It wasn’t a fancy restaurant, but still very nice and Spock felt under-dressed in his homemade sweater.

“I should have changed,” Spock said.

Jim looked up from his menu. His eyes raked over Spock’s torso for a moment. In the dim lighting of the restaurant Spock’s noted Jim’s eyes appeared a darker shade of blue. When they rose to meet Spock’s, they caught the overhead light just right and brightened back up. He gave Spock a softer smile from his previous ones. “Nah, you look good.”

Spock felt warm in his cheeks. He cast his eyes down and picked up the menu. He was surprised to find a vegetarian section of the menu. “They have a vegetarian section.”

“Oh, shit that’s right,” Jim spoke. “Vulcans are vegetarians. Fuck, I completely forgot. I just remember this place has a steak dish I really like. I should’ve thought…”

“It is of no consequence, Jim. They have vegetarian dishes.”

Jim nodded. “Good. I’m still sorry I didn’t think of it before.”

The waiter came up to their table and they ordered. The waiter returned a moment later with their drinks and a basket of bread for the table.

“So, we’re on a first date,” Jim said.

“Indeed, we are. What do we do?”

“What do you think we do?”

“As you said earlier, get to know each other better.”

Jim smiled. “Hi, I’m James Tiberius Kirk. Please call me Jim. I am finishing my second year at Starfleet Academy. I am in the command track, advanced. I plan to finish at the end of my third year and get a ship of my own to captain. My birthday is January 4th which makes me a Capricorn and defined by a charming, hardworking and adaptable personality. Your turn.”

Spock internally smiled even though he felt the corners of his mouth wanting to smile externally as well. “I am Spock. I am…”

“Nuh-uh, full name.”

“My full name is unpronounceable by most humans.”

“Well I’m not like most humans.”

“You are not. Very well. I am S'chn T'gai Spock.”

Jim eyes widened ever so slightly. “Yeah, I’ll just call you Spock.”

“Thank you. I am a Starfleet Officer with the rank of commander. I am also a professor and programmer at the academy. When the Enterprise is complete, I will the first officer under Captain Pike’s command as well as chief science officer.”

Jim crossed his arms on the table top and leaned a little bit forward. “You mean when the Enterprise is complete, you’ll be my first officer as I will be captain.”

“Negative.”

Jim stuck his tongue out at him. “Alright, I got all of that. Continue.”

“Continue?” Spock replied, arching a brow.

“Your birthday?”

“Birthdays are illogical.”

“No, they are completely logical because they are the anniversary of the day you entered the world, naked and screaming.”

That is logical I suppose. “Stardate 2230.06.”

Jim broke out into a grin. “Our birthdays are both in January.”

“Affirmative.”

“Just two days apart.”

“And three years.”

“Yeah, but two days. Oh, that is so cool. We could have joint birthday parties.”

“I do not think so.”

Jim looked away and creased his brows together. Spock heard Jim muttered names of months in reverse order before swearing. “Dammit, we weren’t together back in January.” Jim looked back at Spock. “If we had been fake together in January then a joint birthday would have made a good story for the family.”

“But we were not.”

“Yeah, dammit. But, hey, you’re a Capricorn too.”

“Astrology is nonsense.”

Jim sat back and shook his head. “You are just no fun. Alright, let’s see…what else…oh, my parents are Winona and George. You and everyone in the Federation knows about my dad so no need to go into that.” Spock nodded in agreement. He could not imagine losing either of his parents at such a young age as Jim had.

“My mom and I get along alright,” Jim continued. “She’s still in Starfleet. I have an older brother Sam. We don’t…I mean we have a relationship but it’s a bit strained. He left, left me when we were kids.”

Spock say Jim’s eyes cast down and appear sad. Spock wanted to embrace him or touch him in some way to bring him comfort. His heart ached in his side for some reason seeing Jim sad.

“It was a rough time. Mom’s brother, Frank was watching us while she was off planet. He was a fucking asshole and drove Sam away. Grandpa took him in, but I had to stay.”

“How old were you?”

“Twelve. I drove a car off a cliff in retaliation,” Jim then put on a cocky smile. “And that’s the start of my criminal record. I don’t know why I told you that. That isn’t something I talk about, let alone talk about on a first date.” Jim’s eyes still looked sad despite the grin.

“Thank you for sharing. I cannot imagine going through such a rough circumstance.”

Jim waved his hand. “It’s in the past now and I have gone through worse than my just brother leaving me. Which we won’t get into. Anyway, Sam is married, lives on Deneva with his wife. They’re about to have a kid.” Jim took a drink of his wine. “Moving on…Spock, do you have any siblings?”

“I have an older half-brother, from my father’s first marriage. I have not spoken to him in more than a decade.”

“Fuck, what happened?”

Spock internally sighed. “It is a long story—one that I do not think I would share in a relationship that is going slow.”

“I shared some part of my shitty adolescence. You’re turn.”

“Very well. Sybok rejected his logical upbringing and chose to embrace emotion. When he encouraged others to follow him, he was banished, never to return.”

Jim cocked his head to the side. “That doesn’t seem so bad. What’s wrong with embracing emotion.”

“I do not believe there is anything wrong with it, however, as I stated it is a long story and that is the simplified version of what occurred.”

Jim nodded. “Okay. I guess that means no bringing him up at the dinner table?”

“Affirmative.”

“What are some of your hobbies?”

“Changing topics?”

“Yep,” Jim smiled.

“I enjoy science and…”

“No, not science stuff or things you do for work. Hobbies. What do you like to do when you’re by yourself? Something that makes you happy.”

Spock arched a brow.

Jim chuckled. “Maybe not externally happy, but what makes you internally happy?”

“Chess.”

“Chess? Chess is good. I like chess. What else?”

“Reading. I play the Vulcan lyre. Ny…Uhura and I practice together.” Spock hoped he covered for his slip up but the look on Jim’s face had him thinking otherwise. “I…I also enjoy going to the aquarium,” Spock admitted.

Jim gave him a new smile. A sweet one that made his eyes sparkle. Spock’s heart no longer ached, but beat a little faster. “I like the aquarium.”

“Vulcan has aquatic life, but we do not have aquariums or zoos. My mother often took me to them when we visited Earth.”

“Brings back fond memories?”

“Indeed. What are your hobbies?” Spock asked as the waiter dropped off their food. Steak frites for Jim and black truffle risotto for Spock.

“I think the same as yours. Reading, chess, walking around San Francisco.” Jim took a few bits of his food and Spock did the same.

“Do you have a favorite book?” Spock asked.

Jim licked his bottom lip and Spock followed the pink tongue’s path with his eyes. “I like so many books.  I don’t think I can narrow it down to one. Tale of Two Cities, The Old Man and the Sea, Slaughterhouse-Five, Harry Potter series, Roald Dahl’s books, um…The Sun Also Rises,” Jim stopped and chuckled. “I could go on and on and on so I’ll just stop there. What about you?”

“Same, too many to narrow down to one.”

“I bet they are all logical books,” Jim teased.

Alice in Wonderland is not a logical book and neither are most of Roald Dahl’s works.”

Jim laughed. “Agreed.”

They went into a comfortable silence and ate for a while. Jim stole a bite of Spock’s risotto so Spock countered with taking a few fries. Jim have him a grin then nudged his foot under the table.

“I know your parents’ names, brother, grandmother T’Pau, and cousin Stonn and his wife T’Pring. What other family member names should I know? Grandpa? Aunts? Uncles? Favorite cousins?”

“My grandfather passed before I was born; his name was Skon. My father has two younger brothers, Silek and Sopek. Silek is married to Mitrani and has three children. Sopek is married to T’Hen, his second wife.”

“Which one are Stonn’s parents?”

“Sopek and his first wife Elieth are Stonn’s parents.”

Jim nodded. “And Stonn is with T’Pring and they have a…baby.”

Spock nodded. “A daughter named T’Ariis.”

“T’Pau, Silek, Sopek, Mitrani, T’Hen, T’Pring, Stonn, and T’Ariis. Is that the whole family?”

“No. Silek’s children will be there as well their children. Other extended family are expected to attend as well. I will introduce you when the time comes.”

“When was the last time ya’ll had such a family reunion.”

“We had a gathering to welcome a new child three point five three years ago.”

Jim finished his last piece of steak then sat back and rubbed his tummy. Spock watched his hand and how the shirt rode up slightly in the front to reveal a bit of skin. “Man, that was good,” Jim groaned.

Spock snapped his gaze down to his plate and finished what was left of his meal. It had been a good meal. Spock placed his eating utensils down and put his hand on the table next to them.

The waiter came up to their table and picked up their plates. “Dessert?”

Jim leaned forward and rested his hand on Spock’s. Jim’s skin against his sparked. He stared at their hands while Jim asked about the dessert options.

“We have a delicious chocolate ganache mousse cake with chocolate sauce and fresh berries.”

Jim patted Spock’s hand and made a delighted expression. “That sounds good. Wanna split it Spock?”

Spock snapped his eyes from their hand. “Chocolate does not agree with Vulcans.”

“Oh.” He looked back to the water. “Anything else that doesn’t contain chocolate?”

“We also have an amazing strawberry soufflé with strawberry sauce and strawberry sorbet.”

Jim grinned. “I will literally die if I ate that. No strawberries.”

The waiter nodded. “Um, well there is a baked Hawaii with caramelized pineapple ice cream and vanilla chiffon.”

“Does that sound good, Spock?”

Spock nodded and the waiter walked off to put the order in. Spock looked back to their hands where Jim was slowly circling his fingertips along the skin. Spock let a piece of his always there shield peel back slightly. He shuddered as Jim’s surface thoughts and emotions leaked into him. Jim was happy, but a little nervous. Jim was thinking about Spock, specifically his ears and wondering why they were pointy.

“Jim.”

“Yeah, Spock?”

“Vulcans are touch telepaths.”

Jim’s hand froze. “You reading my mind?”

Spock’s eyes met Jim’s as he put his shield back into place. “I caught a thought. Vulcan ears are pointed because the air on Vulcan is thinner than on Earth, and evolution led to a different shape and slightly larger ear to help catch sound.”

“Thank you for informing me of that,” Jim said. “Picking anything else up?”

Spock shook his head. “No, I am shielding.”

“What if I thought of something very loudly?” Spock watched Jim get an intense look of concentration. Spock’s shield was firmly in place but he still heard Jim’s mind call out to his ‘3.1415926535897932384…’

Fascinating. That should not happen. I should not hear his thoughts. My shield is in place. His mind…most dynamic. “I am well aware of all the digits that make up pi, Jim.”

Jim beamed at him, his face lit up and eyes shimmered. “Hey, that’s cool!”

“Indeed.” Spock glanced to their hands again. “I must also inform you that Vulcan hands are sensitive.”

“How sensitive?”

Spock turned his hand over so their palms were together. “It is how Vulcans kiss.”

Jim’s eyes widened. They glanced to their hands for a moment then stared back at Spock. “Kiss?”

“Yes.”

“So…when I held your hand at the garden and Stonn said it was indecent, he really meant it was indecent?”

“Yes. Such acts are frowned upon in public. The acceptable way to show affection in public is,” Spock removed his hand from Jim’s and held out his index and forefinger. Jim held his hand up and met his two fingers. Spock shuddered. “This is called ozh'esta,” Spock told him. “Finger embrace.”

“Wow. That is…very good to know.” Jim pulled his hand away. The waiter chose that moment to drop off their dessert and two spoons. Jim picked up a spoon and dove into the dessert. “Alright, since you don’t date.”

Spock picked the other spoon. “I do not.”

“Was that your first kiss?”

Spock paused in taking a scoop of the baked Hawaii.

“Spock?”

“Yes,” he said softly.

“Was it good?”

“I suppose.” Spock took a bite of the pineapple dessert.

Jim laughed lightly. “Fine. I’ll step up my finger kiss game later than. We will have to, at least in front of Stonn, be affectionate to get on his nerves.”

“Yes, we will.”

“Is that okay though?”

Yes, it is more than okay. Spock nodded. “We are in a fake relationship and must keep up appearances. I will leave it to your judgement when and how often affection needs to be shown.”

Jim nodded back. “Well I’m a very touchy-feely kind of guy so I apologize a head of time if I invade your space too much. Hey, you could use it as an opportunity for a fight.”

“Affirmative.”

Jim gave him another smile and Spock's heart skipped a beat.


 

After dinner, which Jim paid for, Spock escorted Jim home. As they neared Jim’s building, Jim nudged against his side.

“Why haven’t you dated?” he asked.

“As I said, it has not been a priority.”

“So, you’ve had no drive to peruse anyone?”

“Yes."

"Not even Ny?"

"She is merely a friend."

A friend that would like to be more I think."

Spock shook his head. "I do not think of her in a romantic sense. I value her friendship."

"Thanks good. Friends are good."

"What about you? You are good looking and despite my hearing that you can be a ‘smartass’, I find your company most pleasing. Do you date?”

“Why thank you, Spock. You know, you’re hot too.”

“I said you were good looking, not hot.”

“Same thing. Um, I have dated. When I first came to Starfleet, I was turning over a new leaf, starting my path to a better life so I thought I would give dating and commitment a try. It just didn’t work out.”

“Why?”

Jim shrugged. “They just weren’t right for me. We didn’t click. Sure, the sex was great but that was it and you can’t make a relationship work around just sex.”

“I would not know.”

“You can have sex without dating.”

“I am aware of that, but as I said, I have not had any desire to date or to merely find someone to copulate with.”

“Do you at least masturbate?”

Spock shook his head. “This conversation is not appropriate.”

“I’ll take that as a ‘yes’.”

“You are illogical.”

Jim laughed and nudged him again before leading him into his building and up to his apartment door. Jim turned and faced Spock. “This has been a lovely evening, fake boyfriend.”

“Yes, it has. Thank you for paying.”

“You are welcome. I’m still not putting out.”

“I still do not understand what that means.” Spock replied.

Jim cocked his head to the side then stepped closer. Spock stood his ground as Jim invaded his personal space. Being this close, Spock was able to see a how his eyes had a darker ring of blue along the edge of the iris and that it faded into a lighter shade.

“Maybe I’ll put out a little,” Jim said softly.

Before Spock could question Jim again, the blonde closed his eyes and leaned forward, pressing his soft lips against Spock’s. Spock froze and didn’t know what to do. He’d never experienced a human kiss. He closed his eyes and kissed back.

Jim stepped closer and placed his hands on Spock’s stomach. Spock rested his hands on Jim’s waist and enjoyed the feel of those soft, pink lips against his own. He had know idea if what he was doing was correct, but Jim wasn’t stopping them so he wouldn’t either.

“Ahem.”

They both froze and slowly opened their eyes. Jim pulled his lips away and turned. McCoy stood in the doorway, arms cross over his chest and eyes narrowed.

“I thought this was supposed to be fake?” McCoy said.

Jim licked his lips. “It is, we’re just…getting some kinks out of the way first.”

“Uh huh,” McCoy said.

“Cadet, good evening,” Spock said.

“Yeah, evenin’ Commander. Do you want to come in? I’m watching this great movie. The girl arranges for a guy to be her fake boyfriend and accompany her to a family thing and you know what happens in the end?”

“I do not.”

“Bones, it’s time for bed,” Jim spoke up. Jim gave Spock a smile. “Goodnight, Spock. I’ll see you soon.”

“Indeed. Goodnight. Both of you.”

Spock turned on his feel and quickly left. Inside the elevator he touched his finger tips to his lips. He closed his eyes and could still feel the softness of Jim's lips against his.

He sighed. This is merely a fake relationship. Fake.

Chapter Text

“You’re very pretty, Auntie Jim,” Joanna said as she rubbed a brush against his cheeks.

“Uncle Jim,” Jim corrected. “And thank you. You are pretty too.”

“I know.”

Jim snorted. She was just like her father.

“Close your eyes,” she told him.

“Alrighty.” Jim closed his eyes and winced as the girl jabbed his eyelid a bit as she rubbed another brush against his skin. “What colors are you using?”

“All of them.”

“Oh goodie.”

After a few moments, Jim opened his eyes. Someone was knocking on the door. Joanna picked up another brushed and rubbed it against Jim’s cheeks again.

“Someone’s here,” Joanna said.

“I heard,” Jim told her. He tickled her, making her giggle and move away so he could stand. He walked to the door and opened it to find his fake-boyfriend standing there. Spock looked a little startled by his appearance—his eyebrows went up and his mouth opened slightly.

“Morning. I’m just about ready to head out,” Jim told him.

Spock continue to stare.

“Don’t like my makeup?” Jim asked.

Spock opened his mouth then closed it.

“I’m a hot mess, aren’t I?” Jim asked with a grin.

Spock’s eyes twinkled in amusement. “One of those is correct.”

“And I’m the smartass?” Jim teased. He motioned for him to entered and pointed to the living room area where Joanna had a ton of makeup products strewn about on the coffee table. “This is Bones’ daughter, Joanna. He had to run to the store and left me in charge.”

“In charge?” Spock asked.

Jim chuckled. “I tried to resit my but she pouted and whined until I agreed to let her give me a makeover.” Jim shut the door and led Spock over to the little girl. She looked up at both with her big, hazel eyes. “Joanna, this is Spock. Spock, Joanna.”

“Hello, Joanna,” Spock greeted her.

“Hi, Spock.”

“You can sit here with her while I get clean my face off. No more makeovers, JoJo.”

“Okay,” she replied.

Jim went into the hall bathroom and looked at himself in the mirror. He cringed. Joanna had smeared red and purple blush all over his cheeks, green glittery eyeshadow all over his eyes and brows, pink lipstick all over his mouth and chin, and a couple barrettes in his hair. “Hot mess, indeed.” He took the barrettes out of his hair then thoroughly scrubbed his face, cleaning everything off.

When he came back into the living room, after being gone for roughly five minutes, he found Joanna eating a fruit cup in the kitchen and Spock sitting on the couch with barrettes and bows in his hair. Jim suppressed a laugh as he walked around the couch to look at Spock. “Well at least she didn’t put any makeup on you.”

“She is highly manipulative,” Spock said.

“Yeah, but she’s cute.” Jim stepped closer and picked up his PADD from the table. Before Spock could protest Jim snapped a picture.

“I did not take a picture of your makeup,” Spock said, a cute grumpy look on his features.

“I won’t share it with anyone.”

“I find that hard to believe.”

Jim grinned. “Okay, maybe just your mom.” Jim put his PADD down and helped Spock take the items out of his hair. Jim took the opportunity to run his hands through Spock’s silky locks to smooth it back down into its bowlcut look. He briefly wandered how it would feel to grip that hair during a moment of passion. He snatched his hand away, remembering about Spock’s abilities.

Spock stood up. His eyes look darker. Jim licked his bottom lip.

“Is he your boyfriend?” Joanna appeared next to them and asked.

Jim looked away from Spock and nodded. “Yep, he sure is.” Fake boyfriend, Jim. Fake.

Joanna smiled. “Is he your prince charming?”

Jim chuckled. “Yeah, sure.”

Joanna looked to Spock. “Do you kiss?”

They both blushed as Jim answered for them, “Yes.”

Joanna looked back to Jim and this time grinned. “Do you love him?”

“Yes.” Jim’s eyes widened. “What? No! No, no, we’re just…dating and…the relationship is going slow.”

“Yes, slow,” Spock agreed.

The door opened and Bones entered. “Bones is home!” Jim shouted, wanting the subject to change.

Joanna instead started chanting, “Jim and Spock sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g, first comes love, then comes marriage, and then comes a baby in a baby carriage!”

Jim glanced to Spock and saw his eyebrows were high up again. Spock mouthed ‘baby’ to himself.

Bones looked between all of them before shaking his head. “JoJo, enough teasing and clean up the make-up. Don’t know why your mama lets you play with it.” She nodded and started doing what she was told.

Jim moved away and motioned towards his bedroom. “I’m going to finish packing and we’ll be on our way, Spock.”

“Of course. I will wait here.”

Jim nodded then quickly left the room and went into his. He grabbed the folded clothes he placed on the bed and put them in his suitcase.

“Sorry about Joanna,” Bones said, coming into the room.

“Nah, its fine. She’s cute.”

“Need any help?”

Jim shook his head. “I got everything, just need to put it in my bags.”

“You have the hypos?”

“Yep.”

“And you’ll take them?”

“Yep.”

“I’ll tell Spock to make you take them.”

Jim sighed. “You’re such a worry wort.”

“And you’ll be sorry after forgetting to take the tri-ox hypo and passing out as soon as you step into the Vulcan atmosphere.”

“I’ll take the hypos.”

Bones sat on the bed and watched Jim pack everything into a slightly tattered suitcase. “That things on its last leg, Jim.”

“It’ll hold up for the week. I hope.”

Bones nodded. He looked around the room. “Did you remove all the bad stuff?”

Jim looked at his friend. “What?”

“Joanna will be sleeping in here while you’re gone. I don’t want her to find anything she shouldn’t.”

“I don’t have anything bad,” Jim said. Wait, I do.

Bones gave him a look as he thought that. He turned towards Jim’s bedside table and pulled out the drawer. He turned back around on the bed and dumped the contents out. Jim tried to look innocent despite the fact that his bed now had some naughty items on it.

“Nothing bad, huh?”

Jim shrugged. “Just shove it in your closet or something so she can’t find them.” Jim turned and went into the bathroom with his toiletry bag. He gathered everything he would need for a week on Vulcan then double checked.

When he came out of his room, Bones and his ‘bad’ stuff was gone and his drawer was back in place. Jim shrugged and finished getting ready. He grabbed up his suitcase and backpack and headed back into the living room in time to hear Bones giving Spock a talking to.

“You hurt him, I hurt you,” Bones said.

“You are being illogical,” Spock replied. “Why would I hurt him?”

“You wouldn’t on purpose, but I know how these things turn out and I don’t want Jim coming back here all upset or something.”

Jim saw Spock arch a brow. Dammit, Bones, enough with the movie trope thing. This isn’t a movie.

“I assure you, I will not hurt him.”

“Good. He also has some hypos in his luggage. Make sure he takes them.”

“Are they for his alelrgies?”

“Some, yes, others are to help him breath.”

“Tri-ox. I will make sure he administers them regularly.”

“Thank you.”

“Is Spock my uncle now?” Joanna piped up.

Jim took that as his cue to make himself known. “Alright, lets head out, Spock.”

Spock glanced down to Joanna then to Jim. He took the suitcase from the blonde and nodded. “Indeed, time to depart.”

Jim gave Bones a hug. “I’ll be safe.”

“Damn right you will.”

Jim chuckled then patted Joanna on the head. “Give your dad hell while I’m gone.”

“I’ll try,” Joanna replied. “Bye Auntie Jim.”

“Its Uncle Jim,” Jim groaned before leaving the apartment with Spock behind him. 


 

“Damn, this is nice,” Jim whistled as Spock led them into their room on their transport to Vulcan. Amanda had made the arrangements and for some reason booked them the romantic getaway room package, complete with champagne on the small dining table and a heart-shaped candy box on the king size bed. Luckily there were no roses or any other type of flower as Spock apparently told his mother about Jim’s allergies.

There was also a small couch and Jim figured he could make sure sleeping on it. “How long does the trip take?”

“One night,” Spock replied, placing his luggage next to the bed.

“Alright, one night on the couch won’t be bad.” Jim put his suitcase down on it and shrugged off his backpack.

“Couch?”

Jim nodded. “Yeah, I can sleep on the couch. No problem.”

“Jim, my parents and family believe us to be in a relationship. My mother booked us a room with only one bed. I suspect when we arrive at Vulcana Regar, there will only be one bed available to us as well.”

Jim looked to the bed then back to Spock. “So, we’re sharing?”

“It is logical.”

“Yeah, logical.” Oh my god. Sharing a bed with Spock. Sharing a bed. I can do this. Jim smiled and moved his bags to the bedroom next to Spock. “What side do you want?”

“I do not have a preference. You choose.”

“Um…the right side.”

Spock nodded. Jim looked around then went back into small living room area and looked around.

“Jim?” Spock asked.

Jim looked up at the Vulcan. “We have some time to kill. All day in fact. Do you want to do something? The transport had a few rec rooms and restaurants.”

“I do not require nourishment at this time, but we may go to a recreation room if you wish.”

Jim stood up. “Yeah, let’s do that.”


 

Jim remembered that Spock liked chess so he led them to the corner of a nearly empty rec room where a 3D chess set was. Jim took a seat on one side and Spock on the other. Jim motioned for Spock to start. Spock carefully picked up a piece and moved it onto another level.

“What else do I need to know before tomorrow?” Jim asked before moving one of his pieces.

Spock arched a brow at the move then said, “What do you wish to know?”

“I don’t know. Stuff like that hand kissing. I know its frowned upon, but we’ll do it. Is there anything else I should know with how to act or not act?”

“I see. Well, Vulcans do not touch foods with our fingers. We use utensils exclusively.”

“Even with sandwiches and bread?”

“There are special gloves that can be worn.”

“Cool. What else?”

“It is custom for overnight guests to provide or make breakfast.”

Jim gawked at Spock. “I gotta make breakfast for everyone?”

“Yes.”

Jim blinked. “Everyone?”

“Yes.”

Are you serious? Jim thought before nodding. “I think I can do that.” I hope.

“My mother already informed me that she would help you with breakfast.”

Jim let out a relieved breath. “Great, because I’ll need it.”

Spock moved a pawn on the board. Jim moved a pawn as well.

“How do you say ‘hello’ in Vulcan?” Jim asked.

Spock picked up his knight then set it down. He picked up another pawn and moved it. “There are two ways: nashaut which means greetings or hello and is only used between mated individuals or extremely close friends.”

“So we could use it with one another?”

“Yes. The other way is tonk'peh  which means the same as nashaut—hi; hello. It is an informal greeting used among Vulcans.”

“Tonk’peh,” Jim repeated. “I can use that with your relatives?”

“You could, however, I believe they would be more receptive to you greeting them with live long and prosper. Dif-tor heh smusma.”

“Dif-tor heh smusma,” Jim repeated. “Did I say that right?” Jim moved his rook which caused Spock to arch a brow.

“Yes, you did. Your moves are not…logical. What strategy are you using?”

Jim grinned. “Now, Spock, I can’t tell you that.”

Spock nodded then moved a piece of his own.

“So I say live long and prosper and they reply with…?”

“Peace and long life. Sochya eh dif.”

“Sochya eh dif. Got it.” Jim held up his hand in a Vulcan salute. “And I do this too?”

“Affirmative.”

Jim grinned bigger then moved another piece. Spock raised his brow again.

Twenty minutes later, Spock knocked his king over in defeat. “Your moves did not appear to show any type of strategy.”

“I know.”

“I have not lost a game in several years.”

“Neither have I.”

Spock gave Jim a look then said, “Reset the board. I will win the next round.”

Jim laughed. “We’ll see, Spock.”


 

They spent the remainder of the morning and early afternoon glued to the chessboard for several intense games. Spock managed to win only one. After lunch, Spock led Jim into another rec room and showed him a logic game called kal-toh. Spock instructed Jim through one game then let Jim fend for himself for another game.

Half way through it Jim pulled the wrong rod and the whole thing collapsed.

Sonofabitch, Jim mentally swore. He looked to Spock and saw an amused twinkle in his eyes and a hint of a smirk pulling at his mouth.

“Again?” Jim asked.

“If that is what you wish,” Spock stated, picking up the pieces.

“Oh, it is. I will win.”


 

“That game is ridiculous, but in a good way,” Jim said as they walked towards one of the restaurants a few hours later.

“It is a game of intense strategy and logic. Unlike how you play chess, you cannot simply place a rob anywhere you wish.”

Jim chuckled. “Yeah, I got that. You could’ve told me not to place the t'an on opposite sides of the kal-toh sooner though.”

“I figured you would realize the error quicker than you did.”

Jim bumped his shoulder against Spock’s. “You just wanted to beat me at something. Kept all the game secrets to yourself.” Jim smiled seeing that almost smirk appear on Spock’s features. “Oh, shut up.”

“I did not say a word.”

“You said enough.”

Spock merely shook his head then motioned for Jim to enter the restaurant. Jim walked in first and the hostess sat them at a table near a small observation window. Jim sat down and looked out but only saw the stars rushing by as they were at warp.

Their waitress came and took their drink orders and when she dropped them off, took their food orders. The restaurant wasn’t that busy and Jim liked the little corner they were in all to themselves. He watched Spock take a sip of the hot tea he ordered then messed with the silverware.

Jim took a drink of his and watched Spock mess with them again, rearranging the fork, spoon, and knife to one side then putting the knife on the other.

“OCD?” Jim asked.

Spock looked and up shook his head. “I do not suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder.”

“Then you’re just nervous?”

“Vulcans do not get nervous.” Spock put the spoon on the same side as the knife.

“Me thinks the Vulcan doth protest too much.”

Spock put his hands in his lap and quirked up one of his slanted brows. “You are illogical.”

“Yep. So why are you nervous?”

“I am not…” Spock started then stopped. He looked down to his lap for a few moments then back up to Jim. “I am…concerned that our fictitious relationship will be revealed.”

If Spock’s hands were on the table, Jim would’ve reached out and touched them to reassure Spock. He leaned forward in his chair and nudged Spock’s feet with his. “Everything will be alright. We’ve got this, Spock.”

Spock nodded.

“And if shit hits the fan, I’ll take the blame.”

“You do not need to do that.”

Jim shrugged. “I don’t mind.” Jim restrained from fiddling with the cutlery himself. He was also nervous about the week, if they really could pull this off surrounded by Spock’s family and not just a few like Stonn or his parents via video chat. “Let’s talk. Some more. About stuff.”

“What stuff?”

Jim shrugged again. “I don’t know. Um…how about your parents? How did they meet?”

“In San Francisco. My mother was a teacher leading her students on a field trip around the various consulates and embassies. When they got to Vulcan’s building, she literally ran into my father.”

Jim smiled. “Aw, that’s cute.”

“She apologized and he accepted then offered the students a tour inside the embassy. Mother said she spent more time watching Sarek then the children which she should not have been doing.”

“Did any kids wander off?”

“No.”

“Then no harm done,” Jim chuckled. “What next? Did they date?”

“Courted, yes. For three months and then my father proposed marriage. It was logical.”

“Because they were in love,” Jim stated with a smile.

Spock opened his mouth then shut it before saying, “I do not know.”

Jim’s brows furrowed together. “You don’t know if your parents love each other?”

“I am certain my mother loves my father.”

“And does your dad love Amanda?”

Jim saw something flash over Spock’s eyes. Spock looked down to his lap for a moment. “Spock?”

Spock looked up at Jim with sad eyes. “When I was a boy, Stonn and I engaged in a physical altercation. He stated that my father was a traitor for marrying my mother, whom he referred to as a whore.”

“I’ll punch him the moment I see him,” Jim said.

“No need. I have punched him multiple times over the years for similar instances and he has also been severely reprimanded by the clan. When my parents came to collect me from school, they argued about the situation. Mother insisted that if one is hit, you hit back. Father spoke of how reason should have guided my actions, that I should have known better. Mother agreed—she wanted me to embrace Vulcan but that I should also be myself which is half-human as well.”

“What’d your dad say to that?”

“He said my humanity was the reason for my ostracism. Mother left angry.”

Jim nodded. “I would have as well. Spock, you’ve got the best of both worlds. Half Vulcan—all logical, emotionless, and shit and half Human—illogical and emotional as hell.”

“I suppose.”

“Because of that argument, you think your dad doesn’t love your mom?”

“I believe my father holds my mother in high regard, but he implied that day, after mother had left, that as Ambassador to Earth, his duty was to observe and understand human behavior. Marrying mother... was logical.”

“Is that why you don’t talk to him?”

Spock shook his head. “No, but that instance made me wonder about myself. If I was capable of loving someone. I certainly did not love T’Pring who was to be my wife. I wondered if at the appointed time, would I find someone to bond with only because it was logical and not because of emotions.”

Awww…why does he have to be so cute. Why? I just want to hug him and keep him.

No, Jim, this is just an arrangement.

Dammit.

Jim mentally shook his head. “Do you love your mother?”

Jim watched Spock’s twinkle gently. “I do.”

“Do you love your father?”

Spock blinked. “He is…it is complicated my feelings for him.”

“Okay, I can understand that. But what exactly happened to cause the two of you to stop speaking?”

“I was accepted to the Vulcan Science Academy, but I declined admittance after the admissions counsel implied that I had achieved much despite the disadvantage of my human mother.”

“I bet that made you angry.”

“I suppose. My father sat on the counsel and said nothing counter their insinuation. He, however, was not pleased by my rejecting the VSA and neither of us have spoken since I left Vulcan. Mother has acted as a mediator at times, to facilitate communication, but it has not been successful until now.”

“Until your awesome, illogical fake boyfriend asked him to join the video conference.”

“Indeed.”

Jim sat back in his chair. “Well shit. You’ve got some daddy issues.”

Both of Spock’s brows went up high. Jim chuckled. “I do too, Spock. I’m not saying it to tease, you generally do have issues that should be sorted out. I can’t because my dad died the day I was born.”

“Then what is your issue?”

Jim chuckled. “You know I spent a lot of times at therapy growing up, trying to sort that out. I guess…living in his shadow—wanting to live up to him but not be him.” Jim shrugged. “It’s complicated.”

“Obviously.”

Jim stuck his tongue out at Spock. “Hey, it took me a hell of a long time to admit that to myself and I’ve never once talked about it with anyone else.” Then why the hell am I talking to him about this?

“Thank you for sharing.”

“Thank you for sharing. Look, Spock, maybe it’s time to bury the hatchet.”

“What hatchet?”

Jim hung his head and mentally counted to ten. He picked his head and said, “It’s an expression. It means, make amends. What if your dad dies before you have a chance to make up? How would you feel? Like shit and full of regrets.”

“Vulcans do not…”

“If you say ‘Vulcans do not feel regretful, I’ll kick you.”

“Vulcans feel very deeply and more intense than humans do.”

“Are you saying you’d feel super-duper like shit then?”

“I suppose.”

Jim stared at Spock with a knowing look. Spock let out a sigh. “I suppose it is time to bury the hatchet as you said. I am unsure if he will be receptive to talking again.”

“You won’t know until you try. Damn, I sound like a therapist or something. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to…”

“No, Jim, you are right. It is illogical to not be speaking to my father. I will attempt to foster communication with him during the week.”

Jim smiled. “Good. Hey, why don't you hug him when you see him?"

Spock looked taken back.

Jim laughed. "Or not. Just a thought."

"Indeed, a thought. Now I think it is time to talk about you?”

Jim chuckled. “And what would you like to know?”

“Why did you enlist in Starfleet? You stated that did not like living in his shadow and about wanting to live up to him but not be him.”

“I figured it was time to get my act together. It wasn’t getting me anywhere just bumming around Iowa trying like hell not to be like him.”

“What changed?”

“A barfight that was not my fault by the way, just ask Ny.”

“Ny is not her full name.”

“Oh, I figured that. Using the baby book I have, I narrowed her possible name down to Nya, Nyala, Nyarai, Nyasia, Nyla, Nyfain, Nyneve, Nyoka, Nyomi, Nyota, Nyree, and Nyura.” Jim nudged Spock’s foot again. “Care to give me another hint.”

“No,” Spock replied with a smirk.

“I’ll figure it out eventually.”

“I’m sure you will. As you were saying, you were in a barfight.”

“Yes, barfight. Um…wasn’t my fault. I was just being friendly with Ny when these burly cadet assholes came and started something. Again, I was just being friendly.”

“Were you intoxicated?”

Jim waved his hand. “A little tipsy but that’s all. Anyway, we fought. Me against like five of them. I totally won.”

“If you say so.”

“I do say so,” Jim grinned.

“I mentioned you to Captain Pike a week ago. He stated you had your ass handed to you and was drooling on a table top when he showed up and stopped the fight.”

Jim rolled his eyes. “I would have won if he hadn’t interrupted.”

“If you say so.”

“I do say so. After I cleaned myself up, Pike and I talk. Well he talked some since into me. Spent the rest of the night thinking about everything. Figured it was time to make a change, better myself. Morning came and I hopped on the shuttle. Which is where I met Bones. He threw up on me ten minutes into the flight.”

“I would not have become friends with a cadet that emptied the contents of his stomach onto me.”

Jim laughed. “That’s you, not me. It’s not an invitation for you to throw up on me, though.”

“Noted. I am…glad you enlisted. Pike was right, you belong here.”

“Thanks. I am meant for the stars.”

“As am I.”

“Maybe we can be assigned to the same ship one day.”

“You as captain and me first officer?”

“I think we make one hell of a team together.”

“Perhaps.”


 

After dinner, the walked around the ship and continued to talk about a variety of things. The lastest book Jim had read, a science experiment Spock had been working on, and some Starfleet matters. When it was after ten, they retired to their quarters. Jim thought about the champagne bottle but decided to leave it alone for the night. He’d bring it to T’Pau’s residence to share with the Vulcans.

“Hey, do Vulcans drink?” Jim asked.

Spock came out of the bedroom with a black garment in his hands. “Drink?”

“Alcohol.”

“On the occasion. It does not affect us as it does humans and other species.”

“Okay. What do you have there?” Jim nodded to the garment.

“My meditation robe. If you do not mind, I would like to sit in here and meditate. I use candles that some find unpleasant smelling.”

“Some…like your mother?”

“Yes and also my first year roommate. If you object, I can…”

“No, no, its fine. I’ll just head to bed.”

“I do not mean to impose.”

Jim waved his hand. “Impose away. Its fine. I’ll probably be asleep by the time you come to bed anyway.”

Spock nodded then went into the bathroom. Jim went to the bedroom. He grabbed his suitcase up and hoisted it onto the bed. He sighed seeing the seams had frayed a bit more. Stupid bag. He unzipped and opened it up. As he rooted around the contents for his pajamas his hand struck something with a thick circumference and silky, soft surface. Jim’s eyes widened. Oh no. He pulled the item out, which was buried underneath everything.

“Fuck.” Jim held in his hand his new purple vibrator, complete with ridges and a curved tip for his prostate’s pleasure. “Dammit, Bones!”

“Jim?” Jim shoved the item back into his bad and turned towards Spock’s voice. The Vulcan stood in the doorway in his black robe. Jim briefly wondered if he was naked underneath before shaking his head.

“I’m good. Bones just…its nothing.”

Spock stared at him for a few moments then nodded. “I will close the door now.”

“Yeah, great, thanks. Have fun meditating.”

“Thank you.” Spock turned and left, the door sliding closed behind him.

Jim groaned and looked back to his suitcase. He took everything out and found the items from his bedside drawer at the bottom of his suitcase. “Dammit.” He grabbed up his pajamas and quickly put them on before shoving everything back into his suitcase, making sure his naughty items were hidden again. Bones is dead. So dead. Going to pay him back tenfold for this.

Jim took his suitcase off the bed and shoved it to the side, out of the way. He took his PADD and a book from his backpack and climbed into bed and under the covers. He sent Bones an angry face before placing the PADD on the bedside table and opening his book to wear he left off.


 

Jim woke with a start, feeling the other side of the bed dip down. He turned and found Spock getting into bed. All the lights had been turned down low.

“I did not mean to wake you,” Spock said.

“No, no its fine.” Jim lifted his head and patted his chest for his book. Where did it go. He started to sit up but saw it on the bedside table. I didn’t put it there.

“The book was about to fell to the floor when I came into the room. I replaced the bookmark and put it on the table.”

“Oh. Thank you.” That was sweet of him.

Spock laid on his bed a few feet from Jim in the dark. “You are welcome.”

Jim laid back down. It had been a while since he’d shared a bed with anyone to just sleep and let Spock know.

“I have never shared a bed with anyone who was not my parents.”

“Ah,” Jim said. It went quiet again in the room. Jim tried not to fidget. He liked sleeping on his left side but if did that than he’d be facing Spock. He should’ve asked for the left side of the bed. He turned onto his right side and stared at bulkhead. “Goodnight, Spock.”

“Goodnight, Jim.”


 

Jim came to in the morning feeling very warm and cozy. He wasn't ready to open his eyes yet. He scooted back into the warm, hard body behind him and felt two strong arms tighten around him. 

This is very nice, Jim thought. The person's breathing tickled the back his neck, but Jim didn't mind. He smiled as a face nuzzled into his nape.

.

.

.

Jim's eyes snapped open. He pulled away and ended up tumbling over the side of the bed and onto the floor with a thunk. "Ow." Jim sat up as Spock did the same. Brown eyes met his and quickly looked away, a green hue tinted the Vulcan's cheeks. 

"I apologize," Spock said. "I did not mean to invade your space in such a way."

"No, its fine." Not fine, Jim! Not fine!  "No harm done." Yes, harm. The cuddling was great.

Spock nodded. He rubbed a hand through his bedhead. 

His morning hair is so cute, Jim thought. He mentally fussed at himself then stood up. "I'm going to...bathroom. Okay?"

Spock nodded and Jim quickly gathered up his whole suitcase and hightailed it into the bathroom. 


They spent the remainder of the morning in an awkward state making small talk and avoiding eye contact. When the ship entered Vulcan's orbit, they gathered up their belongings and made their way to shuttle bay. They sat together on the short flight down to the space port. 

"Who is picking us up?" Jim asked, trying to break the awkwardness. So they cuddled, big deal. 

"A driver my family hired will take us to my grandmother's home where we will greet every one."

"Is everyone there already?"

"I do not know. I believe some may arrive later."

Jim nodded. He looked out the small window and gazed in wonderment as Vulcana Regar came into view. "Wow."

"It is the largest city on Vulcan."

"No kidding."

"T'Pau's residence is just outside city limits. She perfers the solitude at times."

"Don't blame her." 

The shuttle docked and they disembarked into the port. Jim walked several feet with his luggage then turned around to wait for Spock. Jim, though, was met with a sea of black bowlcuts all around him. His eyes darted around. "Spock? Spock!" Fuck, I lost him. Only been here a minute and I lost him. "Spock!"

"I am here."

Jim turned around. Spock stood in front of him. Jim sighed. "Dude, don't do that. Ya'll all have the same hair. I can't tell you apart in a crowd."

Spock merely arched a brow but his eyes softened. He held his hand out to Jim, showing him a hypo. "Per McCoy's orders. Before we leave the port, you will need this."

Jim sighed again, but this time in disgruntlement. He hated hypos. He stepped closer to Spock and barred his neck. Jim thought he saw Spock's nostrils flare but dismissed it. "You do it. Please."

Spock nodded and gently pressed the hypo against his skin and injected him. Spock retreated and disposed of the hypo before motioning Jim to follow. Jim did, keeping close to Spock in the throng of people. He knocked against someone and nearly lost Spock again. 

Fuck it. Jim reached out and took Spock's hand, startling the Vulcan. "Sorry, I don't want to lose you again."

Spock glanced at him but did not say anything. He merely squeezed Jim's hand and finally led him outside. Jim closed his eyes as the hot suns immediately beat down on him. He was extremely glad he bought some clothes made out of a synthetic cooling material or else he'd be having a heat stroke within a few moments. 

"This way," Spock said. Jim let Spock pull him along, to a waiting hovercar. A Vulcan gave them a nod, his dark eyes flicking down to their hands before helping them to load the car. Jim let go of Spock's hands and took a seat in the back. Spock joined him a moment later and soon they were off, speeding into traffic and heading towards their destination. 


Jim whistled in amazement as the car pulled up in front of T'Pau's house. It wasn't so much a house than a mansion looking like it came out of the baroque period of architecture. It was beautiful, dark, and grand. 

"Your family, clan that is, are they...well off?" Jim asked as he got out of the car. 

"The House of Surak is notable in many ways," Spock merely replied. 

Surak? Hot damn that is notable. Jim grabbed his suitcase and followed Spock up the short path to the large front door. 

Before Spock could press the doorbell, the door opened and there stood Amanda. Jim couldn't help but smile seeing her in person. She was a little shorter than he was expecting, perhaps five four, and wore a scarf on her head this time. 

"Hi," Jim greeted. 

Amanda's smile was radiant as she waved them in. "Jim, Spock, I'm so glad you're finally here. How was the trip?"

"Easy," Jim replied. "Spock is a cuddle bug though." 

Spock shot him a look which Jim grinned at. He figured it happened, so use it to their advantage. 

"Is he still?" she asked. 

Jim chuckled and nodded. They stood in the foyer and Jim looked up at the vaulted ceiling where they stood. He put his suitcase and bookbag down. "Man this place is huge."

"It is like a maze sometimes, but you get used to it." Amanda then stepped closer and wrapped her arms around him in a tight embrace. "I'm so, so glad you're here, Jim."

Jim hugged her back. "I'm glad, too."

She stepped back after a moment and Jim thought she looked ready to cry, but held herself back. She turned to Spock and held her arms open. "May I."

Spock placed his luggage down, too. "You may."

Jim watched mother embrace her son. Jim thought it was a pleasant image. He heard footsteps and let his eyes turn towards the sound. Sarek appeared from around a corner, coming towards them in the foyer. 

Tall like Spock, Jim thought. Sarek looked intimidating. His face was blank as were his dark eyes.

Jim offered him a smile and held his hand up in a Vulcan salute. "Dif-tor heh smusma."

Sarek momentarily looked taken back and a bit impressed before his expression went blank again. Sarek's hand went up in a Vulcan salute as well. "Sochya eh dif," he replied. "Welcome to my family's home, James."

"Jim, please. I feel like I'm in trouble when someone calls me James."

"James is your formal name. I would prefer to use it to address you."

"Sarek," Amanda said, coming to stand next to her husband. 

Sarek glanced to her then back to Jim. "Jim."

"Sarek."

Sarek looked to Spock. "Greetings, sa-fu."

Spock's eyes went to Jim then back his father. "Sa-mekh." Spock then quickly stepped forward and wrapped his arms around his father much to Jim and Amanda's amazement. Sarek looked taken back again, this time more so than before. His eyes went to Amanda who merely grinned. Sarek slowly patted Spock on the back. Spock stepped away. 

"It is pleasant to see you again," Spock said. "Both of you."

Jim went to Spock's side and took his hand. "Well this is nice."

Another guest walked into the foyer. Jim smirked. "Hey, Stan."

Stonn's eyebrows went up and his eyes darkened. "Stonn."

"Right, sorry. Stonn." 

"Stonn," Spock greeted tersely. Jim squeezed his hand in comfort. 

Stonn looked at their hands. "This is the family house. You should conduct yourselves more appropriately. There are children here."

"Stonn," Sarek said in a warning tone. "My son and his mate are conducting themselves appropriately for the moment."

Stonn nodded. 

"Sorry, did I mess up?" Jim asked, pulling his hand away, feigning confusion. "I didn't mean to cause any drama."

"No, you're fine, Jim," Amanda said. "It just their hands..."

"Oh right. Sensitive and all that," Jim finished. "I'll try and be mindful."

"It is alright," Spock told him. Spock looked to his parents. He picked his luggage up. "Where will Jim and I be staying?"

"In the room you usually stay in," Amanda said. 

"I will assist you," Sarek offered reaching for Jim's luggage. 

"Thank you, Sarek," Jim said. Sarek picked the bag up and went to walk away when a distinctive ripping sound echoed in the foyer just before Jim's luggage broke open. All the contents of his bag spilled out onto the shiny stone flooring.

Jim's eyes widened along with everyone else's eyes as they all stared at the pile. Sure Jim had his clothes--pants, shirts, underwear, but no one was fazed by them. What had their eyes wide was what was on top of the pile: the purple toy, a pair of fuzzy handcuffs Jim had gotten for free for buying the toy, a bottle of half-used lubricant, and a box of condoms. 

Fuck! Jim mentally screamed. 

Chapter Text

Spock stared at the salacious items on top of Jim’s clothes and toiletries. He did not understand why Jim had the items. Were they supposed to be found? Were they a part of their cover?

Spock did not know or really think so as he looked from the pile to Jim. Jim’s face was beet red indicating embarrassment.

Not planned then, Spock thought before dropping his own luggage and leaning down. He picked up the pile and shoved it into the half of the bag that was not broken.

“Mind your business,” Spock told them. He stood up, clutching the half bag and contents to him. “Jim, collect my bags and follow me.” Spock turned and headed down the hallway and up the spiral staircase. He didn’t stop walking until he came to his room. He heard Jim’s footsteps close behind him. He opened the door and walked in, depositing Jim’s items on the bed.

Jim slowly walked in, his face still red. Spock took his bags from Jim and placed them near the dresser against the wall. Jim continued walking until he made it to the foot of the bed. Spock arched a brow and watched him fall forward, landing face down on the bed.

“Oh my god,” Jim muttered before loudly screaming into the bedding. “FUCK!”

“You are upset about what has just occurred,” Spock stated.

Jim turned his head do the side to look at Spock. “No, shit, Sherlock.”

“My name is Spock. Why did you pack those items?”

Jim groaned and sat up, sitting crossed legged on the bed. “I didn’t. Bones put them in my bag. I told him to put them in his closet, but does he? No. I'm going to kill him.”

“I take it then that the items yours.”

Jim’s eyes widened. He turned his face away from Spock, but Spock could see it become redder. Jim mumbled something.

“Pardon?”

Jim huffed and rubbed a hand over his face. “Well…yes, they’re mine. Nothing wrong with having such things.”

“Then why are you embarrassed?”

Jim looked back. “Because everyone saw them. I didn’t pack them, I haven’t even used a few of them. I just…” Jim snapped his mouth closed and fell back onto the bed. He put both hands over his face and groaned.

He has not used some of them, Spock thought. Interesting. He walked around the bed to where Jim lay and sat down. “If it makes you feel better, everyone did not see the items. Merely my parents and Stonn. I know my parents will not say a word about them.”

Jim peeked at Spock from between two fingers. “What about Stonn?”

Spock considered the question. “Well…he did tell everyone about us.”

Jim groaned again. Spock’s heart clenched. It was illogical, but he did not like seeing Jim upset. “At least there is no doubt in their minds that we are a couple. A couple in a healthy and adventurous sexual relationship.”

“Yeah, I guess.”

Spock reached out his hand and gently pulled Jim’s hands from his face. “Cease being upset.”

“Why aren’t you upset?”

“I am Vulcan.”

Jim snorted and then smiled. “Yes, you are.”

“May we go downstairs now? I wish to introduce you to my grandmother.”

Jim nodded and allowed Spock to pull him up and off the bed. Spock led them out the door and down the hall, keeping his hand intertwined with Jim’s. He really did not care if anyone saw. He enjoyed holding Jim's hand, feeling their skin against each other, and picking up small hums of thoughts and feelings from Jim. It was fascinating and illogical at the same time. 


 

T’Pau sat in the back garden at a round table with an umbrella overhead. Her black and white hair sat atop her head in an intricate braid. Her eyes went to Spock’s then flickered to Jim and then their hands. Spock had never been able to read her. She was always a mystery until she spoke.

She sipped a cup of tea with Amanda and Spock’s aunt Mitrani. Jim squeezed his hand tight as they approached. He could feel Jim’s trepidation seeping through at their contact. Spock did not have to concentrate very hard to send a calming wave to Jim.

“Thanks,” Jim whispered.

Spock nodded as they came to stand before the table. He bowed his head slightly in a show of respect. “Ko'mekh-il.”

“Spock,” she said, putting her tea cup down. She slowly stood up and walked around the table to stand before them.

Wow she’s shorter than I thought, Spock heard Jim think. Spock held back a chuckle. Indeed, his grandmother was five foot three, but was an intimidating force.

T’Pau arched her brow. “Introduce me to thy mate, S'chn T'gai Spock.”

Spock took his hand from Jim’s and placed it on the blonde’s lower back, gently urging Jim to step forward. “T’Pau, ko’mekh-il, this is my boyfriend, James Kirk.”

Jim bowed his head as Spock had down then raised his hand in a Vulcan salute. “Dif-tor heh smusma. It’s really nice to meet you, ma’am.”

T’Pau looked him over then nodded. “It is pleasing to make your acquaintance, James.”

“Jim, please call me Jim.”

“Jim,” T’Pau repeated. “You may call me by my name.”

Jim smiled. “I shall. T’Pau.”

Spock saw his mother grinning behind his grandmother. Mitrani was blank faced as a typical Vulcan.

T’Pau turned and walked back to her seat. “Jim, you will sit and join us. Spock, you are dismissed.”

Spock blinked and focused on his grandmother. “Pardon?”

T’Pau sat down and beckoned a servant over. While the servant sat a place for Jim, T’Pau repeated. “Jim, will join us and you will leave.”

Spock glanced to Jim who was equally as confused and hesitant as Spock was internally.

“Jim,” Amanda said, patting the seat next to her, which was across from T’Pau. “Join us. We just want to get to know you better.”

“Indeed,” T’Pau agreed. “Sit.”

Jim slowly walked over and took a seat.

“Your appearance is most striking,” Mitrani finally spoke. “Are you completely human?”

Jim’s back was to Spock now but he could see Jim’s ears tint red. “Yes, yes I am and thank you.”

Spock made a move forward, wanting to stay, but his mother and grandmother gave him a look that stopped him in his tracks.

“Kan-bu, your grandmother told you to leave,” his mother said. “Go find your father in the parlor. Jim is in good hands.”

Spock wanted to argue. He didn’t want to leave Jim alone but if he insisted to stay, he would no doubt be reprimanded in some way and then he would be the embarrassed one. Spock nodded at the woman.

“I shall leave. Enjoy your tea,” Spock told them. He turned and walked back inside.


 

On the way to the parlor, Spock bumped into Stonn in the hallway. He held a small bundle in his arms who Spock figured was his new daughter.

“T’Ariis, correct?” Spock asked, looking at the sleeping infant. She had small, almost delicate Vulcan ears, and a green tint to her cheeks.

“Affirmative,” Stonn said softly.

Spock looked away from the little girl to meet his cousin’s eyes. They stared at one another for several moments in silence before Spock tried to walk past.

Stonn moved into his way. “Jim is here.”

Spock arched a brow. “Yes. You did see him earlier or do you not recall?”

“I recall. I am merely…surprised you brought him.”

“You informed the family about him, I had no choice.”

“How long exactly have the two of you been together? Six months?”

Stonn was probing him. Trying to detect a lie, Spock figured. “Four months.”

“Four. Yes, that is correct. When did you…”

“Are you proctoring a quiz or may I leave?” Spock practically snapped. He didn’t wait for a reply before brushing past the Vulcan and walking away.

Spock found his father where his mother said, in the parlor sitting in a large, dark canopy chair, looking at his PADD. His uncles, Silek and Sopek, sat in other chairs, reading as well. Silek’s oldest, Sunvar, was taking a book from one of the many bookcases lining the walls of the large room.

“Father.”

Sarek looked up and nodded. “Spock.”

Spock took a seat on the chaise next to his father’s chair. “Mother, Grandmother, and Ko-kut Mitrani are with Jim.”

“The poor boy,” Silek spoke.

“Indeed,” Sarek agreed.

Spock internally sighed. “Why did they wish to talk to him alone?”

“They spoke to my wife about her life,” Sunvar spoke, walking over to Spock. “They asked about her future plans, hobbies, and then proceeded to explain in detail everything I had done in my childhood that was illogical.”

Spock outwardly sighed. “Fascinating.” Dammit.

“At least they will not threaten him,” Sarek said.

“Threaten?” Sopek asked.

“Did I not inform you of my first meeting with Amanda’s father?”

Sopek and Silek shook their heads.

“You did not.”

“Not that I can recall, sa-kai.”

Sarek put his PADD to the side and sat up straighter. “He invited me to go on a walk through the woods with him near his home. When we were a good distance away, he informed me he grew up on a farm, knew how to hunt and that his time in the armed forces taught him many things. One of which was how to make someone disappear without a trace.”

“Grandpa David did no such thing,” Spock said. His grandpa was quirky, but in a fun way, and would certainly not threaten anyone.

“He did,” Sarek replied. “It was made clear that if I hurt Amanda in anyway, no one would find me.”

Spock shook his head. He would ask Grandpa David about it another time, but his father was not one to lie and humans were illogical.

“Amanda is much like her father, though,” Sarek continued. “Perhaps Jim will get a similar speech.”

Spock’s eyes widened before he bolted from the room.

Sarek sat back in his chair and picked up his PADD.

“Poor boy believed all of us,” Sopek stated in an amused tone.

“He brings someone home without telling any of us he is courting, he must suffer,” Sunvar held back a chuckle.

“Indeed,” Sarek agreed.


 

Spock stormed outside but found the table empty. Oh no. He looked all around the garden but soon came to the maze T’Pau had put in after attending a garden party in England decades previous. He heard laughter come from the left side of the maze, and darted that way. He’d mastered the maze in his youth and knew the paths very well.

The laughter came again and Spock turned another way to follow it. When he came to a fork in the maze he stopped and closed his eyes. He listened to the surroundings.

“Oh my god!”

Spock’s eyes snapped open, hearing Jim’s distressed voice. Spock went down the third way and ran towards Jim. He rounded a corner and came to a halt. His eyes widened.

“Oh my god, he’s so fluffy and cute!”

Spock’s eye twitched. Jim was on the ground, playing with a large sehlat cub.

“His name is I-Mishi,” Amanda stood nearby and said.

“I-Mishi is so adorable,” Jim cooed before noticing Spock. “Hey, honey.”

Spock stepped forward. “Are you well?”

Jim smiled and nodded. “Yeah, I’m good. Why?”

“No reason,” Spock said before eyeing his mother and grandmother. Mitrani was nowhere to be seen. “I hope you are treating Jim respectfully.”

“We are,” T’Pau replied. “Now leave.”

“I do not…”

“Spock, I’m fine,” Jim stood up and said. I-Mishi pawed at Jim’s legs. “Go on. Spend time with your dad.”

Spock wanted to object. Again. But he could not say no to Jim. Those darn blue eyes. Spock nodded before leaving the maze.


 

He walked back into the parlor and sat down. His uncles and cousin were gone now.

“That was not amusing,” Spock spoke.

“If you say so,” Sarek replied.

Spock gave his father a look then asked, “Would you care to play Kal-toh?” He nodded to where a game was set up nearby.

“Certainly. It has been a while since we played.”

Spock stood and walked over to it. He picked it up and brought it back to where his father sat. Sarek pulled an end table in front of him and Spock placed the game on it before pulling up a seat on the other side.

They started the game in silence. Spock was unsure how to go about ‘burying the hatchet’ as Jim had said. He did miss speaking to his father these past several years. Before he left for Starfleet, he and his father discussed many things, but now Spock was at loss at what to say. How are you? How is work?

Spock mentally shook his head.

“Are you working on any experiments at Starfleet?” Sarek finally broke the silence and asked.

Spock looked up from the rods. “Not an experiment per se,” Spock replied. “I have not been able to work in the science labs in some time but I do plan to resume my scientific endeavors once the Enterprise is ready. I am overseeing several tests in the computer simulator labs with members of different academic concentrations. One program we are working on is a for a new guidance system in Oberth class vessels and another is for Starfleet’s new star charting system.”

“You have always been drawn to computers. I remember when I gave you your first lesson. You banged on the keyboard terminal and someone shut down and restarted all computers in the house.”

Spock saw a softness in his father’s eyes at this.

“I was two and you should not have started my lesson the house’s master computer. My logic and impulse control was…”

“Nearly non-existent,” Sarek spoke. A small tugged at the corner of his lips. “As is the norm with young Vulcans. By the next year, your logic and control were sound. I believe you were the most controlled child at your nursery school.”

Spock tried not to smirk. “Stonn was partial to the shiny objects in the room. His mind wandered constantly.”

“Indeed.” Sarek moved a rod on the game set.

“I taught him how to play this game,” Spock said.

“And how did he fair?”

“The first several games he moved the t'an on opposite sides to introduce a spatial balance. Of course, it failed. I believe he now understands the strategy of the game, though.”

“A novice mistake. Your mother still does that play even after nearly thirty years of playing. Always says ‘oops’.”

Spock wanted to laugh. He recalled many times growing up watching his parents attempt to play. Mother always moved the t’ans. The game would fall apart, she would laugh, then suggest they play something else. Usually a Terran board game.

“I recall. Mother is illogical.”

“Affirmative and that is why I love her.”

Spock blinked. He stared at his father who merely continued to move rods around. He didn’t know what to say.

“Do you love Jim?” Sarek finally looked up and asked. “Because there needs to be more to a relationship than just sexual relations.”

The tips of Spock’s ears burned with embarrassment. He wished he was back upstairs and hiding in his room now.

“Spock,” his mother’s voice came from the doorway.

Spock looked at her. “Yes.” Save me, please.

“Jim is outside with the younger ones. They seem to have taken a keen interest in him,” Amanda said. “Why don’t you go rescue him.”

Spock immediately stood up and nodded. “I shall…yes…do that.” He quickly left the room.

Amanda watched him leave then looked to her husband. “Why were his ears green? I know you and your brothers were teasing him earlier.”

“How?”

“I know all.”

Sarek arched a brow.

Amanda chuckled. “Sopek blabbed to your mother.”

Sarek sighed and shook his head. “Mother’s boy,” he muttered.


 

Spock went back outside and walked west, away from the maze and towards the children’s play area that T’Pau had put in when she first became a grandmother. There was a jungle gym set up as well as a swing set where Jim was sitting, surrounded by a dozen Vulcan children, boys and girls, age five to sixteen. It was a pleasing sight, Spock thought.

Spock approached and listened to the conversation.

“Why do you have blue eyes?” T’Amar, 9, asked.

Jim chuckled. “Because my dad had blue eyes, I guess.”

“Are you in Starfleet?” the twins, T’Reni and T’Rya, 5, asked at the same time.

“Yes, I am. Just like your cousin Spock.”

“Spock is our first cousin, once removed,” the twins replied.

“He is our first cousin, though,” Kovar said, indicating the other children as well. “Do you have cousins?”

Jim nodded. “A few.”

“Siblings?” T’Laan, 10, questioned.

“An older brother.”

“Does he have children?”

“One.”

“Male, female, non-binary?” T’Vei, 12, asked.

Jim chuckled. “Male, I guess.”

“What is your intelligence level?” Kovar asked.

“Um…genius.”

“Fascinating.”

“Thanks.”

“May I touch your hair?” N’Maret, 8, asked, holding out her hand.

“Yes, may I touch as well?” the twins added.

Before waiting for a response, as Jim looked a bit taken back, the children circled him and started touching his hair. Spock shook his head and quickly approached.

“Quite soft.”

“Alluring coloring.”

“I do not think this is his natural color.”

“Kroikah!” Spock ordered.

The children immediately snapped their hands away and moved back. The oldest, Kovar, looked at Spock.

“He said…”

“Nam'uh ralash-fam.”

Kovar shut his mouth.

“Jim did not give his permission to be touched. You know better.” He looked at all the children. “You all know better.”

They all bowed their heads and said, “Ni'droi'ik nar-tor.”

“Spock, its fine,” Jim spoke, standing up from the swing. “No harm done.” Spock’s eyes went to Jim’s hair which was now sticking up and unkempt.

“They still should not have…”

Jim reached out and patted Spock on the cheek, shutting him up. Spock nearly leaned into the contact. “Its alright. Kids will be kids. They were curious and I was going to say they could.” Jim turned to the children. “But one at a time. My hair is a mess, isn’t it?”

“Affirmative,” they replied.

Jim laughed and smoothed down his hair. “Go on and go play. We’ll hang out some more later.”

“Affirmative,” they replied again before walking away.

Jim turned back to Spock and smiled. “Cute kids.”

“I suppose.”

“You all look alike.”

“We are of the same familiar clan.” Spock looked Jim over and saw his coloring was a bit flushed and pink. “I believe you have been out in the suns too long.”

Jim nodded. “Yeah, I think so too. Do you have water?”

Spock put his hand on Jim’s lower back and led him inside and into the kitchen. He ordered the room’s temperature a bit lower as he procured Jim a glass of water. “Do you require another tri-ox hypo?”

Jim downed his water then shook his head. “Nah, I don’t think so. Just need to stay inside for a while. It is freaking hot out there.”

“I hope my mother, grandmother, and aunt did not question you too much.”

Jim grinned. “They did, but it was fun. I guess they just wanted to make sure I was a good boyfriend for you. Oh, I did get to say that you didn’t tell me about I’Chaya. Your mom wasn’t too pleased you’d kept that from me. Tsk, tsk, Spock.”

Spock nearly grinned back. Jim finished his water and Spock gave him another.

“So how many people are expected to be here. I’ve already counted like 20 Vulcans.”

“The House of Surak is considerably large. I suspect at least two hundred will be here throughout the week.”

“Fuck. Man, family reunions back home were not that big. Like fifty at the most showed up at my Great-Grans farm in Iowa for them.”

“Vulcans prefer to keep familiar relationships a high priority. We may go some years without contact but we are always connected.” Spock tapped his temple at Jim’s quizzical expression.

“Ah, those bonds.”

Spock nodded. “Yes. My strongest bonds are with my parents, but I am connected to everyone else at minimal levels.”

“And Sybok, too?”

“Yes.”

“Cool. Does it get loud in here.” Jim tapped his temple.

“It does not. Again, the bonds are minimal. The loudest one would be my bondmate and children, when the times comes.”

“Cool. So who were those kids out there? All cousins?”

“Yes. I have many cousins.”

“I can tell,” Jim chuckled. He put his empty water glass down. “Care to give me a tour of this palace.”

“It is not a palace.”

“It’s big enough to be.”

“I suppose. Come along.”


 

Spock led Jim around the house, showing him the various rooms that were not bedrooms. Jim was quite interested in the parlor as well as the library which house hundreds of thousands of books from all over the Federation. T’Pau and Skon had been quite the collectors. Spock figured he could’ve left Jim in either room and no one would see Jim for the rest of the week.

They came across numerous relatives during the tour. Each were friendly with Jim. Some kept their eyes on the blonde a little too long for Spock’s comfort.

Jim is not yours though, Spock told himself. They should still not stare.

“You have an aesthetically pleasing mate, Spock,” his great Aunt T’Penna commented while Jim was down a hallway looking at several Vulcan artifacts on the wall.

“He is not my mate. Merely a boyfriend,” Spock replied. “But thank you.”

T’Penna looked at Jim then back to Spock. “He is your mate.” She then walked away, leaving Spock to gape at her retreating back. Jim was not his mate. He was here as a favor for Spock, pretending to be his significant other. That was all. Just pretend. 

“Spock, you alright?” Jim appeared before him and asked.

Spock tore his gaze from his aunt and nodded. “I am well.”

Jim smiled at him then looked over his shoulder. “Oh, aren’t you a cutie.”

Spock arched a brow before turning. His youngest cousin, Selden, stood at the end of the hall. Jim moved past Spock and walked over to the little one as one of Selden’s mothers, T’Kiha, came into view.

“Hello,” Jim greeted the Vulcan woman.

“Hello,” T’Kiha replied. “You are James.”

“I am. Please call me, Jim.”

“Jim. I am T’Kiha, mate of T’Mor.” T’Kiha motioned down to Selden. “Our youngest, Selden.”

Spock walked up to them as Jim crouched down to Selden’s eye level. “Selden’s birth was the last time we had a family gathering.”

“Hello, Selden. I’m Jim.”

Selden merely stared at Jim with his big, dark brown eyes.

Jim smiled and then raised a finger and gently tapped Selden’s nose. “Boop.” Jim chuckled as Selden went cross-eyed for a moment to see his nose.

He focused back on Jim and said, “Tishau.”

Spock narrowed his eyes at the little boy. No, tishau.

“Tissue?” Jim asked.

“Negative,” T’Kiha stated. “Tishau. He said he likes you.”

No.

“Oh, why thank you, Selden. I like you, too. Tishau.” Jim looked up at T’Kiha. “He is ador…” Jim ceased as Selden stepped forward and wrapped his arms around his neck.

“Mine,” Selden said.

“Rai,” Spock growled, pulling Jim away as T’Kiha picked Selden up.

“No, Selden, not yours. He is Spock’s,” T’Kiha told the now fussing boy. “I believe it is nap time. Excuse us.” T’Kiha walked away with Selden, leaving Jim and Spock alone.

“Spock?”

“Yes.”

“You can let go of me,” Jim said.

Spock realized his arms were securely around Jim’s waist. He had grabbed Jim and angled him away from Selden. His chest to Jim’s back. Spock blinked then let Jim go. “My apologies.”

“It’s alright. I guess. Um…did that little boy say ‘mine’?”

“Yes.”

Jim laughed. “Was I just claimed by a three-year-old?”

Spock bit back a growl. “No. He is young, he is not yet in control of himself or his emotions. You are…pleasing to the eye, exotic almost to a Vulcan, and you said you liked him. He took that as an invitation to claim you which he should not have.”

“Because I said ‘tishau’?”

“Tishau has a few different meanings: to like, to find pleasant or attractive; enjoy; or to want to have. I believe he used the last meaning when he said ‘tishau’ to which you replied ‘tishau’ back.”

Jim shook his head. “Man, and I thought standard was hard.” He chuckled. “I guess I’ll keep my Vulcan usage to a minimum with the little ones.”

“That would be wise.”

“Don’t want any more of them to accidently claim me.”

“Indeed not.”

“Spock?”

“Yes.”

“Did you growl at him?”

Spock could feel his left eye twitching as he lied, “No.”

Jim gave him a scrutinizing look but shrug. “Okay. What else do you want to show me? I heard something about an indoor hot spring thingy?”

“Yes, the grotto. It would be best to use after dinner, though.”

A gong sounded throughout the house, startling Jim into jumping a bit. Spock internally chuckled at the cuteness.

“What’s that?” Jim asked, with wide eyes.

“We are to convene in the ballroom.”

“Ballroom? For what?”

“I am not sure.”

“Well lead the way then,” Jim said. “I still think this place is a giant maze.”

Spock placed his hand on Jim’s back and led him back to the front of the house and to the ballroom. T’Pau stood at the head of the hall along with Sarek and his uncles.

Spock led Jim over to where his mother stood. Amanda gave them both a smile.

“As most of thy family has joined us here in my home,” T’Pau stated. Her voice carried throughout the hall. “We will begin with the traditional festivities of House of Surak gatherings.”

“Traditional festivities?” Jim whispered to Spock.

“Various logical games and competitions.”

“Oh.”

“The first event will be held here this even after dinner. I hope you all brought your lyres.”

“A what?”

“Vulcan lute.”

“Oh. I don’t have one.”

“I will procure you one.”

“Thanks. I thought, though, this was to introduce the new baby.”

“That is done at the end of the week. The last event.”

“So, this whole week isn’t just lounging around and relaxing with family?” Jim asked.

“Nope,” Amanda cut in this time. “But it is fun, Jim.”

“I hope so. What other events are there?”

“Krotah tournament, desert racing, cooking, scavenger hunts,” she said.

“And this is a Vulcan family reunion?” Jim asked with a small laugh.

Amanda laughed as well, drawing the attention of the whole room. Jim and Amanda shut up and looked as innocent as they could.

“Amanda, James, do you have comments you would like to share with the clan?” T’Pau asked.

Amanda shook her head as Jim raised his hand. “Do I have to play a lyre or can a guitar count?”

T’Pau arched a brow then said, “You may use a guitar if you wish.”

“Thanks. And what’s the music options? I take it no Beastie Boys riffs? Smoke on the water?”

Spock resisted the urge to pinch the bridge of his nose.

“You may choose any composition to be judged by the family, including twentieth century ones.”

Jim grinned and nodded before T’Pau looked away to talk to her sons. Jim elbowed Spock in the side. “Your grandmother totally knows who the Beastie Boys are.”

“Fascinating. Who are they?”

Jim looked at Amanda. “You did not raise him right at all.”

Amanda sighed. “I know, I know. Beastie Boys was not in his curriculum growing up but many other artists from that time period was. Right, kan-bu?”

“Yes, mother.”

Amanda grinned at him then walked away to join Sarek and company. Jim turned to Spock. “Got a guitar around here?”

“No, but there is a music store in the city. We will go there.”

“Sounds good. Who won the last music tournament here?”

“My father wins at every gathering.”

“What about the kids? Don’t the kids play against each other.”

“No.”

“So a grown man plays against kids and that’s fair to you all?”

Spock thought about it and shrugged. “It is the way it is.”

Jim made a face. “Then I’ll have to win. Sarek needs to be dethroned.” Jim then walked away towards the exit.

Spock watched him as did a few other relatives. Spock gave them looks before following after Jim. He thought it would be quite pleasing for Jim to win against all of his family that participates. His father had won enough times.

Chapter Text

An hour later, Jim had a new acoustic guitar from a pretty cool music store in the city. Spock had tried to pay for it but Jim had told him 'no, that wasn't necessary' and paid for it himself. Spock had let it go but Jim could have sworn Spock’s eyes looked a little saddened that he couldn't buy it for him. He left Jim in the store to buy it and waited outside.

Interesting, Jim had thought. 

He left the store with his new guitar, a case, and some picks to find Spock standing nearby. He smiled at the Vulcan and was pleased to find the sad look disappearing in those brown eyes. He held up his guitar case. “I have no idea what I’m going to do with this when I get home, but oh well.”

“I am sure you will find use for it,” Spock replied.

Jim nodded then pulled at the collar of his shirt. “It is hot as balls here.”

Spock merely arched a brow. “There is a small restaurant nearby. Would you care for nourishment at this time?”

“We’re not eating at the house?”

“Negative. We are on our own for lunch. Dinner will be in the grand room this evening.”

“Grand room? Just admit her house is a palace already,” Jim chuckled.

“It is not a palace, I assure you. We are not a royal family. Are you ready for lunch?”

“Yeah, I am. Lead the way.”


 

When they returned home a few hours later, Spock was about to lead Jim back to their bedroom when a couple walked into the foyer. Jim recognized Stonn and figured the young Vulcan woman beside him holding a baby, was T’Pring.

Jim smiled. “Stonn.”

“James,” Stonn replied before putting his hand around T’Pring. “My wife and mate, T’Pring, and our daughter, T’Ariis.”

Jim looked at the bundle in T’Pring’s arms. “Well hello there, cutie.”

T’Pring bounced her daughter slightly as T’Ariis blinked at Jim. “It is pleasant to finally meet you, James Kirk.”

Jim’s eyes went from T’Ariis to T’Pring. She was a beautiful woman about their age. Her features were sharp, almost intimidatingly to Jim. “It is nice to meet you as well, T’Pring. Spock says you two were engaged once.”

Ooo, maybe shouldn’t have said that.

Stonn’s eyes narrowed slightly and his nostrils flared.

“Yes, we once shared a rudimentary betrothal bond,” T’Pring said. Her eyes flickered to Spock then back to Jim. “Spock and I are not compatible. It was best to have the bond severed when we did. If we had waited until his appointed time or even Stonn’s, then the dissolution would have been a messy affair.”

Jim nodded then asked, “Appointed time?”

Spock’s arm went around his waist and pulled him back a bit. “We do not speak of it with outworlders.”

“Speak of what?”

“Nothing,” Stonn said. “It is nothing to speak of as it most certainly will not occur with Spock.” Stonn’s dark eyes held some amusement. A small smirk tugged at the corner of his mouth as he looked at Spock. Jim was confused.

What the hell are they on about? Vulcans. Jim mentally shook his head. “Okay then. Um…I need to go practice.” Jim held up his guitar case. “I need to beat Sarek.”

“Good luck,” T’Pring stated. “He has gone undefeated for quite some time.”

Spock bowed his head slightly and Jim waved goodbye at them before leaning close to T’Ariis. Jim smiled at the cute little Vulcan baby before ticking her tummy and cooing in a sweet voice, “You are just a cutie patooty.”

“Please do not speak to her in such a…” Stonn tried but was cut off by T’Ariis letting out a small giggle.

Jim stood back and grinned as Stonn looked taken back. T’Pring merely bounced her daughter in her arms again then turned and left. Stonn shot Jim and Spock a look before following after his mate.

“Cute kid.”

“Indeed,” Spock agreed. “This way.” Spock motioned up the stairs and started walking. Jim followed duitifully, still confused by the giant maze of the palace.

“So…appointed time?” Jim nearly chuckled hearing Spock sigh.

“It is none of your concern.”

“If it’s not my concern, why can’t I know about it?”

“Jim.”

“Spock.”

Spock ignored him and continued on. He stopped in front of a door and opened it. “Here is our room. You have four point seven hours to practice your composition. Dinner will be promptly at six with the competition following.”

“Cool.”

“Do you have any questions?”

“I don’t think so.”

“I will be in another room down the hall meditating if you need me.”

Jim nodded. “Okay, have fun.”

“You too,” Spock replied before walking past Jim and back down the hall. Jim watched walk away before entering the bedroom and shutting the door. He sat on the bed and pulled out the guitar. The owner of the store had tuned it for him so Jim positioned it in his lap and put his fingers in the right places.  

“What to play, what to play,” Jim said to himself. He plucked a few chords. “Blackbird? Maybe.” Jim started strumming to the tune of the song then stopped. Fuck, do the Vulcans sing or just play the music? Jim groaned and put the guitar down. He sat up and left the room to find Spock.

He gets several feet from the bedroom before stopping. Spock didn’t mention what room he’d be in. Just that he’d be down the hall. Jim looked around. There were several doors in either direction. He continued down the way Spock had walked.

At the fourth door, Jim heard a sound and stopped. He turned his head towards the door. A few chords were played, badly, on the other side. A few more chords followed, leaving Jim cringing at the sound. Jim knocked then opened the door.

“Hello,” Jim said to the Vulcan girl sitting on a twin-sized bed in the corner of the room. She held a lyre in her lap.

“Hello,” she replied.

“I heard you playing. T’Amara, right?”

“Correct. I apologize for the displeasing sounds you heard. Playing musical instruments is not my forte.”

“Aw. I thought it sounded alright,” Jim lied with a smile.

T’Amara arched a brow.

That look must be in the genes with this family, Jim figured.

“Lying is illogical,” the girl said.

“True, but sometimes a small lie can be logical as to not upset someone.”

“You admit to lying about my playing to keep me from being upset?”

Jim blinked. "Um...I guess I do.”

“I am Vulcan. There is no need to lie to me. My feelings will not be hurt. That would be illogical.”

“I guess. I’m sorry for lying then.”

“Apologies are not necessary,” she said then added, “but thank you.”

Jim smiled and walked closer. “Do you have to participate in the contest?”

“No, you do not. Most of the family does compete, but Sarek always wins.”

“Who decides the winner?”

“We all do.”

“Why not choose someone else to win?”

“We keep a points system to determine the winner. Sarek always accumulates the most points.”

“Ah. Gotcha. I have a question.”

“You have already asked four questions since you entered the room,” T’Amara said.

Jim laughed a bit. “Alright, I have another question.”

“Yes?”

“For the competition, do you just play a composition or do you also sing?”

“I have not heard anyone sing during these competitions.”

Jim put his hands on his hips. If I sing, maybe that will give me a good advantage. Jim looked at the little girl and got a different idea. “Can people perform together?”

“Yes. My father and eldest brother performed together last year. They did not win.”

“Do you want to perform with me?”

T’Amara’s eyes widened. “I do not think that would be a wise decision. You will most definitely not win with me.”

Jim put a hand over his heart, feeling it break just a bit. “Oh, no, I think it’s a good decision. Can you sing?”

“I do not know.”

“I have an idea. Wait here and I’ll get my guitar.”

T’Amara nodded and Jim left the room, only to come right after in. “Hey, you wouldn’t happen to know which room is mine and Spock’s would you?”


 

Jim was very pleased with himself when Spock came to get him for dinner. T’Amara had a good voice and they managed to work together wonderfully on a song together. Spock had questioned them on their work, but Jim had stayed mum as did T’Amara.

“Tell me what you two are planning?” Spock asked as they entered the dining room.

Jim was about to answer but stopped with his mouth hanging open. The dining room was just as huge as the ball room from earlier, if not bigger. In the middle of this large room was the dinner table that must’ve been half the size of a football field.

“Good god, this is a palace,” Jim sputtered out.

“It is not a palace,” Spock replied. "We are not royalty. Anymore."

Jim felt Spock’s hand on the small of his back gently ease him forward. Jim started to move and Spock directed them towards the head of the table to two seats. Jim looked down and saw they were eight seats from the end where T’Pau sat at the head with Sarek beside her and Amanda just to his left on the opposite side as Spock and Jim.

Jim took his seat with Spock next to him. “Were we supposed to dress up?”

“Negative, however the last dinner of the trip will be more formal as it follows the introduction of T’Ariis to the clan. I will procure you a robe.”

“Gotcha.” Jim looked at the table top. He was relived to find just a no more cutlery than necessary for a simple dinner, two cups, and no plate.

The rest of the family entered and took their seats. Stonn and T’Pring were seated across from them and T’Amara, Jim saw, was down towards the end with her family. Jim took the opportunity to glance around at everyone from his position. He and Amanda were the only non-Vulcans of the one hundred and sixty plus guests Jim counted.

Jim nudged Spock’s side as waiters appeared and started passing out the first course of a leafy salad. Other waiters came by and filled their glasses. One looked like water and the other was an amber colored liquid.

“Vulcan port,” Spock told him.

“Oh good. So, how many courses?”

“Only three.”

Jim nodded and dug into the salad. Salads were not his favorite food, but he didn’t want to be rude so he forced himself to eat it.

“You did not say what you and T’Amara were planning for the competition,” Spock said after a while.

“No, I didn’t.”+

“Care to explain now?”

Jim shot Spock a grin and shook his head. “Nope.”

Spock looked at him for a moment before shaking his head and resuming his dinner. Jim nudged his foot under the table and continued his.

When the first course was done, their plates were promptly taken away and others were brought in. Jim hadn’t asked about the menu, he figured he should have. A week of just vegetarian dishes was something he would just have to live with, he figured.

His next plate was sat down and Jim’s mouth watered. “Is that chicken?”

“Yes,” T’Pau’s voice came from the end of the table. Jim looked to her with gratitude.

“Thank you, but you didn’t have go through the trouble of making me a different dish. I would’ve been fine with the Vulcan food.”

“Spock stated you have allergies,” Amanda spoke. “We do not want to introduce you to anything you may be allergic too.”

“Thank you,” Jim said again before trying his food. It indeed was a delicious piece of roasted chicken with fingerling potatoes, green beans, and broccoli. Jim ignored the broccoli and focused on the rest of his plate.

After a few moments, Jim felt a weight on his foot and something wrap around his calf. Jim glanced down and saw Selden had escaped his highchair unnoticed and latched onto his leg. The boy stared up at him. Jim smiled at him before sitting looking away.

Conversations were going on around him. Family members discussing work, Federation topics, and other talking points were going on. Jim wanted to participate but didn’t know who to talk to first. There was a couple beside him, Spock's great Aunt T’Penna, his grandfather’s last living sister and her husband Solen. Jim had met her earlier that day. 

They were talking in Vulcan to one another so Jim left the older people be. Jim looked at Spock and found the Vulcan was in conversation with the family members on his side. Jim heard a program at Starfleet mentioned so he spoke up and added his input.

The family member, T’Leng, seemed impressed by his input and posed him a question on the technology.

Jim leaned against Spock’s side as he talked with the relatives. Spock moved his arm and placed it on the back of Jim’s chair.

Nice touch, Spock. Jim leaned against him some more, adding to their relationship guise.

“How did the two of you meet?” Stonn asked, interrupted the conversation.

Jim looked away from T’Leng to Stonn. “Starfleet library.”

“When?”

Seriously? Jim sighed, “Four months ago.”

“But what is the date?”

“March fifteenth was the day we first met,” Spock spoke up. “Our first date was on two weeks later.”

“Yep,” Jim agreed. Take that, Stonn.

Stonn’s gaze flickered between them. “What are your future plans? I know the two of you are, how did you put it, taking it slow.”

Jim nodded. “Yes we are taking it slow. We’re taking it one day at a time and one step at a time. No real future plans at the moment.”

“Dating without a purpose is illogical. Marriage and bonding must be the end goal, correct? Or is this,” Stonn looked at Spock. “merely a…physical relationship? It is logical to assume based upon the contents that fell from your luggage this morning.”

Jim resisted the urge to roll his eyes. Of course, he’d bring up the ‘toys'. Jim felt Spock tense up beside him so he placed his hand on Spock’s thigh and squeezed, hoping it would bring some calm to his fake boyfriend.

“Stonn, cease,” T’Pring hissed at her mate.

“We do not have to defend our relationship to you,” Jim told him. Spock put his hand over Jim’s on his thigh.

Stonn opened his mouth to say something else, but Jim beat him to it, asking instead, “So tell me about the Vulcan Science Academy. What exactly do you do there?”

“At the moment I am researching sub-quantum transporting,” Stonn replied. “If you do not know, sub-quantum…”

“Oh, I know about it. It’s a flawed technology invented by Emory Erikson. Well, his version was flawed. I do think it can be possible with the right person or team looking into it.” Jim went quiet for a moment, letting his words sink in with Stonn and the rest of the table that was now listening in.

Jim took a drink of the Vulcan port then continued, “In my opinion, I think the equations that have been developed for the technology are nowhere near what they should be to gain its intended outcome.”

Jim internally preened when Stonn’s eyes narrowed. “But what do I know.” Jim smirked at Stonn. “I’m just a simple human from the middle of nowhere in Iowa. You are in the VSA, heard you had no trouble getting in,” you were waitlisted, Jim let silently hang over him.

“I’m sure you’ll figure it out. Oh hey, there was a Starfleet officer though, not too long ago that tried working on transwarp beaming. He lost an admiral’s beagle sadly, so do be careful with your work.” Good luck with the dead-end research, asshole.

Jim took another drink of the port as Spock patted his hand under the table. Jim decided to give one final blow to Stonn and turned his head towards Spock and gave him a kiss on the cheek. “How’s your research at Starfleet going, honey?”

“Yes, Spock,” T’Pau spoke up. “How are you fairing at Starfleet? Your father informed me you working on a new star charting system to use in their ships.”

Jim turned his hand so their fingers laced together. Spock looked at him and Jim’s heard skipped a bit. His brown eyes showing so much warmth in them while his lips had quirked up slightly at the corners. Jim licked his lip and looked away as Spock began to speak about his work.

Jim tried to concentrate. He should know more about the star charting for when he becomes a captain, but Spock’s thumb was rubbed gently against the back of his hand. Jim tried to think of so many other things and not that thumb. He looked towards T’Pau, hoping to focus on the conversation to add some input. He caught Amanda’s eyes and she winked at him.

His cheeks soon felt warm and he carefully pulled his hand away.

“Where is Selden?” a voice spoke up over the table’s conversations.

Jim and everyone turned towards the voice. T’Kiha was standing up looking at the empty highchair. Her wife T’Mor stood on the other side. They looked quite concerned despite their blank faces.

“He’s here,” Jim spoke. He’s been here for like ten minutes though, ladies. “Under the table. He seems to like my leg.”

Spock scooted his chair back and looked under the table. Jim sat back as well and smiled at the little boy still attached to him. Jim jumped slightly when he definitely heard a growl come from Spock. Before he could look at him, Selden let out a little growl of his own.

What the hell? Jim wondered while the two Vulcans glared at one another.

T’Mor appeared beside him and knelt down. “Selden, you are above this illogicalness. Release James’ leg.”

Selden pouted and shook his head, hugging Jim’s leg tighter.

T’Mor reached out to him and muttered in Vulcan to the boy. Selden let go but started to fuss as his mother stood up with him in her arms. She apologized to Jim who waved if off.

“Its alright, ma’am,” he told her.

T’Mor started to walk away. Selden gave Spock one last little growl in response which made Jim chuckle. Spock gave the boy a look before moving his chair back to the table and picking up his silverware.

Jim reached out and ruffled Spock’s hair. “Aw, Spock, don’t be grumpy. You know you’re the only Vulcan for me.”

Spock snapped his head away from Jim. “I am not grumpy and do not touch my hair.” Spock smoothed his hair down with one hand. “You are fully aware I do not like you touching my hair in that manner.”

Are we fighting? “Right, sorry honey.”

“And cease referring to me as honey. I am not a sweet, viscous food substance produced by bees. It is an illogical term of endearment that makes zero sense.”

Yep, we’re fighting. “Sorry, Spock,” Jim said dryly. “Just won’t touch you at all then.”

The table, which had gone quiet over Selden’s ‘disappearance’ eyed them both. Jim smiled, mostly to himself, and continued to finish the rest of his food. Spock beside him, kept his head down and ate his food.

Well fight one is down. Wonder how many more we’ll get through over the week.


 

After dinner, everyone who was participating in the music competition retrieved their lyres or, in Jim’s case, guitar and then gathered together with the rest of the family in the ball room. Jim found T’Amara and stood with her.

Spock hadn’t said anything to Jim since their ‘fight’ and stood across the hall with his mother holding a lyre. Jim did give him a smile and a wave which, after an elbowing from his mother, he did return. The wave not the smile.

T’Amara handed him a PADD. “We input the points into the PADD and it is sent to T’Pau’s for the final tally at the end.”

Jim looked at it and nodded. They would be scored on technique, intonation, tone quality, note preparation, rhythmic accuracy, memorization, dynamics, interpretation, and difficulty.

“Damn, ya’ll take this seriously,” Jim said. He looked at the girl. “I didn’t curse.”

“You said damn.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“You did.”

You did.”

T’Amara arched a brow at him then looked away.

T’Pau sat at the head of the room. “May we have our first musician come forward.”

Jim watched a young Vulcan male approached with his lyre and take a seat on the offered stool in the middle of the room. The Vulcan played a tune Jim did not recognize and played it rather well he thought. At the end Jim went to clap only to stop when no one else looked like they were going to.

Duh, sensitive hands, Jim told himself. He marked on the PADD high scores for the Vulcan because he figured he deserved it.


 

An hour later, Jim was ready to sit down and not stand up anymore. Almost all of the family seemed to be performing. The little ones strummed along wonderfully as did the adults and even a few of the elderly members of the clan. Stonn had played well, but Jim still gave him an okay score.

Jim was about to sit on the floor when Spock walked forward for his turn. Jim straightened up and focused on his fake boyfriend. Spock sat on the stool and positioned his lyre in his lap. He positioned his fingers then closed his eyes. After a beat, Spock started to pluck at the strings begin to play.

Jim stared, mesmerized by the Vulcan in the middle of the room. Once again, Jim didn’t recognize the composition but he wanted to know what it was called. Spock’s fingers moved quickly and expertly. A look of relaxation and concentration on his face.

When he was finished a minute later, Jim threw caution to the wind and clapped loudly, startling several people around him, including Spock who stared at him with odd expression.

“So good, honey…I mean sweetie. Spock. I…wow, Spock.” Jim gave him a thumb up then put his hands down and looked at the PADD. He gave Spock every high score he could because fuck that was good.

“Should be go next?” T’Amara asked.

“And follow that?”

“We either go now or after Sarek.”

Jim nodded. “We’ll go now.” Jim picked up his guitar and they walked to the center of the room. Jim looked at T’Pau. “We’re going to perform together if that’s alright?”

“It is.”

Jim smiled then sat down and position the guitar. He nodded at T’Amara then started to play, his fingers plucking along to the start of The Scientist. He kept count in his head as he knew the girl was. When the right part came, T’Amara began to sing.

Come up to meet you, tell you I'm sorry. You don't know how lovely you are…

Jim couldn’t keep his triumphant smirk away off his face as he glanced around and saw the Vulcans looking a little stunned.

T’Amara finished her part and Jim started singing on the second verse, “I was just guessing at numbers and figures. Pulling your puzzles apart…”

At the hook, they sang together. It was a bit rocky but Jim thought they sounded pretty good and no one else had sung throughout the competition.

When they came to the end Jim added a little flourish to his playing that had T’Amara shaking her head cutely at him. Jim finished and they both stood and took a little bow. Jim’s darted over to Spock and grinned when he gave him a thumb up as well.

Jim and T’Amara moved back to their spots and soon Sarek took a seat on the stool.

Lets see what the old guy has got, Jim thought.

Sarek perched the lyre in his lap then began to play. It was a soft song but his fingering skills were definitely an expert level. Jim blinked and understood why the Vulcan won every year. The guy was good.

Jim restrained himself some clapping for Sarek when the man finished, but scored him high on the PADD. He watched Sarek rejoin his wife and internally chuckled seeing her give him a flirty look and a Vulcan finger kiss.

“The scores have all been submitted,” T’Pau announced a few moments later. T’Pau looked at her PADD.

“Is there like a first, second, third place thing?” Jim asked T’Amara.

“Yes.”

“Third place is, Sarek,” T’Pau said after some hesitation. She looked at her son who merely bowed his head in acknowledgement.  T’Pau looked away. “Second place is Sadzhik.”

Jim looked around and saw the young Vulcan from the beginning bow his head. Good for him. He was good. Oh! Maybe we won!

“And in first place, Spock.”

Well damn, but oh well. “Way to go, Spock!” Jim shouted across the hall before running over to Spock and engulfing him in a big hug. He felt Spock stiffen up at his embrace. Screw it, we’re done fake fighting. Jim pulled back and pressed a big kiss to his Spock’s lips. “Great job, honey. Knew you’d win.”

Spock stared at him with wide eyes. A bright green flush on his cheeks. “I…um…thank you,” Spock said.

“Next time, I’ll win,” Jim ended up saying before catching himself. “I mean...um…or not…things happen…I…need to shut.”

“Indeed,” Spock agreed. “I thought you and T’Amara played wonderfully together. You have a pleasing voice.”

“Thank you.”

“Spock has a pleasing voice as well,” Amanda spoke from beside them. Jim forgot she’d been standing with him and blushed as he moved to stand beside Spock.

“Mother, I do not sing.”

Amanda ignored him and nodded at Jim. “He does sing.”

“I believe you. I’ll get him to sing one day.”

“You will not as I do not sing,” Spock spoke.

“Jim,” T’Amara appeared before them.

“Yes?”

“I spoke with T’Pau. We came in fifth place.”

“Oh, that’s great. Top five.”

T’Amara almost smiled. “Indeed. Top five. Thank you.”

“No, thank you. Couldn’t have done it without you.”

T’Amara nodded then walked away to join her parents.

“You are good with children, Jim,” Amanda said.

Jim shrugged. “I try to be. My roommate has a little girl so I’ve gotten used to being around kids because of him.”

“She refers to you as Auntie Jim,” Spock added.

Jim sighed as Amanda chuckled.

“Auntie Jim?” Amanda asked. “Why does she call you that?”

“Her father is a real comedian that’s why,” Jim replied. “He says I’m pretty. She agrees. He says I’m like a Disney princess. She agrees. A year later and I’m Auntie Jim. It’s better than Princess Jim. She called me that for months last year.”

“Princess?” Spock questioned.

“Because I’m so pretty.” Jim batted his eyes at Spock. “Aren’t I pretty?”

Spock’s mouth opened then closed. The blush came back, this time going to his ears.

“I’ll take that as a yes, Jim,” Amanda said with a little giggle. “Its so cute to see him blush.”

“I am not blushing,” Spock said. “I am…going to bed. Goodnight.” Spock cluched his lyre to his chest then left the room.

Jim watched him leave. So fucking cute. Why aren’t we really dating?

“I’m so glad you’re here, Jim.” Amanda broke Jim out of his staring.

He looked back to her. She was smiling up at him.

“Thank you,” Jim said. “I like being here as well. Oh, I forgot to talk about it earlier, but Spock said I’m to make breakfast. For everyone. There was like a hundred people here at dinner.”

Amanda chuckled. “You only have to make breakfast for T’Pau, Sarek, Spock, and I we decided. The others will fend for themselves since there are so many here.”

“Oh good,” Jim sighed in relief. “What exactly will I be making?”

Amanda patted him on the arm. “We’ll make some soup. They like soup for breakfast and maybe some pancakes for us.”

“Sounds like a plan.”

“I’ll come get you in the morning. Early, though, as T’Pau likes to get an early start to her day.”

“How early?”

Amanda gave him a sorrowful look. “It will probably still be dark.”

“Great. Just knock and I’ll be ready.”

Sarek appeared next to Amanda. “It is time…”

“Yes, yes, time for bed,” Amanda interrupted.

“Ya’ll are cute,” Jim told them.

Sarek arched a brow. Amanda took Sarek’s arm. “Goodnight, Jim. Don’t tease Spock anymore.”

“I’ll try not to. Um…can ya’ll point me in the direction of my room. This palace is a maze.”

“It is not a palace,” Sarek replied.


 

When Jim entered the right bedroom several moments later, he found Spock wearing his sleeping robe and putting clothes away in the provided dresser drawers.

“Hey,” Jim said.

“Hello,” Spock replied. He closed a drawer and turned towards the bed. “I took the liberty of putting all of your belongings in that dresser.” Spock pointed the second one in the room. “Even the um…items from earlier.”

Jim ducked his head slightly. “Thanks for doing that. You didn’t have to.”

“Before the end of the trip it will be necessary to procure you another suitcase.”

“Yeah, I will.” Jim lifted his head. He and Spock stared at one another for a few moments before Spock looked away and walked over to the bed.

“I have finished my nightly routine. The bathroom is yours. Do you still wish for the right side?”

“I’ll take the left side this time,” Jim replied.

Jim gathered his pajamas and changed in the bathroom before coming back into the room. The lights were dim and Spock was in bed under the covers, leaning his back against the headboard. His attention was on his PADD.

Jim picked up his own PADD and got into bed beside Spock. He pulled up his message app and tapped Bones’ name.

JTK: You are in so much trouble when I get home. My bag ripped open in front of his parents and guess what fell out? The ‘naughty stuff’! Payback will be a bitch, my friend.

Jim sent the message then checked his other messages, reply to ones he needed to before turning his PADD off and putting it on the side table. He laid down and made himself comfortable for bed. Spock did the same a few moments later. Turning the lights off completely and laying down.

“Today was fun,” Jim said.

“Indeed.” Spock turned on his side and faced Jim. “My family is enjoying your company.”

Jim turned over as well, barely making Spock out in the dark. “I’m enjoying their company as well.” Jim smiled. “Your little cousins are cute.”

“Some of them are,” Spock said blankly.

“You growled at Selden.”

“I did…”

“And don’t say you didn’t. I heard you, Selden heard you, everyone heard you growl.”

“I…it was…I could not help it. Vulcans can be territorial of their…significant others. Growling is a way to keep others away.”

“So Selden thinks I’m his and you have to growl at him to keep him away.”

“Yes.”

Jim laughed. “Vulcans are weird.”

“As are humans.”

“Yeah, we can be, but at least we don’t’ growl.”

“No, but humans are prone to making other unsavory noises for entertainment purposes.”

Jim snorted then blew a raspberry at Spock.

“Exhibit A,” Spock replied.

“Oh shut up,” Jim said playfully. He turned onto his back and stared up at the ceiling. “Hey, Spock?”

“Yes?”

Jim turned his head to look at the Vulcan. “Congrats on winning the music competition.”

“Thank you.”

“What’s is called?”

“I Saw the Moon. It is a traditional Egyptian folk song.”

“Wow, old huh?”

“Indeed.”

“It was beautiful, Spock. I enjoyed hearing you play.”

“Thank you. I also enjoyed hearing your composition as well. You and T’Amara performed well together.”

“Thanks. What is the plan for tomorrow?”

“I believe a kal-toh tournament is being planned.”

“Oh damn. Can we be on a team?”

“If you wish.”

“I do wish. Hey, Spock?”

“I am right here, Jim.”

Jim chuckled. “Do you really want me to stop calling you honey?”

“No, I do not mind it, I just…I did not like everyone staring because of Selden’s antics. I apologize.”

“Nah, its fine. We did agree to have little fights while we’re here.”

“Indeed.” Jim heard some rustling and figured Spock was turning over. “Goodnight, Jim.”

“Goodnight, Spock.” Jim turned over, facing away from Spock.


 

Knock, knock

Jim pushed his face into his pillow and groaned. “No knocking.”

Knock, knock.

Jim groaned again and tried sitting up, but strong arms were wrapped around him. Jim opened his eyes and found Spock was once again cuddling him. Jim looked over his shoulder. Spock was sound asleep.

Knock, knock. “Jim?” Amanda’s voice came through the door.

Jim sat up as best he could. Spock’s arms want down to his waist and held him tight. His face pressed into Jim’s hip, nuzzling him.

“Really, Spock?” Jim sighed. He shook his head and looked to the door. “Come in!”

Amanda poked her head in and chuckled at the sight.

“Cuddle bug,” Jim said.

“I see.”

“He won’t let go.”

“Gently pinch the tip of his ear.”

Jim does what she suggested and smiled as Spock squirmed and slapped a hand over said ear, knocking Jim’s hand away.  The Vulcan then muttered something and turned over. He pulled the covers with him and buried himself in them before settling back down.

“Adorable,” Jim said. He got up out of bed and looked to Amanda. “I’ll be right down once I take a quick shower and get dressed.”

“Okay. Do you know where the kitchen is?”

Jim made a face. “Um, no.”

“I’ll wait for you in the foyer then.”

“Thank you.”

Amanda left the room, shutting the door behind her. Jim spared a glance to the cocooned Vulcan on the bed.

“Well it’s a good thing I’m not getting back into bed with you,” Jim said. He walked over to the dresser and gathered his clothes for the day. 

Twelve minutes later, he met Amanda downstairs and followed her to the way back in the house. 

"Please, can you at least admit that this is a palace," Jim said. 

"I wouldn't say a palace, but maybe a mansion," Amanda replied. 

They entered the kitchen and went to the large island in the middle. "Sarek woke up earlier than I thought which got me up."

"Can't be quiet can they?" Jim asked. 

"No, they can't." Amanda shook her head. "Sarek once knocked me out of bed on accident trying to disentangle us from cuddling."

"Ouch, I'm sorry. Where you cuddling him or..."

"Yes, Spock gets it from me. Sarek likens me to an octopus. I just tangle my limbs around him in my sleep and don't let go."

Jim couldn't help but laugh a bit at the imagery.

"Anyway, since I didn't want to go back to sleep, I came in here and got started getting the plomeeks ready."

"Plomeeks?" Jim asked. He figured they were the purplish looking vegetables sitting on the island and was right when Amanda pointed to them and explained. 

"Vulcans enjoy soup for breakfast. Namely plomeek soup. Spock also enjoys it when he isn't feeling well just FYI." 

"Good to know."

 Amanda gave him a smile then preceded to talk him through preparing the soup. 


A little while later, Jim and Amanda sat at the breakfast nook and sipped tea while the soup cooked on the stove top. Amanda sat her tea down then pulled over a photo album. 

A huge grin broke out on Jim's face. "You brought photos."

"I told you I would." 

Jim moved around the table to sit next to her. She opened to the first page and Jim let out an 'awww' sound. 

"Would you look at those cheeks and those ears," Jim cooed, looking at a page full of infant Spock pictures. 

"He was an adorable little thing," Amanda agreed. "I took so many pictures of him when he was a boy. He got fussy over it when he was about six so the amount I have from then on is minimal."

"Sounds about right. I know I hated posing or letting my mom take any pictures of me when I was younger."

Jim turned a page and cooed more. "Oh he did have some curls."

Amanda nodded. She traced the outline of Spock's face in one of the pictures. "They were so precious. I dreaded when it would be time to give him his first haircut. I had to when he was about eighteen months. It was getting too long and in his eyes."

"Did you save some curls? My mom has a lock of my baby hair in my baby book."

"I have a few curls saved in Spock's baby book. I also have his first tooth he lost."

"Mom didn't keep those," Jim laughed. "Just the locks of hair." Jim turned the page again and pointed to a picture. "That's a sehlat." The picture was of a one year old Spock cuddling a large sehlat."

"Mmhmm. I-Chaya. I bet he's told you about him though."

Jim blinked and shook his head. Family pet. Nope don't know. "Nah, he hasn't mentioned I-Chaya."

"Oh," Amanda actually looked a little taken back. "Well...I guess he had his reasons not to. I-Chaya died protecting him from a le-matya attack when he was seven. Spock took it hard. I wanted to get a new sehlat but he refused to accept another as his companion."

Aw, poor Spock. "I can't imaging losing a pet. Never had any growing up. Always wanted a dog though, but my brother was allergic." 

"And you weren't?"

Jim snorted. "Surprisingly, no." Jim turned the page in the album and came upon a nice family picture. Spock appeared to be about five. Amanda and Sarek stood behind him with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. Amanda appeared quite happy while the Vulcans remained blank faced. 

"That's a nice picture," Jim said.

"Thank you. I only have a handful of family pictures so I treasure them." Amanda touched that picture as well with a soft smile on her face. 

Jim looked at the picture then to Amanda. "Is it hard...to be married to a Vulcan?"

Amanda didn't say anything for a beat. She sat back in her chair and touched Jim's arm. "It has its moments as does any marriage. Sarek and I share a bond. He knows me better than I know myself sometimes and vice versa. Vulcans are...logical, of course. Their control and need for logic can sometimes cause...conflict with others that aren't Vulcan, especially with their significant others. Sometimes Sarek frustrates me so much because of logic, that I want to rip the bangs off your head"

"I get that," Jim chuckled. "Spock can be a handful at times."

Amanda looked at him. "It is the most intense relationship you will ever be in and I wouldn't have it any other way. Vulcans aren't emotionless. They do feel...feel far more intensely, violently, and passionately than us."

"Damn."

"Mmhmm. It is worth it though. So worth it to be loved by a Vulcan and love one in return."

Jim smiled at her and nodded. He thought about Spock and he felt warm and fuzzy all over. 

"You know, they can even laugh," Amanda added with a soft smile.

Jim's eyes widened. "No."

Amanda grinned and nodded. "Sarek has laughed a few times in my presence. Even smiled."

"Shut up," Jim said in shock. "How can I get Spock to laugh. Hell, how can I make him smile?"

"I'm sure you can think of something to do to make him laugh or smile."

"First thing that comes to mind is sex. Sex makes me smile."

Amanda stared at him then burst out laughing. Jim realized what he said and put his head down on the table. He groaned and wished to rewind that whole conversation. 

Jim! C'mon, dude, why the hell did you say that to Spock's mom for? Jim fussed at himself. 

Amanda patted him on the back. 

"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that," Jim mumbled.

"Oh no, its fine," Amanda choked out, still laughing. "To be perfectly honest, the first time Sarek smiled in front of me we were both naked."

Jim's shoulders started to shake as Jim tried to repress a laugh. He couldn't though and soon he and Amanda were doubled over in their seats, laughing their asses off. They ended up losing track of time siting and having a good time together that they ended up letting the soup burn. 

Chapter Text

Spock took another sip of the purple soup and suppressed a cringe at the bitter taste. This was not how it was supposed to taste. His mother had never made a bad tasting meal before but apparently a few hours alone with Jim and anything is possible. He looked across the table at his father and saw he too was having difficulty with the soup. Spock glanced to T’Pau. She showed nothing as she sipped the soup.

Spock put his spoon down and picked up his fork. He reached to the middle of the table and speared two pancakes and brought them to his plate. His father did the same. At least the pancakes proved to be good, edible balance to the bad soup. 

“Again, we apologize for the soup,” Jim spoke from beside him.

“Yes, we were having a grand time talking and laughing,” Amanda added. “We let the time get away from us as well as the soup.”

“The soup and pancakes are acceptable,” T’Pau replied.

The pancakes are, Spock thought.

“Apologies are not necessary,” Sarek spoke.

“That’s good, but we…I still feel bad,” Jim said. “We were distracted by Spock's baby pictures."

"Mother," Spock said. 

"I like showing off your pictures," Amanda countered. "And Jim is the only one in this house who hasn't seen your cute baby pictures."

"Not just baby pictures," Jim said. "You were a cute teenager too."

"Yes, he was and now he's a cute adult," Amanda added.

Spock's felt his cheeks warm. "I am not cute."

Jim touched his hand. "You are."

Spock shook his head and moved his hand away. Jim and his mother shared a laugh at his expense. 

After a few moments, Jim spoke again. "So, Spock tells me that today there will be a ka-toh tournament. How will that work?”

“This time we will have teams of two compete together against other teams,” T’Pau replied. “Until there is one winning team.”

“Since I’m not very good at playing, perhaps Spock and I…”

“Jim, why don’t you and I be on a team together?” Amanda asked. “I think we’d have fun playing together.”

Spock and Sarek looked at Amanda.

“Amanda, you do not play the game well,” Sarek said. “Perhaps you should be with me.”

Amanda smiled then shook her head. “No, I think I would like to play with Jim.” She looked at Jim. “That is, if you want to be on my team.”

Jim nodded. “I’d love to. We’re going to lose but at least we’ll have fun.”

“Indeed,” Amanda agreed. She looked back at Sarek. “You and Spock can be teammates. When he was younger you would play together. You’d both be worthy opponents.”

Spock and his father looked at one another. Spock did have fond memories of his father teaching him the game and playing together in the family room at home while mother read in her favorite chair or knitted. Their games became few and far between in his later teen years, though. But as Jim said, it is time to bury the hatchet.

“That is…agreeable,” Spock said. “If you wish.”

Sarek took a moment then nodded. “It is agreeable.”

“Then it is settled,” T’Pau said. “The other teams will be sorted out later. She put her spoon down and folded her hands in her lap. Spock watched her fix Jim with a look.

Oh no, Spock thought.

“James, yesterday you proved yourself to be a welcome addition to our family gathering.”

Spock internally sighed in relief. Yesterday was a good day. Everyone, minus Stonn, seemed to enjoy Jim’s company.

Jim smiled. “Thank you. I am loving my time here. I appreciate the invitation to join you all.”

“It was a logical decision to allow you here. Spock has never shown interest in a mate before...”

“He is not my mate,” Spock corrected. “Boyfriend.”

“I said what I said,” T’Pau gave him a look this time. Spock could feel a twinge in the back of his head from one of his other familiar bonds. T’Pau wasn’t one to correct. “As I said,” T’Pau continued, looking back at Jim. “Spock has never shown an interest in a…significant other before, especially one as exotic as you.”

Spock glanced to Jim and saw a pink blush appear on his cheeks. Spock’s heart skipped a beat.

“I’m not exotic,” Jim said bashfully, still blushing. “You all are the exotic ones. Love the ears, by the way.”

This line of dialogue needs to stop, Spock thought. He looked at his father pleadingly. Sarek arched a brow back then looked at Jim.

“James, you are a Starfleet cadet,” Sarek spoke.

Jim blinked. “Yes, I am.”

“What are your intentions?”

“My intentions?”

“Yes,” T’Pau spoke this time. “Your intentions. Your goals. Where do you see yourself with Starfleet?”

“I see myself as a captain one day,” Jim replied. “Hopefully soon. I’m on an advanced track to graduate in three years instead of four.”

“Spock graduated in three as well,” Amanda said, happily boasting about her baby. “Graduated top of his class.”

Spock sat up a bit straighter at that. He was a distinguished graduate and as illogical as it was, he was quite proud of himself. His mother had been in the front row at his academy graduation. Smiling, clapping, fighting back happy tears. The seat beside her, reserved for Sarek, had been empty. Spock did only send her the invitation but it clearly listed a plus one option.

“Of course, he did,” Sarek said. “Just as he would have graduated at the top of his class if he had attended the VSA.”

Spock deflated a bit at that and clenched his jaw.  “Starfleet offers opportunities that the VSA and you, are too…narrow minded to allow.”

“Narrow minded,” Sarek repeated, his tone clipped.

“Yes,” Spock replied. “We are a race of logic but also claim to follow IDIC..."

"IDIC?" Jim interrupted and asked hesitantly.

"Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations," Spock told him. "It is the basis of Vulcan philosophy, celebrating the vast array of variables in the universe." Spock continued to stare at his father. "Where is the diversity at the VSA? At the learning center? I saw none of it growing up or when I was applying to the VSA. From you or them.”

Jim touched his hand. This is not burying the hatchet, Spock picked up from Jim. Indeed, it was not but for some reason the memory of just his mother at his graduation had him irritated.

Sarek opened his mouth to argue, Spock figured, but his mother spoke up instead.

“Enough,” she snapped. She stood up and tossed her napkin onto the table. “Both you, follow me. Now.”

Spock and Sarek slowly stood up and followed Amanda from the room. She led them down two hallways before entering the parlor.

“Out,” she insisted to the several occupants in the room. When none made a motion to leave, she repeated it louder. “OUT!”

The Vulcans quickly stood and left the room.

“Sit,” Amanda pointed to the couch.

Spock took a seat at one end while Sarek sat at the other, leaving a few feet of space between them.

Amanda paced in front of them for a moment before grabbing a chair and bringing it to sit in front of them. “I am tired of this,” she spoke, her voice a bit shaky. “I want this to stop. You are father and son. My husband and my child. I do not want to spend the rest of my life with you not speaking to one another. This has gotten foolish.”

She looked between them. "How long will this continue? Spock and Jim could have children one day. Will we ever see them?" She looked at Spock. "Would you allow them to get to know their grandfather?" She looked at Sarek. "Would you foster a relationship with them?"

"Ch...children?" Spock questioned. 

"Yes, children. I want to know my future grandbabies. I want Sarek to know them as well. I don't want there to be any regrets between either of you."

Children? Spock thought, in a bit of a shock about the insinuation that he and Jim would have children. They would make adorable children together, though, Spock figured before mentally shaking his head. No, no. We are not even a real couple. 

"Well?" Amanda said after a few moments. "Talk. Get everything out and talk.”

.

.

.

Amanda sighed and leaned back in her chair. “This is why we never had any more children. Would you do this to them, too, Sarek? If they had chosen a path you didn’t outline for them, would you have cut them out? Or would they be given more attention and support instead? What if we had a child that was more human than Vulcan or more Vulcan than human? Hell, what if we adopted a child? How would you treat them?”

I did not need a sibling, Spock thought. Siblings are bothersome. Sybok always came into my room and touched my stuff. My room. My stuff. But he figured, that wasn’t the point his mother was trying to make. Spock was an only child for the most part. Sybok was older, spent more time away than with them. As selfish as Spock knew it to be, he didn’t like the idea of sharing his parents with someone else.

“You experienced difficulty conceiving and carrying Spock. That is why we had no more children,” Sarek replied.

“Sarek,” Amanda fussed.

Sarek stared at his wife. “I do not know. We only had Spock. Sybok was older and while exceptionally gifted and possessing great intelligence…his mind…thoughts…they were troubled.”

“And you do not speak to him,” Spock spoke.

“Nobody speaks to Sybok,” Amanda argued. 

Spock mentally agreed. He tried contacting his brother a few years back, but after Sybok starting talking about what sounded like a cult, Spock didn’t contact him again.

“So, we, you, only have Spock now,” Amanda continued. “Your own flesh and blood. Talk.”

.

.

.

Amanda looked Spock. “Fine. You talk, Spock.”

Spock blinked. Okay, yes, talk. But his mouth would not open. He did not know where to start.

“Did you join Starfleet to spite your father?” Amanda asked when he did not say anything.

“I did not,” Spock admitted because he really hadn’t’ve. Applying to Starfleet had been logical just in case he had been rejected by the VSA. He wasn’t rejected from attending but was rejected from being seen as a Vulcan to them.

“Then why?”

Spock glanced to his father then back to his mother.

.

.

.

His mother sighed again.“You boys." She shook her head and stood up.  "Alright, I am leaving, but I want you both to stay and talk. Or else.”

“Or else?” they both questioned.

“Yes, or else.” Amanda left the room, shutting the door loudly behind her.

Spock rubbed his hands together in his lap. This was not how he planned to bury the hatchet at all. Perhaps play chess, talk about science, but not actually discuss the reasons behind their lack of talking.

“You chose the Vulcan way,” Sarek spoke after several moments of silence. “You turned your back…”

“I did not turn my back,” Spock argued.

“You were to follow in my footsteps. In my father’s footsteps. You are Vulcan, you…”

“I am not you or grandfather,” Spock couldn’t help but snap. His father did not understand at all and he wasn’t surprised. “I am not fully Vulcan as my peers at the learning center, as your colleagues on the admission counsel, as every Vulcan I have met growing up, have pointed out on numerous occasions in my life. Why would I choose such a path where I am obviously not accepted?”

Sarek was quiet.

Spock closed his eyes and tried to calm himself. “You said I was a child of two worlds,” Spock said softly. He opened his eyes and stared straight ahead. “I look Vulcan. I act Vulcan. I feel more Vulcan than human. I have always…always worked hard to be Vulcan, to be like you, but I am also part human. I have always respected you, our clan, and our Vulcan traditions, but…I felt, when I was younger, ashamed of my Human blood and sometimes that shame stemmed from your words.”

Spock swallowed and repeated, “You said I was a child of two worlds, but you never let me be that child. You told me that I was fully capable of choosing my own destiny—that it was something only I could decide. Yet you always pushed me to be like you. To be completely Vulcan. Even when mother insisted I embrace some of my humanity, you argued with her. It is the source of my ostracism you said."

“I never wanted you to be ostracized or bullied,” Sarek admitted. “I wanted the best for you, as any parent does. You are indeed a child of two worlds. The best of both of them.” Sarek turned slightly in the seat to face Spock. “I see I made some mistakes in regards to how we raised you.”

Spock shook his head. “No, you did not. Not completely. I…enjoyed my childhood. At home. School was another matter but despite my peers, I flourished at the Learning Center and I do not believe a human school would have been better suited for me.”

“We could have at least enrolled you when we lived in San Francisco for that short time,” Sarek said. "Allowed you a chance to explore your human side."

Spock couldn’t help but make a face. “No. I did not enjoy spending too much time around humans, especially human children when I was younger. Spending time with mother’s family had its advantages but my cousins were…”

“Loud,” Sarek added.

“Yes, and exceptionally illogical. They played a game called the floor is lava. They tried to talk me into playing but I did not see the point. The floor was not lava. There was no logic in climbing on all the furniture to get to a safe space.”

“Didn’t Lester fall off a counter playing that game?” Sarek asked.

“Yes, and broke his arm.”

Sarek shook his head. “Then I am glad you did not participate.”

“As am I.”

“Spock, just as you faced ostracism, I did as well. Among my peers and colleagues for marrying your mother, for having you.”

“It was logical to marry mother.”

“I know I said that. I regret saying it in that way. She and I had a fight. You were injured. I thought it was a moment that I could…continue to sway you in the path of following in my footsteps. Spock, I married your mother because I love her. If not, then her illogicalness would have driven me away before marriage was even an idea between us.”

“Just as your mother saw you hurting,” Sarek continued. “I saw it as well, but I wrongly ignored it. I wanted you to be accepted. I wanted them all to accept you. See that you were Vulcan, my son. Not an experiment.”

“An experiment?” Spock questioned.

Sarek nodded. “You know your conception, your birth, was a scientific feat. Humans and Vulcans cannot just make a child together in the normal sense despite repeated attem…”

“Cease,” Spock interrupted quickly. No matter his heritage, talking about sex with one’s parents was still horrible.

“My apologies. Your mother and I wanted you. We wanted as many children as we could have actually. Well, Amanda did. I merely agreed. It took a while…a few miscarriages—some early and some not, an ectopic pregnancy that was not viable, until we finally had you. Her pregnancy with you had its ups and downs and afterwards, Amanda was not up for continuing to try for another child. The previous losses took too much out of her. Out of both of us.”

“I never knew,” Spock said. “But why say I am not an experiment?”

“That is how you were referred to in your youth by my colleagues. My experiment with the human, they would say.”

“Would?”

“I challenged them several years ago to a fight. I won. They have not spoken ill of you or Amanda since.”

Spock blinked. “You…were in a fight?”

Sarek nodded.

“Challenged them?”

“Yes, the three main ostracizers. Your mother does not know. Do not tell her. She was off planet and my injuries were healed by the time she came home.”

Spock blinked again. “A fight. Several years ago?”

“Four years,” Sarek admitted.

“Mother was off planet for my graduation, wasn’t she?”

Sarek nodded. “I was…proud you were graduating at the top of your class. I even boasted about it to my colleagues on the council. How much you had achieved at Starfleet Academy. The degrees you had gained. They pointed out how emotional I was acting because my experiment was faring well in a more human environment. We argued and in the end, a fight was logical.”

“So you…stood up for me. For mother and I.”

“Yes. After twenty-three years, I did. I regret not doing it sooner as it did feel good striking them.”

“I always enjoyed striking Stonn when he made his comments.”

“Stonn’s behavior towards you was never acceptable in the clan.”

“Yet he continues his remarks.”

Sarek shook his head. “The family has repeatedly tried to get him to cease. He is stubborn.”

“A common characteristic of our clan it seems," Spock said. "Father, as I said before, I feel more Vulcan than human. I always have. My human side is there. On the rare occasion I indulge it with something illogical." Like having Jim as my fake boyfriend. "I embrace logic and the Vulcan way but I have chosen another path. One that affords me the opportunities to be in a more diverse environment. To make friends. To...feel things. Humans do not see me as fully human, Vulcans do not see me as fully Vulcan. I have accepted that. I am myself. I like who I am, who I have become. As Jim has said, the best of two worlds."

Sarek reached out a tentative hand and rested it on Spock’s knee. “I apologize for not doing more for you in your youth and even now. You are, indeed, the best of two worlds. You should have been allowed to make, to choose your own path, free from my influence. I am glad you have found your place. I apologize for my actions leading to our not speaking all these years. I should not have cut off contact. My logic is uncertain where you are concerned."

Spock stared at his father’s hand then gently curled his fingers around his father’s index finger. He used to hold his father’s hand, well finger, that way when he was a child. “As is mine. Thank you. I also apologize for my actions as well."

Sarek nodded. “Mother showed me the recording of your graduation ceremony when she returned. Your speech was commendable.”

“Thank you.” Spock looked at his father. “I…I have a request. I will understand if you say no.”

“We cannot give you a sibling.”

“Father.”

“We are too old and you never learned to share properly growing up.”

Spock sighed, “Sa-mekh.”

“Perhaps a sehlat?”

Spock shook his head.

“What is your request, Sa-fu?”

Spock glanced down to their hands then back up to his father’s dark eyes. “I have always wanted to…I believe it would help us continue to work on our issues…I um…you never melded with me. I have seen other familiar relations meld with one another here. When I was a child I would often see parents meld with their children at the learning center. You never melded with me. We have a bond, just as I have one with mother. You have melded with her. You have also melded with Sybok on a few occasion’s that I know about, but…not me. Why?”

Sarek took his hand from Spock’s.


 

Spock walked out of the room an hour later and found Jim sitting in the den on one of the couches. His sock covered feet were crossed and propped up on the coffee table. The coffee table had three large books stacked on top. Spock internally sighed. He knew those books well. A fourth one was in Jim’s lap.

He moved over to Jim and took a seat close beside him. Before he realized what he was doing, he moved his arm and wrapped it around Jim and pulled him closer to his side so they were flush together.

Spock felt Jim tense. Spock tensed as well.

What are you doing? Spock asked himself.

He felt Jim relax and adjusted himself more comfortably against the Vulcan.

Oh. Well then…this is nice, but why?

He is your boyfriend, a part of him said. You must act like you are together. He is yours.

He is not mine, Spock argued with himself. He is my fake boyfriend. Spock leaned his head a little closer to Jim’s hair and sniffed. He does smell exceptionally sweet. And he is warm beside him. It is nice.

“Did you just smell me?” Jim asked, looking away from the photo album in his lap. He looked at Spock—their faces just inches a apart.

His eyes are stunning this close. So many shades of blue.

Stop it.

“Your shampoo is pleasant,” Spock replied.

Jim chuckled. “Thanks. Yours is nice, too.”

They continued to stare at one another, their faces so close. A tingling in the back of his head was urging Spock to lean closer, close the gap, and…

“Are you going to kiss in the human fashion?” a small voice asked.

Spock and Jim quickly looked away from each other. Standing just on the other side of the coffee table was T’Laan, Selden’s older sister.

“Nah, we kiss enough as it is,” Jim told her. “Were you found?”

“I was. Now what?”

“Just hang out until everyone else is found and we’ll play something else.”

T’Laan nodded then walked away to the other side of the room. She took a book from a table and sat down to read. Spock looked around the large room and just now noticed the young family members in it. Three he saw were in hiding places, and two, T’Laan and Sorek, were in the open. Sorek sat near T’Laan but tapped at a PADD instead of reading.

Spock opened his mouth to ask what was happening but Jim spoke first.

“What are you wearing?.”

Spock focused back on Jim and saw the blonde was pointing at a picture in the book. Spock looked at the picture. He appeared to be about five, dressed in his learning center uniform.

“My school uniform,” Spock replied.

“Looks uncomfortable.”

“It was comfortable.”

“If you say so.” Jim flipped the page and pointed to another picture. “That’s a lovely picture.” It was Spock and his father. Spock was a little over a year old. He and Sarek were in his parent’s bed napping. Their facial expressions quite similar in their slumber.

“Like father, like son,” Jim lightly chuckled. “Your dad was a looker in his younger days.”

Spock snapped his gaze to his fake boyfriend. Excuse me? “Pardon?”

Jim snorted. “Well, I mean he still is a looker. For an older guy, but I see what why your mom liked him at first sight.”

Spock felt his eye twitch. “You are my boyfriend and my parents are happily bonded.”

I thought he was merely you fake boyfriend.

Silence.

Jim gave him a bewildered look then laughed. “Spock, I’m not interested in your dad. Just saying he’s a handsome fella. Hey, why’s your eye twitching?”

Spock blinked. “It is not.”

“It was. Aw, were you short circuiting?”

“No.”

Jim shook his head and looked back at the album. “If it makes you feel better, your mom was a babe, too.”

Oh Surak help me. “Please cease. They are my parents.”

“Well you had to get your looks from somewhere and you got them from both.”

“Um…thank you.”

“Welcome.” Jim went back to looking through the album.

“My father and I have talked,” Spock blurted out. He glanced to Jim. “We buried the hatchet as you said to do. We melded.”

Jim turned his head towards him. “Melded? What’s that? Um…do I need to call child services or something?”

“What?” Spock questioned.

“What?” Jim replied back. “I don’t know what a meld is.”

“So, your mind naturally went to child abuse?”

Jim shrugged. “I don’t know. You and your dad melded. That’s a good thing, right?”

“Yes.”

“What is a meld?”

“It is a telepathic link between two individuals, allowing an intimate exchange of thoughts. It enables the participants to become one mind, sharing consciousness in a kind of gestalt.”

“Oh cool. Did you take away anything from the meld?” Jim grinned. “Have anything you can tease him about?”

“No. I learned quite many things from the meld and our talk. I believe the most important is that my father does love my mother very deeply as well as myself and my brother despite Sybok's issues.”

Jim smiled at him. “That’s great. Families should love one another.”

“Affirmative.”

“I’m glad your talk went well.”

“Thank you. Thank you for pushing us to talk.”

“Well it was only a suggestion. Your mom was the one that locked both your asses in the parlor to talk.”

“Indeed. I will thank her later.” Another young cousin came into the room and took a seat with the other's that were not hiding. “Jim, a question.”

“Look at your little green tushy, Spock.”

Spock glanced at the picture. He was two and taking a bath. Mother took the most inappropriate pictures. “Jim, what game are the young ones playing?”

“Oh I talked them into playing hide-n-seek."

"Are you playing?"

"I was, but now I'm out."

"He was the first one out," Sorek said. "His posterior was visible from behind the closet door."

"My hiding spot was good and you wouldn't move to give me room," Jim countered. 

"There was plenty of room. Your sizable posterior..."

"My ass is not sizable. Right, Spock?"

"I would not say sizable but it is nice and rounder than most peoples," Spock said without thinking. "Um...I mean..."

"Have you been checking out my ass, Spock?"

Spock blinked. He had been checking it out, but it was nice to look at. Who could blame Spock?

Jim gave him a kiss on the cheek. Spock felt tingles run from his check to his heart. "You have a nice tushy, too." 

"Thank you."

"Is it still green?" 

"There are children present," Spock just recalled. 

"The sassy one started it," Jim said, pointed at Sorek. "Anyway, want to play?”

“No.”

“Well tough, you’re going to play. No, we’ll play something else!” Jim moved from Spock and put the book on the table. Spock nearly whined at the loss of contact. Jim’s presence next to him was a welcome one he wanted back for some reason. Jim stood up and whistled. Spock resisted the urge to wince at the harsh loud tone of it. His young family members came out of hiding places in the room while others quickly came into the room. Spock stood up and counted twenty-three children from five to sixteen gathered around them.

Several adult family members also entered. His parents, Stonn, and some parents of the children.

“I have a new game we can all play,” Jim said. “Capture the flag.”

“Explain the game,” his cousin Kovar asked.

“We’ll have two teams. Red team and blue team. Each will set up a base in their assigned territory, create a team flag, and hide it in their base.”

“And then what?” another cousin asked.

“We try and steal each other’s flag and take it back to our own base to win.”

The Vulcans looked at Jim. “Is that all?”

Spock watched Jim put his hands on his hips. “Well, if another team member tags you, you go to jail for five minutes or can be broken out of jail by a teammate. Or you could take them as prisoner.”

They continued to stare at him before turning to talking amongst themselves.

Jim faced Spock. He licked his lips and then smiled brightly at him. “At least you’ll play capture the flag with me, right?”

Of course he would. Spock had trouble saying 'no' to Jim. Especially when he looked at Spock like that. 

“We will all play,” Amanda said, stepping forward. “It sounds fun and we don’t have anything planned until the kal-toh tournament after dinner.”

“This is illogical,” Stonn said as T’Pring entered the room with their daughter.

“I shall play,” T’Pring said, handing T’Ariis over to Stonn.

A murmuring went through the other family members until nearly all of them agreed to play, including Sarek and his two brothers.

Jim clapped his hands together. “Great! Alright, we’ll have to play outside so we can run around and have room to hide and sneak around. We’ll need two team captains.”

“How about the humans,” Stonn muttered.

Amanda smiled. “Why that sounds like a good idea. Jim, you up for being a captain with me?”

“Yes, ma’am, I am. You’ll be the red team captain.”

“Great, just let me go put some pants on to run around in,” she said before leaving the room.

Spock arched a brow and looked at his father. “Mother owns pants?”


 

They relocated outside a little while later. Spock stood in a line next to his father with the other Vulcans participating. His father had changed into a lighter outfit as did the other Vulcans. His mother stood next to Jim across from them. Amanda had changed, but instead of pants, she had on khaki shorts that stopped just at her knees and a plain pink, short sleeved polo shirt. Her hair, which was usually down or covered was up in a pony tail.

Spock had never seen his mother dressed so casually. It was a little unsettling. He looked from his mother to Jim. Jim wore a light gray Starfleet shirt light blue short sleeved shirt and jeans.

He looks good, Spock thought. Why does his skin appear a bit pinker than normal, though?

“Alright, we’re going to pick teams now,” Jim announced. He smiled at Amanda. “Ladies first.”

“Thank you.” Amanda looked at the Vulcans. “I pick…” Spock saw his father take a step forward out of the corner of his eye. “Kovar.”

Spock saw his father step back as Kovar walked forward to stand with Amanda.

“Illogical,” he heard his father mutter.

“I pick…” Jim started. The blonde looked right at him and smiled. Spock took a step. “My music buddy T’Amara.”

Spock froze as the young girl walked forward and took her place next to him. Spock clenched his fists and stepped back. “Illogical.”

“Indeed,” His father agreed. “Mates should be picked first.”

“Affirmative.” Why, Jim?


 

Several minutes later Spock, Sarek, and five-year-old Salvir were left. It was Jim’s turn to pick. He looked at all of them before pointing at Salvir.

“My team,” he said with a smile

Salvir ran over to Jim’s side and stood with his team.

Spock and Sarek exchanged a look. They were the only ones left now. He’d been here before, the last left to be picked. Sometimes he had to picked by the last picker and other times he had been told the teams were even and he couldn’t patriciate. He did not want that to happen again.

It was his mother’s turn now. She smiled at them. “Sarek.”

“Good,” his father muttered before joining his mother’s team.

Last one left. Not surprising. Spock looked at Jim who gave him a breathtaking smile.

“Saved the best for last!” Jim announced. “C’mon, Spock, you’re my co-captain.”

Spock internally beamed at the words. Jim’s co-captain. The best for last. Spock walked over and couldn’t resist holding two fingers out to Jim. The younger ones turned away, some had little green tints to their cheeks, as Jim met the fingers with his own in a Vulcan kiss.

Jim pulled his fingers away after a moment. He patted Spock on the shoulder before looking over at Amanda and her team. “Let’s take an hour, build out team bases and flags, figure out a team name, and get the jail area sorted out.”

“Roger that!” Amanda called back.

"Who is roger?" several Vulcans asked much to Jim and Amanda's amusement.


 

“Alright, we need a team name,” Jim said as they convened where they would make their base. “I was thinking…the e-lemon-ators.”

Spock and his family members all raised their brows at Jim.

“Lebowski’s lil urban achievers?” Jim suggested.

“Your name is Jim,” his uncle Sopek said.

“The Big Green?”

Spock and his family members continued to stare.

“Jim’s Awesome Squad?”

.

.

.

Jim sighed. “Fine, ya’ll come up with a logical team name then.”

“The Logicians,” Salvir spoke up almost immediately.

“Yes, that is logical,” a family member agreed.

“That would be an agreeable name,” another said.

Jim looked at Spock. “The Logicians?”

“It is logical,” Spock offered.

Jim chuckled. “Fine, fine. We’re the Logicians. Now let's build our base and make the team flag.”


 

Two hours later, the game was in full swing. Spock and Jim had come up with several strategies to capture the Marauders—his mother’s team’s name. The Marauders had set up a large base of boxes, chairs, sheets, and tables on the other side of his grandmother’s maze. They had lookouts all around the area. Spock had managed to tag one and send them to ‘jail’ so he could take their lookout position.

Jim was across the yard behind a bush with two of the younger ones on their team. Even at the distance, Spock could see Jim’s skin was flush and the human was sweating.

He has been outside too long, Spock thought. He was about to stand and bring a close to the game so Jim could go inside, but Jim gave him the signal that they were moving. Spock shook his head but Jim gave the signal again and started towards the base with the two Vulcans with him.

Spock stood up and walked out into the open. He opened his mouth to shout at Jim but stopped when he felt two hard slaps to his back. Spock looked behind him then down to the twins, T’Reni and T’Rya, standing there. Both had been picked for his mother’s team.

“You must go to jail now,” they said. “Five minutes. That is the rules.”

“I am not playing right now,” Spock countered. He turned back to look at Jim but found his captain and the kids were not where they were supposed to be.

The twins moved to stand in front of him. “Go to jail. You are playing. Breaking the rules is illogical.”

“What do we have here?” his mother’s voice came.

Spock saw her standing in front of her base with her hands on her hips.

“We tagged him,” the twins told their captain. “He will not go to jail, though.”

“Spock, you know the rules. Go to jail or be our prisoner,” his mother said.

“Mother, I am not…”

“We win!” Jim’s shout came.

They all looked up to see Jim standing on top of the Marauder’s base holding the flag high above his head.

“Oh no!” Amanda fussed. “Sarek, T’Pring, Sorn! You were the guards!”

Sorn and T’Pring appeared from around the back of the base. “We were tagged. Sarek was taken prisoner.”

“We…win!” Jim shouted again, but this time a bit breathlessly.

Spock walked closer. He continued to stare up at Jim. Jim looked paler and despite the triumphant expression on his face, he appeared to be breathing quite shallowly.

Spock’s eyes widened. He did not recall Jim taking the tri-ox hypos that morning. “Jim, stay where you are!” Spock ran forward towards the base.

Jim blinked at him. He started to sway where he stood. His feet stumbling on top of the makeshift base. Jim shook his head and dropped the flag. Spock tried to get there in time but we couldn’t. As he continued to run, he watched Jim go limp and fell backwards off of the base.

“Jim!”

Chapter Text

Jim slowly came too, taking stock of his situation before opening his eyes. He knew he was laying on something soft—not quite a mattress, but a…

Damn, you’re in a biobed, Jim thought. Through his eyelids, he could make out the lights of what he knew was a hospital. Those lights were always annoying. Luckily it seemed to be dimmed down a bit.

He opened his eyes a crack and found a blurry figure standing above him.

“Welcome back to consciousness, kid. You’re a human on Vulcan, remember the dang tri-ox hypo.”

Jim opened his eyes a bit more. “Bones?”

“M’Benga,” the man corrected.

Jim blinked a few times. The man came into clearer focus. It was definitely not Bones. M’Benga was a human though.

“Sorry,” Jim said. “I’m used to waking up in hospitals with my friend, Doctor McCoy standing over me.”

“McCoy? Leonard McCoy?”

Jim nodded.

“I know him. We had a few medical classes at the academy before I got this externship here on Vulcan.” M’Benga smiled then tapped a few buttons the side of the biobed. Jim was raised up to a half sitting position.

Jim looked down at himself. He was in a medical gown, under a light blanket. An IV was in his right arm, hooked up to an IV bag next to M’Benga.

“How are you feeling?” a familiar voice asked at Jim’s left side.

Jim turned his head and found Amanda sitting beside his bed. Jim offered her a smile before thinking about how he felt.

“Um…well I actually really, really need to use the bathroom,” Jim said. “Like right now.”

“Makes sense,” M’Benga said. He started to unhook Jim’s IV. “We’ve had fluids going into you for the past few hours.”

“Hours?”

“An hour and a half at the most,” Amanda said.

“Yes, so you weren't out for too long," M'Benga said. "C’mon, I’ll help you over to the restroom.”

Jim sat up more and M’Benga helped him turn his legs over the side of the bed. Jim stood up and was glad that M’Benga had an arm around him. He was weak and a little dizzy.

“What happened exactly?” Jim asked.

“You passed out,” Amanda said, coming to his other side and putting an arm around him. Jim didn’t think she could support him so he leaned more on M’Benga. It was nice though having her helping. They slowly started making their way to the bathroom on the other side of the room.

Wonder where Spock is? Jim thought.

“Passed out? Don’t remember that. I remember being sweaty, a bit dizzy, having some trouble breathing…”

“All signs of heat exhaustion,” M’Benga said. “But just a minor case. The lack of tri-ox hypo was not minor however. We had you on oxygen for the first hour you were here and just took you off not too long ago.”

“Good, good. My breathing feels fine now.” Jim looked to Amanda. “Did my team win?”

“No,” Amanda said. “My team won?”

“Really?”

“No,” Amanda chuckled. “You won and then immediately passed out, falling off of our team base. Sarek caught you. We were all quite upset. Spock more so. He grabbed you from Sarek and ran you to the nearest hovercar. He drove off to the hospital before any of us knew what to do or what was happening.”

They were two steps from the bathroom much to Jim and his bladder’s relief.

“He did?” Jim asked. That was…nice of him. “Where is…”

“What are you doing?” Spock’s voice snapped.

The trio looked to the doorway next to them were Spock now stood with a cup of ice in his hand.

“We’re taking him…” Amanda tried but Spock interrupted.

“You should not be taking him anywhere.” Spock put the cup down on a nearby table. He shooed M’Benga and his mother away.

“Spock, he’s gotta…” M’Benga tried but Spock actually growled.

Jim’s eyes widened as Spock picked him up like a bride. Oh damn he's strong. This is actually nice, but no...bladder exploding. 

“Jim needs to be resting,” Spock continued. “He lost consciousness and…”

“Spock!” Jim fussed; his bladder feeling ready to burst

Spock stopped and looked at him.

“I have to pee so either put me down in the bathroom or be prepared to change your clothes. Your choice, pointy. Make it now.”

Spock didn’t hesitate to quickly walk the remaining steps to the bathroom and deposit Jim inside before shutting the door to give Jim privacy.

Jim shook his head again before focusing on the toilet.


 

After several moments, Jim emerged from the bathroom and smiled at his room’s occupants. M’Benga, Amanda, Spock, and now Sarek.

“Hello,” Jim said. “Mission complete.”

Amanda and M’Benga chuckled while Sarek and Spock arched a brow.

Jim managed to walk back to the bed by himself with minimal hovering by Spock. He sat down on the edge. “Alright, so I overheated and couldn’t breath and passed out.”

“Correct,” M’Benga said. He started to run a tri-corder over Jim.

“Can I leave now?”

“I do not…” Spock tried but M’Benga said, “Yep, you’re good to go.”

“But he lost consciousness,” Spock argued. “His pulse-ox was dangerously low. His…”

“He’s recovered enough to finish his recovery at home,” M’Benga said. “He’s not dehydrated, his temperature is normal as is his pulse-ox.”

Jim smiled. He liked M’Benga. Bones would’ve made him stay the rest of the day. “Great.” Jim looked to Spock and saw the cutest grumpiest look on the Vulcan’s face. Jim’s heart felt like it skipped a beat and it showed on his biobed vitals monitor.

Spock’s eyes darted to the monitor. “What was that?”

M’Benga looked at Jim then the monitor. “Oh, just a blip. Nothing serious.”

“Hearts do not blip.”

“I’m fine,” Jim spoke up. He stood up from the bed and tried not to sway from a rush of light-headedness but failed. Spock was immediately at his side with an arm around him to steady him.

“Not fine,” Spock said. “Fine has variable…”

Jim rolled his eyes then pressed a finger to Spock’s lips, shushing him. “I want to leave. I don’t like hospitals. I’d rather rest back at the palace.”

“It is not a palace,” Sarek spoke.

Spock went cross-eyed looking at Jim’s finger to mouth. Jim watched his chocolate eyes soften. Spock pursed his lips, giving a slight kiss to Jim’s finger before let out a ‘hmm’ noise. Jim removed his hand and focused on Amanda and Sarek.

“So back to the palace?” Jim asked.

Amanda nodded. “Spock, didn’t you have some new clothes for him?”

“I do,” Spock said, stepping away from Jim. “I had some delivered that are better suited at keeping you cool. One moment.” Spock turned and left the room.

“We’ll leave you to get dressed, Jim,” Amanda said, walking with Sarek to the door. “Everyone is waiting in the waiting room when you’re ready to go.”

Jim nodded then gaped at their retreating backs. “Everyone?”

M’Benga patted him on the back. “Yep, got a waiting room full of Vulcans. The clothes you came in with are on their chair.” The doctor then left, leaving Jim alone in the room.

Everyone? Full of Vulcans? Oh my god. Jim shook his head and took off the medical gown. He had realized that he didn’t have on any underwear when he’d gone to the bathroom. He walked naked over to the pile of his clothes and picked up his underwear. He leaned over and put then on before hearing a low noise behind him. He stood up straight and pulled his underwear up completely before turning around.

Spock stood in the room holding a bag of clothes. His eyes were glued to the floor at Jim’s feet. Jim watched green tint Spock’s cheeks and ears.

Was he…checking me out? Jim wondered.

“Spock.”

Spock’s eyes rose up. A tiny part of Jim wanted to pull the gown back over him, but another part won out, wanting Spock to look at him in his semi-nude state. He put his hands on his hips at Spock’s heated stare finally trailed up to meet Jim’s eyes.

“Like what you see?” Jim couldn’t help but ask.

Spock stepped forward and placed the new clothes on the biobed. “As you are exceptionally aesthetically pleasing, one would be a fool to not like what they see.”

Oh damn. Jim couldn’t help but lick his lips. He saw Spock’s eyes dart down to his mouth.

“Here are your new clothes. The material is better suited to keeping you cool. When you are ready to depart, please come to the waiting room.” Spock turned and walked out of the room.

Jim bit back a laugh as Spock came back into the room.

“That was the bathroom,” Spock muttered before leaving the room out of the correct door.

“What a cute dumbass,” Jim snickered before getting dressed.

After dressing in the light, comfy clothes Spock had brought him that seemed to fit perfectly, Jim let the room and checked out at the nurse’s station. He was given a note by M’Benga telling him to take it easy and if any symptoms reappear to come back to the hospital.

Jim gave him the affirmative and walked with the doctor towards the waiting room. “So about that waiting room full of Vulcans…”

They turned a corner and immediately came to the waiting room. A dozen or more Vulcans stopped what they were doing and faced Jim.

Holy crap. Most of the children he had been playing with along with some other adult family members, T’Pau included were standing there staring at him. Jim nervously laughed. “Hi. Ya’ll didn’t have to come all the way here.”

“Nonsense,” T’Pau spoke. “It was logical to be here to offer support to you and your mate.”

Jim looked to Spock. Spock stood nearby with his head down. But we’re not mates. This is all fake. Jim immediately felt horrible for worrying the Vulcans. They thought he was Spock’s mate. They’d welcomed him into the family and as soon as this was all over, he and Spock would ‘break up’ and that’s the end of it.

Jim offered them a smile then walked over to Spock and took his hand. He didn’t care if it was frowned on, he just wanted to hold Spock’s hand. I can leave if this is getting to be too much, Jim thought, hoping Spock could hear.

Spock picked his head up and shook it slightly.

Selden appeared from the crowd and walked up to Jim and Spock. He eyed their hands then looked at Jim. He held out a red flower for Jim to take.

Jim stepped back. “Oh thank you, Selden, but I can’t accept it.”

Selden furrowed his brows and stepped closer. He held the rose up higher. “Tan! No sick.”

Jim looked at Spock.

“It is a gift.” Spock released Jim’s hand and knelt down before Selden. Selden eyed Spock. “Selden, Jim cannot accept the rose. He is allergic.”

Selden lowered the flower and cocked his head to the side. “Danau allergic. What is meaning?”

“The flower will kill him.”

Jim rolled his eyes. “Spock, it won’t kill me.”

Selden’s eyes widened. He let out a little gasp. He looked at the flower in shock then turned and tossed it to the ground before stomping on it.

Spock stood up and Jim saw the Vulcan’s eyes looked amused. 

“Thank you anyway, Selden,” Jim told the boy. “It was a pretty flower.”

Selden turned back to Jim. “You welcome. Flower die. Not Jim.”

Jim chuckled as did Amanda and M’Benga. Selden went to Jim’s side and tried to grab his hand but Spock shooed him back to his parents and took Jim’s hand instead.

“Time to depart,” Spock said before leading Jim away.


 

When they returned to the large house, not palace, Jim excused himself to the bedroom to rest for a little while longer. Spock had tried to come with him but Jim told him to go practice Kal-toh with his dad. Spock looked reluctant to leave but did so.

Jim sat alone in the bedroom and pulled out his PADD. He tapped at the screen and sent a video message request to Bones.

The request was accepted and a moment later, Bones’ sleepy face appeared on screen.

“BONES!”

“Dammit, Jim! Its two in the morning here.”

Jim smiled and watched his bestie adjust himself in his bed so he was sitting up and holding his PADD in front of his face.

“What do you want?”

“What do I want? I want to talk to my bestie. I miss you, sweet cheeks.”

Bones rolled his eyes. “Yeah, yeah, miss you too. How’s the hobgoblins?”

“Surprisingly fun.”

Bones rubbed a hand over his face. “I must still be half-asleep because it sounds like you just said it was fun around all the Vulcans.”

Jim chuckled. “It is fun. We had a music competition last night. My partner and I got fifth place. Today I talked the kids into playing hide-n-seek and then some adults joined us for capture the flag.” Not going to tell him about the passing out episode. “And tonight, is a kal-toh tournament. Spock’s mom and I are partners.”

“And this is a Vulcan family reunion? That sounds…a little fun. What about that Stonn guy? He causing any trouble?”

Jim shook his head. “Nah, not really. Nothing Spock and I can’t handle.”

“And how are you and Spock?”

Jim looked to the far corner of the room. “We’re good.”

“Jim.”

“Just been hanging out and doing the fake boyfriend thing.”

“Jim.”

“Going smoothly.”

“James.”

Jim sighed and finally looked to his friend. “Alright, you may have been just a teensy bit…right.”

“I’m sorry. What was that?”

Jim groaned and fell back onto the bed. He put the PADD in front of him. “You may have been right?”

Bones grinned. “How so?”

Darn him. I love him though. “Feelings may…have…been had.”

“Feelings may have been had? I’m sorry, but how smart are you again?”

Jim held the PADD with one hand and rubbed his other hand over his face. “I have a crush.”

“There you go! Big boy Jim admitting to feelings. I do think it’s more than a crush, though.”

“I’m only admitting to a crush right now. A crush I can deal with. A crush can go away once this farce is over with and we’ve moved on.” Yes, Jim, just a crush.

“What about Spock?”

“What about him?”

“Is he crushing on you? I saw the way he looked at you back here before you left and that kiss I caught between the two of you was…”

“Just a kiss,” Jim interjected.

“It looked like more. And like I said, the way he was looking at you, something may be there on his end, Jim. Talk to him. Maybe this fake thing can turn real.”

Jim shook his head. Spock hadn’t given him any signs he wanted more than just this arrangement. Everything they were doing was for show. Nothing more. Sure, Spock was protective of him, put his arm around him, cuddled him in bed, and made his heart and stomach flutter. Spock was great. His family was great.

But this isn’t real.

“Jim?”

Jim shook his head again. “This is just an arrangement for the week. Nothing more.”

“Jim…”

“Bones, its okay. I know what I signed up for when I agreed to help Spock out. Like I said, just a little crush because…” Because he’s amazing and has a sense of humor and is a big mama’s boy and…no. Stop it. “because he’s been nice to me, that’s all.” Liar, Jim. “Anyway, lets not talk about this anymore. I’m still pissed at you for putting all that stuff in my bag.”

Bones had a look on his face that Jim couldn’t place. “You told me to put it somewhere so I did.”

Jim laughed. “Yeah, and look what happened. How are things going with Joanna? Did you take her to the garden for the scavenger hunt?”

Bones’ eyes softened. He smiled at Jim and nodded. “I did. She loved it.”

“That’s great.”


 

Jim started to stir away feeling a hand softly caress his cheek. He leaned into the touch and smiled. The hand turned into two fingers which gently trailed down his cheek before leaving his skin completely. Jim frowned and opened his eyes.

Chocolate eyes that Jim did not have a crush on stared back. Jim rubbed his eyes with his fists and sat up. He leaned against the headboard and looked at Spock. He sat on the edge of the bed quite close to Jim. “What time is it?”

“Four thirty-eight in the afternoon. You have been asleep for a few hours.”

Jim couldn’t help but yawn. He nodded. “Must’ve fallen asleep talking to Bones.” Jim looked around and found the PADD beside him. He picked it up and found it was still connected to Bones. His friend was sound asleep. Jim disconnected and put the PADD to the side. “Must’ve been more drained than I thought.”

“Indeed. Perhaps you should’ve stayed at the hospital.” Spock lifted a hand and placed it on Jim’s thigh, just above his knee.

“No way. I don’t like hospitals. I’m good now.” Jim tried not to stare or focus on Spock’s hand and how Spock’s thumb was rubbing little circles. Through the light fabric of Jim’s pants he could feel it and he really wanted it to move a bit further up.

A cute slanted brow went up. “If you are certain.”

“I am.” Jim licked his lips. “Your mom said your dad caught me when I fell.”

“He did. It was fortunate he was standing where he was to catch you. If not then you would have most likely suffered a serious injury.”

“I’ll thank your dad later when I see him.”

Spock nodded. His hand moved a centimeter up.

“I was also told,” Jim said, glancing down to the hand on him. “That you took me from your dad and rushed me to a car and to the hospital.”

Once again, Spock nodded. “You were unconscious.” Spock’s hand squeezed Jim’s thigh. It didn’t hurt but it sent a jolt though Jim. Spock’s eyes darkened a bit. “I was…I was…” Jim put his hand over Spock’s.

“Worried?” Jim asked.

“Yes.” Spock’s eyes rose to meet Jim’s. “It can be quite dangerous for non-Vulcans to go without a tri-ox hypo. Brain damage could occur from the loss of oxygen.”

 Jim blinked. “I…um…I’m glad you rushed me to the hospital quickly then.”

“It was the logical thing to do.”

Jim leaned forward and licked his lips. “Well I’m glad you acted logically to save me.”

“I am Vulcan,” Spock replied, leaning forward as well. “I always act logically.”

“Even when around an illogical human like myself?”

Spock’s hand crept forward more. Jim watched his eyes darken. “More so then.”

Jim chuckled. “So, when I’m captain, you’ll be my first officer—keeping me in line.”

“I am certain you will not need to be kept in line but I shall do my utmost to ensure your safety and that you are following Starfleet regulations.”

They leaned forward a bit more. Both pairs of eyes darted down to one another’s lips.

“Spock.”

“Yes?”

“Thank you for taking me to the hospital.”

They were just an inch from each other. “You are welcome.”

“And for carrying me to the bathroom.”

“I did not want to be urinated on.”

Jim licked his lips one last time and was just about to bridge the gap between them when…

“Jim.”

The boys quickly broke apart. Spock removed his hand and stood up at the side of the bed. They looked to the door and found Amanda in the doorway. She put a hand to her cheek.

“Oh, I didn’t mean to interrupt anything,” she said.

“No,” they both said.

She smiled knowingly at them. “I see. Well. Jim, would you like to practice kal-toh and have a light snack before dinner?”

“Yes, I’d like that.” Jim stood up from the bed. He looked at Spock. We were about to kiss, right? That was about to happen? Fuck this is more than a crush. “I’ll see you at dinner.”

Spock nodded. His hands were behind his back. His eyes still dark. “Affirmative.”

Jim wanted to reach out and touch him—a squeeze to his arm, a pat on the shoulder, something, but he didn’t. It was just a fluke thing, them about to kiss. Just a fluke.

Jim walked over to Amanda and left the room with her. They headed down the hallway. “I really did not mean to inter…”

“No, you didn’t interrupt anything,” Jim spoke. “I had been napping and he was just waking me up. That’s all.”

“You do not have to be modest with me Jim. You both are grown and sharing a bed.”

“But we’re taking it slow,” Jim reminded her. “Maybe we’re sharing a bed platonically.”

Amanda gave him a look that Jim took as ‘bullshit’. He snorted in reply and shook his head.

“About kal-toh,” Jim said when they arrived at a new room Jim hadn’t been in before. “I suck. Spock taught me how to play and I get it but I’m not good. Spock said you aren’t good either.”

“Sarek says that as well,” Amanda sighed. “Those Vulcans.” She had Jim take a seat at a table where a kal-toh was set up, ready to play. “I have a few tricks up my sleeves. A secret to divulge.”

“Oh?”

Amanda grinned.


 

At dinner, Jim took his seat next to Spock. Stonn and T’Pring were not across from them anymore—their seats now taken by Selden’s highchair and his mothers. Jim gave the little Vulcan boy a wave and got one in response.

“How was practice with my mother?” Spock asked, diverting Jim’s attention from Selden.

Jim looked to his fake boyfriend. “It was good. We mostly talked about your bedwetting episodes. Really, you were fifteen when they stopped?”

Spock gave Jim a look and Jim laughed lightly.

“I’m kidding. Maybe. We practiced and I think we’ll probably win a few matches before losing.”

“Oh, ye of little faith,” Amanda’s voice came from down the table.

 “With your record of playing kal-toh, mother, I believe Jim’s assumption is right,” Spock replied.

Amanda waved her hand in dismissal then turned to talk to another family member.

“Or we could win the whole tournament,” Jim added.

“Doubtful.”

“Hey, c’mon, it could happen.”

Spock gave him a look identical to his mother’s ‘bullshit’ look.

Jim grinned. “What if we do win? What do I get?”

“What do you want?”

Jim didn’t really have anything he wanted.

Ask to be real boyfriends.

No. No, he doesn’t want that, Jim told himself.

“How about we have a slumber party?”

Spock raised a brow.

Jim looked down the table were most of the kids were sitting. “Hey, how about after the tournament if Amanda and I win, we all camp out in the den and watch Disney movies?”

“But you and Lady Amanda will not win,” one girl said.

Jim looked to Amanda. “No faith in us.”

Amanda shook her head with a sigh.

“If you win,” T’Pau spoke. “Then those who wish to participate may join you for the…slumber party in the den.”

“Affirmative,” Jim heard most of the kids and a few adults reply.

Jim grinned triumphantly. “What say you Spock?”

“Slumber party?” Spock muttered to himself. "No."

Jim patted Spock’s arm. “Okay, if I win, how about you give me a big kiss?”

“That is more agreeable than a slumber party.”

“Good.”

“What if my father and I win?”

Jim eyed Sarek. “Well if he wants me to kiss him, sure.”

Amanda started laughing as both of Sarek’s brows went up. He looked as shocked as a Vulcan could look.

Jim blew him a little kiss making Amanda laugh more. A green tint appeared on the tips of Sarek’s ears. He looked away with a shake of his head. Jim laughed a bit himself. He did like teasing the Vulcans. He turned back to Spock and stopped laughing. Spock was not amused. His eyes were dark and narrow.

“Only joking, honey.”

“Do not joke.”

Jim couldn’t help himself. “Well I have to thank him for saving me somehow.”

“It is not funny,” Spock snapped. The table went quiet. Even Amanda stopped laughing. Spock faced forward leaving Jim to stare at the side of his head.

Alright, another fight. Of course. “Sorry,” Jim muttered before facing forward and focusing on his dinner.


 

The tournament started right after dinner. Amanda and Jim managed to fly through their rounds, winning each one by some lucky happenstance. The Vulcans seemed impressed and graciously accepted their losses until Jim and Amanda made it to the semi-finals against Stonn and T’Pring.

Jim made the first move, moving a rod to the side of the structure. The rods transformed into a new structure.

Stonn made a move next and the structure changed forms again. Amanda then went and managed a move that kept the structure standing.

“You two seem to be winning by sheer luck,” Stonn said while T’Pring contemplated her move.

Jim grinned. “Isn’t luck illogical?”

A cantankerous look appeared briefly on Stonn’s features. “An illogical notion for illogical humans.”

“Illogical humans that have made it to the semi-finals,” Amanda spoke.

The cantankerous look came back.

T’Pring picked up a rob and moved to it to the side.

“T’Pring that is not…” Stonn tried but T’Pring had already let go of the rod. The structure immediately broke apart. Stonn looked to his mate.

“I believe the human word is ‘oops’,” T’Pring said.

Stonn stood up from the table and stalked off. T’Pring stood as well and gave Jim a wink before following after her mate.

Amanda and Jim shared a smile before moving on to the final round.

“Well well well,” Jim said as he and Amanda sat down across from Spock and Sarek. “The final showdown.”

“You won all your matches?” Sarek questioned his wife.

Amanda nodded. “We did.”

“How?” Spock asked.

“Luck. Skill. Cheating. Take your pick.”

“I would hope you did not cheat,” Sarek said.

“Oh we didn’t,” Amanda assured him. “We’ve just gotten lucky.”

“Luck is illogical,” Spock spoke.

“You know Stonn said that too and then he lost,” Jim told him.

Spock and Sarek exchanged a look before starting the game.


 

Twenty minutes later, the structure still stood and it was Amanda’s turn. She looked over the kal-toh with a thoughtful expression. She sighed and shook her head before grabbing a rod and hovering it over a spot at the very top. The crowd of family members around them watched carefully and quietly.

“I don’t know. I think this is a good move,” Amanda said.

Jim grinned. Amanda placed the rod in place and removed her hand. The structure changed to a perfect icosidodecahedron.

Sarek and Spock’s eyes widen. They leaned forward and stared at the structure.

“How?” Spock said.

“Ashaya, you have never won before,” Sarek said. “How?”

Amanda stood up. “I picked up the game very quickly early on in our marriage. You just seemed to enjoy teaching me the strategies and logic so I always let you win and feigned how bad I was.”

Sarek blinked.

Jim stood up as well and stretched. “Slumber party time!”

“What do you need for a slumber party?” one of the little ones asked.

“You need to get your pajamas on, gather blankets and pillows, and then make yourself comfortable in the den. I’ll be there in a few and we can decide on a movie to watch.”

“A movie?” another asked.

“Yeah. We could watch The Lion King, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Toy Story, Finding Nemo…there are so many to choose from. We’ll take a vote.”

“Affirmative.”

The kids and adults left the room leaving just a few people scattered about. Jim turned to Spock and saw he was still sitting and looking over the kal-toh structure. Jim didn’t think before he sat down in Spock’s lap sideways. Spock stiffen up immediately and not in the fun way.

“Trying to figure out how you lost?” Jim asked. He was about to get out of Spock’s lap but the Vulcan relaxed and put his arms around Jim’s waist.

“No, I understand. Mother has been lying about her abilities and taught you.”

Amanda patted Spock on the shoulder. “Indeed.” She then took Sarek’s hand and led him away.

Stonn approached and stood over Jim and Spock.

“Yes?” Jim asked, wrapping his arms around Spock’s shoulders. He tried to look as cozy on Spock’s lap as he could to mess with Stonn.

“There is something…off…with the two of you,” Stonn said.

Jim blinked and glanced to Spock. “Honey, do you feel off?”

“I do not. Do you?”

Jim shook his head. He looked back up to Stonn. “Nah, we’re fine. How about you? You feel off? You do look a little more green than normal? Green with envy, Stonn?”

“Envy? What would I be envious of exactly?”

Before Jim could reply, Spock’s hand came up and cupped Jim’s cheek. He pulled Jim close and sealed his lips to Jim’s. Jim quickly got over his surprise and started to kiss back enthusiastically. Spock soon slipped his tongue inside causing Jim to moan. Spock tilted Jim’s head to the side and deepened the kiss. Jim let him. He clung to him and enjoyed letting the Vulcan be in control. It excited him. He wanted to presed against Spock’s hard body more—preferably with less clothes on and maybe make use of those handcuffs he had.

He heard and felt Spock growl, the Vulcan’s chest rumbling against his. Jim broke the kiss to breathe. He opened his eyes and stared at Spock who stared back. Both completely forgetting if Stonn still stood near them. Spock leaned forward and had just barely brushed his lips against Jim’s when he pulled back and hissed.

“Ow,” Spock growled, pushing Jim away. Jim stood up and saw Selden beside the chair. Spock pulled his arm up to his chest and rubbed a spot on his forearm. “Did you bite me?”

Selden blinked then nodded.

“Why?” 

Selden growled. He walked around the chair and grabbed Jim’s led. “T'nash-veh komihn.”

Spock growled back and stood up. He picked Selden up and carried him from the room. Jim stood there and watched, unsure of what just happened or what to do.

“He said ‘my human’.”

Jim turned towards the voice. T’Pring stood there with her daughter. “What?”

“Selden said ‘my human’. He thinks you are his.”

Jim chuckled and shook his head. “I’m not anyone’s.”

“You are Spock’s.”

Jim shook his head again. “No, we’re just dating. Taking it slow. I’m not his. He’s not mine.”

“Vulcans do not casually date,” she said. “As my bondmate said yesterday, ‘dating without a purpose is illogical’. If Spock agreed to date you, it is logical to assume he will want a bond or marriage in the future with you.”

No, that’s not it at all. “I don’t think so. Marriage? Bonding? No way. I’m definitely not into that. Spock and I are having fun. That’s all.”

T’Pring cocked her head to the side. “It does not look like you two are merely having fun.”

Jim offered her a smile. “Well we are. Look, I really appreciate being here. Getting to know all of you. It’s fun. You all are great, but I may not…probably won’t be at more family gatherings. I don’t mean to be so pessimistic. I just…sometimes things don’t work out for whatever reason. You never know what’ll happen in the future. Spock and I could break up next month or next year for all we know.”

“Or not,” T’Pring countered. “But you are right, you never know. Goodnight, Jim. Enjoy your slumber party.”

“Goodnight.”  Jim watched her leave through another door before turning to leave himself. He jumped slightly at finding Spock standing a few feet away without Selden. He looked closed off now, void of any expression Jim could make out. “Hey. I was just…um…”

“Laying the ground work for our plan,” Spock spoke. “Logical.”

“Yeah, logical.” Jim licked his lips. “So, um…about that kiss…”

“It did as I expected.”

“Oh?”

“Annoyed Stonn so he would leave. I also promised a kiss if you won.”

“Right.” Just for show then. “Where is Selden?”

“With his mothers. Biting another is not tolerated. I am unsure if he will join your slumber party.”

“Will you?”

Spock walked passed Jim to the kal-toh table. “No.”

Jim nodded. “Okay. You said you wouldn’t so…you’re not.”

“Indeed. It is illogical, but you do have others wishing to participate. They are gathered in the den.”

“I’ll go get my pajamas on and join them.”

Spock said nothing. He merely started picking up rods and putting them in a bin. Jim didn’t know what possessed him to do it but he walked over to the Vulcan and hugged him from behind. Spock didn’t stiffen this time or try and pull away. He merely stood there.

“I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Affirmative.”

“Goodnight, Spock.”

“Goodnight, Jim.” Jim pulled away. He waited a moment thinking Spock would turn around or something. When he didn’t Jim turned and walked away.

Jim dressed in his pajamas, grabbed a few blankets and a pillow, and joined the group in the den. He was surprised to find most of the kids and a few adults spread out around the large room. Amanda even lounged on the couch with a pillow and blanket.

Jim smiled at them all. “Alright, lets pick a movie.”

Chapter Text

Spock leaned forward and had just barely brushed his lips against Jim’s when he felt several sharp things clench down on his arm. He pulled back and hissed.

“Ow,” Spock growled, gently pushing Jim away. Jim left his lap and they found Selden standing beside the chair. Spock pulled his arm up to his chest and rubbed the spot on his forearm. “Did you bite me?”

This child, Spock internally hissed.

Selden blinked then nodded.

“Why?”

Selden growled. He walked around the chair and grabbed Jim’s led. “T'nash-veh komihn.” My human.

Spock growled back and stood up. He picked the small Vulcan child up and carried him from the room. Selden squirmed in his arms but Spock held him until they were at the stairs then sat him down. Spock knelt down to the boy’s eye level.

“Jim is not yours.”

“Yes.”

“No,” Spock told Selden. He is mine. “You are a child. You will find your own mate. You cannot take another’s. Is that clear?”

Selden narrowed his eyes.

Spock growled. “Is that clear?”

Selden pouted and nodded.

“Good. Now go upstairs to your mothers.”

Selden pouted more and if he hadn’t just bitten Spock and tried to claim Jim then he would’ve found the boy’s expression to be cute. Selden hung his head. He turned and marched up the stairs, illogically stomping loudly as he went.

Spock shook his head and stood up. He turned and headed back to the room. He wondered if Jim would be inclined to continue the kissing. Human kissing was fascinating and quite stimulating Spock found. Or perhaps Spock could view Jim’s pleasing and plump posterior again. Spock couldn’t help the shudder that spread over him at the thought. He hadn’t meant to walk in on Jim in the hospital, but he had and now the image of Jim bent over, displaying those luscious cheeks was burned into Spock’s mind. Oh how he wanted to touch, bite, whatever Jim would let him. Yes, he had groaned. He could not help it. And then Jim had turned around and Spock adverted his eyes in shame.

Jim had said his name. Spock wondered how Jim would say it the throes of passion. He left his eyes lift up and quickly catalogue Jim’s features…his strong legs, the tell-tale bulging in his tight underwear, the soft looking, but fit tummy, hairless chest and two pink nipples—up to Jim’s delectable lips, adorable nose, and those sapphire eyes.

Spock had to stop before he entered the room and mentally calm down. He put a hand to the wall and steadied himself. He breathed in and out for a few moments before the blood that had traveled south went back to other parts of his body. He cleared his head and resumed his walk.

He entered the room and stopped. Jim stood where he’d left him but now T’Pring was with him and they were speaking.

“…Spock and I are having fun. That’s all.”

Spock arched a brow. Having fun? He saw T’Pring cock her head to the side. T’Ariis dozed in her arms. “It does not look like you two are merely having fun.”

“Well we are. Look, I really appreciate being here. Getting to know all of you. It’s fun. You all are great, but I may not…probably won’t be at more family gatherings. I don’t mean to be so pessimistic. I just…sometimes things don’t work out for whatever reason. You never know what’ll happen in the future. Spock and I could break up next month or next year for all we know.”

Spock’s heart felt like it had completely stopped beating. A coldness washed over him. That is right…this is…this is fake. How could I have forgotten? Spock hung his head and clenched his fists. He was a fool to forget.

“Or not,” Spock heard T’Pring reply. “But you are right, you never know. Goodnight, Jim. Enjoy your slumber party.”

Spock lifted his head and schooled his expression. He and Jim were not a real couple. This was all fake. For show. He knew that.

“Goodnight.”  T’Pring turned and left out of the side door with her daughter. Jim turned and jumped slightly when he saw Spock standing there.

“Hey. I was just…um…”

“Laying the ground work for our plan,” Spock spoke. “Logical.”

“Yeah, logical.” Jim licked his lips and it took all of Spock’s self-control not to look directly at it. “So, um…about that kiss…”

“It did as I expected,” Spock told him.

“Oh?”

“Annoyed Stonn so he would leave. I also promised a kiss if you won.” A wonderful, amazing kiss that I would greatly like to…no, Spock. Cease.

“Right. Where is Selden?”

“With his mothers. Biting another is not tolerated. I am unsure if he will join your slumber party.”

“Will you?”

Spock walked passed Jim to the kal-toh table. “No.”

“Okay. You said you wouldn’t so…you’re not.”

“Indeed. It is illogical, but you do have others wishing to participate. They are gathered in the den.”

“I’ll go get my pajamas on and join them.”

Spock said nothing. He didn’t know what else to say to Jim in this moment. He started picking up rods and putting them in a bin. He still didn’t know what to say when he heard Jim approach or when Jim wrapped his arms around him from behind.

Spock closed his eyes and relished in the contact. Jim was a welcome warmth against him. Spock’s fingers twitched to touch the arms around him but he restrained himself. He merely stood there and waited for the inevitable release and for Jim to leave him.

 “I’ll see you in the morning,” Jim said. Spock felt the blonde’s breath tickle the back of his neck.

“Affirmative.”

“Goodnight, Spock.”

“Goodnight, Jim,” Spock replied. Jim finally pulled away, the warmth leaving Spock and the coldness returning. Spock didn’t turn around until he heard Jim leave the room. He knocked the kal-toh table over and watches the rods scatter everywhere.


 

Spock walked passed the den about forty minutes later and found it full of his young relatives, his mother, and some adults. They were scattered about with blankets and pillows on the floor, sofas, and chairs. The room was dark except for the illumination of the TV screen.

Spock quietly entered from the back doorway and watched the movie for a moment. It was an animated movie of what appeared to be a white, walking and talking inflatable thing that was hugging a boy with messy dark hair.

Something bumped into him and Spock looked down to see it had been Selden. Selden walked on, his arms full of a baby blanket. Spock arched a brow and watched the child make a bee line for Jim who sat in the middle of the room with his mound of blankets and pillows.

“May I sit?” Selden asked.

Spock narrowed his eyes as Jim smiled at Selden and nodded. “Sure, buddy. You can hang out next to me, just no biting or growling.”

“Affirmative.” Selden sat down at Jim’s side and pulled his blanket around him. The boy looked back over his shoulder at Spock and stuck his tongue out at him.

A growl tempted to be released but Spock bit it back. He turned and left the room as quietly as he had entered. He walked through the house and towards the meditation room. His mind was disordered. When he entered he paused as his father and a few other family members were sitting quietly in meditation. Spock quietly walked over to the available mat beside his father and sat down.

Spock closed his eyes and breathed in deep—taking in the aromas of the room from the various meditation candles and letting them lull him into a trance. He went to his mind palace, his hidden place that resembled a wondrous cavern he’d explored in his youth that was hidden away near his parent’s mountain home. He paced inside his cavern and tried his hardest to ignore the posters that his mind seemed to put up on the cavern walls of Jim and Jim’s smiles and Jim’s body and…Spock paused in his pacing and pulled down a poster of Jim’s butt only to have his mind make it reappear again. Spock shook his head and sat down.

Before he’d met Jim, his mind, his cavern, had been bare except for a few things that he needed to ponder further—why his first year roommate put ties on their door to signal to stay away because he had company, Nyota’s subtle attempts at friendship before she made it quite clear, formulas for schoolwork, and various other minor things. Jim was the first person he’d ever felt drawn to—mentally or physically. Jim’s mind was most dynamic. It broke down Spock’s carefully placed shields and sought something more from Jim—something deeper, robust, and golden.

An ancient word nagged at Spock—posting itself as a banner behind him he knew, but he wouldn’t look—he couldn’t look and give himself hope.

This arrangement with Jim was his own making. He foolishly and illogically had to lie to Stonn, had to show him and his family that he did have someone, that he could have someone. Jim was just playing along to get his subroutine added to the Maru test. That’s all.

Jim didn’t care for him. Jim wouldn’t be around after the dissolution of their fake relationship. Spock would have to come up with an excuse to tell his family. He was not looking forward to that. Spock sighed and laid down. He turned onto his side and his mind laid a Jim next to him. The fake Jim smiled at him. Spock turned to his other side and his mind did it again so Spock sat back up.

“Stop it.”

A Spock appeared and sat down before him. “You need to order your mind. Calm yourself.”

“Oh, shut up,” another Spock said, appearing and leaning against the side of the cavern like he owned the place. His hair was a little longer and unruly over his pointy ears. His attire reminded Spock of before the time of Surak when Vulcans were violent beings. “Jim is ours. Claim him.”

“You can’t just claim someone,” another Spock appeared, sitting next to the first Spock. This Spock looked human with round ears, normal brows, a pink tint to his skin, and hair that wasn’t as long of Primal Spock but still longer than a bowl cut and impeccably styled. “Jim likes us, obviously, we just need to talk to him. Ask him out or something. Talking it key.”

First Spock—Vulcan Spock, shook his head. “No. This is merely an arrangement that you,” Vulcan Spock pointed at Spock, “got us into. Jim is acting like he likes us. It is all for show. Talking to him is not logical. We will move on and continue our career in Starfleet and then undergo Kolinahr as planned.”

“Kolinahr, please,” Primal Spock scoffed. “We’re meant to feel.”

“I agree,” Human Spock said with a smile.

“Feel and claim and kill anyone who challenges us.”

“I don’t agree,” Human Spock said with a frown.

Spock looked at all three. “I am having a mental breakdown.”

“Negative,” Vulcan Spock said. “You are allowing this…this…lust for Jim to affect your mind. That is all.”

Primal Spock walked forward and patted Vulcan Spock on the head. “If it is lust then all you need to do is have sex with Jim. I mean would you look at that ass.” Jim from the hospital appeared, naked and bent over.

Spock’s brows went up as Human Spock walked over. “This is so not appropriate. Jim is a person, we shouldn’t be recalling his…” Human Spock checked out Jim. “…damn that is nice, but no.” Human Spock walked up to Spock. “C’mon, you know you lov…” Spock narrowed his eyes. Human Spock corrected himself. “Like Jim. Like like him. Like like like like…”

“Cease.”

“Sorry. Look, you like him. You like him for more than his body.” Human Spock waved his hand and all images of Jim disappeared except for one of Jim sitting gin a chair in his red cadet uniform. When Spock had come to speak to Jim after looking over his subroutine, Jim’s class was still in session. Spock had peaked through the glass of the door and watched Jim listen intently to the lecture and take notes.

Human Spock put his arm around Spock. “He is a beauty, but also profoundly smart, kind-hearted, and brave and many, many other things that we have yet to find out about. Let’s go join him and the others and watch the Disney movies and cuddle. We like cuddling. Then tomorrow we can court him properly.”

“I agree,” Primal Spock said. “Cuddle, court, and then coitus.”

Vulcan Spock stood up. “As we will be undergoing Kolinahr, there is no need to court anyone even though Jim’s mind does call to us and is dynamic and compatible and so bright and calming and…cuddles.”

“See, he does agree,” Human Spock said happily.

“Three against one,” Primal Spock said. “Pursue Jim as a mate.”

Spock shakes his head. “No.”

Human Spock pouted. “But…three against one.”

“You do not get a vote. You are all just…parts of me that need to be quiet.”

Spock pulled himself out of his meditation trance. He blinked a few times and rubbed his temples. He now had a small headache. He hadn’t had a trance like that since he started Starfleet. The Primal part of him wanted to get rid of his illogical roommate while the human part demanded that he make friends. Spock shook his head and stood up. The room was still quiet but now empty. He realized he’d been meditating for a little over an hour.

He put out all the meditation candles and left the room. His aim was for the bedroom but he somehow found himself back in the den’s doorway. Another movie played. A mouse in a red cloak and a pointy blue hat had just made a broom come to life.

Jim was laying down on his mound of blankets, his head rested on a pillow. Selden still lay beside him.

Spock narrowed his eyes and left the room again. He made his way to the bedroom and got ready for bed. He got under the covers and laid on his back. He placed his hands on his stomach and stared at the ceiling in the dark.

He laid there for a while, drumming his fingers against his stomach before turning to Jim’s side of the bed. Spock was used to sleeping alone. He had liked sleeping alone but now, with Jim…Spock groaned and turned to face the other way.


 

A little after midnight, after a few hours of tossing and turning, Spock finally caved. He grabbed his pillow and made his way downstairs. As he approached the doorway to the den, his father came out, holding his mother in his arms.

Spock paused and arched a brow. His father saw him and stopped. Amanda was held carefully bridal style with her head tucked into Sarek’s neck. She was sound asleep.

Sarek looked as if he’d just been caught. “She…she will…her back will hurt if she sleeps on the couch all night.”

Spock took a few steps closer. “It is illogical to lie. If you cannot sleep without mother at your side, just say so.”

“Why are you coming into the den with your pillow?” Sarek countered.

Spock blinked. “Goodnight, Sa-mekh.”

“Goodnight, Sa-fu.”

Spock went into the dark den while his father continued on his own path. Spock stepped over the various sleeping children and the few adults on the ground as he carefully and quietly walked over to where Jim was laying. He stood over the slumbering human and the three-year-old Vulcan boy cuddled against him. Spock placed his pillow beside Jim. He extracted Selden from Jim’s side and walked the boy over to his where his sister was sleeping and deposited him on the mound of blankets beside her.

He walked back over to Jim and laid down beside him. As soon as his head hit his pillow, Jim turned and wrapped an arm and leg around him. His head laid on Spock’s chest just under his chin.  Spock waited for Jim to settle before wrapping one of the blankets over them and holding Jim tightly. He closed his eyes and allowed a small smile. His mind calmed it self as he drifted off to sleep.


 

Spock slowly woke up on his side, feeling a wondrous warmth surrounding him. He held it close even as it stirred in his arms. His eyes opened and saw Jim's eyelids starting to flicker open. Brown eyes soon met bright blue. 

“Morning,” Spock said softly.

Jim smiled softly. “Morning, honey.”

“Good morning,” another voice said.

Spock and Jim blinked then slowly turned their heads and found several pairs of dark eyes staring down at them. Selden was there glaring. 

“Is this a human way of sleeping?” T’Amara asked.

Spock wanted to pull Jim closer, to tell the children to leave and let them sleep, but Jim moved away and sat up.

Jim laughed lightly and shook his head. “Yeah, I suppose that is the human way of sleeping. Vulcans don’t cuddle?”

“We do not know.”

“Why don’t you go ask your parents?”

The children exchanged looks before leaving the room. Selden stayed behind for a few moments before finally leaving when Spock narrowed his eyes at him.

Spock sat up and looked around. The room had been picked up. No more pillows and blankets were scattered about. Spock checked his internal clock and realized that he had overslept. He was usually an early riser, up around seven at the latest but now it was nearly nine.

“When did you come down here?” Jim asked. He stood up and faced Spock before stretched his hands and arms high into the air.

“Near the end of the last movie,” Spock lied. His eyes stayed glued to the soft looking skin of Jim’s tummy where his shirt had ridden up. “You were already asleep.”

“Ah. Sounds like me.” Jim put his hands down and Spock nearly pouted.

He stood up and helped Jim pick up the blankets and pillows. They walked back up the bedroom and placed the items on the bed.

“So, what is the plan for today?”

“Desert racing for those that wish to participate. If you do not then there is cooking or baking.”

Jim nodded. “I think I’ll do the desert racing.”

“I would think that after yesterday you would prefer to stay indoors which reminds me.” Spock went to the dresser and took the hypos from the top. He heard Jim groan as he turned back to the Human.

“Yeah, don’t want to pass out again.”

“Indeed.” Spock approached and Jim bared his neck. The action paused a shiver to run up Spock’s spine. He gently placed the first hypo to Jim’s neck and injected him. Jim made a face but said nothing. Just as gently, Spock injected the second one before moving away and disposing on them in the waste basket by the bed.

“Hate those,” Jim groaned.

“They are necessary.”

“Only while on Vulcan.”

“There are many other planets that will require you to use the hypo.”

“Damn,” Jim sighed. He looked at Spock and smiled. “So, desert racing?”

“I do not…”

“I’m not staying inside and baking.”

Spock internally sighed. “We have a special course set up for the family. It is seventy-five kilometers in length and goes over some of the most unforgiving terrain.”

Jim grinned. “Sounds fun. When do we go?”


 

After breakfast, those that wished to spend the day racing went out in several hovercars to the location just outside of the city. Spock walked with the group to the building where the terrain workers would meet them with the vehicles.

When they entered the building, Jim look off the hood he wore to shield out the sun and keep him cool. Spock watched him look around in awe at all the motorcycles, quadbikes, and cruisers that were offered to them.

Jim walked over to a sleek bike. “Oh man, this is a DirtRunner X4. Oh and a Suzuki and look there’s a Vulcan model.”

“Do you like motorcycles, Jim?” Sarek asked.

Jim’s eyes twinkled. “Yes, Sir, I do. Had dirt bikes growing up. Would wreck ‘em then fix ‘em. Had a nice bike before I came to Starfleet. My dad actually had an old PX70 motorcycle.” The twinkle in Jim’s eyes faded a bit. “Mom said dad used to put her on the back of it and drive her wild.”

“On Earth I had an antique Triumph Bonneville,” Sarek said. “Amanda would love riding pillion. We would have day trips up and down the coastal highway.”

“I like Amanda even more now,” Jim said. “Do you still have the bike?”

“I do. It is in storage at our house in San Francisco. I do believe Spock takes it out from time to time. Does he not take you for rides?”

Jim turned to Spock and frowned cutely. “Spock, you have access to an amazing bike and have never taking me riding with you?” Jim tsked and shook his head. “Some boyfriend.”

Spock arched a brow. “You have never shown any interest and riding nor have you mentioned your biking interests when you were growing up.”

Stonn stepped forward. “How odd that as a couple you have not…”

“Quiet, Stonn,” several of the family members, including Sarek and Spock said.

Stonn quickly shut his mouth. His eyes narrowed at all of them.

“Welcome, House of Surak,” a worker said, walking over to them. “The gear you have requested is over there. There are various sizes…”

“Gear?” Jim stood close to Spock and whispered.

“Racing attire,” Spock replied. “Yours is a different fabric to…”

“Keep me from passing out. Gotcha.”

Spock nodded. He did not want Jim to pass out again. Seeing Jim in distress caused Spock’s heart to nearly stop.

The group went over to the gear and took turns changing into them in the changing rooms. Spock’s was a black and blue race suit with matching boots, gloves and helmet. He stepped out of the room and saw his father was dressed similarly, but with a suit that was more black than blue.

Spock walked over. “Did mother not wish to participate? She did last time.”

“She had a new bread recipe she wanted to try out to beat your Aunt Mitrani’s secret recipe.”

Spock nodded. “No one has beaten Mitrani’s recipe.”

“Your mother is determined this year.” Sarek looked over his shoulder then back to his son. “Why have you not taken Jim riding in San Francisco. I know you have taken the bike out several times since beginning a relationship with him four months ago.”

“How do you know that?”

“The security system logs all who access the storage unit.”

Spock internally sighed. “As I said earlier, Jim had never mentioned nor shown any interest in motorcycles.”

“You could have asked.”

“I could have. Perhaps now he and I will go on rides together.”

Sarek eyed him for a moment then nodded.

“I look good in yellow,” came Jim’s voice.

The Vulcans turned around. Jim stood before them in a half black and white and half yellow and black racing suit with matching boots and gloves with his helmet in his hand. Spock’s heart clenched in his side. Jim did look good.

“As yellow is the color of the command branch of Starfleet, you will look good in those uniforms as well,” Sarek said.

Jim grinned. “Thank you, Sarek. Do you want to run away together now or later?”

Spock bit back a growl as his father merely shook his head and muttered ‘illogical’. Spock walked over to Jim and put his hand on Jim’s lower back. He led Jim over outside to the waiting vehicles to chose from.

“Please cease flirting with my father.” You should not be flirting with anything but me.

Jim chuckled. “But it’s fun.”

“No, it is not.”

Jim chuckled again. “Fine. So, do I get to pick my bike?”

“Yes.” Spock tried to lead Jim over to a particular bike that had good safety ratings. “I recommend…”

“Oh, a Viper 5X,” Jim cooed before making a beeline to a sharp looking motorbike. The bike was primarily used for racing over rough terrain like where they were. It was fast and recommended to be used by pro riders.

Spock internally sighed and followed Jim over to the black and green bike. Jim immediately straddled the bike and put his helmet on.

“Jim.”

“This bike is a beast, Spock. I’ve always wanted to drive one.” Jim pointed to a bike nearby. “There’s another. You get that one.”

Spock wanted to argue. He would prefer Jim to be on the bike with good safety ratings and would trudge along at a decent speed but Jim looked so happy and excited. Spock nodded and walked over to the other bike only to have his father get to it first and straddle it. He arched his brow at his father only to have Sarek point over to another bike signally that he wasn’t moving and for Spock to move along.

“As your son, should you not allow me first choice in which bike to have?” Spock questioned hoping to manipulate his father into moving.

Sarek put his helmet on. “No.”

.

.

.

“I will tell mother about the time you taught me to drive your hovercycle. How old was I? Oh yes…eight. I lost control and crashed. I cut my arm on a sharp rock and required medical attention. We went to the hospital before we returned home. You told mother we went to the theater.”

“I confessed to your mother that very night.”

Damn...what else would mother not know about? “What about the time you left Sybok to watch me while you attended a meeting. He left me with another family, telling them they could have me. I was four. They were a nice family. I would’ve had an older sister. Does mother know that?”

“It was so long ago. She will not be cross.”

“Are you certain? Humans are illogical and mother has been known to bring up past events when you two are arguing such as the time you missed my birth by four point two nine minutes because of a meeting.”

Sarek took off his helmet. “I was there for the first thirty-three hours of her labor.” Sarek shook his head then got off the bike. “I would have moved if you had said please.”

“Please,” Spock said.

Sarek reached out and flicked the tip of Spock’s ear before walking away to another bike. Spock rubbed his ear then got onto the now vacant bike. He pulled his helmet on and walked the bike over to Jim. The other family members gathered around with their selected vehicles as the attendant from before stood in front of them.

Spock glanced up and down the line of relatives. Stonn was at the end near his father and older sister who was participating. Stonn was not the best driver but always participated. The previous family gathering he’d chosen a bike beyond his experience level and caused a crash. Luckily the gear and denser bones protected the Vulcans from serious injury but it still had been a nuisance. Spock had walked with a limp for two days while his ankle healed. This year Stonn had chosen a three wheeled hoverbike instead.

“Try and stay clear of Stonn,” Spock told Jim.

“Oh? Why?”

“Please.” Spock said. I do not want you to get hurt.

Jim nodded. “Yeah, sure, but with his vehicle he won’t be coming anywhere near me. Its too slow.”

“Of course.”

The attendant took a step forward and signaled for their attention. “All the bikes are equipped with the course layout, directions, coordinates, and a beacon incase you need assistance or go off course. Just tap the center button between the handle bars.” Everyone did so and their course came up as a projection.

Spock nodded at it.

“The race will begin shortly. Please be mindful of the rough terrain. There are several checkpoints throughout the course that have mechanics, refreshments, and bathrooms if needed.” The attendant pointed to a white line in the dirt just up ahead. A light hovered several feet away. “Please move to the starting line.”

Spock turned on his bike and felt the rumble of the engine come to life. He slowly rode the bike to the starting line, watching Jim just head of him drive his bike. He hoped Jim was as well trained in driving as he’d said. He did not want to feel the heartache of taking him to the hospital again and watching over him in his biobed with the oxygen mask over his face and IVs stuck into his arm.

Spock shook his head. He moved into place beside Jim.

“Hey, Spock?”

“Yes, Jim.”

“What do you get if you win?”

“Bragging rights.”

“Isn’t that illogical?” Jim chuckled.

“Indeed, it is. There is also a small trophy.”

“Oh? I do love a trophy.”

“Does your dad always win this?”

“Last year my uncle won only because my father and I got caught up in a minor crash with Stonn.”

“Damn. I see why you want me to stay away from him then.”

“Racers at the ready,” a voice boomed.

Jim reached out and gently punched Spock on the upper arm. “Good luck, honey!”

“Good luck…las'hark,” Spock replied.

“Did you just call me a shark?” Jim asked.

Before Spock could reply there was a buzzing. “Go!” The light before them turned green signally to go. Spock looked away and sped off. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Jim just behind him, speeding along the terrain.


 

Spock had tried to keep up with Jim on the course, but the human was quite skilled and zoomed ahead of most of the group early on in the race. At the third checkpoint, Spock finally found Jim again. His fake boyfriend was sitting on a bench with his helmet off drinking some water. His bike was with one of the mechanics getting two new tires. Spock pulled up and sat on the bench next to Jim. He took his helmet off and gladly accepted the offered water bottle.

“Thought I could keep going until the end but the treads were wearing down,” Jim said.

A mechanic went to Spock’s bike and started changing its tires as well.

I stopped for you. “Same,” Spock ended up saying.

A group of relatives pulled in while a few others dared to keep going, including Stonn. Jim shook his head at him. Jim looked at Spock. “So about calling me a shark.”

“You called him a shark?” Selden’s mother and Stonn’s older sister, T’Kiha, asked Spock.

“No, I called me las’hark,” Spock replied. He looked at Jim. “It is what we call the sun.”

Jim smiled. “I like that. Its because I’m so blonde and radiant, isn’t it?”

“Perhaps.”

Jim leaned over and kissed Spock’s cheek. “Vulcans make good boyfriends.”

“Indeed.”

“And girlfriends,” T’Kiha added.

“Right,” Jim chuckled, remembering T’Kiha had a wife. “They make good boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, and wives.”

T’Kiha looked amused. She nodded then walked back over to her vehicle. Jim stood up and stretched.

“My bike is ready. I’m going to head back out and catch up with Stonn. Can’t let him win.”

“Affirmative.”

Spock watched Jim walk back to his bike, put his helmet on, then drive off. Spock sat there for a few moments before remembering Stonn’s driving.

Oh no. Spock quickly stood up and went to his own bike. He shoved his helmet on his head and took off as well.


 

Several minutes later, Spock had passed a few family members but not Stonn or Jim. He shifted gears and sped up faster. In the distant, going up a hill, he finally saw Jim gaining on Stonn. His cousin’s tribike looked to be struggling at its high speed and the incline.

Spock shifted gears again and pressed a button on the handle bars. His bike sped up even faster. He zoomed faster and faster until he was neck in neck with Jim.

Stonn looked over his shoulder at them as he reached the top of the hill and started his decent. Spock moved out in front of Jim and put himself between Stonn and Jim’s vehicles. He looked over his shoulder and waved for Jim to move wider away as Stonn’s vehicle started swerving and jerking front side to side. Jim nodded at him and decelerated a bit and moved far to the left.

Spock watched him, wanting to keep him safe when Jim started waving his hand at him. Spock arched a brow and faced forward, hearing a creaking sound and some thumping. His eyes widened as he watched the front wheel of Stonn’s bike to shred and fly off, causing the vehicle’s front to dig into the dirt and lurch forward. Stonn went with it, hitting the ground hard and continuing to roll down the hill.

Oh shit.

Spock tried to brake and swerve around in time but Stonn’s bike clipped his. The back end of Spock's bike went up causing Spock to jerk forward over his handle bars and crash to the ground. 

Chapter Text

“Spock!” Jim screamed.

The Vulcan had just flipped over his bike and slammed to the ground at an odd angle, but he didn’t stop. Spock continued to roll and bounce down the steep incline of the rocky and sandy desert hill. Jim couldn’t care less where Stonn was or if he was rolling down the hill as well—Jim’s eyes were glued to Spock.

All noise around Jim seemed to stop and the only thing he could hear was a white noise then the loud thumping of his heart in his ears. He jumped off his own bike, tore off his helmet, and proceeded to run down the hill after Spock. In hindsight, Jim figured it probably would have been easier and faster to take the bike, but he was in panic mode and not thinking clearly.

As he runs towards Spock, he kicks up dirt and rocks as he loses his balance a few times and falls. He managed to jump back up each time only to fall again a few feet later.

“Fuck,” Jim groaned as he stumbled again and ended up tumbling the rest of the way down the hill towards Spock.

Luckily, when he came to a stop on his back looking up at the suns, he found he wasn’t hurt or in pain. He quickly rolled over and crawled the few feet over to wear Spock laid on his side.

“Spock, oh fuck, Spock.” Jim felt a tear prickling in the corners of his eyes as he hoped the Vulcan was alright. He gently moved Spock over onto his back. Spock's helmet had flown off while he tumbled down the hill.

Oh, thank god, Surak, whoever, Jim thought when he saw Spock was breathing—his chest moving up and down in a normal pattern. That was the only moving Spock was doing but it was something, Jim figured.

“Spock,” Jim said softly. He raised a hand and gently touched the Vulcan’s forehead. There were a few scratches on Spock’s face but none appeared to be deep or needing to be stitched. Jim gently moved his hand down the side of Spock’s face to trail the back of two fingers against Spock’s cheek.

Spock stirred under the ministrations and his eyes soon fluttered open, revealing to Jim those gorgeous chocolate brown eyes.

“My eyes are not gorgeous chocolate,” Spock said.

Jim couldn’t help but chuckled. He still kept his hand against Spock’s cheek, rubbing the soft skin tenderly.

Spock then furrowed his slanted brows together, closed his eyes a bit, and groaned in pain.

“Anything broken?” Jim asked a bit worriedly.

“No…I do not believe so.”

“Can you feel me touching you?”

“Yes.”

“Can you pick up my thoughts.”

“Obviously.”

Jim snorted. “So, no need for mouth to mouth resuscitation then?”

Spock cracked his eyes back open. They twinkled in amusement. The corners of Spock’s mouth quirked up slightly in a barely there smirk. “I may be experiencing some difficulty breathing actually.”

Jim patted Spock’s cheek and sat back on the ground next to him. “Well that sucks because I’m not trained in CPR. You’ll just have to lay here and die.”

“Ah, how unfortunate. At least my final moments are in the presence of something so stunning.”

Jim could feel his cheeks burning up. “Spock…”

“The desert of Vulcana Regar is known for its stunning landscapes and…”

“Oh, shut up,” Jim lightly fussed with a smile.

“Spock!”

Jim turned his head and saw the family riding towards them with Sarek leading the group. Jim looked to the other side and saw Stonn laying a few yards away on the ground.

Sarek came to a quick stop near them and jumped off his bike, pulling off his helmet and throwing to the side before rushing over to them. He nearly knocked Jim out of the way as he knelt beside his son.

“Sa-fu, are you injured?” Sarek asked.

Spock let out a moan in pain and squirmed. “Yes, your knee is on my hand.”

Sarek moved away and Spock laid his hand on his chest.

“He thinks nothing is broken,” Jim spoke. “Maybe his hand now.” Jim couldn’t help but lay his hand on Spock’s stomach.

Sarek nodded. A few hover vehicles showed up. Two vehicles had medic symbols on the side. Jim stood up and took a few steps back when a few medics started tending to Spock and the others went over to Stonn.

Jim watched as Stonn was checked over and then helped to stand up. He appeared to be uninjured as well. Jim clenched his fists and saw red. He marched over to Stonn and before he knew what he was doing, he’d swung his fist and nailed Stonn in the face causing him to fall back to the ground.

“You stupid asshole!” Jim fussed at the Vulcan on the ground. Stonn held his cheek and stared up at Jim with wide eyes. Jim could feel the other Vulcans staring at him as well, but he didn’t care. “What the hell were you thinking? That was the most stupidest and reckless thing you could do while racing! Tires wear out, don’t ya know! Is it that important to win, huh? This is just a fun family thing and you…you…illogical, competitive jerk had to ruin it and now look what’s happened. You and Spock crashed and could’ve gotten yourselves seriously hurt or worse, killed!”

Jim took in a deep breath. “When we get back home, you’re going to spend some time in your room, thinking about what you did and how you can apologize to Spock for your actions. And no more desert racing. Your banned from it and any other activity that could potentially be dangerous. Understood?”

Stonn merely nodded.

“Good.” Jim turned around and finally realized what had happened. “Oh god, I’ve turned into my mother.”

Spock stood before him and shook his head. “You are not your mother, I am sure.”

“And Stonn needed to hear what you said,” Stonn’s father stepped forward and said. He gave his son a look. “I will be having more words with him when we return to Grandmother’s home.”

“Are you okay?” Jim approached Spock and asked. He didn’t hesitate to reach out and take Spock’s hands in his.

“Nothing broken as I suspected. Merely some bruises and a sprained knee and ankle.”

“That’s good,” Jim said in relief.

“It is time to return home,” Sarek spoke. He looked at his son. “Mother is worried.”

“Oh Surak,” Jim heard Spock sigh.


 

“My baby!” Amanda called as soon as Spock hobbled into the house a little while later. She wrapped her arms around him and hugged him tight before pulling back and looking him over. “I hate those desert races. Look at you! Second time you’ve been hurt on one. My baby.”

“Mother…”

“No, no, you will lay down for the rest of the day.”

“Mother…”

“Sarek, help me take him to the den to lay down.”

“I do not…” Spock tried but his father had already come to his side and proceeded to help him towards the den.

Jim watched, amused by Amanda’s reaction to Spock. He stepped in to help when Spock started arguing about needing to lay down.

“You are injured, you will lay down, Spock,” Amanda told her son.

“Mother, I…”

“I think you should lay down for a bit and rest,” Jim spoke. “Like your mother said, you are injured. Resting is good.”

Spock nodded and laid down without another argument. Amanda propped a few pillows behind his head while Sarek put one under his sprained ankle.

Jim sat down by Spock’s feet and smiled at the Vulcan who clearly didn’t want to be laying there but was doing it to appease the Humans. Amanda leaned down and kissed his forehead.

“Rest and then later you and Jim can use the hot spring to relax more.”

“Thank you,” Spock replied.

She gave him another kiss then headed towards the room’s exit with Sarek. When they had just walked out of the room they heard Amanda fuss at her husband, “How could you let our baby get hurt?”

Jim chuckled and shook his head. This family was cute.

“I do not think my family has ever been described as cute,” Spock said.

“Shit, I said that out loud, didn’t I?”

Spock nodded. Jim smiled at the Vulcan and scooted closer to his feet. He lifted his hands to Spock’s pant leg and gently pulled it up a bit to reveal Spock’s foot and ankle.

“Does it hurt?”

“There is minimal pain,” Spock replied.

“What about your knee?”

“Minimal as well.”

“If the pain was worse, would you admit it?”

“Perhaps.”

Jim shook his head and put Spock’s pant leg back down. “I’m glad you weren’t seriously hurt. I mean, sprains are serious, but…”

“I understand your meaning,” Spock interrupted. “Thank you and thank you for telling off Stonn.”

“Idiot needed it. Like, how stupid can one be to keep going like that, huh? His tire shredded! Did he want to win that badly?”

“No,” Stonn’s voice came from the doorway.

Jim immediately stood and crosses his arms over his chest. “What do you want?”

Stonn shuffled a bit closer. “May I have words with my cousin?”

Jim raised a brow, unsure if it was wise. Spock stayed silent on the couch.

“Please,” Stonn added after a few moments.

Jim turned to Spock. “Well?”

“Can you leave us for a few moments?” Spock asked.

Jim nodded. “Yeah, I’ll just go get lose in the palace.” Jim leaned down and gave Spock a sweet kiss. He then straightened back up and turned to leave. As he walked past Stonn he muttered that there were more punches where that came from.

Jim thought about standing outside the door and listening but decided against it. He wandered down a hall and then another before coming to an open door. He was about to walk past it when he was called.

“James.”

Jim popped his head inside and found Sarek sitting in a high back chair in the middle of the room. Jim stepped inside. His eyes widened as he took in the room. He remembered this was the library that Spock had shown him on the first day but Jim had forgotten where it was. So many books. So little time.

“You are fond of literature,” Sarek spoke.

Jim tore his gaze away from the shelves and shelves of books and nodded. “Yes, sir.”

“Even though your visit is coming to its end, you are welcome to borrow any book that peaks your interest.”

Jim walked further into the room. “That’s very nice of you to offer. Thank you, but I think I’ll leave them alone. I may end up taking all of them with me.”

“If that happens, we know where to find you.”

Jim laughed and nodded. “Yes, you do.”

Sarek put down the book he had and motioned for Jim to sit in the chair near him. Jim smiled as he did. He liked the older man. He and Amanda were an adorable couple.

“We have not had the chance to sit down, just the two of us and talk,” Sarek said. “You have had the chance with my wife, my mother, even a few other relatives.”

Oh shit. Am I in trouble? Is he going to Vulcan yell at me? What is Vulcan yelling? I shouldn’t have punched Stonn or threatened to punch him again. Dammit, I’m supposed to be a good boyfriend, not get a talking to by Spock’s dad! Or flirting with him, but was I flirting or just being friendly? Spock did growl. Oh god, stop thinking and talk!

“Sorry, they just grab me and start talking sometimes,” Jim blurted out. “I’m not trying to avoid you or anything. Why would I avoid talking to my boyfriend’s dad who does come across as intimidating at times?” Jim blinked. “I said that out loud.”

Sarek stared at him.

“Also, I’m not trying to flirt with you. You are clearly taken and I’m clearly taken and…”

“James, breathe.”

Jim took in a deep breath and then released it. “I’m not sorry I punched Stonn.”

Sarek’s eyes softened and looked like Spock’s when he was amused. “May I speak?”

Jim kept his mouth shut and nodded.

“While we are not…pleased that you struck Stonn, we understand.”

“We?”

“The family.”

“Oh.”

“Stonn has…we do not know why he has acted the way he does towards Spock. Amanda was warmly received into the family when we bonded and married. Family clans, such as ours, are very territorial and protective of one another. No one here has spoken ill of Amanda or Spock in anyway, except Stonn.”

“Jealously is my guess,” Jim said with a shrug.

“I do not know. He and Spock played well together as small children, but when they began their schooling, Stonn’s behavior changed.”

Jim nodded. “Oh, I get it then. Peer pressure. Maybe he found some friends that didn’t like Spock so he stopped liking Spock.”

“Perhaps. The family, his father—we have all tried to get him to stop over the years but he never seemed to. His father and T’Pau and even T’Pring had a talk with him a little while ago.”

“He’s in the den with Spock right now. Said he wanted to talk. Even said please.”

“Then I hope it is a beneficial talk and he can move past his illogicalness.”

“I hope so too.”

“Now, Jim, another point I would like to discuss with you is your intentions with Spock.”

Oh boy. “My intentions are pure,” Jim said. “I care about Spock and I would never hurt him.”

“A very unoriginal response. I believe I have heard that said before in my wife’s romantic movies she is fond of watching.”

“Um…my intentions are…well we are taking it slow. One day at a time and all that.”

“Where do you see the relationship this time next year?” Sarek asked.

Jim blinked. “Next year?”

“Yes.”

“This time next year?”

“That is what I asked.”

“Well…that’s um…a complicated question. I hope this time next year I am on a ship, hopefully as the captain. It would be great to have Spock as my first officer but…um…I don’t know if that would happen.”

It is a nice thought, though. The two of us, on our own ship…maybe the Enterprise. Pike won’t mind if we have it. Spock would be an amazing first officer. The best in the fleet and he’d be right by my side. Jim mentally shook his head.

“Sarek,” Jim started. “Right now, I am with Spock. We are together and enjoying each other’s company, but again, we are taking this slow. I know you and Amanda only courted three months before marrying but that is not how Spock and I are doing this. I hope we’re together this time next year, but who knows what the future holds. I’m a take it one day at a time kind of guy and Spock gets it and that is just how it is.”

Sarek stared at him for a few moments in silence before saying, “A spring wedding and bonding ceremony would be lovely next year. The family agrees.”

Jim blinked several times before nodding. “Cool.”


 

Jim kept a low profile the rest of the day. He hid away with some books and didn’t come out until dinner time. He kept up a good conversation while eating, even touched Spock’s hand a few times on purpose and on accident.

Whatever Spock and Stonn talked about, it must’ve gone well as the two kept a conversation about a science project. Next to Stonn, T’Pring looked pleased with herself.

She probably fussed at him to be nice, Jim thought.

“Indeed,” Spock suddenly said into Jim’s ear. Jim jumped and nearly spilled his drink into his lap. A few guests looked at him for a moment before doing back to their conversations.

“What?” Jim asked Spock. Spock gave him a look before squeezing his hand. “Oh.” Jim had been holding his hand under the table for a while now. “Picked up that thought, huh?”

“I did. It was a correct thought.”

“Well good.”

“You pick up his thoughts?” T’Pring asked, looking between them. “And you are not bonded?”

Spock lifted their hand and showed how their fingers were laced together. “Jim has a loud mind. Touching can allow me to pick them up.”

“Do you not shield?” A family member asked.

“I do, but sometimes it is not enough.”

“How fascinating,” T’Pau spoke from the head of the table.

“Yeah, its cool,” Jim said. “I haven’t been able to pick up his thoughts yet, though.” Jim looked at Spock. “Quick, think of something.”

One of Spock’s slanted brows went up. Jim closed his eyes and tried to concentrate. He thought about Spock and Spock’s head and then an image appeared his in his head. An image of a Jim playing the guitar a few days ago. Jim opened his eyes and smiled at Spock. Spock nearly smiled back.

“Well?” T’Pring asked. Jim looked around and found the whole family were focused on the two of them.

“He’s thinking of something that I cannot say with all the little ones around,” Jim said with a grin.

Spock’s cheeks went green. “I was not.”

“Spock, not at the dinner table,” Amanda said.

“I was not,” Spock said again.

“You were raised better,” Sarek spoke.

“Indeed he was,” Amanda agreed.

“I was thinking about…”

“Spock, not in front of the little ones,” Jim said in a gasp. “They have pure ears.”

Spock’s right eye started to twitch. Jim bit his bottom lip to stifle a laugh. Amanda started giggling anyway and a few of the family members looked very amused, even T’Pring and Stonn.

A grumpy expression appeared on Spock’s face. “I was injured today. I should not be teased,” he muttered.

Jim patted Spock on the back then kissed his cheek. “We tease because we love you.”

The room went quiet and it took Jim a few moments to realize why. Spock was looking at him a bit oddly which actually warmed Jim up inside. He removed his hand from Spock and straightened up in his chair. His face was burning up. He knew it was red.

“I mean…we…as a group…love Spock. Not like an individual love but as a group,” Jim bullshitted, hoping his point was made. He took a big gulp of his Vulcan port then tried to change the conversation. “So, Amanda and I kicked butt yesterday at Kal-toh.”

“Affirmative,” T’Pau replied.

The conversations picked up again and Jim internally sighed in relief.


 

After dinner, Jim decided to make use of the indoor hot spring. He grabbed a few towels and his pajamas to change into and made his way down to the spring. He got a lost a few times and ended up turned around but managed to find. It.  

Jim put his towels and change of clothes in a pile next to the pool and stripped off all his clothes before stepping into the pool. He groaned at the warmth of the water. He swam around a bit in the large pool before finding a seat in the side and sitting down and relaxing.

“Man, Starfleet needs one of these,” Jim said.

“I agree.”

Jim jumped slightly then settled when it saw it was Spock. Spock wearing a robe that went down to his ankles but was open a bit in the front revealing some chest and chest hair. Jim licked his lips.

Whoa…about to see Spock naked. Wonder what it looks like. Stop it, Jim!

He smiled as Spock placed a towel next to Jim’s then reached for the sash of his robe.

Here he goes.

Spock untied the robe and shrugged it off.

Jim put his hands in his lap and covered himself. Spock was wearing swim shorts and Jim was naked.

“Jim, are you well?” Spock asked. He stepped into the spring and sat across from Jim.

Jim was glad the water wasn’t all that clear. “Yep, I’m good. Just…um…no one told me about the swim suit rule.”

Spock looked down at himself then back to Jim. “Oh.”

“Oh indeed.”

“You are…naked.”

“Totally.”

.

.

.

“There is only one logical thing to do then,” Spock said after a few moments. He stood up and Jim watched with wide eyes as Spock pulled down his swimshorts and took them off. Jim got an eyeful of Spock as he did so. He got another eyeful when Spock grabbed up the shorts, turned and tossed them over towards his robe. He turned back to Jim, still standing up. The water where he stood came up mid thigh on Spock. 

Spock cocked his head to the side. "Like what you see?" He asked, as Jim had done the day before.

 

Vulcans are…whoa, Jim thought. He met Spock's eyes and shrugged. "I guess its a nice view."

Spock snorted then stepped into the water more and sat back down. They stared at one another for a few moments in silence before Jim started laughing at the situation. He got a small smile in return from Spock which made Jim laugh more remembering what Amanda had said about Sarek first smiling when he saw her naked.

“Are you well?” Spock asked.

Jim nodded and calmed down. “Yeah, I’m good. I’m good. How are you feeling?”

“Better, thank you. My mother was right to have me rest for the day.”

“You going to tell her that?”

“No.”

Jim adjusted himself in the seat and let a foot raise up and card through the water.

“Having fun?” Spock asked.

“Oh yes. I could stay in here for the rest of the trip.”

“My family would not be pleased if you did such a thing. Especially since one is expected to be in the proper swimming attire while in here.”

“Well no one told me,” Jim said. “I’ll just blame you.”

“If you want.”

Jim moved off his seat and went underwater for a moment before resurfacing and pushing his hair back. “Your turn.”

“No thank you.”

Jim splashed a bit of water at Spock. Spock splashed him back.

“Go under water.”

“No.”

Jim swam over to Spock’s side and sat near him. He splashed him again, getting Spock’s hair wet.

“Must you?”

“Yes, because you are not being fun.”

Spock gave Jim a look before sliding down underneath the water and popping back up. Jim laughed as Spock wiped the water from his face and pushed his hair back.

“You look like a grumpy cat that accidentally fell into water.”

“I am not a grumpy cat.”

“A grumpy Vulcan then.”

Spock shrugged and relaxed back in his seat.

“I noticed that Stonn and you were cordial tonight at dinner,” Jim said. “Ya’ll buddies now?”

“I would not say buddies, but we did talk and he has agreed to try and be less illogical towards me.”

“That’s good.” Jim poked Spock’s arm. “Did you think that you’d be making up with your dad and cousin when you invited me here?”

“I did not.” Spock looked at Jim. “Thank you for agreeing to come here with me. I know it has not been easy keeping up appearances.”

“It hasn’t. I do feel a little badly about our deception.”

“As do I.”

“It just means you have to find an even better boyfriend or girlfriend—an actual real one to bring home.”

“A real one,” Spock repeated. “Indeed.”

“One that is open to a spring wedding and bonding.”

Both of Spock’s brows went up. “Pardon?”

“Yeah, your dad and I talked earlier. Apparently, the family wants us to have a spring wedding next year.”

“Pardon?”

“Exactly.”

“Jim?” a voice called in from the hall.

“In here!” Jim called back, standing up a bit so that the water came to his just bellow his belly button.

A few moments later, T’Pring entered the room. She paused for a moment. Her dark eyes swept over Jim’s form before meeting his eyes. “Jim, the children request another movie night.”

“Oh okay. Yeah, we can watch a movie.”

T’Pring nodded and didn’t leave. Her eyes dropped back down for a moment.

“Once I get out and dressed, I’ll come to the den.”

“I do not mind waiting for you,” T’Pring said. She looked at Jim’s pile of clothes and the towel.

Jim and Spock exchanged a look. “Thanks, but I’ll be out in a moment. Why don’t you go to the den? You don’t need to wait.”

“It is not trouble to wait.”

“I know, but you see…I’m not wearing any clothes…right now.”

T’Pring cocked her head to the side. “You are not wearing swimming attire?”

Jim shook his head.

“You are naked…below the water’s surface?” T’Pring’s eyes went back down.

Jim nodded.

“I see. I can still wait…”

Spock growled at T’Pring. T’Pring’s cheeks went green as she quickly turned and left the room.

“Well that was interesting,” Jim said, climbing out of the water. He kept his back to Spock as he grabbed a towel and started toweling off. “It was interesting, right Spock?”

.

.

.

“Spock?” Jim wrapped the towel around his waist and turned to Spock. Spock was still sitting in the hot spring but facing away from Jim.

“Interesting, yes. Quite interesting,” Spock said.

Jim shrugged and went back to toweling off then dressing in the pajamas he’d brought with him. He turned back to Spock after this and found he was still sitting there quietly.

“Spock? You coming?”

“Not yet. I wish to stay here and relax for a little bit longer…for my ankle.”

“Alright. I’ll see in the den.”

“Yes, see you in the den.”

Jim left Spock alone and went upstairs. He put away his clothes and the towel before making his way into the den. He chuckled seeing all the children and even a lot of adults sitting in various spots waiting for Jim and the movie.

“How about we watch Coco?” Jim asked.

“Does it have to do with chocolate?” a child asked.

“Nope,” Jim replied before setting the movie up and taking a seat next to Amanda and Sarek.

“Trying to make them cry?” Amanda whispered.

“Can they?”

Amanda nodded.

“Wow, my bad if we end up with a room full of crying Vulcans.”

“Where is Spock?” Sarek asked.

“Still soaking in the hot spring. He said he’ll be here soon.”

Selden wandered over to Jim and pulled himself up onto the couch to sit next to him. When Spock entered the room several minutes later, dressed in relaxing clothes, he picked up Selden and put him in another spot to sit before sitting next to Jim and putting an arm around him.

Spring wedding would be nice, Jim thought. If this was real which it isn't. Jim internally sighed. Just one more day and night and then they were gone and this was all over. 

Chapter Text

Spock work up with Jim in his arms again. He really liked cuddling, especially with Jim.  He pulled Jim closer so the human’s back was flush against his front. Jim stirred in his arms.

“Morning,” Jim muttered.

“Morning,” Spock replied. He opened his eyes and saw the sun kissed skin of Jim’s neck before him. Just a little nibble, he thought.

Jim stirred in his arms again, trying to get away.

No, not yet. Spock pulled Jim back. Jim chuckled and tried getting away again but Spock held him tight.

“Spock, you gotta let me up or else.”

“Or else what?” Spock couldn’t help but nuzzle against the back of Jim’s neck.

Jim leaned back against him and said, “Or else I’ll pee on you.”

Spock immediately let him go. Jim laughed as he sat up and swung his legs over the side the bed and stood up.

“Yeah, didn’t think you’d be into that,” Jim said before heading for the bathroom.

Spock sat up and leaned his back against the headboard. Today was there last day and tonight, would be their last night before they returned to Earth…returned to their normal lives.

Lives where we are not a couple, Spock thought sadly. But maybe…

Jim came out of the bathroom and stood by the dresser. They stared at one another in silence for a few moments. Jim bit his bottom lip before speaking, “We go home tomorrow.”

“Affirmative.”

“I just…I have to ask,” Jim rubbed the back of his neck and looked away from Spock. “We’re still…this is still…how do I say this? Um…this is still fake, right? I mean sometimes…sometimes things seem…”

“Real,” Spock finished. So real. So right.

“Yeah, real, but it’s not…right? This is an arrangement.”

No, I do not want this to be fake or just an arrangement! Spock screamed inside. This is real, t’hy’la! Spock’s voice caught in his throat. He knew, he’d picked up some thoughts from Jim but…what if they were fake too. “Yes,” Spock choked out before clearing his throat and saying it again. “Yes, this is fake. An arrangement.” His heart nearly stopped in his side. His head started to throb in pain.

Jim nodded, but his eyes…his eyes looked different. Less bright than normal. “Yeah, that’s what I figured. We’re just…good actors.”

Spock’s heart like it was breaking in two. He forced himself to nod. “Affirmative.”

They were quiet again for a few moments.

Jim shuffled his feet then asked, “So what is on the agenda for the day?”

“Nothing. The last day is used for relaxing and meditation before tonight’s introduction of T’Ariis.”

“Cool. Cool.” Jim grabbed his clothes from the dresser and dressed in the bathroom. Spock stayed in bed and tried to remember how to move. When Jim came out, dressed, he gave Spock a smile then left the room.

Spock laid back in bed for as long as could until his mother came in and fussed at him to get his butt up.


 

“Are you well?”

Spock looked up from the book he was trying to read. His father was standing before him. He hadn’t heard him enter the parlor. “Yes. Why?”

“You skipped breakfast and have been hiding in here."

"I am not hiding."

"Then why is your mate outside engaged in a water balloon fight in the young ones,” Sarek questioned. “Why are you not with him?”

“He is not my mate,” Spock snapped.

Sarek arched a brow at his son’s tone. Spock internally sighed. “My apologies, Sa-mekh. I did not…sleep well last night. Jim…Jim tosses and turns too much.”

“I understand. Your mother occasionally kicks in her sleep.” Sarek sat down in the chair adjacent to Spock's. 

Spock sat up more and put his book down. “Father, I do care for Jim,” he admitted. “But we are merely dating. Taking it slow as we have repeatedly told you. Starfleet keeps us busy and sometimes pulled in different directions. A spring bonding—any bonding, may not ever happen and I need you, mother, and the family to understand that and please…please cease pushing it on us.”

His father stared at him for a good while before nodding. “Of course. It was illogical for us to assume. I apologize.”

“Thank you.” Spock then asked, “What have you been working on with the VSA? I read that recently started a study into….”


 

Jim quickly ran inside the house and shut the door behind him as several water balloons exploded against the clear door where he’d just been. Jim stuck his tongue out at the kids that had thrown them before shouting, “I’m done! I need to get on dry clothes!”

They nodded and then went back to the fight Jim had started. Jim ran a hand through his wet hair and went upstairs and dried off and changed. He wandered back downstairs and into the kitchen finding Amanda already there. 

“Hungry?” Amanda asked. She was sitting at the table in the corner with a tea cup and a plate of scones.

“Yes, ma’am,” Jim smiled and replied.

Amanda stood up and walked over to the fridge. “Sit and I’ll make you something.”

“No, I can…”

“Sit,” Amanda ordered, shooing Jim over to the table.

“Okay, okay,” Jim laughed, doing as he was told. He grabbed a scone and picked off pieces and Amanda put together something for him.

She joined him back at the table, placing a glass of a purple colored juice in front of him as well as what looked like a grilled cheese sandwich. Jim grinned and started eating.

“Sarek told me about the whole spring bonding thing,” Amanda said.

Jim paused in his eating. He was hating having to lie to everyone, especially Amanda as she was so nice to him.

“He told me that Spock just set him straight about you two.”

“Oh?” Jim questioned. Did he confess everything?

Amanda reached out and patted his hand. “We know you two are taking it slow and I just want to apologize for Sarek’s spring bonding comment. If you two ever decide to bond, that will be great. If not, then,” Amanda looked a little sad. “I have loved having you here with us and getting to know you. Long relationship, short relationship I think you’ve been a good influence on Spock.”

Jim forced a smiled. Fuck this is hard. “Thank you.” Was all Jim could say in response. “I’ve enjoyed being here as well.”

Amanda’s eyes then twinkled.

“What?” Jim asked. The look making him blush.

Amanda grinned. “Nothing.”

Jim ducked his head and ate his sandwich.


 

After spending the day away from each other, Spock found Jim in the den watching another Disney movie with the kids and a few adults. Spock watched it for a few moments, enjoying Beauty and the Beast. His mother had shown him the movie in his youth and he quite liked it.

“Hey, Spock,” Jim looked to him and said. Selden was sitting in Jim’s lap and giving Spock a look.

Spock wanted to shoo the boy away but instead said, “It is nearly time for the evening’s activities.”

Selden’s look got grumpier as Jim coaxed the boy from his lap and stood up. “Oh, right, of course.” He turned off the movie earning illogical groans from the others in the room.

“You are a bad influence on my Vulcan family,” Spock said.

Jim laughed and nodded. “Yeah, I can’t help it though. They are all so cute and its so easy to lead them astray.” Jim turned back to the group and told them he’d see them soon before leaving with Spock and going upstairs.

Spock had had a robe commissioned for Jim as soon as Jim agreed to come along on the trip. He had gone out earlier and picked it up from the shop.

When they entered their room, the box with the robe lay on the bed. Spock shut the door behind them and motioned for Jim to go to it.

“It is custom to wear for such events like the introduction of a new child or a bonding ceremony,” Spock spoke.

Jim opened the box and let out a breathy gasp. “Oh wow, Spock. This is…too much.” Jim pulled out the robe and held it up to himself. It was a simple soft fabric, deep purple in color with gold thread along the seams and many layers it seemed to Jim. “Fuck this is beautiful, Spock. I…you have to let me reimburse you.”

“There is no need, Jim.” Spock stepped closer and touched the box. “There is also matching pants to go underneath.”

“Thank you. I do like pants. Um…how do I get into this?”

Spock felt his cheeks warm. Dressing in the robe was a simple act that he could easily explain to Jim to leave him to do it. Instead, Spock said, “I will help you.”

Jim’s own cheeks felt warm as he nodded. “That would be great. Um…ya’ll wear underwear with this right. Its not like a commando kilt situation?”

Spock’s heart skipped a beat. He did enjoy seeing Jim’s bare behind. “No, you…um…you wear undergarments.”

“Good. I guess I’ll just…undress.”

“Yes.”

Jim nodded again and proceeding to underdress down to his tight boxer briefs. He stood before Spock with his hands on his hips. He was never shy about being undressed in front of people but Spock’s eyes roamed over him and Jim felt so exposed in that moment and he liked it.

Don’t get excited, don’t get excited, Jim kept telling himself as Spock thought the same thing.

Jim managed to get his pants on by himself as Spock picked up the first layer of the outfit and started to help dress Jim. His hands shook as he tried to keep from touching Jim’s bare skin.

Maintain, maintain, Spock told himself as slowly but surely, Jim’s skin started to get covered in the soft fabric.

Claim, claim, his Primal part chimed in.

Court, court, his human part added.

Silence, he told them.

“I didn’t say anything,” Jim said.

Spock blinked, realizing he’d said it out loud. “Nothing.”

Jim looked at him oddly but nodded and turned around so Spock could slip the last layer over him. Jim’s neck was present to him.

Spock leaned forward but just as he did so, Jim suddenly bent forward causing his ass to bump back into Spock’s groin. Both jumped and moved away, Jim turned to face him holding a shoe in his hand.

Both looked quite confused.

“What?” Jim said.

“I do not…what?” Spock repeated.

They stared at each other before Spock slowly stepped forward. Jim watched him closely as the Vulcan reached out and grabbed the sash around Jim and yanked him close.

“I…I need…to tie this,” Spock said, his eyes darting over Jim’s face, his bright eyes, and then down to those plump pink lips when Jim licked them.

“Yeah, okay,” Jim replied softly.

Spock slowly tied the sash, not bothering to look at it as he couldn’t tear his eyes from Jim’s face. Jim couldn’t either. He licked his lips again and Spock leaned forward. Jim leaned forward too and just as their lips brushed against one another, the door opened.

“Just checking to see…oh my,” Amanda said, putting her hand to her cheek. “Oh, I didn’t mean to interrupt.”

Spock and Jim still stood close, staring at one another. Spock couldn’t help but brush his lips against Jim’s once more chastely before back up a tad and quickly tying Jim’s sash. He stepped away and faced his mother.

“You were not. Jim is dressed and can accompany you downstairs.” Spock looked over his mother. She was in her formal robes, a similar style to Jim’s but more feminine and a light purple in color.

“Jim, you look so dashing in those robes,” she smiled and said.

Jim did a little turn for her and added a pose. “Yeah, I make Vulcan robes look good.”

“Indeed, you do,” she giggled. She looked to her son. “You need to get dressed now, kan-bu.”

“I am not a baby, mother.”

Jim slapped Spock on the back. “Yes, you are. C’mon, Amanda, lets leave him to get dressed. By the way, I love your robe.”

“Why thank you, Jim.” She linked her arm with his and left the room.

Spock let out a sigh and sat down on the bed. He closed his eyes and breathed in and out for several moments.

Should have claimed him, Primal Spock said. Ripped off those robes…

Oh shut up with your claiming, Human Spock interrupted. Spock should have kissed him for real and then told him he loves him.

Agreed, Vulcan Spock added.

Spock shook his head. You three are nuisances.

Nuisances that you should listen to!

Spock shook his head again and opened his eyes. He went to the closet and pulled out his own robes that were nearly identical to Jim’s and got dressed.


 

Spock joined everyone in the grand room. He found Jim and his parents quickly and walked over and took his place at Jim’s side. He gently rested his hand on Jim’s lower back and preened when Jim leaned into his side and put an arm around his waist.

“What is going to happen exactly?” Jim whispered.

“T’Pau, as head of the clan, will instruct Stonn and T’Pring to present their child to her. She will take the child and say a Vulcan prayer for the health and prosperity of the child and the parents. T’Pau will then introduce T’Ariis to the rest of us and we welcome the child to the family.”

“It is sort of like a christening,” Amanda explained. “That’s the best way that I can think to describe it.”

Jim nodded. “Oh okay. Sounds interesting.”

“No, the interesting part as this is all done in Vulcan,” Amanda told him.

Jim chuckled but soon stopped when T’Pau entered and stood at the head of the room. Jim’s eyes widened at her intricate robe and how her hair was braided on top of her head.

She started to speak in Vulcan. Spock translated in his ear, “Present thy child.”

Jim shivered feeling Spock’s breath against his ear.

Stonn and T’Pring entered the room and walked purposely towards T’Pau. T’Ariis was in a cute robe in T’Pring’s arms. They stopped before T’Pau and T’Pring held T’Ariis out to her.

T’Pau took the child and held her gently in her arms. She gazed at the child then started speaking in Vulcan once more. Spock again translated.

T’Pau then held T’Ariis in a way that Jim thought she about to bust out singing the circle of life. He managed to suppress a grin but felt Amanda giving him a look.

“Simba,” Amanda whispered in a deep voice.

Jim snorted causing everyone in the room look at him.

“Amanda,” Sarek hissed gentlu. “You do that every time.”

Jim chortled and had to bite his bottom lip to stop laughing. He held up his hands and quickly apologized. As Spock pulled him close and apologized as well.

T’Pau arched a brow then returned her attention back to the task at hand.  She started speaking again as T’Ariis made some cooing noises and kicking her legs around.

“We welcome T’Ariis daughter of Stonn and T’Pring, granddaughter of Sopek and Elieth of our clan,” Spock repeated what T’Pau was saying.

T’Pau then handed T’Ariis to Stonn and welcomed everyone to come greet them. The grandparents went first, followed by the aunts and uncles, and cousins and then Sarek and Amanda followed by Spock and Jim. Amanda cooed over the girl and then congratulated them before moving to let Spock and Jim have a term.

Spock held his hand up to them in a Vulcan salute. “Live long and prosper.”

“Peace and long life,” Stonn and T’Pring replied.

Spock offered the salute to the baby and welcomed her to the family. Jim followed as Spock did but also offered a ‘coochie coochie coo’ to T’Ariis and a belly tickle that made the girl giggle and Stonn huff slightly. T’Pring gave Jim an amused look.

Spock then led Jim away to wait nearby until the rest of the family finished. Jim poked Spock’s side. “Hey, question, what about T’Pring’s family?”

Spock poked Jim back and replied, “They are of another clan and will have their own ceremony for T’Ariis.”

“Did you have two ceremonies? I mean…did your human family do anything when you were born?”

“I had a few ceremonies,” Spock admitted. “In fact, my mother’s whole family arrived the week after I was born. My mother’s paternal side are not the religious sort but do celebrate Christmas and a few other holidays. They merely threw a barbeque which my Vulcan family found interesting.”

Jim nodded. “Vulcans at a barbeque. I need to see that.”

Spock nodded. “My mother’s maternal side is Jewish and they wanted to have a brit milah but as I did not need a circumcision, they instead had a naming ceremony.”

Jim blinked. “But weren’t you already named, Spock?”

“Yes, but I also have a Jewish name.”

Jim grinned. “Oh, please tell me it’s something good.”

Spock sighed. “While my mother wanted Harold, her family said that was not a Hebrew name. Mother considers Harold my human name if I wanted to have a human name.”

“Harold. I love it, but Hebrew name?”

Spock looked away and muttered something.

“What now, Harold?” Jim asked teasingly.

Spock sighed and looked back at Jim. “Zechariah.”

Jim bit his bottom lip.

“It is not funny, Jim.”

“No, no, its not I just…I’m so calling you Zach from now on.”

“My name is Spock.”

Jim shook his head. “Spock Harold Zechariah.”

“Negative. I am just Spock.”

“Amanda!” Jim called across the room. “Why didn’t you tell me about Harold Zechariah?”

Amanda started laughing. “I am so sorry I forgot to tell you about Spock’s names.”

“My name is Spock.” Spock reiterated. He looked at Jim. “James Tiberius Kirk. I shall start calling you Tiberius.”

“Fine by me, Zach.”

“Alright then, Tiberius.”

Jim laughed some more before a gong sounded, causing him to jump.

“Dinner is ready, Tiberius,” Spock said, placing his hand back on Jim and leading him into the next room.


 

At dinner, the conversations bounced around to various topics. A cousin, Stelev, who was the father of the twins T’Reni and T’Rya, announced that he and his mate were expecting another child which Jim was the only one to clap at the news.

A few family members looked to Jim and Spock expectantly as if they were going to announce some big news but Spock and Jim ignored the looks and continued making small talk with the others.

After dinner, Jim continued to watch Beauty and the Beast with those that wished to watch it. Even Stonn joined in, sitting with T’Ariis in his lap.

Spock didn’t join in, instead going to the meditation room and meditating. He managed to silence his other sides long enough to get some peace and order before coming out of his meditation and finding that Jim and the others had retired to bed.

He found Jim in their room, sound asleep. Spock dressed in his sleeping attire and joined Jim, savoring his last night sleeping next to his fake boyfriend.


 

In the morning, Jim woke up alone in bed and hated it. He sat up and found Spock nowhere in sight but his suitcase was out and appeared to be packed already. The new suitcase Spock had had sent for him sat open on the floor near the dresser, waiting for Jim.

Jim sighed. The week was over. Their arrangement nearly finished. He trudged out of bed, showered and dressed before starting to pack. He found the remnants of his old luggage and took out the naughty items Bones had packed and put them in the bag.

He checked the time on his PADD and sent Bones a message that he’d be back by tomorrow morning before putting the PADD in his other bag. He then grabbed everything up and placed them by Spock’s luggage before heading downstairs.

In the kitchen, he found Spock and his parents. Amanda stood and hugged Jim before making him sit and bringing him a plate of pancakes.

“Thank you,” Jim told her.

“You are welcome.” She sat back down and stared at him.

“Do I have something on my face?”

“No,” Sarek spoke. “She is merely sad you and Spock will be leaving in a few hours.”

“Mother,” Spock sighed. “

Amanda waved her hand at him. “I can be sad if I want. This is the first time you’ve been home to Vulcan in several years and it was only for a week.”

“Summer break is coming up soon,” Jim said. “Maybe Spock will come back for a longer visit then.”

Amanda look at her son with what Jim could describe as her version of a puppy dog look. Spock caved instantly.

“If I have no pressing duties to attend to, I shall come visit for…”

“A month,” his father finished.

Spock nodded. “Yes, a month.”

Amanda beamed then leaned over and kissed Spock’s cheek. Jim grinned as he watched Spock discreetly cock his shoulder up and rub his cheek with it where his mother had kissed him when she looked away to pour a cup of tea.

“Mama’s boy,” Jim whispered, kicking Spock under the table.

“That was my foot,” Sarek said, arching a brow up.

“And a lovely foot it is,” Jim said. “Care to play footsie?”

“Amanda.”

“Jim, he’s mine, you have your own Vulcan,” Amanda said with a giggle.

Jim patted Spock’s arm. “That I do.” He smiled at Spock who nearly smiled back before pulling his arm away and starting to eat.

“Maybe you’ll come too, Jim,” Amanda said hopefully. “You could see our home in ShiKahr.”

Jim nodded, trying not to let his smile fall. He knew he’d never get to go to ShiKahr. “Maybe.”


 

After breakfast, Spock watched as T’Pau and a few of his relatives pulled Jim away for one last stroll through the maze. Spock had to make sure Jim had his hypos first but let Jim go. Spock helped clean up the kitchen then went upstairs and brought down their luggage and placed them by the front door.

“I apologize.”

Spock straightened up and turned to find Stonn standing there. “You have already apologized for the crash and your behavior towards me.”

Stonn shook his head and stepped closer. “Affirmative, but now I wish to apologize for…for assuming you did not have a mate and that you had lied.”

“Jim is not…”

“Yes, you say he is not your mate but we all know that is a lie.”

Spock clenched his fists. He now wanted to punch his cousin because of his own frustrations. “Boyfriend, is a more appropriate term.”

“Boyfriend,” Stonn repeated. “Whatever you wish to call James, I apologize for my behavior since the two of you have been here. I had thought, I had illogically thought that you had merely put on a show about having a boyfriend that day in the park. James did not even seem to know you nor the friend with him but…it seems that was my own error in judgement. You and James make a satisfactory couple and I do hope we see him again.”

Spock nodded. “Thank you. Apology accepted.”

Stonn went to turn away but stopped and stepped closer. He lowered his voice and asked, “Between us cousins, what is the purpose of those fuzzy handcuffs from James’ luggage?”

“No comment,” Spock said before moving away.


 

When it came time to depart, the whole family came outside to see Jim and Spock off. Their transport car was waiting to take them to the shuttle port.

Spock hugged his mother and his father and was going to hug his grandmother when she flicked his ear and said no. Spock rubbed his ear and bowed his head in respect before offering T’Pau the Vulcan salute.

“You had better bring thy mate back to Vulcan,” T’Pau told him, giving him a stern look.

Spock swallowed and nodded in response.

“Amanda, can’t breathe,” Jim gasped as Amanda hugged him tight. She let him go and he resumed his normal breathing.

“Sorry, I’m just so happy to have met you. You have my comm number, correct?”

Jim nodded. “Yes, ma’am.”

“Call me or message me anything. Especially when that one,” she pointed at her son who raised a brow. “acts up.”

“I do not act up,” Spock muttered.

“I will,” Jim lied. His heart was crushing in his chest. He looked to Sarek and held up his hand in a salute. “Live long and prosper.”

“Peace and long life,” Sarek returned.

Jim smiled at everyone and was about to turn to leave when someone attached themselves to Jim’s leg.

“No go. Mine,” Selden said grumpily.

Spock started to growl but stopped when Jim put his hand over his mouth. Jim then moved his hand away and knelt down. He gently coaxed Selden from his leg to look at him. Dark eyes met his blue ones.

“Hey, buddy, listen to me for a sec, okay?”

Selden nodded.

“Selden, I’m too old for you,” Jim said. “Way too old. By the time you’re even eighteen I’ll be in my forties.”

“So.”

Jim snorted and Spock wanted to growl again. “So, by that time you will have moved on. I promise that there is someone out there for you. Someone that you will call yours and they’ll call you theirs back. I’m not yours.”

Selden pouted. Jim touched his cheek. “I’m your friend, though. I’ll always be your friend.”

“Okay,” Selden said. “Friend.”

Jim nodded then kissed the boy’s forehead before standing up. “Behave and no more claiming people until you’re at least eighteen.”

“Affirmative.”

Spock put his arm around Jim and they gave one last wave and a goodbye to everyone.


 

The trip to the shuttle port was a silent one and even from the shuttle up to the starship was silent as well. When they boarded and Spock retrieved their room information, they finally spoke.

“Here is your room pass,” Spock said, holding out a different pass than the one Spock had.

“Oh, we’re…not sharing,” Jim asked and tried not to seem sad about it.

Spock shook his head. “There is no need to share anymore. Our arrangement is complete.”

“Right, yes, it is. I hope I was a good fake boyfriend.”

“You were. Perhaps a little too good.”

Jim forced a small laugh and nodded. “Yeah. So much for fighting and making it seem like we were about to break up.”

“Indeed.”

.

.

.

“Thank you,” Spock then said. “For everything.”

“No problem, Spock.” Jim tugged his backpack higher on his shoulder. “I guess…um…care to play chess later or something?”

“I cannot. I have work to complete for the term starts that I have been neglecting while on this trip.”

“Right, right. Of course. Yeah, I should check out my new class syllabi and see what texts I need to get.”

“Indeed.”

Jim licked his lips. “I guess this is goodbye then.”

“Yes.” Spock gripped his luggage handle tightly as his heart clenched painfully and his head started to throb. “Goodbye, Jim. I wish your future endeavors will be prosperous.”

“Ditto, Spock. Hey, when...when you um…tell them we’ve broken up. Could you…not make it seem like I was a bad guy or anything?”

“I shall. Our breakup will be mutual due to our different paths in Starfleet.”

“Logical,” Jim said, trying not to tear up. “Okay then. Seeya around.”

"Yes, seeya around," Spock repeated. 

They stared at one another for a few more moments before turning and going their separate ways.

Chapter Text

Jim leaned his head on his hand and listened to his advanced subspace geometry professor drone on and on about a topic that had already been covered in another math class Jim had taken. He used his other hand to jot down a few notes, a formula, and some key words.  His hand then went off on its own and drew a little heart with an S in the middle in his notebook.

Jim glared at heart before putting his pencil down and closing his eyes for a moment.

One month, he thought. It had been one month since he and Spock parted ways. One month since a great week on Vulcan. One month since he fell in love with Spock and had his heart split in two. He hadn’t even talked to Spock since they separated on the ship. He had caught a glimpse of the Vulcan as they landed back on Earth but a crowd of passengers were between them and it looked like Spock was trying to leave as quickly as possible, so Jim let him go.

Jim yawned and opened his eyes to focus back on the professor who now stood right in front of Jim. Jim sat up straight and smiled at her.

Professor Zeller folded her arms across her chest and arched a brow. “Is this class disturbing your slumber, Cadet Kirk?”

“No, Ma’am. While I haven’t been sleeping well lately,” Because I miss my Vulcan cuddles. Stupid pointy Vulcan making me fall in love with him. “I actually wasn’t sleeping. I just closed my eyes for a moment.”

“Uh-huh. So, what was I just saying before you opened your eyes again and yawned?”

“Um…” Jim usually had good recall but dammit, he couldn’t remember

Zeller glanced to his notebook. “I do see you had been paying attention for a little while but I would think that someone of your age would have moved on from drawing hearts with someone’s initials in it in their books."

The cadets around him chuckled and some craned their necks to see his page.

Jim smiled bigger. “Have you done something new with your hair, because it looks amazing today, Professor Zeller.”

The cadets chuckled again. Zeller didn’t look amused. She unfolded her arms and said, “No, I did not. Congratulations, Cadet Kirk, you have just earned yourself a mandatory bonus assignment.”

Shit.

“A five-page essay on what you would do if you encountered an unstable coaxial warp ship. Please include any necessary formulas and math. Those do not count towards your five pages, however.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“And have it on my desk by the end of my office hours tomorrow.”

Jim nodded. “Yes, Ma’am.”

“Class dismissed,” Professor Zeller then said.

Jim internally sighed. He stood and gathered up his items, shoving them into his bag before quickly leaving.


 

Jim didn’t have another class for a few hours so he wandered around campus and found a spot to sit, on the edge of a water fountain near the science buildings. He sat there with his notebook and jotted down ideas for his essay, occasionally glancing to the side where the main building and doors were located.

After several moments, a sea of cadets started coming out of the building. Jim sat up straighter. He watched and waited until finally a dark-haired individual emerged. Jim couldn't help but smile at the sight. Spock was stunning in his black, form-fitting uniform.

Jim watched him interact with a few cadets before turning and walking another direction. Jim watched him until he was out of sight.


 

“What are you doing?”

Jim looked up from his desk in the corner of the living room. Bones had just come in with a bag of take-out and was unloading all the food onto the kitchen table. “Essay.”

“Didn’t know you had an essay due.”

Jim snorted. “I didn’t until I closed my eyes for a few moments in Zeller’s class. Have to write five pages for tomorrow.”

“Jim,” Bones grumbled. He stopped messing with the food and looked at his friend. “You fell asleep in class?”

“No, I just closed my eyes for a moment.”

“Whatever happened, Jim, you know the cause of all this is…” Bones trailed off, giving Jim a knowing look.

Jim blinked. “That I didn’t drink enough coffee this morning?”

Bones stared at Jim before picking up a pack of chopsticks and tossing them at the blonde. “You nitwit. Its because you’re hung up on the hobgoblin.”

“Bones…”

“Nope, you can’t deny it,” Bones interrupted.

Jim wanted to deny it, but Bones was right, he couldn’t. “I am hung up on him.”

“Then go tell him you love him so you can start sleeping better. I hear you walking around in the middle of the night.”

“I can’t tell him.”

“Can’t or won’t?”

“Won’t.”

“Jim.”

“Bones, he doesn’t see me that way. It was all an act. He doesn’t love me.”

“Bullshit.”

“Bones, this isn’t a movie, its real life. We had an arrangement and it ended.”

Bones sat down and motioned for Jim to come over and join him which Jim did. They grabbed their respective foods to eat.

“If it was an arrangement, then why are you still messaging with his mom?”

Jim blinked. He glanced to his friend and then back to his food. “How’d you know I was talking to her?”

“You leave your PADD out and I’m nosy.”

“Damn right you are, but I stopped replying to her messages a week ago. Figured it was about time and the guilt was eating me alive. She’s so nice. His whole family is. I started hating having to lie to them.”

Bones touched Jim’s shoulder and squeezed gently. “It’s because you are a good person, Jim.”

Jim smiled. “Thanks.”

Bones smiled back. “And because you are in love with Spock.”

Jim rolled his eyes.

“Now, eat your food, go to bed early and first thing tomorrow…”

“Finish my essay,” Jim finished.

“Nope. Go tell Spock you love him.”

Jim stuck his tongue out at Bones.


 

“I MISS JIM!” Human Spock cried.

Spock sat in the middle of his mind cavern and tried his hardest to find some peace and order his mind.

“We want Jim!” Primal Spock yelled before Spock heard something break behind him. He didn’t open his eyes though. It was not like anything in the room was real that could be broken.

“JIM!” Human Spock cried louder. “I want cuddles! I want Jim!”

Spock sighed loudly and opened his eyes. His human part was laying nearby crying uncontrollably. Vulcan Spock sat quietly in the corner, facing the wall, ignoring all of them. Spock spared a glance behind him. His primal part was acting out, punching the walls, kicking, knowing stuff over.

Spock sighed again and laid down on his back. He closed his eyes and tried to recall what it felt like to be whole again. It had been one month. One long month since parting ways from Jim and it was difficult. He hadn’t been able to properly meditate or sleep well. He missed Jim. Missed his cuddles, his smile, playing chess, kal-toh, his warmth—he missed everything.

He slowly opened his eyes and came out his trance. He was back in his room, in the corner where he meditated. Spock leaned forward and rested his head in his hands. He was drained, physically and emotionally. He need to meditate but couldn’t. A week with Jim, a week of falling in love with the illogical human had turned his world upside down.

Spock let out a frustrated groan before standing up. As he was about to get ready for the day, his computer terminal beeped, indicating a video call. Spock walked into the next room and sat down at his desk. He connected the call before realizing who it was.

“Spock,” his mother appeared on the screen. She was smiling at that moment but then frowned when she saw his face. “Kan-bu, what is wrong?”

“Nothing, mother,” Spock said. “I am well.”

“Sweetheart, you do not look well. Are you ill?”

Spock shook his head. Yes. “No. I merely did not have a restful nights sleep and was in the process of attempting to meditate just a moment ago.”

His mother gave him a look jus tad his father appeared and sat next to her. His brows went up at the sight of his son. “You were right, adun’a, he does not look well.”

“I am…” Spock tried.

“Said he was attempting to meditate," Amanda spoke over him.

“Attempting?” Sarek questioned. “Why attempting? Are you experiencing trouble meditating, sa-fu?”

“No, that was not what I meant…I just…I am well, I assure you.”

“You do not look well,” his mother reiterated. “Where is Jim? Perhaps he can make you some plomeek soup or…”

“Jim does not live here mother,” Spock said. “And we are not…we…”

“Spock?” his parents questioned.

Spock internally sighed. Perhaps now it was time. Time to get it over with and maybe find some peace. “Jim and I have parted ways.” His heart clenched in his side and it took everything in Spock not to double over.

“Parted…parted ways?” Amanda asked. “I do not understand.”

"Yes, clarify," Sarek said.

Spock looked at them both. “Jim and I have mutually ended our relationship due to our different paths in Starfleet.”

Amanda and Sarek exchanged a look before focusing back on their son. “You and James…terminated your relationship,” Sarek said.

Spock nodded. “Affirmative.”

“Mutually ended,” Amanda repeated Spock’s words.

“Yes.”

His parents were quiet and then his mother nodded. “Right, okay, that is…I am sorry to hear that you and Jim have broken up.”

“There is nothing to be sorry…”

“We have to go now,” Sarek interrupted. “Have a good day.”

“And try to rest, sweetie,” Amanda added before the message cut off.

It was done. He had told them and no doubt they would tell the rest of the family. Now Spock could move on.


 

“May I speak candidly, Spock?” Uhura asked. They were sitting in his office going over a recent test Spock had given.

“Of course,” Spock replied.

“Thank you.” Uhura put the test down she was working on and took in a breath and released it. “Spock, we’re friends.”

“Indeed.”

“Right. And as your friend, and even your TA, it is my duty to tell you that…you’ve been a dick lately.”

Spock’s brows went up. “Excuse me?”

“Spock, you are snapping at cadets for minor things, giving them ridiculous assignments, and this test…”

“What about the test?”

Uhura picked up the paper and read one of the questions that was almost impossible to answer correctly. She then looked at Spock. “This cadet wrote two sentences and then it looks like they started to cry.”

“Cry?”

She turned the paper over for him to see. There were some wet marks on the paper.

“I see,” Spock said.  

“What is up with you lately, Spock? You came back from Vulcan in such a funk. Did you and your dad have an altercation?”

Spock shook his head. “No. We actually made up.”

“Oh, that’s good—great even so why are you acting weird?”

“I am not acting weird,” Spock said.

“Bullshit, Spock. You have bags under your eyes.”

Spock touched his face. “My sleeping and meditation has been off lately.”

“Why?”

“I do not…”

“Is it because of Kirk?”

Spock opened his mouth and closed it. Uhura nodded.

“Right, it is Kirk. Does this have to do with that time I saw you both together? Oh god, was he hounding out about the Kobayashi Maru? He did say something about you two working together…”

“We are not working together.”

“Then he was hounding you about it. He’s been trying to pass it for…”

“No, Nyota, he was not hounding me. Jim does not hound, he is wonderful. That day he presented a subroutine to me for consideration and I have already approved it to be used. That is all.”

Uhura leaned forward and placed her hands on the desk. “But this does have to do with Kirk.”

“Nyota…”

“I said his name and you couldn’t even talk until I asked if he was hounding you to which you said no and called him wonderful.”

Spock blinked. “Did I say wonderful?”

“Yes.”

.

.

.

“Not going to deny that you meant to say wonderful?” she asked.

Spock shook his head. Jim was wonderful, beautiful, amazing, cuddlable…Spock shook his head again.

“Spock, seriously, what is going on? Uhura reached out and touched his arm. “Something happened that is obviously affecting you. Please tell me.”

Spock swallowed. She was right. Something did happen. He had fallen in love, he had lied, he had shamed himself and his family. Spock looked to his friend. He needed to get it out, to tell someone so he opened his mouth and did.

Uhura stared at him for a long time afterwards—just staring and not speaking. Spock sat back in his chair and felt a small, tiny weight lifted off of his shoulders. It did feel good to tell someone.

“Wow,” Uhura finally said. “Wow, wow, wow.”

“Indeed,” Spock agreed.

“You are in love…with Kirk.”

Spock nodded.

“And your family…oh wow.” She leaned back in her chair and pinched the bridge of her nose. “I had heard Vulcans couldn’t lie and damn, was that right. You really can’t lie Spock. This is…this is horrible.”

“I know,” Spock agreed. “Lying is illogical and I should not have.”

“No shit.” Uhura sat back up, leaning forward to rest her elbows on the desk. “Spock, you have to fix this.”

“I have already informed my parents that Jim and I parted ways…”

“No, Spock you need to fess up to everything. Tell your parents that it was all a sham to begin with and go tell Jim that you love him.”

“Nyota…” Spock cut himself off when Uhura picked up the crying cadet’s report and hit him over the head with it. She then stood up and collected her stuff.

“You are the smartest idiot that I know, Spock,” She said. “You’re in love with Kirk and need to tell him so until you do, you will still feel like shit, Spock.” She then left his office.

Spock sat in his office alone for a while. He picked up the tests he had just given and skimmed over them. He had been too harsh with the questions and threw the papers in the recycling bin. He’d give a do-over test, one that was slightly easier and hopefully wouldn’t make anyone cry.

He collected his own belongings and left his office. Over the past month, he seen Jim a few times, but never approached, merely watched him from a distance. He was friendly with his fellow cadets and sometimes flirty which had made Spock illogically displeased and maybe a little growly.

Where he had seen Jim, the most was the library. The library, where Jim most definitely did not work, was were Spock immediately went after leaving his office. Spock had planned to find a quiet corner that gave him a decent view of the information desk that Jim loitered around when he wasn’t in the study room, but when he entered the library, he immediately saw Jim and Gaila, an Orion female who roomed with Uhura, standing close together and talking.

Spock approached and couldn’t help but growl when Gaila reached out and touched Jim’s arm. The noise alerted Jim and Gaila who turned towards Spock.

Jim’s eyes widened slightly before the blonde smiled brightly at him. “Spock.”

“Cadet Kirk,” Spock greeted. He gave Gaila a look. “Cadet Vro.”

“Professor,” she nodded before giving him and Jim a look.

All three went quiet for several moments before Gaila grinned. “I actually have to be going now. Jim, I’ll see you in class tomorrow.”

“Yeah, see you tomorrow,” Jim said, not really looking at the Orion. His bright eyes glued to Spock.

Spock kept his eyes on Jim as well, only seeing that Gaila had left out of his peripheral vision.

“Hey, Spock,” Jim spoke, leaning back against the information desk. Spock saw he also had bags under his eyes. “How have you been?”

“Well,” Spock lied. “You?”

“Good,” Jim replied. “Just a lot of school work.”

“Indeed.”

“I um…” Jim licked his lips and Spock desperately wanted to kiss him. “I’ve signed up to take the Kobayashi Maru again in two days. Third times the charm.”

Spock nodded. “You will be the first to take it with the new subroutine.”

Jim chuckled. “Great. I hope when I beat the test no one accuses me of cheating.”

“They will not and if they do I will speak up on your behalf.”

“Thank you, Spock. That means a lot.”

“I told my parents that we have parted ways,” Spock blurted out.

Jim’s eyes went wide again. He slowly nodded. “Oh, okay. How…how did they take it?”

“They took is well,” Actually it was odd. “And were sorry to hear the news.”

“Well that’s good then…that they took it well.”

“Affirmative. Thank you again for your…assistance.”

“No problem,” Jim said, his eyes losing some of its brightness.

“Hey, Kirk, can you help me find that book?” a cadet called out from the stacks nearby.

Jim glanced back to the cadet and nodded before looking back at Spock. “Well, I gotta go, but I hope to see you around soon. Maybe at the Maru test because...I have something I want to tell you."

"I...I do as well. I shall see in you in two days."

Jim's smile and radiance came back. "I look forward to it."

"As do I," Spock replied. He gave Jim a Vulcan salute then turned and left.


Two Days Later

Spock finished his lecture and dismissed the class. He had an hour before Jim's Kobayashi Maru simulation. Spock wanted to try and gather his thoughts on what to tell Jim.

What does Jim wish to tell me? He wondered as he gathered up his lecture notes and disconnected is PADD from the projector. He hoped it was the same thing Spock was going to tell him. The thought of perhaps Jim telling him he loved him allowed Spock some comfort and lulled him to a restful nights sleep the past few nights. His daily attempt at meditation had also improved as his inner selves seemed pleased that he was doing to tell Jim how he felt. 

When he was just about to leave, Uhura came running into the lecture hall.

“Spock, there you are!”

Spock nodded. “Yes, I am here as I am every Wednesday this term.”

“Your comm is off and…”

“I keep it off while I am in class as to not…”

“Shut up and let me talk!” she fussed, causing Spock to take a step back from her and raised his slanted brows. “Spock, the Vulcan Embassy has been trying to reach you.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know. They called the head of the science center who found me to tell you that it is very urgent that you come to the Vulcan Embassy at once.”

“My parents,” Spock said, starting to feel a panic rise in him. “I need…”

“Go, I’ll take your stuff and put it in your office.”

Spock nodded quickly. He handed over all his items to Uhura and then bolted from the hall. He ran out of the building and off towards the Embassy hoping everything was alright.

Chapter Text

Spock rushed into the embassy and barreled right up the reception desk. The Vulcan woman there stared at him with a raised brow.

“How may I assist you?” she asked simply.

Spock furrowed his brows together. “Assist me? I was summoned here. There was an urgent message that I come at once.”

“I see,” she said. She looked down to her computer terminal and tapped at the screen."Your name?"

Spock felt his left eye started to twitch. "Spock."

"Full name."

Spock clenched his fists. "S'chn T'gai Spock. Of the House of Surak."

She continued tapping at her screen for a few moments before glancing back up at him. “Conference room one.”

“Conference room one,” Spock repeated.

“Affirmative.”

Spock stared at the Vulcan before nodding and slowly walking away. He walked down the hall, towards conference room one. It sure didn’t seem like this was an urgent matter if the receptionist was acting the way she was. Spock shook his head. Maybe there was an urgent message waiting for him on the computer in conference room one. He sped up his walking and quickly came to the conference room door. He pressed the button by the door for entry and only had to wait a few seconds before the door swished open.

Spock walked inside and froze. His eyes widened as he took in the sight before him—a good majority of his family were crammed into the large room. Most were standing but a dozen sat around the oval conference table. His parents at one end with an open chair between them and T’Pau at the other end.

“Sit,” Sarek said.

He walked slowly over to the vacant seat. As he walked, he took stock of the situation and who of his family was present. Stonn was but not T’Pring, little Selden sat in one of his mother’s laps—the boy was glaring at him. His uncles sat around the table as well with their respective wives and a few older relatives where there as well.

When he came to the seat he sat down and folded his hands in his lap. “What is the urgent matter?” Spock asked hesitantly. He figured no one was ill since most were there.

“What did you do?” his mother asked sternly.

Spock turned his head and looked at his mother. “Pardon?”

“I know you. You are just like your father whether you like to admit it or not. I dumped him twice in our first month of courting because his logic got a little too infuriating one time to many.”

“I apologized,” Sarek spoke over Spock.

“Yes, and we worked around our differences and now we have Spock.”

“Indeed.”

Amanda smiled at her husband then looked back at Spock and frown. “I ask again, what did you do to make Jim dump you?”

Spock blinked. “He did not dump…”

“We highly doubt it was mutual,” Sarek spoke. “Not with how you looked just a few days ago.”

“Yes, they said you did not look well,” T’Pau said. “What made Jim end your relationship?”

“Jim did not end it,” Spock insisted. “It was mutual.”

“Spock.”

Spock let his gaze drop down to his lap. He didn’t want to look at his mother or his family members.

“Spock,” his mother tried again. She touched his arm. “We all love you. We all love Jim. We just…we want to understand. A month ago, you two were completely smitten with one another. We all saw it. And then,” she gently squeezed his arm. “Two days ago, I saw your face for the first time in over a week and you looked so unwell. Something happened—something more than a mutual break-up because I know you love Jim. I saw how you looked at him, Spock.”

“Yes,” Spock admitted softly.

“Then why has your relationship ended?” Sarek asked.

“Did he cheat on you?” Stonn blurted out. “Humans are known…”

Spock looked up and glared at his cousin. “No,” he growled.

Stonn shut up.

“Then what happened?” T’Pau asked.

Spock wrung his hands together. He had not thought this would happen—having his family here, questioning why he and Jim broke up. They were Vulcans, why couldn’t they have just accepted the mutual ending story.

But they were here…they were here because they all liked Jim. They all thought he and Jim were smitten with one another.

Uhura was right, he should not have lied because he was not good at him and had dug himself a very deep hole.  

Spock breathed in and out. He looked around the table before saying, “It was all fake.”

“Fake?” they questioned.

Spock nodded. “Jim and I were never together—never in a relationship. I lied to Stonn. I lied to him that I had a significant other after he boasted of his bonding and creating a child with T’Pring. When we met a few days later in the gardens, Jim was there with his friend. I had never seen him before that day and only picked up his name when he and his friend were talking to each other. Stonn asked if I was there with my significant other and thought I was lying about having one which I had.

I said Jim’s name without thinking and Jim went along with playing the part of my boyfriend. We parted ways and I did not see him again until I was summoned to Vulcan for the family gathering and told to bring Jim. Jim came along to continue the ruse. We were never together. No relationship. It was all a lie.”

Spock felt the rest of the weight on his shoulders leave him. He’d told them the truth. It was out and now…now the consequences.

“It was all a lie,” his mother said softly.

Spock nodded. “I hated having to lie to you, to all of you. I just…I do not know why I did it.”

“It was me,” Stonn spoke.

Everyone looked at Stonn. “It is my fault Spock had to lie. I…I insinuated at the Academy that he did not have a mate because…because he was neither human nor Vulcan. If I had not done so then he would not have lied and said he had a significant other. I apologize, but I was right. You lied…”

“Silence, Stonn,” The family hissed at the him. Stonn sunk down in his seat.

“Yes, it was you,” Spock admitted, looking at Stonn. “And, yes I should not have lied and brought Jim into this. He enjoyed meeting you all and…”

“And you love each other,” T’Pau interrupted. “Yes, you lied. It was all a fake, etcetera, etcetera, but we all know what we saw between the two of you. Love.”

Spock blinked and nodded. “I do love, Jim.”

“Then why have you not told him?” Amanda asked. She then gasped. “Oh, did you tell him and he said no?”

“He is a fool to not love you back,” Sarek said. “Where is he? We will all go talk to him and…”

“No, no, no,” Spock said, shaking his head. “I have not told him anything. Yet. Before you all called me here urgently, I was planning to meet him in twenty-one point eight minutes and tell him that I love him.”

“Oh,” Amanda sighed. “Well then go.”

“Yes, go,” Sarek agreed. “Talk to James.”

The rest of the family started to nod and say for him to go. Spock stood up and made his way towards the door, not needing to be told again. He stopped at Selden who had gotten out of his mother’s lap. The boy held up a plastic red rose to Spock.

“For Jim,” he said.

“For me to give him?” Spock questioned, taking the flower.

Selden shook his head. “No, from me.”

Spock internally sighed. “Of course.” He continued on, only to stop again once he was at the door.

“Spock,” T’Pau spoke.

He turned to face her. The whole family was staring at him. “Yes?”

“When you and Jim have spoken and got your heads out of your asses and agreed to be together…”

Spock and the family balked at their matriarch’s choice of words.

“Mother,” Sarek hissed.

T’Pau ignored him. “We expect to see both of you back here this evening for proper re-introductions and dinner. Is that clear?”

Spock nodded.

“Now go.”

Spock nodded and again and quickly left.


Uhura tapped at the simulation’s computer screen before turning to face Jim. “We are receiving a distress signal from the USS Kobayashi Maru. The ship is stranded and has lost power.  Starfleet Command has ordered us to rescue them.”

Jim smirked at Uhura. “Captain.  Starfleet has ordered us to rescue them…Captain.”

Uhura quirked her brows up at him in response.

“Klingon vessels have entered the Neutral Zone and are firing on us,” Bones said a second later.

“Okay,” Jim responded. He looked round the simulator captain’s chair for the apple he’d brought. Soon, his subroutine would go into effect and Jim would find out what fighting chance he would be given.

Bones, Uhura, and the rest of the bridge crew exchanged a look. The proctors in the control room above them also exchanged looks with one another.

“Okay?” Bones questioned.

“Yeah, don’t worry about it,” Jim said. Oh, my apple. Jim found his apple and grabbed it. He rubbed it on his simulation uniform top and looked up to the control room. He saw the familiar faces up there but not the one he wanted to see. Spock.

“Three more Klingons vessels have appeared,” Bones spoke again. He tapped at his station’s screen.  “They’re targeting the ship, but I guess that isn’t a problem?”

Jim took a bite of his apple before replying with, “Nope, no problem.” Where is Spock? Wanted to talk to him before this started. I guess we’ll talk after.

“They are firing, Captain,” a cadet in the simulation told him.

Jim sat up a bit straighter. Damn, is the subroutine going to come on? “Uhura, alert medical to prepare to receive all crew from the damaged ship.” Jim went with that—best be prepared for whatever happens.

“We are surrounded by Klingons, Captain,” Uhura replied.  “How do you expect us to rescue them?”

Jim grinned and turned his chair to face her and said, “Alert medical.”

Uhura rolled her eyes and did as Jim asked.

Bones looked from his screen as the red alert klaxon started sounding on the simulation. “We’re being hit.  Shields at sixty percent.”

“Got it.”

“Should we fire back?”

Jim took another bite of his apple and then shook his head, “Nah.  We’re good.” Fuck, I hope we’re good. Come on subroutine—you should’ve kicked in by now. Did Spock turn it off? Oh jeez, what if he…Jim  cut off his thoughts when all the computers and screens in the room went black before turning back on. 

“What the hell was that?” Bones fussed.

Jim smiled as the screens in the simulations came back on as everyone in the room looked puzzled by what just happened.  Uhura shook her head and looked at her computer screen before saying, “We are still being…wait…no…the Klingons have stopped firing.  The Kobayashi Maru is still in distress, though.”

Whoop, there it is! Subroutine for the win! Jim stood up from his captain’s chair. “Arm photons.  Prepare to fire at the Klingons.”

Bones grumbled to himself before saying, “Their shields are still up, Jim.”

“Really?  Check again.”

Bones sighed before turning back to the screen.  His eyes went wide at what he saw on the screen, “No.  No, their shields are down.”

“Good.  Then fire on all the enemy ships.  Only one photon each should be fine.  We don’t need to waste ammunition.”

“Targets locked on all Klingon vessels.  Firing now!” one of the others in the simulation said.

Jim smiled as the Klingon ships were all destroyed instantly.  His simulation crew looked at their screens, stunned at what just happened.  The people up in the observation deck were just as dumbfounded.

Jim sat back down and lounged in the chair like he owned it and grinned, “Begin rescue of the Kobayashi Maru crew, please.”

Uhura nodded as Jim continued talking, “We have eliminated all enemy ships.  No one on board was injured and rescuing the crew is now underway.  I think this has been a success.”

Jim then looked up at the observation window and smirked at people standing. Gaila was peering over one proctor’s head in disbelief.

I won, but where the hell is Spock?


 

After everyone left, as Jim was the last in the Kobayashi Maru simulator that day, Jim stayed behind and replayed in his head other scenarios and how he would’ve handled them. He kept his eyes closed as he sat in the captain’s chair and mentally went over everything.

He was in his own little world for a good while until he felt another presence in the room. He slowly opened his eyes.

“Spock,” he said, smiling.

Spock stood before him in his black uniform. The Vulcan stood with perfect posture and with his hands behind his back. “Jim.”

Jim stood from his chair and took a few steps closer to Spock. “Hey.”

“Hello. I apologize for missing your test.” Spock glanced behind him, up to the control room that was now empty and dark. “When I arrived, my colleagues were beside themselves wondering how you beat the test.”

“Ah, bet they thought I had cheated.”

“They did, but I assured them, as I told you I would, that you did not. I then dismissed them all so we could be alone.”

Jim’s eyes widened. “Alone, huh? Why?”

Spock stepped closer so only an arms-length was between them. “Because I have something to say that they do not need to be privy to.”

Jim couldn’t help but lick his lips. “And what do you have to say?”

Spock didn’t say anything, instead he reached out and grabbed Jim by his biceps and pulled him close. He slammed their lips together and started to kiss Jim passionately. Jim was momentarily stunned before he got the idea and started kissing back, letting his hands come up around Spock’s neck and shoulders—one hand sliding through the back of Spock’s soft, black locks.

They both groaned and moaned into the kiss, pressing closer until Jim had to breath and tore his lips away. Spock tried to chase them, to reclaim them but Jim put two fingers against Spock’s lips.

“Wait, just…a…moment,” Jim said a little breathlessly.

Spock nodded against the fingers.

“We do need to talk.”

Spock nodded again.

“So you go first.” Jim slipped his fingers away and settled his hands on Spock’s waist. “You said you had something to talk to me about—to tell me. What is it?”

Spock squeezed Jim’s biceps before sliding his hands down Jim’s strong arms to his hands. He gently took them from his waist and held them. He rubbed his thumbs against the backs of them.

“I love you, t’hy’la,” Spock said softly.

Jim smiled. “You love me?”

“Affirmative.”

“Good,” Jim nodded.

Spock’s brows went up. “Good? I do believe when someone tells you that they love…” Jim interrupted Spock’s small rant with a kiss.

“Good, because I love you, too.”

“Good,” Spock repeated what Jim had said. He kissed Jim once more before asking, “What was it that you wished to tell me?”

“That I love you.”

“That was what I thought.”

Jim smiled and kissed Spock again. Spock turned their hands so he could rest his fingertips against Jim’s in a Vulcan kiss that sent a pulsing wave through both of them.

“I like that it does that,” Jim muttered against Spock’s lips.

“As do I, t’hy’la.”

“What’s that mean?” Jim asked, pulling back slightly to look at Spock fully. “You’ve called me that twice now. Tuheyla?”

“T’hy’la,” Spock repeated. He swallowed and laced their fingers together. “It is an ancient word for ones who share a sacred and robust bond. T’hy’la translates to friend, brother, lover—a soulmate in clearer terms. Our minds are compatible. That is why, whenever we touch, there is a spark—our minds are reaching are reach out to one another, trying to bond.”

Jim stared at Spock. He opened his mouth and closed it a few times before saying, “Is…is that why you can pick up my thoughts and that I could pick up yours?”

Spock nodded. “Yes.”

“That explains why the family was so shocked we could do that despite not being bonded.”

“Indeed.”

“So,” Jim paused and licked his lips. “What does this mean? For us?”

“It means,” Spock pulled Jim close and rested his forehead against his, “that when the time is right, when we decide to bond, our bond will be robust and unbreakable.”

“When the time is right.”

“Yes.”

“Now isn’t the right time.”

“I agree. I wish to get to know you more and perhaps a spring bonding as my family wishes.”

Jim laughed. “Maybe.” Jim pulled away slightly to turn Spock around. He gently pushed the Vulcan back until he was sitting down in the captain’s chair. Spock’s brows went up as Jim climbed into his lap, straddling his waist.

“Jim?”

“We do need to get to know each other more, right? That was what you said.”

“It was.” Spock’s breath caught in his throat as Jim ground his hips against his. Jim moaned and did it again causing Spock to finally make a pleasing sound.

“We’ve gotten to know each other very well except for…the physicalness.”

“Physicalness is not a word,” Spock managed to get out before Jim rocked his hips against his against. He groaned and grabbed Jim’s hips.

“How about we stop talking now?” Jim asked.

Spock nodded. He caressed Jim’s cheek then pulled the human closer to claim his lips.


 

A while later...

Spock couldn’t help but stare as Jim slowly redressed in the simulation uniform.  Spock stopped button his pants and moved closer. He wrapped his arms around Jim from behind and nuzzled into Jim’s neck. He let his hands trail up and down Jim’s still exposed chest.

“I did not think my first time would be in the Kobayashi Maru simulator bridge in the captain’s chair,” Spock said.

Jim chuckled and leaned back into Spock’s embrace. “How about your second time being against helmsman’s station?”

“You were the one against the helmsman's station. I was..."

"I know what we did, Spock," Jim interrupted. "My ass clearly remembers."

Spock couldn't help but smile slightly. "No, I did not think that would happen either.” Spock started to nibble at Jim’s neck.

Jim moaned and exposed his neck more before pulling away. “No, no, we’re not going a third time. I need a nap before then and a shower.”

“It was not my fault you do not carry protection on your person.”

Jim turned to face Spock as he pulled on the rest of his jumpsuit and zipped up the front. “Hey, I’m not some horndog that goes around thinking I’m going to score all the time. And you know,” Jim poked Spock the chest. “there is something called pulling out that you could’ve done.”

“No,” Spock replied simply. He moved away and grabbed his uniform top and slipped it on. His undershirt had been used to clean up and was in a ball in the corner. “But I shall endeavor to keep that in mind for another time.”

“Yeah, right,” Jim said before yawning. “Yeah, I really need a nap and food and a shower.”

“Attention,” a familiar voice came over the loudspeaker.

Jim and Spock froze before looking up at the oberstation window. They both sighed in relief seeing that it was still dark and empty.

“Attention,” Pike’s voice came again. “To the two individuals in the Kobayashi Maru.”

Jim and Spock exchanged a look. Jim hesitantly spoke up, “Captain Pike?”

“Yes, it is I,” Pike replied. “As I had to check the security feed to see where you were, I caught an eyeful that I am not happy about.”

“Captain, I do apologize…”

“Quiet, Spock.”

Spock shut up.

Pike continued. “Security feed has been wiped clean. You’re welcome for that, by the way.”

“Thank you,” Jim and Spock muttered.

“But that does not mean you two have escaped punishment. Just outside the bay doors you will find a whole slew of cleaning materials for you to use to clean the whole simulation bridge—top to bottom.”

Jim and Spock nodded without protest.

“Good. Have a nice evening, boys.”

Jim groaned and leaned back against one terminal. His ass hurt, he was sore, and dammit, he wanted a nap.

Spock finished dressing and looked at Jim. “We should get started so we will not be here all night.”

Jim nodded. “Yeah, you’re right.”

“Oh, and boys,” Pike came back on. “Spock’s family is expecting you both for dinner in four hours so…clean quickly.”

Jim blinked and looked at Spock. “What?”

Spock looked down. “My…um…family is here.”

“Your family?”

"Yes."

"And by family you mean just your mom and dad...right?"

“Negative. My whole family...well, most of my family. Selden gave me a flower to give you but I threw it away. You should not accept flowers from others who are not me."

Jim's eyes widened. "Most...most of your...family? Oh god."

"Indeed," Spock agreed. 

"I definitely will need a shower before meeting them again."

"As will I. Perhaps we could share?"

Jim sighed but nodded. "We have to clean this place first so let's get started and get the hell out of here."

"I agree."

Jim went to the doors and opened them to find the cleaning supplies. He grabbed a bucket full and brought it into the room as Spock did the same.

Chapter Text

Spock stood at attention just outside the Vulcan Embassy, he had reluctantly departed from Jim after they finished cleaning, going their separate ways to clean up and change their clothes. Spock had wanted to walk with Jim or pick him up from his apartment, but their residences were in different directions so it was logical to split up.

He resisted the urge to pace as he waited. Jim would be there, he was sure. They loved each other and had engaged in sexual activities twice and…Spock’s mind went to said sexual activities and how Jim looked when he…

Spock shook his head, clearing it of such thoughts for the moment. He leaned back against one of the columns outside the embassy and continued to wait. Jim was not late. He would not be late. He would be here soon.

But what if it was all a lie? His mind brought up. What if Jim did not actually….oh Surak! There he is! T’hy’la!

Jim appeared around the corner just down the street and walked towards Jim. Spock stood up straight again and waited, resisting the urge to run towards his mate and hold him in his arms. He waited instead, somewhat patiently. He kept his eyes on Jim who had a backpack over his shoulders and was walking with a bit of a limp.

Perhaps we were a little too vigorous with our love making? Spock wondered. His mind then brought up said love making again and Spock decided that, no, it was perfect.

“Hey, you,” Jim said when he was close enough. “Sorry I’m a little late.”

Spock stepped closer and instead of a verbal response, rested his hands on Jim’s cheeks and pressed a deep kiss to his lips. Jim kissed back before pulling away.

“You are a very handsy boyfriend,” Jim chuckled.

“It appears so.” Spock removed his hands from Jim’s face and took one of Jim’s hands to hold as they walked into the embassy. “Why do you have a backpack?”

“So, I can have clothes for tomorrow,” Jim replied.

Spock looked at Jim and arched a brow. “Clothes for tomorrow? Do you not have clothes at your residence?”

Jim stopped and laughed. Spock watched him and took in the beauty of Jim’s laugh and his features while he was laughing. All mine.

When Jim stopped, he looked at Spock and smiled. “Spock, I have a backpack of clothes and toiletries so I can…” Jim trailed off, wiggling his brows.

Spock’s left eye twitched as he stared at Jim.

Jim sighed then smiled softly. “We’ll get you less clueless soon. Spock, I’m going home with you after the dinner.”

Spock’s eyes widened a fraction in realization. “Oh, I see.” He nodded. “Yes, that is…yes.”

Jim took Spock’s hand and motioned for him to continue leading the way. Spock led them past the reception desk, giving the Vulcan woman a growl when she tried asking what he was there for. He led Jim down the hall and into the back of the Embassy to the banquet room where the entered and immediately were greeted by the family.

“Jim!” Amanda exclaimed before rushing over and hugging him tight. “I’ve missed you so much.”

Jim let go of Spock’s hand and hugged her back. “I’ve missed you too. I am so sorry…”

“Oh, hush about that,” she told him, pulling away to look him them both. “It’s over and done with and now…” she smiled. “You two are together for real, correct?”

Spock put his arm around Jim and nodded. “Yes, we are mates.”

“Boyfriends,” Jim corrected.

“Yes, mates,” Spock said again.

She clapped her hands together and grinned. She turned back to the family. “It’s real now!”

A murmur of congratulations went through the crowd of family members. Spock figured he was expected to reintroduce Jim so he led him around the crowd and introduced Jim to everyone until he came to his father and T’Pau. Amanda now stood back with her husband.

“Grandmother T’Pau,” Spock spoke. “This is my boyfriend and mate, James Tiberius Kirk. James, this is my grandmother, T’Pau, and my parents, Amanda and Sarek.”

“We welcome you to our family, James,” T’Pau said.

Jim smiled. “It is very nice to meet you all. Spock has told me so much about everyone. I feel like I’ve known you all for…a month.”

Amanda and Jim shared a chuckle. T’Pau and Sarek nodded.

Jim turned around when he felt a tug on his hand. Selden stood there, looking up at him. Jim smiled and knelt down before the boy.

“Like flower?” the boy asked.

Jim blinked as Spock mentally swore for throwing it away, but he did not regret it.

“I did like it very much,” Jim lied. “Very pretty, thank you. But remember what we talked about before? That you and I are friends only. I’m way too old for you and I’m also Spock’s.”

“Lie,” Selden replied.

Jim nodded. “Yes, yes, it was a lie before. It is not a lie now. I’m his and he is mine. You will find someone special when you are older. Okay?”

Selden pouted but nodded. “Yes, friends.”

Jim patted the boy on the head and stood back up. He turned back to Amanda, Sarek, and T’Pau. “So, dinner?”


 

Dinner went well, like the previous ones Jim had been a part of. He kept up conversations with the family members around him all while playing footsie with Spock under the table and occasionally touching his hand.

He was ecstatic to be back with Spock and with the family again. He had missed all of them and now that things were clear, he felt he could be more like himself and not hold back.

“Jim, will you be coming with Spock to Vulcan for the summer break?” Amanda asked.

“I have to check my summer class schedule, but I think I can make it work,” Jim replied. “I’d love to see where you live and where Spock grew up.”

“Then you will come to ShiKahr,” Sarek said.

Jim smiled. “I look forward to it.”

“As do we. When you are visiting, we can start to plan the spring bonding.”

Spock chocked on the piece of bread he was eating. Jim patted him on the back as Spock coughed for a few moments.

“Spring bonding?” Jim asked.

“It is the logical next step,” T’Pau said.

Spock took a swig of his water and then shook his head. “Jim and I…”

“If you say ‘taking it slow’ I’ll throw this roll at you,” Amanda interrupted, holding up said roll and giving her son a look.

Jim chuckled and reached across the table and took the roll from her. “We aren’t taking it slow, but we would like to spend more time together as a real couple before making that jump to that big of a commitment. Maybe this summer, Spock and I will…discuss a date but not right now.”

“Is that agreeable?” Spock added, looking at his parents and then grandmother.

“Yes,” Sarek and T’Pau muttered.

“That is most agreeable,” Amanda replied. “Plus, we can have more time to get to know you and your family.”

Jim stared at Amanda. “My family?”

Amanda nodded. “Yes. Oh, I do hope you won’t be upset with me but I went ahead and contacted your mother a little while ago. We had a very nice chat about stubborn sons.”

Jim continued to stare.

“She will be coming into town next week, did you know?”

Jim nodded. “Yes, we um…were going to have dinner.”

“That was what she said so now we are all going to have dinner.”

“All?” Jim questioned. He wasn’t quite sure how his mother needed to meet the whole family just yet. He and Spock had just gotten together.

“Not all as in everyone here,” she replied. “They are returning to Vulcan in a few days.”

Jim internally sighed in relief as did Spock.

“No, it’ll be you, Spock, me, Sarek, your mother, and my parents.”

It was Spock’s turned to stare at his mother. “What?”

Amanda smiled. “I called your grandparents and they are so excited to meet Jim that they are coming in next week.”

“Just your parents?” Sarek asked his wife. “Because last time you said it would just be your parents, everyone on your side of the family showed up.”

Amanda waved her hand dismissively. “They said it would be just the two of them but if everyone else shows up, the more the merrier.”

“How many are on that side of your family?” Jim whispered to Spock.

“As many as my Vulcan side,” Spock replied. “But they are louder, handsy, and…illogical.”

“Handsy?” Jim questioned.

“Yes, several of my aunts are fond of pinching cheeks. One elder one occasionally pinches posteriors.”

“Oh boy.”

“Indeed.”

Jim nudged Spock. “Maybe we can make a break for it now. Highjack a starship and live alone in the stars as pirates.”

Spock touched Jim’s knee under the table. “As tempting as that sounds, they will find us.”

Jim rested his hand on Spock’s. “Yeah, with your mother as the ring leader.”

“Indeed.”

“What are you two whispering about?” Amanda asked.

“Nothing,” Spock lied.

“More naughty things that the younger ones should not hear,” Jim added with a grin.

Spock sighed. “That is not…”

“Spock, not at the dinner table,” his father told him.

Spock sighed again and shook his head. Jim would get it later.

“I look forward to it,” Jim whispered.

Spock was momentarily confused as how Jim knew what he had thought but then Jim squeezed his hand under the table and Spock knew. They were t’hy’la and while they were not bonded yet, their connection was still quite strong without one.

But maybe let me top, Spock heard Jim ask mentally.

Certainly, Spock replied.

Oh great!

I enjoyed when you were on top in my lap earlier in the captain’s chair and I feel such a position with you on top of me in bed would be most pleasurable.

That was not what I meant. I meant that I want to…

Ride me is the phrase, correct. Yes, you can do that.

Jim looked at Spock and shook his head. “That was not…”

“Jim, not at the dinner table,” Spock interrupted. “There are children present.”

“James,” Sarek said.

Jim rolled his eyes and looked away from Spock to continue his meal. After a few moments he asked Amanda, “When the families meet, I would like my best friend Bones to be there.”

Amanda smiled and nodded. “Of course. He is the prankster, right?”

“Um…not really,” Jim admitted. “I mean, we do from time to time do silly stuff to each other but that um…bag incident was…um…well you see…I…”

“Jim, I’m just teasing,” Amanda interrupted with a chuckle. “No need to explain the bag.

“Thank you,” Jim sighed. “But Bones, Leonard, Dr. Leonard McCoy, he’s like a brother to me and is part of my family now. I think you would like him.”

“We look forward to making his acquaintance,” Sarek spoke.

Jim smiled. ‘Thank you. And Spock can bring Uhura too.”

“Who is Uhura?” T’Pau asked.

Jim glanced to Spock and then the family. “Um…Spock’s friend.”

“You have a friend?” Amanda fussed. “Besides Jim? Why have you not told me?”

It was Spock’s turn to blink. “Um…I do not…know.”

“How long have you been friends with her?”

“Um…two years.”

Amanda sighed.

“He gets this from his father,” T’Pau spoke. “Never says anything until it is necessary.”

Amanda nodded. “Mmhm.” She focused back on Jim and Spock. “Yes, she is invited too. His first friend and does he tell his mama? No.” She pointed her finger at him and wagged it. “Big trouble, young man.”

Spock looked down to his lap then touched Jim’s hand again. Really going to get it.

Good thing I brought the fuzzy handcuffs.

Oh yes, but what exactly are they used for? 

Seriously clueless, Jim replied. 


 

After dinner, Jim was corralled into the parlor room with some of the family to watch another Disney movie. Apparently, his family had gotten into them, which Spock did not mind. He walked into the back garden with his father and looked up at the stars.

“How long does Jim have until graduation?” Sarek asked.

“A year,” Spock replied. “He has done well to finish in three years.”

“As you did.”

“Thank you.”

“And the plans for after graduation? If you are bonded, they must allow you two to be on the same ship.”

“I am aware, but we will bond when we are ready. Not when the family wants us to be ready.”

“I understand,” Sarek replied. “We have all seen your…struggles growing up—to be accepted and now that we see you and James together, we only want the best for you both. Bonding is logical.”

“Indeed.”

Sarek faced his son. “Perhaps, to prepare him for the bonding,” when Spock opened his mouth, Sarek quickly added, “whenever that may be, you should meld with him.”

Spock arched a brow. “Father, I do not…”

“I frequently engaged in light melds with your mother during out courtship. We married in the human way first and shared a deeper meld on our wedding night. She said it greatly prepared her for the complete bonding experience during our ceremony on Vulcan and from then on afterwards.”

“I understand,” Spock replied. “And I thank you for the suggestion, however, I do not think Jim and I should meld until we are ready to bond.”

Sarek arched his brow this time. “Explain.”

“Jim is my t’hy’la.”

Sarek’s other brow went up as his dark eyes widened. “T’hy’la,” he repeated. “Are you…are you certain? There has not been a t’hy’la pair in several centuries.”

Spock nodded. “I am certain. We can share thoughts through mere touch.”

“Yes, yes, you can,” Sarek nodded.

“His mind reaches for mine, calls out for mine just as my mind does for his. I am afraid if I initiate a meld—as shallow a meld as possible, we would…”

“Instantly bond,” Sarek finished.

“Affirmative.”

Sarek went quiet for a few moments before saying, “Then an autumn bonding at the mountain house would be perfect instead.”

Spock stared at his father. “Pardon?”

Sarek ignored him and started to walk away, back into the embassy. Spock clearly heard his father mumble about getting grandchildren too.

“My family is illogical,” Spock said to himself before heading back into the embassy. He walked to the parlor and entered to find an add scene. He cocked his head to the side as he observed his mate laying on the couch, sound asleep with his head in Selden’s lap and feet in Stonn’s. Stonn looked put out having the human’s feet in his lap. Standing over Jim was Amanda with a measuring tape.

“Mother,” Spock hissed quietly as to not disrupt the others watching the movie. “What are you doing?”

Amanda finished measuring Jim then straightened up and turned towards her son. “Oh nothing.”

“Mother.”

“I want to make him a sweater. Is that okay with you?”

Spock crossed his arms and raised a brow at her. “A sweater?”

Amanda smiled innocently. “Yes, a sweater.”

“Why does his whole body need to be measured for just a sweater?”

Amanda continued to smile. “Perhaps I plan to make him a cozy blanket as well. I need to know how long he is to make sure the blanket will cover him completely.”

She is good.

“I see. A sweater and perhaps a blanket.”

“Affirmative,” she replied before moving around him to walk away.

“A sweater, blanket but no wedding robes.” He turned slightly to look at his mother. That stopped her in her tracks.

She didn’t turn around as she said, “I have no idea what you are talking about”, before continuing on.

Spock shook his head then stared down at Selden who was lightly petting Jim’s hair. Spock knelt down so he was eye level with the boy. “Selden.”

“Spock.”

“Is Jim your mate?”

Selden stopped petting Jim. “No.”

“Right, he is not. One day, you will have a mate of your own. Perhaps when you are seven. But not now and not with someone so much older than yourself. Understood?”

Selden nodded. Spock gently scooped Jim up into his arms and held him bridal style as he walked through the embassy and found were Jim’s bag was. He managed to grad that up as well before saying goodbye to his parents and leaving with him.


 

Jim woke up from a very restful night’s sleep in the strong arms of his new boyfriend. He smiled as he opened his eyes. The sun was just coming in through the window of Spock’s bedroom. Jim turned in Spock’s arms and found the Vulcan still sound sleep and snoring just a tad. Jim smiled more and playfully rubbed his nose against Spock’s.

The Vulcan didn’t stir.

Jim was immensely happy in this moment—happier than he had ever been. Spock was his—his mate, his t’hee’la…t’high’la? Jim shrugged. Whatever the word was, they were soulmates and Jim felt it. Being with Spock felt right.

Jim rubbed his nose against Spock’s again and then eased himself away from Spock and out of his grasp. Spock stirred this time. He started to make grabby hands towards were Jim had just been and his face scrunched up a bit in a cute grumpy expression. Jim resisted laughing as to not wake the Vulcan.

He grabbed the pillow he had been using and placed it in Spock’s outstretched hands. Spock immediately clutched it to him and snuggled his face into it before settling down.

Cute, Jim thought before heading into the bathroom and taking care of business. It was only when he walked back into the bedroom that Jim notice he was in his pajamas, the ones he had packed in his bookbag.

Naughty Vulcan, Jim then thought knowing that Spock had to have undressed and redressed him while he was sleeping. Jim left the room. He was going to rummage through the kitchen when he heard a familiar beeping noise in the living room. He followed the sound until he came to Spock’s comm on the coffee table.

Mother, the caller id screen read so Jim picked it up and answered.


 

Spock woke up to find himself cuddling a pillow and Jim gone. He sat up and looked around before calling Jim’s name.

No answer.

Spock got out of bed and left the room. He was about to call Jim’s name again when he heard a rustling in the kitchen.

Ah ha! Spock made his way over and stood in the doorway. Spock could not see Jim but as the fridge door was open and blocking his view of the figure crouched behind the fridge door, he figured it was Jim. 

Spock quietly removed his sleeping robe and approached. “How about we return to bed before we have breakfast, ashal-veh?”

Bones popped up from behind the fridge door and eyed him. “Well sure, sweetheart, but just know that I only want to cuddle. I’m not that type of guy who puts out before we even have a first date.”

Spock jumped back, startled to find his mate’s best friend in his kitchen. “What are you going here?”

Bones eyes went down Spock’s body before meeting his eyes. “No wonder Jim likes you so much.”

Spock looked down at himself before covering his groin. “I assure you, Jim likes me for more than my body.”

“Uh-huh.”

“Why are you here?” Spock asked again.

“How about you put on some clothes now? I can only handle so much of seeing a naked guy in front of me.”

Spock uncovered himself and placed his hands on his hips. “You are in my apartment. I can be naked in my apartment if I wish. And as you are a doctor, you should be used to seeing naked individuals.”

“I am used to it but it doesn’t mean I want to see your penis on my day off.”

Spock was about to make another retort when he felt the presence of another behind him. Before he could turn, he heard his mother’s voice.

“Well look at that full moon in the kitchen.”

“A pale green full moon,” Uhura’s voice added.

Spock placed his hands in front of him again, covering himself up before quickly backing away.

“Oh sure, cover up now that your mama’s here!” Bones called to him as crouched down and grabbed his robe for running off to his bedroom.


 

Jim entered the bedroom a little while later and found Spock sitting in the corner. Jim walked over and sat next to him.

“Heard you flashed Bones, Uhura, and your mother.”

“I thought you were in the kitchen.”

“Nah, I was downstairs checking out your dad’s Bonneville with Uhura.”

“I see.” Spock then blinked. “Why are they all here?”

“Your mom called earlier while you were still asleep. We talked and decided that we should all have breakfast together.”

“All?”

“Just me, you, your parents, Bones, and Nyota,” Jim assured him.

Spock nearly smiled. He looked at his mate beside him. “Nyota?”

Jim grinned. “Figured it out.”

“How did she take it?”

“I’m only allowed to call her Nyota when we are in civilian clothes. In Starfleet attire, its Uhura.”

“Logical.”

Jim nodded. “Yep. So, are you done hiding in here because we are all starving and want to go eat.”

Spock stood up and then helped Jim to stand as well. “Yes, I am done hiding.”

Jim stepped closer and kissed Spock. “I love you.”

“Taluhk nash-veh k'dular,” Spock replied.

“Oh, can you talk to your dad. He kept mentioning an autumn wedding and if I liked wearing white.”

Spock nodded. “I shall speak to him but I do think we will need to set a date to get them to leave us alone.”

Jim made a face then smiled. “Spring wedding?”

Spock smiled in return. “Spring wedding.”

Chapter Text

Stardate 2258.108

Jim stared at himself in the large mirror. He was in a dressing room at a regal looking event hall in ShiKahr. He turned from one side to the next and admired himself before sighing.

“I am not a woman,” Jim said. “I’m a man…the groom, not the bride.” Jim cocked his head to the side and ran his fingers along the soft, silky fabric of the white wedding robe. “Alright, I do look good. Very handsome and quite pretty.”

The robe was a lighter fabric then Jim’s other formal robe. It was more like a tunic than robe, which Jim didn’t mind. The bottom of the tunic came almost to his knees and he had matching white pants on underneath. There were intricate gold patterns stitched along the fabric.

Jim smiled at himself. “Yeah, I’m pretty.”

“Oh, so pretty.”

Jim laughed lightly as his mother appeared over his shoulder in the mirror. “Thanks. There better not be a veil with this because if there is one…”

She stood at his side. “No veil. You are not a bride.”

“Damn straight.”

Jim admired his mother’s mother-of-the groom outfit—a simple floral dress that went with it being spring on Vulcan which turned out to be hotter than summer on Earth.

“I still can’t believe you’re getting married,” Winona Kirk said. “Seems like it was yesterday you were jumping off the roof with an umbrella to see if you could float down to the ground.”

“I wasn’t the brightest kid.”

“Eh, you had your moments.” She walked around and stood in front of him. She stared to fuss with the buttons on the top. “You look so much like your father.”

Jim nodded.

“He would be so proud of you. Of everything you’ve accomplished. Graduating top of your class from Starfleet, becoming the youngest Captain in the fleet, and saving Vulcan from that mad Romulan who took your father…”

“Mom,” Jim interrupted. He took her hands in his and kissed her forehead.

She smiled up at him. “You make a beautiful groom, sweetie.”

Jim groaned and rolled his eyes.

“Yes, he does,” a voice came from the door way.

Jim let go of his mother’s hands and look at Pike. “Hey, wheels.”

“Shut up, kid,” Pike replied before maneuvering his wheelchair into the room. “I’ll take back my ship.”

“My ship,” Jim countered. “I’ve already reprogrammed the ship’s computers to listen to me, not you.”

“Brat,” Pike said before smiling up at Jim. “I honestly did not think I’d ever see you get married. Not with how we first met.”

“Yeah, bloody and drooling on a bar floor doesn’t scream future husband to a Vulcan, does it?”

“Doesn’t scream future husband to anyone, actually,” his mother added. He patted him on the shoulder.

Jim nodded in agreement.

“The service is about to start,” Pike said.

“Yes, we need to find our seats.” Winona walked next to Pike as he maneuvered back to the door to leave.

“Don’t I need to escort the bride down the aisle?” Pike asked as they left the room.

“I’m not a bride!” Jim called out.

“No, you are not,” Amanda came into the room and said. “You are one of the grooms.” She stopped before him and looked him over. “A very pretty groom dressed all in white.”

“Spock’s wearing white, too, isn’t he?” Jim asked. “You told me he’s wearing white.”

Amanda smiled innocently. “I did?”

Are you wearing white? Jim asked his mate, who was getting ready in another room.

Negative, Spock replied. I am wearing black with gold embellishments.”

Dammit.

Jim narrowed his eyes at his soon-to-be mother-in-law. “He’s wearing black.”

“Yes,” she admitted.

“No grandkids.”

She huffed and shook her head before fiddling with the buttons on his tunic top. “I’m so glad this is happening. My baby is marrying you.”

“I’m glad it’s happening as well. How many guests are out there?”

“Not that many,” Sarek entered the room and said. “Spock’s whole family makes up one side of the hall.”

“And the other?” Jim asked.

“Your family and friends, and…” Sarek trailed off in a mumble.

“Sarek?”

“The whole hall is full,” Amanda spoke.

“The hall that could fit up to two thousand people,” Jim said. “is full?”

Amanda and Sarek nodded.

Jim sighed, “Oh boy.” He turned and walked over to a chair and sat down. “I thought family only?”

“Yes, but that was before the incident,” Sarek said.

“The incident where the whole planet was nearly destroyed?”

“Yes. Now many Vulcans and other federation members wished to be here to celebrate Captain Kirk’s wedding to Commander Spock.”

Jim merely nodded. Sarek and Amanda exchanged a look before leaving the room. Jim leaned forward and rested his head in his hands.

Two thousand people.

“I am aware.”

Jim looked up at Spock who had just entered the room. “Two thousand people.”

“My family,” Spock sighed.

Jim stood up and looked over Spock. Spock was in a black tunic outfit with gold designs stitched along the fabric matching Jim’s. “Wow, you look good.” Jim stepped closer and placed his hands on Spock’s chest. “Damn good. Care to jump right to the wedding night right now?”

“As tempting as that is, ashayam,” Spock took Jim’s hands in his. “We cannot.”

Jim leaned forward and rested his forehead against Spock’s. “I thought we’d have a small wedding. Just family and friends.”

“I know, but to be fair, most of the two thousand guests are my human and Vulcan family members.”

Jim snorted. “Yeah, you do have a huge ass family.”

“Indeed. At least I managed to talk my family into not televising the wedding.”

“That’s a relief.” Jim rubbed his nose against Spock’s. “At least we’re already bonded.”

Yes, bonded, Spock replied through their shared bond. It lit up between them and sent sparks through both their heads.

“You do make a beautiful bride,” Spock admitted.

“I want a divorce,” Jim said pulling away.

“No.”

“Yes, because I am not a bride.”

“Beautiful groom,” Spock tried.

Jim chuckled. “Still want a divorce.”

“Jim.”

“Maybe older you would marry me instead.”

Spock growled.

“He is a handsome guy and I’m sure he wouldn’t call me a bride.”

Spock growled again. “He is not me and he is not handsome.”

“He’s a handsome older you,” Jim said with a grin. “I do love those big brown eyes.”

Spock growled once more before pulling Jim to him. “No, you are mine. No one else’s.”

Jim rubbed his nose against Spock’s again before pecking him on the lips.

“No kissing,” a small voice came from near them. They both turned their heads and looked down to see Selden standing there. The now four-year-old was their ring bearer and dressed in an adorable black robe. “It is not time to kiss.”

Jim leaned down and pecked the boy on the cheek before standing back up. The boy’s face turned a light green.

“Hey, what’s the hold up?” Joanna came into the room and said. The seven-year-old flower girl held up her basket of fake flower petals. “I gotta get rid of these.”

Jim rolled his eyes and moved away from them all. “Dammit, I am not the bride! We didn’t need a flower girl and I shouldn’t be walking down the aisle in white.”

“Auntie Jim is weird,” Joanna said to Spock.

Bones entered the room and stood next to his daughter. Jim’s best man arched a brow at seeing Jim in the corner. “What’s he sulking about?”

“He’s a pretty princess bride,” Joanna said.

“No, I’m not!” Jim fussed.

Selden stepped closer to Joanna and then grabbed her wrist. “Mine.”

Bones looked down. Joanna said ‘ew, a boy’ and pulled her hand away. “Good girl,” Bones said before leading her out of the room. “Five minutes, Jim!” he called back.

“Are you sure we can’t run away?” Jim turned back to Spock and asked.

“We would be found,” Spock replied.

“Yes, and mom would blame me for some reason,” Sam said from the doorway. He and Jim had started talking a year previous and managed to get on better terms with each other. It wasn’t completely better but they were working on it. Sam’s three-year-old son Peter was standing beside his father in a cute little tux. He was to be the other ring-bearer but had trouble keeping his attention on task so now he was just a guest.

“Well the note I would leave would blame you so that makes sense,” Jim teased.

“Smartass,” Sam countered. “Everyone is ready to start. Just waiting for Spock to take his place.”

“No. Spock and I are walking down the aisle together,” Jim said. When Sam opened his mouth to counter Jim fixed him with a look. Sam smiled and nodded.

“I will let everyone know then.”

“Thank you,” Spock told him.

Selden walked over to Peter and took his wrist. “Mine.” He then led the boy away and out of the room.

Sam watched them then looked back to Jim and Spock. “Should I be worried about that?”

“Unknown,” Spock replied. “It could be a phase…or not.”

Sam nodded slowly. “Alright.” Sam then turned and left the room, leaving Jim and Spock alone again.

Jim walked over to Spock and took his hand. “Ready to get married, Spock?”

“I have been ready to marry you since the day we met,” Spock replied. He raised their hands and kissed Jim’s knuckles.

“Seriously?” Jim asked with a surprised expression.

Spock kissed his knuckles again. “Well, perhaps not the day we met, but the second day we met.”

Jim chuckled and leaned closer into Spock. “Which was three months later.”

“Indeed, it was.” Spock let go of Jim’s hands and wrapped them around his mate. “Are you ready to get married, Jim?”

Jim kissed Spock on the lips. Yes.


 

Several Months Later

Jim’s eyes snapped open.  He breathed in and out for a few moments before staring up at the ceiling and realizing where he was.

Hospital? Fuck, what the hell…oh…oh shit. Spock? Spock are you there? But Jim was met with nothing—not even an inkling of their bond.  Jim blinked a few times and found Bones standing next to the biobed he was in.

Bones looked back at him, relief evident on his face. “Glad to see you’re back with the living,” Bones said, running a tricorder over Jim’s head.

“Wha…” Jim croaked out, his mouth dry.

“Here, ashayam,” Jim heard.  Jim turned and found Spock standing on the other side of the biobed, holding a cup of water with a straw. Jim’s eyes lit up and he tried reaching out through their bond but quickly realized it wasn’t there anyone. He winced at the uncomfortableness of being alone in his head.

“Jim, drink,” Spock said, holding the straw to Jim’s mouth.

Jim nodded and took in several big gulps of the water before releasing the straw.  “What happened?” Jim asked again, his voice better.

“You were barely dead, that’s what happened,” Bones said as Spock placed a hand over Jim’s.  It tingled where they touched and Jim relished in it. Their bond wanted to be reestablished.

Are you hurting? Jim asked.

Spock nodded. “You died.”

“Barely dead,” Bones spoke again.

“I died,” Jim said. “But I didn’t?”

“Barely died, but you still had some minor brain activity,” Bones told him, placing the tricorder down. “We put your butt into a cryotube for a bit until Spock delivered Khan and his blood to me to do a transfusion.”

“Khan’s blood has regenerating properties,” Spock said, stroking the back of Jim’s hand with his thumb. “It took two weeks but now you are back to us.”

Jim blinked and took in what his husband and best friend just said. “Transfusion.”

“Your cells were heavily irradiated. We had no choice.”

“Khan’s blood.”

Bones nodded. “I synthesized a serum from his superblood.” Bones then leaned down close to Jim. “You feeling crazy or homicidal? Power mad?”

Jim smiled. “No more than usual.” Jim looked to Spock and licked his lips again. “You caught him?”

“I did,” Spock said a little proudly. “I was going to kill him for taking you from me, but Nyota said he was the key to saving you—to bringing you back so I severely harmed him."

“My hero,” Jim said. “But our bond. It’s broken”

Spock looked to Bones and arched a brow.

Bones sighed. “Fine, I’ll give you a few minutes alone.  Just a few though. No funny business. I mean it. Jim has awhile to go to heal before any funny business can happen.”

“Damn, you always take the fun out of everything,” Jim chuckled weakly.

Bones lightly patted Jim’s other arm.  “I’m glad your back, Jim. Don’t die again.”  Bones smiled then turned and left the room, giving Spock and Jim there alone time.

Before Jim could ask Spock anything else, the Vulcan carefully climbed onto the bed and laid on his side beside Jim.  Spock pressed his face into Jim’s neck and gently put an arm around his middle. Jim moved one of his arms around Spock’s back and rubbed up and down.

“Our bond broke didn’t it?” Jim asked, feeling something wet against his neck. 

“Yes,” Spock breathed out. 

“It doesn’t feel right.”

“It hurts,” Spock sniffled, rubbed his face into Jim’s neck and breathing in his mate’s sweet scent.

“It’s okay,” Jim assured him. “I’m here. I’m okay now.”

Spock adjusted himself on the bed, moving his head away from Jim’s neck and propping himself up on his elbow to look down at his mate.  Jim stared up at him. He raised a hand to Spock’s cheek and used his thumb to wipe away the tears.

“Can you put the bond back?”

“Yes,” Spock told him. “I will soon.”

“Can’t you do it now?”

Spock kissed Jim’s forehead. “You need to rest more and recuperate.”

“Putting the bond back will help me recuperate,” Jim replied.

“You are incorrigible,” Spock said before placing his fingers to Jim’s meld points. “My mind to your mind…” As soon as Spock pushed in, their minds reached out and immediately joined together once again. The damaged ends repairing themselves and send calming, soothing waves between them.

Both sighed in relief and clutched each other. Spock ended the meld, the bond staying firmly in place and shimmering. Jim grabbed Spock but the collar and pulled him down for a kiss.

“I said no funny business!” Bones fussed from the doorway.

Spock pulled back and growled before kissing Jim’s cheek and getting off the biobed. Jim leaned his head back against the pillow, his eyes getting heavy.

“I’m a bit tired,” Jim admitted.

“Get some rest, Jim,” Bones told him. “You’re going to be weak for a while so resting is good.”

Jim’s eyes flutter closed as he felt Spock kiss his temple. “Rest, ashayam. I will be here when you wake up again as will the whole family.”

Jim’s eyes snapped open. “What? Are they all here? Oh god. I love them but if they are all…”

“They are not here at the hospital,” Spock told him. “But once they know you are awake, they will be here as soon as possible.”

“Yeah, clogging up the waiting room,” Bones muttered.

Spock kissed Jim again and manipulated their bond so Jim would go back to sleep. Once Jim was out Spock stepped back and looked to Bones.

“You and your lying,” Bones said.

Spock arched a brow before leaving Jim’s room. He walked down the hall and poked his head into another room. Chris was sitting up in the biobed reading a PADD. Winona sat on the chair next to him, reading a book. They looked up when Spock knocked on the doorway.

“He has awoken,” Spock said.

Winona teared up slightly and nodded. “Oh, thank god.”

“How is he feeling?” Chris asked.

“Tired. He has gone back to sleep for the time being but should wake up again soon.”

“Thank you,” Winona said. “I’ll go visit him later.”

Spock nodded and left the room. He walked further down the hallway and entered the waiting room where most of his Vulcan and human family and even some of their friends were milling about. They had come for a few hours each day over the past few weeks, waiting for any news on Jim.

They all looked up at Spock.

“He is awake,” Spock said. A wave of relieved sighs went around the room. “He still needs his rest so I recommend…”

Amanda stepped forward and handed Spock a piece of paper. “We’ve already come up with a visitation schedule that won’t be overwhelming for Jim.”

Spock blinked and looked at the paper. “Oh. Good.”


 

Four Years Later

Jim walked with Spock and Bones down a hall in one of the Starfleet buildings on Yorktown. Jim held Spock’s hand and squeezed. “We have some time before the ship will be ready again.”

“As your first officer, I am aware,” Spock replied.

“I’d like to go to Vulcan,” Jim said, looking at Spock as they walked. “I know he didn’t want a fuss over a funeral but…”

“The family has been making arrangements,” Spock interrupted. “A funeral is scheduled for next week. We leave in two days for Vulcan.”

Jim smiled. “What would I do without you?”

“Probably get sucked into space and immediately die,” Bones commented.

“Indeed,” Spock agreed. He stopped and turned Jim to face him. Bones stopped and looked back at them. Spock raised a hand to Jim’s cheek. “I really wish you would allow Leonard to heal your black eye.”

“It’s my birthday, I can have a black eye if I want.”

“Your birthday was yesterday.”

Jim grinned. “I know, but we spent all day in bed.”

“Don’t need to know what ya’ll did yesterday,” Bones said. “It was your birthday yesterday and Spock’s birthday is tomorrow so c’mon, you birthday boys.”

They continued walking down the hall.

“Where are we going?” Spock asked.

“In here,” Bones said. They turned a corner and immediately a chorus of ‘SURPRISE! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!’ greeted them.

Jim nearly jumped back as he and Spock took in the sight of their whole crew—their space family and their friends dressed up in the large room. Jim smiled and then smiled bigger as he noticed a few more familiar faces in the room. He turned slightly and leaned his forehead against Spock’s shoulder.

“Just so you know,” Bones spoke. “I did not invite the family.”

“It’s alright,” Jim chuckled, picking his head back up. “They seem to have a sixth sense about these types of things.”

“Especially when one or both of us is injured,” Spock added.

His parents approached and Amanda immediately started fussing over Jim’s eye.

“Its fine, I assure you,” Jim said as his mother-in-law gently touched it.

“A black eye,” she sighed. She looked at Spock. “How could you let him get a black eye?”

“I did not…father,” Spock snapped before pushing down his tunic where his father had raised it to see his side injury.

“And Jim,” Sarek looked at Jim. “How could you let him get injured in such a way.”

“I saved Yorktown,” Jim countered. “And Bones,” Jim pointed to the doctor. “Bones was the one he was with when he got injured.”

Sarek eyed Bones.

Bones held his hands up and then started loudly singing, ‘Happy Birthday to you…” the rest of the group joined in and soon everyone was singing to the birthday boys.


 

Jim found a quiet corner in the hall after doing his rounds and talking to his friends and family. He sat down with his drink and smiled to himself.

Spock found him a few moments later and sat down next to him. He took Jim’s hand in his and held it in his lap.

“It’s been a whirlwind few days,” Jim said.

“It has.”

“I miss him.”

“As do I,” Spock agreed.

Jim leaned against Spock’s side. “At least, wherever he is now, he’s with his Jim.”

“And happy,” Spock added.

“I’m sorry I thought about taking a desk job here.”

“And I am sorry that I thought we could go to Vulcan and stay.”

“We need to talk more and have less sex to distract ourselves from what we need to talk about.”

.

.

.

“Or just talk more while continuing to have copious amounts of sex,” Spock said.

“Agreed.”

.

.

.

“Hey, Spock?”

“Yes, ashayam?”

“When this five-year mission is complete, wanna have a baby?”

“I think you…”

“Using a surrogate,” Jim quickly added before Spock could say something that would make Jim upset.

“Of course. A surrogate.”

“No baby.”

Jim and Spock turned their heads and looked behind them. Selden stood behind their couch, glaring at them.

“Hey, Selden,” Jim smiled. “How’s being nine treating you?”

“No baby,” Selden said again.

“Selden, we have talked about…” Jim was cut off when Selden climbed over the back of the couch and squeezed himself into sitting between Jim and Spock.

Spock gave Jim a look. Do something about him or I will.

Spock, he’s nine. He's no competition. 

Jim.

Jim looked around and then spotted Peter across the way playing with Demora. “Oh look, Selden.” Jim pointed towards Peter and Demora. Selden’s eyes followed where Jim was pointing. The boy growled.

“Excuse me,” Selden said before standing up and walking away.

“Thank you,” Spock said.

“You do realize there is a strong chance that when he turns eighteen, he’ll try and court me,” Jim told his mate.

“I am aware,” Spock sighed. Spock then pulled out a small box from his pocket and held it out to Jim. "A birthday gift."

"You already gave me one yesterday," Jim said with a grin. 

"This is another. Open it."

Jim took the box and was about to open it when he thought of something. "Spock, if this is a Volkaya necklace or bracelet like the one Uhura has, you are sleeping on the couch until your Pon Farr."

Spock blinked then took the box back from Jim and put it back in his pocket. "I shall give you another gift later."

"Can it be me topping?"

"No."

Jim rolled his eyes. Dammit. 


 

Nine Years Later

Jim held his twins’ hands as they walked down the pier over the Voroth Sea.

“I’m glad the family decided to have the gathering here,” Jim said to Spock.

Spock looked at his mate and nodded. “T’Pau has several residences throughout Vulcan.”

“Well, besides the palace in Vulcana Regar, I like this one too.”

“It is not a palace,” Spock sighed.

“It is, Sa-mekh,” Selah, their daughter, looked up at Spock and said.

“It is not,” Spock told her.

“It is,” Soren, their son, spoke up.

Spock opened his mouth to argue that it was not a palace when Jim mentally nudged him through their bond.

Don’t argue with five-year-olds, Spock, Jim said. Especially ours. They are half you, half me.

Spock mentally nodded. Extra stubborn. I know.

“Daddy, we want to walk to the end,” Soren said, tugging Jim’s hand.

“Yes, the end of the pier,” Selah replied, tugging Jim’s other hand.

“Then onwards to the end,” Jim said, leading the dark-haired children down towards to the end of the pier.

Spock started to follow but a figure caught his attention out of his peripheral vision. He turned his head and saw Selden approaching. The new eighteen-year-old, had recently arrived from ShiKahr. 

Spock eyed the young Vulcan and saw that Selden’s eyes were locked onto Jim down the way. Nope.

Nope? What? Jim asked.

Spock quickly walked towards Selden, blocking his path.

“Cousin, it is good to see…”

“No,” Spock said simply.

Selden blinked then puffed out his chest. “You do not know what…”

“No.”

Selden made a grumpy face. “I just want to…”

“Jim is mine. Has been for over a decade and will continue to be mine for the rest of our lives.” Spock stepped closer and growled at the young man.

Selden took a step back. “I understand but…’

“No.”

“I just…”

“No.”

Selden puffed his chest out once more. “I only want to…”

Spock grabbed the Vulcan up and took two steps over to the side railing and tossed him over the side. He turned and walked away, hearing a splash as Selden landed a few feet down and into the water.

When Spock found Jim and their children at the end of the pier, he sat down next to them on the bench they occupied.

“Did I see Selden down the pier?” Jim asked.

“No.”

Jim glanced at Spock. “You need to stop with your lies.”

“Lying is illogical, Sa-mekh,” the twins said.

Spock looked down at them and was met back with a pair of blue eyes and a pair of brown eyes. “Yes, it is.”

The twins nodded then looked back out at the water.

Spock, you have a lying problem, Jim said.

Perhaps, but I insist that I imply more than I lie, Spock replied.

Right. If you say so. But you still have a lying problem.

Jim, had I not lied fifteen years ago, then we would not be here at this moment, Spock told him, sending him lovely feels through their bond. Nor would we have the twins.

Yeah, I suppose.

And I have never lied to you about anything important.

Jim laughed at that and nodded. “I suppose, but can you please, from now on, cool it with the fibs?”

“Yes, t’hy’la.”

“Thank you.”

Now what did you do with Selden?

Dropped him over the side railing, Spock admitted.

“Spock!”