“Just one thing, Spock. Remember?” Amanda’s voice was firm, but in that quiet, soothing way a mother’s always was.
Spock, four Terran years of age, human eyes, but Vulcan everything else, nodded with a serious dip in his eyebrows. “Yes, mother.”
Any other four year old child would likely not be allowed to wander such a shop on their own, but Amanda knew that her son would go no further than instructed, and would take his time inspecting each and every item before he found the appropriate Earth Memento to bring back to Vulcan with him.
She wandered amongst the aisles of teas and coffees, adding a few to her little basket to bring back with her so she could indulge every once in a while. She knew her husband was not far off, speaking quietly with a few members of the Federation on their final bit of business before their shuttle took them to the ship that would take them home. It was a strange sensation, to feel alien on her own planet, but she’d been married to Sarek for a long time now. While she appreciated the reprieve from all things opposite to her nature, she found herself missing the red sands and hot suns of Shi’Kahr.
Just as she finished adding a small box of sweets to her items, she felt a tug on the sleeve of her robe. Turning, she had a smile prepared, and a praise on the tip of her tongue for whatever item her son had chosen. That turned into a sharp gasp when she realized that carefully ensconced in her son’s arms was not any item for sale in the shop, but a very human baby.
“Mother, I will have this.”
Amanda’s eyes sat wide, her mouth dropped open in shock, and it took her several moments to regain her composure. “Spock! Where did you…where did that baby come from?”
Spock turned his head, jostling the baby as he attempted to point behind himself. The baby seemed to think it was all in good fun, giggling and turning his head in an attempt to gnaw on Spock’s high collar. “He was there. I will have him. He can sleep on I-Chaya’s mat.”
Amanda reached for the baby in an attempt to regain control over the situation, but Spock sensed her, and stepped just out of her grasp. “Spock,” she chided, “you cannot take someone’s baby.”
Spock’s jaw set, resolute and determined, and Amanda fought the urge to reach up and pinch the bridge of her nose. Spock was as smart, if not smarter than his Vulcan peers. He was loquacious, more so than most Vulcan children, and he was generally in control of his emotions. However, there were moments like these which reminded her that he was also half hers. Half-human, and just as stubborn as she’d ever been.
“He is in the shop, I wish to take him. I will have this, mother,” he reiterated.
Before Amanda could say anything else, there was a sharp cry of, “James!” A blonde woman looking harried and frazzled, rushed up and came to a skidding halt. The terror on her face melted into something more like confusion, and her eyes darted up to Amanda’s.
“I’m so sorry,” Amanda breathed out. “He’s…I told him one thing in the shop, and he took it a bit…literal.”
The woman’s entire face softened, and she knelt down. Amanda bristled for a second, a warning not to touch Spock on the tip of her tongue, but it was unnecessary. The woman held up a perfect ta’al to her son. “My name is Winona Kirk. And that baby you’re holding, his name is James, but we call him Jim.”
“I am Spock,” the boy said, hitching Jim up higher against his chest in a way a child might hold a teddy bear. Amanda would have worried, but the small infant seemed to be as content as ever, a fist curled into his mouth which he gummed happily, the other hand gripping Spock’s sleeve. “I will have this to take home to Vulcan.”
“Well you know,” Winona said, looking back at Amanda with a small smile, “I think that he would enjoy Vulcan, but maybe not until he’s older. You see, human babies cry a lot. And very loudly. And they want a lot of hugs and kisses.”
Spock’s tiny nose wrinkled as he weighed those options. Then, after a pause, he said, “That is acceptable.”
Winona laughed quietly as Amanda palmed her forehead. “Don’t you think it might be better if he stayed here a little bit longer with me? I have a feeling Jim’s going to want to travel the stars when he gets bigger, but he has a lot to learn first. I don’t think you would like it if Jim decided he’d want to keep you here on his homeworld before you were ready.”
Spock sighed, looking down at the baby as he clutched him a little it tighter. “I…” Amanda held her breath. “That is logical.” Spock held the baby out to Winona who carefully took him back, and Amanda noted the way her son’s grip lingered on the baby.
Something warm and hopeful twisted in her gut. She knew that Vulcans were logical beings, and that Kholinar was a thing, and that possibly Spock might choose to purge emotions. But she also knew that Vulcans were capable of great, fathomless love, and possessive natures which was what she had fallen in love with, when she’d met her husband. She worried all the time, that Spock might not find his place. She already heard whispers of the people regarding the nature of her son—the first, the only half-Vulcan. But in this moment, she had hope.
Amanda looked over to see a flicker of concern over Sarek’s face before it was carefully schooled away. He looked down at his son, then at Winona who was standing up with the baby on her shoulder. She offered the ta’al to Sarek, who promptly returned it.
“Ambassador,” she said.
“Lieutenant Commander Kirk,” he said in response.
“It seems our son has chosen the commander’s child as the Terran item he wishes to bring home,” Amanda said.
Under his breath, where only Amanda could hear him, he sighed. “It is illogical to bring an infant into our home, as you are too young to be fully responsible for his care. Perhaps an inanimate object to remind you of this journey.”
Spock looked at his father, a petulant gleam in his eyes, then he glanced over at Winona and Jim as though he might reconsider his earlier acquiesce. “I…”
“Perhaps I can provide you with my comm link,” Winona said. “On your next journey to Earth, we can get the boys together to play. We’re in San Francisco all the time, now that George was promoted.”
Sarek nodded, and Amanda felt flushed with relief. “I believe that is acceptable. Spock, please go and choose your item. We must be on our way to the shuttle in six point eight minutes.”
Spock didn’t move, however, just stepped closer to Winona and tugged her sleeve until she crouched back down. She seemed to understand him, and without saying a word, she turned to the side so Spock could see Jim’s face.
“Live long and prosper. I will teach it to you in Vulcan when you have reached an appropriate age.” Spock’s hand lifted, hesitated, then Amanda’s breath caught in her throat as Spock’s fingers touched the infant’s psi-points. They lingered only a moment, then Spock pulled back and nodded. “Yes. This is the one. I shall choose my item now, mother.”
Winona rose, looking somewhat struck by the whole interaction, and Amanda glanced at Sarek for help, only he had walked off again. With a sigh, Amanda shrugged. “You’d think I’d understand, after all these years being married to one.”
Winona laughed. “He’s sweet, and believe me, it could be worse. Anyway here, let me give you my link…” She pulled her comm out of her pocket.
By the time they left the shop, Amanda had her things, her son, her husband, and a tentative friendship with a Starfleet commander.
When they were safely strapped in the shuttle, Amanda turned to her son who was staring at the small replica of the Farragut held tentatively in his hands. “Spock?”
“Yes, mother?” he asked, turning his big, brown eyes onto her.
“When you said he is the one…about Jim, what did you mean?”
Spock quirked an eyebrow, looking so much like Sarek then, it made her chest tight. “He is t’hy’la,” Spock said, as simply as he would have said that Vulcan has two suns and no moon. It was the same surety she’d heard once, in Sarek’s voice, when she asked him if he was sure that he wanted to marry a human woman.
It made something glow in her when she looked at her son, and she knew whatever the future held, her boy was going be loved. And he was going to love.