James T. Kirk walked up the stairs like a solider going to a court-martial, determination and a little bit of fear in his stride. Reaching his destination he raised his arm to knock, but at the last minute hesitated.
Shit! I've faced Klingons and entered the Neutral Zone -- what could my fifteen-year-old child do that could be worse?
Firmly knocking on the door, Kirk waited -- and waited. He knew she was in there. Ever since she had come home from school, Sam had locked herself in her room blaring her music so loud it felt like the whole house was shaking.
Damn it, you know what time it is, Sam! You are not going to sulk your way out of dinner this time.
So, Kirk banged harder on the door, yelling as he did, "Samantha!" A short time later, the door opened a crack, and a brown eye appeared in the slit.
Kirk counted to ten -- in Romulan -- and sighed, asking, "What time is it, Samantha?"
"And what do we do in this house at 1730 everyday?"
"We eat dinner?"
"Point to Ms. Kirk. Turn off your music and then go help your father downstairs in setting the table for dinner."
At that announcement, the door sprung open, and all 5'6'' inches of his daughter appeared millimeters in front of his face, protesting this development.
"But, Dad, I was chatting with Bobby down the street, can't I skip setting the table tonight? Please?"
Looking beyond his daughter's profile, Jim saw that Sam's computer was on in her room, noting the engaging face of a human boy on the monitor. The boy was sporting a blue hairdo, a nose ring and seemed to be about sixteen-years-old.
"I suggest you tell Robby..."
"Bobby. Tell him you have chores to do and you'll talk to him later. Your father is waiting for you downstairs. I expect to see you there in three minutes." He used his don't-mess-with-me command tone, hoping fervently it would work.
Brown eyes glared into blue and a staring contest of wills ensued, but a few minutes later Samantha Kirk caved. Turning her back on her father, she flounced back into her room, slamming the door behind her to further prove her point.
Sighing, Jim walked away from the closed door, knowing she wouldn't be coming out anytime soon. Well, at least I saw her room. It had been at least six months since we'd been allowed in there. Samantha told us we were 'invading her privacy and her personal space' and had forbade them admittance.
Taking a deep breath and shaking his head, Jim sighed and wished that Sam had inherited more Vulcan genes than human. Having a Vulcan teenager in the house surely must be easier than having an emotional human/Vulcan hybrid, prone to fits of anger, then cold bouts of indifference.
Turning around, the former captain of the Enterprise walked downstairs to see what his bondmate was doing and inform him that Sam might not be coming to dinner -- thanks to his ever-tactful negotiations.
Walking into the dinning room, Jim was greeted by the sight of his lover bending over to pick what looked to be a fork up off the floor. Even after twenty years, the sight of Spock's backside still turned him on, so he strolled over to gently touch that beloved back, stroking downward until he reached those firm globes encased in a pair of black trousers.
How about we skip dinner and go upstairs and make love? Jim asked through their bond.
She's not coming down? Spock inquired, standing up, then turning around to face his mate.
Switching to verbal communication, Jim continued, "I told you that you should have gone up and talked to her. She listens better to you. It must be all that logic, appeals to her Vulcan side."
"She listens to you, Jim. It's just that both of you are too much alike. You are emotional beings. You get angry, she gets angry and then it's the end of the conversation, because you both cease to communicate until you calm down. It's like watching the younger female version of James T. Kirk."
"God help us all."
"Since I happen to love the male version of James Kirk, this doesn't concern me."
"Do you now, Mr. Spock?"
That was all it took, that was all it ever took, Jim thought; in the next moment they were in each other's arms kissing passionately.
Jim wasn't aware of how long they were kissing, but he did know the moment they were done when he felt his bondmate stiffen and pull away, first mentally, then physically.
Your daughter has the most dreadful timing.
She's my daughter now? Mister, if you've forgotten how we made her, albeit with a little help from alien technology, I will just have to remind you later tonight.
I will look forward to it, t'hy'la.
Then Jim felt him break their connection and put his shields back up, effectively blocking his thoughts and emotions.
Jim felt the loss when Spock moved out of his arms and he heard his mate ask their daughter, "How was school today?"
"Fine," came the monotone reply.
An eyebrow rose at that answer, but Jim could see Spock chose to ignore the obvious bait, instead saying, “If you are ready to eat, Samantha, go get the plates.”
Samantha T'Lyn Cha'Spock did as she was bid and set the table for dinner. It was during this process that Jim was able to really take a good look at his daughter's appearance. When she was born, Sam had a golden cap of blondish hair, but as she'd grown older the color had turned darker. Now it was more of a chestnut brown with golden highlights in the summer.
Of course you wouldn't have known that the last month when she'd dyed her hair pink. He'd come home from work to find his daughter with pink hair, black fingernails and wearing a black leather jacket, stolen from his closet, claiming she gone "retro 20th century," and that all the kids at her school were 'doing it.' He'd gone ballistic and a screaming match had ensued. Only Spock's logical demeanor had resolved the situation, until a truce could be worked out.
Sam had been allowed to wear the outfit for one month and one month only in the deal her Vulcan father engineered. And while her human parent was still not happy about the arrangement, he figured a month was better than a year.
This week she looked more normal, well, normal for a human/Vulcan hybrid. She'd finally grown into her ears and with her hair being so long, most of the time they were covered up. You'd never known she was part Vulcan unless she cut herself or pulled her hair up. There was no greenish tinge to her skin, no arched eyebrows, nothing except her blood -- and ears -- to denote her Vulcan heritage. The Kirk genes were dominant in every other aspect from the curve of her chin to the tip of her nose and the tone in her voice when angered. There was no denying she was his daughter.
Sometimes Jim wondered if his bondmate wished their child had turned out to be more Vulcan and less human since there were only ten thousand of his people left after Vulcan had been destroyed. He knew her outbursts had to be trying on his mate. Spock now had to put up with not one but two emotional humans in his day-to-day life. It was a good thing Spock loved him, lesser men would have run screaming into the night after seeing three year-old Samantha Kirk throw a temper tantrum. Between her Kirk-inherited mule headedness and her Vulcan simmering rage -- which Spock assured Jim was an exact replica of his emotions at that age -- pointing out that he'd once lost control and hit another child at the Vulcan Academy. Raising Samantha had been more work than wrestling a Gorn.
Broken out of his reverie, Jim focused on his bondmate.
“Sorry, what were you saying, Spock?”
“I said that I wanted to discuss what happened at the doctors this afternoon.”
“Sam's annual check-up? Everything's fine?” Fear gripped him for a moment, and then passed at his lover’s calm expression.
“Samantha is fine. It is just there were some unexpected results from one test, and I think we should discuss it.”
“It's not serious, right?”
“Then, how about after dinner, when we have some time to ourselves, we talk about it?” And at this comment, Jim stroked his lover’s arm, opening up their bond slightly.
Jim laughed at the slightly exasperated and aroused Vulcan voice in his head, which promised retribution for his boldness.
“Later,” Jim replied softly.
“Are we going to eat now or are you going to hold hands all night?” an annoyed female voice asked from behind them.
“Tone, young lady,” was the first thing he could think of to say before threatening to ground her for insubordination, wishing not for the first time that she was a young cadet under his command, because maybe then she'd listen to him for once! He'd have to remember to send a vid to his mother tomorrow and apologize for his own teenage rebellion so many years ago in Iowa.
“I suggest we eat,” came the ever calm and sane voice of reason in the house.
Two sets of identically shaped eyes turned to look at the Vulcan who was seating himself at the table, not waiting for the rest of his human family. Both pairs of shoulders shrugged, seemingly as if to say, if you can't beat them, join them, and the other two sat down.
Dinner was a quiet affair, which lasted twenty-five minutes, and as soon as Samantha was done eating, she asked, “May I be excused?” Given a positive answer, she raced out of the room, upstairs and a minute after that; Jim could hear her music booming out of her bedroom once more.
Some days he'd rather face a fleet of Romulan bird-of-prey warships than deal with his teenage daughter.
A short time later, with the dinner table cleared, Jim walked out on his front porch and sat down on the love seat he and Spock had put there when they bought the house twelve years ago.
The stars were just beginning to come out in the cloud-less San Francisco night sky. Closing his eyes, he leaned his head back and sank deeper into the comfortable cushions of the love seat.
He must have drifted into a light sleep because the soft whoosh of the front door sliding open woke him and moments later he felt a soothing, familiar warmth next to him. He opened his eyes and murmured, “Where have you been?”
“Sending a message to my father on New Vulcan,” was the measured reply.
“That took awhile. I thought you'd be out here much earlier.”
Spock responded without delay, but his sharply angled eyebrows drew together in apprehension, relaying to his bondmate that the message had not been a normal missive. “My apologies. The message was more complicated than I'd anticipated.”
Jim frowned at his mate, sensing through their bond an uneasiness. “Everything is fine on New Vulcan? Your father and Ambassador Spock are well?”
“My father is well, as is Ambassador Spock. No, the message concerned Samantha.”
Now Jim was confused.
As if sensing his bondmate's bewilderment, Spock continued, “Do you recall when I informed you there had been an unexpected result from one of Samantha's aptitude tests?”
“As you know, when Samantha was six and a half we had her psi abilities tested at Starfleet Medical.”
Jim nodded his head in acknowledgement, “Of course I remember. We had wondered if she'd inherited any of your Vulcan telepathic abilities, but the results were inconclusive, because while she tested above-average for a human, she had below-average scores for a Vulcan. I seem to recall Sarek looked quite relieved that day as he'd been concerned we might have to bond his very emotional granddaughter to a extremely logical Vulcan boy if her scores proved her to be telepathic. I think all of us could guess how that would have turned out.”
Spock sighed, “Jim, my father was not 'relieved' as you so poetically put it, and he was merely attempting to secure Samantha a proper bondmate if the situation deemed it necessary. It didn't-”
“Thank God,” Jim said under his breath. He had not wanted to marry off his seven year-old daughter, no matter what Vulcan customs were.
Spock broke in. “The test was re-administered and the results have now changed -- dramatically.”
“What?” Jim's eyes grew wide. “But isn't that impossible? I thought one's psi ability doesn't change more than a few points in either direction over time.”
“Normally, a human's do not. However, Samantha is not 100% human.”
Turning slightly in his seat, Jim leaned in close to look directly into Spock's eyes, “So what you are saying is that the results of our daughter's psi test have changed, and from your expression, I take it she's now testing out as a telepath?”
Spock let out a long deep breath and stated, “Affirmative,” in that timbre Jim knew as his former first officer's 'all-hell-is-about-to-break-loose-so-watch-out' tone.
“Motherfucker!” And with that James Kirk laid his head on Spock's shoulder, wondering what he'd done in a previous life to warrant this sort of torment. His daughter was a telepath.
Through their bond, Spock sensed his mate's distress; he spoke softly, “Vulcans sometimes show increased telepathic ability during puberty. My own psi abilities went up thirty points after I turned seventeen. I hadn't even considered that a possibility until the doctors informed me of the results today. It appears that my Vulcan genes are more dominant than we first surmised.”
“So what does this mean?”
Damn Spock and his logic! “Yes, mean, Commander. I am fairly certain you understand what I am referring to. Is she a telepath like you? Like Sarek? Does this mean one day she will require a bondmate? Can she even bond with a Vulcan? Because up until now we've been assuming that she's more human than Vulcan and have been turning down every single request the elders of New Vulcan have made with regards to her acquiring a bondmate.”
Spock shook his head, “No, we have turned down those requests because Samantha is too young, and frankly at this time, quite unsuitable to be anyone's mate. Can you envision our daughter bonded to say S'ran?”
Jim smiled as he thought of Spock's second cousin's youngest child, born on New Vulcan after the destruction of their homeworld. The boy was eighteen, regal and stoic and Samantha would drive him insane with her emotionality, not to mention her constant questioning of the 'logic of logic.'
“Point taken, Mr. Spock. But if she's telepathic, won't she need to bond eventually?”
“Not necessarily, even with her increased scores, she's a weak telepath by Vulcan standards. She doesn't come close to my psi abilities, just as I cannot compete with my father, who is of full Vulcan heritage.”
Your telepathic abilities are fine, Spock. If they were any higher, I think sometimes when we're making love I might die from the pleasure.
Jim felt a light kiss brush his forehead and the love shone through their connection.
“We are lucky, Jim. From the moment I touched your mind, I knew we were compatible, just as I knew Nyota and I were not. That sort of compatibility is rare even among Vulcan couples. I cannot predict the future. Perhaps Samantha will require a bondmate, perhaps she will not. Maybe she will join Starfleet like her father and...”
“...meet a beautiful, logical alien whose very presence makes his heart race with passion.”
Jim smiled in remembrance, and he saw the corners of Spock's mouth lift slightly in response. Their fights that first year on the Enterprise had been legendary.
“It just makes the sex even more sizzling,” he smirked at his bondmate.
Then, suddenly Jim was wrapped in Spock's strong, possessive embrace, and he was kissing Jim wildly, feverishly.
“Ugh. Get a room!”
Jim could felt Spock break their kiss, turn in the direction their daughter was standing and respond in a calm voice, “I fail to see the logic in that statement, Samantha, since this is our house, and we have many rooms inside.”
“Dad, can you please explain to Father, what 'get a room' means?” This statement was made with an extreme rolling of the eyes, a move that was definitely a Kirk-related trait.
Grinning at his daughter's obvious discomfort and embarrassment, Jim explained to Spock, “'Get a room' is 20th century slang meaning loosely: take your public displays of affection in private where they belong. Isn't that right, Sam?”
“Yes,” came the grudging response, her horror at seeing her parents kissing still evident on her face.
“I still fail to see why we should go inside. The neighbors are aware your father and I are bonded. Most married couples kiss.”
“No, they don't!” Brown eyes met brown, one extremely logical, the other very emotional and young.
Samantha continued, “Tina Henderson's parents: they barely speak to one another. Bobby's parents are divorced and Reva McGuire, well, her parents kiss, but that's because they just got married. You guys have been together for eons. It's just not normal. All my friends think it's cute-”
I am a very attractive man, Spock.
Spock raised his eyebrow.
“...you are so lucky, Samantha. Your dads love each other. But they don't know how utterly gross it is to know your parents are still doing it after being together for so long. Shouldn't you be over that by now?”
Yes, and if she only knew I was going to be doing that to you later tonight, Spock.
“Dad, how could you? I'm scarred for life!”
Both men looked at one another in surprise, as they knew Jim had not spoken aloud.
Spock was the first to recover. “Samantha, did you hear what your father just said?”
Chestnut hair moved as the head nodded, “How could you not hear that?”
Jim stood up and moved closer to his daughter, not touching her, knowing from his own experiences with his bondmate that touching a telepath could be painful if they weren't prepared for the contact.
“Sam, honey. I didn't say that out loud. What I said was meant to be private and for your father only. It was through our bond. Do you understand?”
A surprised and very quizzical expression greeted him, and for the first time in many months, James Kirk saw the beautiful little girl his daughter had been. The one who had loved her "Daddy," before teenage hormones and rebellion had taken over.
“You mean I was able to hear your thoughts like Father does? I'm telepathic?”
Brown eyes lit up and a happy look crossed her face, but only one word came out: “Cool.”
Looking over at his bondmate, Jim saw the eyebrow go even higher.
“This is serious, Samantha. It is a part of your Vulcan heritage. I was just about to tell your father when you interrupted. But until you can get your abilities under control, learn to shield your thoughts and emotions, you could experience dramatic mood swings. Which is why I have contacted your grandfather to arrange a visit to New Vulcan for you. You must learn to control your telepathy. There are teachers on New Vulcan that can show you how to do this.”
“I can stay with Grandfather and miss school?”
Jim felt the whirlwind that was his daughter push past him to get to his bondmate. He saw Spock stand up as Sam threw herself into his arms.
“Thank you, Father.” Sam said in a hushed tone.
“You must remember you are not being sent to New Vulcan as a vacation. Learning to control your new ability is work. Hard work. You must be respectful at all times to your instructors. They will not tolerate insolence. However, I am sure given proper time and training, you will make us proud.”
Drawing herself up to her full height, Sam released her father from the embrace, bowed her head in submission and said, “I will try my hardest, Father.”
It was the most Vulcan-like thing he had ever seen his child do, as most of her behaviors had been completely human.
“That is all I expect,” and Jim watched as his husband gently leaned down to kiss the top of their daughter's head. The two dark heads stayed together for a moment and Jim felt his heart ache, the same way that it had the day Sam had been born and Spock had held their daughter for the first time.
“When do I leave?”
“It will take a few weeks to make proper arrangements. We will let you know.”
All this was news to him, and while Jim agreed with everything his mate was saying, he also wanted to talk to Spock about this decision, and this talk needed to be done away from prying ears -- and minds. His mind came up with the only solution he could think of.
“Sweetheart, your father and I need to talk about some things. How about you go down the street and visit Bobby for awhile?”
Sam looked stunned, but replied, “Really?”
“Really. What time is it now?”
Two voices said, “1910.”
Great, now he had two walking time clocks in his house.
“Be back by 2100, okay?”
Jim felt 110 pounds fly into his chest, hugging him tightly, and then releasing him quickly to turn and run down the porch steps. Yelling as she ran, “You're the best, Daddy. I can't wait to tell Bobby I am going to New Vulcan!”
Muttering under his breath, “I can't wait either. If it gets that blue-haired delinquent away from you.”
“Are you talking to yourself?”
“No, just thinking out loud.”
His lover aimed a reproachful look, then gestured for him to rejoin him on the loveseat. A few moments later, Jim was in his favorite position, arms wrapped around Spock's chest, head on those strong shoulders.
“Is that the message you were sending to Sarek?”
“Yes. I was informing my father of the situation and requesting that he obtain a Vulcan tutor for Samantha.”
“He'll be overjoyed,” Jim said with a broad grin.
Spock looked puzzled at his bondmate's statement. “Why do you say this?”
“Let's just say that ever since we bonded, I think your father wishes that I had not been successful that day at the koon-ut-kal-if-fee.”
“Jim, that is not accurate. My father does not wish you dead. He admires you and what you've accomplished.”
“Spock, your father respects Admiral James T. Kirk of Starfleet. He tolerates Jim Kirk, son-in-law. And if any man had done to Sam what I did to you...let's just say I completely understand Sarek's anger now.”
“Vulcans do not feel anger. That is a human emotion.” Spock replied.
“Need I remind you of a choking incident on the Enterprise bridge? Then tell me Vulcans don't feel anger.” Jim smirked.
“That was an isolated incidence. I was emotionally compromised after the destruction of Vulcan and my mother's death. However, Sarek has always been in complete control of his emotions.”
“Even when I broke his son's heart and abandoned him with a newborn so I could fly around the galaxy, while you raised Sam alone on New Vulcan before we reunited? I remember the way your father looked at me the first couple of years after we were bonded and it wasn't with admiration. I sometimes wonder if he would have preferred you married T'Pring that day. That way your children would have been more Vulcan.”
“My father has never stated he has found you an unworthy spouse. You challenged for me that day and won. T'Pring lost. It is the Vulcan way. It would be illogical to wish for another outcome.”
“No, I think Sarek has become resigned to the fact that he has a human son-in-law and a mostly human granddaughter. Not that he's ever been unkind to Sam. He loves her -- in his uniquely Vulcan way -- but now that he has another chance to show off her Vulcan abilities. I bet that is making him happy the House of Sarek won't end with you.”
“Happiness is a human emotion, Jim. I don't see Sarek being happy, do you?”
“Proud, then. Vulcans can be very proud beings, can they not?”
“Point to Admiral Kirk then.”
The beginnings of a slight smile formed around his lover's mouth and Spock replied, “I agree with my father, humans are most illogical creatures.”
“But that's why you love us, right?”
“How could I not?”
Raising one free hand, Jim began to stroke Spock's chest through his shirt. “How about we not talk about your father, New Vulcan and Sam? Instead, why don't we go upstairs and do that while we have the house to ourselves?”
“A splendid idea, Admiral.”
One quick kiss later, and Jim was pulling Spock to his feet. They were both about to walk to the front door when a bright light flashed across the California sky.
“On Earth in the past, superstitious people believed that if you saw a shooting star and made a wish, then your wish would come true. Want to make a wish with me, Spock?”
“Wishes are illogical, Jim. Besides what else could I wish for? I have my t'hy'la and my daughter. My life is full.”
Jim drew in a breath and paused, trying to suppress his emotions. Sometimes his most logical Vulcan surprised him with the depths of his love. He might not show it on the outside, but inside it was there. Jim could feel it everyday through their bond. He had been stupid to ever deny their relationship all those years ago right after Sam had first been born.
“No, you are right. What else could we wish for, when we have it all?”
Spock slowly broke out of their embrace and said, “Coming?”
“In a minute.” Spock nodded and went inside.
Standing for a few minutes on their front porch, Jim continued to stare at the sky. And he knew without a doubt thirteen years ago he had made the right choice. Spock and Sam were his family, his home. And while he still missed the thrill of being a starship captain, nothing could compare to this.
A voice in his mind beckoned, full of desire and love.
T'hy'la, I am lonely.
Giving one final glance at the stars, Jim opened the door and went in.
I'm coming, Spock.